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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Questions for Natala...What's the Buzz?

I met Natala at my Engine 2 Immersion. Did she ever have a story to tell. Listening to her, I felt like I was Oprah, because I was deeply engrossed in Natala's every word. When she would talk, I would nod my head in understanding, and to affirm that I was listening. Just like my girl, Oprah does. At about five feet tall, this human dynamo, Natala Constantine, has lost about 150 pounds, and she is still shedding, and as she does, she is gaining wisdom and insight. Nice trade-off, Nat.

My Immersion was three weeks ago, and I still feel very Plant Strong/Plant Savvy/Plant Bold/Plant Terrific. Natala sent out a questionnaire today, and I thought I would list my answers here, sort of a cathartic activity for me. And maybe, you'll find something useful for yourself.

Natala's Questions

1. Tell me why you decided to sign up for the Engine 2 Immersion. It signed up for me. We had a choice as to what program we might be able to attend. I had been following "Eat to Live" by Joel Fuhrman, but had also read "Engine 2." At the time, E2 didn't totally appeal to me because it used the word, "diet." I filled out my application, and my great fortune is that I was selected to Engine 2. The BEST thing that ever happened to me (out side of being a wife and mother)

2. What were you expecting from the Immersion? You know, I went with a very open mind and heart. Any Whole Foods Market organized team build, meeting, etc, is always very well planned. So, I knew that it would be structured, fun, informative, and beneficial. I didn't think it would be filled with so much emotion and feeling.

3. What did you think the hardest part would be? That didn't even enter my mind. I'd been plant strong for six months, had lost forty plus pounds, so the word "hard" didn't really enter my mind.

4. What surprised you the most about your experience? Nothing surprised me, either. I had studied the itinerary before hand and had a grasp about the program and its content. Oh,wait...not having TV for a week was going to be difficult, but I quickly learned that not having TV wasn't awful. I had used TV as background noise, what I learned is that TV is really a distraction, even as background noise. Since being back, the TV is only on at certain times.

5. What was the biggest thing you took away from the experience? I ate greens, but not nearly enough. Now, I eat kale, collards, brocolini, chard, etc. three times a day. I did clean my food up a great deal, and knocked out anything processed. I am a very "black and white" person, so eating foods from the ground has suited me best. Eating kale, moving, reading labels, and reversing heart disease were big on my list. The biggest thing, though, was the emotional intensity. The sense that I work for an amazing company, that I have a wonderful life, and that I am really blessed.

6. Did you experience any health changes in that week or since then? Weight loss continues nicely. I looked good on paper, and had no health problems. I have 100 more pounds to lose, so I am just waiting for it to melt off. Oh, I had to get new bras. I went from a size 42DD to a 40D. (I know, it sounds like the answer to an algebra problem).

7. What has it been like to be back home? Well, I got a Vita-Mix, have bought a Tiffin, got lots of containers, and have re-organized my kitchen. I cook plant strong for the everyone, and if my family doesn't like what I have made, they have an option to pay for their own take-out. This week at work, a shopper asked me, "What are you using on your skin? It looks awesome!" So, I took her to the KALE section of produce and said, "This is my new secret!" We laughed.

8. Do you have a favorite meal now? I make a bean salsa in lettuce leaves that I love. I do not, though, have a favorite meal. I cook in batches and keep lots of selections at hand. Oh, and I do enjoy the "Mighty Muffin."

9. How do you think your life has changed because of what you have learned? Simple. I am less harsh on myself. I thought that I had a character flaw because I couldn't manage my food intake. What I know now is that I was making the WRONG selections. I would crave and think about food ALL the time. Now, I am calm about food, no worries. If I had deviated from the eating plan of the day, it would have given me permission to binge. I haven't binged in six months. I think my blood sugar is stabilized and I no longer crave any foods. Living plant strong has balanced out my life.

10. Why should others have hope about being plant strong? Well, I am not sure if those not living plant strong can have hope because they may not be able to surrender what they perceive as "foods I love." My own sense of hope comes from a deep belief that this is the right thing to do, for me. And although someone at work told I was dogmatic about being "plant strong," I do not think that is the case. I learned this week that when people speak ill of something, someone, or a belief, that they are really telling you alot more about themselves.

I am waiting for that day that when I tell someone I am a marathon walker that they say, "WOW!" instead, "You walk marathons?" When that happens, I know I will have reached the mountain top. And in a smaller bra, too!

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