This week’s Spotlight Friday brings an inspirational story from the lovely Elizabeth Breuer Reithemeyer who, like Philip, has completely turned her weight, health and life around by adopting a natural diet and lifestyle. It warms our hearts when we hear of real life transformations like Elizabeth’s and I have a feeling it will warm yours too.
1. What drove you to adopt a healthy lifestyle?
I weighed 448 lbs, I smoked cigarettes, ate fast food, including ‘Home Fastfood’ and barely moved. Death wasn’t knocking at my door at 33 yrs old…I was POUNDING on it’s door! & I’m just so VERY Thankful that It didn’t turn around and answer!!! At my biggest, I was told over, and over again that if I wanted to lose it, and get healthy; If I really wanted it, I would do it. Well, I’m here to tell you; That at 448 lbs – I wanted it with all that I was!! I know people look at someone as big as I was and think-why aren’t they doing anything to stop that? (Because they don’t know how!!). They have already lost HOPE, and are so Overwhelmed, that they believe that they will never be okay again, Hope is truly LOST. You can be told- I was over, and over again. But really, I had to realize I was laying dormant to my destructive side!! Making Deal’s, telling me I would ALWAYS fail…So WHY TRY?? Even with the realization that I may not wake up in the morning; I would cry, and make sure I told my family, over & over again that I love them, so afraid that I may not wake up, still…my hope was gone, I felt there was no hope for me, so in my reality, I couldn’t help myself. I was very matter-factly going to Die that way. Put on Insulin shot’s, Diabetes meds, and High blood pressure meds, I hit a low that saved my life!! It woke me up. I had laid dormant to my destructive side years before, and no longer knew how to stand again. It wasn’t till I hit my lowest point, that I was able to ‘wake up’, look down, and see me for what I had become-I was heart broken, and Dying. I stood up..grabbed her hand, and brought her out of the darkness she had sooo long ago put herself in, TRULY convinced she would never see her light again.
My research has taken me far, I’m am now 230lbs down, from a size 35-40 (5X) to a size 18!! My fight is still pushing on. I’m off every medication they put me on, without surgery, or synthetic drugs. By eating clean, 75% Raw, exercising & holding myself responsible, and fighting my ‘Will-Power” daily, I am now 70 lbs away from my goal. I will lose 300 lbs when all is said & done. Thanks to my friend, and Sister, I found Philip’s story, and was able to get the support I needed to not just lose more weight; but reverse some of the horrible damage I have done.
2. What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was learning about food, and what to eat. When I was growing up, my father (who was a very good Dad, and very active in his children’s lives) told me, “Now Elizabeth, don’t drink too many of those soda’s…they are empty calories.” – NOT “Elizabeth don’t touch that stuff, it was made in a lab by scientists that figured out that one of the quickest ways to form disease in the body is by messing with our glucose levels. (Fact: It doesn’t matter what disease we are talking about, whether we are talking about a common cold or about cardiovascular disease, or cancer or osteoporosis, the root is always going to be at the cellular and molecular level, and more often than not insulin is going to have its hand in it, if not totally controlling it.) I wasn’t raised to look at labels..and had no Idea that the reason I was over eating, and hungry all the time was because I was nutritionally Starving to death. I just thought that there was something wrong with me mentally…So, researching, (I read all I could get my hands on), I overcame my ignorance, and learned that Mentally, I was just uneducated. This has been a life changing journey, that I know I’ll never stop learning from.
3. What does your daily diet look like?
I wake up most mornings and drink a Raw Organic Emulsified Juice of Veggies, Fruit’s, Melon, Berries, nuts, seeds, & liquid vitamins, for Breakfast to start my day out right. My snack’s are Nuts, Seeds, sprinkled with nutritional yeast. Cut up veggies (sometimes sprinkled with nutritional yeast), fruits, melon, berries, and different raw recipes I can get my hands on. My Lunches are mainly Vegan, & Raw Vegan, salads, Black bean tacos, My homemade Chick Pea burgers (my favorite) on ezekiel organic sprouted breads. I am a flexitarian, and do eat seafood at times (only wild caught-I’m very picky) & some wraps, & sometimes I drink another juice. My Dinners are becoming more, and more creative! I cook a lot of Baked Dinners & Grilled Meatless meals with the occasional Sea Food Dinners. Stir Fry’s are a Favorite, and Chick Pea Burgers & Soups. I love finding new Ideas and Keeping it 50% Raw when possible. When we stopped eating Beef, Pork, and Chicken, I felt kinda lost at first, almost panicked! I had to calm down, and realize I could make a Lasagna without Meat..and it made me become more creative. My family loves my Lasagna now way better than the meat one I use to make! My spring egg rolls are great without pork! We can actually taste the Ginger, and Garlic, etc without the greasy grossness getting in the way.
4. What are the top three healthy habits that have made the biggest difference for you?
3: Drinking more water
5. How do you stay motivated and inspired?
By finding like minded people, and sites like yours. I think that’s so important!! I have gotten so much negative feed back from Friends and Family. Even seeing what I’ve done, and accomplished, they tell me they don’t want to hear anything, They want to eat what they want. I started an Awesome exercise program, and bought new Bikes for my family, and Schedule Hiking trips all the time. I try to keep Positive & wake up with the mental attitude that today is going to be Great! Positive thinking is a mental attitude that sees the bright side of things. A positive mind finds happiness, joy, health. Everyone can adopt a positive mental attitude and teach their mind to expect success, growth and favorable outcomes. & by realizing I am a stronger person then I was led to believe. I was told I was weak for many years that I just had to have “Will-Power”. And that it’s a sign of weakness not to control it! But that’s not true. I fight my “Will-Power” daily- Still!
6. What is something most people don’t know about you or wouldn’t expect?
That I have day’s I doubt myself, and whether I will get to my goal. My destructive side still tells me daily that I will fail, making deals with me, and trying to tell me I’ll always be big, and I’ll never get to where I want to be. And That I have Lazy day’s! I still have days that I don’t want to do anything but watch movies, or read a good book, and lay around all day. It’s normal..But, not often.
7. If you could have just one more meal, what would it be?
I have to say: Raw Carrot Cake- I found a Raw Vegan Carrot Cake that I had my Daughter make me for my Birthday…and it was the best Cake I’ve ever eaten!! I know it’s not a “Meal” of sorts..But if I could only eat ONE more thing..that would be it!
8. What first step do you recommend our readers take to start experiencing greater health and energy?
Clean out your house of at least 95% of All processed foods, learn to make your favorites yourself, find like minded people, books, and sites to find recipes from. Eat Organic, and find alternatives to your favorites. Adopt at least a 55-75% Raw Diet, and juice regularly. I promise; You will feel like a brand new person, mentally, and physically. Learn to Hear your Destructive side; The one making Deal’s with you, telling you you will fail. I was 50 lbs down, I had just got out of the 400′s and was so proud of myself…It was my week to weigh in. I had a good half hour drive to my clinic, and the whole way there; I had failed… I had gained 5 lbs back…I had failed, I was always going to be this big…I had failed. I, not realizing it fully, started to talk back mentally to it…”Maybe not, I don’t know that yet, I haven’t weighed”. Again; I failed, I gained 5 lbs, I just knew it; I’ll always fail; I’ll always be this big. And then I KNEW it was true….. “It’s okay Elizabeth..you’ve come this far, you’ll lose it again, it’s just 5 lbs”. I pulled up at the clinic, and walked in, not looking at anyone. I was ashamed of myself….I closed my eyes, and stepped on the scale…Whispering: “Please, let it only be 5 lbs”….I opened my eye’s….I looked down; I had LOST 15 lbs!!! “What” I yelled!!!! I had felt that 5 lbs!! I KNEW I had gained?? I got off, got back on…Tears swelled up in my eyes!! I had LOST 15 lbs!!! I yelled: I’ve lost!! I’ve lost 65 lbs now!! Going out to my car, I felt the betrayal of being lied too!! & THEN I heard it..What I call my destructive side. For the first time, I heard it for what it was. This side of me that we all have in us.. I had laid dormant to mine years ago, and let it control everything, making deal after deal of tomorrows that would never come. I got angry at the lie, and betrayal. I yelled out loud sitting in my car, crying..”I did NOT fail!! I’m am NOT going to fail!! I will NEVER be fooled by you again”, and for the first time silenced it. I felt Stronger, & clearer, than I had ever been.
9. Please share a recipe or resource that you love with us.
Raw, Vegan & Gluten-Free Carrot Cake: A Carrot Cake Even Peter Rabbit Can Love with Creamy Lemon Frosting
- 2 cups shredded organic carrots
- 1/2 cup dates (about 6 dates)
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup dried apricots
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
1. Grate the carrot in a food processor fitted with the grater attachment. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
2. In the food processor, now fitted with the blade attachment, blend the dates, walnuts, apricots, and raisins until combined but not a paste
3. Add the shredded coconut, spices and carrots. Pulse then blend until the mixture comes together and holds its shape.
4. Using a 1/8-cup ice cream scoop, measure out into balls and then flatten. Frost each cake with a heaping tablespoon of cashew frosting. Chill for 30-60 minutes and serve.
Creamy Lemon Frosting
- ¾ cup cashews (soaked for 1 hour & drained)
- ¾ cup macadamia nuts
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
1. In blender mix all ingredients except coconut oil, until smooth oil.
2. Add coconut oil and continue to blend until creamy. Chill for 30 minutes in refrigerator or until firm and spreadable.
3. Use as frosting for cakes and cupcakes.
Thanks Elizabeth! If you’re looking for support to lose weight naturally and keep it off permanently, check out our Weight Loss Blueprint program.