Archive for living alone

“I have now lost 163 pounds”

Carol WolfBy: Carol Wolf

Four years ago it was getting progressively hard for me to get around. Something as simple as getting in and out of the tub became a safety issue.
 I had my bathroom remodeled and the tub removed. Safety bars were installed in the shower.

When shopping, I had to decide which side of the grocery store to shop as I couldn’t cover the entire store in one visit. I gave up my Sam’s Club membership and stopped shopping at Wal-Mart. I obtained a handicapped parking permit and started using a cane.

I had very low energy and stamina. Just the act of showering and getting dressed wore me out for the day. I never got a second wind. I learned to shower the night before for an activity the following day.

I told myself that I was feeling the effect of polio from when I was a child. There is such a thing as post-polio syndrome. Both my sister and my cousin have it, so it wasn’t a long stretch for me to think I had it too.

The one thing that set me apart from them was my weight. I decided it was time to eliminate weight from the equation. Then if I still had the symptoms I would go from there. My problem was the “how to.” I had already tried weight loss programs, yo-yo’ing through different diets, as well as starving. I fit the definition of insanity: repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. I knew it had to be a lifestyle change.

I picked up my scriptures. I turned to Section 89 of the Doctrine of Covenants and whispered softly, “Help me to understand what this is really telling me.” With those words things were about to change.

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Duffy’s WFPB Journey — March 2014

Yellow PotatoesLittle Wins

Along the way to achieving my ultimate weight loss and health goals, it’s important to celebrate the little wins….

  • My pants are looser. I noticed the change in my shirts last month, and this month my pants have felt looser and even started to ride a little lower so that I continuously have to pull them up and re-tuck in my undershirt.
  • I can reach the gas cap lever in my car! It was getting pretty dicey for a while there. It is located on the floor between the pedals and driver’s seat, and when I was at my largest weight, I’d have to hold my breath and lunge for it. Now I can reach down easily and without pain.
  • I’ve stayed 100% WFPB for ¼ of the year already!
  • A coworker noticed that I’ve been losing weight.
  • I reached and surpassed my first 50lb milestone; my visiting teachers took progress pictures.
  • I came home from an appointment last Saturday having put some potatoes in my countertop convection oven and then forgotten about them. My first thought as I opened the door was “Mmm, smells like brownies.” A few minutes later when I cut into one of the still-warm potatoes I thought, “This smells delicious!” Although I never before liked potatoes any way other than mashed with butter, I may be on my way to becoming a potato lover.

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An Answer to a Question I Did Not Ask

Jane-wing-smBy: Jane Birch

It was Saturday, August 20, 2011. I woke up much earlier than usual to find the TV on and tuned to CNN where Dr. Sanjay Gupta was previewing a program called “The Last Heart Attack.” Dr. Gupta’s investigation of a “heart-attack proof” diet initially sounded very strange. I thought he’d be debunking some quack idea because it seemed impossible that a person could become literally “heart-attack proof,” but I soon realized Dr. Gupta was serious. Based on his research, he believes a “whole food, plant-based” diet can prevent heart disease. This was interesting to me, not because I had any risk factors for heart disease, but because I knew it is the #1 killer in America.

That very morning I started researching the diet on the Internet. I quickly learned what a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet means. “Whole food” means very limited or no processed foods (including refined oils) and “plant-based” means meals based on plant rather than animal foods (meat, dairy, and eggs). It includes four food groups: vegetables, fruits, legumes (beans and lentils), and whole grains. In other words, whole plants, packaged as God (or nature) designed them.

I found plenty of solid evidence in favor of the diet and was surprised that it looked much more compelling than I had expected. I learned that the evidence demonstrates that a WFPB diet doesn’t just reduce our chance of getting heart disease, but actually eliminates it. This impressed me. It isn’t easy to make big lifestyle changes, and I don’t feel motivated when it only reduces my chances of having problems; it feels like a gamble. Eliminating my chances of getting a disease, especially the #1 killer, felt very motivating to me.

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