What Brought Me Here

Now, what about me? Easier said than written.

As an introduction, I would like to give you a little backstory…fade into past…

All my life I have struggled with my weight. At the age of eight my clothes were ‘husky’ and had to be specially ordered. My parents encouraged me to try organized sports, but it was too late. I had dubbed myself the ‘fat kid’. Exercising in public only invited ridicule from others, and myself. 

An obese student girl typing on the laptop.
This is not me 🙂

Once puberty hit the weight seemed to fall off on its own and I made it all the way down to a size ten…then I married. One husband and two children later, my weight had peaked around two hundred and fifty pounds and depression gripped my days like talons around a field mouse.

At twenty-five something changed. I found myself separated and in a new apartment (my first real time living on my own while supporting my kids) and I looked around and thought, “Wait a minute! I’m not pathetic and incapable! Look at what I’m doing all by myself!”

So I started walking; I walked to work and I walked to the grocery store almost daily (my kids and I called it European grocery shopping) and I walked around the park behind my new apartment complex. Eventually walking was no longer my enemy and the weight was slowly sliding off so I stopped drinking pop and more pounds dropped. I stopped eating processed foods and even more of my belly vanished. Then one day…I was late for work. 

Running on broken road.
That’s not me either

I wasn’t just late for work. The car had broken down and in my walking-euphoria I hadn’t bothered with it but today I had a meeting and I was late. I was the assistant manager for my company, and I was late. So I ran. I ran heaving breath and burning the whole way but I ran. I couldn’t talk for the first ten minutes of my meeting but I had run! I could run! After that I ran like the flipping mailman-through rain, sleet, and snow…and eventually my weight dropped to 160 pounds. I had lost almost a hundred pounds! And then…I was pregnant again.

I didn’t gain my weight back during the pregnancy, mind you. I actually had a REALLY hard time gaining then. I was pregnant with twins and as anyone who has had multiples knows, your doctor expects you to eat an INSANE amount of calories! My whole-food, healthy eating just did not amount to a high enough calorie intake no matter how much peanut butter I slathered on everything.

Also, like most multiple pregnancies, one baby got frustrated when her sleep was interrupted by the others hiccups-so she ripped open her bag of waters to get at him and make him suffer. Okay, not everyone goes through that but it seems to have set the tone for most of their relationship! I found myself prescribed in-patient (more like impatient) bed rest for a week before my scheduled c-section. My premature twins stayed in the hospital for two weeks after my release…and in walked grease-stained-paper-wrapped-double-patty fast food.

It started with one sandwich in the morning on the way to the hospital. It wound up turning into two on the way there, two on the way home. By the time they were discharged I had a newly rediscovered taste for the fried. Something else about premature babies…they are quarantined until further notice. I’m not kidding! Due to their inability to guard against infection they are not allowed to go anywhere other than to and from doctors appointments. And a stroller? They are tiny and they slide. Two months house-bound and sleep-deprived, I ate. Like all the time.

A fast food burger ready to be eaten - Burger, fast food
That’s how it actually looks, isn’t it?     Nothing like the commercials.

Fast forward six years…

After my divorce I lost the weight again in the same way I had in my twenties and eventually even got down to 155 pounds but the Michigan winter (which is usually a couple months of blizzard and not a shoulder of road to walk on), the holidays, the complete lack of warmth and sunshine, general stress and my acceptance of my winter-weight as temporary (ya know, it’s okay I’ll lose it come Spring) caused me to gain the weight back yet again. 

And I lost all the weight…again. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have lost almost a hundred pounds twice! Obviously I don’t learn anything the first time!

I knew what to eat from my food journals and used walking as my me-time. I felt great, had energy that lasted me steadily all day, loved my butt, my depression lifted for longer and longer stretches of time and I began to realize a few things…like how when I’d see a woman in the grocery store the same size I had been not long before, she looked heavy but in a spiritual way. You can recognize it when you’ve felt it that look of burdeon and despair, as though carrying something heavy. I realized that more than weight had been lifted from me. But…drumroll please…

Yup, I hit another stressful time in life and gained the weight back AGAIN! Currently (and by currently I mean I’m going to go check right now) I’m…sixty pounds from my goal weight. You thought I was going to tell you my weight? Not a chance with those numbers! Maybe I’ll slip and tell my goal weight at some point but you’re going to have to work harder than that. I’ll be tracking pounds like the NASDAQ instead: ∧2 today ∨5 next week.

Running shoes sports smartwatch and green smoothie
We’ve Got This!

I’ve done it twice and I intend to do it again in a more sustainable way…for me and our food system. This won’t be me lamenting on the labors of writing. During the development of this cookbook I will be eating a full-on vegan plant-based diet and creating recipes that save time, money and our health. Every tip, trick and product I find that helps me reach my goal will be shared with you!

I want to hear from you, too! If you have a question or have always wondered about something like fennel or whether the programmable crockpot is worth the extra cost, I’d love to do the legwork. My goal for this site is to fine-tune the final book to meet your needs so don’t be surprised when I ask questions of you too! 

An important aspect of dedicated life changes, usually neglected, is community. Someone to tell you, ‘You’ve got this!’ or ‘I know it’s hard but you can do it’ and remind you that you are strong can be the difference between success and failure, so comment on each other’s comments and start a conversation. Support each other. Hell, support me cause I’m sure I’ll need it! Dear Future, Im Ready! written on chalkboard

So, what do you say? Are you ready?