View Full Version : PLEASE help me encourage my mother! She's about to quit.
08-04-2008, 09:04 AM
My mother called me today almost in tears. She and my father have been raw for a week and have stuck to it faithfully...my dad has lost eight pounds and my older sister (who has just gone about 50%) has lost 6. My poor mother hasn't lost a single pound. She's almost beside herself.
I bought Alissa's book and left it at my parent's house for them to read. Mom read it from cover to cover and said "This woman said that she doesn't know ANYONE who didn't lose at least four pounds the first week. What is wrong with me?!"
My mom definitely has weight to lose--she's probably about 20-30 pounds overweight. She's reasonably active (she's a pharmacy technician and so she's on her feet a lot during the day.) And I KNOW that when she says she sticks with it, she really sticks with it. She drinks a lot of water and some heavily diluted unsweetened tea.
She's been eating a lot of fruit and 1-2 salads a day. She only had one banana in the past week, and 1-2 small handfuls of nuts throughout the week.
The one thing that caught my attention was her words "What's the point of starving yourself like this if you can't lose weight?" I told her that she SHOULDN'T be starving--that I eat all the time and have lost almost 20 pounds. She responded that she eats a lot, but still never feels satisfied.
Please, please, please help! I don't know enough about raw to offer much advice. I convinced her to stick with it for at least another week, but I don't think she'll keep with it any longer than that if she doesn't see results this week.
Here's what I told her:
--cut out the dates, and don't eat any more nuts or bananas than you're eating.
--make sure you eat enough natural fats (evoo and avocado)
--add in some more greens
--try one green smoothie a day
--go for a walk on the days she doesn't work (she's too tired to exercise after her long days of work)
She has candida and thyroid issues. She has an unnaturally low metabolism (its genetic---I have a low metabolism as well) and very little muscle. But even with all these problems don't you think she'd see SOME sort of results?
She's despondent and I feel desperate to come up with something that will keep her on this path. I know that it will improve her health and her outlook on life...and I while told her that this is about HEALTH, not just weight loss I know that in the short term, she will need to see the weight loss to convince her that it is worth it.
08-04-2008, 09:15 AM
Print out and have her read my testimony. How old is your Mom? Just curious. A week is NO TIME! And every BODY is different! Tell her to e-mail me. I'll get her straight - LOL!
08-04-2008, 09:48 AM
Please tell me where in Alissa's book does it say to cut out anything?
Tell your mother to eat what she wants when she wants and to stop "starving" herself! This is NOT a weight loss diet! This is a lifetime health building food program! Her body is starving for nutrients so she's "starving" it?
One never knows what's going on inside and those nutrients may be being used to heal a condition she may not even know about. Our healing doesn't happen on our agenda, it happens on nature's agenda.
Also, tell her what she focuses on expands. Focus on health, one gets health, focus on weight...
Here's an interview she might wish to listen to:
And yes, she "should" be getting some exercise. What one does at work and what one does outside of work is not the same thing. If she would get OUTSIDE and get some fresh air, she'd be feeling less depressed AND less tired. Her lungs aren't working enough.
If she's too tired AFTER work, tell her to get out and get 15 minutes of fresh air before work. She'll be feeling a whole lot better AFTER work.
08-04-2008, 10:18 AM
Some people can make the switch overnight, others have to change it over the course of a few years. Alissa said in the book Beautifull on Raw that she fell off the diet all the time in the beginning.
Alissa Cohen: "At first, I would be raw for a month or two, but peer presure, cravings and the like would lead me back to cooked food." (http://www.rawfoodtalk.com/showthread.php?t=42734)
My parents went raw too, just an overnight thing. They were raw for about 8 months and then they gave it up. I think you should transition at a slow pace, in such a way that your body doesn't really know it, and I told them that but they decided to go 100% right away. Now I started raw a few months before they did and I'm still working at it, even though I'm not 100%, but they've gone back to cooked, I took the slower, painless approach and I've progressed.
Just think about how David Mason says to change your diet 1-2% a week and change gently.
08-04-2008, 10:42 AM
A low thyroid might definately be having an effect. Also 20-30 pounds overweight is Nothing. Who really cares? Maybe your Dad is losing more because he has more to lose....you know, the higher you are the quicker you lose it.
I have noticed that when I am nut heavy, as opposed to avo heavy, I don't lose. A simple innocent cup of nuts can be a thousand calories!
Also, I agree, she should NOT be starving! Are her salads mixing bowl sized? With avo and dash of evo, and whatever spices she wants....craving Indian, add curry, craving variety, add an apple, craving italian, add oregano, sundried tomatoes.....you know. Fill up on those veggies and you simply Won't be starving.
And fruit is amazingly flushing ....I am finding, lol.
08-04-2008, 11:49 AM
I've been 50% raw for a year and always wanted to step it up. Not until I got cookbooks and decided to PLAY with the food was I able to go 90-100%. I've been 90-100% (depending on whether I'm using ingredients I already had in the pantry - spices, sauces, pickles, etc). My daughter did what your mom did - straight fruit and veggies - and she quit in a couple weeks, too. If a diet is boring or miserable, it's hard to stay on it. I also have a thyroid problem and 20lbs to lose and am trying to be patient. The thyroid makes it much harder. I just changed departments at my job so I'm not standing all day, and it definitely makes a big difference in my ability to go work out. Maybe she can INSIST on lunch breaks where she can sit down and also take a few minutes through the day to sit down and rub the backs of her knees to help circulation.
It's good you brought her Alyssa's book. Encourage her to try some recipes! And if what's she's craving is bread, tell her it's ok to eat nut and seed- based crackers to help her through the cravings. Yes, they'll have more calories, but maybe she'll stop feeling miserable and that will help her hang tough!
08-04-2008, 12:11 PM
I feel for your mother. I have a slow metabolism too caused by a slightly underactive thyroid. Tell her not to give up. It takes time for the body to heal itself. Encourage her to add foods that are good for the thyroid like some kelp (used in the not tuna recipe)(not- don't overdo kelp too much can be as bad as not enough). Also, thermogenic spices like cinnamon, cayanne pepper and ginger help the metabolism. I have also had some success doing barley greens first thing in the morning followed by a veggie juice. (usually carrots and beets with some greens). The body will heal itself. I have been mostly raw (85-100%) for the past month. I have lost 7 pounds, but more than that, I feel that my body is healing. I have way more energy now and my colitis has cleared up. I am not fretting that the weight is comming off slowly. I am sure that I am gaining more muscle too.
08-04-2008, 12:39 PM
I agree with all the above, especially the bi-i-ig "kitchen sink" salads with nuts, peas, corn, fruit, avocado, whatever combo sounds good.
I was raw for 2 months last summer and lost no weight for the first month, finally saw a little the second month, and gave up. Last spring, I read Ultrametabolism and for some reason, though I had seen it before, it really sank in that an unhealthy body--at any weight--will put all the nutrition it gets into getting healthy first and weight loss will come as a by-product. You can't hurry the getting healthy part.
Also, last summer, as I got more and more frustrated, I cut out the nuts and dried fruit, etc. and I felt empty all the time. I would say--don't try to do it that way! Don't restrict giving the body what it needs and craves. It will just hang on to the weight even more. Unless she's chugging cups of honey or eating pounds of nuts per day, she's probably okay!
Make sure she's eating often and that she's eating some starchy and fatty foods. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but it's not! A fantastic breakfast or snack on a hungry day is a banana and handful of pecans!
Just at the beginning, to help her get used to the way the food feels, it might help her to think about "balancing" a meal the way she used to--a salad, a "main" dish, a dessert. E.g., cucumber/tomato salad, a scoop of nut pate on lettuce (I think nut pates are the easiest filling raw foods), mango/berry smoothie for dessert. (In my opinion, food combining can come later, when her body is more sensitive and she wants to do it.)
Get her a dehydrator, even if it's a cheapie Ronco from Target. The taste of warm dehydrated veggies like mushrooms (my fave!), tomatoes, and onions is superb. Broccoli is good, too. Drizzle with evoo and whatever else you like!
Order some pre-made crackers and raw oats online.
Make some of the creamy dressings from Alissa's book. The caesar is heavenly!
Make her some fudgey desserts, if she likes chocolate.
Make a list of all her favorite salads that she already likes and are already or easily made raw.
I posted (http://www.rawfoodtalk.com/showthread.php?t=42557&highlight=never+feel+full) back awhile about never feeling full and I got some great responses! Maybe she'd like to read it.
Edit: I wanted to add that this time around, I did spend 6 weeks just playing with raw foods and getting vegan. So, when I started all raw July 1, I had some health-building already underway. I have seen weight loss since starting all raw, and I believe the transition time was helpful in that regard.
08-04-2008, 12:57 PM
I actually gained a few pounds until the last week or so I lost 12lbs and I've been on it two weeks.
I eat as much as I want whenever I want and cut out nothing.
08-04-2008, 01:26 PM
Warning: Brutally honest opinion forthcoming
This is not a diet! You cannot approach the rawfood lifestyle with a diet mentality. The two do not go together. As long as your dear Mom is focusing on "starvation" and limitations of any kind, it's going to make it just that much harder to get to her core goals and realize her ultimate goals. 20-30 lbs really isn't that much weight to lose...relatively speaking.
My compassionate suggestion is to let her know that it takes time to heal and the weight will come off if she eats raw. It helps to start with visualizing what you want to experience and not focusing on where you are and how "fat" you feel, but seeing yourself where you want to be. She should also knock off comparing herself to her loved ones - especially your Dad. That's no fair at all because we all know men lose weight in nanoseconds...hahaaha. :p
One week is hardly enough time to see "results". But the irony is she's experiencing change right now, she's just putting too much pressure on herself focusing on weight loss. Have her shift gears and start focusing on abundant health. It may take time because of all of the emotional attachments to food and everything else, but it works. It took me 6 months before I started to really get into this and a year later I'm still learning and growing as I watch my body heal and evolve. It's a journey. If she's really movitated by quick results...have her try a green juice fast or feast for 1, 2 or 3 days. Start with baby steps. She'll definately feel clearer and will probably begin to release water and unnecessary fat weight.
Regarding metabolism, if you don't eat and move your body, it tends to hold onto it's fat stores. You gotta eat and enjoy your food 100%. And get some extra movement into the mix - brisk walking is inexpensive, easy and wonderful. Has she read Alissa Cohen's book yet? It's all in there.
Best wishes...tell her not to give up and to read the before and after section on this site. Most folks are talking about and experiencing lifestyle change not necessarily talking about diet results.
08-04-2008, 01:30 PM
I would have to agree. I have NEVER thought of this as a reason or way to lose weight. I actually started to cleanse my body and loved it so I'm sticking with it based on how it makes my body feel.
08-04-2008, 08:21 PM
I was a bit frustrated because, though I have now lost 52 pounds, it was slow compared to the stories in the before and after stories. I have come to know that when I'm not losing weight, my body is working on healing and reorganizing. Now I feel like a new person! I know my cells are healing and being renewed. Weight loss is great, but a healthy life that trusts the processes of our bodies and makes us feel great is better! Try to encourage your mom to really commit to the lifestyle for at least a month without thinking about weight loss. Let her body relax into it and enjoy the ride!!!!! I wish you all the best!!
08-04-2008, 10:38 PM
Maybe she's not eating enough. I've noticed that older people tend to think fat is bad. My parents used to limit our consumption of olives and nuts. And they are fearful of oils. She might need to eat more of these foods.
08-05-2008, 12:00 AM
have her join rawfoodtalk! whenever i get discouraged, i jump on this site and search the topics i am currently struggling with. it helps TREMENDOUSLY to have the support of so many. i can open nearly any thread and read veganforlife's "GREEN SMOOTHIES" advice, make a tasty shake, and feel a million times better about my decision to go raw. give mommy a hug from us :).
08-05-2008, 07:24 AM
Hi LynieD, I'm in the same boat as your Mom .... 5 weeks raw compared to her 6 and I've gained a pound. Like her, I read Alissa's book from cover to cover and for the first 4 weeks was very close to 100%, aside for some ingredients called for in Alissa's recipes. I've relaxed a little in the last week and had an egg, a serving of beans, some veggie spring rolls, on separate days.
I'm all for getting healthier, but in fact the excess weight is a cause of at least one of my health problems (sleep disorder). I really need to lose weight. I read of a research study showing that poor sleep quality (or sleep deprivation) leads to excessive appetite. In turn, being overweight leads to poor sleep quality for a lot of people. So it's a brutal cycle. Then, some people have hypothyroidism.
So maybe your mom also has a health issue that is making weight-loss especially difficult. Undiagnosed sleep problems are pretty common. How much extra weight is she carrying?
08-05-2008, 08:00 AM
How much extra weight is she carrying?
She said in her op, 20-30 pounds.
08-06-2008, 08:50 AM
Thank you, everyone, for your input. I'm putting together an email for her today with excerpts from your posts and will continue to encourage her to keep going. I'm going to try to get her to commit to the whole 30 days.
My dad told me that yesterday was the first time in years that my mom didn't need her prescription acid reflux medicine--she just took one OTC pill and it lasted her all day and all night. In addition, over the past few nights she's been able to sleep with only two pillows--for years she has had to sleep sitting up because of her acid reflux. You would think that results like that would be motivation enough, but I think that her hopes were so high after seeing my weight loss, the lack of any loss is a great disappointment to her. We have similar body chemistry (as similar as a 24 year old and a post-menopause 60 year old can be) and I think she assumed our results woud be similar.
I have encouraged her to get online and onto a forum like this one, but my parent's internet is so slow that it would really be impossible for her to do so. That is why I left her Alissa's book--hoping that it would give her the info and support that she was lacking.
Her words "I'm starving" really continue to bother me. I think that, like some of you suggested, she's avoiding fats. She's eating primarily fruits with 1-2 salads and uses salsa as dressing. I think that is my fault, because I cautioned her not to go overboard on fats. I know that many of you can eat all the fats you please and loose weight, but I can't. A single nut will halt my weight loss for days, and too many avocados will do the same. I gave that caution knowing that my parents will eat nuts by the scoopful....but I didn't mean for them to cut out fats entirely. I eat an avocado each day, along with a good portion of cold-press olive oil on my salad. And the occasional banana.
*sigh* But like those of you have said, everyone's experience is different. My dad enthusiastically reported (as he woke me up at 7am with a phone call!) that he has lost another pound. I warned him not to tell mom. :)
Veganforlife: I will certainly include your testimony! And my mother just turned 60 two months ago--I apologize for not answering until now.
08-06-2008, 11:32 AM
LynieD--A thought just occurred to me--
Why don't you see if your parents will give you their scale to keep for awhile? Your mom wouldn't have to be faced with your dad's success and she could concentrate on her improving health, which is actually even more of a success than weight loss.
I have a very acid stomach and I digest my food very quickly. I make sure I have a snack available after every meal. I don't use them like I used to, because feeling empty or hungry doesn't bother me very much any more, but I have them there.
If your dad really wants to weigh, he could probably find another place to do it--drugstore, gym, friend's house, keep one at work (don't tell your mom!).
08-06-2008, 11:49 AM
Great suggestions, Emma-Liza. I live 6 hours away from my parents, but I'm going to ask my dad to put the scale in the attic.
My family in general is far too focused on weight. (I'm a 3-x day weigher, myself) Being raw and focusing on HEALTH and a general feeling of WELL-BEING has helped me start to wean myself off of it, but it takes time.
Raw Angel Mom
08-06-2008, 11:58 AM
She is probably going through withdrawn. Cook food addiction is very serious business. I agree with the advice that she should eat and just go nuts with raw food. She needs to trick her mind and train her mind that she will be ok and will be very comfortable with this diet. You cannot do this by being too strick.
There is a new dvd that got release Simply RAW This is a 30 days raw reversing diabetes with dr.Cousens. There was one woman that wanted to stop the program because she couldn't see the result fast enough and she was comparing herself to others. She ended up staying and you should see the major transformation in her attitude.
One thing to tell your mom is that the body will focus on what is important to keep her alive and fix the major organ, gland system etc... Once done, it will get ride of bad fat. Ask her to write down the goal and the reasons why in the first place that she has choosed to give a try.
Also, she is going into fear, but perhaps if she can read other testimony and see that she isn't alone and this is completely normal that part of her is doing everything it cans to sabotage her effort. Once, a little bit of faith will kick in in her, she will be ok.
If you could preparre for her some green smoothies, it will help her to go through this diet much easier. Green heals addictions and will balance her PH level.
Pray for her, prayer has been shown to improve health and did so many great thing.
08-06-2008, 05:10 PM
Releasing weight when one is past menopause can be very challenging, especially on SAD. In fact, many post-meno people have sworn by the raw food lifestyle moving the weight when absolutely nothing else did. But this takes time, and if the glands are out of whack, especially the adrenals and thyroid, as they commonly are by the time a woman reaches menopause, balance has to be established, as well as the liver gotten cleaner, in order for fat to be released. There some people who don't release anything for months, and then a detox period happens, and some poundage goes, just like that, and it gets better from there. Then another round of healing, maybe some more detox episodes, each returning with a greater level of health. Reason her husband is losing more weight is because he's guy and has more muscle mass naturally, plus he's not the one going through hormonal challenges, as in menopause. Anyhow, she should consider this shift in lifestyle as the ultimate investment in her health - the weight release WILL come in due time! It's already a good sign that she is able to reduce her acid-reflux medication, so that means some inside healing is taking place. Tell her that this lifestyle works from the inside out. It took some time for her health situation and overweight to develop, and it's going to take some time for it to turn around, even with giving it the good tools to do so. Rome wasn't built in a day!
As a post-menopausal woman, she should NOT be avoiding fats! In fact, we "mature ladies" NEED some healthy fats for hormonal balance, and a well-balanced raw food diet supplies these naturally. Since the fats are not cooked, they act differently in the body. This is why people can eat an avocado, a tablespoon of coconut oil, some flax seeds and a few nuts each day and still lose weight. But that still doesn't mean that she should be just loading up on all of these every day. Even the addition of one or two of these will help her feel satisfied, and this is also where dehydrator breads and treats come in. It's nice to have those crackers or "bread" with one's salads, and a dessert you don't have to feel bad about eating. Everybody is different though - some do better with more fat and greens, others do more with more fruit. Best thing for her to do is to just continue eating raw foods, especially the green smoothies(as we know here they are POWERFUL elixirs)and to eat ENOUGH raw foods, with the bulk being fruits and veggies. Aside from the cooked food withdrawal feeling, especially if she was accustomed to feeling stuffed before, it sounds like she isn't eating quite enough food period. If one isn't eating enough, and not getting any exercise, the body thinks it's starving, will give out hunger signals to eat, and put on fat, even on relatively little food. But if she would get onto a solid exercise program and eat more in general as long as it's raw, I'll bet she'll see results in due time. At our age, we need both healthy eating habits AND the exercise(emphasis on resistance training of some sort for muscle mass - otherwise aging along with inactivity makes us lose it).
Other folks here have given excellent input too. Hope this all helps!
08-06-2008, 06:04 PM
Lynie D: I just thought of one more thing that might help. I read a book called the "Triple Whammy Cure". The book addresses several health issues often experienced by women, including how to deal with menopause related problems. One of the main points that the author makes is that women have problems caused by stress, hormones and low seratonin levels. Part of his cure includes taking a 20 minute walk in the sun (without sungalsses). The sunlight stimulates the seratonin production and the walking helps with stress. This can help with weigh loss not just because of the exercise, but because when you are under stress it can make losing weight more difficult. I know your mother mentioned that she doesn't like to exercise after work, but if she could work in even a short walk outside, it could help. They help me.
Let us know how things go.
Sending warm hugs to your mother:) .
08-07-2008, 09:03 AM
I have emailed all your posts to my mother. Again, they live in the country and have no alternative to ultra-slow dialup so internet browsing is pretty much impossible for them. I'll just keep sending her the wealth of information I find on these boards!
Thank you so much for all your advice. I talked to her last night and she was in MUCH better spirits! I think that part of her depression and desire to quit was due to some really heavy detox at the beginning of the week. When she called, she asked "Have you ever heard of getting a weird white fur on your tongue?" I told her that a tongue coating is a symptom of detox that I always got when I was on the Master Cleanse, but never on raw foods. I'm amazed that she's detoxing so hard on raw food! She said that a pink spot has appeared on her tongue and continues to grow as the white wears away, so she's coming through detox.
She was also detoxing emotions, I think, since she essentially sat and cried all day Monday.
I encouraged her to put the scale away for awhile and she agreed. She remarked that once some major bloating and stomach pain has subsided, her clothes feel loser.
I also sent her some before/after pictures from this forum to motivate her.
Thanks again for all your help! I'm so proud of my mom and dad for taking this step for their health, and feel inadequete to support them in the way they need!
08-07-2008, 12:04 PM
LynieD--what a great daughter you are! I am also a post-menopausal woman and I really feel for your mom! Tell her there are lots of us in her shoes and we are all "rooting" for her, okay?
08-07-2008, 12:06 PM
I will, thanks Emma-Liza. :)
08-09-2008, 03:05 PM
Get her to take lots of kelp...
08-09-2008, 03:08 PM
People should feel free to eat as they wish. The only way you can influence is by being an example of a healthy raw-vegan.
Part of being healthy is making your own healthy decisions.
08-09-2008, 03:13 PM
Everyone loses at different speeds. I know for self I have been a slower loser, but still I haven't given up on eating healthy.
Tell her to hang in. I also work out lots and that helps.
Fitting nicely in a size 8 from probably a 14 is a big thing to me and being called "skinny" set me on fire to rise to the next level.
Does she belong to a gym? I had a trainer and work every penny to learn about using machines probably.
Good luck to her and keep us posted.
She's lucky to have a daughter like you. Wow.
09-08-2008, 10:09 AM
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