Transformation of the Day: Evon lost 64+ pounds. She spoke with us about how she adopted a SOFAS Free (Salt, Oil, Flour, Alcohol, Sugar-Free) and Whole Food Plant Exclusive eating style. As a result, not only has her physical health improved, but her mental health has also significantly improved.
What was your motivation? How did you change your eating habits?
Before I started learning to sustainably eat SOFAS Free (Salt, Oil, Flour, Alcohol, Sugar-Free and Whole Food Plant Exclusive), life was not nearly as liberating. My thinking was cloudy. I had very low energy, experienced poor sleep, overate, and was clinically obese. In 2017, I was diagnosed with Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, and Bi-Polar Disorder. However, I had been experiencing symptoms of these mental illnesses for well over 20 years.
I battled frequent depression brought on by shame centered around overeating and subsequent weight gain. Although I’d been a Pescatarian (only consuming seafood and dairy and cutting out all other forms of meat) since 2006, my diet consisted of processed foods and very few whole plant foods.
In 2015, I decided to eliminate seafood. In 2016, I joined Overeaters Anonymous. For the first time, I was relieved to hear that overeating is a disease and a disorder and that it was not my fault.
For my 2017 New Years Resolution, I challenged myself to eliminate dairy completely. To alleviate the stress I was feeling around the approaching 1st day of this challenge, I also decided only to consume meals that I made from scratch (No Processed Foods). I only made it 11 days before consuming processed food again.
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As someone who doesn’t like feeling “Addicted,” I was now faced with a question I needed answers to, “Why, during those 11 days, could I NOT stop thinking about processed foods?!” So I decided to dig in and start researching what was behind these “compulsions” and discovered Refined Food Addiction, SOFAS Free Whole Food Plant Exclusive eating, satiety index, the Pleasure Trap, and the concept of Low-Calorie Density.
During my research, starting in January 2017, I started applying my findings to my eating. The challenges I faced included even being in the kitchen in the first place. In the past, I had convinced myself I couldn’t cook, didn’t know how to, and wasn’t capable of learning.
As I applied the knowledge I was gaining to my way of eating, I noticed changes, some immediate and some gradual. My energy started increasing, my clarity of thinking improved, and my skin complexion cleared up. My inflammation was beginning to disappear, my nails stopped splitting, and the weight was dropping off of me at an amazing speed. I also became an excellent chef. However, the biggest pleasant surprise was no longer being driven by an addiction to processed foods. The longer I abstained from salt, oil, flour products, alcohol, and refined sugar, the less my brain called out for them and the more Freedom I gained in life.
Though I eventually allowed myself to get distracted by some heavy life trauma that came my way in 2017, I couldn’t forget the Freedom I had experienced. After a few failed starts, I recommitted to eating this way again on January 6th, 2020. I created F.R.E.E.D.O.M., a 7-step process that has assisted me with successfully and sustainably continuing to eat SOFAS Free, Whole Food Plant Exclusive, Low-Calorie Density for the past 22 months.
Starting at 5’6″ and 174 pounds at the beginning of last year, eating this way (without an exercise routine) has also directly contributed to me dropping 64 pounds in less than eight months and successfully and sustainably keeping the weight off over a year later. Over 20 yrs ago, I weighed as much as 250lbs, so with the last 64 pounds dropped, I’ve now dropped 140lbs. To assist others and to stay accountable to myself, I have been transparently sharing my journey since I started last year via my EatingForMyL1fe blog and social media accounts.
Learning to sustainably eat SOFAS Free Whole Food Plant Exclusive has changed my life in such extraordinary ways. In the past few years, my 18-year-old daughter (I’m a Single Mom to 2 daughters, and my oldest is 25.) has had a front-row seat to this part of my journey and has been inspired to see what’s possible for her own health.
As a result of improved clarity of thinking, I’m now better able to recognize signs and symptoms of the various mental illnesses I’ve been diagnosed with. During the Summer of 2020, I battled exhausting depression symptoms for about five weeks. Not new to the experience at all, this time, I was elated to be able to recognize what was happening and actually have the presence of mind to dramatically increase my Divine Self-Care.
Another change is no longer having “favorite” foods. Abstaining from salt, oil, flour, alcohol, and sugar, just eating Whole Food Plants, staying well hydrated, and making leafy greens/veggies my first meal, had gone a long way in cutting cravings. Now, I just eat whenever my body calls for fuel. These days I K.I.S.S. (Keep It SOSF Free Simple) or keep it salt, oil, sugar, flour-free simple. Generally, I consume simple whole foods like fruit (apples, bananas, grapes, pineapples), veggies (like spinach, collard greens), whole grains (like oatmeal), legumes (like sweet peas), starch (like baked potatoes(regular and sweet) and mushrooms (normally sauteed in their own juice and mixed in my veggies or on top of my baked potato).
In the early months of my transition, I explored a lot of different recipes to deal with withdrawal symptoms and cravings. I have been documenting and sharing my journey since I started a year ago. In the interim, I created F.R.E.E.D.O.M., a 7-step process that successfully got me started eating this way again and sustainably continuing to do so. I share about it in my Ebook “Eating For My L1fe (Salt, Oil, Flour, Alcohol, Sugar) Free Whole Food Plant Exclusive: A Liberating Journey” and MasterClass, F.R.E. E.D.O.M. Looks Good On You!: Coaching Immersion as well as 1:1 Private Coaching. As a result, I continue to encourage and coach countless people across the world. Many share with me how motivating and inspirational it’s been to watch and continue joining me on my journey.
What inspired you to keep going?
The biggest Why (or reason) I keep in the forefront of my mind, that keeps me going when I feel like giving up is that I’m tired of the kind of quality of life I had before making these changes and the poor relationships I had with myself and my children.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
No, weight loss surgery is not part of my journey.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
One of the biggest lessons I’ve been learning is how important it is to be honest with myself about being a Refined Food Addict and Overeater in Recovery and what that entails.
What advice would you like to share with women who want to lose weight?
The most important advice I have for others is to be easy with themselves, make their journey their own, and take this one bite at a time.
Disclaimer: Reference or link to any specific product, diet plan, exercise plan or service mentioned in the weight loss stories we share is for the information of our readers, and does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Black Women Losing Weight.