From around the age of 10 I tried every way I could think of to lose weight - diet drinks, hunger surpression pills, exercising, and I even struggled with an eating disorder until my doctor snapped me out of it in college. When I became a vegetarian in 2003 out of curiosity I was pleasantly surprised that one of its benefits was weight loss - I quickly lost several pounds and a lot of my puffiness. The lifestyle suited me so well (for many reasons beyond weight control) that I decided to go vegan 6 months later, and I started to look even better as a result.
Saturday, 17 September 2011 16:46
Eco-Vegan Gal Diet: Learning How To Lose Weight & Love My Body In A Healthy WayWritten by Whitney Lauritsen
Yep, that was me almost 10 years ago, 1 year before I went vegan. While that was probably the heaviest I ever was, I have always struggled with my weight. Here is the story behind my journey to find a healthy diet that helped me learn how to understand and love my body. The following video includes more before and after pictures and videos.
For years I reveled in the joys of not having to watch what I ate because vegan food didn't seem to add on any pounds. But around 2007 the weight started to come back because of all the processed foods I had been eating (fried foods, heavy carbs, non-dairy desserts, etc) - it didn't help when I started reviewing vegan food either! I experimented with all sorts of cleanses and made little adjustments here and there, but my body was still puffy. It wasn't until Spring 2010 that I decided to stop eating gluten and soy to see if I felt better - low and beyond my body slimmed down right away and I realized that I was very sensitive to those foods. I felt better internally as well - no more digestive problems (bloating, upset stomach, gas, etc.). However, I continued to eat a lot of processed gluten-free vegan food.
Research and the advice of professionals led me to another conclusion in late 2010 - a whole-foods plant-based diet is one of the healthiest ways to eat. Everyone around me, from my nutritionist friends to Forks Over Knives was saying to cut back on oily, salty, and sugary foods and up the amount of fresh produce, grains, sea vegetables, nuts and seeds in my diet. Low and behold, those changes transformed me. For the first time in my life I felt like I understand what my body needs - what foods make me feel and look my best. I'll forever be a student and know that adjustments will continue to happen, but as of now I'm really happy with where I am. I go into more detail in the video, so please check it out when you have 10 minutes.
What has been your journey towards a healthy weight? What have been your successes, failures, and lessons? Please feel free to share your story in a comment here or on YouTube, as a video response or text. Or write up a blog post and link to it - would love to read it!