Everyone wants a magic bullet.
A medication, a therapy, or an exercise program that will help them to feel better, live longer, or look better. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the information that is available in our culture, and all of the competing camps of followers of one practice, diet style, or another.
However, if you have found yourself here at Healthy Food Now, you are willing to be exposed to real research and experiences that show what a plant-based, whole food diet can do for your health and well-being.
But, the information can feel a bit abstract.
You may say, “I have read the articles, I see the books, but how does this all work in real life?”
Well, here is a little piece of the puzzle I would like to share: I have two clients who have agreed to share their journey with all of you, so you can see in real time how a plant-based, whole food diet can change their health destinies.
They are both women in their 50s who have tried many other weight loss and health-building strategies (some successful – some not), but who are willing to show all of us how this health-promoting way of eating can work for regular folks who want to restore their health.
They are my coaching clients, and they have given me permission to share some of their questions, concerns, and victories over a 12-week and 16-week period.
Karen is the first client and here is her story:
My name is Karen, and I’m 58 years old. I work as a secretary, but my passion is singing and acting, which I do as often as possible. I am married to a wonderful man, and we have been blessed with loving children and grandchildren.
My weight has been the one constant in my life. It has consumed me in every way.
My dad loved sweets, and we were raised with an abundance of them in the house. As we grew, I grew both up and out. Suddenly, I was no longer allowed to eat the sweets that my brothers were allowed to have. My dad would buy bulk quantities of Twinkies, Ho Ho’s, Ding Dongs, Ice Cream, etc. He would put them in a large meat freezer and lock it so that I didn’t have access.
This only made me want them more and I found ways to sneak them into my room.
When I look through old journals, almost every entry is about my weight, my discouragement and a new plan to lose it. My resolve would last about 2 hours, something would happen that would cause me to stress, and I was right back where I started.
I tried Atkins, Weight Watchers, fasting, pills, 12 step programs, hypnosis, Jenny Craig, and many others that I can’t even remember. I have read every book under the sun, searching for the magic potion that would turn it all around.
I didn’t want to have to sacrifice too much.
When I was young, losing weight was about aesthetics. However, 10 years ago I was diagnosed with diabetes, which caused a major shift in my priorities.
Diabetes runs rampant in my family so it wasn’t all that surprising. I owned a glucometer prior to the diagnosis and would check my blood sugar every now and then. For a while, it was fine, no problem, but eventually I took it and noticed that it was much higher. I made a doctor’s appointment and was diagnosed as prediabetic. My doctor recommended exercise and diet at that point, but I ignored him and continued to do what I had been doing. My A1c remained the same… until it didn’t.
At that point, I was diabetic.
The years since then have shown a steady increase in A1c. Almost 6 months ago, my A1c was 13.1. Every day was full of anxiety and stress about my blood sugar. I had readings as high as 560. I knew what I was headed for, but I have been so addicted to sweets that I knew I needed help.
In January, I contacted Ida and asked for help.
I knew I needed accountability, and I needed someone who understood what I wanted to accomplish. I had lost quite a bit of weight about 12 years prior after reading Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live. Eventually, I allowed my addiction to sugar take over again. However, during that time I had learned a lot about a plant-based diet. It made sense to me.
I started my journey with Ida on January 17, 2016.
As of today, February 16, 2016, I have lost 10 lbs and my blood sugar has gone from a fasting blood glucose reading of 354 to 133 (a difference of 221 pts). I have at least another 25 lbs to go and I want to get my fasting blood sugar into the 80's, but I need to be patient and let my body continue the healing process.
I know it will happen.
This isn't easy and I have been far from perfect, but it is a work in progress. Every right choice I make moves me toward health and changes my eating patterns and the way I think.
Tracking Karen's Progress: