Bea's Journal

Share your daily McDougall menus and/or keep a journal describing your personal progress.

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Bea's Journal

Postby BHealthy » Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:12 pm

Hello,

To introduce myself, my name is Bea. I'm a school teacher and in my mid-50's. I've been vegetarian since my early 20's and vegan since first attending the McDougall program in 1998. I also attended about 5 years later. I'm trying very hard not to let shame overshadow hope right now.

Yesterday was my resuming McDougalling day. I'm not looking at this as a diet - but as a lifestyle in progress. I truly strayed from the path to health again and again over the past 11 years, but always came back to what I knew was best for me and for the planet - eating this way. Here I am again, but this time wiser and certainly more humble.

Good news is I know how to eat and exercise to regain health, in fact have been successful losing 120 pounds when McDougalling over the past 11 years (of course I regained those 120 pounds plus 65 more when turning back to old habits of high fat, processed vegan foods). I know it works and is the best for me. It's a matter of becoming conscious and making choices, taking steps and trying to focus on the here and now instead of the huge amount of weight I need to lose.

My physical health is at its worst right now. It's very scary. That may be exactly what I need, though to get real about taking care of myself. This edema (or maybe lymphedema? because it seems hardened in places) is really awful. Moving, breathing and thinking are challenges - but I am not giving up. I see people overcoming severe heart problems and other severe health problems here. I see people losing large amounts of weight here as well. Nettie, Letha, Karen and others on this forum can do it and so can I. Their examples are very inspiring. I'm so glad they are here on this forum.

I feel very sickly and weak. Truly fatigued and unhealthy. Depressed, too, of course. My dear body has done it's very best to support me through all the difficulties I've put it through and it's just letting me know that it cannot maintain health and mobility anymore without my serious help. I'm a little afraid it won't be able to heal - but just need to trust that it will. I've just never been in this poor of shape - had my body swelling up like this before. I'm seeing a doctor for that, but know no matter what, McDougall eating and exercise habits can only help. I think one of the scariest things of all is realizing that I cannot work like this - that I could not return to teaching those wonderful children, to doing what I love in September because of how I feel. I want to teach for at least 8-10 more years, but right now I know I couldn't do my job for those children for even 1 day.

I made a list of goals and rewards because I know I was most successful when I acknowledged my progress with something special. Each 10% loss I will choose from the "big rewards" list - things like a blendtec blender, art classes, new swimsuit, knee surgery, and in a couple years - attending the McDougall program again, etc. The smaller rewards will be linked to number of stars on my chart - inspired by Letha's chart. I haven't figured out how many stars I need for those rewards - but I can receive 2 stars a day - 1 for eating as planned and 1 for exercising a certain amount. Positive reinforcement helps change behavior and I want to focus on the lifestyle changes and reward those so I don't just look at the scale. It's going to be the lifestyle that makes all the difference.

I started exercising Monday night by doing water moving (I'll call it) in the pool. I figure for now it's just good to keep my body moving by treading water and kicking or walking through and pulling with my arms - any sustained movement in the water for 30-40 minutes is my goal. I really love it in the pool because it doesn't hurt and I can move without feeling the strain of the weight I'm carrying. I go at night when no one is there to be alone and unseen, plus I get the whole pool to myself.I will also do isometrics as soon as the DVDs arrive for that. That will be my aerobics and strength training for now. After being so sedentary for over a year - this should be a big improvement.

My right knee dislocated last fall and after that I became very sedentary. It's just bone on bone now so it really hurts and I don't want to take pain pills. I use a cane. I'm really hoping that pain will subside or I'll learn to turn it off in my brain until I lose enough weight to have knee replacement surgery. I need to be around 240 for that.

This is a long entry. Time to go eat some dinner and get some housework accomplished before swimming. Thank you to everyone who offers support and motivation through their journeys here.

I'm taking care of my health today.
Bea
Last edited by BHealthy on Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:46 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby ncyg46 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:09 pm

i don't spend as much time on the computer lately but welcome and just wanted to say hi....
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Postby ncyg46 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:16 pm

i don't spend as much time on the computer lately but welcome and just wanted to say hi....
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Postby Anna Green » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:31 pm

Hi, Welcome and congratulations on your fresh start. Try to work everyday on letting go of the shame. It won't help. I have been letting it go more and more and I find myself using my energy to do what I have to for my health instead of trying to stuff feelings that are just so painful. When I constantly feel shame I just want to eat junk. Plus you know we did not get unhealthy because we are bad people. That's just the bottom line. Your goal of teaching is noble. Your goal of becoming healthy for yourself and your planet is all goodness. I don't know you but I know shame. It's not easy and we have to consciously replace those negative thoughts with our own encouragement and that of others. Drop kick it to the curb, that's what I say. 8)
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Welcome.

Postby f1jim » Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:05 pm

Even though you found yourself sucked in by the garbage out there, you are a great example of the contrast between what the world mostly offers and what eating a healthy diet can do. You have been on both sides of the fence and your experience will be helpful, not only for you, but for others that are starting fresh without your experience. I can't wait to follow your progress. I know you were very open and vulnerable talking about your ups and downs but I always like to ask this of people that are returning to this way of diet and lifestyle....What do you see as the qualities that will make it really stick this time? To not just give up, but to pick the ball up again means you saw something that gave you hope. What was that something?
Thanks for joining us.
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While adopting this diet and lifestyle program I have reversed my heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, and lost 54 lbs. You can follow my story at https://www.drmcdougall.com/james-brown/
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Postby BHealthy » Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:14 am

Thank you for the welcome and encouragement Nancy, Anna and Jim. It's good to be here.

Last night I exercised for 40 minutes in the pool and it felt so good to be moving without bearing the full weight. I think that is going to help.

Jim, that is such a good question - What do I see that will make it really stick this time? I really want to think about that. I can come up with a multitude of reasons this lifestyle is just right for living - brings about good health, is easy to follow, doesn't harm animals or the planet. I am also tired of the vegan junk food now. I wasn't enjoying it. I was overeating it compulsively, without attention really - and I don't want to continue that lifestyle.

Also, there are so, so many recipes now. I really do not have to be deprived of any food - can create bean/grain burgers now instead of the isolated soy protein meats, make curries, along with old favorites. I know how it feels to get back into the swing of eating real food and meals and I look forward to that becoming the norm in my life.

Each time I've strayed I've gained much weight, worsened my health and felt emotionally much worse - even though I told myself eating the soy ice cream etc was helping me feel better. The facts are in my face now. I have plenty of personal evidence to tell me that - hey, you are in your mid-fifties it's time to grow up and take responsibility for your health.

Due to many, many years of losing - regaining weight - I wouldn't say that I completely trust myself that this is going to "stick this time". I want it to, of course, but I always felt that way when I resumed McDougalling - that this would be IT, the time I stuck with it.

However, this time I have a picture in my mind of myself eating like this forever...my body getting smaller in the process, my health becoming strong and vibrant. In the past I focused mostly on the weight loss and that truly isn't enough. It's the health - feeling alive, being active, feeling free to get out and live - that lifestyle along with the good health - that is very motivating. I've been without that eating the junk.

Actually, I'm not trying to focus on making it stick this time. I don't know if that's good or not, but I'm just trying to see it as the only option. In the past I would tell myself, you can add in veganaise/soy cheeses/some oils as you get to your goal weight. I know now that when I do that it just triggers adding back cookies, chips, margarine...you name it. I know where that leads. And truly, I've eaten enough of those "products" during just this past year for a lifetime. I don't need it or want it in my eating repretoire anymore.

What I want to avoid this time is thinking I can/can't have this. When I tell myself I can't have veganaise or a cookie etc, then I start feeling deprived. This time I'm telling myself - you can eat anything you want - but what you want are foods that heal and bring energy and life. So I can say to myself "I don't want veganaise - I want hummus or homemade tofu mayo that follows the McDougall guidelines - because I know how much better it makes me feel and how much easier it is to live eating that instead of the high fat mayo."

I know myself better this time, too. Early on, the first time - I was kind of a zealot about McDougalling which was unrealistic. I would worry about how I was going to get cooks to leave out the oil, what would happen if I could only eat white rice at restaurants. This time, I know that I will do the best I can and it's not the end of the world. I know where to eat with friends - that California Pizza Kitchen has a soup that is McDougall friendly except for the pearl barley and I can eat 3 bowls of that if I want or get the salad and use balsamic vinegar. I have experience and strategies that work and make it doable no matter where I happen to go with friends.

I'm really fortunate because everyone in my life knows I eat no animal products and haven't for 11 years. That's no problem. They also know that I get really healthy and lose weight well when I follow the McDougall guidelines. None of them would want to do that because they feel it's so restrictive, but they are fine with me doing it and very supportive. One friend asks at the holidays "Are you following your program (meaning are you not having added fats) or should I leave the oil out of the soup?" which is so great. They will support me in my choice to follow this lifestyle because they know it works for me. That makes it easier this time as they are used to it now.

I don't need any convincing that that I want to eat this way to live. I have more strategies for dealing with the urges to use sugar/fats (like Doug Lisle says we are programmed to do) and to use exercise and rest to deal with emotions. I didn't get this large from the SAD diet. I got overweight from overeating fats, sugars and processed vegan foods and stopping exercise. I am going to be dealing with that urge to overeat again and again - but this time I have more strategies that I know work for me.

Finally - fear is a big motivator. I'm scared I will not live another year unless I follow the McDougall guidelines. I am heading toward congestive heart failure or a stroke or cardiac arrest by eating added fats. I am crippled from the weight of what they've done to me. I cannot live like that - but I can live eating fruits, veggies, grains, legumes/beans and exercising and I hope with all my heart - will be able to reverse this edema, exhaustion and depression by doing so as well. My body really thrived when I did in the past - I just hope it will be able to again. It certainly will be the very best I can do to support its healing.

This was a ramble - but worthwhile for me. Thanks for the question, Jim. Now I'm off to read your Star McDougaller report!
Taking care of my health today,
Bea

Bea's Journal

7/7/09 429
8/7/09 398
9/7/09 380
10/7/09 367
11/7/09 352
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Hello and welcome!

Postby Ege Bamyasi » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:00 am

Hello, BHealthy, and welcome to the forums!

After having read your journal so far it seems to me like we're very much in the same place with regards to having to make this work. As long as you are willing to keep coming here and posting even on those days where you might slip up and eat off plan, we're all here to encourage you and remind you that simple mistakes can be corrected and that you are not alone.

Your method of thinking that it is more important how you feel on this plan than what you weigh is absolutely spot on. To me, it seems much better after a week or two of no weight loss to say, "even though I didn't lose any weight for a while, I did not go back to SAD foods and tax my blood, heart, liver, kidneys, etc...", than it would be to say "so I messed up for two weeks and started hitting drive throughs and noshing on the donuts in the break room at work, but isn't it just so cool that I didn't gain a pound?" In the first scenario, your risk factors for all of the diseases of affluence still dropped, because you weren't turning your blood to sludge thereby setting all the other dominoes tumbling down in a long line. In the second scenario, you're looking at two weeks or more of going faithfully back on McDougall just to erase the damage and detoxify so that you can continue to progress.

We are all here to help you in any and every way we can so that this time will be your success. This is my fourth time in 15 years, and if you read through my journal you'll see just how dire I've let things become for me before I finally saw reason and resumed doing that I knew I must do to get my health back. I'm sure you've come to the right place and that this time, you will be able to do the same. :-D
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Postby KareninTN » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:24 am

Hi Bea,

Reading your story reminded me so much of a place I have been. I lost 100 pounds when I was about 40 and regained it all by the time I was 50. My health was way worse this second time around. I knew I was killing myself, and I felt so scared, but felt unable for the longest time to stop compulsively overeating. I guess I needed to believe I was really worth it. What seemed to happen was that I didn't believe it until I took action and started ACTING like I believed it, if that makes any sense. Once I was able to get some momentum going, my pride in myself grew by leaps and bounds. I have once again lost the 100 pounds. (became involved with McDougall part way through) I know my body cannot withstand another go-round of this; I guess that's one of the ways I stay motivated.

You CAN do this again, and you CAN make it stick. You ARE worth it! :-D

Karen
McDougalling since summer, 2005. Maintaining my 100 pound weight loss since summer, 2007. My Star McDougaller stories: video written
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Postby BHealthy » Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:54 am

Kirk - thanks so much for the supportive post. It really helps knowing there are others here who understand what it's like to be where I am right now.

Karen - I watched your video and read your writing about your journey. It was so inspiring. I watched it a second time, too. I'm sure I'll return to your video many times for motivation. What incredible progress you made. Thanks so much for your words here in my journal. It gives me so much hope knowing you were in a similar place and came through with so much energy, fitness and health.

Yesterday was another day eating on plan and I also got my 3rd water workout in that evening. I can feel hope returning - which is a grand change in spirit. Also, my legs are getting a bit stronger. It's fairly excruciating getting in and out of the pool even though there are steps, but it can only get easier. The exercise really helps as does the eating. I need to eat more, though. Today I will try the isometric DVD out and see how it goes. I'd like to do that for strength and the water workouts for cardio for the next couple of months.

In the past I always did best following the regular program so that's what I'm doing this time.

It's amazing how my brain has been out of the loop of McDougall thinking as far as meals/foods goes. I'd been eating deli and fast food vegan stuff for so long I'd lost touch with eating real, nutritious foods. Reading the recipes and journals these past days has turned that McDougall switch back on which is terrific! I get hankerings for old McDougall favorites now.

Reading through different journals I've been getting lots of good pointers - such as making up batches of grains/potatoes to have handy. That's a good plan for sure.

To make it easier these first few weeks I'll be buying from the Whole Foods salad bar and adding brown rice and dressing. I've got some tofu for making Mary's Ranch Dressing and will use hummus and balsamic vinegar with some seasoned rice vinegar to make another dressing.
Last edited by BHealthy on Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Taking care of my health today,
Bea

Bea's Journal

7/7/09 429
8/7/09 398
9/7/09 380
10/7/09 367
11/7/09 352
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Postby BHealthy » Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:54 am

Kirk - thanks so much for the supportive post. It really helps knowing there are others here who understand what it's like to be where I am right now.

Karen - I watched your video and read your writing about your journey. It was so inspiring. I watched it a second time, too. I'm sure I'll return to your video many times for motivation. What incredible progress you made. Thanks so much for your words here in my journal. It gives me so much hope knowing you were in a similar place and came through with so much energy, fitness and health.

Yesterday was another day eating on plan and I also got my 3rd water workout in that evening. I can feel hope returning - which is a grand change in spirit. Also, my legs are getting a bit stronger. It's fairly excruciating getting in and out of the pool even though there are steps, but it can only get easier. The exercise really helps as does the eating. I need to eat more, though.

In the past I always did best following the regular program so that's what I'm doing this time.

It's amazing how my brain has been out of the loop of McDougall thinking as far as meals/foods goes. I'd been eating deli and fast food vegan stuff for so long I'd lost touch with eating real, nutritious foods. Reading the recipes and journals these past days has turned that McDougall switch back on which is terrific! I get hankerings for old McDougall favorites now.

Reading through different journals I've been getting lots of good pointers - such as making up batches of grains/potatoes to have handy. That's a good plan for sure.

To make it easier these first few weeks I'll be buying from the Whole Foods salad bar and adding brown rice and dressing. I've got some tofu for making Mary's Ranch Dressing and will use hummus and balsamic vinegar with some seasoned rice vinegar to make another dressing.
Taking care of my health today,
Bea

Bea's Journal

7/7/09 429
8/7/09 398
9/7/09 380
10/7/09 367
11/7/09 352
User avatar
BHealthy
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:16 pm

Postby sksamboots » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:26 am

Your swim routine sounds wonderful and so does the Whole foods Salad Bar. Your doing great! :D
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Postby BHealthy » Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:21 pm

Thanks for the encouragement about exercise, skamboots. I love being in the pool - but getting there, the stairs in and out - geesh what a pain. I am so looking forward to the day when I can just walk and take stairs without even thinking. :-D

One of my favorite things to eat is a huge salad with romaine and chard. I don't really enjoy the spring mix except at restaurants. I love it with peas, corn, carrots, red onion, red bell pepper, celery, cucumber and sometimes beets on a big bed of brown rice. Hummus with balsamic and seasoned rice vinegar thinned with a little water makes a good dressing. I love hummus with brown rice anyway. I know it's a luxury expense, but I figure even if I spent $120 a month of my food budget on taking home those salad bar veggies - it's $120 I won't be spending on vegan deli items with fat, chips, soy ice cream - yadda-yadda. Eventually I will get those ingredients ready myself, but for now - it works to buy them.

It had been so long since I'd cooked. I had been living on deli items, fast food burritos, take-out - all with oils and little fresh veggies. I enjoy cooking, so it will be good to get back into that routine.

I'm following the regular McDougall program instead of MWL because it has worked well for me in the past. After a few weeks I will reward myself with a rich food on the weekends. For instance - a curry with lite coconut milk, French toast, oatmeal pancakes, avocado slices on a sandwich or cornbread with my chili. Rich food - 2 times a week if at all. That way I won't feel deprived or feel like I'm "dieting" but will also not make eating rich foods an everyday thing. Just once or twice on the weekend if I feel like it. I want this to be my lifestyle, not a diet. I may need to follow MWL to get off stubborn pounds towards the end - I don't know - since I've never been down to the end for over 30 years. So for now I think the regular McDougall program will be a good lifestyle match. If I notice the rich foods trigger an urge to binge or overeat - then I'll rework the plan or figure out how to handle that urge. That urge certainly got me where I am so it's a good plan to learn to deal with it on the journey.

Yesterday went well. I ate wisely and got in another 40 minute water workout. Thanks to all who've sent so much encouragement here in my log and in private messages. It helps so much knowing you are there.
Taking care of my health today,
Bea

Bea's Journal

7/7/09 429
8/7/09 398
9/7/09 380
10/7/09 367
11/7/09 352
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BHealthy
 
Posts: 178
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!

Postby BHealthy » Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:35 am

Got in another good water workout last night. It was easier to get out of the pool. I'm still exhausted standing/walking to buy groceries, but I managed to get all restocked today with veggies, fruits and grains. So I did it.

Ate a huge salad tonight with greens, peas, corn, red onion, red bell peppers, black beans, cucumber, celery, cauliflower and brown rice - and made a dressing from oil free hummus and balsamic vinegar. Very tasty!

Last night's water workout involved too much jumping and running and my knees needed a break today. I'll get my 5th 40-45 min workout in tomorrow. I love the pool .
Taking care of my health today,
Bea

Bea's Journal

7/7/09 429
8/7/09 398
9/7/09 380
10/7/09 367
11/7/09 352
User avatar
BHealthy
 
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Postby Anna Green » Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:01 am

Good Job!!!!!!!! Wish I could get in that pool too. Sounds like you are doing exactly what you need to do.
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Agreed

Postby f1jim » Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:35 pm

BHealthy
You are really impressing with your attitude and resolve.
f1jim
While adopting this diet and lifestyle program I have reversed my heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, and lost 54 lbs. You can follow my story at https://www.drmcdougall.com/james-brown/
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