Battling pandemic weight gain. If it sounds like a war that's because it is. It's hard to lose weight and get in shape in the best of times. It's even harder when you're a lady of a certain age during a pandemic. But it's a war I need to win.
You see, this time, losing weight and changing my diet is about more than how I look or how my clothes feel or whether I feel cute. It's about my health. My mom had her first heart attack when she was three years younger than me. Luckily, she survived it and lived another 16 years before her last one took her out. But that first attack changed her life dramatically and cut short her dreams. It did so much damage that she couldn't work anymore as a nurse and had to take disability.
When I saw this, I vowed not to follow in her footsteps so I quit smoking, tried to eat better, and started working out. At one point, I even lost 60 pounds. But once I stopped having to shop in the plus size stores, I stopped working out regularly. fell back into my old eating habits, and stress and long work hours did the rest. I gained back all the weight and then some.
Right before the pandemic, I was the heaviest I'd ever been and over the past year, I put on the typical Covid 15 on top of that. Since I worked from home and rarely left the house, I became even more sedentary, On top of that, I ordered in from restaurants, cooked up a storm, and ate way too many meals in front of the television while avidly watching CNN and MSNBC. To make matters worse, I avoided visiting the doctor and, at one point, allowed my blood pressure medication to lapse. Now, I'm working on getting that back under control as well. More on how I'm doing that in my next post.
I'm writing this post the day after Mother's Day. I guess that's why my mother is so much on my mind. I miss her and wish she had more years with us. Call me greedy, but I'd like to live another 40 or so years and have a good quality of life while I do, To that end, I've made some changes.
At the end of last year, I decided to go vegan full time – not just for three weeks every year. I used to be a carnivore all year except for a three week period in the summer when I did Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy You program. I did it because I wanted to lose weight and improve my health.
I joined a friend's 6 week guided plan. It worked. In the first month, I lost 13 pounds, my brain fog cleared, and I no longer felt like I wanted to take a nap after a meal. After those 6 weeks, however, I got tired of cooking everything from scratch and started order in again. I also started buying what my friend calls vegan junk food and eating too much calorie dense foods. I also started using oil again to cook. Needless to say, I stopped losing weight and started to gain again.
I was watching Youtube looking for inspiration when I discovered High Carb Hannah and Plantiful Kiki, They both lost a ton a weight following Dr. McDougall's high carb low fat diet. Intrigued, I read Dr, McDougall's book “The McDougall Plan for Maximum Weight Loss,” (affiliate link) and began cooking their recipes. I've stopped gaining and have started to lose again. You can get the audiobook for free if you sign up for an Audible free trial.
*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click on them and buy something on Amazon or Audible, I will get a small commission at no additional cost to you.
So, what's my plan to battle pandemic weight gain? To follow Dr. McDougall's protocol – a high carb low fat vegan diet – while also working to get my blood pressure numbers down. More on how I'm doing that in my next post.
I'm taking you with me along the way. It's bound to be an interesting ride.