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