I grew up as a vegetarian because my parents viewed that as the healthier way to live, so I was lucky that way. We still ate plenty of eggs and cheese which I absolutely loved! Macaroni and cheese with some veggies or cream of potato soup with sweet corn bread were typical dinners for my family. We didn’t really have any qualms about eating junk food, so we ate our fair share of chips, cookies and cake.
Once I was on my own I started to eat meat and really developed a taste for it. Although I didn’t cook it at home, anytime I would go out I’d eat meat. When I got married and had kids I wanted to raise them as healthy as possible so raised them as vegetarians, even though I would still occasionally eat meat. Over the years I gained a few extra pounds but wasn’t necessarily considered heavy. Then I moved to Arkansas. My husband started traveling a lot and I think it was out of depression and convenience that I started eating more junk food.
I commuted 35 miles to work and on the way passed an incredible bakery with the most delicious cinnamon rolls, and my co-workers at the time would bring snacks that included such temptations. Then my career had me on the road traveling all the time which meant restaurants and more convenient food. The combination of those things started packing on the weight. Throw in a number of stressful life-changing events that included a divorce and my house burning down and I ended up around 190 lbs.
In the past, trying to follow a new diet meant depriving myself, counting calories and portion control, and that thought was really hard for me. I would just constantly think about food and all the things I wanted to eat. I’d diet, lose weight and keep it off for awhile, but then gained it back again.
Then our team decided to participate in our own WFPB trial study! I found I could eat until I was full, didn’t feel deprived, and didn’t have to count calories! Believe it or not, although I know exercise is important, I wasn’t exercising much but still dropped 50 pounds, have kept it off and feel incredible!
My only regret is not committing sooner, but I’m glad I did while I was still fairly healthy because I am sure I was headed down a rocky path. My greatest desire is for my family and friends to experience how good great health feels! I would really love for them to try it, even if it’s only for a few weeks, just to see what it can do for them.
What I would share with everyone, is that making the transition is not nearly as hard as you may think it will be. There are so many healthy, delicious foods and recipes out there that taste amazing! It ends up not being about what you have to give up, but what you have to gain. I’m finding more things all the time that I love and make me feel great, so there’s no desire to look back and dwell on the things I gave up.