Tags: diet, enemy, foodie, IBS, love, vegan
When I was diagnosed with IBS about three years ago, I thought my life was over.
I liked to cook but I never gave food a second thought. Now, food became the enemy.
Well, here I am, three years later and a total foodie. Vegan foodie, that is. But I have walked into a dilemma that I just can’t shake.
I have gained a considerable amount of weight.
Now, when food was the enemy, it was a miracle to get through the day without getting nauseous, gassy, bloaty or other disgusting digestive perils. Food was just getting me from point A (waking up every day) to point B (going to bed every night.) I didn’t care what it tasted like, as long as it was bland and my body didn’t reject it. I had a large revolving list of “no” food. I wasn’t worried about weight gain (so much), I was worried that I would never be able to enjoy life again. Food was my everything, but in a bad way.
Then I became vegan and food became enjoyable again. Slowly, I fell in love with the different ways I could make my now safe foods and I was embracing more vegetables than I ever had. I didn’t count calories, fat, salt, fiber, etc. I ate to my heart’s desire and when I was hungry. I experimented (cautiously) and tried new items on menus. If I felt like carbs all day, every meal, then gosh darnit, I ate it! If I felt like a big bowl of pasta at 1 a.m., down the hatchet.
But I have now figured out, about 1.5 years later, that this food love is making me … possibly larger. I have a tummy tire and flabby arms and legs. But see, I have always had this since IBS. I exercise too infrequent. I have been a size 10 for about 4 years now, yet I am having difficulty with clothing when I go out to buy it, despite all the clothes fitting me fine at home.
What has bothered me is, my mom said I should be losing weight on this vegan diet. How could I have gained?
Well, I blame my nocturnal schedule, my birth control pills and my love for a 1/2 of box of spaghetti noodles at 1:30 a.m. most nights (or toast or anything carb-related.) Oh, and again, that infrequent gym sessions.
Well, a friend of mine recently told me about her diet wonder with Weight Watchers. She lost 26 pounds in 3.5 months. WHA??? First I thought, “you go, girl!” Then I thought I wanted the same results. But this is Weight Watchers! I am vegan! And I spend enough money as it is on weird vegetables and products, along with expensive visits to Baltimore to indulge in vegan food love. I must spend every waking moment on food and all my money on it, too! (I spent $300 on groceries alone in December, and that’s not including vegan eateries or the $32 on my Discover from the day before Christmas.)
Then I started getting concerned. I have worried about my weight since 5th grade, when I wouldn’t wear shorts all summer because I hated my thighs. I always wanted to go on a diet but could never make myself. I wanted to be down a good 20 pounds for the past 5 years. The closest I got to that was last winter, when I was training myself for an indoor triathlon and did doubles every day for about a month.
So, last week when my friend told me her success story (and I could see it in her FB photos. She is adorable!), I couldn’t help but fret my life away as time ticked closer to the new year. Was I really going to do it, once and for all, and go on an official diet? Was I going to banish carbs finally from my eating habits?
Well, after today, I decided a big, fat NO!
I am not going on an official diet.
Being vegan is difficult enough and I have already eaten my fair share of salad and battled with temptation to eat animals and their byproducts. (but why do the restaurants have to make them smell so good?!?) I am just going to rein in my carb overloading, eat less fatty foods (oils, nuts, etc.) and try to eat a better balanced diet. That doesn’t mean I won’t indulge from time to time, but that term is key.
And I am going to kick it hardcore at the gym. HARDCORE. I want to be healthy and I want to run a better 5K in April.
I am not giving up my love for food, just because I might be a little round for a vegan.