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!