I remember it like it was yesterday. We were eating my favorite meal, sausage pasta! We used Jimmy Dean sausage, a grocery store brand of macaroni, and a three-cheese Prego sauce, with what we used to call "sprinkle cheese" (shredded cheddar) added in. Yum, right? And when my son and I sat down to eat, with a big pot full of this meal, I'd eat about a plate full, and my growing adolescent would help himself several times. But this time was different. With a bewildered tone, I announced that I was still hungry, and filled my plate again. I looked at my son, and he looked at me, eyes wide. It happened a few months after my hysterectomy, and it was only the first of many, many times I'd discover a hunger like nothing I had ever experienced before. It lasted almost a year and returned all of the weight I had lost (plus more) before it began to subside.
From menopausal weight gain to vegetarian weight loss...
(With a Brief Stop at Paleo)
In the picture on the left, I had already lost about 20lbs! I couldn't find any from before that first diet I tried. And between that
picture and the one on the right, I lost about 35 pounds! Altogether, I have lost 72 or 73 pounds, depending on what happens each time I weigh myself. :)
I have struggled with being overweight and with overeating all of my life! And each time I tried to change what I ate, so that I could lose weight, I eventually gained it back. This time, I wanted it to be health-based, so that I could stick with it, and lessen my risk of failure.
What I tried first is a detox diet based on the book by Elson Haas. I mostly ate fruits and vegetables and that was it! And it was easy and painless. I did that twice and lost about 20 pounds each time (40 total). Never thought about the fact that it was vegetarian, but it was!
Then, I discovered Paleo, and lost about 20 pounds more! When I started this blog, I hoped to lose 15-20 more before I called it quits for a while. I have almost done it, but I gave up meat first.
I had a really hard time with the version of Paleo I tried first (a 30-day challenge I found out about online.) What I wish I had done, instead, was do some research so I would have been warned that it might damage my digestive system.
SO glad I didn't give up, though!
I realized that it was the meat that hurt me and made my digestive system mess up the way it did. And I hadn't even wanted to eat the meat anyway.
I had been wanting to go vegetarian for quite some time. But the traditional Paleo diet seemed like the answer, for a while there, and I didn't want to even consider giving it up until I'd lost a lot more weight!
But I felt so much better once I stopped eating meat, and I didn't have to give up the weight loss. :)
So I have been combining what I believe is good about Paleo (that won't hurt you) with what is good about plant-based diets and become a vegetarian. Whole foods, that made our ancestors healthy, with minimal processing whenever possible, but without meat.
I'll continue to tell you all about it on the blog!