Celebrating 10 Months Of Low Fat, Whole Food Plant Based Healing

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Inspite of having three fat disorders ( lipedemalymphedema and  Dercum’s disease ) that are progressive in how large they can make a person appear, and have zero to do with calorie intake or exercise…I have managed in the past 10 months to do this.

What is important to point out is that having had these disorders all my life, my hips and legs were always larger than the rest of me. One leg has always been larger than the other. My arms became heavy and large over the years. My stomach, arms, neck, back, hips and legs filled with Dercum’s Disease “tumors”. Lipedema and lymphedema causes swellings that would increase at the drop of a dime. I could put on 12 pounds from these lymphatic fluids in a day or two. I could start off the day at one level and end the day looking 20 pounds heavier just by moving around.

So look at these photos and see that now my hips are in proportion to the rest of my body, my arms have slimmed down, my face has deflated, my torso is smaller. My legs are within reasonable limits. One leg is stil slightly larger than the other, but not overly noticeable.  I went from a size 32 to a size 14.

Throw in the use of a box of Miss Clairol for my hair and bam! I look so different! Another thing that this style of whole food plant based, low fat, low glycemic eating has done for me is whip my diabetes, my blood pressure, my cholesterol in shape. That happened in the first month of switching for KETO to this style of eating. So I likely have added years to my life.

Cindy 10 month photo comparrison

Here are the foods that made it all happen.

Here is what I have followed that has worked.

3  one half cup servings of dark beans.

2-3 servings of fruit including one serving of berries. Fruit is fresh or frozen

3 servings of whole grain

a serving of cruciferous vegetables

2 servings of “other” low glycemic index vegetables

2 servings of dark greens

flax seeds or chia seeds

Limited avocado (1 total a week)

limited nuts ( 0 to 2 Tbl a day)

No animal products (no dairy, no meat, no fish, no chicken, no eggs, no dairy), no junk vegan food, no highly processed foods. No oils of any kind. no added sugar or artificial sweetners

I love the work of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr,  Dr. Neal Barnard from Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine, and Dr. Michael Greger who runs Nutritionfacts.org and The Daily Dozen Phone app.

Best documentaries include: Forks Over Knives, Diet Fiction, Eating You Alive, and What The Health.

Best Facebook groups for those like myself who have lipedema, lymphedema or Dercum’s disease interested in doing this sort of eating? Those associated with what is listed above as well as Improving Fat Disorders Using Low Fat Low Glycemic WFPB Eating

In the group for Improving Fat Disorders Using Low Fat Low Glycemic WFPB Eating, no one associated with the group makes a dime off of any participant of the group and you are asked to work with your own doctor and make sure your own medical team is on board, get blood levels done on a regular basis, and other measures to assure you are taking responsibility for your own health decisions.

It’s not about being skinny, it’s about being healthy. If looking smaller ends up being part of it all, then great.

Here is a link to an article I wrote last year on how to approach changing your life with food.

This link is to an article to help you approach this way of eating

Reality Of Trauma And Regaining One’s Power

Many people who have the physical diagnoses of fat disorders such as Lipedema, Dercum’s Disease are said to have trauma in their history. Many with eating disorders have a similar background.

I’ve come to know many, many people who are in this circle of physical health and emotional concerns with that history.

Trauma if left as it is, can make one’s life less than it could be. It can ruin a life. It can shorten a life. It can impact future generations.

Don’t throw away the power you have by allowing yourself to linger in a life that isn’t all that it could be.

I learned this mostly by taking myself by the hand and pulling and pushing myself forward. Sometimes through therapy sometimes in having my life move forward. all on my own.

Life has a way of taking that blank slate of a precious baby each of us once were and puts emotional dings, scrapes, dark marks and dents into our sense of self and world view.

Many of the world’s ills are passed down from one  generation after the other. Humans are the most capable creatures we know of on the planet, yet we seldom seize our own power we have to heal ourselves. If we can’t heal up some of the junk we emotionally carry around, the world is having to live without all the positive we have to offer it.

If we aren’t careful, we can end up knowingly or unknowingly wallowing in the muck of other’s dysfunction and take on  a confused toxic world view.

Is this really a social issue?

1 in 3 children are abused physically, sexually or emotionally by age 14. Then consider how many young adults are abused by significant others physically, sexually or emotionally in their 20’s 30’s and into the twilight years. It’s not uncommon for people to have layers of abusive experiences that puts them in a mental haze and inner physical turmoil that changes even their brain chemistry.

The important point I wish to make is don’t shy away from doing the work needed to rebuild yourself. Your value and my value is not based on the attitudes of those who in the past have harmed us.

I have had to rebuild myself and when I was up and running again, even though still in the process of repair, some people would say they didn’t know me anymore. I was nothing like the girl who would roll over and play dead on command.

Oh well.

Reality can be painful but it forces you to live where you have the most power in your life. Reality is where growth takes place. Where there is growth then life changing positive decisions can happen.

So if you haven’t done so already, find power and purpose in rebuilding in yourself what needs to be rebuilt.

There is no reason to apologize for believing every life has a place and deserves respect and dignity. You will be forced to include yourself in these ranks the more you understand.

Once you really learn and understand this and know that you are worthy,, you won’t settle for the dysfunction you’ve taken part in or subjected on yourself.

Be prepared because as an individual heals, those who are wallowing in the dysfunction will try to pull you back. Your health is too unsettling  to their world and for them it’s uncomfortable. Pick and choose your battles. Sometimes you can maintain relationships and there are times when you have to walk away. Each situation is different. Forgiveness is fine, self preservation when based on what you know to be true, is a must.

If you have the feeling that in their eyes you are expendable, if they leave you feeling small and not worthy, and there is a long history of such behaviors and attitudes, it’s ok to walk away.  They may raise a fuss through dysfunctional means, but that should only strengthen your resolve to not waste your time with them.

 

Find a wuiet Sunny spot in yourself where you feel safe.
Appreciate each stage of life
Hold close to good memories
Peace is the center of healing.

Movies: An Emotional Eaters Guide

man holding remote control
Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

Oh Bother! We have all been there. Today dysfunctional people brought me face to face with the desire for emotional eating. I didn’t succumb. Being physically disabled makes it hard because I can’t just go “walk it off”. That makes me feel more helpless so I have to be more creative. Dysfunctional people’s behaviors towards me shouldn’t control what I eat or how much. Aside of making sure I don’t allow myself to be pulled into other people’s dysfunction, it’s best to keep myself occupied.

None Of These Foods Are Worth Wrecking Your Health.

No! No! No! No! Just Tell Yourself No!

So I got thinking about the movies and TV shows I gravitate towards when feeling the sting of boundary challenged extended family members and others I deal with from time to time.

So here is my guide on entertaining means of diversions when you feel driven by circumstances to self medicate with unhealthy foods.

A) The Movie Stuart Saves His Family– Al Frankin helped to write and is the lead in this 1990’s take on the dysfunctional families and 12 Step Programs. His family is classically dysfunctional and most people can relate to the situations Stewart comes across. Harold Ramis directs and there is joy as people learn to live healthy lives of recovery from their dysfunctional families of origin, Stuart’s boss, extended family and so on. I’ve seen it many times over the years and it never fails to make me feel better. Watching Stuart “shame spiral” his way through the first initial crisis with a bag of cookies is a great reminder how futile it is. Available on Stars.

B) The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: This Amazon Prime series original is about a woman born ahead of her time. She is funny and intelligent. She is East Side New York from a posh circumstance until her husband leaves her and her parents decide to treat her like a child again with chores and curfews. Her escape is her sneaking out to night clubs to perform as the funny woman that she is. She’s a fish out of water willing to learn how to have legs. The one liners are endless and the show very well written. Very human characters but I warn you, when she chows on a pan of macaroni and cheese, you may have to fight the urge to make some for yourself. Just remind yourself, she is a movie character and won’t gain weight or swell up, but you may.

C) Matilda: I know it’s a child’s movie but there is so much about the movie that shows depending on yourself inspite of a dysfunctional family who doesn’t understand or appreciate you. Danny DeVito is really funny as his wife, Rhea Perhlman.

D) The Godfather: Yes it’s violent, but the writing and acting are so wonderful, the lines so memorable, it’s always a pleasure to see this work of art. Just be glad that Mama Corleone isn’t a real person and in your life, she would comfort you with a plate of meatballs and make you eat, diet or not.

E) Ruthless People: Bette Midler is so funny. It will make you laugh no matter what. As she celebrates her weight loss while in captivity,, you will think twice before chowing down during this movie.

F) Harry Potter Film Series: “The Boy Who Lived” Need I say more. The ultiment believe in yourself and see that there is power in love and never giving up.

G) Mystery Science Theater 3000 Admit it, when you see a bad movie, sometimes it’s as funny as any comedy ever filmed. Crow T. Robot, Tom Servo, Gypsy, Cambot, and Joel or Mike will say lines and sing ditties you wish you had thought of. Watch it enough and the next time you have an issue with dysfunctional people you will swear you hear the MST 3000 gang giving comic commentary as you deal with it. Also check out RiffTracks.

F) The Big Bang Theory : The great thing about a well written series is that you get to know the characters for their good and their imperfections. In this show the cast is funny and like old friends I can recall knowing over the years. It’s a pleasure to watch.

G) Musicals!: I started to list my favorite musicals but the list is too long. If you love musicals, there are decades worth to pick from. If you don’t like musicals, just pass.

H) Everybody Loves Raymond: The joys of dysfunctional family life and all problems wrapped up in 30 minutes. ( making it a real modern day fairy tale). Great way to encourage yourself to laugh at dysfunction instead of abusing yourself with food.

I) And you can always watch the same YouTube Video over and over again like this classic from Frozen

And remember….Let It Go! Let It Go! Don’t let the Fat and Processed Foods flow!

“Real McCoys” Saving Lives: Headline St. Louis, Missouri Summit

I’m partial to the “Real McCoys” in life. How about you?

The internet and entertainment industry have created many, many quasi-experts on everything from diet to business to life-focus and beyond.

Well, I am so impressed that the organizer for The St. Louis Plant-Based Nutrition Summit is pulling in some of the top “Real McCoys” of nutritional science.  We have a legend from The Cleveland Clinic, The Director of The Barnard Medical Center in Washington D.C. and part of The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.  some of these folks have been featured in well respected documentaries such as Forks Over Knives. and others. Every one of them highly respected in their field.

Check out this flier. Get the information on these folks and register for this event. Extremely impressive.  It’s on Saturday, July 14th in St. Louis, Missouri at the Washington University campus. St. Louis Veg Girl has outdone herself in putting this together.

It’s the highlight of my summer to be attending. Some of their work and words have, in just three months time,  improved the quality of my life and likely considerably extended it.

STL Plant Based Summit

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I am still on my journey, but look what I did with just whole, low glycemic plant-based no oil foods. Between the weight loss and the minimizing of inflammation, it’s been beyond amazing. Knowledge Is Power. I know I look forward to learning more at the July 14th, 2018 St. Louis Plant-Based Nutrition Summit.

  • No Money was exchanged in my publishing this write-up or any write-up in my blog.  I am not, nor is anyone in my family, associated professionally or related to anyone affiliated with the St. Louis Nutritional Plant-Based Summit.
  • Make sure you get regular labs and discuss your nutrition and medications with your physician. It’s not unusual for people  to need their medication levels adjusted in a positive direction when they are when eating like this.

Stop Eating Animal Products: The Power Of The Right Foods

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Three month’s time is all it took. At age 55 and morbidly obese and unhappy with how I looked and felt, I couldn’t be happier about where I am now. It’s been easy.

I’m no where close to ending my weight loss journey, but it’s nice to have this level of visible success in a short time. It’s even better to get back lab results that show a 57% drop in my LDL Cholesterol, a normalization of blood sugars and blood pressure.

No doctor told me to remove meat, cheese and eggs from my diet. My body literally refused it all. So I educated myself and have made sure that I still eat foods that my body needs each day. Dr. Neal Barnard of The Physician’s Committee For Responsible Medicine, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyne of The Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Michael Greger and his Daily Dozen as well as the documentaries Forks Over Knives and What The Health have had great influence.

The combination of Lipedema, Lymphedema and Dercum’s Disease keeps my body misshaped and lumpy. So I am not seeking the perfect body.  I just want to coexist with the body I have and tread upon it as little as possible.

It’s amazing that not one of my doctors ever suggested directly to me that a plant-based diet is the way to go. Yet, when they saw the results they each have said to me that this way of eating is how everyone should be eating.

I think perhaps that eating meat, cheese and eggs is so engrained in many of us from childhood onward as the center of our nutritional universe. Maybe the doctors are afraid to be so open about their views about plant-based eating.

Take a good look at the side by side photos. There is considerable physical and mental misery of being that larger woman on the right where animal products contributed terribly to inflammation in my body as well as added pounds. Having Primary lipedema and lymphedema as well as Dercum’s Disease and Fibromyalgia, the last thing I needed was all that inflammation and the increased risks associated with being morbidly obese.

So I’m putting it out there. Don’t be afraid to explore how to have a balanced diet without animal products. Doctors are wonderful but sometimes people need to take charge of their health. My labs and the photo shared here, shows that indeed it is healthier to eat a specific kind of plant-based diet.

Your doctor may not lead, but don’t let that hold you back on trying. Get your labs done every few months to make sure your body is handling it ok and get some input from your doctor how such changes could impact how your medications work with your body. You may find you need less of them.

If you are in St. Louis, MO July 14th, 2018 consider attending this summit. What caught my attention is that the doctors presenting are top experts in what has saved me life.

STL Plant Based Summit

 

 

 

My Sideshow Career Over: Morbidly Obese No More

Photos coming soon.Cindy selfie photo

I have always been a fat girl. Accomplished, success driven, but always large. Raised and fed like my twig of a fraternal twin sister, I always have had chubby cheeks and arms, stomach, hips and legs as well. So being fat has been my life long identifier. If I ever forgot, the world was always there to remind me. I just coexisted with it while doing every diet in the book.

My identifier the past decade has been that I’ve been a member of the Fat Disorder community. Many of us are much larger than our calorie intake would indicate and most of us are considered by people who pass us on the street as morbidly obese.

Most picture us sitting all day eating bon-bons and ordering in pizza and devouring massive amounts of foods.  Actually those of us in the fat disorder community have been dealing with disorders that create size issues based  on genetic lymphatic problems. Our lymph fluid fills our tissue and also some like myself have fatty tumors that are so painful throughout our body. (Lymphedema, Lipedema and Dercum’s Disease)

As we all know the pressure to be thin especially for women, is pretty strong and we’ve all read over time or known people who suffered from eating disorders because of that pressure. Now can you imagine walking around looking “circus lady fat” or people assume you are lazy and eat too much?

There are eating disorders that eventually blend in for many with such disorders.. Nothing creates misunderstandings more than someone being very large but calories having nothing to do with that largeness. The more one feels like an outsider, and nothing does it quite like being very large can,  the easier it is to limit your calories for yourself to unhealthy levels or go the other direction. Some people decide why care about the number of calories since they will look large anyways. They eat quite a bit for comfort.  When the latter happens, then more weight piles on a body already overwhelmed with disorder related weight gain.

No one should sit in judgement. The world is not kind to those with fat disorders.

The world didn’t like my being large. I didn’t care for it either, but after dieting since I was a child and learning what was what regarding my weight, I learned to accept my largeness and high level of disability as did my now husband and others who love me.

So having had fat disorders starting in childhood, imagine my personal euphoria when seeing how physically and emotionally healing the correct plant-based diet can be.

The big moment was after this last bit of weight loss, I refigured my BMI for the first time in ages. . I am no longer morbidly obese!

My labs show the healing power of a low fat, low glycemic index, low sodium, no processed food, no animal products of any kind, plant-based diet. No counting carbs, no counting calories. A totally new relationship with food and my body was put in place three months back.

It will only work if I could accept myself as someone deserving to be healed physically and emotionally. Meal time has become not an experience where I numb out, but instead I now know exactly what the food I eat is going to do for my body and life.  My level of gratitude is enormous. There is peace in such healing and gratitude.

I still have my fat disorders and technically diabetic.  I don’t know when the weight loss will stop.  My blood pressure is normal, blood sugars are normal, and my LDL cholesterol dropped 57%.  By month two I had dropped from a 3x to a 0x in a plus size women’s boutique.  I was still swelling up from the fat disorders but the swelling was not the rush of 14 pounds coming on me at the drop of a hat. It was a weight fluctuation of just few pounds.

That horrible term, “Morbidly Obese”  no longer applies to me. Onward I go. These disorders I’ll likely carry the rest of my life, but eating to heal my body, I stand a fighting chance not to be viewed as a side show attraction any more. If however, people still do see me as a side show attraction, I’m charging admission and doing a tap dance.

*For my sisters and brothers in the fat disorder community, give plant-based eating a try. No counting cabs, no counting calories. It will help to better regulate your body. It will help diminish inflammation.  You stick with different non animal product food groups and keep it low sodium, unprocessed and low glycemic index. Read some of my prior writings and start with looking up either the app for your phone or tablet, or look online for Dr. Michael Greger’s Daily Dozen   

 

Note: You can come and hear Dr. Michael Greger and others speak at the STL Plant-Based Summit on July  14th, 2018  Get information here

STL Plant Based Summit