Nearly 70 lbs Lighter on Bright Line Eating

I’m reflecting on my weight loss journey during the COVID-19 pandemic because it’s important for me to keep rooted in healthy habits. I also want to write out how far I’ve come. It’s easy to move on to the next problem and forget to celebrate progress. The other reason is thinking through next steps. I almost can’t believe I’m at the stage of planning maintenance.

My proudest accomplishment is going 281 days, as of today, without binge eating. That seemed impossible for years, and I gave it my all for much of those years, but I hadn’t yet found a combination of practices that worked for me.

In that 281 days, I have also never knowingly broken the four bright lines, which includes abstaining from sugar and flour. The closest I came was a handful of times going too long between meals, which I tried my hardest to avoid, and was always careful to get right back on track afterward.

In addition, I have gone from 220 lbs in June 2019 to under 152 lbs in March 2020. Most of the weight loss was in the first 6 months, which I discussed here.

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6 months binge-free and 50 lbs down

I had given up. 20 years of unsuccessful attempts to stop binge eating led me to believe it just wasn’t realistic. Yet taking a slightly different approach with a significant mindset shift seems to have actually allowed me a level of freedom I no longer thought possible.

From research, I know most people regain all the weight they lose, and then some. I know the stress and stigma of looking fat has a lot more health risk than the physical fat itself. I believe in Health at Every Size.

From my own experience, I know that I have a tendency toward disordered eating. No matter how intentionally I set out to eat in moderation, eat mindfully, or focus on healthy behaviours over weight loss, it led to greater anxiety and more extreme behaviour every time.

I was diagnosed and treated for binge eating disorder. And of course I tried every diet and/or exercise and/or therapy program out there that seemed like it could help. I gave them all my all, but there’s only so far discipline could take me until I started bingeing and gaining weight again.

Before and after weight loss
220 pounds in June 2019 to 170 pounds in December 2019

I had been aware of Overeaters Anonymous, but I’m not religious, or social quite frankly, so all I took from what I’d heard was that an abstinence approach works for some people. It seemed a bit arbitrary, and scary quite frankly, for me to abstain from sugar.

And then I found Bright Line Eating. Because despite over a year of refusing to speak about food and weight to protect my mental health, I still occasionally searched the library about different approaches to nutrition and disordered eating. I had accepted it may always be an issue for me, but I still had some hope there was a better way to manage it.

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Plant Based Eating for Type 1 Diabetes

Only 10% of diabetics have Type 1, but one of them is my mom. As I have been happy with Dr. Fuhrman’s whole food plant based guidelines, I wanted to see what he recommends for diabetes.

The End of Diabetes is largely intended for Type 2 Diabetes, which nutrition and exercise can actually cure. But it speaks directly to those with Type 1 Diabetes about increasing quality of life and preventing the many health complications associated with diabetes.

A nutritarian diet typically requires half the insulin as an American Diabetes Association diet.

Many of the complications actually come from the insulin injections rather than diabetes itself. While excessive insulin promotes plaque and heart disease risk, green vegetables can prevent and remove plaque, in addition to providing you a ton of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.

Dr. Fuhrman states his nutritarian plan typically cuts the insulin needed in half; controls glucose levels and lipids; and, reduces swings for a happier and healthier life.

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23 pounds down in 6 weeks WFPB

When I committed to 6 weeks following Dr. Furhman’s Eat to Live guidelines for whole foods, plant-based eating, I hoped mostly to reduce cravings and binge eating. I wanted to see if cutting out sugar would help me not crave sugar as much – but I didn’t just want to cut it out, I wanted to maximize nutrition at the same time. Since calories weren’t a focus, I didn’t expect to lose much weight.

A month and a half later, I have lost 23 pounds. My skin is clear most of the time, although it is dry now. And unbelievably, I have not binged in all that time. I had one planned night off plan (New Year’s Eve) and I’m actually most proud of that. I’m usually good at staying 100% on plan but fall apart as soon as I go off; but this time I planned going off, planning going back on the next day, and I followed through with minimal extra effort.

Some things I learned so far: Continue reading

Whole foods, plants based for 4 weeks

In 2017, I was almost entirely vegetarian. I had one bite of a hot dog at a concert to prove to myself I wasn’t restricting myself. I have learned over time that dairy correlates with phlegm and often acne in me, but that was harder to give up. Most vegetarian meals come with dairy. Plus, pizza.

In December 2017, I went vegan. Not only that, I cut out almost all added sugar, salt, and oil. Yes, I STARTED dieting DURING the holidays and I survived. I lost 12-17 pounds (unsure of my starting weight, but it was over 200 pounds on a 5’5 woman). This is not dramatic at my size, but quicker than I expected because I was never hungry; I mostly enjoyed the meals; and, rarely had cravings beyond emotional eating habits. I was diagnosed with binge eating disorder a few years ago, so that in itself is remarkable.

What made it easier was unlimited vegetables, fruits, and beans. Plus, nuts. I followed the guidelines (not meal plan) from Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live book for an evidence-based approach to optimal nutrition without unnecessary calories. Most days, I ate: Continue reading