By Lisa Wade Raasch
Get Healthy Muskogee
In her first book “GLOW: A Story of love, cake and what life’s like 150 pounds later,” Muskogee native, author and health advocate Carlye Groom Katz shares her life-long struggle with weight and the lifestyle approach that finally empowered her to lose 150 pounds in a little over a year and keep it off.
Put on her first diet at age 9, Carlye tried at least 15 different diets over the course of three decades. None of them offered the long-term weight loss and maintenance she needed to improve her health.
In fact, as she recounts her experiences, the diets may have actually been counterproductive, making it harder for her to lose the weight for good.
Then she hit on what she coined the “glow” approach, which focuses on real, whole foods, that are as unprocessed as possible.
She traded in chemicals, processed foods and an over-reliance on animal proteins for a variety of healthful vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains and nuts. This is the nutrition combination that for her lead to losing 150 pounds and feeling better than she ever has in her life.
“The weight loss seems secondary to all of the other benefits I have experienced,” Carlye said. “Without drugs, I reversed Type II diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I cured myself of fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, acid reflux, plantar fasciitis, plantar neuroma, allergies and daily headaches. I haven’t even had a cold in four years.”
Carlye is sold on the idea — and her personal proof — that food, when used for fuel and not as an emotional or addictive crutch, is like medicine for the body. Loading up on natural nutrients while eliminating toxins and unhealthy chemicals from our diet can actually empower the body to heal itself.
“Take your health into your own hands and choose to eat fresh, whole foods that will provide energy and nourishment to your body,” Carlye encourages in Glow. “I know that it is not realistic to ask you to never touch anything that comes out of a box or a bag. Chips are a yummy treat and sometimes nothing other than a chocolate chip cookie will do. Just remember the inverse relationship between processed food and health. The less processed food you eat, the healthier your body will become.”
Because foods like sugars, certain carbohydrates and even salty items, can be addictive, Carlye spends time in the book focusing on the mental and emotional aspects of changing one’s relationship with food.
“Many people with a weight problem also have a mental problem associated with food,” Carlye writes in Glow. “They eat out of boredom, emotional distress, and addiction, just to name a few.”
“A person who overeats can go on a diet and lose a few pounds (maybe even 100), but if they fail to address the mental and psychological reasons they overeat, they will return to those unhealthy eating habits at some point and gain much, if not all, of the weight back.”
Carlye believes we need to change our mind about food, in order to change our body.
“The biggest change I had to make was to stop putting food on a pedestal. It is no longer my main source of excitement and enjoyment,” Carlye said. “The ironic thing is that I enjoy food more now than ever before. Once I stopped relying upon food to make me happy, the relationship changed from toxic and obsessive to healthy and satisfying.”
For Carlye, choosing an eating approach grounded in whole, natural, unprocessed foods helped her kick the food addictions that tormented her weight loss efforts for most of her life.
To engage her brain in her new lifestyle, she also added regular visualization to her routine. Visualization in this sense is the process of actually imagining in detail how you want your body to look and feel. Carlye also suggests visualizing saying “no” to unhealthy foods and seeing yourself making healthy food and exercise choices in your mind.
Another important factor in her success is the support and encouragement of her husband Tal, who also lost significant weight and dramatically improved his health. They are a team in nutrition, fitness and better health.
Having tried — and ultimately failed — at other diets from the Cabbage Soup diet, Weight Watchers, Atkins, The Zone, and low calorie diets aided by appetite suppressants, the “glow” approach Carlye outlines in her book is the culmination of what she’s learned from a lifetime of trying. It’s the healthy, nutrition-driven approach she credits for her ultimate success.
“No matter how much weight you have to lose, you can do it,” Carlye encourages. “Take everything one day at a time and celebrate every positive change that you make, no matter how small. You are worth it.”
“Never give up. You absolutely deserve the life of your dreams.”
For more information, visit Carlye’s website at www.CarlyeKatz.com or order Glow online from Amazon.com.
Lisa Wade Raasch coordinates the City of Muskogee Wellness Initiative and directs the EOK Health Care Coalition. Connect online www.facebook.com/MuskogeeWelness or visit www.MuskogeeWellness.org.