Let’s be honest I have been putting off doing this post for days now. For two reasons: 1) I’m ending my batch of posts on Body image issues with a great guest post that rings very true with my own story and 2) I have to talk about my 30 Day Vegan Adventure……and some of my newer readers might not like what I have to say. But I guess you can’t please everyone so we’ll start there!
The last day of my 30 Day Vegan Adventure was this past Tuesday. And I can’t tell you how happy I was for it to be over. I apologize new Vegan friends/readers but the Vegan lifestyle just isnt for me. The first week was really great, I lost 4.6 pounds and I wasn’t feeling deprived or missing any foods really. Then on the 8th or 9th day I began to feel really run down, I was moody, lazy no energy and you couldn’t have paid me to go to the gym. I wasn’t sleeping well and I was starving mostly because I was so bored with my food choices that I didn’t want to eat. I literally went from eating the entire food chain to, what felt like to me , nothing. However, I kept going! I attend a Mother’s Day Brunch full of amazing dishes that I would’ve died for and ate fruit and mixed potatoes, attended my brother in law and now sister in law’s rehearsal dinner and wedding and only ate my side dishes. Now some of you may be like well thats not so bad, but ya know what for me it was! I have worked really hard to lose my weight and still have some to go and I feel like if I want a nice piece of chicken smothered in a gorgeous honey lemon glaze then by God I should get to eat it. I think my main challenge was not being able to eat some of the things I truly enjoy, not that I eat steak or eggs or cheese all day every day but I like having that option ya know. Also, most of the people in the Vegan community were very accepting of my pursuit, they assisted me with what to eat and what not to, donated advice and recipes and then some of the Vegan community were quite rude! I received emails of animals being slaughtered and tortured…….NEWS FLASH that sort of thing doesn’t always convince people to follow your beliefs. Do I agree with the way animals are slaughtered and treated? Absolutely not! Would I ever send some of the emails I received or call people names or try discourage what they are doing? Absolutely not! But such as life when you’re a blogger! You put your life out there for the world to see and sometimes ya get some really crazy responses. To answer some of the more popular questions I have received now that I’m done:
1) Did I find any new foods that I will keep in my diet? YES!!!! Tofu, Coconut oil, carob chips, So Delicious everything, and Earth Balance butter.
2) Did you lose weight? Yep 6 pounds overall
3) Will you stay Vegan? NOPE, but I’m seriously considering being a Vegetarian! When i first began my journey we really followed a Vegetarian lifestyle and I didn’t feel deprived at all. Plus I can even opt to be a Pescetarian because I LOVE fish.
4) Would you discourage anyone from trying the Vegan lifestyle? I would NEVER discourage anyone from trying anything! It’s not for me but who’s to say it’s not for you! plus it was a great 7 day detox and I would definitely do that again ;).
So in short, I came I saw I didn’t really conquer but I stuck with it! Oh and for those of you who sent me angry mail about Quorn….I was going by what the Whole Foods employee suggested and when I put the first cube in my mouth I spit across my kitchen and then dumped the entire pan. Just ask my hubby ;).
Allrighty let’s move on to our guest post! This lovely lady is one of the co-authors of The Full Plate Diet, Dr. Teresa Sherard! The Full Plate Diet is helping to revolutionize the diet/health world one gram of fiber at a time! Check out The Full Plate Diet and Follow them on Twitter: http://twitter.com/FullPlateDiet Thanks again Dr. Sherard!
I grew up as an overweight kid and struggled with being pudgy and overweight all the way through college. Shopping for clothes was a dreaded nightmare growing up since it just reinforced how much fatter I was than my slender little sisters. So style was not on my radar. I became a vegan in college, and then later on I learned how to be a healthy vegan (there is a big difference). Once I learned more about health my weight has not really been a problem, but I have realized that my body image had not been realistic. I was still a fat person in a thinner body. I’d go shopping and look at a dress and think, “There’s no way I could get into that.”, and so I’d buy larger sizes that were too big. In fact I still do when left to my own devices. When I was a fat kid I dreamed of being thin in loose clothing – so maybe there was something going on there. Only recently have I begun to experiment with more closely fitting clothes and actually begin to prefer some of them. All I can tell you is that it’s a journey – I still really like baggy, but I’m beginning to have some favorite close fitting things too. I would love to have a personal shopper who would buy a few good things for me in neutral colors that I could interchange so I’d never have to go shopping. I’d much rather work in my garden! Feeling healthy, energetic, and strong is the thing that makes me the most comfortable in my own skin eventually seems to affect the outside.
I know a lot of us can relate to Dr. Sherard’s story! As a matter of fact I first began my Body Image struggles in the 3rd grade. It was a warm Spring day in 1988 and I was outside for recess sitting on the picnic tables. I was wearing an adorable pair of Bermuda length khakis from Benneton and a pink Polo shirt. Yes I dressed like a prep school drop out, but we lived in an uppity neighborhood and that’s how all of the other girls dressed. ANYWAY, as I sat in my totally trendy outfit next to one of the most popular girls in school, we’ll call her M.S., I watched the boy crush of my dreams play kickball. We’ll call him G.G. As the ball slowly rolled towards me, and M.S., G.G ran over to get it and I perked right up. As he ran towards us I swore he was looking at me and was gonna totally ask me to sit with him at lunch the next day. (I already had my outfit picked out in my mind for such an occasion) So anyway, the ball stopped at the picnic table and as he jogged up I opened my mouth to say Hi and before I could even get the H in hi out he said, and I quote:
” Tera has fat thighs” Yes Tera has fat thighs………now let me let you in on Tera in 1988. I was short, danced 7 days a week for 2 to 3 hours a day. I had curves, but I wasn’t fat. I was a 3 time Texas state pageant title holder and had an active modeling career and was even the face for such brands as Coca Cola and Lays Potato Chips…..and yet this ONE boy saying I had fat thighs sent me into a downward self hating spiral that I have just now started to come out of. My parents divorced in the Summer of 1990 and that did nothing to help with my Twinkie sneaking. Not that I’m blaming my parents for me getting fat, not at all. My mom cooked dinner every night, packed us healthy lunches and made sure we were active. I just chose to steal the boxes of snacks that were in the pantry, which by the way were bought for my dad’s lunch and eventually my step dad’s lunch. I got really good at plowing cookies and cakes into my mouth and hiding the wrappers way down in the trash can. In my later school years I would buy candy bars out of the vending machine and hide them in my back pack only to shovel them down at night before bed. I had a serious comfort eating problem, and even at young age I realized that it didn’t take the hurt away it just masked it for as long as it took me to chew.
Fast forward to high school…..I was FAT as a freshman, but I had a boyfriend who was a football player, I was on dance team and I had friends who thought I was fun and funny. So I just went with it. In between my Sophomore and Junior year of high school I decided enough was enough. I dropped about 30 to 40 pounds and started my Junior year a whole new girl. But…….I gained it all back by the end of my Senior year. I was getting restless and not looking forward to college, so I started eating again. My boyfriend of 4 years and I broke up, more eating. I moved in with a guy, started out a just friends……started dating he cheated on me, I caught him….yep you guessed it started eating. That takes us to September 2001, this time I didn’t diet I ran….all the way to Orlando, FL. I worked for Walt Disney World for a year and I was surrounded by people who thought I was FREAKIN FANTASTIC! I was able to be me! Loud, fun, and chubby. They didn’t care and I totally embraced being the funny fat girl in the group. I had tons of friends who loved me and I loved them. Fast forward one more time January 2003 I’m now in Rhode Island and I’ve met my now husband, who was all of 185 pounds soaking wet. Oh BTW Ryan is 6 feet 2 inches so yea that 185 translates into a pencil! I had lost some weight while at Disney and I was almost as small as I had been when i lost weight in high school. Yea well….we got comfortable, we ate out a lot, we drank a lot of beers….and we got fat together. I was then at my heaviest, 220 pounds and on my 5 foot 2 inch frame that was a lot. The day I married Ryan I weighed 225 pounds and I managed to polish off half the Weinersnitzle menu about an hour before our wedding. Fast forward again, March 8, 2008 the day my beautiful Zachary was born. They weighed me before my C Section and I was 265 pounds…….and you guys know the rest.
So as you can see I have battled with this for many many many years. I have yo yo-ed more times than you can count. BUT I’m living breathing proof that when you are truly ready to do this for YOU and only YOU it can be done.
I know this was a long post and if you’re still reading, Bless You!!! I hope that this will help atleast one person out there. I hope this will help all of you see that you have to look out for number one sometimes, and in the end it’s worth it. I saved my own life, now it’s time for YOU to save yours.
Have a wonderful night, and as always thanks for reading!