Whole Life Magazine

October/November 2013

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/185526

Contents of this Issue


Page 41 of 43

backwords Change your diet, change your mood I t's 9:30am, a Tuesday in the second month since I left my lucrative corporate career to pursue my dreams. I should be ecstatic. Instead, I'm walking into my living room and shutting all the blinds. It's the twenty-fifth consecutive morning—I know this from my mood journal—of feeling as if a ton of bricks is resting on my eyelids. Throughout my life, depression has destroyed love, friendships and now my ability to enjoy L.A.'s famous sunshine. I used to get glimpses of my mood disorder when I worked a 70-hour workweek, but my job was distracting—I flew all over the country casting super-fit and -thin models for national marketing campaigns. Paradoxically, surrounded by carb-and-sugar-laden junk food on daily photo shoots, I got fat. I've struggled with body image issues since my first bite of lasagna. My habit of collecting 30 extra pounds around my midsection is inherited through an obesity-driven gene at least five generations deep. Between work and heredity, how could I beat these odds? I'd have to do something drastic. So one day I quit my actionpacked lifestyle cold turkey and drove 14 hours west to follow my dream of being a writer. Then, as I shut out all the noise and distractions from my former Colorado life, my depression became debilitating. By the third month of blindshutting, I needed a release. I drove up to Runyon Canyon for a power hike, wearing stretch pants and an oversized tee. As I stopped at a trailhead to stretch, I saw flashes of skin swarming the park: girls in buttcheek-riding booty shorts, shirtless men with chiseled chests. I ended my workout before it began and headed back to my car, determined to lose weight. A few months earlier, some family members had lost a significant amount of weight through the hCG diet—human chorionic gonadotropin pregnancy hormone plus drastic calorie restriction. Blogs described this diet as "reckless" and "dangerous," but when I heard it would target impossible-tolose cellulite, I looked down at my puffy belly and thick upper 42 By Lisa Donato thighs and was sold. (But I would start next week—I didn't want to miss out on Taco Tuesday.) After 40 days on this extreme program, I had lost almost 30 pounds and wore a bikini for the first time in 10 years. Gone was the persistent belly fat, along with two inches from my linebacker thighs. I couldn't wait to get back on the hiking trail. I sprang out of bed one morning and donned booty shorts and a tank top, and then something unexpected happened. On my way to the car, I felt like I was seeing L.A. for the first time— vibrant colors, lush vegetation and crystal blue skies stopped me in my tracks. My new figure had given me new confidence about my appearance, but my mood was what surprised me—I was clearheaded and focused. Every morning after that I woke up and waited for something to change, waited for the darkness to creep back in so I could draw the blinds. But for the first time in my life I felt like I had a blank canvas. Even if it was a temporary buzz from the weight loss, I didn't want to lose it or bounce back to my old eating habits. I had to proceed with caution. It was time to start a new journal. I logged every morsel I consumed and my reactions. The more consistently I chose a clean diet—veggies, fruit, lean protein, unprocessed anything—the more consistent my moods became. When I surrendered to a few slices of cheesy pizza, it took me days to recover. Today, almost a year since I began my transformation, I feel like a brand new woman. My new weight of 135 has sustained and my moods have been stable. I do not wake up to a sense of dread, but to a feeling of possibility. Things are not perfect. I still have internal angst begging for a plate of cheesy nachos. The cellulite on my upper thighs makes me cringe. But I'm living the life I always wanted— depression-free and able to live my dreams. Perhaps best of all, I received an email from a national magazine—I was published for the first time. Photo Top: Precise Moments Photography EATING THE BLUES AWAY wholelifetimesmagazine.com CTCA F

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Whole Life Magazine - October/November 2013