Thursday, March 12, 2009

Take a Load Off

While I didn't adopt a raw regimen to lose weight, that I have has definitely been a bonus. When I began at the first of the year, I weighed 148 lbs. at 5' 7 1/2" tall. I wasn't thrilled with this weight, but it was a marked improvement over my high point of 160. That was before my pregnancy. By now you're tired of me blaming the tenure process for everything, but the stress of that (and the bowl of candy bars on the department secretary's desk) really threw my eating out of whack. Mid- to late thirties metabolism wasn't my friend either. At the end of my pregnancy (and the midwife mandated low glycemic diet that went with it), I was at 140, but in the three years since I'd inched up 8 more pounds.

During the first month of being raw, I lost ten pounds. Then in February my weight loss slowed down and I think I only lost a few pounds, down to about 135. I was thinking, well maybe 135 is it, but this morning I weighed myself and I was 128! That's 20 lbs. since becoming raw! There are several things that have changed in my regimen recently that might account for it: I borrowed a friend's juicer and have been juicing. My tastes are also becoming a little simpler -- I'm still preparing some fancy dehydrated dishes, but I'm craving them less and eating more salads, smoothies and juices. Thank goodness it's also had an effect on our grocery bill: In January our food costs leapt up considerably (dining out went down but groceries went sky high -- I think it was all the superfoods I was indulging in). In February, costs went down to normal levels -- groceries are still a bit higher, but dining out is lower.

128 lbs. is what I call "graduate school weight." The amazing thing is that while I was in graduate school (also a stressful experience though nothing like tenure), it took diet pills to keep it there. If I lose a few more lbs. I'll be at college weight -- you know, that blissful time in your late teens and early twenties when it takes no effort at all to be naturally thin. The difference now is that I'll actually be healthy and thin! I don't think I've ever been that!

Still, as much as I've wanted to lose weight over the years, I've never been able to do it without diet pills except in two cases: when I was pregnant (and my baby's health depended on it) and now. Which brings me to something Karen Knowler says in her Free 7 day "So You Want to Go Raw" e-course: To successfully go raw and stay raw, "You need a big enough why." She says "Going raw, I have found, is about something much deeper, ultimately, than simply choosing to eat more healthily (a mind thing). If you really want to get the juice from the experience you need to enquire within your heart and soul to find out what will take you there and keep you there."

For me, the releasing of all this weight seems like an unexpected gift: an outward sign of changes to the essential vitality of my body and soul. I don't think I would have been able to make the transition to this healthier way of life without that big why, which for me was the specter of my mother's failing health. I saw her lack of health as my own future in material form before me. Her diabetes is essentially a mirror of what my pre-diabetes can become if I don't do something. Anytime I've faltered in my commitment, her picture appears before my mind's eye. And yet, while I can tell you that it took the big why to get me there, in truth, the journey hasn't been that difficult, and it gets more joyous everyday: food tastes better, my head feels clearer, my heart feels freer.

The "big why" as Karen calls it may have begun with my mother, but my why is becoming bigger everyday: now it is not only a way to escape a fate that seems to me worse than death but a journey toward something so much greater. It's a journey toward life's potential.


  1. " why is becoming bigger everyday: now it is not only a way to escape a fate that seems to me worse than death but a journey toward something so much greater. It's a journey toward life's potential."

    What a wonderful, insightful writer you are. Your message of the specter of diabetes resonates with me since it runs in my family.

    Congratulations, on the weight loss. Maybe not your goal, but a wonderful benefit. :)

  2. It was the same for me. My "big why" was when I was so full of anxiety and anger that I started to get pissed off at my poor sweet dog. That's when I realized I had become a person I didn't recognize, EMOTIONALLY. And I noticed that the worse I ate on whatever day, the worse my anger and anxiety was. And I searched and searched and begged the universe to show me some way to fix my moods and weight and everything. One day I came across a raw food article on a blog I read reguarly. Bam. That was it.
    I read all I could. I ended up losing 20 lbs in 4 months and was at my high school weight of 125 lbs (I'm 5'8) and my chronic depression, which I've dealt with since I was 5 (I'm now 31) disappeared in 10 days. Now I only get depressed if something specific occurs (like my horrible heartbreak in the last few months), but NEVER for no reason like before.

    So now I say getting mad at my dog was the best thing I ever did :P

  3. Kari -- thanks for your note; I went to your blog and am finding you equally insightful!

    Lorra -- thanks for sharing your amazing story here; I hope you'll blog about it -- I went to your blog and see you haven't posted since 07. I hope you will because you clearly have much to inspire others with!

    I rss'd both your feeds!

  4. you GO you must feel fantastic, we must meet up again so I can see your skinniness!
    It is true that the better you eat the thinner you get and the better you feel.
    I am living proof.. in Dec 08 I was 138, these days, I am at around 122-124 and I am around five feet six inches tall.
    Much love to you!

  5. Congrats to you!! I look forward to losing my weight after delivery. :) The Raw way of course.