Kelly G | VegSource Interactive, Inc.
McDougall Success Story!
August 27 2001, Florida - My third child came into our lives in May 2000. The pregnancy had been hard and by the following October, I had almost become accustomed to feeling crappy. I kept telling myself, "hey, mothers of three kids, including a nursling, with a full-time outside-the-home job just feel this way."
Well, one day,
I became disoriented at the grocery, had a compulsion to eat, and
after eating felt ok. I realized that it had to be a blood sugar
This did two things: it established the fact that I did have a blood sugar problem (too high), but equally, it made me think about those foods and realize what I was eating.
Hershey Kiss and all those things that I would scarf down without
thought was suddenly in front of me in black and white.
She also recommended Dr. Dean Ornish's book, "Eat More, Weigh Less." As a vegetarian already, I was familiar with veganism and had even eaten a vegan diet for about 4 months prior to my pregnancy (and had lost 30 pounds and was on my way to feeling very good back then -- when the little pregnancy dipstick turned blue and I just spiraled back down).
I also bought Dr. McDougall's "The McDougall Plan," having been familiar with his work from the McDougall board at VegSource.
Now, I basically eat somewhere between McDougall and Ornish. I still eat a few things off the McDougall plan from time to time (such as no-sugar jam or some fat-free salad dressings that may contain some oil), which I feel I must do in order to be myself and do this for a lifetime.
I also began running again. My first day out, I barely finished a mile and thought I would die. I had run a lot in college and on-and-off through the years, but had not exercised in a long time. I knew I loved running if I could get past the early humps of just getting out the door consistently.
and 1/2 months later...
I am addicted to running, I must confess. I feel fantastic and have so much energy. My weight seems to still be going down, although I really am not working on that per se. I just run and eat what I know to eat and don't ever let myself go hungry. I eat about every 2 hours, which I think helps my blood sugar stay on an even keel. I will still have a problem with it soaring if I eat certain foods and can tell in how I feel. I can confirm that with my test kit, but rarely check my sugars anymore unless I feel a need.
I also started swimming 30 minutes, 2-3 times per week on my lunch breaks, which has helped with giving me more upper-body strength.
I eat things
I love and I love what I eat. I only miss chocolate and do give
myself an occasional Edy's fat-free, no sugar added chocolate ice
cream or a Tofutti bar to curb that desire.
I also feel empowered to know that I am being as healthy of a mother as I can for a lifetime and am so grateful to be able to do the things I can. I am really blessed and I hope I never forget that.
at 8 months
Here it is August
of 2001 and I'm down to 120 pounds and body fat that is somewhere
between 13-21 (reading ranged that much recently, so it's probably
in the middle). I wear a size 5-6 P. I still have great blood sugar,
blood pressure and resting pulse. My running mileage is up to 42
miles a week and my long runs are now 14 miles and growing.
I was offered
immediate surgery to fix it, which would then involve bone grafting,
etc. The doctor and I decided to put faith in my running, in the
hope that it would sufficiently stress the bone to create new bone,
which is sort of how bones work. (That's why it's good for those
at risk for osteoporosis or reducing bone density to do weight training
or other weight-bearing exercise.)
I'm not foolish
enough to think the growth is gone or anything, and it could still
break (so if it does, nobody tell me 'told you so"), but I am seeing
improvement from running in my bone health. That should be good
news to people who feel they are at the mercy of their genes. Also,
I am eating about 98 percent vegan with only very small dairy items
accounting for the two percent. I rarely ever need the sugar fix
from ice cream anymore and am practically sick if I decide to eat
cheese. The fact that I have measureable bone growth without loading
up on dairy, I think is very encouraging considering the messages
we've been sent about its necessity in our diet.
How to do it
I've been asked a bunch of times by people how I've done this. While it sounds like a whirlwind weight loss, the reality is is that good health starts far away from the scales.
We need to look in the mirror and see a person who is strong enough to make good choices. A person who when they make mistakes says that tomorrow's another day. A person who is mature enough to have patience with ourselves. A person wise enough to recognize the tricky ways of self-sabotage that can creep in and finally, a person self-aware enough to know what THEY need to do to make it.
My quest toward better health started years ago: Switching to vegetarianism.... then quitting smoking (used Zyban).... getting my spiritual life revived..... taking up yoga, which helped me immensely..... coming to a peaceful place in my heart about being a work-outside-the-home mom and letting go of guilt and depression.... getting back into a career that I have passion for.... and then finally getting completely fed up with the physical state I was living in...... IN other words, I did a lot of work on the inside first. I saw myself where I wanted to be and I still do. I'm not there yet.
The bottom line to this is really discovering or re-discovering the person we are. And knowing that the only thing that stops us is us.
October 2001 Update
The Great Floridian Triathlon isn't the race most people would pick as their first marathon. For a couple of reasons.
It's only one leg of an Ironman-distance triathlon event (2.4-mile swim; 112-mile bike and 26.2 mile run) and required two other committed people on my relay team. The course has hills in the beginning of the run and the run starts late in the afternoon, on a pretty hot Florida day. You don't have the mass-start and adrenaline rush of that gun going off, but instead, you wait and wait and wait for your relay cyclist to come in and hope he/she doesn't have a flat or otherwise flake out.
But I wouldn't trade that day for anything or the chance to compete alongside such incredible athletes, who I am in awe of. I finished the 26.2-mile run in 4 hours, 27 minutes and our team finished in 12 hours, 26 minutes. We were 13th overall out of more than 30 co-ed relay teams, which felt very good. I also was able to pick up the pace slightly for the last six miles, which was a victory for me in and of itself. My fibula held up fine, with no pain at all.
You can write to Kelly G. at firstname.lastname@example.org