As long as I can remember, I’ve been consumed with my weight. Having been on both ends of the spectrum, I can definitely own up to my struggles with weight. I remember the first time I noticed I was a little heavier than the “other girls”. I was in the fifth grade, and my mom lovingly suggested I not eat another something or other because I was getting chubby. I actually called myself going on a diet in the fifth grade. It’s funny now but then I was devastated. I remember packing my lunch and having water, townhouse crackers, and a couple boxes of raisins.
As time went on it seemed as though I gained about five to ten pounds every year. So much so that by my senior year in high school this is what I looked like.
I struggled all through high school and college with a desire to slim down but I didn’t know where to begin or how to eat. Freshman year in college became my take-charge year. I remember my dorm room being stocked with Tae Bo VHS (yes, VHS), and Slim Fast. I didn’t see any results. Not drastically anyway.
Sophomore year, I was required to take a PE class and a health elective. I took a nutrition course and the little bit that I learned charged me. My professor mentioned how vegetarians tend to way less than meat eaters. I decided that when the fall semester was over and January rolled around, I’d turn over a new leaf and give up meat for good. That was eight years ago and I’ve been a vegetarian since.
When I first became a vegetarian, the weight began to steadily melt away. I took up yoga and made it a point to do a [walking] lap around campus every morning before classes. I became vegan briefly, started juicing when I could, eating an abundance of raw food and became the epitome of a health nut.
I weighed 250 pounds going in and weighed in at 150 going out. I’d done it! I had lost the weight that had bugged me for years! But there was one problem, I didn’t know how to maintain. I went out with my friends, had a few drinks, ate pizza and nachos and expected to stay slim. Even though there wasn’t any meat on my plate, I still had massive amounts of junk food and expected to stay thin simply because I wasn’t consuming meat.
I have the type of physique that HAS to be worked on to be maintained. I’m not effortlessly slim. I started gaining weight really fast after the second time I was laid off and I didn’t know how to make it stop. Still practicing a vegetarian lifestyle but eating TONS of processed foods, not being dedicated with exercise, and being extremely depressed does not a skinny girl make. I was averaging a steady gain of about 10 pounds a YEAR! Over the span of four years….
This past summer, I decided to join Weight Watchers but in one meeting someone asked what the difference between brown rice and white rice was and the meeting leader responded, “Nothing! It’s the same thing.” Because of how nutritionally sound I’d been for close to eight years, I took offence to her not giving a truthful answer. Well, I guess it was true based on the Weight Watchers Points Plus system but in actuality there’s a big difference between the two. Needless to say, I didn’t go back after that meeting.
My brother passed in July and that emotional trigger sent me over the edge of “comfort” eating and not really thinking much about what I put in my body.
I realized recently that I had to get back to brass-tax. I had to re-educate myself on what the body needs, what weight loss methods really work, and which ones will truly help me lose and maintain weight.
Now that I know where to begin (AGAIN) and having a partner in my sister Racquel, I can pinpoint my food struggles which are sugar and processed foods. Including all veggie nuggets, burgers, frozen waffles, veggie sausage, Swedish Fish, Air Heads, Twizzlers, Skittles. I have a weakness for chewy candies and sugar has become THE demon that I really need to exorcise (immediately).
So here’s the plan:
I will be eliminating the following things from my diet (indefinitely) –
1) Sugar (including raw and unbleached sugars)
2) Oil (oil is considered good for you but is a highly concentrated source of calories)
3) Gluten (I’m leaning towards the suspicion that I have an allergy and getting it out of my diet will help me really know if I do; puffiness in my face, abdomen, and ankles)
4) Caffeine (We all should do it at some point)
5) All processed foods
6) And of course, meat and dairy
I’m on a mission to look BETTER than I looked here….
Let’s make 2012 a great year and do it together!