Laurie Davis: "What I learned is that when you focus on health, the weight loss will come."
The turning point:
"When I wrote my book, Love @ First Click, I felt a huge sense of professional accomplishment...but I was physically at my worst. I developed severe carpal tunnel and I gained two dress sizes. I had always been into yoga and gym classes, but I couldn't do them with my wrist braces on (putting pressure of any sort on my hands was nearly impossible). While I was rehabbing my wrists, I focused on interval runs and I began tracking calories using My Fitness Pal. I was feeling great — back down to my usual dress size — but little did I know that was only the beginning of my journey."
"Before" Photo Credit: Brian Phillips Photo
How I did it:
"I learned about the practice of functional diagnostic nutrition through my friend Aaron Davis at The Perfect Health Project, who ran some labs on me. The results were eye-opening...and scary! He uncovered all kinds of internal challenges that I wasn't aware of, including dangerously low estrogen and cortisol, high testosterone, and lower-than-normal liver function. This was hard for me to hear since I wondered whether it would impact my ability to have children in the future.
To work towards remedying all of my internal issues, Aaron suggested that I do a modified form of Paleo for 90 days: no grains, no gluten, no dairy, no sugar (unless it's natural) and no alcohol (I cheated on my birthday). He also put me on a slew of supplements — licorice root extract, digestive enzymes, probiotics and more — and taught me how to sequence and titrate them."
"After" photo courtesy of Laurie Davis
The biggest challenges:
"The first week of Paleo was hell! You feel like you're in withdrawal and there's nothing you can eat because you're not conditioned to think in whole foods yet. But I think a lot of people are opting to go the Paleo route these days because when you do, you realize how reliant we are on manufactured products. I was surprised to find that I missed dairy the most — I wanted to eat a cheese platter every day. (I supplemented with a lot of guacamole since that's known to curb dairy cravings.)"
"Eating Paleo has stretched my cooking skills: my favorite dishes include spaghetti squash with garlic shrimp, bean "pasta," and I even made vegan sugar-free cookies with peanut butter and chocolate chips over the holidays. Things I never thought I'd be interested in have now become staples in my kitchen (coconut oil, anyone?). Although my 90 days are up, I've decided to continue, simply because I feel AMAZING."
Advice for other brides:
"Everyone’s body is different. There is no right or wrong way to lose weight, as long as it feels right for you."
Where I am now:
"I didn’t do this to lose weight, though as a bride-to-be that was certainly a benefit. What’s more important is how I feel, not how much or how little I weigh. Knowing I've achieved my goals in a healthful way that will benefit me in the long-term is what makes me glow. Also, the energy boost that I've experienced is unreal!
I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to work out constantly, but once I started eating clean, any anxiety I had about hitting fitness milestones flew out the window. Now I am back to doing things that make me happy, like sweaty vinyasa yoga or a crazy SoulCycle class. I'm maintaining the work that I've done while still enjoying some wedding treats along the way, like savoring wine in Napa Valley for my honeymoon and eating gluten and sugar in our wedding cake. Post-wedding, I'm going to do some more hormonal tests."