Thursday, July 31, 2014

time to Thrive.

as of yesterday afternoon, i am officially retired from my full-time job as a retail supervisor. i have decided that in order to better my health and my life, i must take the time to make my well-being my 'full time job'. for the next thirty days, no excuses, no slip-ups, no cheating. lots of exercise, proper rest, and healthy clean eating. learning, too.

after the first few weeks, i take the show on the road. i'll be travelling to the west coast where there is a presence in the 'wellness industry' to learn more about becoming a health coach, and continue on my own personal journey towards better health and fitness. there's a lot of work ahead of me, and some honest dedication. i've come this far already, there's no turning back!

thanks to everyone who has been following my journey so far, your words of encouragement come with loads of support. i'm confident that i can not only succeed at my goals of losing weight, gaining health and building a more healthy and sustainable lifestyle, but also one day help others succeed too.

if you're interested in following my journey through all the ups and downs and delicious details, check out my page at help me achieve my goals just by following! thanks again:)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

the Junk

it's addictive, and it's everywhere. in fact, sometimes it's the only option. i've been a little stressed and strapped for time lately, so i've been making less-than-awesome food choices the past few days. Matt took me out for lunch that included fries, there was a dose of subway in there, and a chicken wrap from wendy's. all within three days! oh and a small ice cap from timmies accompanied that wrap. bleh! i felt horrible after, had a horrible time in the can. brought me right back to the "IBS" days... we'll get into that later.

but first, to top it all off [and so that i never forget it], i had to grab one last serving of mcD's. i've been good all day. in fact, it was almost two full days of being back on my mostly raw vegan regime. i had almost made a full recovery from the binge. but i had to be sure...

i ordered one of each of my favourite things, a mcdouble [with plus cornichons], a small fry and small vanilla ice coffee. my mouth was already watering from the smell. i got my meal first while my brother waited for his sandwiches. we ate my fries at the counter. salty heaven. the oil still hot. wash it down with some of that ice coffee... after a couple sips it starts.

there's an acidy taste at the back of my mouth. a few more sips and i can feel the mucus in my throat starting to flow. this naturally made me feel thirsty and need to drink more to wash it away. oh, right. the sugar, the 'milk'.. that's what that stuff does.

then, the burger. no photo needed, we all know what that stuff looks like. plasticy cheese product hanging off the edge. i ate most of it, besides the pickles it tasted pretty bland. the whole deal smelled so good and my mouth watered for it, but by the end of the indulgence, the indigestion had already begun. oh... yeah. but g*d damn the first few bites were delicious!

by the time i had taken the last bite [before tossing the rest in the bag] i felt like i had just been kicked in the stomach. i had to sit for a few minutes to sort it out. by the time we got to his car, i had a full-blown headache. it's two hours later right now actually, and i still have that headache. and i almost feel like my skin wants to break out. woah. that's all kinds of not good.


when i was a kid, i had all kinds of things wrong with me. horrible nerves, acid reflux at the age of ten.. by the time i was a teen i was already a wreck. like most kids in my generation, i grew up on grilled cheese and kraft dinner, with pot roast or chicken and potatoes with a steamed veggie on the weekends. the occasional happy meal was a treat. 

when i got older, these symptoms of constant discomfort were continuous, but the diet was never in question. diagnoses were quick assumptions based on how i was feeling on my last visit to the doc. their tests and blood work never found a true cause. i had everything from IBS to severe acid reflux. sometimes i'd vomit small amounts of bile, scorching my throat for days. this is horrible for anyone, but especially frightening at the age of twelve. throw hashimoto's thyroiditis on top of that, and you've got a stressed out fat kid.

for years it didn't matter what i ate, it made my guts hurt. was it wheat? acidy tomato sauce? dairy? meat? it was anything, everything i ate. even vegetables and fruit. the problem likely being that my guts simply weren't used to having them. the proper fibre after days of not having any would be painful passing through. i'd eat salad but then there's the dressing.. i had no idea i was constantly assaulting my body just by eating refined and processed foods. i suppose it'd be safe to assume that things sold en masse for the purpose of human consumption would be good for you, right? all the added vitamins and minerals.. then if you look at the second ingredient of just about anything, the sugar...


after a few hours, the most immediate symptoms are fading into a dull annoyance. something most people would take a tums for, or try to soothe with a glass of milk.  here i am thinking.. is this what's really going on? do we all just think 'oh it's just a little indigestion' and move on? repeating the same vicious cycle of eating junk, feeling like crap, eating better for a few days to make up for it [and maybe go for a run] then start all over? is this why we're so sick? so fat? ....probably. we think we're eating food, our bodies are trying to tell us no, this isn't food, we ignore, then we get sick and fat and irritated. hmh.

the saddest part of it is, this is all 'normal'. well, it was more normal in the 80's and 90's, now people are aware that the majority of things sold for human consumption aren't actually food, but everyone eats it so it's okay. everyone enjoys it, so it's not going anywhere. it's so incredibly easy to 'fall off the [diet] wagon' and grab a quick snack. and it's just as easy to do the same thing the very next day. when you've become a 'regular' and servers know your breakfast order before you get to the counter, there's a problem.

i've been doing incredibly well this year in my get healthy venture. when i started this blog in 2013, i lost about 20 pounds by sheer force, and eventually gained it all back. at the beginning of 2014 i weighed roughly 210 pounds, and by july made it down to 175. after my binge i'm sitting around 180. now that i've been keeping a close eye on my weight, it is apparent that when i eat crap my body bloats and retains water. this will show on the scale as a couple pounds extra in as little as a day. it'll take me a week to get it off again. and it doesn't even have to be as drastic as a cheeseburger, it can be something as innocent as a single serving bag of lay's or a 'healthier' subway sub.

i've said this before, but even with the knowledge that most of the stuff out there to eat is garbage, we still reach for it. it's incredibly challenging to choose real, unprocessed food over the quick fixes not only because snacks are so delicious, but that's mostly what is available. thinking back to the last time i was on the road, a lot of the time the only 'food' places for miles served.. well, junk. i would absolutely eat as much fresh as i could when i happened upon it, but for the most part, things that keep well or are served quickly often made the menu.

point is, it's still a choice. i think mentally a part of this binge for me began at the idea that soon i'll be on a bus for a few days straight headed to the coast, and the only food choices available en route aren't the best ones. it'll be unlikely to find anything fresh, the occasional banana or apple at a truck stop or gas station perhaps. there aren't many markets along the highway for said coach buses to stop at. i think maybe i wanted to see [while still in a controlled environment] if my body could handle all that, and truthfully after said and done it made me very uncomfortable. the symptoms of 'IBS' that have been all but gone since i started eating cleaner came back full force in the matter of three days. could it be that this backup diagnosis of 'irritable bowels' is simply our bodies' response to eating processed junk?

i'd bet my ass on it. literally.

and since i'm getting too old to spend half a week on the bus in the first place, i don't fancy doing so suffering from symptoms of IBS, so imma be sure to pack myself as much real food as i can to make it through. and then continue on, wherever i end up, eating just... real... food. imagine that? i mean the odd treat once in a blue moon won't kill me.. but it's my mission to find real food out there, everywhere, anywhere i go. i've been managing here now that i've found a taste for goodness, but what will i do without my blender? the adventure awaits!

Sunday, July 13, 2014


after weeks of being stuck in the same place regardless of my efforts, i had come to realize that nutrition wise, i have done all that i can to improve my physical health. but i'm still 'not there' yet. i feel better, but not my best. there's still a stress that has been weighing me down.

the next step is to look deeper into my lifestyle, my environments and my habits. i'm very anxious lately, as i tend to become when i'm overburdened with belongings, expenses and unhealthy habits. i've had to rethink what is important to me right now. for a while i needed money to fulfill the lifestyle choices i had made. for now, it's time i crave.

i'm certainly not giving up on my healthy diet choices, and i've been putting more effort into being conscious of everything i eat, and my portions. people [myself included] seem to eat more than needed to operate. in fact, the over eating seems to slow me down. i function better when consuming smaller portions yet more often than just a few times a day. overall i eat less than what the typical north american diet would consider three meals, but i try to eat as nutrient dense foods as i can, and stay well hydrated.

reverting back to my classic mode of transience, more or less living out of a rucksack, will free me of much of the stress that i have been dealing with the last while. there will be other stresses of course, the kinds that are needed to be effective in my decisions and actions, not the consistent repetative ones that never change regardless of any efforts made. after a while those kinds of stresses become too overwhelming to deal with, and i must take a break.

it's time to explore my options. i'm breaking out of my current lifestyle to experience other ways of living across my home country. the diversity of climate and culture here alone is an adventure of experiences and lessons i'm looking forward to. i'm not sure how long i'll be on the move, i suppose as long as it takes.