Always Look Back

Always Look backI feel like we hear a lot ‘never look back’.  There’s all kinds of quotes about ‘that’s not the way you’re going’ and ‘the past can’t be changed’.  I get that and I think it’s important to realize that you can’t change the past, but should we really ignore it completely?  People who know how to relax are those who can sit and enjoy the moments happening right now.  So we can be mindful of the present, and look to the future, the past is to be forgotten?  I agree that dwelling on the past is sort of useless, but I believe that we have to look at the past when the stress of today becomes overwhelming.  Especially if we’ve been trying to achieve goals!

A few things have happened over the last month that have made me realize that I have no idea how far I’ve come.  These things that came up were all from my past that I’d forgotten, ignored or just pushed away.  First, I was going through Facebook and found a few pictures of myself from two years ago.  I can honestly say that I was totally delusional about how big I was.  I mean wow, I don’t remember getting that bad!!  The black coat I was wearing was stretched at the buttons, almost bursting.  My face was very plump and I was fully uncomfortable.  I even felt uncomfortable looking at them.  I couldn’t believe it.  I quickly looked in the mirror and realized, damn, I’ve come a long way!!

Yesterday was a little chilly, so I pulled a coat out of my closet.  I bought it at a consignment store last year in the fall, traveling with my family.  I loved it, but it was too small and wouldn’t button.  I bought it anyway because it looked good if I left it open.  I haven’t worn it in months, maybe a year, and hadn’t really thought about wearing it.  I pulled it out, put it on, and easily did up all the buttons.  I stood there for a solid few minutes looking at myself in the mirror.  The buttons weren’t even straining.  This coat now fits me perfectly!! Continue reading

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This Post is So Gross!

EmbarassedI promised in my profile that I am an average girl that will talk about all the things I experience.  I promised.  I seriously wish I hadn’t made that promise because I don’t want to talk about this one, but I feel like it would be hypocritical of me not to.  We all want to be perfect in our online persona’s, but I made a pledge to be real.  So here I go…

A vaginal pimple…

Anyone who doesn’t want to read more, I totally understand.  Trust me when I say I wish I wasn’t writing about this.

About a week ago, I had a full on panic moment.  A red, sort of angry looking lump appeared within the folds of my lady-parts.  And yes, I feel squeamish just talking about it.  I mean holy-%$#*.  I was so panicked at the idea that I might have somehow contracted an STD that I had to sit down while a full on panic-attack hit me like a full-steam ahead train.  I cried on my bathroom floor for twenty minutes, and then made an emergency appointment with my doctor.

She was really nice.  Had I had sex without a condom?  Yes, I had.  But not with just any stranger!  A guy I’d been seeing.  She talked quietly about the different things it could be, trying to assure me it may be nothing.  I listened to her thinking ‘I’m never going to have sex again’ and I felt like my heart had fully lodged itself in my stomach.  Finally, she took a look.

A pimple.

Excuse me?  Relief washed instantly over me.  I didn’t realize you could get pimples down there!!  Well apparently you can, and an extensive Google search later told me that it’s actually very common.  You can get pimples anywhere!!  And with all the shaving, waxing and plucking down there, you’re bound to get an ingrown hair at some point, even really deep in there.

My next question was ‘how did I make it this long without experiencing this before?’.  Well thank goodness I haven’t, although it would have stopped the full on panic now.  Still, I had a pimple down there, and it was really big.  My doctor said not to pop it or do anything.  We have to watch it to make sure it doesn’t get infected, but letting it heal instead of trying to do anything to it is better at this point.

Well fine; only pimples fucking hurt, and when they’re down in those sensitive areas, it hurts like all hell.  I mean holy crap, throbbing stinging pain.  Every time I moved, walked, sat, stood, shifted… it was just torture.  Let’s talk about sexy.  I lay on my bed spread eagle with the fan pointed at me to help keep it dry (moisture breeds bacteria).  I thought I would die of mortification. Continue reading

Kicking the Sugar Habit

Sugar

I have had a very long and complicated relationship with sugar.  I can’t pinpoint exactly where it started, but even as a kid I would spend my lunch money at the corner store on the way to school and spend the day living off of five cent candies.  As an adult it became worse.  I would binge most nights on candy, popsicles and chips.  Enough to last most people weeks!!  I knew I was putting myself at risk, but I didn’t want to stop.  I love candy.  Anything sweet.

I’ve tried to kick it a few times in the past, giving it up and replacing it with fruit and berries.  Sometimes it would work for awhile, but I always ended up back binge eating candy within a few weeks.

At 29, I’ve started to really put work into my health.  I’m tired of being tired, anxious and worried.  I’m tired of wondering what all my symptoms might mean, or why my skin gets so bad.  I’m nearing the second month of truly doing the right things for my body and kicking sugar is one of them.  Surprisingly, this time it’s working!

Here’s something I did differently this time.  I didn’t replace sugar with anything.  I didn’t have fruit instead or try to trick my body into detoxing.  Instead I focused on what the cravings meant.  An article explained that sugar cravings could actually mean protein cravings, so I tried to fill my dinners with beans and quinoa to counteract the late candy hankering.  I focused on getting enough water every single day, and eating enough veggies.  Pretty soon I realized I’d gone a week without sugar and I hadn’t struggled as much as usual! Continue reading

First Binge Day

binge-eating

Almost five weeks now of consistently eating well and suddenly yesterday I had my first crazy cravings and binge day!  Part of me says ‘congrats on making it so long!’ and another part things ‘damn, I’d done so well’.  The night before I went out with my boss to an industry event.  Nothing too exciting happened, but when I got home at nine I was hungry.  I quickly baked some potato wedges to curb the hunger, and shortly after went too bed.

About an hour later I woke up and was violently sick.  I mean yuck!!  For sure I thought I had food poisoning or something.  But it didn’t last very long, and I almost immediately felt better afterwards.  I wasn’t up long and slept through the night just fine.  The next day I was worried about it, but nothing ever really came of it.  I had a gentle smoothie for breakfast, and a zucchini crust pizza for lunch.  But I was craving hard.  I believe in listening to your cravings, and my cravings were telling me to eat meat.  As I have none in the house, I had to go out.  Unfortunately the closest thing to me is KFC.  I got a few chicken strips (no fries or any additives, just the strips).  I ate them and hoped it would curb the craving and for dinner I’d have something super light.  But an hour later I was craving so badly I couldn’t sit still.  I mean I haven’t had cravings like this since my candy addiction days!!  And the only thing I wanted was pizza.

I didn’t want to order a whole pizza for myself so instead I went to the really nice place down the street and got a small stone oven pizza with some good toppings.  It wasn’t the worst thing I could have in the world.  Made with real organic ingredients and really high quality cheese.  I ate the whole thing and afterwards I had to fight the cravings for a sugar binge!!  I went to be still thinking about stuffing myself to the brim with as much cheese covered, carb heavy, deep fried foods I could get my hands on!

This totally took me off guard.  I went to bed feeling a little bloated for the first time in weeks.  What had happened?  Is it because I’d been sick the night before?  Or was my body finally telling me that I’m missing something?  Five weeks and I’d thought cravings were a thing of the past!  Continue reading

One Month Vegan

goal

Four weeks ago I set out to achieve a one month mostly vegan cleanse/diet.  There weren’t really any rules other than I want to complete the ‘it takes four weeks to start new habit’ trial and see what happened.  The guidelines for this were to feel as good as possible through my diet, without worrying about weigh loss, exercise or anything else.  Well it’s been four weeks and I’ve had very few slip-ups, and this is how I feel.

1.) I feel great most of the time.  I mean ‘hum while you’re showing’ good.  My energy is up and my  mood stays pretty constant through the day.  I’d say 90% of the time I feel just amazing!  What’s strange about the times I don’t feel great is that I notice them so much more.  I used to feel consistently tired so the good days stood out.  Now I feel so consistently good that the bad days stand out!!

2.) My sugar addiction is totally gone.  You’re talking to a candy addict here.  Sugar has been that thing that throws me under the bus every time I try to get healthy.  It starts with a popsicle on a hot day, and suddenly I’m spending $10 a night on five cent candies and binging while watching Netflix.  I don’t even crave sugar anymore!!  I’m so into veggies that even fruits are a secondary option.

3.) Waist shrinkage has definitely happened.  This is a funny one because we all want to lose weight, but I told myself over and over that the point of this was not to lose weight.  It’s happened naturally as a result.  I’ve definitely seen some parts of my body slim down.  My pants our looser, some of my shirts first better.  It was bound to happen with how well I’ve been eating.  It was hard at times to see some of the weight loss and not get excited and focus on it.  I had to talk myself back into focusing on the ‘being healthy’ part.

4.) Energy.   Continue reading

Camping Hacks for Vegans

vegan camping

I was worried about this past weekend.  My family had planned a camping trip. I absolutely love camping with my family.  It’s so much fun and ridiculously relaxing.  But we normally go all out with food and I was worried that it would be a strain to keep the clean vegan eating going without making my own meals.  In the end, I was over prepared!!  Here’s what I did to curb the pitfalls.

1.) Be prepared for the late night snacking.  S’mores are a staples.  I don’t have the money to go out and buy vegan versions of marshmallows and graham crackers, so instead I brought popcorn!  My family ended up eating most of mine because it was so good.  I bought corn kernels and we popped them over the fire with a little oil.  Then I drizzled some freshly melted dark chocolate over it and tossed with a little sea salt.  Talk about a delicious snack!  Just make sure the oil isn’t super fatty and use a tiny bit of dark chocolate.  Milk chocolate is just sugar. Continue reading

Veganism and Menstruation

negative

My flow has always sucked the life right out of me.  Can you relate ladies?  Since I was a teen I can remember being curled up in my bed breathing slowly with a hot water bottle and a bottle of whatever pills I can find within arms reach.  It’s never been a good time.  About two years ago I went on the pill and it helped a lot.  I kick myself for not starting it sooner than I did.  I always worried about how it would mess with my hormones or skin, but in the end, anything is worth it if it gets rid of that pain.

There has been another more recent change to my monthly flow that I’m excited to talk about!  You would be excited too if you had spent the better part of 15 years in monthly agony!!  I’ve been eating 90% vegan for almost a month (four more days until 1 month).  I didn’t really think about how it would affect my period, not until it suddenly did.

Without meat in my diet, a huge portion of hormones have been eliminated.  I try to buy organic whenever I can, and I’ve been slowly switching all my beauty products to natural and organic to get rid of the extra hormones and chemicals.  And on top of all this, my salt intake has plummeted because I’ve my healthy eating.

This morning I woke up a little earlier than normal and really had to use the washroom.  No big, it happens.  But I was surprised to see that I’d started my period.  I’m not usually so surprised!!  Normally I have ‘those’ warnings.  Breast tenderness for a few days, general moodiness, a high sudden craving for really salty crappy foods… I’m normally so frustrated by the time my flow hits, that I basically check out for the next week.  By the end of it I’m so exhausted by the whole ordeal it takes me days to recover.  Imagine if that was a quarter of every one of your months!!!

This time around I was surprised to find I had already started my period because not a single pre-menstrual symptom occurred!  I wasn’t even moody!!  My flow was light and easy, and was over in a few days without cramps or any significant discomfort.  Simply put, it was the easiest flow I’d ever had!!

Every time something happens it proves to me that being vegan is my true nature.  Before now no one could’ve ever convinced me that going meat free would ever work, let alone going totally free of any animal product or byproduct and also gluten free and organic.  I mean come on!  That sounds crazy even now!!  But I look forward to pure veggie days, morning green smoothies and spinach and kale salads.  Did I really need more convincing that this is the right diet for me?  No.  But take away my cramps, bloating and irritation once a month and I’d do just about anything!!