Sawanda's Beginning Diet Outlook
What was your life like before EM2WL? (meaning past dieting history, crash diets, starving, cardio, scale watcher, clothes hoarder etc)
Before EM2WL: Wow! I can't remember a day where I was wasn't trying to lose weight. The thought of losing weight started at 10, in 5th grade, when we took a physical test in P.E. and the teachers put all of us on scales to weigh our pre-adolescent bodies. They wrote my weight down on a piece of paper, folded it up so I won't see it, as if I would be ashamed of my weight. As I was putting the shameful number in my book bag, there were many of my classmates coming to me to see what my weight was, as if to say, ‘I'm not as fat as Sawanda, let's see how much she weighs” I do remember it being 100-something, I think 125, but I was so ashamed, I don't remember.
That started the fat shaming in my mind, therefore others felt the need to do the same – including my mother, who once told me to stop eating and run around the block 30 times! It was meant to be a joke, but, I internalized it as I'm eating too much and I need to watch what I was eating because I'm getting too fat. I tried it all. You name it, I've done it. I've taken appetite suppressant pills, fat burning pills, I've been to the weight watchers meetings and get on the scale to weigh myself weekly (although truth be told, I was weighing myself daily to see how I can manipulate the weight watchers scale and make it look like I'm losing instead of gaining). I was the cardio queen, especially when I started running. I could run 45 minutes straight. Oh how I loved how the weight was melting off, but I just didn't like how my body was looking. I was chasing this perfect number to live my life and finally be happy. Little did I know, I was ruining my health, all in the name of weight loss.
How did you find EM2WL?I was the moderator of my own fitness group. I'd lost over 60 pounds by eating, literally, 1100-1200 calories a day and 6 days a week of cardio sessions. When a social media associate asked me if I'd heard of EM2WL, I wasn't trying to hear it, especially when I used the scooby calculator and it stated that my TDEE was over 2000! WHAAAT? I could eat 2000 and still lose weight? IMPOSSIBLE! The science in my mind was always, eat less – move more, so hearing that I had to eat more just made no sense to me at all. I moved on, thinking that's crazy talk and I will not be a part of that type of nonsense.
The Diet Mentality Shift
What made you join the workshop? One year after hearing about EM2WL, I started to gain all the weight that I'd lost. I couldn't understand why when I was still using the eat less-move more method: still eating 1200 calories, and now trying to get in another cardio session during the day. Two sessions a day, which was hard for me to accomplish, but if I was going to stop this weight gain, I was willing to do it. During that time of decision, I stumbled upon the advertisement for the beta workshop, CTDM. The ad stated, “Why your diet is not working anymore!” and it resonated with me. YES! Why is it not working anymore? I needed to know so I can take back control of this weight gain and start losing weight again! Little did I know, this workshop was going to change my life forever.
How did your perspective change after the workshop? Everything I thought I knew about weight loss, was turned on its head! After the first week in the workshop, I realized that I had to totally empty my head with what I “thought” I knew and be open minded to what I'm learning. And it was a LOT of learning. Fat loss is way different from weight loss; eating more is so important to my health; Weight lifting is Queen; protein is more important than I really thought; consistency really is key; focus on ONE behavior at a time instead of focusing on “weight loss” results and GET OFF THAT DARN SCALE!
How did your life change? OMG, my life changed for the better! I have not lost a single pound, yet I'm happier than I've ever been! I gained weight, I gained muscle, I gained true health, I gained a sense of self-love, even for my body! Gaining weight is not the end of the world, nor is it a bad thing! Mental health is part of good health, and with this new lifestyle, I am not stressed out like I used to on diets. The neverending cycle of losing weight and trying to keep it off is so exhausting. With this new lifestyle, I can actually LIVE MY LIFE without the focus of irrelevant numbers (mainly weight and size). I LOVE weights! Cardio is about once a week now and I'm not afraid to eat anything and everything! Because I'm not on a diet, I can now start to trust myself and what makes ME feel good about myself and my body. Intuitive eating really is a thing – LOL! I really CAN trust myself!
The path to Healing from Diet Mentality
What are some of the biggest changes that has happened in your life now due to this shift in mentality?
Everyone who sees me and doesn't understand this new lifestyle, they think I've “fallen off” or have stopped paying attention to my health all together. It's honestly not my job for anyone else to understand (not anymore) But I can tell you, I've done more for my health in one year than I have in the 20+ years I was dieting! What I know for sure is, gaining weight is not a BAD thing nor is it the end of the world. My metabolism is close to normal again! My hair has stopped falling out, my gums are not bleeding, my nails are strong, my tongue is pink again, the mental fog has lifted and my emotional swings are fewer than before!
I don't “wait” for this perfect weight, nor this perfect size or number, to live my life- thanks to just eating what I want and when I want it! I'm enjoying my life, as I go out on dates, hang out with my friends, enjoy ALL foods with my son, without limiting his enjoyment and I'm truly taking care of ME, inside and out! I buy clothes that fit me now and I don't have to look and feel frumpy just because I'm heavier than before. I am living a true life and it just gets better and better each year as I learn more and more about my EM2WL lifestyle!
What advice could you give to someone who is just finding EM2WL right now?
If you're finding EM2WL right now, you might be mentally tired of going through the yo yo diets and weight loss. The first thing I can suggest is this: This is NOT another DIET, so you cannot come in with a diet mentality. I know you may not know what other mentality there is, especially if you've been on a diets as long as I have, so the second suggestion is to have an open mind to what is shared with you. This information is going to literally BLOW YOUR MIND! There's information you may heard of, but never implemented out of fear. YES, there will be blindspots. You will “think” you're prepared for this kind of change, but you will find very fast, that this diet mentality is so much bigger than you think. It's part of our society, even part of our DNA (generations of dieters), so my third suggestion is, stay close to the EM2WL/CTDM online community! They are EVERYWHERE (IG, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, etc..) and it's important you link up to all their social media. Seriously. If you're ready to change your life, it's time to emerge yourself in this kind of thinking. It's almost like your armor, your shield when dealing with an ENTIRE DIET MENTALITY SOCIETY! If you're really ready for a total transformation, I do suggest you invest in the CTDM! Talk about a GAMECHANGER!