Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sending postcards....

I have been unable to post recently. And the reason was not a lack of time or inclination. But instead an acute sense of failure. The support offered after my last post was so welcome and I really took to heart what was said. So when it came time - after one week - to check my results I felt I'd let not only myself down but those kind enough to offer encouragement.

The truth was: I lost no weight.

None at all.

I could not believe it. All the stories on the web, in the podcasts, in the book...everywhere...tell of people who lose 10lbs, 15lbs or more in their first ETL week. OK, I was not aiming that high, but *something* would have been nice.

So, I felt stuck. I could not bear to admit this failure, but it was the elephant in the blogroom. Sitting right on my keyboard in fact! I could scarcely post about other topics without first addressing this. And so I was unable to write anything.

Luckily sense prevailed and I took heart from the advice of a wonderful friend who encouraged me to stick with it, rather than throw up my hands and grab a dinnerplate-sized chocolate-chip cookie. (Thank you, Colleen!) It's been 15 days since I started the ETL program and, following my initial disappointment, I'll admit I have not been 100% faithful to Dr Fuhrman. I have enjoyed larger servings of rice - for instance - than are recommended and I even went out for a beer with My Beloved last weekend. But, in general terms, I have stuck with it about 80%.

And so I am wildly happy to report that today I discovered I have lost 4.5lbs. I have eaten copious amounts of leafy greens, fruits and vegetables, cut back on my coffee intake, eliminated 98% of the processed sweet treats I used to bake (look back at previous posts and you'll see them all!) and generally felt satisfied, clean, balanced and rarely hungry.

I do believe this is going to work!

Coincidentally, I had a check up with my doctor last week who scheduled a routine lipid panel. I haven't mentioned 'The V-Word' to her (I sense she will not share my enthusiasm for this lifestyle) and so I was interested to know what my scores would be. I got them today so here goes:

My total cholesterol is below the norm at 171mg/dL (<200 = 'desirable'), triglycerides are at 53mg/dL (<150 is 'normal'), LDL is down 3 points to 117mg/dL (where 100-129 mg/dL is considered 'Near optimal/above optimal') and HDL is at 48 which is moderate. I guess this last stat could be improved and so I foresee more oatmeal in my future!

I am not being self-congratulatory here as I have a loooooong way to go before I restore my health completely. Thirty-plus years of the standard western diet tend to wreak a degree of havoc that's not quickly overcome.

But these results seemed like an excellent opportunity to bear witness - in specific, scientific, medical terms - to the benefits of our vegan diet. Whilst the ETL program is so new to me as to not influence the above results, I do however attribute this overall success to veganism.

Completely and totally.

So I am once again on my way to becoming the strong, energetic, healthy vegan I **so** want to be. This journey is wildly interesting and I feel I am on an adventure. So I'll be more diligent in the future about sending 'postcards' along the way....


Stay vegan, friends!


Maria Rose said...

Wow, congratulations on sticking with it. When I first went vegan I mentioned I lost a ton of weight, but it was definitely in fits and starts. I am really impressed that you have stuck with it and are starting to see the results. Are you feeling better?

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Amanda. You can do it. In fact, you already are! :)

Amanda said...

Thank you both - your encouragement means the world to me! Am feeling great now actually and really coming to realise how frequently I just plain ate too much....
Will keep updating progress as the journey continues!