- Name: Adonica
- Age: 44
- City: New York, NY
- Start weight: 197 pounds
- Current weight: 169 pounds
- Time on diet so far: 7 weeks
What was the turning point that made you want to lose weight?
I always struggled with obesity; In 2010 I was 310 pounds. I lost some weight, but the turning point for me was watching my dad die from complications of heart disease. He had a triple bypass and a total of eight heart attacks, along with renal failure and dementia. I wanted the tools to prolong my life since heart disease runs in the family. My grandfather's death certificate was identical to my father's in terms of cause of death. Also, aside from family history, I wanted to stop self-medicating with food. I learned that life happens and sometimes you have to feel the pain and channel it into a more positive outlook.
Have you tried a diet before? What's different about this one?
I've tried everything, but this is a healthy lifestyle, not a diet. I also incorporated meditation, crafting, feeling the pain of loss, journaling, praying, and seeking spiritual guidance when necessary from my local priest.
What's your end goal, both in terms of weight and life in general?
My end goal in terms of weight is to be healthy and at my ideal weight. In life, my goal is to let people know you don't have to have a long, happy, and enjoyable life — you have to be in balance physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
What's your favorite healthy snack?
Roasted chickpeas in garlic and chili powder.
Have you had any cravings during the diet?
I had a craving for pepperoni pizza and sausage. When I ate it, I literally went insane — I had horrible mood swings, my period came early, and I had heavy cramping. I've never experienced anything so out of body before in my life.
Have there been any times you've wanted to stop? What's kept you motivated?
Yes, I wanted chicken wings with cheese fries, but the motivation was the feeling of helplessness watching my dad die.
What kind of physical activity have you been doing since starting the diet?
I'm a walking queen. My phone automatically goes off to let me know how many steps I've achieved in a day and I'm always trying to up my goal.
What do you like about this diet?
I love how there's no counting or calorie measurement.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
Sugar, but after going insane with pepperoni pizza and sausage, I love all types of seasonal fruit.
What has surprised you about this experience?
This diet is so easy and filling. You can eat amazing food and not feel deprived in any way.
Do you have any advice for other people who are thinking about trying this diet?
You definitely don't need meat to survive and you can still enjoy your ethnic food without it. I make amazing plant-based empanadas now instead of pork-based. And delicious meat-free black bean soup.
This has been an amazing experience that has given me the tools to do the work to prolong my life expectancy. Dad wanted to live to see 100, but only made it to 88. I want to make it to 100!
The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.