Hey, I’m Andy and here’s my weight loss story and how I managed to keep the weight off, conquer my allergies and regain my health.
I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember.
At the same time I’ve been struggling with allergies and horrible stomach cramps and vomiting episodes that lasted for hours.
I remember so vividly how, as a child, I would wake up in the middle of the night with horrendous stomach cramps and spend the night (and the next day) cramped in bed or over the toilet bowl. And my parents knew exactly what caused these episodes. They were afraid to give to anything ‘heavy’ to eat (namely, meat) in the evenings or I were to have my next sleepless night.
And then, there were my allergies. I had my first strong allergic reaction when I was just a year old, when I fell in some uncut grass. I couldn’t go in the sun for too long as a small child since my parents thought I had sun allergy. At age 7 I was officially diagnosed with a strong pollen (grass) allergy and I was quite sensitive to dust, mold and other substances as well.
What that meant was that from April till late July I had to be indoors, sneezing and coughing all day. For a couple of years I had to receive a shot every couple of days, in an effort to desensitize me. I did not work out. I also took strong allergy medication that made me super sleepy and unfocused, at exactly the time when all the end-term examination were happening. If I did any remotely vigorous exercise, I couldn’t catch my breath. Spring became the nightmare period the year.
And then there was my weight.
Simply put, I was embarrassed of myself. I developed a hunched posture since I thought that this way my belly wouldn’t stick out as much. I was embarrassed to go swimming with my friends and when I did, I wore a t-shirt even in the water (I said I had sun allergy).
When you are overweight for as long as you can remember, it becomes a part of your identity. You think that this is who you are and that’s it.
Until I contracted a disease called mononucleosis. I had such a severe throat infection that I couldn’t eat almost at all for about a month. It was a painful experience but it helped me lose the extra weight. And show me I can be slim.
For a couple of years, that is. I regained the weight again. I lost some through sheer will power but it did no last.
By 2016 I also had high total cholesterol, high LDL and my physician told me I needed to do something.
Like I did not know, though!
Discovering the power of plants
At some point Venny and I decided to watch a documentary every evening.
That’s when we watched the documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, Food Choices and some others.
Joe Cross’s experience truly resonated with me and in a couple of days, on the 7 Feb 2017, I started living only on fresh, fruit and vegetable juices.
To this day I cannot understand what motivated me but I think that I needed some kind of social confirmation that not eating animal foods is OK.
In the year or so prior to that day, Venny and I had already almost stopped eating meat and we were joking that we could easily become vegetarians but we were worried what our family and friends would think of us!
We were ready to make a change and those documentaries gave us the support we needed to make the change.
And those juices.
Three months on juice
I drank only fresh fruit and vegetable juice for 50 days straight and a couple of months later I did another 40 days again.
During that time I lost those 40lbs and I have kept them off for the years since.
And it wasn’t any hard ordeal, I must add. It was quite enjoyable, actually! When the body needs to heal and shed the weight off, it wants you to allow for it. And eating fruits and veggies is the best way.
That said, the first 3 days are a bit harder since a lot of toxins get released into the bloodstream and you might not feel great but it gets easier, and lighter, and empowering every day since.
Venny did a couple short, 3-4 day juice fasts, but since she was never overweight, she ate mostly plant based in between.
Today, I weight about 150lbs, exactly as much as the BMI index says I should. I eat as much as I want and my weight stays the same.
People think that it must be hard to restrict yourself from so many foods. It’s not.
It’s soooo liberating to be able to eat to your heart’s content and not gain weight. You feel free!
No more guilt when you fill your stomach, no more stressing about food. No more fear of the mirror.
Eating whole plant foods lets you enjoy life, enjoy food and stay healthy on every level!
As you now know, we started eating plant based and I did the juicing experiment on a whim. It began, as many profound changes, as an experiment and nothing that serious.
Once you clean your body and stop eating animal ‘foods’, you don’t want to go back. Eating plant based just feels right!
It turn out, though, that eating right did more to me than just rid me of the extra weight.
Just to get the timeline straight, I started on the 7 Feb up until the last days of March. We kept on eating plant based and April came and past. May went by as well.
And as June was approaching, I wasn’t having any allergy symptoms. A sneeze here and there but nothing noteworthy.
Spring, which for 20 years was a huge ordeal to me, felt beautiful again.
I could breathe again.
Not only that I wasn’t overweight, not only that I ate as much as I wanted but I was to enjoy all the seasons of the year. I didn’t need to dose myself with medications that made me sleep through my days.
And those pesky stomach cramps were gone, my bowel movements were just normal and have been so ever since.
My blood tests came perfect as well. No more high cholesterol! My physician even told me that my results were so great I didn’t need to do another test for the next 5 years!
I did, though, and every time my tests come up normal!
Venny is better as well! She has an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which, if left untreated, could lead to destruction of the thyroid gland. Truly horrifying prospect, if you ask me. Before we started, her TAT and MAT antibodies were quite elevated but now her TAT is normal and her MAT has decreased over 4 times!
She had low iron and hemoglobin which are now both in the normal range!
As time goes by, we seem to get healthier.
I believe it’s because of the way we eat and live.
And fundamentally, this is why we created WellnessDove and all the recipes here.
We have a passion to share what we know and show you what healthy food looks like!