and Katie... "before"
On Nov. 17, 2000, I weighed 178 (had been over 200 when I had the
baby) and had borderline diabetic blood sugar and wore a size 18.
I also felt like crap, which really was the most important thing
to me. I wanted to have the energy to play with my kids and at that
time, I simply didn't. I was existing and hardly recognized the
person in the mirror. My husband always accepted me at whatever
weight I was, but in some ways, though, I think we were enabling
each other's bad habits with our continual acceptance.
I immediately cut out sugars in order to get a grip on my blood
sugar problem, and also fats and most oils and the vast majority
of prepared foods, since that's the message both McDougall and Ornish
sent. I ate all I wanted till-full-not-stuffed of grains and legumes
and veggies and fruits and just tons of things that I loved. I began
logging in the Vegsource bulletin boards daily to receive information
and support. I read Evelyn
Johnson's story on VegSource and was amazed, inspired and
challenged by this incredible woman. I found people willing to take
time to share and encourage on a daily basis. There are too many
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
and 1/2 months later...
Four and 1/2 months later. I am a size 8. I weigh 137 (I'm 5-foot-3)
and I run 5 days a week between 2-8 miles each time!
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 finally feel so empowered. I feel like I have control of myself
back and am becoming a person I recognize again.
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.
Kelly -- Aug. 2001 at Daytona Beach... Feeling fantastic...
energy of 1,000 men... with sleeping Katie and Austin
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 have discovered an amazing thing about the affect of exercise
on bone health. I have a benign fibrous growth that was discovered
back this spring in my fibula bone. It had caused the bone to get
very thin by my ankle, putting it in real jeopardy of breaking.
This was discovered after I began having some pain while running.
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.)
There were lots of naysayers to this advice. Even the second opinion
orthopedic oncologist, while not barring me from running, was not
thrilled. He kept pointing to the x-ray saying, "See this?? Do you
see that there's hardly any bone there? Do you understand what I'm
saying? It's thin, it's so thin...!"
Well, my sports ortho doc thought that of all patients who had hope
of making it through that without surgery, the ones with the best
chance were runners. He warned me many times of the risk of breakage,
but also said breaking a leg isn't that huge: "Hey, the worst that
happens is you break your leg...but the possibility remains that
if you're running, the bone may lay down new bone, and it won't
break." It was surely a risk I wanted to take.
Anyway, its been three months and I just had that follow-up doctor
visit and there IS MORE BONE NOW!
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.
I'm still McDougalling and think still if I lost 5-6 more pounds
that it would be best for my running, but am just keeping on with
what I'm doing. I'll never be a really great runner, but would like
to be the best I can.
to do it
Kelly and crew...
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.
line to this is really discovering or re-discovering the person
we are. And knowing that the only thing that stops us is us.
crosses the finish line!
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.
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.
I'm looking forward to another marathon this season and many to
come, God willing. What a difference eating well can make in your
life! Mine will never be the same.
8 months to
can write to Kelly G. at firstname.lastname@example.org