Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The [gravity] struggle

It's difficult sometimes to explain to someone who has never had weight challenges, what it feels like to be overweight. My loving, amazing partner comes from a family of eaters, most of which are also overweight. He tells me all the time that my weight doesn't matter, it's what's on the inside that counts. But what he forgets is how all that weight makes me feel on the inside.


Stress and depression are the two main factors in weight gain for me. If I land myself in a very stressful situation, my body retains fat. It's a defense mechanism of being in 'survival mode'. When I suddenly became homeless 2 and a half years ago [again] it was unexpected, and it put a lot of stress on my mind and body. I slowly started to retain the weight.

I remained in survival mode for so long it became difficult to switch it off. I kept gaining the weight even after finding a home, which stressed me out even more. I'd eat to numb the stress, which made me gain more weight. And the vicious cycle throws me into a landslide.


So back to my point. In the past two and a half years, I've gained 60 pounds. This put me well over 200 pounds, which some people find hard to believe.

I went ladder shopping for work, and a fella tried to sell me a cheaper ladder that was on sale for a third of the price of the one I was looking at, but I nearly exceeded the weight limit. When I pointed to the sticker and said I needed a stronger ladder, he looked me up and down and said, "is the ladder for yourself?" ... yes. Yes and I nearly exceed the limit on this ladder.

He told me if that's so, I certainly carry it well. I'm told that all the time when people hear what I weigh. Including my doctor. The fact that I don't look like I weigh over 200, or that I "carry it well" doesn't really matter. What matters is that I'm still carrying it!

Imagine walking into a grocery store, and you don't get a shopping cart. The first thing you go for is a 10lb bag of potatoes. Now you walk around with that bag for quite some time, and go back and slowly pick up 5 more. You can never put them down.

Those 6 ten pound bags of potatoes are now putting extra pressure on your feet.. on your ankles and knees. One of those bags lives on your chest, making it hard to breathe when you're trying to sleep. They're getting in the way of performing everyday activities. Carrying all that extra weight causes a lot of pain and discomfort over time, and does damage of it's own.

When I explained this to my wonderful, supportive, rail thin partner, he finally got what I was talking about. Now he really understands why I'm being so adamant about dropping the weight, why my feet always hurt and I'm exhausted after work. And ultimately why being so overweight makes me depressed and uncomfortable.

I'm so thankful that he's on board 100% with helping me lose the weight. For the first year that we've lived here and worked the same schedule, we would come home and he'd do any general maintenance on the yard or house our vehicle while I prepared dinner. But it was always a dinner "for him" that I would end up eating too.

The past week or so I have been juicing for dinner, and it takes time and prep and cleanup, and he's had no issues cooking the "real meals" while I make my batch of juice. He knows that I love cooking for him, but until I master my new healthy routine, he might have to do the cooking for a while. And he's quite alright with that.

He can see that it's paying off. In the past 3 weeks of eating cleaner and adding the juice, I've almost put down one full bag of those potatoes. I feel a little better already. My knees are thanking me (and it's a little easier to do up my pants!).

This is just the beginning. I have 5.2 bags of potatoes left to get rid of, and I'm getting there. Thanks again for reading, and for your love and support. And remember, if you're on a similar journey and you need a little motivation, I'm here for you too!


Thursday, February 8, 2018

I dreamt of tacos..

 For real. I had a hard time sleeping the other night, but in the hour or so I was asleep, I dreamt of making tacos. Meatless tacos with gluten free soft tortillas. It was such a vivid dream, step by step of these tacos in the making.

First I took a bunch of mushrooms and diced them into little cubes. I tossed them in a bowl with olive oil and a taco blend of spices, Himalayan salt, and a pinch of pepper.

I preheated my fry pan to an almost medium heat [4 on my stove dial] and fried my mushroom cubes til browned. In the meantime, I beat a large double-yolk farm egg, which I drizzled over the browned mushrooms and continued to fry until cooked.

In my nutribullet I made 'flour' from organic quick oats [2/3 cup-ish], and mixed in a bowl with almond milk until it became the consistency of porridge. I beat a double yolk farm egg and mixed thoroughly with the oat and almond milk blend.

Once the mushroom 'meat' was cooked, I transferred it back to the bowl. I used the same pan at the same temperature and added a little olive oil. I then used a ladle to scoop the oat mix onto the centre of the hot pan, and a spatula to spread the mix onto a thin circle.

After a few minutes it was browned perfectly, using the same method of determining doneness as making pancakes. The oat mix takes a little longer to cook through than wheat flour. They turned out light, a little fluffy, and perfect for rolling full of goodness. The eggs could be replaced with a vegan option of preferred, but I don't mind my farm fresh gems.

I spooned the mushroom mix, a little salsa, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and cubed avocado tossed with lemon juice and a pinch of garlic powder. The avocado brings the creaminess you'd get from sour cream with a zip of lemon [which prevents the oxidation of the avocado]. Cheese was an optional item as it happened to be in the fridge, but I forgot to add it, and didn't even notice. The tacos were every bit as delicious as they were in my dreams.

Well, there you have it... my dream taco 'recipe'. My goal is to eat healthy so I can be healthy, and find whole  foods options that don't sacrifice on flavour. Because I LOVE FOOD! and I want to feel good too. Cheers!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

5 pounds down..

53 to go. And when your monthly trend has been an increase of 4 or 5 pounds, losing five is an amazing feeling. My current weight is 218, down from 223, with a goal of 165. It's a reasonable goal that would put me at a size 8 pant, and is my optimal weight for performance and strength.

So, what have I done differently? First, no sugar. I've cut out pretty much all processed foods besides the occasional gluten free bread toasted veggie sandwich, and my vegan protein powder that gets mixed into my morning smoothies.

I've also been doing my best to drink more water. I've cut out fruit juices, I never drink soda, and if I want something warm I'll opt for a rooibos or green and peppermint tea sweetened with local non pasteurized honey. In order to make water easier to drink (and more hydrating), I add a shot of organic lemon juice, and a splash of coconut water. Bam, naturally flavored water!

For me, diet is the number one factor when it comes to losing weight. My system simply can not deal with processed, artificial food-like substances. Even though I am well aware of this, I had slipped back into the trap. I was eating whatever I could get for cheap that would keep well, not considering the damage it would cause.

 When I'm craving sweets, I reach for a fruit. I keep apples and bananas on hand for when my body screams for sugar. The trick to this and not going for unhealthy junk food is simple- don't buy the junk. Don't even have it in the house. Living half an hour from the nearest grocery store helps me with this.. and of course, making my partner well aware of my healthy intentions.

Otherwise, I haven't really been doing much different. My next big step is to get more exercise in my day. I've been exhausted lately now that I'm finally back to work, and when I come home aching, it's hard to find the motivation. I'm trying to train myself to wake up earlier so I cam include a half hour routine before work.

Well, that's where I'm at. I have re-proven to myself that something as simple as eating a more natural diet and avoiding sugar makes a big difference on it's own. This week I will start waking up 45 minutes earlier to make an attempt at a morning workout routine. Happy Sunday!