Disease Proof

Free at Last from Years of Dieting Entanglements!

I met Ronna a year ago last month at Dr. Fuhrman’s Health Immersion for Whole Foods Market team members. She wasn’t significantly overweight at the time but knew she was not in the zone of where she could be health-wise. Thinking she was eating ‘clean’ and ‘in moderation’, lingering cravings for processed foods, sugar and caffeine, and her attachment to limited thinking about her own health held her back. Today, with a healthy body and mind free of self judgement and food deprivation, she happily spends more time enjoying life in the present moment. Welcome to Disease Proof, Ronna.

 

What was your life like before discovering Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian approach?

Before I found Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian diet-style my head was filled with a myriad of nutrition theories. Self help books and fad diets dictated my rules for weight loss as far back as high school. My focus back then wasn’t on acquiring energy, mental clarity, a sense of balance, loss of cravings, and disease prevention; but more on finding the right diet program.

Increasing vitamins and minerals meant consuming fortified foods - orange juice and cereals, a salad or side of something steamed and green. I thought if I avoided junk food, moved more, and ate less, observing the food pyramid serving suggestions, I could win at losing weight. 

At age 11, I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis, an auto-immune disease commonly referred to as underactive thyroid. In my late teens losing weight meant extreme calorie restriction and/or excessive physical activity. Sugar was my constant companion.  I was the classic yo-yo dieter; in fact, I followed fad diets for sport. I became a runner to try to outsmart and outrun my inner sugar addict.

My cravings followed me to college, and even though I was thin when I was a freshman, I was “under the influence” of the sweet stuff. By the time I graduated I was 40 lbs heavier, and I hated walking across the platform to receive my diploma with my obvious weight loss failures showing. 

After knocking off the excess weight from college by dieting, my sweet tooth, and a honed ability to satisfy my fix led me to open a sweet shop in 1990 called Ronna’s Sweet Necessities. I now had complete access to my vice – at wholesale - and I became an enabler of others' sugar habits too! Then I became a candy buyer for an internet giant, and samples piled in right out of the test kitchen. Trips to Belgium to visit with multiple chocolate factories followed and samples flowed.

My mother, a Certified Diabetes Educator and practicing nutritionist, was a constant source of support and encouragement, but my sugar addiction was a private matter. She was there for me, and I probably skirted anorexia and bulimia because of her presence in my life, but I sought to slay this dragon myself. I evenutally left the candy business with a commitment to go to school to become a holistic health coach, and then I started a nutrition practice. Eventually Whole Foods Market hired me as a Healthy Eating Specialist and that’s how I was introduced to Dr. Fuhrman’s teachings.

In May 2012, I attended the Whole Foods Health Immersion led by Dr. Fuhrman, and his nutritarian diet-style dramatically shifted my perspective. Prior to the immersion I fed my desire, often daily, for coffee with cream, a little wine and cheese, and several bites of a gluten-free ice cream sandwich. These habits and “healthy snacking” kept the sugar and caffeine rushes coming.

 

How do you feel now?

Becoming a Nutritiarian has been a game changer for me. I don’t just look different, I think and live differently. I’ve shed 30 lbs from my 5’2” frame, and my body fat has gone from 44% to 18%. You could say my battery is fully charged now. I feel mindful about food choices rather than being a slave to addictive eating habits. I’m happier, I think more clearly, and I also feel a sense of balance, ease in movement, and confidence about my body. Most importantly, my cravings and the constant “noise” in my head related to food, body weight, and self-image are now completely gone!

 

 

May 2012

  May 2013

Weight

 146

116

Height

 5’2”

 

Cholesterol

 149

 146

Triglycerides

 55

 49

HDL

 62

 58

LDL

 76

 78

BMI

 25.2

 20.9

Body fat %

 44%

 18%

BP

 114/74

 103/66

 

Do you have any success tip(s) to share with others?

  

KEEP GOING

Two days into the nutritarian style of eating I hit a rough patch with severe detox symptoms (headache, all-over achiness and lack of energy). This bout lasted for 48 hours.

Having endured the detox phase, the potential for feeling good every day seemed to increase exponentially. Cravings ceased, pain faded, and longing for old comfort foods got replaced with delicious alternatives. I’m now equipped with recipes provided on Dr. Fuhrman’s website, and in his books and DVD’s that keep me satisfied without feeling deprived. 

 

COOK MORE

Cooking is truly the cornerstone of health, and learning to cook, fast, simple, tasty, micronutrient-rich foods is one of the keys to success. Previously, I played around in the kitchen. Today I cook!

 

LET GO OF LIMITED THINKING

I self diagnosed myself as hypoglycemic, but I was not; it was just my rationalization for incessant snacking. I also believed that as I aged my decreased metabolism would cause an inability to shed weight. This proved to be false too. And I always thought that my hypothyroidism was working against me which proved to be untrue. Correct information cleared the path for change.

 

In a nutshell, what has nutritarian eating done for you?

Nutritarian eating has quieted the dieting chatter in my head. I no longer count calories and fat grams, or wake up wondering if I’m going to be ‘good’ today (in my eating), or if cravings are going to sabotage my best efforts. With less time spent counting calories and being overwhelmed by diet propaganda I have acquired more time to live in the moment, and that’s priceless to me.

I never have to diet again! Dr. Fuhrman has taught me how to regulate my eating internally with my own sense of what I need – not externally with a set of dieting rules and rituals. Tips and rules are not the same. I can’t get enough healthy eating tips; they inspire me.

For me, the good life is not something that will be achieved when I hit a certain number on the scale. The good life is being a Nutritarian; eating high-nutrient, quality food. And that’s the sweet spot, sweeter than anything I used to crave.

And for me, that’s sweet freedom.

 

Congratulations Ronna for fully embracing the nutritarian diet-style and getting free from years of dieting entanglements!

 

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Comments (16) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Sandra - June 11, 2013 9:38 AM

Congratulations Ronna! Can you please tell me if the change in eating has helped you manage the thryiod condition you mentioned?

Tammy K. - June 11, 2013 1:49 PM

Way to go, Ronna!! Doesn't it feel amazing living off greens, beans, veggies and fruit?!!!

Wanda - June 11, 2013 3:33 PM

Hi Ronna,

You are an inspiration! Where did you get you nutritionist coach education? Degree or Cert?

Thank you!

Tara H. - June 11, 2013 5:08 PM

Ronna, your story is so inspiring. Congrats on your success!!! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It struck a chord with me as I too am only 5'2", have a thyroid issue, have always kept my eating and exercise habits in check (I've been eating a plant-based diet for almost 2 years) and am also chipping away at becoming a holistic health coach. My struggles are similar to yours as I've yo-yo dieted through most of my adult life, and even went to pastry school and worked in the gourmet chocolate industry. I'm at the top of my weight class and have teetered being on the borderline of being overweight since being diagnosed with my thyroid issue back in 2005 - despite following a holistic and active lifestyle since my teens. I've just started to follow Dr. Fuhrman's program and am hoping to achieve my own success not only with my weight, but for overall health and wellness. Your story has inspired me to keep going. Thank you!

Ronna Corlin - June 11, 2013 6:54 PM

Thank you Sandra! For many years I blamed my inability to lose added pounds to a 'sluggish' or lazy thyroid, and for me it seems my former eating styles were sabotaging me.

Lisa B - June 11, 2013 8:03 PM

So inspiring to read this! As a nutritarian for almost a year, I've been stalled and discouraged lately so this is just the thing I've needed to read today. Thanks for sharing! It is truly a freeing lifestyle change, isn't it?

Peggy R - June 12, 2013 6:36 AM

Congrats to you...I heard about dr furman about a year ago and started embracing some of his beliefs...unlike you, I have teeter-tottered. You look wonderful and I would like to get myself on the right track....other than feeling good everyday, my son s getting married in a year and I really want to do this. I would like to lose about 40 lbs...at 160 & 5'2 right now :( Any suggestions?

Carrie @ Carrie on Vegan - June 12, 2013 9:56 AM

What an inspiring, beautiful story. Thank you for sharing, Ronna! I have also struggled with sugar addiction and love how you described your new lifestyle as sweet freedom.

Erena DiGonis - June 12, 2013 10:12 AM

What an inspiration! The focus with so many "diets" tends to be only on the number you see on the scale, and not all the other added benefits you discussed. Starting to live a healthy lifestyle like you're doing makes you feel better in all aspects of your life - and inspires others to do the same!

Leslie Otto - June 12, 2013 11:39 AM

Ronna~

I was on the immersion with you last May and have been so inspired all year by your facebook postings and photos of your beautiful food.

I am a Healthy Eating Specialist and it is so exciting to see someone who has takes this incredible gift (Dr. Fuhrman's Nutritarian lifestyle) and recognizes just how valuable it is AND applies it to their life! You are an amazing inspiration for us all! I am excited to share your story with my customers and team members who also struggle with sugar addiction. Thank you for sharing your journey!

Ronna Corlin - June 12, 2013 2:16 PM

Thanks Tammy, indeed striving for 'nutritional excellence' eating delicious, quality food that causes the body to thrive is epic. It's a groove you want to pitch a tent in!
Wanda, appreciations to you. Integrative Nutrition.
Tara, you are on your way. The nutritional landscape as a whole has gotten rather confusing, Dr. Fuhrman's research and practices allowed me to get very clear on how to honor my body. Thanks for sharing your story. You inspire me!
Lisa B., a freeing lifestyle change it certainly is. Keep it going, YES. Dinner tonight, so full of potential. I get excited these days batch cooking breakfast porridge and masterminding ways to incorporate leafy greens into the start-up meal of the day. Truly the gift that keeps on giving!

Ronna Corlin - June 13, 2013 5:24 PM

Hi Peggy, sounds like you are ready to accelerate your nutritarian pursuits. Why not immerse yourself in the community of others who are embracing Dr. Fuhrman's eating lifestyle on DrFuhrman.com. It's chock full of likeminded health-seekers who like you, connect with nutritarianism. The site is chock full of information and motivation and there's a rich database of recipes for playful experimentation. You might set goals to read or re-read Fuhrman's books. I liked moving through Eat to Live with a highlighter, post-its and trying out new recipes each week. I made some of his plant-based burgers last night and frozen some. I like to make a bunch of his dressings and keep them on hand in the fridge for salads or dipping or stir-fries. I always keep a pot of soup in the fridge now loaded with vegetables and G-BOMBS. I like to have some of his brownies in the freezer. I no longer crave them as much as I enjoy them every so often, always at the end of a meal. It's a lifestyle right? Just re-commit to bumping yourself to the top of your busy to-do list. And I'll meet you back here to read about your success. Congrats on the wedding. You'll be wearing whatever you want!

Holly Levine - June 13, 2013 9:02 PM

Ronna I like how you state the diet chatter has been quieted in your head. I was addicted to sugar, flour and caffeine and had limited success with weight loss maintenance by weighing all my food. Been Nutritarian 3 months and keep wondering if my food is "good enough". Still losing weight and learning the recipes. Need support from others to help overcome self-doubt. I joined the Member Center last week. Want to trust. Read 6 of Dr Fuhrman's books and ordered a new one. Need organization and encouragement! Feel better. Got off some MEDS. Rosacea, headaches, knee and neck pain and GERD disappeared. Just feeling overwhelmed at times.

Ronna Corlin - June 14, 2013 12:09 PM

Hi Carrie, it's just incredible how prevalent the sugar thing is and how easily, especially in this country, the notion of sugar addiction is glossed over. People joke around about eating too much of it in public and then in private they suffer the consequences mentally, physically and psychologically. Often aiming to do better, they are without the tools and never really get to the root of deconstructing their cravings and getting rid of their 'toxic hunger' for good. Getting a grip on this concept and the power of eating three beautiful meals without incessant snacking are favorite nutritarian subjects of mine. Thank you for sharing your healthy eating journey on your blog. It resonates and it's a pleasure to share this journey.

Ronna Corlin - June 16, 2013 9:20 AM

So true Erena, thank you. Escaping the diet matrix really has you living on a higher vibration in life doesn't it. It's worth every challenge we run though, over and around to achieve optimized health. I especially like Dr. Fuhrman's description on a recent appearance on r. Oz when he said, "Eating like a nutritarian is different. It's not a weight loss program, it's a longevity program where the participants put in tremendous effort to learn lots of info, to become very knowledgeable in human nutrition and weight loss is the side effect."
As exciting as weight loss is, how interesting that it's just the tip of the iceberg...like the sideshow. The lifestyle is unbeatable. You just want to share it!

Kristy - July 11, 2013 9:53 AM

Inspired by others, kind of discouraged so far.

I am beginning day three of the six week Eat to Live plan.
I have not lost any weight. feel bloated and sick,

Is this how it is supposed to go?

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