Before I changed my diet and started intermittent fasting, I led a very sedentary lifestyle. I had a very poor diet of fast food and cheap sweets. Not only did I eat unhealthily, but I also ate unhealthily in large amounts. I was depressed, always tired, unhappy with my life, and didn’t like going out to see people. I used eating as a coping mechanism to relieve me of these negative emotions, but overall it made me feel worse which made me want to eat more. It was a vicious cycle which was hard to escape. I was always trying to turn or sit in a way that I thought would make me look a little smaller.
One day I was at home on my couch eating my usual bag of doughnuts, when I had an image in my head of myself dying of a heart attack. I thought about how my family would find me, and about how I would be so big it would take a few people to get me out of my house. I knew something had to change right then and there.
The next day I was on the computer watching YouTube videos about different diets. At this point, I knew I needed to change something in my life, but other diets I tried in the past had been unsuccessful for me. I came across a YouTube video of a guy teaching about making Green Smoothies and thought “I like all those foods in there. I could live on those.” It was like something clicked in my head, and I knew I had found the lifestyle I had been looking for. I adopted a fully whole food plant-based lifestyle and began meal prepping every week.
When I decided to make a change, I only ate three meals a day with a couple of snacks in between—at the time I didn’t even realize I was already doing a 14 hour intermittent fast every day! To ensure I stuck to a schedule with my fasts, I downloaded the LIFE Fasting Tracker to track my fasts, log my weight, and read more about intermittent fasting, which has really helped me stay on track.
For the first six months of my lifestyle change, I was a raw foodist. I ate a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. I would make overnight oats every night for breakfast. I brought a Vitamix to work and would make a green smoothie every afternoon. I always had a bag of apples or oranges in my car, so if I needed a snack I had some fruit.
After the first six months, I transitioned to a normal plant-based diet. Since then, I have been experimenting with a lot of different whole food, plant-based recipes. One of my favorite go-to meals to make are a variation of curries or any type of Korean food. Cooking is one of my passions so I am always trying new things.
When I started incorporating exercise into the mix, my friend gave me a recumbent stationary bike. I put it in my room right next to my bed. I would wake up in the morning and immediately get a 30 min workout in before I did anything else.
Most of the challenges I faced came from external sources. I felt like a lot of people would pressure me to eat something I didn’t want to or drink something I knew was not going to support my goals. I felt myself having to explain to a lot of friends and family that I had set very specific guidelines, and goals for myself and I wasn’t going to compromise those things for any reason. After I stuck to my guns for a while, everyone stopped offering me those things and began supporting me in ways I could never imagine.
Before I knew it, the one year anniversary of my lifestyle change had come, and I had lost almost 100 pounds. It was so rewarding, and I was so happy to reach that milestone. I started at 365 pounds. At 180 pounds today I’m happier than ever and now have more confidence than I ever thought possible.
I also gained a new kind of self-confidence and had the courage to ask out a long time crush of mine. We have now been happily together for almost a year and I love sharing my new health and knowledge with her.
My lifestyle is a permanent one now and I will continue to work hard and be as healthy as I can.
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