It’s been six days… six days since mindless eating, chocolate, comfort food and coffee. Oh how I miss my coffee!
Prior to taking on this challenge, I would have bailed out by now. I barely last a day every time I commit to a new eating plan, a new diet, and new weight loss and exercise regime. I think three days was my record, so anything over that is achievement number one!
Six days in and I’m a bundle of emotions, but the enthusiasm is still there. I dived in head first on Monday January 1st, 2018 (it’s Saturday as I write this first journal entry). In the lead up, I was desperate to make the new year my kick in the backside to finally commit to the Eat to Live lifestyle. Then when the opportunity arose to share my journey, instead of running a mile, I begged the beautiful Elisha to put me on her jumpstart team. I knew too well that if I was ever going to make a commitment, I had to throw myself in the deep end and surround myself with on-lookers who could keep me accountable. Putting myself this far out of my comfort zone is absolutely terrifying, but if I can inspire someone who perhaps resinates with my story, and if I can find the courage to swim with this journey, rather than sink, then I know my decision will define the rest of my life.
I had toyed with the idea of whole food plant based eating for a number of years. After reading Dr Fuhrman’s book’s, and many others, I concluded that this was the only lifestyle that would give me optimum health. But gosh it was just so hard to stick to!
I’m not sure what made the big difference for me in this first week, but for the first time ever I’ve actually been in a good head space instead of my usual “Woe is me, I’m such a fat loser, I’m on yet another diet”. Perhaps it’s knowing that I’m being watched. But also knowing that I’m part of an amazing team of women who are with me, supporting me, and cheering me on is extremely encouraging. This time I also committed to making more than just changes to my nutrition or eating plan. I decided that I need to address some fundamental issues that have lead me down the path to being overweight. My main concern is my self-loathing. I am the queen of unworthiness! But that has to change. I can see the damage it is doing, not only to myself, but to my family. I said to my gorgeous husband recently “I don’t know how you could look at me naked without throwing up”, and tears welled in his eyes. He explained how difficult it was for him to see me on a daily basis show such distain for myself, how hard it was for him to tell me I was beautiful only to hear me laugh and invalidate his genuine compliments. Even worse, my young daughter is watching me, and if I can’t show her how to love and respect herself, then how will she ever learn to be the woman I want to be, and the woman I want her to grow into?
The week has passed more smoothly than I had anticipated. I endured the dreaded coffee detox headache for the first two days, and it wasn’t pleasant, but I chugged down four litres of water a day with aloe vera and that seemed to help. The biggest challenge was today (day six) as we had a visitor and went out to lunch. But I planned ahead! I chose the venue and I chose one that I knew had solid reviews from my local vegan community. I’m still amazed at the quantity of food I am eating. It’s hard to get out of the old mindset that I should be eating less in order to lose weight. And one thing I definitely noticed, was that on a day that I didn’t eat as much because I simply thought that I just wouldn’t need it, or shouldn’t need it, I actually started to crave foods again. So point at hand is eat as much of the one pound cooked and one pound raw (as set out in the guidelines) as you can. Because there is a good reason for it. I did struggle a bit that day because I clearly didn’t have my nutritional needs met.
The biggest lesson from my first week has been organisation! I need to be a major step ahead of the rest of my family, and I need to ensure I plan my meals before I do theirs. I have four children at home and my husband also works from home so I am in the kitchen around the clock preparing meals and snacks. And for someone who has such a love/hate relationship with food, this has been achievement number two! I have never prioritised myself let alone my meal planning, so for me to completely turn this around has been liberating and eye-opening. My husband still loves his meat (although meat isn’t really that tempting for me), and my children are quite particular about their meals – and all four of them being varying ages from four to 11 means they have totally different preferences in food. But the benefit in having brought them all up to be big fruit, salad and vegetable lovers was one of my best parenting moves yet! I still have a way to go in organising and co-odinating so many different meals several times each day, but I think I am starting to get the hang of it.
I’m following Elisha’s Eat to Live Daily 6-Week Jumpstart and I am truly loving her meal plans and recipes. In the past I would refuse to follow plans, even though I knew I needed one. This time, again, I just made the commitment that I would use it and stick to it. I know that I need to make major changes to my life. Being over 60 pounds overweight and doing everything I was the week before I started this ETL journey, clearly wasn’t working for me. I think the light has finally switched on. I know I need to BE THE CHANGE I WANT TO SEE.
I know this won’t be an easy six weeks. I know that the six weeks after that and the six weeks after that will continue to challenge me, but I’m committed to make it stick this time and I will step up and be the change.
So over the past six days I lost a total of 1.5kg (3.3pounds). That is huge for me as I’ve really struggled to lose weight since giving birth to my fourth child four years ago. Adoring hubby is noticing the changes and this morning he announced that my butt is shrinking! I say “whoo hoo” to that!
Bring on week two!