Losing 100 pounds (part 2)
I hope everyone is having a wonderful week! Happy Wednesday! If you missed part 1 of how I lost 100 pounds, you can check it out here.
So, to pickup where I left off, I had just decided to permanently become vegan. At first, I decided to redo the 22 day challenge because that was all I knew. The only thing I knew about being vegan was you couldn’t eat any animal products. I didn’t have recipes to go to or knowledge of where to buy “vegan stuff.” After a few days into round 2 of the challenge, I realized: I don’t have time for this. What I needed were quick, easy meals that I could prepare the night before or over the weekend and have it ready for the week.
I remember like it was yesterday, my first google search as a newbie vegan: “easy vegan recipes.” I ended up finding some really amazing recipes that I absolutely loved. There was just one problem: I was holding on to my unhealthy mindset. I still hadn’t wrapped my mind around the concept of healthy fats, complex carbs, or low-glycemic/good sweeteners. So what happened next? I began losing more weight. And, I certainly wasn’t sad about it. I had a new found confidence in myself. I had a new body, a new wardrobe, and a new diet.
Here’s what I didn’t understand: being vegan wasn’t about losing weight or what I looked like. Being vegan was for my life. I had more energy, more confidence, and I felt stronger. I went from walking 0 minutes per day, to walking 5-6 miles everyday to running almost 5-6 miles every other day. Dropping the foods that weighed me down gave me a freedom that I had wanted my whole life.
Now, here comes my “aha moment.” One day I decided to make vegan burgers (which was one of my staples on rotation). Up until this point, I had been eating the burger without a bun or any ketchup. Now, most people drop the bun when they are trying to lose weight because it’s a carb, right?! Well, I didn’t eat ketchup either because of sugar, ya know?! Why do I even bring up ketchup? Because I am a ketchup LOVER. I previously ate ketchup with everything. Okay, well I was shopping for the ingredients for my burgers in a small, local organic health food store in Athens and guess what I found?! HEALTHY buns. These were vegan and made with organic wholesome ingredients. Right around the corner, guess what else I found?! HEALTHY ketchup. What makes it healthy? There isn’t high-fructose syrup (i.e. bad sugar) in it.
So, what’s the point of talking about buns and ketchup?! Being healthy (or vegan) isn’t about restriction but about growth. It’s not a matter of following a tiny list of foods you are “allowed” to eat, but rather fueling your body with so many different energy giving foods. When I found those buns and ketchup, you know I bought them, went home and had a wonderful meal. I realized I didn’t have to have a burger without the bun. After that moment, I let go off my limiting thoughts about food and really began to grow.
I feel free because I am no longer controlled by what I eat. Throughout the process I developed a new healthy relationship with food. I’d say the most important thing I learned was that being healthy isn’t just how much do you weigh or how you look. Being healthy starts on the inside and works its way out. I lost the most weight when I was not trying. Funny how things work, right?! When I started enjoying my walks, trying new healthy foods, let go of my limiting thoughts/beliefs, and stopped focusing on losing 100 pounds, the weight seemed to just fall off. And now the healthy cycle can continue because everything works together and in the end, I feel amazing. After 1 year, I had lost a total of 100 pounds.