Did I ever tell you guys I became vegan on accident? I’ve been a vegetarian for many years. It started when I was around thirteen. I became a vegetarian because of hot dogs and fish. That’s a story for another blog though. However, I’ve always had a deep rooted love of cheese. Cheese, and sour cream. If we are being honest I probably could have lived on an island with only cheese, sour cream, and potatoes, in any form. Recipe for disaster when you are a vegetarian because that translated to a whole lot of potato chips, nachos, and chips dunked in that canned nacho cheese sauce and then dunked in sour cream. Finished off with some donuts, because if I’m living on only a few foods, donuts are coming to that island with me. There is a reason I got fat y’all.
I digress. When I started this whole weight loss journey I didn’t start off handling my food. The first and best thing I did was start working out. I still maintain that was the best decision I made. Once that was a habit, tackling my food became easier, because you learn if you eat good your workouts feel good. Like most people trying to lose weight I went the most obvious route. Obsessive calorie counting. I would log into my calorie app about 70 times a day to track every single thing that went into my mouth. It was tedious, and depressing, and I’m so glad I NEVER track my food any more.
Lets back track for a moment. For any of you following along on this blog for any amount of time you know I’ve had stomach issues for years. Dating back to some time in high school. I went to a GI doctor way back then. Their very first suggestion was lactose intolerance. Being young and dumb I didn’t really understand it. I would give up ice cream and cheese for a couple days, still feel like shit, and declare them wrong. Never realizing how much of the food I didn’t cut out still had milk. Hello cupcakes, pop tarts, wheat bread. I’m looking at you, you dairy filled bastards of happiness. For all of these years it never really occurred to me I could be lactose intolerant. I was a vegetarian who lived on dairy for fucks sake.
Back to the point. During my obsessive calorie counting stage I would limit myself to 1200 calories a day, 1500 if I did a really hard workout. I started to slowly realize I could shave off 100 calories if I left off the cheese, and 70 calories if I skipped the sour cream. Leaving butter off my toast saved me about 100 calories, and if I was eliminating the butter I may as well eliminate the toast too, right? After a while I noticed I felt really good. It still didn’t register why. Then one of those days I was having a cheat day, I went all out. Taco Bell nachos, extra sour cream, ice cream, and pizza. I don’t mess around on cheat days. I was sick for two days after. I assumed it was just from over eating. So I went back to my meticulous calorie counting. Then, one day not realizing it, I had something with butter in it. I was sick for hours afterwards. I started to pick apart my food diary and realized so many of my stomach issues were a result of days I ate dairy. I looked further and saw a pattern with my skin. If I ate dairy I would break out for 2-3 days afterwards. Could I be lactose intolerant?
Yes. It turns out for the past 16 years at least, I’ve been lactose intolerant. So, I’m now a vegetarian, who is lactose intolerant, and doesn’t eat eggs (we’ve talked about the chicken period right?”) Which, pretty much makes me a vegan.
I also spent a lot of time thinking I was allergic to gluten. It was madness though, because it was only some gluten, and only sometimes. After allergy testing it turns out I’m allergic to BARLEY. Which means I can’t eat most gluten products because they have barley in them.
Over time I converted from an obsessive calorie counter to someone who just ate real whole food. I don’t track my food at all any more. I have zero idea what my macros are. I just eat real food. I cannot tell you how much this has helped my stomach. Eliminating dairy was a huge help. My skin is also a million times better. Whey protein had to go too, it would make my chest, back and neck break out something fierce. Cutting out the barley (most gluten) has helped all of the swelling in my stomach, and the joint pain I was having. If I eat too much gluten or barley my knees, and hips start hurting to the point that the simple act of standing up makes me a little misty eyed.
So that is how I became a vegan on accident. Being vegan is so hard for me, because I know what I’m missing out on. I know how good that fresh mozzarella is, I know how good that donut is, I know how good your ice cream is. I know how good it all is when I’m cooking it and giving it to my kids. I just can’t eat it. A lot of people tell me often how dedicated I am, and how they wish they could be like me. The truth is, once you learn your allergies, and your bodies limits, changing how you eat is really easy. If you can stop all of your stomach pain by giving up dairy, you would. Is it boring to eat like me? Yes. Is it safe though? Yes. I know everything I eat is safe. It’s not going to send me to ER with stomach pain. It isn’t going to make me sick for two days. It isn’t going to cause me to break out. I just feel good. The best side effect is that I can run farther and faster now that I’m not eating food that is destroying me from the inside out.
The happy side effect to this is it’s basically eliminated all cheat food for me. I cannot eat fast food now; it all has dairy or barley. I cannot indulge on frozen yogurt with the family, I’m vegan. Pizza at a kids birthday party? Nope, I’m vegan I can’t. Someone stopped by with a box of chocolates, sorry, I’m vegan. See what I mean. Eating well becomes really easy when you have a giant massive food label like VEGAN. You should see me hide my face at restaurants when I tell people. It’s easier to just say vegan, but they take it more serious if I say lactose intolerant. The down side is, no one ever invites me over for dinner. Try cooking for my family; I’m a vegan whose lactose intolerant and allergic to all nuts, except cashews, allergic to soy, and quinoa (and beets and tofu, and joy). My husband is lactose intolerant. Brandon is allergic to all nuts, legumes, beans, lentils, soy, etc. And Codi, well Codi doesn’t have many allergies but he’s suspicious about all foods, and won’t eat any condiments except fish sauce, and soy sauce (but his brothers allergic to that soy sauce), and lord help you if his food touched a plate that ketchup touched. Aren’t you just dying to invite us over for dinner?
Anyway, that’s sort of the secret to maintaining my weight loss. The label vegan. It’s a massive restriction, but it’s a necessary one. I ate some barley this weekend and spent two days being sick, swollen, and in pain. When my whole family ordered fresh cheese pizzas I wanted to join in so badly, but I knew, I knew I would spend hours and hours and hours sick, and it wasn’t worth it. I know everyone looks at me like I’m some trendy hipster when I say “vegan.” I’m not though. I’ve been vegetarian since the 90s. This lactose shit is just my own body hating me, and my love of canned cheese sauce, and yes, I’ve checked, nacho cheese sauce does contain actual dairy products. I’ve checked, three times. I miss my canned nacho cheese sauce.
This blog started out funny in my head you guys. It’s obvious I haven’t flexed my writing skills in a long time. I’ll work on being funny again.
Hi all. I've kind of fallen off the planet with blogging. The only reason is because it is almost impossible to load photos to the blog anymore, so I just stopped writing. However, I've been documenting my jouney on a public Facebook page which can be found here
Stop by, check it out. I'm training for a half marathon in San Francisco in September. Scary but exciting. I was also featured in March's Family Circle magazine which is pretty rad. I would post photos...but I can't. You can see the article on my page though.
10.20.2015What everyone has gotten wrong about Lamar Odom
I keep seeing things on Facebook shaming people for being concerned about Lamar. Shaming us for caring what happens to him and not caring about this soldier, sick child, nurse, etc.
I have a few things to address on this topic. I'll pic the lightest one first.
Lamar is married to Khloe Kardashian. It appears this fact has made everyone forget that he is also a very talented basketball player and a very kind soul. I'm going to go ahead and admit this now. I watched their romance on Keeping up with the Kardashians. I watched their wedding. I watched their spin off show. I'm not sorry. Since we have been small we have read fairytales. We have watched romantic comedies. We have read romance novels. Women especially love a good love story. A real life one that plays out on live TV with actual people, that's a bonus for us romantics. When Khloe and Lamar divorced I was heartbroken. I don't know these people but to some degree they have allowed us enough access into their lives to feel like I do actually know them. As if we are acquaintances who only see each other on holidays. Which we do, only the holidays are filmed and they are eating glamorous food in fancy dresses while I sit on my couch watching in my sweats eating Oreos. We have all followed along as Khloe moved on. I've watched in awe as she got fit and healthy. I've even done some of the workouts she's posted and I admit, they're kicked my ass. I've watched the current seasons lamenting about how I wish Lamar could get better and they would make up. When his best friend died of drug related issues I was scared. Scared because I knew he had two options after that: get clean and turn his life around, or allow the depression to eat him whole and overdose himself. This leads me to my second thing.
Lamar Odom suffers from depression. Probably other things, PTSD from all the death he's seen sounds right. Until recently he's tried to be a stand up guy. He was a dedicated athlete, a good grandson, father, and an excellent friend. He was by all means a good person. Lamar, like many is also an addict. Before anyone judges him for overdosing as a method of treating his depression please first stop and make sure that you have never once in your entire life done anything self destructive as a response to depression. Be sure you've never had too many drinks, taken too many pills, done too many lines, or eaten too many donuts. Make sure that you, yourself have never once self medicated. The fact that he is an athlete who happened to fall in love with a Kardashian doesn't make his addiction less valuable. It doesn't make his life less valuable. It is tragic to me that someone with his financial means still couldn't manage to find a way to get clean, to treat his demons, and to save himself. How dare we judge him because he was married to Khloe. How dare any of you judge the news for talking about her. She is a human. A real person who dropped everything to fly there and be with him. To sleep on pillows in a sleeping bag on the floor of his hospital room never leaving his side. To fly his whole family in to make sure they got to say goodbye. She shut down all of her publicity. Stopped posting to the apps and the websites. She became just like every other human out there is hurting, watching someone they love hanging on to life by a thread. Does her being a Kardashian devalue that? Or is everyone so blinded by their jealousy of her fortune that they want to tear her down for being a famous person going through a horrifying situation? I'll admit now, I would gladly be known as being famous for doing nothing besides opening my own clothing store, having my own clothing line, launching a successful hair and make up line, looking pretty all the time, and having a highly viewed television show, if it meant I could have Khloes bank account. Wouldn't we all?
Two people met, and fell in love very publicly, and when one of them nearly dies some of us are going to understandably be sad about it. We are going to have questions. We are going to want news coverage on it. Because the fact is this isn't fiction. We can't turn the page and find out what happens next. We have to wait for information. Jax Teller was a fictional tv character who died a year ago on tv. I'm still sad about Opie, Jax wife, and Jax himself. In fact. I cried actual tears when Jax and Opie died. These are fictional people. That doesn't mean we don't become attached. Khloe and Lamar are real people, for some of us who have been following their "love story," this was heartbreaking for us. Who cares if it was in a brothel in Nevada, and she's a Kardashian. Two of our favorite characters are hurting and so am I.
Finally. For any one, anyone who is posting that Lamar shouldn't be discussed, or given media coverage for the public, or mourned, because he was a drug addict who overdosed, kindly fuck you. My biological father was a drug addict. He committed suicide while high on meth and other opiates. Telling the public that we shouldn't care about Lamar because he was "just a drug addict" is telling me that my fathers suicide shouldn't have mattered because he was just another druggie. Just because Lamar is famous it doesn't change the facts. He is a man who struggles with depression, who chose to self medicate, and lost the battle with the disease of addiction. Rather then smuggly post pics about how you are not sorry you don't care about another drug addict why not see this for the very public platform it is. This is a very public face to addiction and depression. This is a real life example of what happens if you don't seek out the proper treatment. The news should print everything about this. Cover our feed with this story because it is bringing awareness to this topic. Look what can happen if you don't stop now. Look what happens if you don't seek help. Look how many people would be left hurting if that one last pill/line/needle turned into an overdose. My dad didn't know how to get help. Depression, drugs and suicide were swept under the rug and ignored twenty one years ago, they still are. It didn't get treated the way it should have, and he is gone now. Lamar overdosing is a huge wake up call to the public. Don't do drugs. Get help. Treat depression. When Robin Williams committed suicide everyone mourned. Everyone shared his photos and the news followed closely. No one complained because he wasn't married to a Kardashian and he didn't commit suicide via drug use. The hard truth is Lamar was in a sense committing suicide. He knew what path he was on and he chose to stay the course. He knew death was a very real option after losing his best friend. He was slowly killing himself. The public is outraged at the coverage though because he is linked to a Kardashian and he used drugs. What a massive double standard between the two men.
I hope Lamar never comes across the meme comparing himself to the wounded solider. Seeing that America is considering him worthless because of his habit. I hope he never comes across that meme on a bad day and thinks, "maybe they are right, maybe I am no one, maybe I shouldn't have gotten to live." I hope he never sees something like that meme, thinks his worth is less then any other human, and chooses to use again. I hope he never loses the battle with recovery because some dumb ass thought posting all over the Internet how proud they are to not care about a worthless drug addict made them feel good for a moment. I hope he sees all of the love and outpouring for him and he realizes he has value, and he stays clean, and he when he looks for support he finds it, in place of distasteful memes degrading him for being someone who suffers from a disease.
I'm not sorry for following along with Lamar. I will continue to do so. When he woke up I was overcome with emotion. He gets a second chance. He has a real chance to change. To turn his life around and get clean. He can use this experience to educate others and help others. I cannot wait to see how he overcomes this. I cannot wait to see how he teaches the public to change and move on. I also cannot wait for Khloe and Lamar to make up and get married all over again. Of course on television so I can watch and feel like an invited guest again. It's just like the fairy tails. Only the prince was a drug addict who got a second chance and Cinderella is a reality tv star.
It seems like the theme of the year is following up on old posts. Today lets follow up on this post. The post where I basically trash my self esteem and body in every possible way. I think I spent probably another year and a half after that post feeling exactly the same way. I was still posting photos but making sure to caption them pointing out my flaws. I did this because I felt like if I said it, no one else would say it, and also if I said it, then it would give everyone else permission to feel okay thinking the awful things they thought about me.
I think the biggest changing factor in all of this was when my trainer Cheryl told me one day I looked good. I don't remember my exact response but it was something like, "well my thighs are still huge, and I'm not small like you, and if I could just get this arm fat to go away." She was visibly upset. She told me that first and foremost I need to learn to just say "thank you." That when she complimented me and I responded negatively it was frustrating to her, and caused her to not want to compliment me again. I walked away from that moment frustrated. Couldn't she see that I might be much smaller now but I didn't look "good?" My thighs still have this weird cellulite back fat thing going on. They jiggle when I walk. My belly is full of loose skin. My back muscles aren't visible. Etc. Etc. Etc.
A few days later she complimented me again. I paused for a moment, took a breath, and then said, "thank you." She high fived me and told me good job accepting that compliment.
I tried this tactic with others. Accepting the compliment, saying "thank you," being polite about it. However, in my head I was still mentally berating myself, my flaws, all of the hidden stuff they couldn't see. Then one day I saw this:
I had two realizations at once. One was that I had many friends getting healthy, and losing weight, and I was always complimenting them. Even though they were no where near their goal that didn't diminish the progress they had made. Two. I had been busting my ass. I was in the gym often. I was eating better then ever. I may not be the most perfect specimen out there, but dammit, I was doing pretty good. I would never take back a compliment I had given another friend in the middle of their journey, just because it wasn't complete. Perhaps I should start looking at compliments I received differently.
I'm better with all of this now. When someone tells me I look good, I usually fire back something funny like, "heck yeah, I'm a badass." My trainer laughs at me now. Sometimes I'll try and flex and say, "wait, you've got to see these guns." I know I'm still not a bikini competitor, but you guys, I've done a lot of work, and I kick ass for it. I've lost 78 pounds. I've lost at least 15% body fat. I can run a 10k. I have three and a half visible abs. I'm not doing to bad over here. I still have days where I pick myself apart. Let's be honest, we all do that, we always will. However, I have more days of building myself up then I have of tearing myself down. When I take pics now I focus on my muscles, or how tone my legs look. I don't focus on the arm fat, or cellulite. I still do progress pics often, just to remind myself of what an incredible change I've made. I will probably do progress photos for the rest of my life, to keep reminding myself that I'm not her anymore.
All of this fitness stuff has changed my mentality also. I'm just happier in general. It's harder to spew up a negative comment when I'm feeling high on life from a workout. I can tell when I miss too many days in the gym. I start to tear apart every single spec of fat on my body. The easiest fix for that is to hit the gym, or go on a run. I feel like I'm nicer now. I feel more confident. I feel more worthy. I LIKE myself more then I ever have. That's important. How can I teach my kids to love themselves if I don't even like myself?
I think we all need to work on taking compliments. We don't say thank you enough. We don't hear the compliment and really let it soak in. We brush them off so fast our brain doesn't have time to store it away and soak in the positive reinforcement.
I also think we all need to be better at giving compliments. We don't give compliments enough. Everyone loves to receive a compliment, but too many people seem above actually handing out a straight forward compliment. Not a backhanded compliment like, "even though you spend too much time in the gym you still look good." Not a compliment that is about yourself also, "oh you are just like me, with such tone legs." Just a basic, real nice compliment. I am working on that. I try hard now to give out real compliments. To mean it. To give them to my kids, to my husband, to my friends, to strangers at the gym. I leave reviews now when I think someone has done a stellar job. I want to make sure people know when they are being incredible. I compliment chefs, waiters, my hair stylist, all kinds of people now. I think giving compliments, helps me be better at receiving them.
I think I've moved light years past that girl from 2013. I'm happy. I like myself. I'm doing a fantastic job of being fit. I might just make it after all.
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