So far it is technically day 2 of my new vegan life. I haven't found sticking to a vegan diet to be as challenging as I had made it out to be. This is partly because I am getting to eat things that have been off limits to me for years in my former Dr. Atkins Diet years. I use to snack on cheese almost exclusively. Now instead I'm reaching for a box of Triscuits and loving every bite. Drinking unsweetened iced tea has been a great way to satisfy my hunger cravings. Black tea, green tea, decaf and caffeinated, just whatever I reach for in the pantry. I've been drinking about 8-10 cups of tea a day.
I'm pretty sure I've identified that my number one reason for becoming vegan is weight loss. But I also am just super amped about experimenting with new recipes. As mentioned, food is all I think about. Well, that and my children and husband, but mostly about food and what kind of wine I'm going to drink. I've been overweight since I was about age 7, according to my Mom. There was a time when I was about to give birth to my first child and I toppled the scales at 265 pounds. For my petite 5'4" frame you can imagine I was pretty big. Yeah, obviously, 9 months pregnant, but still. Most strangers were certain I was having twins if not triplets. To me this is absurd as if you have ever seen most women when they are 9 months pregnant, they are as big as house. Perhaps it never occurred to these strangers that I was as big as a house before I got pregnant.
I'm one of those women you look at and probably would never guess I weighed over 200 pounds. This is because (and go ahead and hate me for it) I have excellent proportion in a bod whether I'm 175, 215 or more. Big bust, decent waist, and, a big ass-butt. Pardon the pun.
I have never experienced what it feels like to be truly thin. I think I have weighed over 150 since about 6th grade. My late Mother used to tell me (she fluctuated weight her whole life but wasn't overweight until her 40s and beyond) that no matter how thin she was, it never made her happier, necessarily. In the same breath, she'd say there were definite advantages to being smaller in stature and by scale. Making love, for example, she said was more enjoyable in her smaller frame. Sounds good to me!
Having always been a bigger girl, and a happy one at that, I can totally understand what my Mom meant. A person needs to be happy from the inside out and being thin does not, by default, mean you are happy. In fact, I'd venture to say that I've had some of the happiest moments in life when I was at my heaviest because it wasn't what I weighed that made me happy or sad, but rather how I felt inside.
People in college used to tell me that they never noticed my extra weight because I was one of the most confident and happy people they had ever met. Props to me for learning to love myself at different stages while the world around me was trying to convince me that if I wasn't thin, I wasn't going to have a happy life.
Alas, the irony, here I am changing my entire life of eating as I know it, mostly because I'm determined to lose weight. I kind of just want to see what it feels like to weigh sub 150 and enjoying love making more in a smaller frame doesn't sound like a bad idea either. Luckily I'm married to one of those insanely rare men, who swears up and down he will love me whether I'm 400 pounds or not.
In case you are curious, I currently weigh 197. 10 years ago, I successfully lost about 60 pounds on Atkins (went from 240 to 180) but I never felt like I could be quite as fulfilled or as creative with food as I have been with vegan food thus far. Craving some Chumbutt yet? Stay tuned. We'll get there.
Here is a picture of me a few days before giving birth to my first son. I weighed 265 pounds.