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Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Immersionites at Engine 2 (Day 4)

We are starting to wind down at the Immersion. Today's the day that I get to speak to everyone as part of a "panel." I am not sure what I will say, but I do know that while I may not have remembered each participant's name, the store they work at, or the position they hold, I have remembered everyone's story.

You might be the grocery team leader from the "original" Santa Rosa store who wants to feel better for the sake of his children.

Or, you might be the cancer survivor from Boston, whose story of survival and persistence moved me.

Maybe you're the young mother who once had sassy blond hair, and now you feel burdened by the excess weight that has crept into your life.

No matter your station in life, the poundage on the scale, or the resistance you might meet at home, this program is all about you, and only you. Now, your belt is full of new tools. You need to go forth, always trying your best, giving it a full 100%. When something is hard and you think you cannot be plant-based, grab your tool belt, and figure out what it is you need to do.

Maybe you need to say no to the situation, or just walk away from it. Or go for a run in the park, a trip to the gym, or a stroll in a garden. Bad food doesn't provide love and comfort.

Strive to be plant perfect, and as I always tell my children, "Reach for the stars..."

The pleasure has been my honor and thank YOU for motivating ME and helping me to continue on this journey--think of it as something we can do together. Plant-strong, one day at a time.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Plant Strong Nation

The other day when I was on the flight to Austin, the flight attendants were coming around with breakfast. I was well situated with my own veggies, almond butter, and steamed kale. But, I was listening to her ask people, "Honey Nut Cheerios?" She was also pawning off 2% milk and the smallest banana I had ever seen.

I thought to myself, "In a plant perfect world, she'd be coming down the aisle saying, "Rip's Big Bowl?"

Thanks to President Bill Clinton though, this so-called cult (of which I am a part[according to old friends]) is going to become mainstream. Thanks to the CNN piece, what Bill Clinton eats will become part of the fabric of what many Americans will chose to put in their grocery carts. Too bad he wasn't Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. Imagine the changes he could help to create?

Last week I was speaking to a small group of people about a new initiative at Whole Foods Market. You may know it as "Health Starts Here." In this crazy world of so many health messages, someone at this meeting said, "Well, your competition to this program is ignorance." And, it made me think that as long as I am plant-strong, part of my own personal message is to educate people about the choices they have so that ignorance is stomped out, and better choices for eating and living take a prominent place in life.

Here's hoping I haven't been too preachy. It is just that I am bursting at the seams with excitement to share all the news that this Immersion gives me on a daily basis!

Plant Strong and Tenacious!

Big Bowl, anyone?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Back at the Ranch

I am back at the Ranch, that's my nickname for the Crossings, in Austin, Texas, where I am a "guest" at the second Engine 2 Immersion for Whole Foods Market. You know, my employer?

I have posted these two pictures because I needed to see, for myself, the progress I am making as a plant-strong and tenacious "60 Year Old Vegan."

A few years ago when I thought that Weight Watcher's could save my soul from the perils of overeating, I was dutiful and diligent about the process...in the beginning. One night, I thought I had lost my wallet. And my panic wasn't over credit cards, driver's license, etc. It was over the fact that my Weight Watcher's card was in there and if anyone found the card, I would die of humiliation from people knowing my weight.

So, last night at the opening of the Immersion, I had to give a brief intro about myself in 90 seconds. And I am not sure how this even happened...but, I told the very quick story of my pre-op experience and learning that I weighed 297 pounds. I just blurted it out. A room of 100 people knew that I weighed almost 300 pounds. Aside from never giving up, I told them that they needed to have deep courage and believe in themselves and the fact that they could be plant strong. And, I did not cry.

Take a look at these two pictures...and if you think that being plant-strong is impossible, I will challenge you to think other.

The food is wonderful. I like, no I love, being pampered with plant strong food. When I get home, I am sitting down with the family. I am going to come down firm with them and tell them that they have no other choice but to eat plant strong. I am thinking of gentle ways to convey this.

Plant Strong-and Tenacious. That is me.

All you need is love.