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Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's not about winning. It's about fixing what's broken.-Bob Harper

Our 28 day Engine 2 Diet Challenge is drawing to a close.

But in all honesty I have lost track of what "day" I'm on, I don't feel like I am on a depriving diet to be endured for x amount of time. I feel like this is just the beginning of the undertaking of a healthier and happier lifestyle. It has not been a race to the finish, nor a competition with myself, or with my husband or other E2 participants. It has been more like a transformation and an awakening for me, I am finding out that yes, even I have weaknesses, ( sugar! ) yes, even I have imbalances,( too much caffeine!) and I have health concerns to address. But I am working towards fixing them, one plant based meal at a time. I'm fixing what's broken.

Yet, to say I am on a diet, kinda makes my eye twitch, since I have never, in fact been on any rigorous or strict diet. I have struggled with my weight only post pregnancy. This was the very first, all encumbering diet that I have ever tried. I have sampled and researched elements of Weight Watchers, South Beach and closely followed advice and recipes from Biggest Loser cookbooks, and Jillian Michael's "Making the Cut, ( notice the Bob Harper quote for my title- not a coincidence ...I'm a big BL fan). I am generally a "do what I want" kind of person and could easily slip back into giving in to cravings, or haphazardly using too much salt, oil, butters and sugar. Somehow the E2 immersion has resonated with me and felt right for my body. One of my husbands co-workers has just started the diet and she wrote me to say it struck a chord with her as well, and is going great.

So far, by mid -week 4, I'm 5 pounds lighter. The weight loss was gradual and I think I have reached a set point where I can maintain. That’s the “diet” side of the equation. The other side is the lifestyle change; I feel 10 years younger, and because I work out so much, I am a lot less scrawny than I was 10 years ago. I have been able to fully maintain my workout routines on this diet, and have felt waves of great energy. I have a renewed interest and appreciation for proper meal planning, for the local and seasonal produce offerings, and for cooking from scratch.

My wonderfully supportive and enthusiastic husband just reported that he thinks this diet has “made him smarter”, that he operates much more clear headed at work. He marvels at the colors and texture coming forth on some of our meals, and told me I am “becoming quite an excellent cook”- which means a lot coming from him- this said after a ridiculously simple but hearty meal of an almond carrot soup, simple side salad, and a generous plate of roasted asparagus and red bell peppers served over quinoa with a sprinkling of toasted almonds and tamari sauce. Never mind the simplicity….hearing that I am a good cook always means a lot. We have started exploring Indian cooking and went on huge shopping spree at a little Indian super market in Boulder. I might take an Indian cooking class from a near by Indian food caterer Royal Bengal Kitchen and a vegetarian cooking class at the Culinary School of the Rockies and of course there is that knife skills class I still desperately need!

While I was working on this blog post today this message landed in my inbox from my friend and neighbor Melanie

"I'm really proud of you for sticking with this and doing so with gusto, suddenly an all vegan diet lifestyle doesn’t sound so dire, it looks gourmet and delish" .

Having support and interest from others is always helpful when trying to " what's broken" for yourself. And while I am deeply aware of conflicts and struggles I may face trying to eat vegan/ E2 for the long run, I am willing to try to overcome the hurdles. I am willing to be gentle and patient with myself and to work on eating: Mindfully. Creatively. Balanced.