Larissa Joyce

How I went from 205 lbs. to 147 lbs.

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In 2009 I found myself depressed, overweight, sick, in a bad marriage and working a job I disliked. I have dealt with depression a lot in my life. As a child, I always felt like there was something wrong with me. It didn’t matter that the people around me cared for and loved me or not. I still felt rejected and unaccepted. Looking back now I know that I had pretty good parents and family. I always had a nice handful of friends to hang out with. Rejection is just my thorn.

I was never overweight until I was in my late 20’s when I hit 160lbs. The weight gain began when I started to drink and eat out with friends. Otherwise, all through high school and my early 20’s at 5’5, I was 130 lbs. I had been very active walking, rollerblading, and riding my bicycle. I was raised in an era where children spent a lot of time outdoors. Pre-technology era.

In 2009 I was 38 years old and in a bad marriage. The marriage only lasted 8 years but out of those 8 years we only actually lived together for about 2 of them. It was verbally abusive and I lost my self-esteem and self-confidence. I quit caring about myself and taking care of my appearance. I was focused on my stepchildren a lot of the time and less concerned for myself.

I had a job working with disabled adults finding jobs for them and coaching them on the job. I assisted the client in retaining his job and worked with the employer on how to help his employee be successful. I loved most aspects of the job. The parts I hated were the long commutes to and from home and the constant driving from site to site visiting the different clients in their homes and at their jobs. I was rarely at the office and it put a lot of wear and tear on my vehicles. I paid out a lot in gas even though part of it was reimbursed it never was enough. The company I worked for was non-profit so the salary wasn’t the best. Most of all I hated the marketing aspect of the job. I felt rejection anyway in my personal life and it was hard being rejected by businesses day after day when I would try and set up presentations with them.

In the summer of 2009, I went to Cougar Mountain Zoo with my husband and step kids. There was a big bronze Elephant that I stood next to in order to get my picture taken because I like elephants. After the picture was taken, I saw how big I was. I had seen other pictures of myself but I didn’t see myself with the same eyes. These eyes actually really SAW what I looked like. I certainly didn’t feel like how I looked. I was a thin person stuck in a fat body. I felt thin even though I wore a size XL blouse and size 14 jeans. The more I thought about how I looked the more I was embarrassed about how I looked.

I was on a quest to find a diet that would work for me and my lifestyle. I came across juice fasting on YouTube and decided that I would do an extended juice fast to lose the weight. I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead on Netflix. Then I went on Amazon and found myself a masticating juicer and began juicing on January 1, 2010. My first juice fast I lost 20 lbs. I went from 205 lbs. to 185 lbs. After about 28 days my body was telling me it needed to eat so I ended the fast. I decided that I would eat for 30 days then go back on a juice fast.

I knew that I had just spent the last 28 days ingesting fruits and vegetables and I didn’t want to go back to eating like I was so I binged on food documentaries on Netflix. I watched Forks Over Knives and several other movies that really motivated me to start caring about my health again. I began to purchase organic food and shopped from the health food section at my grocery store. Items here were more natural and organic. They were processed but at least I was making a change to actually eating decent meals instead of living off of coffee at Starbucks and fast food. I was becoming more aware of my eating habits.

When I ate after the fast, I did gain back about 5 lbs. as my bowels filled back up with fiber and I was adding salt to my diet again. I was really enjoying eating these new healthier foods but was also looking forward to going back on a juice fast. While fasting there is a sort of high that I got. My stomach felt smaller and empty and I had tons of energy. I didn’t have any detox symptoms. I think I was so sick and malnourished that getting all the new vitamins and minerals in their freshest form really helped my body get healthy and not just to lose weight.

All during 2010, I went back and forth between fasting for twenty or so days then eating for thirty until I hit 147 lbs. I still needed to lose weight but my body and my emotions were exhausted from the fasting. I decided 147 was a way better number than 205 and I allowed myself to stop fasting for a while. Now that I wasn’t fasting, I began to focus on my diet. Over time I worked on eating more fruits and vegetables and making healthier choices. I was drinking americano’s with a splash of almond milk instead of a Carmel Macchiato full of sugar and cream and I stopped having a slice of lemon loaf or banana bread with my coffee. I feel this was one of the biggest culprits of my weight gain.

My weight did get up to 170 and then back down to 150. It wasn’t until I went plant based in 2017 that I could maintain my weight around 153-155 lbs. On January 1, 2017, I decided to just eat fruits and vegetables for 30 days. In February that turned into a juice fast and in March it turned into the raw vegan diet for the next 10 months. In November and December, I was eating pretty much, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and was now adding in beans, and oatmeal. I started cooking my veggies and making soups. All throughout 2017 I was learning about detoxing, microbiome of the gut, leaky gut, candida, and the benefits of celery juice. Breakfast for 7 months was 16 oz of celery juice on an empty stomach. This is how I discovered that I had brain fog. I didn’t know I had brain fog until I didn’t have it anymore.

I forgot to mention that during 2010 the year of change and fasting I discovered that when I ate Dave’s Bread, I began to feel pain in my body. During the first juice fast all of my joints began to feel really good. I didn’t even realize that my body was full of inflammation until it was gone. It had crept up on me over the years and I knew I was in pain and that I was stiff but I just thought it was old age. The first juice fast all the pain and inflammation went away. When it came back with the eating of Dave’s Bread, I realized I was gluten intolerant and cut out gluten and learned how to eat gluten-free. This caused me to be more in tune with how my body felt when I ate certain foods.

As you can see over the course of the years, I embraced change, increased in knowledge and changed my habits slowly in order that they were sustainable. Today I have been plant-based for two years and three months. My total cholesterol is really good at 176 (Nov. 2018). I changed my relationship with food. I think of eating as fuel instead of eating for pleasure. Are you looking to be healthier and make a change? Check out the movies Forks Over Knives and Fat, Sick, & Nearly dead on Netflix or Amazon.






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