So I have been threatening this blog post for a good 8 days. I have been so busy that it had to be pushed back until I could make proper time to write about this.
If you have followed my blog for any amount of time. It is no secret that I have struggled with my weight for most of my life and I have been battling extra hard for the past 18 months. It has been a tough battle with many ups and many downs. But I will not quit until I win.
I have tried all kinds of different diets. I have counted calories, I have tried low carb, paleo, and at one point I halfheartedly tried a vegetarian diet with the plan of transitioning to a vegan diet.
On February 23rd, 2012 I got serious and started a vegan diet. So far so good. The weight is coming off slowly but surely. In December I hit a pretty rough stumbling block and gained back a pretty substantial amount of weight between Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays. Well now I am within five pounds of my lowest weight before Iceman. I credit a low fat whole foods vegan diet as being the key to my recent success. Even after a few medical issues that have kept me from the gym and off of my bike for longer than I wanted to be.
One thing that you may not know about me is that I am a type 2 diabetic. Even riding and frequent cardio work outs combined with oral medications my blood glucose levels were starting to rise. I was completely sure that insulin was just around the corner. This really scared me, because who really want to inject themselves with a hormone three times a day if they could help it. No way did I want to be attached to a syringe.
Enter the movie “Forks Over Knives” . This movie along with the books Eat To Live by Joel Fuhrman and Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esslestyn were pivotal in my switch to a serious vegan diet. Those and a concise, no bullshit straight to the point email from a cyclist that has lost three times as much weight as I need to. He went as far as to sign it with “You can thank me later”. Here is this dude who is living proof laying it down, how could I not try?
Here I am three weeks later and eight pounds lighter, and loving the diet still. The weight loss isn’t the big deal for this post, it’s a big deal but not the most important issue. What really matters here in this post is my glucose numbers. As I stated earlier my glucose levels were not being controlled very well. I am not going to go into specific numbers but my morning numbers were high. Almost immediately I started to see them dropping. The drops were slow but they were dropping and dropping steadily. Now three weeks into it, my morning numbers are below 120 and some of my daytime numbers are below 100. Normal glucose levels!! A bit on the high side, but these numbers that demonstrate control over my glucose levels is being achieved.
I call bullshit on carbs being bad. So take that put it in your paleo pipe and smoke it. I am far from being a dietitian or a nutritionist, but following a whole foods plant based diet has taken me from the edge of being insulin dependent to once again moving in the right direction. The trick is avoiding overly processed foods and sticking to whole grains, fresh and raw vegetables, and avoiding added oils and too much saturated fat.
After all of this time, it feels great to have found the key, for me. Sticking to this way of eating has been incredibly simple. I think that they key to my success has been taking an “all or nothing” approach. Personally I cannot handle moderation when it comes to food, I guess that knowing is half the battle. To quote the best PSA’s ever, Go Joe! I’ve pretty much proven this to myself over and over again. It has been said that it takes 21 days to form a habit. I am at 22 and really don’t have any cravings for dairy or meat. The two books that I mentioned earlier are jam packed with delicious recipes, and I have only tried a fraction. I cannot tell you how great that it feels to be on the right track. This has been a terrific learning experience. I have messed up plenty and I am sure that I will mess up again. But if you aren’t messing up you probably aren’t learning!
And since this blog is mostly supposed to be about bikes. Here is a pic of my steel voodoo bike that is subbing for a road bike until I find the right one. Oh and I got the new issue of Paved today!! I can’t wait to tear into it!