My foot got run over by a bus and I gained 60 lbs - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-12-2005, 12:40 PM
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I knew that would get your attention, please read on! Right now I'm 36 years old, and back in my early 20s, I was a meat-eater and did lots of vigorous exercise. I ran long-distance, played basketball and played tennis. I was at a pretty healthy weight, not bad anyway, and I'm quite a large framed woman with lots of muscle, so the 200 lbs for 5'8" was actually not that bad. Most people thought I weighed about 160. Then in the winter of 1995, I got my foot run over by a bus. I was very lucky, in fact I always thought I should get on a talk show for this, because the bus ran over my entire foot, heel, ankle, everything, and only missed my big toe, but I didn't break a bone. I ended up with some severe tissue damage though, and it took me about four years to be able to walk without a cane.



Right after the accident, and because I had no one to take care of me, I didn't have a car, and I lived in an area that didn't have much take-out, I ended up ordering pizza alot. I did try to cook dinner for myself one night, but it was a nightmare! It took about 3 hours and it killed my foot. Just getting up and having all that gravity push on it felt like a slow press pushing down on my foot, flattening it, like reliving the pain in slow motion. It was unbearable. I was against taking pain pills, then, so I grit my teeth and bore it. Needless to say, I gained 60 lbs in 6 months and 85 lbs in a year. For the next two years I tried all kinds of fad food diets and yo-yo'ed in a 20 lb range.



About two years after this incident, I had moved to San Francisco near a health store. A friend and I talked about vegetarianism (she's veggie) and I read some books about it. I started to get into it, and decided to go vegan. I got a cookbook, got really serious, and overnight, went from being a full-blown meat eater to a vegan. I was a student then and recovering from two physical injuries (including the foot one), so I wasn't working full-time. This lifestyle, and being able to buy things in bulk (much cheaper) gave me the chance to become vegan successfully.



This was in 1997. I gave up refined sugar, refined anything, even not eating if I had no other choice, like if I was out somewhere. I ate all organice fruits and vegetables, ate Boca burgers and Amy's dinners when I got cravings. I really did it to to the letter. I had time then to learn these new recipes, like making chocolate pudding! That was my favorite thing to make, vegan style, no refined sugar but with pure maple syrup, and I usually ate this when I got a craving for something chocolately or sweet. I think the factors to my success were having the time to cook and living near an affordable health food store.



In nine months, I lost 70 lbs. Yes, I went from 285 to 215. My skin was clearer, I even had moments early in the change, within the first 2 weeks especially, in which I noticed a change in my eyesight, colors were brighter particularly. And I ate like a pig! And I rarely exercised, sometimes went boogie boarding in the ocean, but this only in fun and not very often, don't remember breaking a sweat. Because of still recovering from my foot accident, it took a lot just to walk to the train and back, or get around via train and walk where I needed to go. Being in the water didn't hurt my foot but I didn't seek out swimming at a pool mostly because I was just focusing on my diet so much.



Well, one day, I had my period, and I craved my grandma's meatloaf like you wouldn't imagine. I finally broke down and bought the ingredients. I ate 1/2 the loaf for lunch and 1/2 for dinner. I guess I needed iron, in retrospect? I was very careful in my vegan days to get what I needed, ate lots of tofu, combined foods to get protein, ate flax seeds and incoroprated the oil, everything, took a liquid vitamin iron supplement even. Perhaps this was during a moment I couldn't afford the supplement (it cost $20 I remember for a bottle that lasted 2 weeks). But anyway, so I caved.



Maybe it was just all or nothing thinking. Probably, when you listen to my story, because then I just sort of stopped. I just stopped caring about what I ate. I made a big move out of the city and maybe it was just moving to a new area that didn't have the health food store there and having less money at my disposal (it was already low to begin with, now it was really low). So I just ate whatever, usually things I could afford, like refined products.



And I gained all the weight back. *Sighs*. This was in 1998. Back to my old ways. Around 2000, I started to be able to get around better with my foot and had tried, by now, every diet out there possible to man, including making up my own contraptions. My next success in weight loss was when I had time, again, to spend on myself, being a student and not working. I rode my bicycle 3-4 hours a day in the mountains and got a hard body in about 3 months. I ate mostly whatever I wanted but made some efforts to stay away from pizza and buy those little sushi roll packets when I wanted a treat instead.



So now here I am at another jumping off place. For most of the year I have been working on weight loss, doing things like portion control, trying not to cut out certain foods, but just watching portions, drinking water, the like. At some point I lost 7 lbs but gained it back. I have been concentrating on just making healthy choices and watching my portions instead of other things. I've also been exercising moderately.



But even this isn't feeling successful because I find myself panicking in between my portion control moments and ordering pizza or something. Lately I have been thinking of my vegan days. I felt really healthy then. I was the lowest weight since my accident. I am hesitant to try now because I live in an area that has few health foods (organic, non-dairy substitutes, things like this), and when you find them, they are way expensive, I mean, really expensive. I also work full-time so don't have alot of time to spend on meal preparation. And I don't have alot of money to spend on food, so I've bought what I can afford. The healthy foods here are expensive.



So the thing is that I want to try it again, but am afraid of failing, wondering how the heck I can do this. I dont 'have my vegan cookbook anymore. That book was great, had alot of easy recipes. I see there is a lot of stuff on this website I can read to help me, and I will just have to make a point of it. But I am at least not against the political aspects of being vegan, I am allergic to dairy anyway (even though I eat it and this is what makes me bloated and puffy), and going vegan wouldn't be a bad move.



So I tell you this story because honestly I don't have much resolve, but there's something in the back of my head wanting to do it. About a month ago I cleared out my cupboard of all my refined flour and sugar products. I must have gotten rid of 2/3 of my food. My cupboard is rather bare now, just mostly canned veggies and beans I haven't cooked.



So Im thinking, what do I need to do this? I need support most of all! So, if any of you have yahoo or msn messenger (I use yahoo most), would love to get your ID so I can talk to people in moments of weakness. Or emails. The next thing I need is easy quick recipes people can make with food you can find in a "regular" store since i don't have much access to many health foods, and that are also low cost. Also, if anyone works full-time and knows what I'm talking about, if you have any tricks with preparing your lunches at work or preparing food to last you, that kind of stuff. I know there is stuff posted here, but if anyone has any suggestions at all, please write. I find food preparation exhausting, but I was thinking, maybe it will be that way until I start feeling energy again and then it won't be so bad. These days I'm so tired I sleep almost 9-10 hours.



The other thing I didn't mention is that my grandpa and aunt have diabetes. I never thought much of it until this year my grandma and my other aunt have gotten diabetes. They are all overweight. The only one in the immediate genetic chain on my father's side of the family who doesn't have diabetes is my father (the direct link). So though my father doesn't have it, geez, look at everyone else! And it is adult onset type II for all of them. So now I'm getting scared. I don't want to poke needles in me when I get older.



Please help! Gentle, nonjudgmental replies especially welcome. -angelwarrior
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#2 Old 10-12-2005, 02:46 PM
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Wow, what a great story! I am in awe of how much perserverence you have! Good for you!!

I know it's hard, especially with an injury, to keep trying to cling on to a healthy lifestyle, but I personally have always found it be very easy once you're in throes of it and you have all your good habits down. It's always the first initial efforts that really test your mental and physical strength. You can do it, though!

I remember reading that losing weight through diet and exercise has a consistant 100% success rate (unless you have a disability of some kind), it's just all the self-doubt, laziness, fear, etc, that make you gain it all back. I always smile when I think of that because it's so true, the physical aspect of weight loss is a no brainer, it's always going to work and you can always maintain your weight as long as your mental health is going strong.

Mental health is not so easy to get a grip on though as I'm sure you know! I've struggled with food my whole life. I lost almost 70 pounds and gained it all back plus more because I was looking to food for comfort and stability. I was bingeing on crappy food up until I went vegan just 2 weeks ago. I just "knew" it was time to adapt a diet I believe strongly in for ethical reasons to help me control my food choices at the same time. And it's working. I feel better already. I think if you have enough convictions to maintain a vegan diet, you definetely should! It's a lot harder to be fat as a vegan because there is less junk food to have, lol.

Well, I don't mean to ramble on and on!! Feel free to email me anytime! I will gladly welcome any kind of friendly support myself as well!





Edit: Whoops, I'm retarded. I forgot to include my email adress! It's [email protected].
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#3 Old 10-12-2005, 05:56 PM
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Hey, glad to see you on here! After I wrote this, a local friend told me about a store I didn't know about and it was only 4 blocks from my house! It's the closest thing to a health food store we have around here. She said in the back there were some whole foods in bulk at reasonable prices, and she was right. Awesome. So I'm going back tomorrow to get some staples. Whole oats were only $2 for a bag that looked like would last a month, for instance. I bought some coconut water to warm me up to eating healthier, I didn't realize how many nutrients were in there, the magnesium and potassium. But then at work they had cookies and chips and a dip with cheese and I ate some. *sigh*. Well, I'm not ready to jump yet, I have to get more organized because I don't want to set myself up to fail, and I'll just do my best in the meantime. I'm thinking Friday will be my jump from the diving board.



Emotionally, yes, I think there is something to the weight loss and gain back and forth, something going on there. I think sometimes I respond to my emotions. At the same time, there's a big change going on in my persona and way I relate to others now. There's a huge amount of self-respect, an "I can't take sh*# from anyone again," me choosing my friends instead of settling for whoever comes along. Letting people know what I'm ok with and what I'm not. Big, big changes. I can't help but think that as I love and respect myself, as I'm doing now, that I will feel more comfortable in the world and in my body, and so the physical health should follow. I'm just counting on this and trying not to worry about the numbers, but I am secretly worried, being 15 lbs from 300!



I'm glad to hear you started, it is motivating, and I'd love to talk to you about it as we go along. About a month ago, I started to incorporate daily salads, so, I'm warming up. I switched to a pomegranate vinegarette instead of the dairy dressing I was using about a week ago. Before a month ago, I wasn't eating any fresh fruits or veggies! Only those out of a can, and I gave up milk a month ago also, switched to soy. Right now it's the cheese and sugar and refined flour products that have got to go.



Last time I did this going vegan I did it overnight, cold turkey. I was actually thinking of this on the way to work today, that I think for me I might want to do what I did as a vegan before, no refined products, no dairy, no red meat, no other meat, but this time, include fish. I say this because I think it will be hard enough to change all those habits, and I love fish, I grew up in MN and have norwegian blood, so it's hard to give up and there are not many vegan "fake" pseudo-fish products out there, if any? Plus I'm a little worried about the protein factor, and though I have done the vegan thing before, it has been awhile and I think I need to do some research so I don't throw my body into a shock and set up to fail. So, I'm going to hang onto the fish for now, omit dairy, beef, chicken, turkey et al., eggs, and no refined sugar or flour products. Do that for awhile, then reevaluate later. This feels better to me for now. So... going shopping tomorrow. Will be interesting. Thanks for your support and the dancing brocoli. Who wouldn't smile?
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#4 Old 10-12-2005, 06:14 PM
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Just a quick comment on fish.

You can get delicious vegan 'fish' products on vegieworld.com

The shrimp and the scallops are great. You can just keep them in the freezer and then if you get a major craving just saute it up. Great with some garlic and a bit of oil served up over brown rice.



If you need help with any vegany stuff you can pm me.



You can do go vegan again! I would suggest writing down your items that would be your 'weaknesses' and find replacements for those items.

For me I used to eat cream cheese on my bagels that I would get before work, so I kept cream cheese in my work fridge. or I would eat vending machine M&M's, so at work I just kept like a nutz over chocolate luna bar in my desk. Once I acknowledged what my problem items were, I just made it easier for myself.

So if fish is an issue, I would say keep some veggie shrimp or whatever in your freezer. Everyone has different items that make it harder for them initially to go vegetarian/vegan, but eventually it dissapears if you plan for those 'cravings'.
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#5 Old 10-12-2005, 10:16 PM
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It sounds like you are right on track with this! The changes you've already made are great steps to becoming vegan again, just keep substituting here and there until you are on solid ground and are able to give up all the last bits of non-vegan food.

It also sounds like you are in the perfect place to start becoming a healthier person, with your increased self-esteem and your ability to take charge over your life. I agree, the health and weight loss so naturally follows the other positive changes we make in our lives.

I've never cared for fish (except for shrimp, which I used to devour with cocktale sauce!) but I agree with the other poster, you should try to find vegan alternatives if you can. But fish is very good for you, so maybe it wouldn't be a bad thing to have that be the only non-vegan item you consume. At least it's light and full of healthy stuff.

Fitday is great, I've started using it everyday now. It drives me crazy in some aspects because it lacks vegan brands so you have to manually enter all the stats in yourself and it's hard to find the right kind of bread and stuff listed that matches the same fat/calories/fiber as it says on the bag. But it's great to loosely reflect what you're consuming.

I'm around 225 or so I'm guessing. Since you're slightly higher than I am, you will lose weight quicker and eventually we will be around the same weight, who knows, lol. And then we can lose weight together! hehe.

Good luck to you and keep us posted on the progress!
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#6 Old 10-13-2005, 08:03 AM
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Sounds like youre on your way!



Some things, which worked for me:

Establishing a healthy relationship with food - Food now serves a purpose of energizing my body; if it doesn't serve that purpose I don't eat it. This knocks out highly processed foods, fatty foods, or any foods with cholesterol in it for me.

I eat 5-6 times per day -3meals 2-3 snacks. This keeps my metabolism pumping all day, the meals are small portioned size, even if I am still wanting more after a meal if I wait 20min I find I was full after all.

I eat 3-4 servings of fruit spaced throughout the day -this keeps my sugar level up and even, a banana is always breakfast!

I workout 5-6 days out of the week - mostly lifting but do some cardio, if you are still recovering from injury there are alternate exercises.

When I started out I allowed myself a "cheat" day, where I could eat a serving of what I was craving and not feel guilty, I eventually didn't have cravings.

I learned there is ALWAYS a holiday, birthdays, Christmas, thanksgiving, Easter, anniversaries, weddings, office parties, etc. This can sabotage your healthy eating, let them eat the junk food, it doesn't serve your body well.

I learned to forgive myself if I slipped up, no biggy, continue from there and try not to make the same mistake.



I am not sure that any of these would work into your goals, but hopefully 1 or 2 are helpful.



Good Luck!
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#7 Old 10-13-2005, 03:01 PM
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Thanks for your comments, siren. I started this today, I went shopping and ate my first vegan breakfast. I feel good already, the most striking thing is I'm already feeling clear-headed and aware. I have an allergy to dairy, so eating cheese and such doesn't work, hence the need to be vegan instead of LO.



I have been doing alot of thinking about this change. I put it off and put it off thinking I didn't have time to cook, to prepare, to go shopping, to do all it requires. It's even hard to get my butt to the gym or to the swimming pool (because of my injury, usually riding bike or swimming is best exercises). I go once a week if I'm lucky. The issue I'm trying to point out is low energy. And I am hoping, by making these dietary changes, I will feel more energy. More energy to get to the gym (which I know exercising brings more energy, too), or to cook. It took alot to get up, go grocery shopping, come home and cook for 2-3 hours + (still cooking), but there are benefits, anticipation, the smell, makes me smile, the smell of good food instead of nuking something.



I tried the "cheat day". *sigh*. I haven't found it too work. Maybe I"m too addicted to certain foods or am in an all-or-nothing thinking about it. Whenever I allow myself a day to cheat, I just get back into the old habits, especially with refined sugar and flour products. I think the most important thing is just not beating myself up if I slip.



But so far so good.
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#8 Old 10-13-2005, 04:28 PM
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You will get more energy with routine exercise. It needs to be part of your life, not just a dieting tool, so if you like swimming make some "you time" to enjoy a swim a few time per week. You will feel tired the first 2-3 weeks as your body adjusts, but keep your sight on week 4 and push through, eventually it becomes easy.



I have heard, and love, the saying "a bad workout is better then no workout" lol



Cheers to your health!
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#9 Old 10-15-2005, 02:55 AM
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Hi Angel Warrior,

I can really relate to a few of the things you wrote about. I work full time with lots of overtime at the moment, don't have a freezer, moneys tight and all that. I guess I'm about 95% of the way there to vegan (going out is the current problem) and here's some of my tricks :

1. at work, I have one desk drawer reserved for my vegan food. It includes some instant soups, teas, and then various yummies. Soy drinks, sweets, crackers or cookies. It varies but I always make sure it's stocked with something good and healthy.

2. Cook ahead on Sundays. I always try and make enough so that I have lunch for Monday and Tuesday taken care of. Sometimes it's food that I put in a tupperware. My favorite though is buying fresh vegan pizza dough or wholeweat struddel dough (local thing probably) and making pockets or calzones with it. I just cook up a filling (sometimes with tvp and other veggies, or brownrice-mushroom-eggplant, or whatever I have in the fridge) and then bake it in the oven for 20 minutes.

3. For me it's really important to never feel deprived. I have to have good stuff around to eat so I make time to prepare it weekends or evenings. But for me cooking has become really fun since I turned the kitchen Vegan. I do a lot of experimenting too.

4. I hat gyms and competitive sports. So I try and incorporate activity into my everyday. I ride my bike to the store (it's old and used so I got it for free). I used to bike to work but my new place is too far away. I walk a lot.
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#10 Old 10-15-2005, 08:29 PM
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Thanks for your comments, Siren and Elis. On my last 2 days off, my first day I spent the whole day cooking. I cooked a batch of rice, beans, soaked some TVP. Then I made a stir fry with the TVP, an experiment. Tonight I made up my own falafel, made the falafel out of the mix, then just added things I happen to have here, like peppers, cucumber, carrots, and then made a quick ntrutional yeast cheese sauce. Very quick. I was surprised how good it turned out, especially when I put stone ground mustard on it. I can relate to how you said you like to cook now that you are vegan. I rarely cooked before this, but since I went vegan, today is my 3rd day, I have been cooking more and I"m finding it's fun. I'm also finding that I have more energy to do it. I got a whole bag of tomatoes, chili peppers, and then some apples and pears from a friend's tree. I have so much in abundance of these things, I'd sure like to make the most of it. Anyway, I am looking for recipes on the recipe board. Good tip on the work drawer thing, too. Right now I just have walnuts and figs at work. Due to money constraints, I just have those things. And I have brought a handful of vegan dark choc chips to work for when I crave chocolate. Anyway, thanks both for the comments. I do ride my bike to work everyday. And get around by bike. So for now, that's my exercise, and whenever I can get to the gym, I'll go. I surprisingly have a refridgerator full of food now that is cook, though! So I think I'm set for the week! Thanks for caring!
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