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I want to live and eat in a way that doesn't require perfection.
Today is my birthday and I’m in the best shape of my life.
But two years ago it was a different story.
In 2015 I was at a crossroads.
I read dozens of books like The China Study, The Pleasure Trap, and Mindless Eating to understand what I needed to do to lose weight on a plant-based diet. I then spent years working hard at their suggestions and trying to be perfect.
Yet I had to ask myself, “Why am I still struggling with weight-loss?” I’ve done pretty much everything possible to have a perfect diet!
Even when I was 100% plant perfect and not "cheating" with some vegan junk, I couldn't break the 140lb barrier. 140 is in the "normal" range for my height, but my stomach was still hanging over my pants. I constantly had chafing issues on my legs and my arms from rubbing. I wasn’t comfortable physically and I didn’t like how I looked.
And I was making myself miserable not being able to dine out with my husband. I was working so hard on seeking food perfection that I was ignoring my own behavior because I was listening to a lie that’s been spread in the plant-based movement.
“You can eat as much as you want. As long as it's plant foods, especially whole foods close to nature. Don't count calories.”
I was told I could eat a lot – and that I SHOULD eat a lot – eat as much as I wanted… eat until I felt "full," so I did.
I quickly developed this habit of having huge plates of “perfect” foods at every meal, all while patting myself on the back for being so healthy.
When my initial weight-loss from eating plant-based disappeared, I realized I was simply eating too much.
Perfect foods, yes, but waaaay too much for my biological needs.
I started using the meal plans consistently, which helped with portion control. And whaddayaknow? I broke my weight barrier and broke it EASILY.
Then I lost another 5 pounds, and eventually another 5 pounds, and a little while later 2 more pounds.
I’ve maintained that weight-loss for more than TWO YEARS now.
(I’m still in shock as I was a chronic yo-yo dieter before.)
Here’s how I did it:
It wasn’t until I started paying attention to my TOTAL calories consumed and using the meal plans for portion control, that I broke my weight barrier.
Perfection never got me anywhere except frustration.
After two years of stability… not a single step back…
I decided to truly embody my "progress not perfection" mantra.
I stopped worrying if something had a little bit of oil or sugar.
I still see fruits and vegetables as healthy and I place a premium on eating whole foods, but...
My #1 FOCUS is doing whatever I need to eat at home and follow my meal plan.
Oftentimes that means buying a lot of prepared foods like marinara sauce, hummus, frozen rice, canned beans, and enchilada sauce rather than exhausting myself trying to make everything from scratch. I LOVE shortcuts and hacks!
That’s why the meal plans (that I use myself 90% of the time… Just because I eat most of my meals from the meal plan doesn’t mean I don’t eat out or have chocolate cake on my birthday ;)) use ketchup, canned beans, frozen vegetables, pasta, and hummus. Ingredients you already have on hand (nothing weird) so you actually cook instead of ordering out. Again.
Bottom line: The plant-based community puts a lot of pressure on being perfect. If you aren't losing weight, for example, they say it’s because you aren't being perfect. It’s your fault for sometimes eating chocolate chip cookies, having cheese or oil on occasion, or drinking a single beer or glass of wine.
LIES. LIES. LIES.
I was perfect and I GAINED weight.
Eating a good diet definitely helps, but if you’ve been plant-based for a while and you’re still struggling, your lack of rigidity isn’t the culprit: overeating is.
I know it’s frustrating (I was frustrated), but it’s not hopeless.
Meal Mentor can help you like it helped me.
The doors to VIP membership open Wednesday, September 27th and I want you to join us.
I want to help you get past perfection and break through your plant-based barriers.
These doors are only open 4 days a year. If you don’t join on Wednesday, you’ll have to wait several months before you can become a VIP Member.
P.S. And this is another reason why I finally lost weight with the meal plans:
They showed me what a meal needs to look like to actually satisfy me.
They taught me how to combine nutritious foods to feel satisfied so I DON'T overeat or feel deprived while readjusting my brain from those horrid “all-you-can-eat” messages that screwed me up.
Meal Mentor does the planning and keeps me eating the right foods and the right portions.
Plus, there’s something beautiful about pre-portioned meals in containers.