Thursday, March 1, 2012

I'm not on a Diet; I'm Eating Healthy!

I've always taken my health for granted. When something goes wrong, I don't even know why I'm shocked! Looking back I know exactly how I got here. Now, I've never considered myself to be "overweight" or anything, but in the last few years I've noticed just a little extra that kind of bothered me.

A few weeks back at my yearly health checkup, I stepped up on the scale as the nurse requested. I was horrified by the number. It isn't terrible in some people's minds I'm sure, but to me 154 just didn't look right!

I've been telling people my excuse lately: in college I walked everywhere! To class, up the hills, down the hills and to my apartment for a quick nap. You see, I lived close to campus and I only drove my car to get groceries. I also didn't eat well.

Since I was getting so much exercise, I was burning off calories I didn't even consider that I was consuming. As a college student, I'm sure you know diet isn't usually a concern. (Mac and cheese for dinner? Yes, please!)

Fast forward three and a half years. Same diet. Near to none exercise. That equals a problem. Now I will say that I was in such shock over my nearly 25 lb. weight gain since high school (which was almost seven years ago now). And yes, I'll never be 18 again.

So I hopped on to my own scale in the bathroom. Luckily that one read 144 the same night. (Instant 10 lbs. of weight loss. Woot!) Now I don't know if the scale in my bathroom is accurate, but I've been weighing in on that one since my "lifestyle" change.

Yep, I'm calling it a lifestyle change. Not a diet! Diets can work for people who stick to them, yes, but a lifestyle change is something I feel is more permanent for me. You see, my mother recently found out that she has Type 2 diabetes. I knew it was now or never. So I studied up and did something I've never actually done before: cook meals at home.

And not just any meals. Healthy meals packed with vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts. Tacos stuffed with sautéed veggies and a side of beans. Whole gain pizza crusts covered in fresh veggies. Homemade fruit "ice creams" that I didn't feel guilty eating.

Friends are asking me, "So you're vegetarian, now?!" I don't know the answer to that just yet. However, I was surprised that 18 days later I'm now down six pounds. Not only that, but I'm feeling phenomenal! I'm getting to work an hour a half earlier and waking up without attempting to hit the snooze. I can see a change in my body and I crave the taste of my next decadent meal with the full flavors all the vegetables and fruits offer.

And I'm not looking back! Sure, there's been challenges. I've been tempted during my workdays with pulled pork, warm chocolate chip cookies and even endured the smells during Waffle Wednesday. It's all been well worth it, though. I'm excited about the challenges ahead but feel more empowered and in charge of my health than ever before! For more information on my new lifestyle change, please visit the Engine 2 Diet website.

UPDATE: See how going plant-strong changed my life and my results six months later here!

Looking to go vegan? Check out these related posts below!

Kelsey is a passionate vegan living in Houston, Texas, spreading the word about the benefits of eating a healthy, plant-based diet. She's also a minimalist enthusiast, a self-proclaimed financial guru of her household, and founder of The Little Red Journal.

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