Monday, November 15, 2010
I know I've touched upon my weight struggles before. And you may wonder how this might tie in to the vegan month of food? Well, had I not started Weight Watchers, I may have never tried eating a vegetarian diet.
The year was 2004. I was struggling with two years worth of weight gain stemming from a pretty bad break-up and subsequent "the world is my buffet" thought process. I put on 80 pounds in 2 years, and I hated it.
Some coworkers were signing up for Weight Watchers, and invited me to come with them, knowing I was pretty unhappy. Stepping through those doors and onto that scale was the most frightening experience of my adult life. I had no idea how bad I had gotten, I was in denial about my clothes ripping and fitting badly. That first meeting was a major wake up call. I had always been on the lean side from working with horses and riding my bike miles and miles during my teenage years.
I stuck with Weight Watchers for about two months and then stopped, citing the price. But I stayed "on plan" on my own. I decided to try vegetarianism in November of that year, just in time for Thanksgiving. I went to a close friend's house for the holiday, a friend that knew of my decision to stop eating meat. For some reason he tried to tell me it was ok to eat the turkey, for this one day. What was so weird about that, though, was that he was vegetarian himself and not eating the turkey! As soon as I stopped eating meat, the stomach troubles I had suffered my entire life up until that point disappeared. Sure, there were times when I subsided on beans and rice and instant couscous, but I was losing weight.
Four years later, I was down 80 pounds and had reached the weight I should be at. I felt great about it! I played indoor soccer once a week (I miss it so much!). My work had started a "healthy living program" and included two weekly training sessions for employees and I took part in them. I was honored at a safety meeting for losing all that weight safely and keeping it off. I decided to try veganism for the first time in 2008, also in November. I was one of the few that put on weight after going vegan, but I'm pretty sure it's because I *had* to try the new-to-me cupcakes, cookies, scones, etc. But I wasn't worried about it.
And then, in 2009, days after we returned from this amazing trip to Europe and spent ALL OUR MONEY, I got laid off. I had to quit the soccer team, we couldn't afford it. During the summer I did some yard work and rode my bike, but I was bored. And I have this tendency to eat when I'm bored. So I quickly started putting on weight that summer, and I was very unhappy. I re-joined Weight Watchers in an effort to curb the gain, but I couldn't stick to it. I ended up cancelling my membership when my unemployment ran out and haven't really given a shit since.
I'm back on the plan and determined. One of my big steps is cutting out drinking, or at least cutting back. I really love beer, it's obvious. And I don't want to stop drinking forever, but it's a huge roadblock for me. I haven't had a drink since Thursday and I'm itchy about it, and I don't like that. I don't get sugar cravings all that often because it makes me feel like shit, but beer cravings? You betcha.
The plan works if you stick to it. The plan works if you stick to fresh, whole foods. I can do this.
But I gotta have lunches like this: