Monday, February 18, 2013

I Am Still Chubby...(sort of)

What happened?!?!?
I was posting almost every day for so long and then all of a sudden- I disappeared! Well first of all, I am safe and sound. I have had so many significant changes in my life since the last time I posted but first let me explain…

Being a blogger is a labor of love. It is so much hard work taking pictures, figuring out the right recipes, writing, editing, editing, and more editing. I really loved it, but it got somewhat taxing. I was moving full steam ahead with this blog and even began looking at taking it to the next level with a really cool branding scheme.
Then- I got a new job. My new job came with a move. And then EVERYTHING changed.

I moved to Atlanta and lived in a tiny studio apartment. I started cooking for just me. I started eating more and more as a way of coping with emotions- not for the enjoyment of cooking. Let’s just say I felt like I was moving quickly towards a place of being unhealthy.
My WW Leader Dee and I
Now I have always said I firmly believe one can be “chubby” and still be perfectly healthy. I think being “chubby” is a mindset and not necessarily the way someone looks. In fact, I think you can still be moderately overweight and still be in great health. However, in early 2012, I was quickly moving towards my 30th birthday, obese, and not making good daily food choices. I knew I needed to do something about it- but I kept on struggling with what would be the right way to turn things around.

In April of 2012 I made the decision to join Weight Watchers- for the second time. The first time I joined (in ’07) I liked the program but I don’t think I committed fully. I allowed doubt (and de-motivators) to slip in and I stopped. This time around was different. My leader (Dee) told me on my first day that this time I was going to get to lifetime (hitting goal weight and maintaining it for 6 weeks) and I believed her. This time was different.

What I love about Weight Watchers is essentially the program is designed to allow you to eat whatever you want (vegan and all) - as long as you track it (write it down) and follow some basic healthy food guidelines. The program can let you succeed long term by providing weekly support and accountability (meetings & online) and gives you the flexibility to still be a normal person.

I started my journey with Weight Watchers in April of 2012 weighing in at 215.8 pounds. As of today- the day I hit lifetime- I have “gotten rid of” 62.3 pounds. When I started I had two chronic illnesses (IBS & High Blood Pressure) – both of which are gone. In April of 2012, my capacity for physical activity was limited. Since I started my journey I have dramatically increased my activity level- running a handful of 5ks and finishing my first 10k on January 1st (in the pouring rain).
Over the course of this journey I have moved (twice), divorced from my partner of 8 years and had to separate my three dogs (two in PGH and one in Atlanta). I had every single reason to quit. I had every single reason to eat through my emotions. I had every reason for doubt and skepticism to sneak in. But- this time was different. My motivation is the spirit that lives inside all of us.

Today is a special day and I wanted to use this platform to share it. Today is the day I hit lifetime- having been at my goal weight for 6 weeks. It’s a wonderful feeling and I wanted to share it with those who still come here to share this piece of my life. I also wanted to share my before and after pictures- because who doesn’t love a before and after picture!

Although it is a significant accomplishment that I am extremely proud of – I do not for one second view it as an ending. Instead, I view this day as the beginning of the second half of my journey.  For many people, “getting rid of weight” is an up and down journey- with way more ups than downs. I have been on that path before, but this time is different. I have committed to Weight Watchers for my life. I am accountable to myself every single week for the choices I make - good or bad. I continue to track every single thing I eat – a vital part of my success. I continue to make physical activity a priority every day. I continue to go to meetings every week to maintain a level of social support- and most important accountability.

I always allow myself to indulge...

Best of all, I continue to eat whatever I want- in moderation. I 100% still call myself “chubby” and hold on to that title with the vigor I had when I started this blog. I still eat lots of amazing foods at restaurants across the country. I still believe in indulging in beautifully crafted desserts and vegan wonders whenever possible. Just now- I go from eating 5 cupcakes to 1. I make the choice to pick the 2 things I want to try at a new bakery instead of 2 there, 2 at home, and 2 more the next day. I cannot and will never sacrifice- it just leads to failure.

90% of my diet is a whole foods plant based diet (think Engine 2, Forks over Knives) and the other 10% is the occasional junk food vegan things that I enjoy too much to ever give up (soy Frappuccino’s, ice cream, cupcakes, and vegan cheese). I remain a vigilant vegan and have not given up my principles in anyway. In fact, I love being the “token” vegan at Weight Watchers who constantly reminds people they can have amazing meals without the need for animal based items.

I love to see some of my posts popping up on other blogs and on pinterest. This blog still gets lots of traffic and it makes me miss the vegan community that I was so connected too. I have had many people suggest that I start writing again and posting the Points Plus value of the things I make. While I think about it often, I haven’t made the choice to jump back in. Maybe someday- who knows!
For now, I wanted to share this journey with anyone who wants to read it. It is a very long road with bumps and curves along it- but it has no ending. In order to succeed you must go one day at a time and maintain the lifestyle changes that got you here. No ending- just new beginnings. Thank you to those who still enjoy my silly stories and recipes- I appreciate you visiting.

Onward and upward…
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