September 18th, 2006


Getting healthy and happy

I'm really pleased with the positive energy I've been feeling after committing again to regular exercise and a lowfat vegan diet. I don't want to sound like a cheesy testimonial, but I was feeling so down and awful that I can't help wanting to tell people about it. I feel my taste buds are really changing; I don't have awful cravings for really fatty and sugary foods - although I do still eat sugar and some fat, today I very easily resisted the box of pastries our director brought in. I was more looking forward to the leftover refried bean and corn soup I'd brought for lunch. Yes, a thermos of soup was more appealing than flaky, sugary pastries. That's got to be some kind of progress.

Of course, the fact that I've been an ethical-and-environmental vegan on and off for the last 14 years does add to my store of willpower. I've always said that I could never avoid animal products for health reasons alone. Although I have no desire to ever eat actual animal flesh again, cheese and other dairy products are always tempting. And being vegan does make it harder to eat out in many restaurants and interact socially, but I've decided I'm willing to deal with those issues now. For awhile I was so depressed I thought that eating whatever I wanted would make it easier to cope, but it really did just the opposite, as I was just using the excuse to eat a lot of junk food and consequently felt fat and sluggish. Now I'm finally cooking again and remembering how much I enjoy it, especially finding great new recipes.

The changes are making boyziggy happy too. He's always been very in tune with his body and how different foods make him feel, and I'm finally understanding his perspective. I'm very glad to be in a relationship where we can keep a pure vegan household (which was always have, even when we weren't both vegan) and share meals together.

Of course, the exercise is helping a lot too. I walked over 24 miles last week, most of it from home to work and back. My pace is increasing too, and I don't get winded as easily. When mikz phoned Saturday night for a last minute movie date, I had no problem leaving my comfortable seat at the apartment and heading to the Lumiere with less than a half hour's notice. (Great movie by the way: This Film is Not Yet Rated.) A few weeks ago I probably would have begged off, saying I was too tired to go out, especially on such short notice. Now I'm rediscovering the joy of using my legs.

As for weight loss, last week I lost two pounds. As a pound of fat has 3500 calories, and I'm pretty sure I'm losing fat and not just water weight, that's nothing to sneeze at. If I could keep up this rate I could get close to my ideal weight by the end of the year, but I'm expecting my weight loss to slow as I reach my goal. So my birthday in February is probably a more realistic goal. Though that date has come and gone many times without me reaching my desired weight, so I'm going to try not to beat myself up over it if it takes longer. The main thing is to get healthy, no matter what it says on the scale (and tape measure).
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