The New and Improved Me!

Before and After UWL

I have been hinting around the results I have achieved following Chef AJ and John Pierre’s Ultimate Weight Loss Program.  It’s time to pull back the curtain.  Let’s get down to numbers, why I even started this in the first place, and how the program really works, from an insider’s perspective.

The China Study started my journey in June 2011, and after watching Forks Over Knives, I followed  Dr. Esselstyn’s program to become heart attack proof.  I dropped 15 lbs easily and stabilized at 135.  I maintained that so easily without regular exercise that I started to become complacent.  I remained vegan throughout but started to add back in oil – by eating out a lot more, having pita chips and humus or tortilla chips and salsa as a regular snack.  It seemed harmless but before I knew it, I wasn’t following Dr. E’s program much at all – I was just a vegan that trended toward healthy.

After a healthy pregnancy and the first year of my daughter’s life, it was time to reevaluate why I hadn’t yet returned to my ideal body weight (I hovered around 150 and thought 140 was more reasonable for my body frame and type).  I had to admit that I had strayed farther from the whole foods plant-based diet than I intended to.  I wouldn’t be able to sustain that pattern for the long haul.  I also related to something my Dad had recently admitted about himself (and it’s true of so many of us) – “I can’t just cheat a little.”  If I have a bite of a cookie (cake, muffin, chips, chocolate, you name it), I’m going to end up eating half the bag.  It might not be all in one sitting, but I’d wrap up the bag and put it away and take it out again 5 more times before I would actually quit!  It frustrated me that I could know what’s good for me and yet I repeatedly made poor decisions.

I was familiar with Chef AJ’s work through her book Unprocessed, and I had a hunch she could help.  When I had my phone consult with Chef AJ on Jan 3, 2015 and I told her I wanted to lose the last 10-15 lbs of my baby weight, she warned me progress might be slow.  That ‘last 10 lbs’ seems to be the hardest for everyone.  She reminded me that this program was not so much about moving numbers on the scale as it was about balancing my brain chemistry.  It was about eating plant foods in their whole natural form in order to escape the pull of the Pleasure Trap.  It was about embracing the realities of being addicted to certain food and celebrating that there’s a solution.  All I had to do was follow a very specific program, diligently, to achieve optimum health.  Losing the baby weight would be a bonus.

It became apparent that I was battling an addiction to processed foods.  I completely understood her analogy that you wouldn’t expect an alcoholic to just drink less, or to just switch to a different kind of alcohol and carry on.  In the same way, I needed to abstain from the foods that were causing my cravings and overeating.  Sugar and flour were my biggest culprits, so I eliminated those immediately. (I was already off animal products and mostly off alcohol already).  In February 2015 I joined Chef AJ and John Pierre’s 21 Day Challenge, a group of people all starting the Ultimate Weight Loss Program at the same time.  It was at that time that I became completely compliant with their program.  For the next 21 days I committed to do everything I was told.  (The food, the movement, the mental, and the supportive social aspects).  I tend to prefer ripping the band-aid off fast, and it just made sense for me to jump in with both feet.

I’m thrilled to say that the UWL program works.  I got through withdrawal from junk foods in a few days and the full 21 days gave me enough time to neuroadapt to the taste of real food again so that I thoroughly enjoy everything that I eat.  It balanced my brain, improved all of my blood work results, and it moved that scale way more than I ever thought possible.  When I focused on improving health and filling myself up with the right food, my body found its own ideal weight – Now a size 0 at 125 lbs!

After 2 1/2 months I took a tally on my results.  Here’s a snapshot:

Weight – Total loss of 25 lbs (then stabilized)
Body fat – Dropped from 30% to 22%
Inches – Lost 6″ off my waist
Cholesterol – 152 (my all time low)
Triglycerides – 68 (also an all time low)
Blood Pressure – 110/70 (A decrease of >30 points since my pre-vegan days)

The 21 day challenge ended long ago yet my new lifestyle remains.  I have felt the best I have ever felt, and I have no desire to go back to my old ways.  I am full of energy, have a more positive outlook in general, and feel a renewed sense of vitality.  It helps me to have big goals to focus on, so I recently decided to start training for my first half marathon.  Note that I didn’t run to lose weight.  I lost weight and now I like to run!  I sincerely wish this feeling on everyone I know!

What challenges are you facing?  What can you do today to take your health in a more positive direction?  Leave a comment below or on Facebook.  Shout it out loud to make yourself accountable, and just do it!

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Comments

  1. Congratulations! You look wonderful and I am so happy for you. The program works if you work the program. Bravo!

  2. Sarah Swan says:

    Congrats fellow ‘leftie’! 🙂 You are an inspiration to the group! Abstinence from refined complex carbs has been amazing for me as well.

  3. Kris McCormack says:

    Your transformation is an inspiration! Good luck training for your half…
    ~Kris

  4. Fabulous account of your amazing transformation, Christin! Those numbers really demonstrate your increased health and decreased weight. The pictures don’t hurt either! 🙂 You will rock that half-marathon!

  5. VillaPriscilla says:

    I am so inspired by you!
    Your discipline and research has paid off beautifully!

  6. What a wonderful transformation. The program does work!

  7. Colleen says:

    I’m in the UWL challenge also. Thanks for sharing your story! Your results are awesome – what an inspiration! I’ve been so happy with the program as well. It’s so wonderful to be free of food cravings 🙂

    Colleen

  8. Melissa says:

    You are AMAZING and such an inspiration! I am slowly starting to change my diet, but I might just need to rip that band-aid off fast. You look FANTASTIC!!! I’m jealous and proud of what you have achieved.

  9. Love it!!!!! Congrats!!!!

  10. hearty congratulations. thanks so much for sharing. i am so glad you have had such great success. it is a big inspiration!!!!

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