WHAT a refreshing outlook on the Eat to Live program!  Thank you, Skylar, for your inspiring story.

My experience with Eat to Live started 11 years ago when I wanted to look for a quick, healthy way to lose my Freshman 15 (and Sophomore 5, and Junior 10, and Senior 3) before college graduation. After reading through a few different “diets,” I recognized Eat to Live as the only one compatible with my vegetarian lifestyle. I lost about 25 pounds the first go around, but after I got to my goal weight, I went straight back to eating SAD. Although I made a few halfhearted attempts over the years, it wasn’t until another big event was on the horizon, my wedding, that I fully committed again. More than just my wedding, I really wanted to be able to fit into my mother’s wedding dress. My seamstress told me that if I lost some weight (“I won’t give you a number, you just do what you can”), she could handle the rest.

After beginning the Eating to Live, every month brought a new, usually life changing disaster. From being in a bad car accident that left me with three herniated discs to watching both of my remaining grandparents die 19 days apart, I had more stressors than I felt I could handle. Before, I would have turned to food. I’m not going to lie, I had my days (fine, I had a month!) of eating SAD food. Yet, overall, I kept on moving forward. I knew that when I started eating non-compliantly, it was a hiccup. I didn’t “fail” anything because I can’t fail eating—I just have to work harder the next meal to correct course. I’ll be eating for the rest of my life, so every meal is a new opportunity to make good choices. I knew with the help of my Facebook ETL community behind me, I could do this.

The wedding is now behind me. Everyone said I looked gorgeous in my mom’s wedding dress. I gave myself a few days before and a week and a half after the wedding to eat whatever I wanted. The problem was, although the food was delicious (because I don’t care what anyone says, salt and oil and cheese are delicious), the quick “high” and the tasty food was no longer worth the increased pain and irritability. My joints hurt, my back was killing me, I started getting migraines again, and I was so mean whenever I was hungry.

My husband (still fun to say that!) confided in me a few months after I began that he was worried I was going to be weight and food obsessed as he had seen women in previous relationships become. He now has no reservations because he can see how much better I feel (and how much nicer I am around dinnertime).

If you’re like me, you are interested in starting this way of eating for weight loss. I was so excited to lose those first 11 pounds in two weeks. I’m pretty proud of the 31 pounds I’ve lost so far, too. I still weigh myself, but now it’s out of curiosity more than anything. I don’t think I could maintain this if weight loss was my only goal. However, I can’t turn back by how much better I feel. This isn’t my “after” story because there is no after for a healthy lifestyle. This is only my journey so far. I can’t wait to see what my future brings!