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OT: Eat to Live

This is my blog and it is midwifery oriented, but there's something going on in my life that I want to blog about and it's just going to have to be here. At least it will make the site more active again!

And it is relevant to midwifery.

I am fat. Very, very fat. As I've gotten bigger, it's gotten harder to doula more than once a month because it is really hard on my body. While I am at the birth, I am totally mobile and active, but afterwards, it takes days to recover. This is so hard to admit, but so important to talk about, especially for fat doulas who continue gaining weight. I am the fattest doula I know, in real life or otherwise.

I am damn tired of being fat. It can't be good for me, not just physically, but also emotionally. It has caused me to limit my interactions outside of the house, so much so that I get anxious even leaving the house. I am so sick of that!

So, Zack and I were channel-surfing in December and I stopped on PBS with Dr. Joel Fuhrman talking about Eat to Live, a diet/program that focuses on vegetables and fruits as its base for health. It isn't vegetarian/vegan, but certainly could be depending on how one does the program.

I've been doing Eat to Live (E2L) for a month now and am already down 19 pounds. In a month! Before those 19 pounds gone, when I walked down stairs, I had to go one step at a time, sideways. Now, I can walk down stairs normally and that small change alone has been really cool. Otherwise, I haven't felt much different. My skirts are getting longer, showing that my belly or butt is getting smaller. I think it's stomach, which is great; less chance of recurring diabetes.

I have no health problems at the moment. Hemoglobin A1c is a normal 5.9 (although I will find out the most recent one in a couple of weeks), Blood Pressure is normal. Kidney & Liver labs are all normal (my kidneys are doing so well I've gone from Stage 3 Kidney Disease to Stage 2!). Lipid panel is all normal, but my HDL could be higher. So many of those who start E2L are really sick and have that motivation. Mine is fat and a desire to continue with my healthy labs.

I've been on diets my whole life. I was on Phen-Fen in 1996 and lost 111 pounds. I had a gastric bypass in 2001 and lost 190 pounds. Blessedly, I never got up to my fattest, but I sure did damage to my GB weight loss. The idea of another diet is depressing, which is why E2L is something more for me.

I have not had a second of hunger. It takes almost zero discipline to do this except for choosing the foods to eat. I never did well with structured plans... failed miserably with Weight Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous, the Lean Cuisine Diet... anything that made me measure or eat smaller portions failed. This gal wants to eat and the E2L allows me to do that, even though the choices are not the typical Standard American Diet (SAD).

Don't get me wrong. I miss my peanut butter toast, cheese and casseroles, but I am enjoying walking down the stairs better. I know I will never be able to go back to eating the old way and that has created mourning in my heart (food addiction, anyone?), but I cannot be this fat anymore.

The main focus for me is Gabriella. My 17-month old granddaughter. I want to play with her, run around with her and enjoy her life as a toddler and growing kid. I want to be alive to see her find a loving partner one day. I want to see my other grandbabies that aren't even here yet.

I can do this. I have to do this.

So, I'm going to write about my journey on E2L here. I will continue to put OT in the title so those who couldn't care less can pass it by. I do, however, know I will intertwine the weight loss with doula/monitrice work. I eventually want to take 2-3 clients a month... and look forward to do that.

Those who continue reading, welcome!

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Reader Comments (13)

Best wishes to you, Barb, as you continue on this journey.

I'll look forward to hearing about how it goes.

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSquillo

Congrats on your journey! I can't wait to follow your successes!

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCNM2B

Congrats on the initial progress! I look forwarding to reading about your progress. Keep it up!

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSonia M

That's wonderful! Kudos to you for taking control of your health & doing what works for you. E2L sounds like an awesome program, and I'll be so excited to read about your experience.

The day my child was born was the day when I could no longer justify continuing years of unhealthy habits. It's not even about weight as a number so much as it is about being able to do all the things I love to do and know that I'm giving myself the best possible shot to be around as long as I can for my baby.

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrey

That's awesome, good for you! Looking forward to reading updates as things continue to go well for you with E2L!

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDoula Dani

Congratulations! It really helps to have motivation, doesn't it? You're a wonderful grandma!

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

That's so awesome! I am on a similar path with eating. I stumbled across the earth diet and while I am not adhering 100% to it, its philosophies on food are simple and easy to follow. So I have been eating food that I can recognize its source. Can I easily tell what animal or plant it came from? If I can't then I don't eat it. I have lost 6 lbs in the first week! I start the day with a huge green smoothie with matcha green tea powder in it (have to have my caffeine!) and eat whole foods the rest of the day. I would LOVE to hear more about your process and your story because you are sure to motivate me! I too am a doula, a student midwife, and a mom. I have about 80 lbs to lose and sometimes it seems so daunting! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us!

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen B

Just want to say how happy I am for you, and that you might even be a role model for me. Not that I want you to feel any pressure from having revealed your path, but I also have a lot of work to do to feel better, look better, and be able to do my job better. This has been a difficult year for me, and your personal work is very inspiring to me.Your openness and honesty are so refreshing, and will be a source of good ideas and positive thoughts, as well as when times are difficult for you. I will say, look, it happens to everyone! Now get back on the bike, and try again. That's what I'll say to myself, that is. I'll have to look up that eating plan, because it sounds great. And, I'm going to take a walk tomorrow, now you've got me thinking positively again. Thanks, and know I'll be looking for that OT often!

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLatterlife Midwife

Good luck! I'll be reading about your journey!

I have been losing baby weight lately using the Primal method, and it's wonderful to finally feel well again! The standard American diet is killer for all of us, for sure!

Love from Arizona,

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

That's fantastic Barb. It's so hard to lose weight!

You might be interested in a series of documentaries by the BBC called 'The men who made us fat', which are a fascinating look into why the western world, especially the US, has an obesity epidemic (it's on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_20178&feature=iv&list=PLA0E2B2461B536A26&src_vid=iE-H__aIEFE&v=iE-H__aIEFE).

Through this I found out high fructose corn syrup (it's cheap, so in everything from cola to bread) interferes with leptin, the hormone that controls appetite, so once you start eating or drinking it, you don't know when to stop. On top of that the media brainwash us into feeling like we need high calorie food.

This and other stuff in the doc changed my thinking towards obesity. In the words of one scientist: 'it's miracle there are any normal weight people'. I was never impatient or anything but supportive towards overweight women, which is my job and how I believe it is helpful for midwives to be.

But I did perhaps secretly imagine it was down to a lack of self discipline. Whereas actually I think though people, like yourself, have to take control of the situation it is not in any way their fault.

So well done, sounds like a very sensible way to eat. Like a lot of things to do with health it requires maintenance, but eventually it just becomes part of life. I consider myself very lucky as (mainly) I was brought up to eat well, and also, I love biking and running. Not to say I haven't had my own issues to work through on occasion with food.

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEllie

I love Eat to Live it's the best!!!! You can do it!!!

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClaudia

Congratulations to you on this very exciting and personal journey. I have been morbidly obese for most of my adult life - in 2010 after many many diets... I researched and decided to have a gastric lap band surgery. With the support of my husband and family as well as lots and lots of hard work I have lost 140lbs. I am a firm believer that having something such as your granddaughter as inspiration and the catalyst for motivation can make a person move mountains toward a goal. I too had a goal and it was to become a momma - in five short weeks I will see this goal realized. Life is an incredible journey of ups and downs, it is how we learn from the peaks and valleys that make us who we are. I look forward to hearing about your progress and know that there is a person cheering you on in Georgia!

May 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRaina

This is great! I hope you are feeling good! I love Eat to Live and have been doing it for over four years. I'll have to read other posts here (about this topic and others; yes, I see that this one is two years old). I found you when I searched for something like "Brewer's diet too much protein."

June 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterManda

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