And here's a picture taken of me this weekend:
Something I've noticed in a lot of the testimonials put out by the men and women who are successful with Ideal Protein are the number of folks who express amazement at not being in pain anymore. No more aching backs, hips, knees, feet, etc.
The first thought I had was that all of these people, like me, aren't carrying around a huge weight burden anymore and of course they're in less pain. But something else occurred to me, too: We're eating cleaner than we've eaten in the past.
Because I am towards the end of this diet, I've been doing a lot of thinking about how I am going to eat after I go back to the real world. I've been reading books like Kris Carr's "Crazy Sexy Kitchen," Julie Morris' "Super Food Kitchen" and blogs like The Stone Soup. I am learning how unhealthy my diet has been in the past and feel convicted to make some serious changes in my diet and lifestyle.
Highly processed foods, sugar, excess alchohol and lots of trans and saturated fats actually contributed to inflammation in my body and were putting me on the path to greater health issues.
While I don't see myself becoming vegan or vegetarian, I've decided that it's time to get serious about how I will be eating in the future. I don't think it's going to be very different from how I am eating while on Ideal Protein. When I eat meat, it will probably be no more than once a day and in much smaller portions than what I ate in the past (5-8 oz.). Breads and highly processed foods will either be extremely limited or eliminated completely from what I eat. Let's face it, those highly processed foods may taste pretty good, but they're loaded with additives like MSG and loads sugar that do a lot of damage to your health.
My diet is going to be more plant-based, focused on nutrient rich foods from now on and it surprises me how enthusiastic I am about making these changes and how much I am enjoying learning about eating more plants and the cool stuff they can do for your body!
I can't ignore how good I feel right now, in this moment. Both my body and mood are lighter. I feel younger (and look younger) than I have in two decades! I enjoy living life in my own skin and it's not just about the weight loss. It's all those veggies I'm eating and the junk I'm not eating anymore that's making a huge difference in the way I feel.