Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hi There! It's Me Again...

Oh wow, it's been sooo long since I've posted. I missed this!

So much has happened. I am still striving for excellence, but I'm evolving. In my last post I think I spoke about the beginning of eating a little crazy-like. Still Vegan, but edging on Junk Food Veganism.

I've read a lot of books, and I've made a lot of jokes (some at my own expense and some from thinking about simple things like ... people falling and my small dogs running into walls from chasing food, etc... hey, I AM AN ANIMAL LOVER! Some things are just ... funny. Seriously...) but the real feelings I've been having and the struggles I am overcoming are no easy feat when trying to live "Vegan." So I want to sort of start over and say I am a sometimes Vegan. I want to make a healthy difference in my life and ultimately the lives of others, so it feels good to say (with my chest, (size double D and all) puffed out) "I AM VEGAN! HEAR ME ROAR!" But then I just ate some chicken, so I can't really say that out loud and all. Well, ok I can... but I'd be lying. Or making up some "other" form of Veganism. Kind of like people who say they are Vegetarians, but they eat fish. Huh? That just doesn't add up for me. Just sayin. In my world. A Vegetarian eats no meat. Animal products may be ok, but no fleshy stuff. Nothing that bleeds. You get the picture. Not passing judgment here, just saying, some things are clear, and some things are not.
That said. I don't think I should call myself a Vegan anymore (but it felt so good! The 5 months of chest puffing and roaring, ya know?)

So the story goes...

I woke up one day and my belly felt like I had swallowed a bowling ball prior to sleeping. My husband didn't like the smell I was emitting, so he was a little nauseated while we slept. Yes, I'm trying to be lady-like and say that I had gas. BAD gas. ALL THE TIME gas. And I felt awful. Almost as much of the time as I was gassy and bloat-bellied. I researched and I talked to people and I cried and I laid around feeling sorry for myself. Because I FAILED at being a Vegan. I was the ONLY ONE who was not Vegan and lovin' it! Move over McDonald's! Vegans are the real ones "Lovin' It!" Except I wasn't anymore. So sad.

Anyway, I decided I couldn't go on "pretending" to be happy with my Vegan lifestyle. So I talked to a nutritionist who promptly told me "A Vegan diet doesn't work for everyone. You may need to add a few animal products into your diet, such as an egg or meat or fish." I felt the Devil himself, old El Diablo was speaking through the mouth of this sweet little wonderful shell. What???! A VEGAN diet NOT BEING PERFECT!!! The books and articles I read warned me about such lies and propaganda! I knew better! Liars! The lot of these people who wanted me to "fall" and not stay Vegan!!! How dare they!!! My head spun around and foam began to oooze out of my mouth. My belly got bigger and I ... slowly walked away. I will remain a Vegan. I will do MORE research. I will talk to MORE Vegans. There has got to be something I can do better. I will not fail at this! I'm so committed now! And I shop at Whole Foods every Sunday! And I eat 85% organic foods! I'm sort-of perfect, right? (Picture me with wide eyes, an afro, holding my belly and scratching my head...)

Then I called her and scheduled an appointment to hear more. My belly sort of begged me to. And my husband wasn't too upset that I might end the bombs I was concealing under our covers at night while I slept.  

So am I still a Vegan?

I guess I must confess some things. I should have never really called myself a Vegan in the first place. The term "Vegan" carries such heavy weight to me. I drive around in a leather loaded SUV, which I love. I will eat honey sometimes if I want to. When I've been in a pinch, I didn't "ask" if the bread was made with milk. I LOVE watching movies and eating popcorn while sitting on my leather sectional. And damn it, some of those leather shoes are just freakin' cute! Whew. Glad I got that off my chest! Now, I can join the rest of the imperfect world and say... I am not perfect. I still don't "prefer" meat, but honestly I never did. It had much less to do with animals than it had to do with my preference. I still do not prefer cruelty, in any form. Animal or human. I am a lover of life and all that has been created, so I will still do my part to honor all humans, animals and insects alike. But I will eat meat on occasion. My belly is thankful. My husband is happier. I will now call myself a "Plant Based" eater. But only when I feel that I need a title. I still don't find myself eating dairy. It just makes me feel all stuffy and filled with phlegm. And I'm lactose intolerant, so why force it??! My diet consists mainly of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and some meats and fish a few times a week.

Now about the exercise thing....

Have a FABULOUS day!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Okay Why Am I Struggling So??!

So it's been several weeks of this up and down weight thing. Last weigh in was 195. ( I will say I usually weigh first thing in the morning after pooping and peeing. However, this last weigh in was 9:00 pm after a belly full of Lay's potato chips and orange juice... blah, I know...)

So I have been eating crappy. Vegan Crappy. I notice that I feel much, much better when I juice in the mornings and eat mostly raw veggies throughout the day with the exception of cooked beans and lentils.
I have been craving sugar something awful and I feel, for the most part "out of sorts." Is this the vegan diet? Is this lack of adequate calories? Is this junk food (vegan or not)? Or could this be that I went from exercising 5-6 days a week to ... well, none.  I'm confused and find it so difficult to get someone to paint the "real" picture of being vegan along with the good and the ugly. I've read articles of people preaching for being vegan and I've read equally as many with people all but tarring and feathering those who choose this diet... oh what is a little chubby girl to do with so many opposing viewpoints?

I have made up my mind to stay this course for the long haul, so the thought of shoving down a McDonald's cheeseburger is really a mere nightmare in my book. The main reasons I am and will most likely remain a vegan are multifaceted.

I LOVE how energetic I feel (think "I don't have to unbutton my jeans after dinner! Hot damn kids!!!!). I feel that the consumption of animal products can be linked to many diseases (one being colon cancer, which my dad had. He has now been cancer free for over 21 years... and yes, he was a HEAVY meat and cheese consumer!) I do support the movement in non-cruelty to animals (why do we have to be so mean just because we can???!) Mostly, it just feels light. I feel lighter being an herbivore than I ever did being a carnivore. I respect that my lifestyle doesn't fit everyone, and I'm still at the very beginning of figuring out my own path.

Would the Vegan gods please enlighten me on how to do this better??!

Ok, on to having a FABULOUS day... ;)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hey There!

I'm feeling very tired this morning. Colorado's Fall has officially begun to cramp my style. It's been rainy and sort of gloomy out here. I do like rain, just not when I need to be dry.

That said I'm trucking along in my little Vegan world. I'm finding that it is sooooooo difficult/frustrating to eat out these days. I feel that when I go to a restaurant, the waitstaff (most of the time) hears my requests and immediately gets annoyed that I am "asking" them about all the fare on the menu. Who knew trying to actually "care" about what goes into your mouth would be so offensive??! Here in Colorado, there are not many Vegan friendly restaurants and that makes me sad. I am sad that I have such a hard time ordering, and I'm sad that more owners are not broadening their horizons and offering more animal-free cuisine.

True story: A former co-worker and I met for dinner last week. I chose a restaurant that was known to be "vegetarian" friendly, so I figured, "hey, maybe the menu could be tweaked a bit to be vegan friendly as well." Fair thought, right? Maybe not so much. Long story short, my friend and I ended up leaving after well over a 20 minute wait. All I wanted was an answer to the question "does your vegetarian menu contain any items that don't have milk or eggs?"

I'd really like to know why being on a plant based diet evokes such judgement? Really. I'd like to know. Is it the word "Vegan" that bothers people? Is it that they don't know how to help me that intimidates them? Or is is really as simple as they are lazy and don't want to work a little harder to help out a little more?

I will get back to my wonderful sense of humor, but today is sort of a reflection piece. Hmmm. I wonder...

Anyhoo... Have a FABULOUS day!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's Juice Fasting Time!!!

Ok. So you know I'm a Vegan. Check.
You know I LOVE veggies. Check.
You also know that I've done a vegetable and fruit juice "cleanse" for 14 days. Yep. No chewing for 14 whole days.
I will say, it truly was the best thing I've ever done. Well, maybe one of ... cause having my kids and getting married were kind of important too... but that's beside this point.

So here I am again. Juicing. Thing is though, it kinda sucks this time around. I started off with the intentions of supporting a friend who seemed to think I was so cool for having done this major juice fast previously. She sends me a text saying "hey, I'm gonna juice for 5 days!!! Wooo hooo!!!" And I could actually hear the bells and whistles going off from within my phone, just because she had NEVER even given me an inkling of a thought that she was interested in juicing for ALL meals for even a whole day, let alone 5 whole days! So... being the cool and awesome person that I think I am... (yea, no) I suggested I'd do it along with her to "support" her. Little did I know how much it would suck. And now, I HAVE to be the voice of reason that says "yay, we'ere in this together friend, we GOT this, let's go, keep up the good work!!! Go JUICE fast!!!" Thing is though, I don't feel that way. At all. Not even one little fat cell in my body wants to pack up and leave the rest of her friends right now. So I'm sort of in a funky place.

Last night my friend texts me after work and says "oh my gosh, this crap is hard!" And instead of letting her know that I'd at that point eaten potato wedges, cookies, a pancake, fried potatoes AND pumpkin seeds, I just conceded "why yes, it is certainly hard." Gulp and guilt were scurrying around my throat like the food was churning in my belly post ingestion. But I couldn't let her know that I'd failed her... could I? No. I could just "avoid" telling her that I had enjoyed the grease of my desires. And that's exactly what I did. All night. I just kept sending her encouraging, positive texts letting her know how much easier it would be in the morning. It hurts too much to think of this as "lying" to her... so let's just call this effective re-direction. That sounds great! Then she can be supported and I can continue to eat. We're both getting what we want, right? Yea, but see the thing is... I'm gonna have to tell her the truth at some point. "While you were struggling and thinking I was the most cool and most strong person you know, I was actually swallowing really good vegan fare every time I hit that little 'send' button." What will she think?

Stay tuned...

Oh, and have a FABULOUS day!!! (Healthily I might add.)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ahh Another Day Another Battle

But I will win the war!!! And another thing, why is it that kids (especially teens) leave a path letting you know everywhere they've been in your house???! I know for a fact that my 18 year old son went to King Soopers, (bag left on the table with receipt inside) bought a Pepperoni Tombstone Pizza, (half-eaten disgusting dried up greasy crust nibbles on a plate NEAR the sink) decided to watch a movie, (DVD/DVR left on ALL NIGHT) got super tired and headed to bed in a sleep induced rush (Van's left at the bottom of the stairs just waiting for my precious ankles to meet them in a not so gentle way!!!)

Ahhh, the joys of parenting and expecting things to be... well, orderly? Nah, just doesn't happen after that last push at the hospital. Oh well, gotta love em! ;)

Now, to "infinity and beyond!" I am livin the dream this morning. Yesterday, I started off great I tell ya! I got up and juiced (Kale, Celery, Cucumber, Green Apple, Lemon and a tiny bit of Ginger), met a friend for lunch and had a Greek Salad (Romaine, Tomato, Capers, Cucumber, Red Onion, Kalamata Olives, and about 2 teaspoons of Vegan Greek Vinaigrette)! Ahh, life was perfect! Not a cloud in the sky, not even a misplaced bunny in the street!

Then it happened. (Insert really scary Psycho music here.) With my kids in mind, I will add. I. Stopped. At. The. Mongolian. BBQ. Restaurant. Down. The. Street. Sigh. And my evening went straight to... Well, you know how it goes: "Oh, the kids would love 'Scallion Pancakes' and since I'm right down the street from the place that they love, I'll just grab THEM an order!" Being such a great mom I was!!!

Hostess: "May I help you?"

Me: "Yes, I'll take an order of Scallion Pancakes, please."

Hostess: "Will that be all?"

Me: (Brain spinning and whirling and doing USA Gold flips...)

"Umm, uh, I'll just take a quick peek at the menu, please."

Hostess: "No problem!" (Ding, ding, ding... Sweet, I'm getting my sales up today, and so easy!!!)

Me: (Thoughts in my head: Well I am "charging" the pancakes, I know people HATE it when you only charge a few dollars on a credit card... I'll just be generous and get a COUPLE of orders... AND some rice cakes!!!)

"I'll take TWO orders of Scallion Pancakes and TEN rice cakes, please." (Sigh. There. I did it. I ordered some for me for... later. I know I shouldn't have all that grease that these things are fried in... but they're so darn good... and Colin (my husband) is out of town, so I'm sure I wont eat as much tonight since he's gone. I probably won't even need to cook. But then again I do have THREE kids, who'd probably like to eat more than these Scallion Pancakes... hmmm. I'll just eat a few!)

Hostess: "It'll be a little while, would you like some hot tea while you wait?"

So then I really just said, "yes please." In the smallest voice I could muster ...

And the night went: drive home, eat a pancake. Pull into Safeway to get some toiletries, eat a pancake. Unload the truck, eat a pancake. Hide ONE of the packages of pancakes, eat a pancake (from the package that I was "giving" to the kids, no less.) Get majorly nauseated. Eat a pancake. Feel nauseated again. Eat a pancake. Finally??? I handed the rest of the pancakes over to the greedy little people who live outside my room, AKA, my children. They were happy. I was miserable. They wanted to know why I "thought of them." I wanted to know why I did not. Sigh. And there you have it. My night in a pancake induced nausea with a heaping bowl of regret and green smelly poop this morning.

The moral of the story???! DON'T LIE ON YOUR KIDS! If you want something, EAT RESPONSIBLY.
Hey, at least they were Vegan. Just sayin, there's always a silver lining.

Have a FABULOUS DAY!!! You deserve it!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Oh Boy...

So in my last post I was super excited and ready to rule the world. Today, I'm coming down from a french-fry induced high. Yeah, not so much excitement. Also, we're down a toilet because we had "crap" (literally) seeping underneath our pipe and pooling on the floor which is also our Family Room ceiling!!! Yep. Say it with me YUCK!!!!!!! Damn Richmond homes! Sigh. So, the wind beneath my wings is a little less buoyant.

Anyhoo, back to Veganism. That's going well. Still. On Sunday my family and I was invited to Elitch Gardens (Formerly Six Flags) and had a blast. The only issue: It is NOT A VEGAN FRIENDLY PLACE. That said, I was starving by the end of the night and had the wonderful choices of fries, and bigger sized fries. No veggies on the premise at all (they were sold out??!! WTF??!). No fruit (again, sold out). So my only option was fries. Which the really nice guy at the LAST vending place we visited offered to give me a massive amount because he felt so bad to keep saying "no" to every healthy alternative I asked about. I wanted to cry, but that would have to wait until AFTER I ate a big portion of the very greasy, salty fries. Did I mention that I've had a Gastric Bypass surgery where sugar, excessive oil and large quantities of food make you sick? If I didn't please forgive me and now place in your brain the very real fact that the surgeons are not lying to you (even after 2 plus years out) when they tell you to avoid the previously mentioned things in large quantities. And it also didn't help that as I was trying to "purge" from my mind the burning desire to up-chuck, a very sickly looking man was walking near me coughing and spitting up as he did so. Was I successful at keeping ALL my high-fat, high blood-pressure inducing treats down? Why yes I was!!! I simply had to avoid smelling the puking man's progressively strong cigarette smoke then I was fine!!! How 'bout that??! So now, I'm feeling the "detox" effects of eating crappy. Note to self and others: Prepare and pack your own food (or at least snacks) when you will be away from your kitchen for lengthy periods of time. Ok, my work is done for today! Have a fabulous day!

Hooray It's My First Day!!! (Re-Posted)

Wow, what a crazy ride life is! I'm pinching myself that I have actually started a blog!!! Who'da thunk??!

Ok, but seriously. I began a "journey" to lose weight and inspire others (mainly my husband and children) over 2 years ago. I've tried so many "diets," gimmicks and out-right unsafe ventures in my time to lose weight and gain self only to find that I'd be back in the same spot PLUS 10-15 pounds!!! WTH??!
That said, I am finally "growing up" and putting on my big girl panties... at least this morning I did. Yay me!!!

Ok, so seriously. I was a normal kid. No weight problems, no "identity" issues (that I know of) and no real personality flaws that I can blame for causing me to gain weight after giving birth to my first child at 20 years old. So fast forward to April 26th of 2010. Here's me, fat, depressed, in pain, and wishing that one of the many "diets" I'd tried would have truly worked (as in, made me lose weight AND stay small). They didn't. No genie in a (pill) bottle. Just me. Still fat. Still depressed. Still in pain (plus some new additions). Still wishing. Not living. I'm 280+ pounds. Yep. AND... wait for it... I'm 5'. Yep. That's pretty hefty. You betcha.
Anyhoo... I had RNY Gastric Bypass surgery on 4/26/10. And today... NOT ONE SINGLE REGRET. Well, maybe one. I should have done the surgery SOONER!!!

Over 2 months ago, I watched a life changing documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and it changed my life. Really. So I am eating a completely plant based diet and loving life, how I feel, and how I view myself. So cool! My only frustrations at times are getting people to understand that I DO NOT EAT COWS, CHICKENS,TURKEYS,PIGS,LAMBS,DUCKS,FISH,EGGS, MILK OR ANYTHING THAT COMES FROM THOSE THINGS. When eating out, you'd be surprised how the wait staff seems confused when they bring me a plate of Thai noodles cooked in "fish sauce" and I tell them "I don't eat any animal products." Duh??! Right. Wrong. Even in 2012 we are rooted in a society that calls you an "odd ball" when you take a stand and say "I don't trust the USDA to take care of my health, I actually have to STOP putting all of their 'approved' items in my mouth and venture out to figure out that all of that STUFF made me sick!"

Current weight: 189 pounds. Still 100%Vegan. And lovin' it. ;)