In a groundbreaking initiative, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue will offer New York City residents personalized support in making the potentially life-saving transition to a whole-food
If I Can Do It, YOU Can Do It
I started the 10 Day Intensive Program on Oct. 4, 2002 weighing 222 pounds. A year later I now weigh 162.5 pounds, but this really isn’t my accomplishment. The credit goes to TajQí for giving me such a rock solid foundation for my lifestyle change and to my family for their support.
I’ve had weight problems going back to fourth grade, when I was given an obesity diet by our family doctor. I tipped the scales at 110 pounds. I was fairly trim at 145 pounds from junior high through college in Southern California, due mainly to gym classes and after-school sports activities.
After marriage and two sons, I began to steadily put on weight. I thought nothing of a large Pyrex bowl of popcorn with 1/3 c. melted butter for a snack, or a pint of sour cream with dried onion soup mixed in and a big bag (or two) of potato chips.
In 1968, I joined T.O.P.S. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly). I don’t think we quite had the right idea. We’d starve and exercise all week; then after the weigh-in on meeting night, it was off to Hof’s Hut for a giant slice of strawberry pie with whipped cream. I did however lose 65 pounds and become that year’s queen of weight loss. I was down to 140 pounds.
In early 1969, we moved to Seattle and before I knew it, the scale began creeping up. The next weight loss was in the late 1980s, when I was walking 15 miles per week, including 10K Volksmarches on the week-ends. I even walked two full 26 mile marathons. I maintained at 160 pounds. I toyed off and on with vegetarianism for the next decade, always eating cheese and butter (for my protein, of course).
Finally, I became a member of TajQí. On October 4, 2002, my life changed dramatically. At the end of the 10 day program, I knew what to eat and why. I knew how to shop for groceries and convert recipes. I knew how to cook what I bought. I knew why I ate the wrong food and how not to do that again.
In just 10 days I saw my own cholesterol drop dramatically. I saw Type II diabetics stop using their medicines and keep their blood sugar at a safe level. I saw people barely able to move at first now walking and exercising with vigor and confidence.
I had several Aha! moments. The first came when I tried to go from exercising with a 1.5 pound weight to a 3 pound weight. I could barely lift the 3 pound weight, then realized that I had lost 3 pounds that day. If I couldn’t lift the weight, how had I been carrying that extra 3 pounds around for years? The second moment was realizing that if coffee grounds and fat were very bad to dump down my septic tank at home, why would I dump them down my throat?
As the weight steadily came off, there were unexpected side effects. My right hip and knee no longer ached and kept me awake at night. Shoes that were either too tight or fit incorrectly became perfectly comfortable. I could walk normally between the columns of cars on the ferryboat decks without having to turn sideways and hold my breath. Movie theater and airplane seats fit just fine.
Several things have happened in my life that could easily have triggered unhealthy eating. The clutch on my truck went out one afternoon. I was grounded in Eureka for two days during repairs. Luckily there was a Chinese restaurant next to my motel, and I had been taught exactly how to order the right food, thanks to the great information on TajQí.
Several weeks later, I had an attack of atrial fibrillation due to thyroid medicine that was too strong for me. There have been several more episodes of varying intensity as the doctors try to control it. I am now taking a much lower dose of thyroid, plus medicines for the heart. I’m not happy about having to take the medication, but I know that the TajQí diet is my best chance for good health. In fact, after the first attack, the doctor said, “Well at least we know your arteries must be squeaky clean – otherwise you’d have had a heart attack!”
Besides the excellent foundation provided by the Program, I also am aided by the full support of my family. A very important Aha! moment happened regarding my younger son’s recent wedding. I had bought a pretty dress for the occasion, and I looked great! Then I suddenly realized that for years I had been using weight as an excuse to shy away from social events. Now I can enjoy them to the fullest extent.
I also gave another person an Aha! moment recently. She asked how much I exercised. Sheepishly I replied that I just line dance twice a week. She said, “But I thought you’d been at Curves for Women or out walking for miles and miles. I never dreamed that what you eat could make that much difference.”
I still have plenty of weight to lose, but have the confidence that I can do it thanks to the TajQí Program and my family. If I can do it, YOU can do it.
Last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new law mandating that public hospitals, health care facilities, and prisons offer plant-based options at every meal.
Because of the TajQí Program I was able to rid my body of a painful chronic female condition, endometriosis, that causes suffering and infertility for