DASH Diet Weight Loss & Maintenance

Getting Help

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To my DASH readers/followers – I have stated in the past that the obesity I had before I found DASH, was caused by an eating disorder, but I have never shared why or how I came to have this disorder. I am a survivor of child sexual abuse. By my 12th birthday, I developed an eating disorder with daily binging and purging.

Later in my early 40’s, it was DASH diet, exercise and my doctors, that saved me from the sickness, the remaining obesity had started to cause for me at such a young age.

Today, with this article, all the secrets are vanquished! There will be no more, to not only be transparent, but also in hopes that it might help someone else in the same boat some day. Please share if my story can help someone you know. Thank you all for reading and following!


When I still regularily weighed over 240 pounds and was eating way too much salt, I often had terrible bloating during the day and at night.  There was also a lot of pain when this happened.   Somtimes it would get so bad I had to go home from work and change into loose fitting pants. With adoption of the DASH diet in spring of 2009, all of that faded away immediately and has never returned.  Thank goodness!


I think if we spent more energy and resources teaching people how to follow low sodium diets like DASH, it would be helpful.  There is a lot of misinformation about the effects of sodium on the body out there and many people believe it is good for them until they get sick and are told it is not.  Yes, just telling us to eat more veggies and fruit is good (i.e half your plate), but if I am still dousing my rice in 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 5 times a week, I undo a lot of the good I gain healthwise from the plant based diet.

Although moving to a DASH diet that contained no more than 1500 mg per day was not easy for me in the begining; 10 years later it is a piece of cake and I do it daily!  It is just a matter of getting through the initial learning, organization and planning process. It can be done!!


I never followed a 1200 calorie per day DASH diet because I felt fuzzy and light headed at that level.  Instead I followed a 1300-1500 calorie per day DASH diet during my 18 month calorie restriction process. The calories increased to 1500 and beyond, as my running program slowly increased. I wanted to share this handy info/visual from myfitnesspal, as well as offer a reminder that myfitnesspal is an excellent tool in itself, for following a specific diet plan/goals and for achieving or even just maintaining weight loss.  The app helped me so much, I gave credit to them as one of my most key tools for successful weight loss in this 18 month photographic journal video of the process with DASH.


My blood pressure is normal, but my pulse has been running higher than usual.  I believe this effect may be related to the racing heart feeling of worry I have had for most of the past week  about my daughter Chantelle and her boyfriend Geoff, who evacuated to Havana and had to ride out Hurricane Irma there. Irma hit Cuba as a category 5 hurricane. She then proceeded to bounce like a ball down Cuba’s coast line, taking her leisurely time moving West, destroying the island as she headed towards Havana.  It was one of the scariest 48 hours I have experienced to date and I wasn’t even there!   Moreover it was her 27th birthday on September 8th the day the hurricane hit. I can’t think of a worse birthday present.

Tonight I can officially report they are back on Canadian soil in Toronto and hopefully home tomorrow.  I spent quite a bit of time this past week using Twitter to find out news about what was happening with the storm, weather reports, pictures, country preparations, etc, because let’s face it, Twitter is where you will always hear something first.   I couldn’t text to my daughter in Cuba much at all. Even with the few texts that did get through back and forth between us, I still couldn’t know she was safe, because “massive historic hurricane” and no one could really be safe until it was over.

I thought I would screen my non hurricane related tweets out and put the complete list of Irma tweets here so I could more easily refer back to the experiences of this past week.   I am doing this partly because I tweet quite often and a month from now these tweets will be buried and difficult to retrieve.

Sept 14: Air Can super delayed again.Chany & Geoff still sitting on runway in Toronto to come back Vic from from havana, Cuba & Irma! #cdnpol #bcpoli

Sept 13: Hopefully daughter’s boarding AC plane out of #Havana!! Home in Victoria @9 tonight. Excited to hear about #Irma #cdnpoli #uspoli #cuba

Sept 12: Replying to @InfidelMedia Fuck you hurricane irma or whatever u are, my flight is now delayed 12 hours while my plane is rescuing people at cuba. Hope they ok. 10:02 PM – 12 Sep 2017
Replying to @InfidelMediaz; My daughter is there and coming home tomorrow!! So excited! I was so scared for her : (

Aw glad she ok mother nature is such a shit ay?

Reply to @InfidelMediaz: Totally!! I heard the screaming of that hurricane in video clips and boy is she furious!

Sept 12: Flight delay! Chany will be home tomorrow night at 9pm in Victoria. Should get her a I survived #Irma in #Cuba t-shirt : )) #uspoli #cdnpoli

Sept 12: Daughter reported by txt @lunch they were in Cent #Havana now & water, lights, power back on in major downtown areas! #irma #cdnpoli #uspoli

Sept 12: Hoping Havana, Cuba airport is reopening today so Chantelle and Geoff can leave tomorrow morn as scheduled. #cuba#cdnpoli#irma#uspoli

Sept 11: Rereading daughters last blog post bout climate change-so relevant 2her #Irma experience in #Cuba! #cdnpoli #uspoli
Sept 11: Msg from daughter in #Havana worried bout access 2 money. #Cuba devastated by #Irma  #cdnpoli #uspoli
Sept 10: Love this!! My daughter is in Havana now!! Hopefully to fly out on the 13th but from pics… : (( #irma #cuba #cdnpoli #uspoli
Sept 10: Replying to @KarenBr73718916 My daughter told me this morning they were safe in Miramar, Havana but no idea where. #cdnpoli #uspoli #cuba
Sept 10: Replying to@Havana_Expat: Take this back! Just saw video Miramar flooding : ( & that is quite high- google says 45 meters elevation : ( #cdnpoli#uspoli#cuba#havana
Sept 10 Replying to@Havana_Expat: Miramar is where my daughter was holed up from #irma! Still pretty dry! Saw evac notice & was worried! #cdnpoli #uspoli #cuba
Sept 10: Havana Expat @Havana_ExpatTrees down all over 5th Ave Miramar
Sept 10: Replying to @collinlaverty11My daughter is somewhere here in Miramar with her bf, although not sure where! #cuba#havana#cdnpoli#uspoli#irma
Sept 10: Retweeted JuanM#Cuba has been severely impacted by #HurrcaneIrma. Let´s support Cubans and demand more than ever the end of US Blockade. #UnblockCuba
Reply to JuanM: Love this!! My daughter is in Havana now!! Hopefully to fly out on the 13th but from pics… : (( #irma#cuba#cdnpoli#uspoli 

Sept 10: Hoping the water is receding #cdnpoli#uspoli#irma#cuba

Sept 10:so awful : ((  6:24 PM – 10 Sep 2017
Sept 10: Stay safe in Havana tonight Chany!! Just a disaster! #Irma floods Havana’s streets : #cdnpoli #uspoli #cuba #uspoli


Matching the right diet to your health and medical needs is very important and one of the reasons I believe the DASH diet my Doctor prescribed me, was so effective. It was exactly what I needed, at the right time to eliminate, a whole bunch of sickness and pain I was experiencing daily.

The diet not only eliminated my hypertension, but also enabled a 90 pound weight loss, which I have maintained for more than 5 years now.  In total, by continuing to follow the diet, it has enabled me to keep 130 pounds off my body from a highest weight point, of 274 pounds in my late 20’s.


Prior to finding DASH diet, I was hypertensive with obesity that ranged as high as class 3. To lose so much weight required 18 months of solid daily calorie restriction with DASH, ranging between 1300-1500 cals per day. I have spent 5 years now maintaining this weight loss and I notice that I dont seem to gain weight following a DASH diet lifestyle, even if I eat too much.

Over Christmas/New Years and all the weeks before that, there were days I would have sworn I should have put on weight with my food intake and I just never did.   If I do gain a few pounds, it just comes off, without much conscious effort that I am really aware of anymore. I do continue to weigh myself, almost daily to ensure I am always still monitoring things.  I continue to exercise vigorously although I didn’t as intensively or as often, over these holidays, as I was nursing a lower back injury.

Perhaps good habits, as Dr Katz (I am a fan) discusses, are just becoming more ingrained and a part of me that I do not notice them?  I used to have to watch my calories much more closely to maintain weight and these days, this is not so important for maintenance. Something has changed in a good way and I hope it continues.   Will have to keep an eye on it and see if my own aging process changes this, given calorie needs lessen as we get older.

My alternative theory is, that its a super, cold chilly, winter and I can’t stop shivering much of the time.  I have never never been as warm as I used to be before I lost all this weight, in the winter (probably the only thing I miss).  This is very unusual for my area, usually quite balmy in winter, so maybe I am just burning way more calories than usual.

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