Yes, Susan did lose 11 pounds, and did quit smoking, and also became 90% vegetarian, all in the same month. Alot to take on you might say, but she is determined. Why is she so determined? Read below…
Well, I made it. This week marked the end of my four week foray into vegetarian living; a “trial” period that I had agreed to after consulting with Peter about my diet concerns and the looming threat of a diabetes diagnosis. I admit to a bit of hesitation when he suggested it, if I remember correctly, I think I said something along the lines of “You’d better have a “Plan B” ready for me- I don’t know if I can do this.” That’s typical of me; I am always so positive, right? :-) Did I survive the entire four weeks? Yup, I did. Did I ever revert to “Plan B” as I expected? No, I didn’t. Next comes the more important question; “Now what?” I honored my commitment to give this style of eating a try- will I stick with it?
I cannot honestly say that I am a complete vegetarian. I get three animal products a week, plus up to ¼ cup of milk in my morning coffee every day. A true hard core vegetarian/vegan would run shrieking from 5 oz of steak on my plate, or shake their head in disgust as I poured cow’s milk into my coffee. Can I give these few concessions up at this point? Honestly, no. They remain the highlight of my day in terms of eating. These few meager indulgences keep me content enough, that I can eat “vegan” the majority of the time. Now that my diet is mostly veggie based- I have done a lot of experimenting with new foods (to my delight or horror) and have been broadening my food choices each week. Maybe at some point in the future I will release the death grip I have on my three weekly animal items and give them up, but not yet. This is a food plan that I can stick with today, and I am already seeing great results.
The official results are in. After four weeks on my veggie based diet, I am down 11 lbs. Huh. That’s a good number, but not a crazy good number, right? After all, if you exercise and stick to your calorie limit for the day, you could lose 11 lbs in a month, and still be eating yummy stuff like meat and cheese, right? Here is why that number is AWESOME. I am a hard core smoker. For over two of those 4 weeks- I have been trying to quit. I have gone a day, or 4 days, without a cigarette before caving in to temptation and having one or two, then starting from scratch…AGAIN. As I write this, I am on a 6 day cigarette free streak. This has been my longest stretch yet. And for those of you who smoke, or have smoked in the past- you know what happens when you try to quit. You EAT. Everything tastes better, and you have a chronic habit of sticking something in your mouth; since you can’t smoke, you mindless graze on food to fill the void. And even with all the medical stuff on my plate at the moment, the no smoking curse is kicking in with me too. I am super bitchy and have been guilty of inhaling more than an extra handful of pistachios, pop corn, or an extra Kind Bar or two. And still, even with the over indulging, and only a bit of exercise, I am down 11 pounds. Not only have I avoided the inevitable weight gain that most ex smokers suffer through, I still managed to lose 11 lbs, and the loss comes from my daily food choices, not running like a hamster jacked up on crack for 3 hours every day.
I saw my doctor this week and went over a host of issues, questions, blood results, etc… She and I reviewed my food plan and she was very impressed. Shocked even. When I told her what I had been eating, her eyebrows actually shot up to her hair line. She said it was a strict plan, but a healthy one, and congratulated me on sticking with it. She even asked me for Peter’s info to contact him for possible patient referrals in the future. If that is not a seal of approval, I don’t know what is. My weight was down, my lungs sounded clearer, and my blood work… good news/bad news scenario. My fasting blood test (taken after I began my veggie based diet) was good- within normal limits. The other- which shows blood sugar results for the past 3 months (animal based diet), was not. I have officially been stamped with the Type 2 Diabetes label that I was dreading. The positive news here? I can reverse the trend through continued diligence with diet and exercise. So for the time being, I need to stay on a low dose of meds, and go back again in 3 months for repeat blood work. My blood pressure was also decent, much lower than on other office visits.
I find this whole vegetarian thing a challenge, and it’s a bit fun, I must admit. My experiences in the animal free world have run the gamut of peaks and valleys this week. Last weekend, I perused a farmer’s market and came home loaded down with fresh picked apples and locally grown produce.
On Thursday, I was taken out for dinner to a Japanese all-you-can-eat Sushi Restaurant with mixed results, the food was awesome, I alas was not. Do I regret a bit of over indulgence at the restaurant? I don’t actually. Although I consumed some meat and fish, my choices were still on the healthy side. My selections were not fried, loaded with heavy sauces, or calorie laden. I avoided excessive white starchy carbs, and left the buffet pain free, without holding a busting gut in agony. All you can eat? Hah! I could have eaten a lot more, but I didn’t. I tried some new foods this week; I will include them and a few recipes in next week’s blog.
Hope to see you all Sunday morning at 7 am for our group workout- if I can lug my big butt up to exercise, so can you. I would love to see at least one new face this week, who is going to make my day?