When I was pregnant with Jude, I was pretty healthy. I actually craved salads (vinegar) and greens in general so that helped. I really took care of myself and I felt great. I loved being pregnant.
I don’t remember worrying about baby weight after the birth. Now, this might have something to do with Jude – whom was all consuming leaving me with no time to think about anything but getting him to STOP CRYING. Part of that process was going on walks and boy did I walk. Miles and miles and miles. I walked all over Melbourne, catching up with friends and relatives on the phone with my Madonna headset, all sweaty and out of breath. Yeah, that probably had a lot to do with dropping those extra pounds.
My second pregnancy was different. All I could think about was fast food and donuts. Which was weird. And kind of awesome. I remember one day driving past a McDonald’s and suddenly whipping the car around to go through the drive through. Must. Have. Egg. McMuffin. I got the McMuffin Meal and as I was cramming a hash brown in my mouth I spotted the Dunkin Donuts on the far side of the parking lot. (Yes, that’s right – I was sitting in the parking lot of a strip mall binging, more or less.) I finished my ‘meal,’ got out of the car, walked into DD and happily purchased a Boston Crème AND a Jelly Filled. I then walked back to the car and ate them both.
Needless to say, I put on a bit of weight – and not only while I was pregnant but after the birth I used the ‘breastfeeding mother’ excuse to continue on with my crazy binges. Mostly donuts. Maybe that’s why Rex is so sweet :)
So I have this thing I call ‘reverse anorexia’ where I think I’m thinner than I actually am. Combine that with the fact that we don’t have any full length mirrors in our house and you got me, at 165 pounds thinking I’m looking pretty good. Keep in mind that I’ve weighed, on average, about 135 (give or take) most of my adult life.
One day, not too long ago, I stood up on the bed to clean the ceiling fan (rental) and saw myself in the wall mirror from boob to knee. Um, ‘HOLY SHIT.’ At that point I had stopped with the donuts and fast food but the fat from the binges was still there and not planning on going anywhere – clearly. People would say, ‘you just had a baby!’ but how long can you really ride that train? Rex is now 14 months old. This is the last stop on this train. Everyone please leave the train. Thank you for riding.
I made all sorts of plans and promises about losing the weight but what was needed was a complete game change. Enter “Eat to Live” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. I can’t remember where I heard about it but I read it and then asked Rhys to read it. Pretty convincing stuff. Rhys wanted to shed a few himself so we decided to give it a shot.
It’s been about 2 months and we’ve completely changed the way we eat. It’s working. In the year that I was sort of trying to lose weight before reading “Eat to Live” I lost about 8 pounds. (i.e. not trying very hard.) I weighed myself this morning: 143. Getting there. Keep in mind that I am doing zero exercise. Rhys has lost 18 pounds in 8 weeks. But it’s not just that – we feel pretty awesome too.
So the basic rules are:
- Eat a ridiculous amount of greens every day. Like, a POUND.
- Stay away from animal products. No dairy, no meat.
- Stay away from oils.
- Stay away from caffeine.
- Stay away from alcohol.
- Eat a lot of beans.
- Eat a lot of fruit.
- Eat nuts.
Sounds exciting, right? I know, I know. I love coffee. I love alcohol. I have no desire to be a vegan. We are following the rules about 75%. Mostly, for us, it’s all about the greens. It helps that we love to cook. Being Southern – I know my way around greens and Rhys reigns supreme in the Southeast Asian arena.
Nobody wants to eat a mound of steamed vegetables for dinner every night and if that’s your approach, you will fail. Not once have we looked at our plates and thought, ‘sigh…let’s get this over with.’ But I’ve also invested in some cookbooks and have been willing to experiment. Don’t get me wrong, for a while I kept accidentally making chili. I thought I was doing something different and then I would taste it and…chili again. But we’re definitely in the groove now. This isn’t a diet anymore – it’ how we eat. And the benefits aren’t just seen on the scales. We’re healthier. We feel great. We’re nerds. (That last one is what I think you’re probably thinking right now.)
The thing is, this still looks good to me:
And every now and then, I’m gonna eat the hell out of something like this. And I can do that without feeling guilty or worried because 95% of the time I’m not eating something like this.
“Eat to Live” can be a bit extreme and even a little ridiculous at times but mostly, it’s science and it makes a whole lot of sense. Have a look…