Update 9/2014: This post was written in 2009. I’ve since had two more children & gone through the fluctuations of pregnancy gain & post-pregnancy loss. Check out this page for the most recent update on weight gain/loss, as well as workouts, posts on body image & more.
I knew this day would eventually come. The day when I post “before” and “after” pictures.
I have been reluctant to do so for a few reasons. #1) How vain! #2) I don’t advocate this way of eating to lose weight, simply as the next fad diet. It’s a long-term commitment (for life), or at least should be, and really it’s a lifestyle, a paradigm shift. It’s about taking care of your body, achieving wellness and health; losing and then maintaining your ideal weight just happen to be icing on the cake, a fringe benefit.
That said, a few people have been curious as to what I looked like before I changed my diet.
I was never overweight, although close to it. I had a BMI of 25, now it’s around 19-20. I’m 5’9″ish so losing 40 lbs. doesn’t have the same impact as for someone who is 5’3″.
And to be honest, I really thought I could not lose any more weight (when I weighed around 170 lbs.). I had tried to lose weight, and was always health conscious and an avid exerciser, but the weight I had gained during my college years just didn’t seem to want to come off. Until I switched to a low-fat whole foods vegan diet.
→ Why vegan? I answer 65+ questions about a vegan diet
in my ebook, Vegan Answered
The picture where I’m wearing curlers….yikes! Granted, I’m pregnant at the time, wearing no make-up, but seriously, don’t let me out of the house looking like this!
The first picture is more typical of how I used to look–size 12, 170 lbs.
Not obese, or even overweight necessarily…but now I feel that I’m at the weight I am supposed to be. The weight at which I feel best. I’m now somewhere between 140-150 lbs., depending on the day, and a size 4-6, for the most part. I don’t tell you this to brag, just stating it as a fact, and again, as I said before, my intention was never to become a size 4 (I didn’t actually think that was possible!), it just happened.
I can move better. I’m lighter.
This picture was taken about 6 months after my 3rd child. Nice to be thinner than I was in high school after having 3 babies in 4 years. No way could I have done this through “dieting.”
→ Check out my ebook, Simple: 15 gluten-free & vegan recipes,
for some of our family’s tried & true favorite foods,
as well as the companion 28 day meal plan.
To maintain my weight, I don’t count calories or tabulate protein or carbs. I simply eat when I’m hungry and don’t eat when I’m not. I eat an abundance of varied foods.
My diet (check out my recipe index, here
) consists of primarily
starches with as much green leafies
and other vegetables I can manage to fit in. Fruits & legumes acts as condiments and occasionally I’ll have nuts/seeds. I generally stay away from refined sugars & processed foods. That’s it.
And I don’t have to worry about my weight fluctuating much. I still feel the same as I did when I was 35-40 lbs. heavier, but my body seems to be happier at this weight.
I’m not thin because I starve myself or have extreme self-control and can eat small portions (quite the opposite).
I’m now much leaner than I used to be because I changed the composition of my foods. That’s really what it comes down to.
And I don’t continue to eat this way only because I’m able to stay slim. There are so many other ways of eating that could meet this goal. I continue to eat this way, because it makes me feel good, & it’s a way of eating that is aligned with my values.
I like the way I eat and I feel great. I would not ever go back to constantly feeling bloated and lethargic.
So hopefully that’s enough to satisfy your curiosity. (That is assuming you were curious in the first place, of course.)
Other bring joy posts you may want to check out:
→ Curious about how I lost weight while improving my energy & overall health?