Really, do I have to?
Yes, this was my reaction last year in 2015, when I felt that nudging feeling that I had to do something about my burgeoning weight.
How It All Started
My weight gain took place slowly but steadily over the past 14 years. I used to have a reasonably active lifestyle which changed drastically the winter of 2001 when I suddenly fell ill. 3 hospitalizations and 7 doctors later, I was finally diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a disabling disease of the Central Nervous System that causes demyelination of nerves. After receiving numerous doses of IV Steroids as well as many other medications, is where the real battle began with my weight.
The Overfed Comfort Zone Eventually Became Too Cozy
I gave myself convincing excuses why I had gained the weight. I felt entitled to it and I was actually pretty OK with it, most of the time. My excuse list read something like this:
- I have MS
- I am Disabled
- I can’t exercise like I used to anymore
- It’s not my fault
- All of my medications have caused my weight gain
- It is too expensive to eat healthy
I felt ‘justified’ in my reasons to stay just the way I was. Yet, that nudging feeling wouldn’t go away and thankfully, it continued to grow.
I knew I needed to change my lifestyle…
I always knew weight was not just about the food, but about what was going on with me, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
One day, as I was thinking about how to lose weight, I happened to see info about Laurie Runyan, a health coach, in my social media news feed. I gave her a call and we immediately hit it off. However, from get-go I could tell she was not going to allow me to give any more excuses. All through her tough love approach, I had a feeling that God had put us together for life altering changes.
The diet and exercise plan I followed
- Cleanse: The first few weeks were all about cleansing my body of toxins. I always thought a cleanse meant only liquids or a semi-liquid diet but I was surprised to find that I could eat almost any berry and soon found that blueberries helped me the most, especially with getting rid of puffiness/fluids. I was also allowed to eat meat and sweet potatoes and many other foods.
2. Eating Healthy And Organic Food: My new foods consisted of raw salads (all types including spinach, red leaf, etc…), raw vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, and more. I was also able to eat meats, nearly any kind I wanted, however, we were trying to purchase meat which was organic, grass fed, and without antibiotics.
3. The next step…Re-introduce Foods: This was the worst part for me, because one week we would introduce dairy, the next week breads, and so forth. It is what I learned through these weeks that proved most valuable. I found out that my previous eating habits involved eating foods that I was either allergic to or had intestinal issues with.
4. Exercise: At the end of all of that, I actually wanted to exercise! I looked forward to trying to exercise again. Granted, I would not be walking 2 miles a day, but I began slowly with things I had learned during my many physical therapy sessions. Even sitting in a chair to do some exercises was a good start.
Tada! Time for results 🙂
When I began this life changing event – I call it that because it is not a diet, but it’s now a way of life – I was pre-diabetic, and less mobile. I also had low energy levels and sick with bronchitis or sinus infections every other month.
I am happy to tell you that I have now lost 55 pounds so far and continue to lose more each month. I am healthier than I have been in years. My sugar numbers are down, I haven’t been sick in months and I’m able to move better (within my still somewhat limited mobility).
Those of us with autoimmune diseases know that lack of energy is a major issue that affects our lives. After bringing Laurie on as my Health Coach, and following her diet plan meticulously, my energy levels have increased.
Oh and about healthy food being expensive to eat? Well, through my weight loss journey I realized that this is just a major misconception.
The 50+ pounds I lost, has changed my life. I still have a lot more to lose and I am working on it every day. I continue to lose a pound or two each month (or more).
What’s my secret?
I believe that for me, it was a calling out to do it from God. The only way I could do this was that God gave me the strength and ability to do it, not just for me, but for my family as well. I, however, had to surrender to that calling, which meant I had to take action. I knew that if I didn’t make that call to Laurie that day, I might have never accomplished this.
This journey was so much more than weight loss, it was a physical, emotional and spiritual journey for me. Will this work for you? I think that depends largely on your ‘WHY’. Do you want to lose the weight? What are your excuses that hold you back? Share your weight-loss journey with me in the comments below!