OMG! What are you doing?

Sorry I didn’t have the time (or the energy) to answer you when you saw me at the grocery store/church picnic/birthday party/wedding………

I suppose instead of telling you “a bit” when you asked me how much weight I lost, I could have told you that I have lost about 60 pounds since July of 2013.

But I think it’s weird that you asked me, or at least it makes me feel weird. I don’t know how to socially talk about something so personal.

So – here is the reply to the increasingly common question:

“OMG! What are you doing?”

I get professional help – medically. 

Everybody is different – and every body is different! What works for me may not work for you – save time, money, and energy and get professional help!

Several years ago, after watching several compelling documentaries (Food Matters, Food Inc., Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, The Future of Food, Forks Over Knives, The Truth About Food, Hungry for Change – and a few more) I became a plant-based, “beans and greens”, vegan.

Meaning: I was doing it “right”. I didn’t rely heavily on processed veganized versions of my favorite foods (though I did make a great vegan pizza).

I thought I was making the right decisions for my body. It made sense. I felt better for a little while. And then… nothing.

After visiting his practice for pain I had from plantar fasciitis, and debilitating lower back/hip pain because of something with my piriformis, I started seeing Dr. Tom at Natural Medicine Clinic for Nutritional Counseling.

Dr. Tom is patiently leading me down a very windy road.  What he reminds me of often, is what I want to share with you:  This is a process. There is not one simple answer. There is no quick fix.

He has led me in my diet, suggested exercise, prescribed supplements, and prevented surgery.

And for the most part – I obey him. I trust him. I know that he knows more than me, and more than what I read on WebMd. He is worth every penny spent in his office.

On a personal note: You will never find a more hope filled, honest, sincere, patient and caring man to be your doctor. He is the only doctor who has never made me feel shame for being fat. He believed me when I told him I ate healthy and exercised. He has been with me through tears of joy, and as the pendulum swings, yelling in frustration.

On a professional note: He is a fantastic Dr..  Aside from the personal note above:  He knows his stuff! He almost immediately (correctly) diagnosed me with a thyroid disorder that every other doctor, my entire life, had missed. Dr. Tom then recommended that I go to an Endocrinologist for a second opinion. I did, only to be told “You look like you are doing great, I wouldn’t change or add to anything your Natural Dr. is doing!”  Dr. Tom has been correct on each diagnosis that he has given me, and has provided me with the labs results to “prove it”.

You need to find someone who knows what they are doing, and someone you trust. Trusting means being compliant. Obey.

I exercise!

Do something that makes you happy.

We all know I don’t like the gym!

But, I found something I really love – Boxing.

I’m HOOKED (pun intended)! I love the structure of the class. The cost is totally reasonable, and the trainers are encouraging and attentive. I am not quite ready for a cross fit intensity, and am over just being at a gym, so this was a perfect fit. It’s 15 minutes of “warm up”, 8 rounds of boxing/kick boxing with a minute of Active rest (lunges swats sit-ups etc) in between and then 15 minutes of stretching. And it is a great work-out. The energy is fantastic!

And, I still go to a gym to do Dr. Tom’s recommendation: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

I get professional help – spiritually/emotionally.

Don’t believe everything you think.

I don’t have the koyach to get into it all right now, but it’s really important to have a personal (and professional) network of spiritual/emotional support. It is impossible to seek physical healing without dealing with the spiritual/emotional aspect of the process. The body is intricately entwined with the soul and the spirit.

This whole process has opened old wounds and created new ones. There are about 50 unwritten blogs as evidence.

I have to resist the temptation to isolate.

I could not have made it through any of this without my friends. Their love, patience, encouragement and faithfulness has been used by God to sustain me in my weariness.

I could not have made it through any of this without professional counseling/inner healing. I am grateful to have Pastor Steve Pennell and his wife Sarah.

I have changed my relationship with food. 

Every bite either fights disease or fuels it – choose wisely.

These changes have required alot of learning, alot of cooking, and alot of saying “No, Thank You.” But, I can assure you, it is all worth it.

After our first Nutritional Counseling appointment Dr. Tom suggested that I radically change my diet. No more vegan.

I remember him saying something along the lines of” “You may be saving the animals but you are killing yourself.”

Yikes! I now eat meat.

It’s Paleo-ish. I hesitate to say that, because it is not just bacon and meat.

The gist of it is : Meats, Fruits, Veggies. Healthy Oils.

Some people can tolerate nuts and seeds.  Me? Not so much.

After a few months on my new eating plan, things still weren’t progressing as expected so Dr. Tom ordered more specialized testing to see what foods my body was reacting to.  I am not allergic to these foods in an “eat them and break out in hives” way, but they cause issues for me internally, one of which being inability to lose weight.

I know you are curious – so here are all 32 foods I had stopped eating:

Those beans I loved as a vegan? My body was still reactive to them, even 6 months after eating any! (That’s not good!)

I still avoid several things on this list, mainly: wheat, eggs, dairy, yeast, beans.

Some things I have reintroduced successfully, other things (coffee) didn’t come up, but are problematic for me.

Again – every body is different.

Here are some of my favorite food resources:

I could write a whole blog about how whole30 (and whole9) has changed my life. In a nutshell, it’s a 30 days reset for your relationship with food. And they are nice, and snarky, and smart. And they offer a daily email for each day of the whole30. Check it out. Their book “It Starts with Food” breaks down the science of it all in really easy to read, and understand terms.

Her blog and book are amazing. And she introduced me to my favorite gadget ever – The Spirilizer to make Zoodles (zuchinni ribbons to replace noodles)

Dawn (Dr. Tom’s wife) “healthifies” our favorite goodies! She has created me “Julie-compliant” recipes. I love being her taste tester, and everything I have tasted has been great!

Recipes and knowledge galore!

So, there it is: a condensed version of “What I have been doing!”

The best is yet to come! 

2 thoughts on “OMG! What are you doing?

  1. Kelly says:


    I just had an entire conversation with you about your journey while reading this. Please keep posting things like this. I need the encouragement and accountability. You have no idea how much I needed to read this. Thank you for sending me off to bed with a healthier food view. Keep up the hard work. You look like you have a little peace in your life and joy in your heart. Have a great week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s