I began my quest to return to a healthier weight in early 2011. I started by counting calories. I joined Calorie Count on About.com and carefully documented my meals and activities. The site features a calculator that helps you identify your ideal weight and a target number of calories per day that will enable you to lose 1-2 pounds a week. I managed to lose 40 pounds in 5 months before I tired of counting calories and hit a plateau.
A Little Knowledge is a Good Thing
Keeping a food journal on Calorie Count made me more mindful of what I was eating. While I was counting calories I was also reading about nutrition. A friend told me about a documentary called Forks Over Knives. The documentary had not been released, but I was able to purchase the companion book Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health. I was intrigued by the book’s premise and went on to read books written by the doctors and researchers featured in the documentary. By the time the film was released in August 2011 I was convinced that eliminating animal protein and processed oils from my diet was worth a try.
Before and After
Adopting a plant-based (vegan) lifestyle enabled me to lose an additional 30 pounds by 2012 without counting a single calorie. I have maintained a healthy weight ever since and in addition to clothes shopping being more pleasant; I feel fewer aches and pains and catch fewer colds. Since no weight loss story is complete without before and after pictures, I’ve shared a couple below. On the left is a shot of me a year before I lost the weight (2010) and on the right is a shot of me a year after I lost the weight (2012). In the picture on the right I am wearing my vintage high school basketball t-shirt. If I’d been told in 2010 that I would soon return to the size I was in high school I’m not sure I would have believed it…
These pictures emphasize the contrast in my size and appearance, but improved health was and continues to be my motivating factor. What will be your before and after story?
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