I lost 30 lbs in 6 Months by Eating Vegan and No Longer Prediabetic
My story begins with a simple idea, an idea that evolved into a goal, a goal that became a journey, and a journey that became a vegan lifestyle and weight loss.
It was mid October 2016, and a friend had posted an article on Facebook. The article was titled "Are Vegans Right?" My friend Carin, who posted it is a long term vegan, 15+ years, and had posted the article just to help educate. The article caused me to feel guilty and I wanted to take on the challenge. Unfortunately, I decided to wait on starting the challenge because I knew the holidays were drawing near and I didn’t want to offend anyone by not participating in holiday potlucks and such. I made up my mind that I would make it my New Year’s resolution, I would start January 1st and I would be done with the 6 month challenge at the end of June, just in time to eat hot dogs on the 4th of July if the “diet” didn’t stick.
I knew it would be difficult, food was such a part of my lifestyle. It drove my daily life, I would plan meetings with friends and family over food. And I would do so in what I was or had been craving. I felt like a prisoner to food. It wasn’t even that it made me feel good because I always felt like crap after eating. It satisfied a short term need but didn’t make me feel better about myself in any way, shape or form.
Last year, 2016, was a rough year; I had been dealing with some personal issues and just was having a hard time. I knew that I was gaining weight, but I didn’t seem to care. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, drank whatever I wanted and had no motivation to exercise. This was extremely upsetting in itself because I have always been such an active person. You name it I did it, skydiving, scuba diving, bungee jumping, running, hiking, rock climbing etc. I’ve always been on the heavier side, but because of my active lifestyle, weight hadn’t really been an issue until the last few years. Along with my lack of motivation, I seemed to be in some sort of funk. I wont call it depression, because it was never diagnosed, but the symptoms were definitely there. I was just so negative about my life; work didn’t seem to help, I couldn’t seem to get happy and I wanted to quit.
After getting through the holidays, it was time to put my money where my mouth was. It was December 31st and I wanted to have my last meal… my husband went out and picked me up a rack of bbq ribs, a side of macaroni and cheese, and mashed potatoes and gravy; all from Yardhouse. I also had him get extra sauce because I knew there wouldn’t be enough. I polished off my entire meal. Then shortly after, went over to my parents’ house to bring in the New Year. They were having a little potluck with family and I proceeded to have more snacks throughout the night. After all, this was my grand finale.
First Day of My Challenge
January 1st, 2017 was the first day of my challenge, Ill never forget it. I woke up hungry but my sister, husband and I had decided that we were going to take the dogs up to the snow so I had no time to make breakfast. I packed some snacks to go, wheat thins, and nuts, and we left for the mountains. It was a fun time, we spent a few hours up there. I remember wanting to leave and being hungry but I had no idea where we could grab a bite because this was my first day being “vegan”. We got down the mountain and headed to a town nearby, I had been googling places that had vegan options. We made it to the Crepes of Wrath and I ordered a vegan crepe, with veggies. It was delicious, and I ate every bit of it.
Of course I wasn’t full, this was a whole new experience and my body had to adjust.
The first few weeks were really a blur, it was a lot of time spent trying to figure out what I could eat. You never know or realize how much animal byproducts process food have until you have to go shopping for things that don’t include such ingredients. Besides feeling completely lost at first, I was hungry. I realized early on that quick snacks were going to be essential to my success. Most of my mistakes were made early on, going out to restaurants and assuming that their veggie burger was in fact vegetarian, not vegan; realizing that bread is a big factor in being a non-vegan food item
January 14th, I went to visit my doctor.
I had yet to establish a doctor at Kaiser and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get my first physical, bloodwork and overall check up since I would be starting something new that would affect my health. During my visit, the doctor concluded that I fell into the obese category. My blood results came in later that week and I received notice that I was prediabetic and that I should do something to improve my overall health.
During my third week, I remember going out to eat with some friends at a restaurant and I ordered what I thought was a vegan burger, I was wrong. On our way home from dinner, I was immediately sick to my stomach and rushed to get home. Without going into too much detail, I suffered from food poisoning like symptoms for the remainder of the night. I truly believe that at this time my body was already adjusting to not eating meat or dairy and could not handle. It was at this point that I began looking into, more carefully, the things that I was putting into my body.
It was during my first month that my husband, Adam, decided that he was going to go vegan also. He originally wanted to be pescatarian during my 6 month challenge, but quickly changed his mind when he began doing research on nutrition. He had originally been concerned with my health, and worried that I would be nutrient deficient. He made it his mission to make sure I would be getting the proper nutrients since I would be cutting all meat and dairy from my diet. It was during his research that he realized that a plant based vegan diet, was not only sustainable, but that one could thrive off of it. He has been by my side on this vegan quest ever since.