Sandra confesses to once being a food addict; now she lost an amazing 107 pounds and fits into size 7 skinny jeans
I was a real food addict – especially junk food. In high school when our band sold candy, I used to eat all of mine, and have to pay for it with the money I had earned giving piano lessons. That desire to “eat it all” continued after I became a teacher. When the club that I sponsor sold candy, I would dig into the basket at the end of each day during the three-week sale, and eat at least $5.00 worth every afternoon, as a reward for making it through another tough day. And then, I would pass out at my desk in a sugar coma for an hour before waking up and staggering home, dead-tired and completely useless for the rest of the day. At 5 feet, 2 inches, and eventually 252 pounds at my highest weight, and with a family history that included diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, I knew it was time to face the music: I had to break my addiction in order to save my life.Sandra Goodson-McClanahan
Born in 1961, I grew up in Florida surrounded by relatives who took pride in preparing delicious Southern dishes. I was always the chubby one, but active and outgoing, and the other kids rarely teased me about my weight. As I got older, my weight gain accelerated, and health problems developed. After I became an adult and started having kids, I became morbidly obese and lived that way for years. At my heaviest, I weighed 252 pounds at my highest, and had a BMI of 46. I suffered from migraines, heart palpitations, extreme sweating, exhaustion, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. What scared me the most was the onset of “a ravenous thirst.” This I knew, was a flashing neon sign that signaled “Diabetes Ahead.”
I used to be teased by other staff members when they saw me filling up six bottles of water from the dispenser to take back to my classroom. The symptoms were familiar; my father and brother both suffered from diabetes.
One day, in October 2015, I took a big swig of water in front of my class, but when I tried to speak, my mouth had gone cotton-dry. It scared the heck out of me! I knew I had out-of-control diabetes, but was too afraid to even find out about it. I went home that night and started researching “diabetic diet” online. That’s where I discovered Dr. Fuhrman and his books The End of Diabetes and Eat to Live. Reading reviews on Amazon, my resolve almost faltered when the first comment noted that this way of eating emphasized vegetables (including lots of green veggies), plus fruits, nuts and seeds. The only vegetables I ate were potatoes, mashed or French fried – but I knew I had to change that way of thinking. In fact, I had to change everything and internalize Dr. Fuhrman’s teachings so that the changes I made would be permanent.
I immersed myself in Dr. Fuhrman’s teachings. I listened to his audiobooks night and day. I listened in the shower, while prepping food, while driving to work, even while I was falling asleep at night. In the beginning, I allowed myself one “cheat” meal a week – but found that this stalled my weight loss and left me with constant cravings for Standard American Diet (SAD) foods. Determined to change my life, I took a leap of faith. In his books, Dr. Fuhrman promised that when you adopted this way of eating, your taste buds would change and you would no longer crave SAD foods, so I committed fully to a Nutritarian diet – and he was right! After six weeks, I didn’t even think about cheat meals – and the weight started to come off again.
After three years of following the Nutritarian diet, I feel better and more energetic than I ever did. I no longer suffer from migraines, bloating or stiffness in my joints. My blood pressure is textbook normal now. My cholesterol, calcium, blood sugar, protein – all perfect. I am filled with energy and a zest for life. I had to chase after a student down the sidewalk recently, and it felt good to run – even at 56!
The Nutritarian diet has become my way of life – and I plan ahead to make sure I have healthy food choices available wherever I go: field trips, work conferences, even vacations. On a recent trip to Peru, I brought cans of unsalted beans that I ate cold on the tour bus, plus pre-measured bags of raw nuts, dry oatmeal, and more. I also requested raw or steamed veggies and fruit at restaurants. I came home lighter than when I left.
I recently celebrated a milestone: having lost half my body weight. Today, I weigh 120 pounds, and fit into size 7 skinny jeans. I still have some more to lose, but I feel incredible. When my students see old pictures from when I was heavy, they think that I’ve Photoshopped the images! And, I am so proud to share what I have learned and to be able to help others too.”
Hi I’m Amy. My husband Rick & I adopted a Whole Plant lifestyle in 2012. We have had fantastic health results. Together, we’ve lost over 130 pounds! We offer private, lifestyle coaching and Zoom cooking lessons.
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