I’ve always been a perfectionist. While this sometimes serves me well, (I create great project outcomes!), it can really get in the way. For instance, I can easily be overwhelmed by large tasks, and to even get started, I have to break them down into smaller chunks. That way, I can motivate myself to feel some accomplishment long before the “final” task is done. But this has never worked for me when it came to losing weight. Knowing this about myself, this year’s resolution was particularly daunting.
I’ve pretty much been a vegetarian off and on for a couple of decades, but really adhered to it for only the last three years. But my health numbers hadn’t really improved very much in that time. (Did you know that Oreos are vegan?!?) Weight still up. Blood pressure better, but still up. Cholesterol better, but still up. Not awful. Just not good. So, I decided I was going to try again.
I knew I needed to lose 50 pounds and improve my other health numbers, too. Oh, I can lose weight. In fact, I have probably lost at least that much in the last several years. The problem is, it was always the SAME 10 pounds time after time. This year, I wanted it to be different. I told my husband I was starting an asbestas diet. Of course, he heard “asbestos” and looked at me like I was crazy. Then I explained to him that rather than trying to be perfect and so ultra-strict about my food choices, I was simply going to do “as best as” I could on this diet and see what happened. He decided to join me. And that day, January 3, we began our whole food, plant-based, low fat, high carb diet.
I know all the dieting tricks. I know to exercise 30 minutes a day, drink plenty of water, plan my meals in advance, and empty the house of “off limits” foods. Since we were doing a whole foods diet, I knew not to buy any processed foods…and that even included bread, my favorite food! It was helpful that hubby was going to do this with me, so I had a partner in this journey. Still, this was going to be a big switch. One big positive difference was going to be…no counting calories! After all, when you go on a whole food, plant-based, low fat, high carb diet you do NOT have to count calories. You just have to choose the right foods, and because these foods are not calorie dense like meat, processed food, and sweets, you can pretty much eat all you want!
Since we’d been out of town over the holidays, our cupboards and refrigerator were pretty bare, so there really wasn’t much to toss out. The first thing was to plan the meals and then go to the grocery store and get all the right foods. I did great for a week. I mean REALLY great. I walked thirty minutes every day. We ate at home most of the time. I lost five pounds that first week! But just like always, my motivation was waning. So, I needed to remember…not a perfect diet…just an asbestas diet. Even then, I was getting really tired of being on this diet in only a week. That’s when I decided to buy a Chunky candy bar the next trip to the store. When I got home, I divided it into quarters. I got one, hubby got one, and the other two quarters went into the refrigerator for when we got desperate for a cheat. A planned, controlled cheat! End of second week…I had lost two more pounds. This was working great. But then, we had a planned cruise coming up in a few weeks. Uh, oh. I had never been on a cruise before, but I knew it was a potential diet killer. What to do? Well, I decided on my asbestas diet I could have one dessert a day on the cruise. That’s right. One. Every. Day. Realistically, that was asbestas I could do. After all, this was going to be vacation!!! I was pretty motivated knowing that I had a week full of desserts to look forward to. “Lose before the cruise” became my mantra. I lost a few more pounds before we left. By the end of that week of cruising, I hadn’t lost any weight, but I hadn’t gained any either. Score!
When we got back from the cruise, COVID-19 was spreading. Florida wasn’t on “stay-at-home orders” yet, but since we had been on a cruise, we self-isolated. The good news…we now had to eat all our meals at home where our “bad” choices were limited. The bad news…we were isolating, and we didn’t have any fresh food at home. So, I took my first plunge into ordering groceries online for home delivery. There was both good and bad news there. Lots of fresh produce was still available, and I decided to add a few “asbestas” items, too. We learned to make fabulous quesadillas on our trip, so I bought large tortillas and a little grated “veggie” cheese to make quesadillas once that week. These were processed foods, but for then, that was asbestas I could do. In hours we were fully stocked for the next week. I knew this latest asbestas cheat might slow the weight loss, but to my delight, weight loss continued for the next few weeks. By the end of March, I was down 20 pounds.
In just three months, I had made a lot of progress NOT being perfect! Then came the dreaded “lock down.” Ugh. I had just made it through my 15-day self-isolation, and now I was really stuck at home. And I gotta tell you…I was pretty tired of eating my own cooking by then. But now I really didn’t have any choice. Except…I did! I could order food from local restaurants, and then drive to pick it up curbside. I asked myself, “When was the last time you lost 20 pounds in two months? Can’t you slow down a little bit, and use this cheat as motivation to still keep going?”
I decided…once a week, on my asbestas diet, I could do that. Since I am a terrible veggie sushi maker, I chose to order that as my big cheat each week. In addition to my daily 30-minute walk, I decided I would walk at least one 5k weekly to help me make up the difference. By the end of April, I had actually walked twelve 5k routes in my neighborhood, and I was down 25 pounds!
So, I’m half-way to 50 in just four months! My weight loss is now slower, but I’m also now more motivated by the image in the mirror than the weight on the scales. I will visit my doctor at the end of this month to get my other health measures. I might need to adjust some to meet my overall “get healthier” measures by the end of this year, but I weigh less today than I have in twenty years. Some of my clothes are too big now, some fit like they were supposed to fit all along, and I’ve even been able to get back into a favorite dress that has been hanging in my closet for two decades. Two decades! And I’ve done all this by just doing asbestas I can!