Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Story of How I Stopped Eating A Pint of Haagan Daz A Day.

Or so.

Sometimes I’d go weeks without any. But most often, I’d eat a pint in one sitting about 3-5 nights a week. Sometimes every day. For over 20 years.

By the way, this wasn’t just any HD ice cream. No, no, no . . .I had a 20+ year addiction to Coffee Haagan Daz ice cream. If they were out of coffee, I wouldn’t get any at all. Or I’d drive to another store. But thankfully, nothing else would ever do. I don’t want to know what would have happened if some other brand or flavor would have sufficed.

A year and a half ago my friend Heather invited me to join a raw food and healthy eating web site called RawFu. (A fabulous site to which I still belong, founded by Beth aka Bunny Berry.) I started out there, poking around and learning about Green Smoothies and coconut oil and all things raw and tasty. I started drinking a green smoothie every single morning from about January to May. I didn’t lose weight then, but I noticed I had a lot more energy, better focus at work, and just felt better all over.

My weight had gotten to almost an all-time high, though, and I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t unhappy because of the number on the scale, but because I no longer felt at home in my body. I’d been fairly slim all my life, had gotten down to about 145-150 just 2 years prior after losing-then-gaining post-pregnancy and birth, and here I was again, back to 172-175. (I’m 1/4 inch under 5’9”) We all carry our weight differently. I carry mine on my tummy and my back. Oy vey, the back fat rolls!! bah. There were a good 4 on each side of my back, just mocking me in the Target dressing room back-view mirrors. And I looked about 6 months pregnant in the belly. Niiiiice.

Yoga was even getting more difficult because I was just so thick in the middle it was hard to twist and bend the way I could when I was around 150-155. My knees were starting to hurt. I carry my weight in places I can fairly well hide, and I know how to dress around it, so no one really saw all that weight. But I sure saw it when my clothes were off. And I felt it. My partner, bless him, never said one word as I put on almost 20 pounds from when we met. (When I showed him the before and after photos later, he nearly gasped and said quietly “I never noticed you looked like that” or some such. He’s a sweet, and smart, man. ;) Oh, he’d also been putting on weight. . .but more about him later.)

So about the time I got motivated to drop the weight and get healthier, there was a contributor to the Raw Fu site, Penni Shelton, who was going to be writing a book about raw food. She put out a call for volunteers for an 11 week initiative to dive into a raw foods diet. She created a smaller site which was closed to the public for we “guinea pigs.” The smaller site, and the fact that it was closed to all but those participating in the experiment, meant that a lot of great support and honest sharing could happen. And boy, did it.

We all took “before” photos of ourselves as a condition of joining up. No “before,” no joining! And we weighed in weekly. Too many missed weigh-ins and you were booted! This was serious (and fun) business.

Penni provided inspiring daily motivation through videos and discussion and everyone posted on the forums. I don’t think more than two days ever passed that I didn’t log in and post. It was a determined and encouraging group of people, dedicated to improving their health with living and raw foods.

My other motivators were:
1. My son. Photobucket
2. My health.
4. My partner. (Who generously offered me a reward if I lost 10 pounds and kept it off for two weeks: a Vitamix blender. I did it. I’ve used that Vitamix daily for a year now and can’t imagine not having it! If you’re hesitating to buy one, don’t. You will not regret it.)

I got underway with a 3 day cleanse of green drinks and smoothies. I lost several pounds that first week as my body slurped up the nutrients and I finally said “buh-bye” to my Haagen Dazs addiction. My raw food adventures were not without some dark days and difficult moments, however. No, this was not some Sunshine and All Rainbows All the Time Dealie here. I’ll post about the dark times in my next post, and about other parts of my journey. . .

love always wins,

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