Thursday, April 11, 2013

So Frustrated.. how to stay on track when things are not happening the way you want them to.

I want to thank everyone for the lovely support that is continuing since I wrote last weeks post.  

I am really struggling right now because I feel like I have been totally betrayed by my body.  Please, this is venting and I am not asking for advice on diet or commentary on my food choices, thank you.   I would however, love to know how YOU handle the emotional side of this whole thing.  How you keep doing the "next right thing" when your body doesn't seem to be responding the way it has in the past.

I weigh myself daily.  This has been something that has worked for me in the past, but lately it has been an exercise bordering on mental self abuse.  I am still struggling with health problems (and infection that will not go away)..   Fortunately,  I am recovering well from the surgery I had, and the intense pain I was in before the surgery has been fixed, but for some reason, my body is just not reacting the way I feel it should and I'm just so frustrated.  I am fairly active.  I walk 3 miles to and from work and I work in my feet all day long. I go up and down stairs all day long at work, but for some reason, I AM GAINING WEIGHT.  This morning I sat here and literally felt my body swell up and weighed myself and I am 10 lbs heavier than I was two days ago.

My rational mind knows this is water weight, because there's no way I can gain fat that fast, but it's so frustrating to see the number on the scale and have no idea what to do to change this.

I suppose I should pick a day and time to weigh myself once a week so I don't drive myself crazy with these massive fluctuations..   My hormones are totally out of whack since I don't have any ovaries (that's another horrible health story from my past)..  and I am having constant hot flashes and then chills.  That's when I notice the bloating the worst.

I think what is so frustrating is what was working soooo well for me in the past is not working anymore.  Or I guess that's not fair, since I was walking between 6-12 miles a day and now I'm not.  I know why I GAINED the weight over the past several months, but now that I'm back to a more active lifestyle, I'm not sure why I'm STILL gaining.

Things that work against me (But to be fair, I was working with food the entire time I lost weight and had to taste the food I was preparing)

  • I have to taste the food I prepare all day long.  I cook everything from scratch and season thing and food, especially vegan food requires a lot of tasting, then seasoning then re-tasting to make it really yummy.  
  • I am only walking 3 miles a day to get to/from work
  • I am exhausted when I come home from work after being on feet and walking to do any more exercise.  This is probably because I've put on 20 lbs and also because my body is totally 100% depleted from the c-diff and recovering from surgery.
I am at a loss.. obviously, I need to figure out a new plan of action.  I was just so angry and frustrated when I got on the scale this morning.

I also threw away ALL of my "fat clothes" and most of my clothes are tight on me now, which makes me feel like shit.  

Soo...  I feel like I've hit a new type of bottom today... I'm just so very frustrated, but I'm not going to give up.  I'm going to exercise today and continue to eat well.  I woke up starving and had a big salad for breakfast with leftover roasted beets, veggies and hummus. 

I will drink my super spicy blender juice... (beets, ginger, hot peppers, beet greens and chia seeds)

and make healthy choices with food and most importantly, pay attention to portions.  That is my biggest downfall is eating too much.  

I am going to stay off of the scale for a week.  I will weigh myself Thursday April 18th.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Simple Overnight Oats

Just wanted to share my favorite spring/summer overnight oats. I've been using my Soy Kefir instead of 
yogurt and love it so much. 

1 cup soy kefir
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
stevia, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond extract to taste

Mix everything together and refrigerate overnight.  Enjoy the next morning! 

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Whole Food Savory Corn-Oatmeal 'Bread' made from leftover Split Pea Soup..

First of all, thank you for the outpouring of support on my last post where I talk about what my life was like when I weighed 300 lbs.  

As I said in that post, I believe in eating whole foods with a focus of frugality.  I love to experiment and have made several delicious batches of what I call, "Pizza Bread." using 100% whole ingredients, similar to my sweet, but sugar free breakfast breads.  

So, I had some leftover Chipotle Split Pea Soup that I would normally turn into a burger, but today I wanted to experiment with savory bean based "breads."  I had some coarse cornmeal and old fashioned oats and around 2 1/4 cups of the leftover soup, so I stirred it all together and baked it an 8 by 8 square glass pan .  

I think any thick, bean based soup would work well, Chili would be amazing! Now, just a word of caution. This is NOT cornbread.  This is a little umm.... weird, but I like it and think it is a great alternative to bread.  It is full of nutrition and would make a great snack or savory breakfast.  I'm a peanut butter nut, and I think peanut butter would taste really good on it.  

Savory 'Breakfast Bread'
  • 2 1/4 cups leftover split pea or other bean based soup
  • 3/4 cup coarse cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 tsp all purpose seasoning salt or creole seasoning
  • 1 tbsp psyllium husk

Mix everything together; spray a glass 8 by 8 baking dish with cooking spray and bake at 400 for 50 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time. Allow bread to cool completely before eating.

You can totally get creative with spices/herbs.  I just wanted to make a very simple recipe.  I will share my Pizza Bread recipe soon, when I get some fresh basil.  It is super yummy!

If you're looking for a more traditional Cornbread, here are several recipes:

Sneak Peak at upcoming recipes: Jerk-Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas

Sesame Ginger Slaw

Black Bean Mole Tostadas

Strawberry Shortcake

Thursday, April 04, 2013

What my life was like at 300 pounds & Comparison Pics

This is hard for me to write, and I'm doing it all stream of consciousness. There are no pics of me at my heaviest, and very few body pics of me, even today.

UPDATED Jan. 2014:

I have gained around 50 lbs back over the past 15 months.  I have been recovering from foot surgery and stress fractures since May.  I am frustrated, but also, learning a lot more about myself and my emotional responses to food, stress, and life and am sure I will begin losing weight again.

I also had another major surgery in March of 2013.. it's been a rough year, but I'm doing MUCH better.

I am still 70 less than my highest weight, which is a good thing, but this gaining/losing/gaining cycle is obviously a constant.

Jan 2014 age 42

Do you have any idea what it’s like to look down and see the scale read 310 pounds?  Oh my god, I wanted to die.  I think that was my highest weight, but it could have been even higher, because I stopped weighing myself after that. 

285 lbs (25 lbs less than my highest weight) 

Let me tell you what life is like at 310 pounds.  Everything hurts.  People say, “go for a walk”, but what they don’t realize is that every step feels like torture.  I remember walking across the street to get my mail would make my heart pound and I would feel out of breath.  Walking for 5 minutes felt like 5 hours. With every step, I would feel crushing pain in my lower back and a panic would start and I began to HATE myself with such a passion.  On a good day, I was able to channel that HATRED into momentum and I would repeat my mantra, inside of my head, “Anything is better than nothing, anything is better than nothing.” 

285, so miserable. Age 37

With each step, I would vacillate between utter helplessness and maybe a glimmer of hope.  I remember one day, I was only able to walk for 90 seconds at a time.  I would walk, rest, and then walk again and I managed a whole 15 minutes by the end of the day.  That was an accomplishment, believe me. 

I was someone who had always been SUPER ACTIVE, and may things led up to the weight gain, which I will probably talk about in later posts, but finding myself in this situation was so shocking.

Did I mention the self-hate? Oh yeah. I did.  Well, I can’t mention it enough because it became my prison.

My poor children.  They were always so loving and supportive of me, yet I was too embarrassed to be seen in public with them.  I didn’t want them to look bad.  I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do with them.  I hid. From life.  From friends.  From my family.   I don’t ever want to go back to that.

I am looking through some old pictures and my heart is fucking breaking for them.. and for me.  I am going to post these pictures, because I want YOU to see how bad it was.   On this day, we had gone hiking and it was hell for me.  We hiked Mt. Major, which is not a very huge hike, but the walk down, almost killed my knees.  My kids were so concerned and it turned what was a normally awesome day into a day filled with them being concerned for me.  I literally feel sick to  my stomach looking at these pictures, not because I’m disgusted by my appearance (I am), but because I just remember the utter HELL I was living in and the hell I put my poor family through worrying about me.  They missed out having all of me as a mom.  That’s a hard one to admit to, but it is the truth.  It’s hard not to hate myself today because of that, but I have realized that life is way too short to waste on hating yourself.  Today is all we have. .. but the reality is that every single thing in my life was affected by my weight.

290 lbs

I would NEVER go out to eat with my family.  They would BEG me to come, but I wouldn’t because I was too fucking FAT TO FIT IN A BOOTH COMFORTABLY and I couldn’t stand the embarrassment. 
Finding clothes was a challenge, because my boobs were enormous.  The pain of the bra cutting into my back made breathing difficult.  Everything was a struggle.

I didn’t know how to get out of the nightmare.  I would find the gumption to start walking, and the first MONTH was torture, but if I could stick it out, I would start dropping weight fast and my endurance came back.  I would be walking 3 miles easily.  During this time, I was here, blogging.  It is obvious I am pretty food obsessed and frankly, most of the weight I gained was from eating “healthy” foods, just WAY TOO MUCH OF THEM.  Bread and hummus was a huge downfall for a long time.  Hell, bread is still a challenge for me. 

Do you have any idea what it’s like to go grocery shopping as a morbidly obese woman?  The stares you get the snickers.  People would LOOK INTO MY CART with disgust and then… confusion, because most of the food in there was so healthy.  Cashiers would ask if I was starting a new diet, although they came to know me at the local Market Basket and we would chat about all the veggies I was buying and what I would make with them.   I remember one day, these two teen girls walked by me and said straight to my face, “I would kill myself if I looked like you.”

290 lbs age 38

Walking outside for exercise, I have been heckled and humiliated, “Hey fatty, it’s going to take a lot more than a walk about the block to lose that ass.”

I was walking past an ice cream store and someone yelled out, “Go have another ice cream, fatty.”

I NEVER ever wanted my children to hear someone say that to me.  I was so afraid their friends would make fun of me, but as far as I know they never did… but the FEAR of having that happen, was enough to make me isolate.  Stay inside the house.  I was so embarrassed to see friends who knew me before I gained weight.  I had a good friend ask me is all seriousness, “Oh my god, what happened to you”.

What happened indeed?  After an initial FAST weight gain of 100 lbs partially due to steroid medication and definitely due to total lack of exercise, the next 50 – 60 lbs just piled on and off, slowly but surely.. depending on my actively level and how much I was paying attention to mindless/comfort eating.  I just spiraled out of control and couldn’t seem to get it back for any length of time.  I tried “diets”, Weight Watchers, Gluten Free, 100% Vegan, Raw Food “Cleanses”,  Counting Calories, Giving up this or that food group, Atkins (now that was difficult as a vegan leaning vegetarian)..  and while they all “worked” initially, they failed because I couldn’t stick to it.  I was emotionally not able to (again for many reasons, some that I may get into in the future if I find I feel comfortable being this emotionally raw online.)

275 lbs age 38

To make a long story short, I became so desperate, I knew I had to do something BIG and that something was to sell my car, move to Boston (from NH) when my youngest son went to college.   When I moved here Sept 24, 2011 I weighed 290 lbs.  I could only walk about ½ mile at a time without severe pain, but since my lifestyle forced me to walk, even taking public transportation, you have to walk to and from stops, up and down stairs at T stations, etc.  I also became a bit more mindful of the food I was putting in my mouth, eating a lot of veggies and filling up on them and being mindful of my portions.  I never restricted ANYTHING.  I ate whatever I wanted, I was just MINDFUL.  I walked and walked and walked, I remember Thanksgiving Day (I was celebrating the next day with my family) was the first LONG walk I managed, a month after moving.  I walked 6 miles and was so amazed I could do it!  I started to feel FREE!  I think I realized that day, that my life was changing for good this time.

Over the next 9 months or so, I lost 100 lbs.  I was walking between 6-12 miles every day and working on my feet most of the day.  The weight loss was effortless.  During this time (I was 245 lbs when I met The BF) I started seeing The Boyfriend.  I had been single for over 4 years and the thought of having a boyfriend was the last thing I could imagine before I moved to Boston… but a funny thing happened, as I started to feel more in control of myself and my life,  things changed.. But that’s a whole other topic as well.  Wow, there are so many layers to weight/body image/health. 

But I digress, so I was walking 6-12 miles a day and the weight loss was effortless, but at the end of September, I found myself in a different living situation (with The BF) and my work situation changed as well and I was no longer walking the 6-12 miles a day and then I became ill in December and the result is a 20 pound weight gain.   I REFUSE to regain the weight and go back to where I was.  Writing this has been good for me, because I forgot how tormented I was.  I literally had no idea what I was going to write when I sat down here, and frankly, I am feeling really sad right now that I wasted so much of my life in my own prison.
190 lbs Summer 2012 Age 40
I will not go back.  Now, I am not walking 12 miles a day anymore to/from work, but I am walking around 3 miles to get to/from work.  I need to make a game plan and become more mindful of my eating.  I’m also recovering from C-Diff (look it up if you want) and a surgery, so my body is a bit wrecked.  I will write more about my health issues soon too, if I feel comfortable. 

I don’t believe in diets.  I believe in whole foods.  Healthy and delicious, mostly vegan whole foods, and exercise. 
185 lbs Summer 2012 Age 40

I am posting a comparison picture of me at 285 and 190, which is the lowest daily weight (I think I got down to 185 for a couple of weeks this summer)..  I have currently gained 20 lbs since then and weigh 210 now.  Depressing, but I can get it off.  I’ve done before and I will do it again.  My goal weight is 155-160.  

210 lbs Feb 2013 Age 41

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Sesame Ginger Edamame Salad

This is a delicious salad that keeps well in the fridge.  It's great to round out a meal or as a quick snack.  The dressing is thickened with chia seeds and is very low in fat/calories.

Sesame Ginger Edamame Salad
  • 1 lb defrosted edamame 
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 4 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 tbsp nori shreds
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado chopped (optional)

  • 2 cups chickpea cooking liquid (or water)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tsp Wasabi 
  • Sriracha to taste 
Blend dressing ingredients to taste and add as much as you want to the salad.