Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Making a comeback.

This blog is scheduled to return,
bigger smaller and better on:
February 25, 2009.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Reluctant Vegan

So, I am now a Vegan.

Wait... what?

I wish I could say it was because I am an avid supporter of animal rights or because I just made the choice on my own to not eat meat or any animal products. But... it's not really MY choice.

It's been several days since I got The Lupus Recovery Diet in the mail. It took me a while to muster up the courage to open the book... days, maybe a week even. Finally, I knew I could not put it off any longer. So, I read some parts, skimmed others, but basically found that the best chance I have at living symptom free with lupus is a vegan diet.

It's been tough. It's not just a vegan diet, either--because that, I could handle. Nooo... this is whole foods, only. Basically, if it grows out of the earth, I can eat it. If it doesn't, good-bye! It has only been a few days, but I miss weird things. Yesterday, I was ready to punch somebody just for some MUSTARD! I just wanted mustard! I just wanted mayo!

However, as violent as I may seem, this is actually a good thing. This forces me to me healthy. As I said before, I wish this is a decision I could have made on my own, but I did not have the willpower. Today, I have to. If I eat that one sprinkled cookie, if I have a handful of popcorn, if I eat that burger, it's only driving me that much closer to death. It sounds drastic/dramatic, but it's quite possible that I have an autoimmune disease! If I keep going the way I have been going, I will drive my organs into failure. That is f---ing scary. So, that's how I keep going.

You know, I went to Whole Foods the other night. It should have been uplifting, rewarding, all that jazz. But instead, I was just frustrated and overwhelmed. Because I couldn't even eat a lot of the vegan stuff. That stuff has salt or soy or etc, etc. It was like, "Can I eat anything?" I almost felt like crying. I felt like walking out of the store. I wondered, "Is this what the rest of my life will be like?"

But that feeling passed eventually because I realized: it's better to have to eat fruits and vegetables for the rest of my life than to have to face the symptoms of a crippling disease. I am in a unique situation with this illness because I have this chance, my only chance to get better. Lupus has no known cure and no known cause. It takes a long time for it to be diagnosed and while I have not officially been diagnosed with it, my symptoms are pretty similar to pretty much every other story I have read, especially those in this particular book.

There are not a lot of studies out there about lupus. But there is growing evidence that diet is linked to the symptoms (and who knows, with the way I ate, it could have been the cause. I mean, I only cooked ONCE in the six months that I had been here and they were instant cinnamon buns. Oh and I made some instant-hash browns a couple of times. That's IT!)

But back to this vegan thing. Will I ever be rid of lupus? I don't know. But I do know that the biggest chance I have of having no symptoms and living a normal, healthy life is to eat like this.

So I am a vegan. I am a reluctant vegan. But I will embrace it.

Before you know it, I'll be wearing those shirts and sporting those buttons that say, "VEGANS RULE!" or whatever.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Week 3: Setting Goals

I think it's time for me to start writing out my goals. I wanted to wait, to just take things very slow. I wanted to make sure I was in this for real. Part of the reason that I failed before is because I set unrealistic goals. I failed to take the small steps because I thought it was good to push myself. I do want to ultimately push myself, but I also want to see this through. That said, let's take a look at what I would like to accomplish in the next week:

  1. Post all food consumed... not just the first thing I eat and then peace out. If I need to keep my little notebook with me, then that's fine.
  2. Post every day on this blog... not just for the food/exercise log. I really want this to be an interesting place where I truly open up and explore who I am. I have so much to say, so I need to start saying it.
  3. Exercise at least 5x this week... for at least 30 minutes. No excuses.
These are the things that I should already be doing, but I need to keep myself accountable. If I can do these things this week, then I will take steps to make more goals in other areas as well.

Week 2: Weigh-In & Recap





So, this week definitely was a test... I know last week I compared weight loss to the book Holes, basically stating that each day is harder than the next. And this week, I felt it. With the news that I may have an autoimmune disease, I can honestly say that my concentration has been shaken.

That said, I did try to eat less than usual. I am still eating way too many processed foods and not enough vegetables or fruits, but apparently that (and the stress of this situation) contributed to an overwhelming weight loss. When I stepped on the scale and saw 169.1, I was shocked! But it is very nice to be out of the 170's.

If I could define this week by one thing, it's "The Biggest Loser." I basically spent the week watching and crying over episodes from Season 6. I had seen some episodes of the show in past seasons, but I had never really watched it. But I got on iTunes and downloaded all of Season 6 and absolutely loved it. I was inspired by it, as well, even though I did have the tendency to feel like I was living vicariously through the people on the show.

Everyone knows that losing weight is a mental game. It's not about the simple act of consuming less calories and working out. I mean, that's easy. There's more to it--at least for me--and I am trying to figure it out. I have been doing some self-analysis and I think I am getting closer to the answer.

I don't know if I have a lesson or a quote of the week for this week. I am just glad I got through it. I had some rough spots, some emotional breakdowns, and overall, I am just pleasantly surprised by my independence and strength.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Food & Exercise Log - 1/8/2009

  • 11:15am - 1/2 Chili's Big Mouth Bites (425 calories)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

So, I may have an autoimmune disease.

So, today I had a doctor's appointment in reaction to all the health problems that I had been having.

I had a physical, talked to the doctor about my symptoms, and it turns out that it is quite possible that I have lupus, an autoimmune disease. I had considered it at the very beginning of my symptom period, about a few months ago, but it takes blood tests and screenings, etc., etc. to figure out if someone really has it. The cause is unknown, but it can be triggered by a lot of different things. It makes sense, though.

In some ways, I am relieved. I might have a name to put to something that has scared me for the past few months. In other ways, I am still afraid. What does this mean?

But there is Hope. I am going to try to find out as much information as possible. I just put an Amazon order in for a couple of books. One of the books I am really excited about: The Lupus Recovery Diet: A Natural Approach to Autoimmune Disease That Really Works. It sucks that my health may be in jeopardy, but the good news is: taking the steps to be as healthy as possible CANNOT wait. So, I am going to turn my negative into a positive, my lemon into lemonade.

I am going to be okay.

Food & Exercise Log - 1/7/2009

TOTAL CALORIES CONSUMED: 2,120 calories. Ouch.

  • 1 Breadstick - 140 calories
  • Small Garden Salad - 350 calories
  • 1/2 Chicken Alfredo Pizza - 590 calories
  • 1/2 Chili's Big Mouth Bites Meal - 425 calories
  • 1.5 Pina Coladas - 615 calories

Not going to beat around the bush. I used my possible sentencing of Lupus as an excuse to eat more. I shouldn't have had the pina coladas... or as much. And all my meals are ALL carbs. No fruits, no vegetables, nothing.

No exercise either. Just laying in bed, trying not to think about it.