I've reached (and passed) my goal weight. So I wanted to post my official testamonial here. I will update in future (esp. once I've been to the doctor again), but wanted to go ahead and make it official!
NEW: STAR McDOUGALLER STORY HERE!
FINAL STATS (updated as we go along)
- Starting weight (1/1/10): 207 (BMI 33.4)
Goal weight reached (1/2011): 137 (BMI 22.1) (70 pounds lost)
Current weight (6/9/11): 117 (BMI 18.9 ) (90 pounds lost)
Below, 1st number is from 11/09 (BEFORE); 2nd number is from 1/11; 3rd number is from 6/11
- Total cholesterol: 181. . . . 137. . . . 123
HDL chol: 62. . . . 40. . . . 40
LDL chol: 109. . . . 81. . . . 66
Triglycerides: 49. . . . 82. . . . 84
Blood glucose: 113. . . . 89. . . . 79
Blood pressure/HR (see also long discussion of this issue HERE]:
- BP: 155/96. . . . 146/81 (in office) and 126/80 (at home)
HR: 88. . . .55
I have to start by admitting that I was formerly a failed McDougaller. I succeeded my first time around (1999) in losing 70 pounds, but after a few years I gradually slipped off the McDougall wagon and ended up in the dirt again, gaining back every ounce I had lost (and an additional 5 pounds). How did I do that? Not by eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) as so many have. I have been vegetarian since 1986 and vegan since 1992. But I was vegan for primarily ethical reasons: even when being a â€śgoodâ€ť vegan I used oil in cooking, as well as other high-fat items (nuts, tofu, etc.). And too often I was a â€śbadâ€ť vegan, falling back on frozen vegan â€śfast foodâ€ť that is marketed to appear healthy, but which is full of fat and processed carbs. And, of course, in my worst moments, I ate French fries, potato chips, and other junk food. Itâ€™s amazing how much junk food there is that is vegan! And itâ€™s amazing how quickly eating that stuff eroded all the progress I had made McDougalling.
When I moved to my farm, and then began a second job, I was spending many hours a week in the car, and got into the habit of stopping for (vegan) burritos on the way home. I stopped cooking almost entirely, relying instead on frozen items and other fast food. I was still 100% vegan, but no longer eating healthy at all.
From a low of 128 pounds in 1999, I eventually reached a high of 207 in October 2009.
When I saw the picture of me reading a passage at the wedding of my best friend, I was spurred to action . . . sort of. I remember feeling resentful, primarily. After all, I was already restricted in what I could eat. I didnâ€™t eat meat or dairy, and my diet was better than that of most people I knew (junk food and all). Why should I â€śsufferâ€ť further by returning to the McDougall plan? Note that I knew perfectly well what the solution to my problem wasâ€”Iâ€™d lost weight easily before and I KNEW I could do it again, and yet still I resisted, delayed, and tried to talk myself out of it!
At around the same time, I had a doctorâ€™s appointment, at which I learned that my blood pressure was at the point (nearly 160/100) where my doctor wanted me on medication. I had always (even when overweight) been a very healthy person, and I found this shocking. I was also surprised to see that my total cholesterol, previously 126, had risen to 181 (despite my not having eaten any animal products in more than 20 years). I reluctantly started on the blood pressure medication and decided to try to be a little bit â€śbetterâ€ť about my diet (while still not willing to re-commit fully to the McDougall plan). I still ate the fast food, but less of it, and I had a salad every day for lunch. When I returned to the doctor at the end of May, I realized that over the 6 months between January and June, I had lost 8.5 pounds.
Somehow, that small victory, and the fact that my blood pressure was still elevated on the medication (and the doctor was insisting that I go on â€śstrongerâ€ť medication--Norvasc), pushed me over the edge. I went on the Norvasc but discontinued it after less than a month, based on what Dr. McDougall says HERE.
In June 2010 I re-committed fully to the McDougall plan, and over the next 6 months I lost 70 pounds. I find the Maximum Weight Loss plan easier to follow, in part because many of the higher-fat foods permitted in small amounts on the Regular plan (such as tofu and nuts) are foods that I can and will overeat on. I prefer to stick to whole foods (veggies, fruits, grains, and potatoes), with as little processed food as possible. Itâ€™s partly that I tend to be an all-or-nothing person, but itâ€™s also because I simply feel better when I stick with whole foods and avoid what is processed. I also really love to eat! The MWL plan allows me to eat as much as I want of whatever I make, and I really do eat a LOT of it!
Since being back on the plan, in addition to losing 70 pounds (I am now at 137, which puts me at a BMI of 22.1 (I am 5'-6" tall) and a size 6 dress, down from size 16!). My total cholesterol has gone from 181 to 137, and my BP has gone from 155/96 to 146/81 (doctor's office) and 126/80 (at home). At age 48, I am fit and healthy, and I look great.
[One note about my BP. Please be sure to read THIS THREAD. I learned that not only do I have "White Coat" syndrome (higher BP in doctor's office) but that I am extremely sensitive to caffeine. I had eliminated coffee but not tea, and finally eliminating that as well is what brought my BP way down.]
Best of all, I really do enjoy what I am eating! I think back on the way I felt when I weighed 207 and thought that I would be â€śsufferingâ€ť if I returned to the McDougall plan and I laugh! Iâ€™m cooking more than I have in yearsâ€”most of it quick and easy stuff, thanks to Jeff Novickâ€™s wonderful â€śFast Foodâ€ť DVDâ€”and Iâ€™m starting to work on modifying authentic Indian recipes to be McDougall-safe. I eat a LOT of foodâ€”sometimes 3-4 helpings of my favorite soupâ€”and am happy and satisfied.
I think I can promise that this time, there will be no going back. Iâ€™m grateful to have been given a second chance to return to a healthy weight, and to avoid the serious health problems that were lurking around the corner for me, thanks to the McDougall plan.
Here is a link to my Journal, which I kept sporadically throughout the process. It's not complete but may be helpful to some. ETeSelle's McDougall Journal
New pix in my new SIZE 4 SKINNY JEANS!!!! WHOO HOOOO!!!!
AND here are some I took this a.m. of me in my size 16 jeans. I don't have a full-length mirror, and the flash obscures my head, but this is as good as it gets, living alone.
UPDATE: Final comparision pix!
Just sent in my Star McDougaller story to Dr. McD as requested! A friend took some pix of me for that. Here's the final comparision! WHOO HOOO!!!!