Has it been a week yet?

At some point in the near past, I announce my switch to veganism for a month. I feel like its been forever since that announcement, but I believe it has actually only been one week.

So far, its been pretty awesome. I’ve had some issues stabilizing my bloodsugar (I go from ‘hungry’ to ‘dying of hunger’ pretty quickly) but its also been really nice to be spending so much time back in my kitchen. I love cooking. I love eating. Its a win/win for me… until it becomes unhealthy that is.

I’ve done some amazing things this week; I ate tofu for the first time (since the last time!) and actually liked it! I’ve made my own almond milk. Several recipes I’ve tried have turned out fantastic*. Kale chips are my new go-to snack.

Unfortunately I’ve been so excited to eat my food, I haven’t photographed any of it. The one meal I did manage ( quinoa pasta with nooch tomato sauce) was just a useless cellphone picture.

I’ll try to be better in the future.

Today I made an executive decision: instead of changing my work schedule for a day to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two – the Midnight Showing, I’d decided to keep my schedule the same so I can work out in the morning. The movie will still be there this weekend.

If you’re interested in incorporating some vegan meals into your diet, I highly recommend the beautiful food porn website, www.findingvegan.com.  Seriously, awesome stuff.

*I was going to upload a picture of some amazing chocolate pancakes I made with homemade strawberry syrup (that was maybe 300 calories all together- omg, so amazing!) but alas, the picture will not upload. Perhaps another day.

My Beginnings

Growing up, all I wanted to was to get out of Oregon. I grew up just outside of Portland. First in Tigard, then moved to Sherwood, followed by Tualatin just a few short years later. Each move was a cathartic release from the pressures of being me, but also left me even more isolated than the move before it. For a long long time, it was just me and my mom.

Me and my mom, Summer 2010

When I was 18, I enrolled myself into a womens college in Virgina. With $25 in my pocket, I took a 4 day train ride to a state I’d never been in, to a school I’d never seen, with no place to stay that first night (as far as I knew) and learned just how self sufficient I could be. I only attended for one year.

I spent the following summer in Colorado Springs with my cousin and uncle. That was a lesson in tyrannical depression. I fought valiantly to return to my school, even without any support from my family but ultimately, when I found out my best friend who was stationed in Anchorage Alaska, became pregnant it seemed only logical to move up there and help out with the baby.

A month after I moved up to Alaska, we had a falling out and we haven’t spoken since.

The Sleeping Lady, 2011

Alaska is the place where I found myself, where everything started making sense. I often talk about leaving here, but it finds a way to get under your skin. My friends are here, the family I’ve created for myself is here. I’ve found my niche.

I enjoy traveling. This year I went to Ohio for a friends wedding, and last year I visited Oregon and my mother- we drove down to California and back up the hwy 101. I visited my cousin in Colorado just before she went off and got pregnant and married, and my grandfather just before he passed. In a few months I’ll be heading to Hawaii for the first time, doing my first two races outside of Alaska.

Vegan Month day 3

Every single morning I wake up and crave food, I instantly start chanting internally “I’m vegan now, I’m vegan now, vegan vegan vegan. No dairy, no eggs, no meat, no *gulp* cheese. No animal by products. Must be aware. Be aware. I’m vegan now, I’m vegan now.” 

Not going to lie, its kind of been a struggle. I keep asking myself, “Okay, I can’t eat that, what do I eat?” And come up with blanks.

Luckily there is this amazing website called finding-vegan.com which is like a RSS feed of vegan recipes online, in picture form. It is simply the most amazing website I’ve stumbled upon (quite literally- I love stumbleupon.com!) since icanhazcheezburger.com.

Iz ok..  we're Veeganz.

Lunch is Thai Kitchen: Thai Peanut Rice Noodles and sauce. I hope it tides me over til tonight. I’m making cornfritters for dinner/tomorrows breakfast.

I usually buy coffee and a pastry on fridays as my “reward” for making it through the week, and for making it to work so early (its the only day I work 9-5). Until I become more comfortable in my veganism, all bets are off, so no more coffee shop stops for me.

Tomorrow night I’m going to figure out what to do with my tempeh for dinner.           

Struggling with Mindful Eating

When I started this blog, I had no real weight loss goals; I still don’t. The idea was to eat mindfully, and just be aware of what was actually being consumed.

Through the progression of my blog, I’ve calmed down on taking pictures, and documenting everything. I’ve started and stopped counting calories numerous times. I’ve stopped really mindfully eating.

What I mean is, when I first started, I would sit around, wait until I got hungry, and then eat. I would make sure the screen was off, the picture was taken, and I checked in to see just how hungry I was. Half way through my meal I checked in again.

I don’t really do that anymore.

It was effective: I slowed my roll on binging almost immediately. Sometimes it was really difficult to figure out why I was trying to find something to eat when I could clearly tell I wasn’t hungry. But the biggest thing that happened was, I would allow myself to become so hungry I thought I would pass out before I was able to remedy it.

Then slowly the screens stayed on while I was eating. The checking in didn’t happen because my general eating habit stayed “relatively the same”, it was routine to eat the same 4 items every day. It became mindless again.

So, where am I at now?

Eating Mindfully helped get me back on track, and in touch with myself. Its been a great tool to help put me back on even footing when it comes to eating. However, if I were being honest with myself and my blog, I have a number in the back of my head that I want to get to, and maybe one or two lower than that. If I were being honest, I don’t believe eating mindfully is going to get me there; at least not on its own.

If I don’t want to count points or calories or making silly rules about when and where I can eat certain food groups (because, lets be honest: I tried that too and have failed miserably at it) then what am I left with? How do I get to where I want to go?

To be honest, I don’t really want to change. Or I do, but not from what I’ve said I’m going to do, but actually be consistent in doing what I’ve said I’m going to do. I need constant urging “this is why you do what you do”.twit

The punishment for reverting to old ways is staying fat and getting fatter. Plain and simple.

I want to move forward and try something new. Some new, and short term, just to prove I can. (can you see where I’m going with this?) Based on the way I feel physically when I don’t drink milk, or consume dairy products, I’ve decided starting on July 5th, to eat the vegan way for at least one month.

Yesterday, (the 5th) I had watermelon and black bean tacos with avocado salsa, and then a bowl of special k red berries and chocolate soy milk.  For this month, I’m going to try to get back into photographing food, and blogging it.

Today I’ve had a left over taco and kale chips. It’ll be interesting to see how my body adjusts. Wish me luck!

So… What Do You Wanna Know?

I’ve been blogging here for just over a year now, going on and on about my trials and tribulations, successes and events. I’ve seen the stats on my blog rise and comments being left, which I totally appreciate and enjoy. I also start a lot of my sentences with “I“, something  I‘m very aware of.

So I’m wondering, to you out there, yes YOU. What do you want to know? What do you want to know about me or what I think or what I do, subjects that I haven’t delved into? I like having readers, and I’d like to keep you entertained.

So, let me know. If you don’t want to leave me a comment, you can always send me an email. lilyfluffbottom @ yahoo dot com

So until next time, Have a happy and safe Independence Day Weekend!

Thankful Thursday

I don’t usually have topical posts, but I’m feeling pretty thankful today so I thought I’d chime in.

  • For starters, I’m quite thankful for my job. I work as a Youth Employment Specialist which basically means I put teenagers on jobs through federally funded grants, and help them find their own jobs. I love what I do… when I have something to do. Its very rewarding and I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else. 
  • I’m also very grateful for my mother. She’s awesome. We’re going to Hawaii in three months and I am so excited I might pee myself before we leave.
  • Doctors. Yesterday my bff’s 3 year-old son had a lump removed from his chest and biopsied. It was a outpatient procedure, but they just don’t know whats going on. I am very glad the doctors got all of whatever the hell was in there.
  • Alaska’s 24 hour sun. Okay, so its more like 19 hours where I live, but trust me, 19 is plenty. It makes sleeping a joke during the summer, but you’re so hopped up on vitamin D that you just don’t care!
  • Payday! Within the next week or so, I’ll be buying my madre’s flight to here in September, and then all the major purchases (that I’m responsible for) will have been taken care of!

How to " " in " " days!

I hate those. You know the ones. The “How to lose 10 lbs in two weeks*” or “I lost 25 lbs in 12 weeks*!”

source; plz dont click. You’ll hate yourself later.

*Results vary because we paid and photoshopped these people. But srsly, it WORKS!

They’re so… uninspiring, and yet I always think, “Well, if they can, why can’t I?”

I make up some crazy plan in my head to do the same thing. I pick a day to start and then the next thing I know, I’m eating a carton of ice cream.

Wait, what? That wasn’t in the plan!

Ads, commercials like that always make me feel so lousy about myself. Its hard to explain to people why I never watch TV (like I’m the weird one) but its because we are bombarded with these images on a minute by minute basis.

I want the easy way out of this body I’ve created for myself, but I know it took a lot of effort to get here, and its going to take a lot of effort to get out of here. I’ve finally made that commitment, a true commitment, no matter how many restarts, or setbacks, upsets, or long hauls. One day I’m going to wake up and realize I achieved what I set out to do: lose weight and get healthy. If it takes 10 days or 1000, it will happen.

My plan, the rules, my goals… they’re all the same thing ultimately. They’re going to help lead me down my path of health and weight loss.

Setting smaller goals like:

  • Drinking enough water
  • Eating salad for a week
  • Tracking my calorie intake
  • Lifting weights three days a week

These are a lesson in discipline. I can’t tell you how much I hate making salad at home. I don’t mind eating it, but making it just kills me every time. Tracking my calories sometimes is easier than others. The more I do it, the more little changes like these I make to my everyday life, the easier its going to be to make healthy decisions in the future.

The rules including:

  • Photograph everything
  • No eating in front of moving pictures
  • Be aware of serving sizes and stick to them
  • Find an exercise program and do it (in this case, c25k)

These are a lesson in accountability. I still do all of these things on some level because sometimes I need a little extra accountability. When I started this over a year ago, I had no idea what I was eating, or how much. I wasn’t exercising. I was making decisions based on whether or not I wanted to climb my stairs. That’s what incapable looked like to me, what it felt like. I never wanted to be the person who couldn’t get upstairs in her own house, but I was well on my way.

Me; Whittier, Alaska 2011

My plan is to be healthy, to be capable, and to succeed in reaching my goals, whether they’re completing c25k by August, eating salad every night for a week, or shopping in the all the other stores at the mall.

I have never declared what weight goal I’m trying to attain, nor what size clothing I’ll be happy in once I get there, for a reason. I just want to feel happy and normal in my own skin- to be able to run like the wind, to say, “hey, I want to climb that mountain over there!” and then actually be able to do it. Whether I’m 240 when that happens or 130 or anything in between, as long as I’m living my life to the fullest, then I’ve succeeded.

Friends and Weight Loss

I have two friends. (okay, so I have more than two friends, but for this post, I only have two!)

My two friends are roommates.

One is very active and likes doing things like walking through tunnels and climbing mountains and sweating in general (followed by eating earned calories).

The other likes to wander under the pretense of shopping, actually shopping, followed by a meal full of calories that may or may not have been earned at that point.

Its kind of an interesting experience, and I’ve found that the only thing the three of us really do together is eat. A couple of weekends ago I met up with friend #1 to participate in a race, went home and changed to meet up with friend #2, shopped around at a used book store, grabbed lunch and then later we both met up with #1 to eat dinner.

Before I started on my weight loss journey, I can’t say that I spent a lot of time with #1. We had all the same friends of course, but it always more of group situations as opposed to our own little outings. That has changed now, because I am looking for all sorts of new and exciting ways to move my body and make it sweat. (That sounds kind of dirty, but I like it!)

What I’m finding now is that I’d almost rather spend less time with friend #2 because her lack of interest in sweating kind of annoys me. I understand I don’t necessarily have to spend all my time with either/or, but I would like to do things with her that don’t involve just eating delicious albeit high calorie junk food. I’m not going to let this affect our friendship. There are always healthier decisions to be made, and I’m well on my way to making them. I just wish all of my friends would join me, instead just the one.

That said, I’ll take what I can get.

How do you manage your times spent with friends who don’t enjoy sweating as much (or at all) as you do? Have you noticed a change in your relationship?