Saturday, September 10, 2011

"You must be so healthy!" EDITED 2012


Edited as of Nov. 2012...  I moved to Boston... sold my car and adopted a "walking lifestyle".. I have lost 110 lbs from my highest weight... and have recently re-gained 10 lbs..... this is a work in progress... but it has been an amazing year!

"You must be so healthy" was a comment I got on Facebook when I mentioned that I eat around 3 cups of beans a day.  

In fact, if you read this blog and look at my facebook I'm sure that the image I project is much different from the reality.

I am obese. Fat. Have been for the past 10 years now.  I do eat all this amazing healthy food, but what I don't share is the fact that I compulsively overeat wheat.  Like the focaccia above.  

That doesn't make it into my blog or on my facebook page..  and I am sick of living this ridiculous disconnected life that keeps me separated from what I really want to do. 

I want to teach people about healthy vegan food.  Pretty hard to be taken seriously when you are 100 lbs overweight. 

.... So I am doing something radical. 

A big reason I am moving to Boston and selling my car is to create a lifestyle for myself where I will be forced to be more active. 

For whatever reason, I haven't been able to sustain weight loss, as long time readers of this blog know.  I have talked about it over and over and over and over.. made many 'New Beginnings' and 'committed' to it over and over. 

I know that a move won't change your life, but at least this will be a new lifestyle.. and frankly, I have not been happy in the town I live in since I moved here in 2001.  I have never really connected well with people here.  That could be my fault for not trying very hard, but I just don't think this is the right place for me.  

So.... that's that..

I have GREAT DREAMS... I would LOVE to open a Vegan Community Kitchen/Garden/Greenhouse in a Food Desert.  I want to share my love of creating healthy and delicious vegan food with EVERYONE!

I am soooo passionate about this ....  I don't have an interest in cooking for restaurants really ...  or giving my creativity away for less than I'm worth.  If I'm going to give my creativity away then it is going to be for a good cause, not to line the pockets of someone else. 

I'm scared about making such a drastic change, but I am so so excited as well! 

A  year ago, I NEVER would have dreamed I would be moving to Boston, selling my car and changing my life in such a radical way..  

45 comments:

  1. You will love Boston! Great idea. So glad you can make it happen. I will visit you if you want because I go there a lot.

    There was an article in the latest VegNews about food addiction. There were some resources in there that might be helpful to you. I'm sure you've heard a million suggestions, but I liked that this article was designed for vegans with food issues.

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  2. Congratulations!!!!! I feel I know better, bit don't do better. I'm a yoga teacher but dropped my practice. I studied and ate according to Ayurveda, but dropped the ball on that too. I would love to join you in this new challenge. Lets do this!!!!

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  3. Hey Mel, first of all, hugs!! I know we have talked about this in the past and good for you letting it out. I know there are a lot of bloggers who aren't as healthy as they appear. You aren't alone! Xo

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  4. Gosh, I understand where you're coming from. Every school break (I teach college history) I recommit to focusing on losing the other 17 pounds I need to lose, and every summer, winter break, etc., I find myself putting on a few of the 17 I lost and working really hard to take that amount back off again. I think I've lost the same 5 pounds at least 4 times.
    I eat a lot of healthy foods... along with probably too many wonderful vegan baked goods, from time to time. I'm probably only considered obese when I have that extra 5, but that doesn't mean I still don't feel terrible every time those pants don't fit.
    I support you in any choices you want to make. Any time you want to re-commit I'll cheer you on.

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  5. You're not alone, a lot of people carry too much weight. But you're taking steps to turn your life around, so hat's off to you!

    Thanks again for your fabulous site. You inspire me daily :-)

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  6. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and struggles with us, I admire your honesty especially as a veg whos weight has also been a prob. I have read up a fair bit on this and lived it so I hope it's ok to pass a few things along that may help. One is recent studies have come out saying those who eat well and are fat are NOT at health risk more than others unless the doc runs tests that actually show elevated blood pressure etc is happening as a result of the weight. Two is no matter how well you eat if you have elevated stress hormones (cortisol levels)your body will store fat as it's a built in reaction regardless if you have enough body fat already, the brain doesn't know that and sends signals to hang on to the fat for dear life anyway. You can get a blood test to have your levels checked. Third is I remember dropping my kids off at school and literally walking for 5 hours a day and not losing anything. All I did was wear down my damn knee joints. This is because I was exercising muscles I already had but not building new muscle.You see women at the gym going nuts on the treadmill but all they are doing is exercising the heart and getting a bit of detox thru all the sweating, good things but it's a sloooow way to lose. Lifting weights will help more, every bit of new muscle you get has to survive by burning fat to fuel it. When I'm heavy if I eat anything bad I gain right off but when I'm toned and have more muscle I would have to eat badly for several weeks for it to start to make me gain as that extra toned muscle burns it off. Maybe get some small weights for home and just start doing a few different reps each day. Increase and change that routine whenever your body seems to adjust to it. That has worked for me. I stopped going to the gym a year ago and need to start back as I was losing and doing so well, then, as you know, crap in life tends to get one sidetracked. There's many reasons women especially can't seem to lose weight so you certainly aren't alone. As for the munching away you do, well honey if I could cook like you I'd be eatin' all day!

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  7. Healthy does not equal thin. The bigger measure of health is in the numbers: blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar.....
    If the numbers aren't good then make changes to correct them, and your health. If they are fine, I challenge you to find acceptance right where you are. No "should" or "shouldn't"... Love your body for what it is and what it can do for you.

    For me, acceptance and letting go has been enough to help me change old patterns and bad habits.

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  8. How I wish you would move to this vast wasteland of compulsive fast food restaurants in Murfreesboro, TN instead of Boston!

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  9. I just wanted to say that your blog is wonderful and your authority to teach about healthy vegan food is in no way determined by how you look. I have learned a lot from your blog and I look forward to continuing to read about your recipes and your life.

    I'm potentially moving to Boston in the next few years, so I'll be very interested to hear about the city from a vegan perspective.

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  10. I live in Dover, NH and I know what you mean about the culture of food here. It is terrible! The only place to eat out is Sutsy's and that is not that fantastic. Good luck on selling your car and turning your life around.

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  11. This is definitely authentic. I am glad you feel excited about the move and you should! What a bold and exciting place to go and changing your environment is great. As a person who lost over a hundred pounds myself I do want to remind you that feeling unworthy or less than comes no matter what the weight. I can attest to that. Get right inside to get right outside. Be nice to yourself and be a friend to YOU. I am guilty of beating myself to a pulp and no matter my size I have found something wrong. That's the wrong part though. I hope your journey brings you the peace, comfort and motivation you are looking for. Good luck from another Mel.

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  12. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles here. I am a fairly new reader, and had no idea that food and body size issues plagued you. Me too! I am trying to adopt a 'Healthy at Every Size' philosophy. Planning a move to the city, which promotes natural and purposeful movement is brilliant. I look forward to hearing about it! Wishing you the best in finding a community which makes you feel at home.

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  13. Your idea of opening a Vegan community kitchen sounds so awesome! Wherever you end up living is lucky to have you, I wish I could work on a project like that here in Mpls but I don't have your talents!

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  14. Melody:

    Your move to Boston and embracing a new focus in your life is all so positive, and exciting, and brave. I hope you enjoy every minute of it. I think the majority of women, and a good many men have struggled with weight issues. It sounds like you have a good idea what the major contributor is, so that's half the battle right there.

    You're talented, intelligent, and strong; you can do anything you want to do, and your vegan community kitchen/garden project sounds is wonderful. Throw yourself into it I say...don't feel like you have to wait until you lose weight. We are far more critical of ourselves generally, than others are of us. Working towards your dreams does wonders for the mind, body, and spirit...sending you good thoughts and wishes.

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  15. follow your heart!!! SOunds like a great plan and you can do it!!!

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  16. As a fellow overweight vegan, I just wanted to say - good for you! It's ridiculous how people automatically think that if you're vegan you must be pasty-faced and thin. I was even told by someone that a mutual acquaintance had said of me "I don't believe she's even vegetarian - look at the size of her!"
    I too overeat rather drastically, usually fairly healthy stuff but sometimes chocolate and maple pecan pastries! I can get through a pile of wholemeal toast and hummus the size of which would shock most people.
    I believe that past and current unhappiness overlies most overconsumption, which is why I am so admiring of your decision to move. I hope that Boston is all you could wish. I would also recommend Geneen Roth's books for advice on how to go about changing behaviour you'd rather not continue.
    good luck!
    cj

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  17. A year and half ago I was 220 pounds and decided to blog about weight loss. The more I learned about nutrition the more dangerous I felt the diet I was on was. I worked my way into a vegan diet and lost most of my readers because of it. I got down to 160 and stopped blogging because the weight loss wasn't nearly as important as the the way I felt. I still eat a vegan diet and I'm currently 165. at 5'4 that's not exactly thin so I don't quiet fit the image people have of a vegan. One lesson I have totally learned is that fat doesn't equal unhealthy. I don't buy into the myth that all the health problems obese people face are simply because they are overweight. My question to the doctors is "Of obese people with cancer, diabetes and heart disease what percentage of them eat an animal product heavy diet?"
    Wake up American the weight is a symptom not a cause .
    Anyways, rant over. Hugs to you for taking charge and living an authentic life. I believe that even if you never lose a single pound you will be a happier person for it.

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  18. Good for you for being honest! Your blog is far more interesting that way!!!!

    What I have found in my years of experience now with vegan + weight loss is that I can even overeat uber healthy vegan food and thus put on weight. So it's important not for people who struggle to confuse the two. We simply have to overcome our struggle with eating too much food, in whatever form it comes in. I wish you all the best in finding a way to do that for yourself.

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  19. I admire your honesty very, very much. That takes a lot of strength and fearlessness. Your passion for becoming healthy and for the lifestyle you believe in shines through your writing and I really believe you can succeed.
    Moving on to a more active lifestyle is a very, very godo start.

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  20. Wow, this is such a big move. Congratulations! I know that you'll make it - I just hope that one day I can do the same. I'm not overweight but I would like to kind of "purify" my lifestyle a bit more. Good luck on your journey. :)

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  21. I admire your courage to tell the world. I am also about 100 + ppounds overweight, for the same reason (my husband teases me about how I can eat a whole loaf of toast by myself- I don't think its funny)I hope the move / change helps you get to your goal.

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  22. I am a lifelong vegetarian and have been a vegan for 11 years. I too, am not thin, and never really have been. My weight has always been a struggle.

    I love your honesty and wish you the best of luck on your move and starting your life out in a new city. Congratulations! :)

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  23. I just love your blog and have been a long time reader. We all have our personal struggles and whether you choose to share yours with a wide audience is your choice and I commend you for it. It is incredibly courageous of you to make such a big move in your life and I wish you the best of luck. I too will be making a move cross country and cannot say that I am as excited, I'm more worried of the unknown but am willing to accept that everything in life changes.

    Just wanted you to know that a lurker does care and is happy for you!!

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  24. I really liked your blog today. :D

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  25. Great, honest post Melody. I don't think I could say what I'm thinking better than Rose already did, so, ditto Rose.

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  26. I hate when someone concluded, "You must be so skinny or healthy for eating vegan." It's pretty offensive though. You are so not alone...

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  27. I love this post. I sent my readers your way because your words ring so true to me. I'm in a similar situation and I'm working to be someone I am happy with, to be confident in myself and to be able to give advice to those who are looking for a healthier lifestyle. The first step is to live it, and to commit to yourself. To do this for you and not for anyone else. It's not easy, but nothing worth doing is. I will have a post similar to this coming tomorrow or Wednesday.

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  28. I'm in a bit of the same boat as you and kudos and congratulations for wanting to get the word out and be honest with yourself and your readers. Cheers to so many steps in the right direction. :)

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  29. Good luck! Boston has a lot of vegan options. I wish you the best. :)

    http://haymarket8.blogspot.com

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  30. EEEP! Such an exciting change! You're very brave and I hope you enjoy the move. A change of scene can do so much.

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  31. Hi and congrats on coming out of the closet about your weight. Must make you feel better to have that out of the way. The move sounds great, but work on inner changes more than outer and you will see long-lasting success. One thing to consider is Weight Watchers. They will teach you how to make wise eating choices, how to eat in a more balanced way, and how to deal with special occasions, portion control, etc. And, I must say you have a very healthy diet, but sounds like a balanced diet and portion control are in order. If you do eat 6 cups of beans a day, black beans are 217 calories per cup. That's 1302 calories just from beans. Add 2 cups of cooked brown rice, at 224 calories per cup and you are up to 448 additional calories for a daily total of 1750 calories. That's a lot more than anyone needs in a day from just rice and beans. This example is only meant to show you how a plan like WW can help you eat more balanced meals and help you with portion control. If you are veggie or vegan, WW accounts for that. I highly recommend that, plus a lot of walking each day. Boston will have a lot of mass transit making it easy to just get on the tube and ride. But, if you have a lunch hour you can devote each day, or 3 days a week to walking, you are on your way to a healthier body and mind! I truly wish you well in your brand new changes! Life has much to offer. :-D

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  32. Patti, thanks for your support... I don't eat 6 cups of beans a day!.. I eat 3 cups ..

    I really like WW.. it's been very helpful in the past... I actually do know a lot about portion control because of my past weight watchers/calorie counting.. I could list points/calories for everything. My weight is an emotional issue which I am working on.. plus creating a lifestyle where I will be more active!

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  33. Try the book, Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything. :-D And my apologies, I thought I read 6 cups of beans....my bad.

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  34. Whitney over at EcoVeganGal recommended your site and I've only been here about 10 minutes but WOW! Not only are all these recipes making me salivate but I am so touched by how honest and open you were in this post. I've had my fair share of the 'I thought you'd be skinnier' comments so to hear you talk about this issue with such passion and determination is truly inspiring. Thank you so much!

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  36. Thanks for being so brave and sharing that with us.

    veganwhat-stephanie.blogspot.com

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  37. I'm also a compulsive overeater, of grains, sugar, fat, salty, pretty much anything, really. Just food. So, I identify. Thank you for being so open. I needed to hear that tonight.

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  38. I love your blog. It makes me happy. And trust me when I say, you are not alone. *hugs*

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  40. I randomly stumbled upon your blog, and after I read this post, I immediately subscribed. First of all: good for you! I think it's so admirable that you're taking the initiative to make a big lifestyle change like moving to Boston. I really know where you're coming from; the image I project through my blog does not show the dark times I go through with food. I also overeat, and it's something I'd be too afraid to come out and say on my blog.

    So congratulations and good for you! You have a beautiful blog and I'm so glad I found it. Good luck with all your endeavors! You can make it through. :) Happy cooking!

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  41. Wow, I think you're really brave to be so honest in a public blog, and get out of your comfort zone that way to try to change your life.

    And some problems with weight are genetic, so don't try to take the blame for all of your problems. I've never commented on your blog before I don't think, but I have found a lot of your posts very helpful. If you're so passionate about living healthy, that's really the most important ingredient to actually live that way!

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  42. I too am a very obese vegetarian. I have not eaten meat in 20 years. people are shicked to hear I am a vegetarain. I am also wheat addict, and up until recent very heavy on cheese. I'm going vegan now.I am a massage practitioner and face much discrimitation for my weight (clients want young skinny girls) Im a work in progross, as it is important for not only my heath, self esteen bt my wallet as well .
    I look foward to your updates : )

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  44. Good Luck on your move! It is great to be able to take such a life changing step. I forgot why I started following you on Facebook. But I am glad I did. I can’t wait t hear how you do in Boston. I went on a juice fast for 3 days, courtesy of the motivation I got from watching Fat Sick and nearly dead. After that I was able to start eating a cleaner diet.
    The fasting really helped me to stop eating the foods that are bad for me and I lost the craving. For me, certain foods are like crack - one sugar donut is too many and 1000 are never enough.
    If Boston doesn't work out, New York is also a great city for not having to drive. Manhattan is ridiculously expensive. Brooklyn and Queens have really nice neighborhoods and for the truly thrifty, there is the Bronx. That's where I live

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  45. Good Luck on your move! It is great to be able to take such a life changing step. I forgot why I started following you on Facebook. But I am glad I did. I can’t wait t hear how you do in Boston. I went on a juice fast for 3 days, courtesy of the motivation I got from watching Fat Sick and nearly dead. After that I was able to start eating a cleaner diet.
    The fasting really helped me to stop eating the foods that are bad for me and I lost the craving. For me, certain foods are like crack - one sugar donut is too many and 1000 are never enough.
    If Boston doesn't work out, New York is also a great city for not having to drive. Manhattan is ridiculously expensive. Brooklyn and Queens have really nice neighborhoods and for the truly thrifty, there is the Bronx. That's where I live

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