I Lost Over 100 Pounds Eating Mindfully
PLEASE NOTE: This post has been updated – I’ve now lost over 160 pounds. See ‘Easy Weight Loss On A Plant Based Diet‘.
I was always a skinny kid growing up. I am 5’9” and weighed 135 lbs. all the way through high school. I finally filled out a bit in college and was a normal 165-175 lbs. I got married young and my wife loved to bake. I put on a little weight but was never over 200 lbs. Now mind you, I am a pretty stocky guy for my height. I naturally have 54 inch shoulders and a 33-34 inch waist. I was always able to shed any extra pounds easily by eating low carb and getting a bit more exercise.
THEN I moved to Michigan, met a woman that can seriously cook (as can I), turned 40, and took over a restaurant!
The restaurant was a little breakfast and lunch diner with gourmet style breakfasts and exquisite, and huge grilled sandwiches for lunch. We were in a not-so-good location and struggling a bit so we decided to add BBQ dinners on the weekend. REAL WOOD FIRED SMOKED MEATS and homemade Southern style sides. That took off and eventually we turned it into a full-on BBQ restaurant with a gourmet Southern style weekend breakfast.
One of the things you should know about Michigan is that they have the BEST craft beers. There are around 140 craft beer brewers. I am a dark beer drinker and started drinking Founders Porter.
Another thing you should know about restaurant owners is that most of us work 70-90 hours per week, most are ‘Foodies’, and we all get tired of eating our own food. What would happen is that we would wait to eat until we got home late and were famished by then, and would over eat right before bed. Then throw a couple of good micro-brews or a couple of glasses of wine in there and you have a recipe for serious weight gain.
After 5 years of continuing to gain weight and working 90 hours per week, my knees were shot, my back was giving me issues, I had serious Edema in my leg, a compressed nerve in my foot, was barely able to walk, had sleep apnea, and I weighed almost 350 lbs. I did get a CPAP machine to help me sleep better and saw my doctor multiple times about the Edema. The doctor gave me some medication and I had a serious allergic reaction to it. The result was my health failed on me and I ended up in the hospital. When I was released from the hospital, they gave me a whole list of other medications to take.
The day I was released I spoke with my 68-year-old, Vegan, and extremely healthy mother about this. Her reaction was, “No way! Food is Medicine! Do the research and do NOT fill those prescriptions!” So I did the research.
After doing many hours of research, here is what I did:
I stopped eating beef and pork. I only ate organic chicken and fish for meat. I stopped drinking pop and alcohol. I stopped eating after 7:00 pm. I went on an anti-inflammatory diet eating a lot of fruits and veggies and included 3 tsp of Turmeric into my diet. I hydrated with water only that had lemon and lime in it. I also kept my bad carbohydrates (refined carbs) under 40 grams per day and rarely would eat refined carbs in the evening. I mostly stick with whole grains.
After a couple of months into my weight loss, I figured out that dairy is horrible for inflammation and horrible for human health. (READ: Giving Up Cheese) I also realized that plants have plenty of protein – a cup of beans contains 41g of protein – and that I don’t need meat and the extra saturated fats to be healthy. In fact, just the opposite is true. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are PROTECTIVE against cancer, inflammation, and chronic diseases. Centurions living in the Blue Zones eat a primarily plant based diet.
Note that I did not go to the gym once. I do get some exercise almost every day but it is low impact yoga, walking, leg lifts to strengthen my knees, and I do have a couple of small weights and an exercise band that I use. I exercise maybe a half an hour a day and often skip days. You only need about 20 minutes of mild exercise per day.
The result is: I can walk! I have my life back! I can do activities that I wasn’t able to do before like ride my bike! I lost over 100 lbs. and counting in 6 months! Update: As of today Jan 1st 2018, a little over a year in, I am down 141 lbs., and I feel great!
I eat mindfully and organically. First and foremost, I am Living Respectfully toward myself. I found out the hard way that if you don’t have your health you don’t have anything.
I would encourage you to check out the documentary ‘Forks Over Knives’. They also have a fantastic website at forksoverknives.com.
P.S. Since writing this, I have stopped eating chicken, fish and dairy. I feel great – More energy than ever! See follow up post here.
18 Replies to “I Lost Over 100 Pounds Eating Mindfully”
Wow! Congratulations. That’s such a huge accomplishment. I love how you made a plan and stuck to it and met your goals. Keep up the great work.
Thank you for commenting. My goal is to inspire others to do the same.
Incredible story! I am trying to adopt the “eat to live” mentality, but I still very much “live to eat”. Im going to look into the benefits of tumeric. I’ve seen it recommended by several people. Thank you for sharing your story! I hope my weight loss can be that impactful!
Thank you for commenting! Turmeric is better than any anti-inflammatory drug on the market. Here is a link for you https://draxe.com/turmeric-benefits/ – I am looking forward to seeing and hearing about your progress.
Wow! What an awesome achievement. I to need to be mindful of my eating. I’m a carb and wine vulture, which is good in moderation. Key word? Moderation. 🙂 Keep up the great work. I love BBQ. Yummy!!:)
Thank you so much for commenting! I love wine but am not drinking it right now.
Holy crap that is incredible! In 6 months? WOW! I have no excuse.
How inspiring! I try to eat low-carb most of the time, but I cheat more than I should. I have given up pop. It’s been a year and a half. It was hard at first, but now I don’t think about it. I keep trying to improve here and there. Your story gives me hope!
You can do it! Only eat good carbs. Try adding lemon to your water it helps the weight loss! Use a straw though because lemon is hard on the enamel of your teeth. My dishes are amazing and so much better than carb loading! I will be adding recipes soon. If you really feel you need carbs….. carb load in the morning, that way you don’t feel like you miss them. Thanks for the comment. I am glad I can inspire….. that is my whole goal with this blog!
Wow! Very inspiring story. I can’t wait to read the rest. I’ve trashed all medicines years ago and through my vegan diet have never needed anything but real food? You have great fortitude and will power. Well done and massive congratulations! I’m so busy recently that my body is used to eating more at night when I have time. So, I can relate to getting home and chowing down. Lol I eat mostly healthy food but, again for time, I’ve been eating too many sweets now too when fruit was enough. I have to retrain my brain and detox. Thanks for your words of truth and wisdom. I wish you a beautiful day! @the.long.island.vegan
Aww thank you MaryAnn! I don’t even take ibuprofen any longer! Thank you for the congrats. There will be more to come on this. Expect a follow up post.
WoW! Such an inspirational journey and it is so great to see a self proclaimed ‘foodie’ be able to use food for the good and health of their body!! Awesome and can’t wait to read more!!
Thank you for reading Stacey! There will be a follow up post soon! With pictures!
Thank you for writing this I have been looking for a sensible way to lose weight – I was thinking my life was over! This is doable. I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t come upon such this. I think I can now look ahead to my future. Thank you so much for this sensible guide. I will be recommending your blog post to anyone who needs a bit of help with weight loss.
I am continuously searching online for ideas that can facilitate me. Thanks!
I really needed to see this. I struggle with the refined carbs and thus dont lose weight, which I very much need to do. I wholeheartedly agree about cheese and inflammation. Anytime I fall off wagon or I’m trying to be non confrontational at a dinner, my ankles swell and my joints hurt. I have recently started trying to carry my lunches to work and hope to drop some weight
Janet, if you are bringing lunch to work, add beans and precook some whole grains at the beginning of the week (farro, quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice). These are satiating and is a good whole food carbohydrate. Look up Mason Jar Salads!
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