Ah, those "zero" birthdays! At 20, I was at my prime physical fitness and weight and looking forward to finishing college and setting the world on fire. By 30, I was too busy gaining career recognition and income to notice that I was also now adding a few pounds and inches to my waistline each year (due to my "sit all day" desk job and long commutes).
When I turned 40, I had progressed to a traveling consulting career that finally got me out of a cubicle, but now into new land mines of restaurant/fast-food while on the go, and "uncontrollable grazing" while working from my home-office.
The pounds and inches continued to slowly grow, even as I made a few failed attempts at diets and exercise. I had some initial success with the South Beach Diet and lost about 10 pounds, but within a few months, had gained it all back when I returned to eating my old foods again. I later tried calorie-counting, a calorie-restricted meal replacement service (Seattle Sutton), and various exercise equipment and routines to no avail.
By the time I reached my mid 40's, my bloodwork was now showing signs of major medical problems ahead-- glucose readings were now up to the "Pre-Diabetes" range, and Triglyceride and HDL cholesterol readings were now out of bounds (all due to poor diet and lack of exercise). Additionally, I felt my mental alertness beginning to drift into a continuous feeling of "brain fog" and malaise -- was it "old age"? was it "depression"? The only solutions doctors seemed to offer was the standard "exercise and eat right" or to offer various prescription drugs, neither of which I was all that excited about.
Last year, I turned to a "mainly vegetarian" diet in hopes of improving my health. While it helped my conscience immensely to refrain from eating meat, my waist line was still not improving much (mainly because I was replacing the meat with more carbs, sweets, and cheeses).
As I closed in on my 50th birthday earlier this year, with my health now dangerously close to "running off the rails", I knew this had better be the year I made some major alterations to my lifestyle and diet!
Coincidentally, around that same time I happened to meet up with my fellow RV-blogger buddy, Evelyn, who started telling me about her recent transition to a vegan diet (which, in turn, was inspired by fellow RV buddy, Tessa). Evelyn sent me some of Tessa's book and video links that had helped her so much and I soon began educating myself further.
After watching the video documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (free on Hulu.com) and reading the book Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, I ordered myself a high-speed Blendtec blender, cleaned out my fridge and pantry, and restocked it for the first time with real, honest-to-goodness plant-based foods.
In my first 2 weeks of going vegan, and following the Eat To Live principles, I've consumed all the vegetables and fruits I've wished to eat, have not felt hungry or deprived, have not counted one calorie, and have not yet exercised at all, and still...I've managed to lose more in these first 2 weeks than I ever have on any previous diet and exercise program-- I've lost 7 lbs!
But more importantly, I feel like maybe, just maybe, I finally have "the winning formula" to lose weight and improve my health for the long run.
This blog will track the progress and discoveries along my new journey with hopes of inspiring others. It will also allow Evelyn and Tessa to give me a public flogging if I ever happen to fall off the wagon :-)