Hey, I’m Melissa! Living in the South, where everything is deep fried and smothered in gravy, I’ve struggled most of my life with being overweight, bad eating habits and yo-yo dieting.
When I stumbled across ETL, ironically I was not looking for a weight-loss plan, but a diet that might help with some health issues. About 2 years ago, I started having terrible low back and SI joint pain. I hurt standing or sitting, with nerve pain shooting down both my legs. I was miserable. My back doctor diagnosed me with Spondylolisthesis and Degenerative Disc Disease and referred me to a Rheumatologist because my inflammatory markers were too high. They suspected an autoimmune disease…Inflammatory Arthritis (similar to RA), and gave me several prescriptions. I took the medications for a while only to find temporary relief and plenty of side-effects. I was thankful to have these medications, but I didn’t want to take them the rest of my life. What I wanted was for these conditions to go away!!
After researching anti-inflammatory diets and watching a Joe Cross documentary, I came across Eat to Live. I got the book and began my ETL journey in July 2017, by “leaning in” and making small changes over time. I started by incorporating a few of the basic ETL principles. I first cut out processed foods. Then, I added more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans. But, I still ate some oil and meat. Soon after, I found the ETL Support Group page and started my first jumpstart in August 2017. I was amazed at how much better I was feeling, the nerve pain started getting better and the weight was coming off too! I enjoyed the support and encouragement from the jumpstart group, so I did 2 more jumpstarts! But, I was still was not 100% compliant. I was still eating oily dressings and some meat throughout the jumpstarts.
Because of my slightly high cholesterol and because my father passed away from a stroke, my doctor had ordered a test to measure the plaque in my heart to help her gauge how aggressively to treat me. I measured at “mild risk.” MILD RISK was too much risk for me. This was another reason I needed to get serious about my health!
My goal for this jumpstart is to be 100% compliant! Journaling and sharing my journey is the extra accountability I need to help me do that.
As of December 31, 2017, with 55 pounds lost, my low back and SI joint pain have resolved. And, I’m excited to get my cholesterol checked this month. I still have a lot of weight to lose, but I FEEL so much better already. I will eventually reach my ideal weight, but I plan for my journey toward good health to continue a long time after that! ETL is now a forever part of my life!