Which comes first? The chicken or the egg? The apples or the running shoes? Can you really lose weight just by running? Do you have to exercise to lose weight? How much weight have you really lost? And how long have you kept it off? How can I do what you have done?
And what about the rest of your life? Will you have to diet every single day for ever?
So many questions! I have been asked all these and more since I lost weight. Above all, people want to know…how did you do it?
So here, at long last, is the post to answer these questions. This is a different sort of post than most of my blog, but people have asked me, so here are the answers. I can only tell you what I have done, what I am still doing. Some people have lost weight using other methods. But everybody has to do something different…or things will remain the same. We all know the definition of insanity, to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results, but we do it anyway!
However, that said, here we go.
I was around 110kg. 108kg was the highest I ever saw on a scale but I know I went heavier…I just wasnt looking! There are very few photos of me at this time, I tried to delete them all! But here is one to be going on with.
It was taken in August 2010. I finally started to lose weight on September 4th 2010, but at first I had little success. I cut out sweet things, tried to eat ‘healthier’, in this case more fruit and vegetables, and tried not to snack. I lost a few pounds but not enough to notice.
The next big change came in January 2011. In an attempt to cure myself of heartburn I tried the Paleo Diet. I quite enjoyed it, lots of meat, cream, butter and eggs! But things literally came crashing down around my ears in February 2011, with our big earthquake. Things were a little unsteady (!) for a while after that, but I tried to keep on with the Paleo Diet. I even lost a few kilos, but soon plateaued out. People didn’t even notice!
The next big event was my decision to start running. There was a huge quake on 23rd December, right under our house. I tried to run to the next street, but couldn’t make it to the corner, even pumped full of adrenaline. I decided no matter how FAT I was I needed to be FIT. I started running March 2012.
I lost a few more kilos, but I was still overweight. Here I am finishing my first 10km race.
I carried on, but still plateaued. So I went even stricter, I tried a Ketogenic Diet. This is an ultra low carb diet, very high in protein and fat. I lost a few more kilos, but I didn’t feel good. I also found I could not run for more than an hour without ‘hitting the wall’ badly.
The next big event was in September 2012. I picked up a book at the airport, called ‘The China Study’. I read the whole thing on a flight from New Zealand to the UK. By the time I came back to New Zealand I had decided to change everything. I took out a video called ‘Forks over Knives’ and Peter and I watched it. The next day we went vegan.
This was a complete turn around from the Ketogenic Diet, and I felt better immediately. The weight started to come off and as I got lighter I could run further. As ran further I lost even more weight. It was an amazing time. A year later I looked like this.
I am still losing weight, but more slowly now. Perhaps if I was stricter, I could lose more, but I am so happy and healthy I am not worrying about it. I have dropped over 40kg, gone down goodness knows how many dress sizes, have great blood test results and enjoy every meal.
So what do I eat?
I am a ‘plant based’ vegan. Chips and Coke are vegan! But we all know they are not the route to health. I follow a starch based diet, and my meals are based around potoatoes, rice, kumera etc. I eat all fruits and vegetables. I eat the high fat plant foods sparingly, like nuts, seeds and avocado. I eat very low fat, I do not cook with oils or add them to my foods. I do bake cakes, but use apple puree instead of oils. I eat like a horse. I put away vast amounts of food!
I rarely eat out, so this is not an issue, but occasionally we have morning tea at an amazing local restaurant, called The Lotus Heart. They make the best vegan chocolate cake on the planet. This is not diet food! But now I am a normal weight, I can have an occasional indulgence. ‘Occasional’ being the word here. As in, not more than once a month, or once a fortnight if in serious training.
Here is what I believe. Yes, you can lose weight running, without dieting, BUT you cannot outrun a really poor diet. If you eat sweets and chips all day you will not lose any weight. You will also need to run quite a long way. At least an hour, 5 days a week. Jogging for 20 minutes in the local park and then stopping for a latte and a muffin on the way home is not going to work.
Yes, you can lose weight just by dieting, without exercise. The best diet on the planet, in my opinion, is the Macdougal Diet. Click on the link to be taken to his free programme. You can buy his books but the entire programme is there for free on the net. Try looking at the success stories on his site. They are amazing.
But I believe you will get the best results of all if you do BOTH! I hated running when I started, take a look at that early running photo of me! Not enjoying myself at all! But now I am fit, I run over mountains for fun.
So there we are, the brief version of my journey. I really want to help people, so if you want to lose weight, and you want advice, contact me via this blog. Together we can do this!