I’d just successfully lost 50 pounds. The surprise was so jolting that I actually felt my shoulders jump. I re-adjusted the scale at least 7 different times, pushing it around my bathroom to make sure that it was reading correctly. I even took the damn thing outside and laid it on the pavement but the numbers danced around before resting on the same result: ‘125’. The last time I saw that number I was 18 years old and not even thinking about kids. I couldn’t believe that I was seeing it again now. MY JOURNEY THROUGH WEIGHT LOSS HELL After 6 years of fitness blogs and weight loss forums. After enough Jillian Michaels’ dvds to form a collection. After every popular “BeachBody” program known to man. After counting calories, writing my food choices down, and restricting carbs…. After portion controlling the hell out of my grilled chicken and sweet potatoes. After telling myself how much I loved fruit over chocolate. After running on the treadmill, forcing myself to run just 5 more seconds. Just 4 more seconds. Just 3, just 2, just 1…. I bought new running shoes, sports bras and un-used yoga mats. I committed to exercise routine after exercise routine only to give up from a lack of results. I drank so many protein shakes. So many smoothies. And after countless “before” pictures and never any “afters”.... I ended up losing 50 pounds without dieting, exercising, counting, blogging, portion controlling, tracking, or even trying. And the “how” was so simple that I actually stood on that weight scale, minutes after it had decided to turn itself off, and cried. DIETING DOESN’T WORK Every pound that I had ever lost would always return with a friend. And don’t ask your co-workers or family members what they would do to keep the weight off. The same information is parroted back as if every human being on earth is holding a universal script. The answer isn’t found in a pill, workout dvd, or eating plan. And the issue has nothing to do with whether or not you’re trying hard enough. You aren’t lazy or unmotivated. You don’t need to take the stairs. You just need real answers to old questions and I believe it is my duty to share that with you. There’s just one problem. Eighty-seven percent of you will make every excuse as to why the real solution won’t work for you. You’ll ask some question that you think reveals a flaw in the whole system. Half of you will develop an all-of-a-sudden nutritionists degree in the next 5 minutes. And for those people, there are no hard feelings. You understand your body goals better than I do and I trust that you’ll one day share what worked for you with others. But if you decide to continue then you are choosing to give your plate more than you take away from it. You are accepting what can be an embarrassing thing to admit (yes, I need help!). And you are finally ready to change more than just your weight. You are ready to change your life. If that is you then let’s get to it. THE “HOW” My sister was a vegetarian. I pitied her poor little meat-less soul. Sometimes I still do, but who doesn’t feel bad for their weird little sister? One day I watched her open a package that literally said “chickenless chicken” and couldn’t help but wince as I stood out of her line of sight. My expression was pretty insulting, I’m sure. Poor thing. Meanwhile, my health had reached such a terrible state that I felt sick after every meal. I ate fast-food everyday because I hated how my own cooking tasted. I would look at myself in the mirror and push all of the blame on 'baby weight'. But I weighed 175 pounds and had to wear my boyfriends gym pants every time I stepped out of the house. That was my lowest point. So, I made the choice to eat “vegetarian” for the next 30 days and change the way that I felt. I never intended to give up meat completely - just for 30 days. My results were so incredible that I made it a lifestyle choice. You don’t have to subscribe to any particular ‘side’, meat versus veggies. This isn’t about pitting one lifestyle choice against the other. My only interest is in showing you how to lose weight through a sustainable diet using nutrient-dense foods that cleanse the body, clear the mind, and can transforms your health in a really big way. I witnessed proof of this change within 10 days. Here’s how. “THE B.S. TECHNIQUE” (1.) I found 2-3 plant-based meals to eat over the course of 10 days. (2.) I ate nothing but those meals. (3.) Then weighed in on day 11. My only goal here was to try this method with the intention of calling B.S. I did not expect my first attempt at making my own meals to be a raging success. In fact, I found along the way that I was still hungry and needed to go for a second and (third) helping. So I did. I hated my first few ideas and wanted to scrap them altogether. So I did. I didn’t starve myself. I did not eat anything I thought was gross. I found a few recipes online that tickled my fancy and then tried them until I had a few that I liked. One thing I wish I’d known: my first meals were not a reflection of what I was going to be eating once I decided to stick with it. And, in truth, I’d be very surprised if you created something that you liked well enough to repeat weeks from now, too. I wouldn’t get hung up on how many grams of this or that are in each serving. Eye-ball it and keep it moving. The goal was to dip my toe into the water and witness real, tangible results for myself by focusing on the quality of what I put into your mouth instead of the quantity. “THE TODDLER TECHNIQUE” I tried The B.S Technique and realized that there was something there. I lost 5 pounds in the first 7 days and knew that I was on the right track. My interest was piqued. My only problem was that I couldn’t find a way to stick with it. I was running out of recipe ideas that tasted good and the few recipes that I had were getting boring extremely fast. It didn’t seem very sustainable in the long-term and I was starting to feel like I’d given up a wide array of options in exchange for a few beans and potatoes. Insert my chickenless chicken sister. I moved in with her for a month and the experience was like some sort of vegetarian boot camp. She never came to me and tried to impress her diet on me. But it was almost impossible to not eat like her because she didn’t have any meat in the house. Through all of my diet attempts (and even after a few flimsy tries at vegetarianism in the past) nothing compared to eating every meal with a person that ate like I wanted to eat. I felt like a toddler learning how to walk and she was holding my hand. I never had to think about what I was supposed to eat next. And by doing so I lost 35 pounds. (1.) I found my chicken-less chicken sister, someone who simplified the best ways to turn my diet choice into a habit. (2.) I only ate the things that I absolutely loved. (3.) I ate some more. “THE BRAILLE TECHNIQUE” I came a long way. Everything that I’d wanted from a vegetarian diet I had received, and then some. My back stopped hurting. I felt physically refreshed after every meal. My skin started to clear up and, in fact, I only broke out if I tried to use face wash. This was more than I had ever expected. But I felt like I could still improve. After 6 months, my weight stabilized and the number never rose or fell beyond 2 or 3 pounds. I had another 20 pounds to lose but I thought my diet had taken me as far as it was going to go and assumed I would need to exercise the rest of the weight off. But exercise wasn’t an option. I had 3 small children under the age of 5, worked the graveyard shift every night, and went to dental school during the day. I slept whenever I could and spent the rest of my time with my kids. Just looking at my schedule I was like “to hell with the gym”. But I had already witnessed results before and started wondering if my diet was, yet again, the answer. I didn’t like the way dairy made me feel so I decided to take my eating a step further and “try” veganism. Through that decision I lost another 15 pounds and the weight has stayed off for 1-1/2 years. Listen to your body. I’m not just saying this because it sounds really zen. At this point I had already experienced a measurable amount of success. And it took all of this for me to truly understand what it meant to listen to my body. Paying attention to how certain foods made me feel changed everything. BOTTOM LINE You never have to diet again. You’ll never need to eat another meal that you don’t thoroughly enjoy. And you’ll never have to feel deprived or restricted. You just need to decide that, while you’re already eating, you might as well make it something good. At this phase you are beyond simply wanting to lose weight. The trivialities of calories in vs. calories out have become a non-issue. Now you are seeing for yourself what is possible when you saturate your system with living, nutrient-dense whole foods. You are feeding your body what it was designed to eat from the very beginning. And, on its behalf, I thank you. Tell me your story. Share what a plant-based diet has done for you. And feel free to recruit me as your chickenless chicken sister. I’m right here waiting Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!