Sunday, August 28, 2016

And I'm back!

Dear blog reader(s),

I don't know how long I'll be back, nor do I make any promises about how often I'm going to start posting, but I finally feel like writing here again.

Thanks for the patience, any of you still following this blog that hasn't been updated since February.  I appreciate your support more than you know.

Today's post will likely mostly be life updates.  Because there are quite a few of them to report.  I haven't been just sitting around these last few months.  I've been making some major life changes.

In February, March, April, May, and June, I did mostly just sit around and get sadder and fatter.  I was feeling pretty hopeless and gave into my depression and my eating disorder.  I felt stuck.

Then in July, I decided to completely change my life.  A generous cousin offered me a way out, and I took it.

I left Stacey and Tennessee behind and moved to Las Vegas last week.  I also decided to leave my binge eating and sedentary lifestyle behind in Tennessee as well.

Stacey and I were together for 8 and a half years.  Things fell apart slowly over time, and I've been unhappy for awhile, but I tried to keep things together because of the longevity of the relationship, and also because I didn't feel I had the means to make it on my own at the time.  I'll keep the rest of the details about the breakup private for now.  We are still on good terms, and are hopeful to remain friends.

I've been wanting to leave Tennessee for a long time.  It's just not where I wanted to live.  I've felt trapped there.  I'm grateful for the University of Memphis, and I'm happy that I lived so close to Mom during what turned out to be the last four years of her life, but other than that, I have no attachment to the place.  I will probably go back sometimes to visit family, but will never live there again.  I'm thrilled to be out of "the South".

I'm currently job hunting, and it's going well.  There are a lot of great job opportunities here.  I'm hopeful and confident that I'll find something good soon.

I am so much happier already.  I drove here from Nashville all on my own, making me feel confident about my ability to survive without a significant other.  I highly recommend starting a break up with a long solo road trip (even though it was also a loooooooooong trip and a pain in the butt, especially pulling a trailer the whole way!).

I'm working on an all over healthier lifestyle now that I've left both a place and relationship that weren't good for me.

I'm no longer content just sitting around all day long, and have been making an effort to get some activity in every day, including going to the gym, doing laps at the pool, and even hiking at the beautiful Red Rock Canyon here in Las Vegas.

I'm also working hard at my diet.  I now live  right across the street from a Trader Joes, and I keep my fridge and pantry stocked full of healthy options.  I love TJs so much it's ridiculous.  So many healthy options and for not that much money.

I would love to lose about 150 pounds ultimately, but I'm taking it one day at a time.  I did lose 4 pounds my first week here, just by being active and not overeating.  There is definitely some vanity going on with this weight loss this time around.  I'm not going to lie and say it's all about becoming healthy.

There are so many thin and beautiful people out here!  I've been out in crowds several times now and I think that maybe 1 out of every 100 people are obese here, so I'm in the extreme minority and I'm feeling pretty gross and fat... but I'm working on it, and I do realize that it's not the most important thing in the world.

I'm looking forward to seeing what's next in my life, and hope very much that it's a great job offer!

By the way, my dogs are doing great, too.  :-)

That's all for today I think.  Thanks again for reading, and I will try to be a better blogger.  <3

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Marathon training! The loooooooooooong way...

I decided a long time ago that I'd like to run a marathon some day.  Then I broke my leg, succumbed more than ever to my binge eating disorder, and became more sedentary than perhaps ever before in my life.

Now I'm in the beginning stages of losing the 100 grief pounds and reclaiming a healthy life.

I still have the goal of running in a marathon.  But.

I have to do this is stages.  It may take 2 or 3 years of training before I get there.  This won't be a "12 weeks to running a marathon!" plan.  I don't know yet how long it will take me. (much like my weight loss plan)

Because I am starting from a very sedentary and out-of-shape place in my life.

I figured out a few weeks ago that the first step would be to be able to walk for 45 minutes.  I came up with this number because that used to be my average 5K time.  So I figure that it's a good walking goal to reach for.

The first step is an 8 week walking schedule.

During these 8 weeks, I will go from not moving much at all (outside of regular tasks, like walking to  and from my car and doing housework) to being able to walk at a moderate pace for 45 minutes straight.  I will get on my treadmill and walk every other day during this time.

Week one:  20 minutes on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
Week two: 25 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Week three: 30 minutes on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
Week four: 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Week five: 35 minutes on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
Week six: 40 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Week seven: 45 minutes on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
Week eight: 45 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

I just started week four and I'm loving it.  I've had to adjust a bit due to LIFE (sick day, cramps, etc) but have been mostly sticking to this.  It's pretty easy for me to walk for 30 minutes now, and that's a big victory for me.

I haven't written a plan for the next step yet, but I think that I will keep it in two month increments for awhile because that seems to be a good calendar goal for me.  I think that next I will be adding in some strength training and yoga, plus will be trying to reach for an hour of walking.  Step three may start adding in cardio multiple days in a row!  Who knows?  I love writing my own plan.

I don't want to add any running into the mix until I weigh less than 250 pounds, which is the "maximum weight" for the treadmill that I walk on.  So far, it hasn't collapsed under me from my walking, but I don't want to break it with running!  Plus walking is a great workout in itself and an excellent stepping stone towards getting back into running shape.  :-)

Also, I have started an Instagram hashtag to chronicle healthy choices this year:  #leahgettinghealthy2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

My Vegan Food Pyramid Weight Loss Plan

So this is the basic food plan that I've been following since December 28th (more or less, with a few pizza and chips episodes unfortunately... but that's a blog for a different day).

I have adjusted the amounts a bit, and I don't measure anything precisely except for my oatmeal.  Everything else I eyeball and use common sense.

I also drink at least 2 liters of water daily.

I stick to the smallest number mentioned in the pyramid in order to lose weight while still getting in the nutrition my body needs.

This means that my goals for the day should be:

2 cups of vegetables
1.5 cups of fruit
3 cups of whole grains
1 cup of beans
1 oz nuts
1 cup "milk"

I adjusted for my taste preferences a bit, and swapped out the beans and grains some.  So this is what my personal goals are:

2 cups vegetables
1.5 cups/3 small pieces fruit
2 cups whole grain
1.5 cup beans
1 oz nuts
1 cup "milk"

I have been meal prepping like crazy.  Every Sunday I spend an hour or two in the kitchen to get things ready for the week.  I make enough dinner for Monday through Friday and enough lunches for Monday through Wednesday.  Then I do another lunch prep mid-week.

I'll blog about my food prepping soon!  For now, here's an example of what I've been eating:

And here's how the weight loss is going so far:

Some blog entries that are currently in the works:

Changes I've noticed since going vegan...
From no exercise at all to running a marathon- part one... and
Meal prepping tips from a lazy vegan who is on a budget...

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Going back to my vegan roots...

I had a vegan epiphany recently.

I've been thinking a lot about how I'm going to get my body back to its happy weight.

One major change that I made when Mom died was that I stopped my vegan diet.  

This is not the reason for the weight gain in itself, but it hasn't helped.

The main culprit of my weight gain was binge eating.

Is it possible to binge eat as a vegan?


But am I binge eating vegan foods?


My binge foods:

chips (usually the non-vegan Sour Cream and Onion variety), cheesy pizza, snack cakes, donuts, microwave buttery popcorn, milk chocolate candies, etc.

Are there vegan versions of these foods?  Sure there are.  But they are expensive, so I can't afford to buy them often, and I really can't afford to binge on them.

So I think that going vegan will help me with my binge eating disorder.

There are many other reasons that I am going back to vegan eating, but this is honestly my number one reason right now.

I'm not back to it yet, but I am working my way towards it.  I have started to make my dinners vegan again.  

My plan is to follow a good vegan food pyramid (like THIS ONE) starting on January 1 (because what blogger doesn't love a good New Years Resolution?).

I will blog about the food pyramid plan by the end of the year.  

I'm hoping that this will be a good way to lose weight while also feeling better about myself from the inside out.  

Since Mom died, my sense of self has pretty much gone out the window.  Everything changed about my life, and I became lost.  When Mom died, I was a vegan.  That's who she knew.  She loved me no matter what, but for me there is something special about taking this step towards becoming myself again (if that makes sense).

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

So... about these 100 pounds.

I really badly want to lose 100 pounds.

That sounds like a lot, but I weigh a lot.  I weigh 275 currently.

I'm 10 pounds over my "high weight" of 265 pounds, which is what I weighed around my college graduation.

I tried to recover from my eating disorder, and I think that I did okay.  However, the binges haven't stopped completely.  And my clothes have been getting tighter.

It's so hard to recover from an eating disorder, at any size.  Especially if your current size is unhealthy.

For many people going into recovery, weight gain is the primary focus at first, because they may be dangerously underweight.

For me though, I am dangerously OVERweight.  I still think that the science is trying to catch up in this area of ED recovery.  The "recovery meal plan" is not a weight loss plan, nor should it be.

But what should someone in my position, who wants to recover from her eating disorder and who also wants to lose 100 pounds?


I really don't know.

And I think it's one of the reasons that I stopped blogging.  I felt like a hypocrite.

I felt like if I started to blog about weight loss again, I would lose the support of those who come here to read about recovery and body acceptance.  But if I continued to blog about trying to accept rather than change my body, I would be lying.

So I stopped writing here altogether.

Well, that's just silly.

It's MY BLOG.  And it has changed so many times in the past, depending on what was going on in my life.  It changes, just like I change.

So if I want to blog about a weight loss journey again, I can.  And it's okay.

And if I change my mind again along the way, and want to focus more on accepting my body as it is, then that's okay, too.

It's my body, and it's my blog.  It's okay.  :-)

I love that I can inspire and help people along the way, too.  So hopefully I can continue to do so.  I look forward to this next step in my blogging adventure and hope that you all stay for the ride, wherever it may take us.

shiny new "before" picture

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


 I engaged in some retail therapy recently, buying myself "a little something", per Amazon's suggestion.  I took it a step further and had it gift wrapped and wrote a cheesy note to myself.  I'm going to call this the "TREAT YO SELF CHALLENGE" and I am going to challenge all of you to do the same.

It doesn't have to be something big.  My total with gift wrapping was about $8.  And this really perked me up and made me feel special.  It's always okay to treat yourself.  And it's always okay to be silly and cheesy.  Just have fun, and be sure it's something that is special to you, something that someone else wouldn't buy you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Honoring my eating disorder.

This is a tough subject, but an important one.

Because I want to hate my eating disorder.  I want to want to punch it in its stupid face, turn around, and never look back.

But I don't hate it.

I say that I do, sometimes.  But I don't.

It serves a purpose in my life.

It's a coping mechanism that got me through some tough times in my life, the most recently being the loss of my mom 3 years ago.

The eating disorder gave me a sense of control in a world full of chaos.  (Yes, much like makeovers did for Cher in Clueless). 

The ED put impossible to handle feelings on hold for a bit.

The ED still helps me deal with life's daily struggles.

Even though I don't hate it yet, I don't want it in my life anymore.  I am in active recovery, and plan to stay there. 

I am learning healthy coping skills, and am practicing using them every day.  Eventually my healthy self will grow stronger than my eating disorder.  For now, they are neck-in-neck.

And that's okay.  That's where I am.

I honor my ED because I grieve for it sometimes.  Sometimes I miss being "allowed" to give in whenever I wanted to, because I wasn't ready for recovery yet.  So I grieve for the sick freedom that came with being in the ED full time.

I know logically that it wasn't a true freedom, and that recovery is the key to true freedom, but since when does the ED let me think logically all of the time?  Since never...

Anyway, I'm grateful to my ED because I chose it instead of suicide many times over the last few years.  I'm aware that ED can be a slow suicide, but at least it gave me time to rethink everything and to get the help that I desperately needed.

I'm glad that I'm in recovery now, and I want to put the ED behind me, but for now I'm honoring that it's a part of my story.  I can't write a memoir without it being a prominent part yet, but I'm hopeful that one day it will just be a chapter, and maybe not even an extremely memorable one.  Who knows what lies ahead for my healthy self's life?  The possibilities are endless.