I've been asked what program/lifestyle I've been following to achieve the results I've been getting these last five months.
To start with, it began with a PBS viewing of Dr. Fuhrman's, 3 Steps to Incredible Health, followed up by:
1) immediately putting some of his suggestions into practice, such as "eat the salad first" and "make the salad the main course":
a. Avoiding oil-based dressings or condiments;
b. Gradually reducing portions of meat or dairy served at meal time (or replacing them with beans/legumes or extra vegetables);
c. Replacing refined foods with whole grains;
d. Being cautious with salt.
These were things I did most of the time, without making a religion of it, for a couple of weeks. Then I
2) ordered and read Eat to Live from cover to cover (followed by Eat for Health),
3) watched YouTube videos by Dr. Fuhrman and/or other plant-based medical professionals,
3) read blogs written by people following his program,
4) joined online forums and social networks of people following his program to note their progress.
What I discovered from my interactions and reading is that not only did people experience near miraculous weight loss, but long term maintenance! Commonly accompanied by reversal of health conditions to varying degrees, improvement in mood/outlook, reduced pain and stiffness, Phenomenal Life Changes & Dramatic Overall Improved Quality of Life.
I capitalize those words because that's what stood out to me: Phenomenal Life Changes & Dramatic Overall Improved Quality of Life.
To then discover that medical doctor after medical doctor have been converted to plant-based diets, because of the shocking improvements witnessed in their patients' blood-work results and health after following a "nutritarian lifestyle" gave me further hope.
NOTE: What is a nutritarian according to Dr. Fuhrman? "a way of eating which bases food choices on maximizing the micronutrients per calorie. A Nutritarian diet is designed with food that has powerful disease-protecting and therapeutic effects and delivers a broad array of micronutrients via a wide spectrum of food choices. It is not sufficient to merely avoid fats, consume foods with a low glycemic index, lower the intake of animal products, or eat a diet of mostly raw foods. A truly healthful Nutritarian diet must be micronutrient rich and the micronutrient richness must be adjusted to meet individual needs. The foods with the highest micronutrient per calorie scores are green vegetables, colorful vegetables, and fresh fruits. For optimal health and to combat disease, it is necessary to consume enough of these foods that deliver the highest concentration of nutrients."
4) So on March 2nd, 2013 I made the commitment to a Six Week Challenge of eating 100% according to Dr. Fuhrman's nutritarian guidelines as outlined in Eat to Live--with NO CHEATS or slacking--to see what would happen.
NOTE: I was not on any prescription medications when I began this eating lifestyle. Dr. Fuhrman stresses how dangerous it can be adopting his guidelines without proper medical supervision and frequent bloodwork for anyone on any type of prescription medication. If you are on prescription medications, please consult your doctor before beginning this program (and for sure read the book first!). Do not attempt to self-regulate your meds or wean off of them without your doctor's approval and supervision. Please.
So back to my program: During the two weeks from when I first started incorporating some of the guidelines into my lifestyle, until I started the 100% challenge, I lost 13 pounds (probably mostly toxins and water from all the processed foods and sodium I was no longer eating).
During the 6 Week Challenge, I lost an additional 25 pounds.
In the 11 weeks since then, I have lost yet another 26 pounds.
Bring my total weight loss following Eat to Live thus far to 64 pounds, over a 19 week period.
Most of the loss happened in the first few weeks. It's slowed a lot since then, but it is still steadily going down even now.
But the weight loss isn't all. My energy is up. My skin is improving. My pain is fading. I am feeling ever so much better than five months ago!
For the first time in years, I foresee a future for myself that doesn't involve poor health.
And cute clothes are beginning to beckon me once again....
BTW... I still have quite a bit of weight to lose, but am 100% confident that I will reach my goal weight within the next year.
NOTE: I forgot to mention that in addition to following Dr Fuhrman's guidelines, I developed the habit of walking daily. Initially I just walked for 10-15 minutes a day, then worked up to 30 minutes, then worked on walking further in a shorter amount of time, then taking hills, then working up to 45 minutes, and hour, etc. Occasionally I miss a day, and stay home and stretch instead (as well as stretching a little bit daily). But I do make a point of exercising every day without overdoing or pushing myself to take on so much it demotivates me.