Sunday, July 27, 2014

I always try to accept myself as I am.  Part of being myself is being a middle aged fat woman, a yoga teacher, and art teacher, and a mom.  I have concerns about a recent weight gain, about being a good role model to my daughter, about negative comments I've received, about the concern shown to me by people who care about me.

So, to address these concerns, I became willing to change the way I was eating.  Through a process that slightly escapes my consciousness, I found myself buying junk food out at restaurants and grocery stores.  I put it in my body and somehow deceived myself into thinking this would make me happy.  It did not, but I still repeated the process.

WEEK ONE   July 20 - July 26, 2014

I started to listen to my body, and notice how I felt after I ate different foods.  After a week, I noticed that foods with meat and dairy left me feeling full of remorse;  foods from plants left me feeling energized.

I started to read abundant literature on the benefits of a diet free of animal products, a vegan food plan.  I was concerned that if I kept white flour, white sugar, or corn syrup in my house, I would slip into an unhealthy spiral of poor food choices.

I created a plan and a food list.  I took a day to clean out my pantry of any sugar or animal products..  I read expiration dates, and was surprised I had a few things that actually expired.  I discarded those.  I packed up everything that was left into two categories; unopened items for donation to a  food pantry, and opened items.  The town food bank was so grateful for the donation; I felt wealthy and proud I had items to share.  Fortunately, this was a day my eight year old daughter was going to visit her father, so I put all of her sugary candy in a bag, asked her to bring it with her to her dad's place, or do what she wanted with it, but warned her I would throw it away if it came back in the house, as it is not healthy for me.  She seemed to understand, and brought her small bag to her dad's willingly enough.  I baked her cupcakes and cookies from mixes I found; I let her and her dad have some of those, too. Ok, I ended up sampling one of each of them, and they were delicious going down, but I did not feel energized afterward, I only felt guilty.    I gave her dad the items that had white sugar or flour that had been opened. I felt emotionally lighter.

I went out to eat that night, but found the willingness to try a local health food store for the first time.  I was dismayed that their kitchen was closed, but happy they had hummus wraps and side salads.  I gobbled down one of each. It was delicious!  While I was out at a party, I had a serving of corn chips.  I had more energy than usual.

The next day, I went through my fridge.  I was again surprised to find expired items, but threw them away.  I put aside bags of food not on my plan, and washed my refrigerator clean.  I put only the items on my plan back in, and gave away all the other unopened items.  I washed a lot of leftover containers!

I went out to eat again, having checked the website of the place for their menu and making a plan.  I made a reservation, and commented that I needed to know the vegan options on the menu.  Upon arrival, I asked the waitress what vegans typically ordered there, and she replied exactly what I had planned to order: roasted vegetable sandwich, no cheese.  They even had a pita for me instead of bread!  I also had another side salad, with another balsamic vinagrette dressing, and some spicy cajun fries.  I am not typically up late at night, but I was perky later than usual.  I stopped by a party and had a handful of tortilla chips with salsa, and a bowl of fresh fruit.  I felt phenomenal!

I am glad I made so much room in my cabinets and refrigerator for my healthy lifestyle!  I can't wait to go start the next week!

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