In the past weeks I had stopped weighing myself daily, but today I just had to see and track it again. I am still a bit shocked – positively. Since I started to focus on becoming a better version of myself, I have lost 15% of my body weight.
This is the first time in probably 15 years that my BMI is saying healthy. Healthy! Me! I have a healthy weight. Let me double check … yep still!
I couldn’t be happier. Since I switched my diet – or better crowded out the bad stuff, I have stopped counting calories. I am now eating a mainly plant-based diet. Mainly plant-based, because I might add a teaspoon of honey to my tea, which isn’t plant based, as well as drinking a Guiness* here and there.
This all started with me finally getting back into running and seeing food as fuel. I began this journey and tracked what I ate. First I just tracked. Food/drinks as well as water intake. I quickly realized that most of my calories came from snacks and drinks – like milk and sugar in coffee for example. Tracking this over a certain period of time and then doing simple adjustments helped me through the first weeks. At that point I was running 3 times a week and continuously increasing the time/duration I was running. Once I hit 1 hour for a run, I noticed that I felt rather tired afterwards. I also noticed (through my tracking) that if I got stressed or had to work a lot, my eating would suffer. I wait until I got super super hungry and then needed a quick fix asap to continue working. This ended up being a cheese or whatever sandwich/bagel etc. Most of the time however I didn’t even eat lunch or breakfast but just kept working until it was evening. Then the quickest fix was to order food (think pizza …) or make something big like pasta with of course cheese!
Something had to change … and my body told me so! I put in crap food and I got crappy results from it. Now I know how to cook, but I had less and less interest in cooking meat. This might be due to the quality of the meat gotten worse or my taste changing. So I got this idea … to change things up and see what would happen. I went on a vegan diet for a month, although I told everybody that I would try it for a week first. Surprisingly everyone was supportive. Yes concerns where raised, but I had done the research and was prepared to discuss this. My main concern was obviously cheese and milk. Meat wasn’t a big deal any-more for me at this point. I hate soy milk and tofu. However I did find almond and rice milk. I even found out you can make your own! I am now using almond milk for coffee etc and rice milk (if there is no almond milk) for smoothies. There is also hazelnut milk … and let me tell you with a 100% chocolate powder this is heaven and will fix every sweet craving I have.
Obviously the first weeks where exciting. Learning about new ways to prepare meals, topping up my spices and managing to create high quality meals that make me full. In the beginning I was hungry, but my stomach was too full. My body took a bit of time to adjust and I needed to learn what a balanced meal is. Things got easier and I feel better than ever before. I especially notice this after running.
I am now running 6 days a week. Just yesterday I finished my first 2 hour long run. Today I feel like I could go out there again. It feels like my body isn’t wasting any energy on the wrong the stuff (dealing with digesting animal products), but has all energy to heal/build up itself after a tough workout.
Looking at my weight, my % muscle vs fat and my general feeling I’d say it was worth listening to my body and switching and I will definitely keep this up. While in the beginning my motive to switch was selfish, I learned so much about our food and the impact of nutrition on our health and the environment that I don’t think I can or want to consume animal products any-more.
I am happy with how things have developed. I am not tracking calories any-more and am confident that my body will find it’s healthy perfect weight and then stay there. I don’t know what this will be. I guess it will be something around 72 kg.
- I plan to go to a GP in a couple of months to get my blood checked to make sure the way I eat is sustainable long term
- I have to get a better picture of myself or get used to the new me – funny enough I still see my old fat self when I look in the mirror
- I will have to get new clothes … belts just don’t do it any-more
- I want to try even more and different types of food and want to continue to blog it here
- I want to improve my running further
Biggest lessons learned
For me the trick was to crowd out the things that are not good for me. I didn’t want or couldn’t eat chips/chocolate in the evening when I was full due to eating porridge in the morning a giant lunch, afternoon fruit snacks and a dinner. Since finding processed plant-based products is a pain in the a@@, super expensive, it’s much simpler to create it myself.
* Guiness is made using isinglass (from fish) for fining