“Weight loss can change your whole character. That always amazed me: Shedding pounds does change your personality. It changes your philosophy of life because you recognize that you are capable of using your mind to change your body.”Jean Nidetch
I am going to pause in the story for a moment to give an update on my physical self. Since I began to heal spiritually, I have also been working on my physical health. I have not had any energy for, I don’t know how long, and I had been wanting to change that for some time. When I look at weight charts for my height, I read that I should be anywhere from 180 – 200 lbs. 200 – 220 is starting to be obese and 220 plus is obese for my height.
In addition, when I have more pounds on, my arms go numb at night and my energy level is almost non-existent.
A couple of years ago was the last time I saw 200 pounds. I was working the graveyard shift, just moved into a new house, and not able to meet our monthly obligations. Before I knew it, I was 220 lbs. and I felt this was a crisis. I decided to try the slow carb diet as found in the book the 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferris. Simply put, I was to cut out all foods with the exceptions of meat and vegetables. There is a bit more too it than that, but not much more. (For more information you can google slow carb or read about it in his book here.) Within 2 months I was back to 200 lbs. and feeling OK.
Just after I found a new job that would pay me more money and I had felt it was a great blessing. I was hoping I could spend the rest of my working years there and build a career. I met some great people and we started going out to lunch just about every day. This was essential in building a network and bonds with my peers, but awful for my bank account and my diet. I quickly gained the 20 lbs. back and once again could not meet all my bills. Still, I continued to go out to eat, all the time.
As it turned out, after a couple of years, it became clear that I would not be working there for the rest of my career, in fact, it was such a toxic place that almost everyone with any talent left. I stayed, far too long, because I was worried about not being able to survive financially without a job, even a toxic one. I hated going to work and I became ill. My weight began to move up into the 230 range and I needed a way out.
That way came when a friend of mine let me know the place where he worked was hiring and that my skill-set fit with what they needed. It was a better job with more pay and it was a way out of the situation I was in. I gladly accepted, but once again, to build rapport with my new peers, I began to eat out. Within 6 months of working there and by the end of the year last year, I registered 240 lbs. I was broke physically, with no end in sight.
I decided to make a New Years resolution around my weight, which I knew I would not keep, but it was a start. I simply said I would give up soda. I made it through Jan. and by simply doing just that one thing I was able to drop 7 lbs. No other changes were made at this time and I did not see myself making anymore changes. That was before I began to heal spiritually, as mentioned in previous posts.
The next big change came in the month of May. My wife asked if I wanted to try the slow carb diet again and she would join me. It is always easier to do if you have a partner to go along with you. Not to mention, I was healing spiritually and I was changing my mindset on what I could achieve. I knew this time I could visualize success and achieve the goal. I told her I would try it again, and by the end of May, just by changing my eating habits and mentality, I dropped an additional 15 lbs. I am now currently at 218 lbs.
Although, the slow carb is a fast way to lose the weight, (and please read carefully about it before trying it), it also does not make me feel very well. So, I am deciding to mix it up for the month of June. I am going to try doing a combination of a whole foods plant-based diet with intermittent fasting. I believe this will be a slower weight loss process, but I do think it will be healthier. (Note: I have not to this point taken on any exercise just yet. This is only a change in how I eat.)
It is really simple:
Fruits, vegetables, and grains are the highlight of this diet. The first ingredient of grain should say whole wheat. Limit sugars and try to eliminate dairy and meat. Of course, there can be 1 cheat day a week. Finally, I only eat during the hours of 8 am – 6 pm and I stick to 3 to 4 small meals a day – no snacking. You can drink water at any time during the day or evening, though I try not to drink water after 8 pm, so I can sleep. I will post an update on the progress in about a month.