New Zealander Sheds 90 Pounds and Poor Self-Esteem for Life

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and moved with my family to New Zealand when I was 16. My parents, specifically my mother, tried very hard to get her daughters to eat healthy foods, but we simply envied our friends’ Wonder Bread, Miracle Whip and bologna!

I used to eat ordinary foods plus whatever I could get to satisfy my sweet tooth. From a sedentary childhood with my books, I’d become an overweight adolescent for whom gym class was a real chore. It seemed impossible to change this as I grew older, no matter how much I went to the gym or tried to stick to a diet. And after University and landing the dreaded office job, I weighed about 220 lb., and hated it. I honestly didn’t know what to do. I felt ugly and trapped.

So when my sister talked enthusiastically about this new diet, although I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, I was willing to try anything. And I thought it made sense, and that I could do it. I was 25 years old.

I first started the TajQí 10-Day program and tried to limit processed foods (Maximum Weight Loss). At the beginning, the weight was coming off even if I did eat some white rice or bread sometimes. This diet was that much healthier than my old diet. I also found it easier to be strict on weekdays than on weekends. I made sure to exercise, at least walking, almost every day.

But my big weight shifts always came at the times when I consciously kept processed foods out of my diet. I could expect at least twice as much weight loss than otherwise.

And as I moved from being obese to simply overweight, I really had to avoid processed foods. If not, then any weight loss was so minimal that I couldn’t see it quickly enough to motivate me to continue. Remember, if you are dealing with a lifelong weight and eating problem as I am, it won’t disappear immediately!

After about a year, I weighed 150 lb. Quite satisfied with my progress, I stopped being so careful. Not only did I start eating more breads and pasta, I ate too much sugar and calories. However, even “binging” on breads and pasta only meant I gained back 10 lb. and stayed steady for about a year until I was ready to lose some more weight.

This is important to remember, since practically everybody plateaus during major weight loss, and that shouldn’t be a reason to give up on a plan which has been working.

Six years after starting, I now weigh just over 130 lb. (a reduction of almost 90 pounds!). And best of all, I have no desire to go back to the way of eating that got me into trouble in the first place. You could not pay me any money to go back. Not only have I lost weight, I feel wonderfully healthy and energetic. I can run and rock climb, and I do, regularly. I took part in a relay marathon and an 8K fun run.

I have constantly battled self-esteem issues about my weight, and getting it under control has helped tremendously. Over the past several years, I have entered seriously into performance singing (on stage, in front of people!). I now am a regular member of the chorus singing with the New Zealand Opera. People who know me now hardly believe it’s me when they see my “before” picture. My husband is thrilled that I have lost that unhealthy weight. I can wear a much better variety of clothes and be happy with how I look.

This diet, although not easy, is simple, healthy and cheap. Most importantly, it works!

Applesauce Vinaigrette

10 minutes ½ cup Easy Affordable Ingredients ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce 
1 teaspoon mild miso 
¼ teaspoon ground cumin 
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
2 tablespoons