Friday, April 26, 2013

How I lost more than forty pounds and healed my body.

Taken at a Victorian Bed and Breakfast in North Carolina.

At the age of fifty-four I was frumpy, fat and very unhealthy.

The pictures above were taken about three years ago, before I started eating natural unprocessed foods.

The picture below was taken last month.

I have maintained this weight for over two years. Hundreds of people have asked me how I lost the weight and reversed my health problems. The simple answer is that I changed my choice of foods. My health and stamina returned to the levels of my early thirties in just a few months. I will turn fifty-seven this September.

My gentleman friend and I are very active socially which means we go out to eat and attend lots of parties and functions. As you know, special food is always a part of these social situations. Most of the food that is served in restaurants and sold in grocery stores in America is highly processed, heavily salted, with lots of added sugar and butter or other fats. This is also the reason that many of my friends started to gain a lot of weight as soon as they came to America.  

After I read the book "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, I realized that nothing in my daily diet was high in nutrition or provided a sufficient source of energy. That's why I was always hungry two hours after I ate!  

I started eating the breakfast described in the post here and at the top of this page under Recipes. Breakfast for me is at about six in the morning. I am often just starting to feel hungry at about one in the afternoon. I have a large leafy green salad with lots of steamed, roasted or sauteed vegetables at about two in the afternoon.  I use unsalted vegetable broth to cook with instead of butter or oil. My salad dressing is an aged balsamic vinegar. There is no oil, croutons, bread, or cheese served on or with this salad. That's normally my last meal of the day and I never feel hungry at night. I drink hot tea, water and occasionally a glass of wine.

This is my diet 95% of the time. I still eat whatever I want when we go out to dinner during the weekends. (I do not eat red meat or pork.) 

It is a simple healthy way of eating and I never feel that I am missing anything. I don't count calories or go to the gym. The fact that I feel so much better and have so much more energy serves as my motivation to continue to eat like this for the rest of my life.

I hope that by sharing my story I have given you the motivation to learn more about food and how it can make you feel great or miserable.

Thank you for reading and for all your positive comments here and also on Facebook. I enjoy hearing from you very much.


Cyndi J said...

You look marvelous! I was born in 1956, too, and will be 57 in October. I'm very overweight but have lost almost 30 pounds since the beginning of January. I was already focusing on eating more vegetables and less processed food. But then, through your site, heard about Dr. Fuhrman's books (I'd seen him previously on Dr. Oz) and what this nutrition plan have done for you. So I bought a couple of his books and discovered a plant-based diet. At this age, I feel like it's time to get my act together before it's too late. So thanks, Susan, for your inspiration.

Sunny -- aka Matriarch said...

I have a hard time with this kind of diet. Nothing about it appeals to me. I ate nothing but salads for lunch and dinner for over a year. I lost a lot of weight. But I suffered horrible acid reflux that was only barely kept in check by medication the entire time. And I was miserable. I never stopped craving bread. I looked good, but constantly lacked energy and began to dread meals. I reached a point where I couldn't put another vegetable in my mouth. I am overweight by a good 35 pounds. I try to eat healthy. But I have a serious problem with vegetables. Too many and I am right back, sleeping sitting up and feeling like I've eaten nails. And I don't like many vegetables. Especially not if I eat the same ones every day. Yes, I know it's self-control and I don't have to eat what I enjoy. But ... it makes life feel way, way too long.

Diane Stortz said...

Hi Susan,
I found your blog a week or so ago...very glad I did! Your healthy eating story and results are inspiring! I eat in the direction you describe, but haven't taken it far enough, and I know I eat more than my body needs. I'm 62 and want to be around, healthy and strong, for a long time yet! I'm going to have to try your breakfast and your salads and see where they take me! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Unknown said...

Love the transformation of you! You are very inspiring and hope to do a before/after too. I too have about 30 to 40 pounds of weight to loose and although I have been eating unprocessed foods for years now, I seem to keep that darn weight on. I don't hardly eat red meat or pork meat either. I used to be in tip top shape around 40 years old. Here's to better health!

LynneinNC said...

About 15 weeks ago I read an older post of yours about your weight loss and about Eat to Live.
I decided to read it. I'm so glad I did.
The week after reading about the 6 weeks plan I decided to change my eating habits.
I've lost 32 pounds, feel more energetic and sleep so well.
I want to exercise more, too!

Susan -- Thank you for introducing me to the book and Dr. Fuhrman's website.
You look fabulous and are an inspiration to so many readers.

Margaret said...

Well done!!! I'm on a similar journey, but I had to take a different approach to finally lose weight.

I eat a very low carb diet consisting of fish, chicken and mainly leafy green veggies. No rice, potatoes or breads at all. Limited healthy fats. I also go to the gym three times a week. It took a year but I've lost 50 pounds. I still have some distance to go though.

I also quit smoking 16 months ago, cold turkey.

I turned 59 last month, apparently look closer to 49, and feel better than I have for a long time.

Getting rid of processed foods and sugars is a life line!

Donna Rector said...

you appear to be at least 15 or more years younger and have had a face lift,which I know you didn`t. The new you would not appear to be sitting knitting,but those first pictures, yes. Congratulations on a desire to look and be healthy. You are a very pretty woman and it would have been a shame to have hidden all your assets. I enjoy and am inspired to keep on keeping on at 78.

Donna said...

Thank you for promoting healthy eating and verifying that it works. My husband and I follow a vegetarian diet and are very conscious of how the food is raised also. I see these gals at the store using lots of coupons to buy products that are definitely not healthy. It takes time to shop for fresh, quality food and prepare it. The benefits, however, are so worth it.

beyondbeige said...

Hi Susan, I was diagnosed with hypothryoidism and gained about 60 pounds. I'd like to try this diet but I can not have soy or goitrogenic foods like broccoli,spinach,cauliflower. Does this diet rely on cruciferous veg and soy?

Susan said...

This isn't a diet. It's more a way of eating for life. You will find that as you eliminate processed foods, natural foods taste much better and are much more appealing to you. I actually get sick to my stomach when I smell fast food now.

Myrina said...

Great metamorphosis ! You are a new fabulous woman now and you manage to maintain the low weigh .That is more difficult than lose it . The book is really very helpful ,but i am defeated by my love for cheese...
I read all your posts.
Thank you for showing us your world .

Patti said...

Wonderful changes, Susan. Thank you for sharing this with your readers and with Visible Monday!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your weight lose and healthy lifestyle.

It's important to note that not every diet works for everyone. I tried something similar and ended up in the hospital with major intestinal issues. It turns out due to an autoimmune issue I need a diet that moves quickly through the gut -- so in my case no grains, no starches, no beans or legumes and minimal dairy and sugar. I also have to eat mini meals about every four hours. I've lost 20 pounds and am at the low end of normal BMI so this works too.

Carole Stephenson said...

Do you belong to Dr. Fuhrman's website? If so, have you found it worth the investment?

Susan said...

Carole Stephenson, I do not belong to the web site. I read most of his book "Eat to Live" and thus became inspired to follow my own healthy eating journey. I do my own research now and eat what my body accepts well. Each person must figure out what works best for them. I don't follow any routine specifically.

Anonymous said...

Sharing this!!! You are not only one classy, hip and chic are an inspiration!!

xo Cat

Susan said...

Hi everyone! This is an update to this blog post from last year. I am getting close to another birthday and I feel even better than I did on the day I wrote this post. I am running/walking three miles every morning at dawn. I weigh 145 or less on most mornings. I highly recommend eating clean. You may not want to go vegan or straight vegetarian but I highly recommend staying away from any fast food or processed foods. They were destroying me. I wish you health and happiness in your next fifty years!