When I participated in a free webinar about the Virgin Diet, I didn’t know it would give me my life back, but it did.
Despite hopes that my 58 pounds of pregnancy weight would melt off easily, after losing just over 10 pounds, I’d hit a frustrating plateau. Even though I was exercising and following a national weight-loss plan, I couldn’t break past it.
What’s more, I was constantly exhausted and suffering from embarrassing intestinal troubles. Uncomfortable in my postpartum body, I blamed my busy schedule and the stress of motherhood. I was depressed, thinking this was my “new normal.”
Listening to the webinar, I learned nutritionist J.J. Virgin developed the plan after noticing that food intolerances prevented many of her clients from losing weight, as well as giving them a bloated belly, gastrointestinal issues, fatigue and depression. Hmm. Who did that sound like?
To be sure, the Virgin Diet is no quick fix: in the first phase, dieters drop seven common foods known to cause food intolerances. Afterward, dieters reintroduce the foods, one at a time, to determine which ones to avoid. Still, the plan promised seven pounds of weight loss the first week. I had to try.
I began the plan in early January 2013. In addition to dropping the seven foods, I followed Virgin’s guidelines for drinking water, putting together a plate, and meal timing. That first week, I actually lost 8 pounds, much of it apparently from my belly.
In Cycle 2 of the plan, I determined that I was intolerant of gluten, dairy and soy, and I’ve avoided them ever since. I worked even more exercise into my routine, adding a morning yoga workout and a weekly kickboxing aerobics class to my water aerobics classes. Once or twice a week, I do a “Sesame Street” dance video with my son.
Overall, I’ve lost nearly 20 pounds, as well as 4 1/2 inches in the chest, 5 inches in the waist, and 3 1/4 inches in the hips. I’ve gone down two clothing sizes, my intestinal issues have abated, and I’m feeling invigorated, clear-headed and optimistic. If people pity me for “going without” cheese and bread, I tell them I’m also going without the health problems those foods brought me. Feeling healthy and energized is my “new normal.”
Also by Alyce: “Why Weight Loss Isn’t the Best Way to Gauge Fitness”