My journey to healthy eating started with a desire to lose weight. That was more than 35 years ago shortly after my second child was born. I had put on a few pounds and this was the beginning of my yoyo dieting with many unsuccessful attempts to maintain a weight loss.
By the time I was 30, I was well into binging and was beginning to feel out of control. I was starting to feel desperate and I began to explore Over Eaters Anonymous.
By the time I was approaching my fifties, I found myself at my heaviest. I had lost all hope to get back to my healthy weight. I knew my eating habits were not healthy. I was not proud of my eating behaviour and I kept it a secret. I was disgusted with myself and feeling desperate. This was my turning point. In that desperation, I reached out to a 12-step friend and she turned me to Joe and Charlie’s Big Book Study. Listening to their teachings helped me to understand and accept my addiction to specific food triggers. I was ready and willing to change.
I had more episodes than I care to remember where I would sit with spoon in hand with a gallon bucket of ice cream, scooping and eating. Totally obsessed. A frozen tongue never stopped me from scooping. I was tired of being disgusted with myself.
In 2009, I joined a weight loss program and reached my goal weight but from week to week it was a constant struggle to stay in my approved weight range. Fortunately, when I discovered the documentary Forks Over Knives and started eating whole food plant based, my food cravings subsided and maintaining my weight started to happen with out focused effort. I no longer had to weigh, measure or calculate points.
When I started whole food plant based I was doing it for the weight loss. I was not expecting to attain health benefits. My biggest challenge was to remove the so-called “healthy” oils from my diet; and much to my surprise, cooking without oil was much easier than I expected. During my transition, I discovered so many delicious foods. Much to my amazement, it was relatively easy to find several tasty replacements for all my comfort foods. I learned how to make tasty soups, oil free fries, healthy gravy, and a dairy free cheeses for my pizza and lasagne. I also learned how to make delicious, creamy, dairy-free ice cream. There was no going back and I kept moving forward. Now I’m enjoying a much thinner, healthier body and I no longer live in my food shame.
Note, even though I am in recovery that does not mean I never struggle. I still have occasional challenges but now I know how to navigate through them. I have found it important to keep learning. That is what keeps me on board.
I found many resources to be helpful and supportive to my weight loss journey. I hope you will find these helpful.
Resources I found helpful :
Breaking the Food Seduction – Neal Barnard M.D. 56:33
Whether you are drawn to chocolate, cookies, potato chips, cheese, or burgers and fries, we all have foods we can’t seem to resist - foods that sabotage our best efforts to lose weight and improve our health. These foods are winning the battle, but that’s because we’re fighting it in the wrong place. As physician and leading health researcher Dr. Neal Barnard explains: banishing these cravings is not a question of will power or psychology, it’s a matter of biochemistry.
Calorie Density 101 –Chef AJ – 15:21
Calorie density is the simplest approach to healthful eating and lifelong weight management. This common sense approach to sound nutrition allows for life long weight management without hunger and more food for fewer calories. It’s easy to understand and follow. By following the principals of calorie density, you’ll also increase the nutrient density of your diet.
Calorie Density: How to Eat More Weigh Less & Live Longer by Jeff Novick, R.D. 1:19:38
Understanding a few simple concepts about calorie density is one of the keys to safe and permanent weight loss. In this enlightening and humorous talk, Jeff Novick, RD, shows us why choosing the wrong kinds of calories is a major contributing factor to our obesity epidemic. His easy to follow instructions make perfect sense to help us reach our goal weight and live a long and healthy life.
Eat More Weigh Less: Rational & Successful Weight Management – Hans Diehl DrHSc, MPH, FACN, CNS - 1:23:45
Dr. Hans Diehl shows, in case after case, how health depleted individuals can become free of health ailments and become enthused with their lives by eating simple unprocessed foods. Through powerfully motivating stories of changed lives, Diehl conveys the rules for vibrant health as well as how to shed bitterness and find new peace of mind.
How to Lose Weight Successfully - Hans Diehl DrHSc, MPH, FACN, CNS - 8:05
In this video Dr. Hans Diehl gives nutritional advise to all who wish to successfully lose weight and improve their health.
The Pleasure Trap - Doug Lisle, Ph.D - 52:32
Dr. Doug Lisle, Ph.D, featured in the documentary Forks Over Knives and Psychologist at True North Health Center, discusses the pleasure trap in an entertaining and easy to understand presentation. Breaking free is absolutely possible.
Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind by Doug Lisle, Ph.D. - Podcast 6:22
Dr. Lisle does another enlightening presentation. Eating less and exercising more is NOT the solution according to Dr. Lisle. Dr. Lisle is also the founder of a new method of approaching human psychology and wellbeing. He describes this approach as Esteem Dynamics - its core insight adapted from a revolutionary biological approach to psychology. He has recently teamed up with Jennifer Howk.
Cramming and Bingeing Chef AJ Interviews Doug Lisle, Ph.D. 57:16
Dr. Doug Lisle, PhD, expands on his lecture on the cram circuit and answers viewer’s questions about the difference between conditioned cram and binging.
Bright Line Eating: Susan Peirce Thompson – interview – 40:39
Hosted by Caryn Hartglass, a vegan since 1988, It’s All About Food, is a radio program about food and our food system. It features in-depth interviews with doctors, nutritionist, dieticians and others. In This episode, Hartglass speaks with Susan Pierce Thompson, PhD, an expert in the psychology of eating. Thompson is President of the Institute for Sustainable Weight Loss and CEO of Bright Line Eating Solutions, a company dedicated to sharing the psychology and neuroscience of sustainable weight loss and helping people live happy thin and free.
The “What–the-Hell” Effect Bright Line Eating – Susan Peirce Thompson Ph.D. - 15:16
If you have struggled with food, you may have noticed it may seem like you’re either on your plan or off your plan with very little middle ground.. This is due to what psychologist call the “What–the-Hell” Effect.