The Vegan Skinny

scale 198 pounds

I had to share this recent Facebook post by my boyfriend Don. I am giddy madly in love with this guy and so proud of what he has achieved. Not in terms of weight loss but rather the personal moral satisfaction he has found by adopting a vegan diet. I’m not vegan. At least not fully. I can’t quite bring myself to give up eggs. And cheese. I love me some cheese! But in spite of the fact those things still exist in our refrigerator, he never falters and I know he never expected the added benefits he found with his lifestyle change …

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve struggled with weight … my entire life! When I was eight, I remember asking my dad what the extra skin on my belly was. Junior year of high school I joined NutriSystem and lost 60 pounds. My military career finalized in 1995 with a discharge, under honorable conditions, for failing required weigh-ins. In 1998 I tipped the scale at more than 400 pounds.

In 2005 I flew to Mexico for the “Swedish adjustable gastric band” weight loss surgery. Two years later I was starving to death as my body rejected the implant and blocked the passage of solids and most liquids. It allowed almost nothing to reach my stomach. I would vomit everything from soup to my own saliva. Since I was nutrient deficient and facing IV solutions to live, I had emergency surgery to remove the band. That operation nearly killed me and left my stomach with huge scars and punctures. Two years later, rapidly approaching 300 pounds again, I had my second weight-loss surgery. This time a gastric bypass. My weight mostly stabilized afterwards and I settled in between 235 and 250 pounds. As an ex-obese individual the scale was never my friend and rarely have I weighed myself since. I focused instead on how I felt and learned to like my self image.

Then about six months ago I made a shift and removed all animal products from my diet. No meat, fish or dairy. That choice was made, not for diet or health reasons, but due to the fact that roughly 95 percent of animal products we purchase in America come out of abhorrent factory farming conditions. I struggled every day with the “taste“ and “convenience“ of animal products being available in every aisle of the grocery stores and in nearly every item in most every restaurant. I made a decision to stop my dollars from supporting a terrible, cruel and completely unnecessary and environmentally destructive system.

This morning my girlfriend asked me if I had weighed myself lately. Of course, I had not. I remember crossing the 200 pound mark in junior high school and NEVER seeing anything under 200 pounds since. Even in my younger days of the military I was well over 200 pounds. When I was working out six and seven days a week and eating “healthy“ I was in the 215 pound range. Needless to say I’m shocked at the scale this morning. 198 pounds! I’m not on a “diet” and my veganism choice is a lifestyle! Personal goal achieved!

 

 

Ellie

This is Ellie. She’s insane. Certifiably! She’s a 4(ish) year old border collie pittie mix with an energy level that is ALL border. Ellie came with my boyfriend. She was given to him by another dog trainer who “didn’t have time to give her what she needed”. Oh boy that should have been a red flag! Sometimes I think she’s one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever met and others … well, she can be a little special. She’s neurotic, inexhaustible, high-drive and a little kray but she can also be the sweetest, funniest girl ever. Pretty much she’s me with four legs. She’s my best running partner and my shadow. Stick around here and you’ll get to know her antics well.

 

 

Streak Week: 2

I’m still streaking. Haven’t missed a day yet. I have to admit there have been a few times that I had absolutely no motivation to run but I don’t like to lose so the competition side of this is keeping me in the game. I did have to modify things for a few days. I had a pretty bad cut right across my tailbone and sit ups were agonizing so, with approval from the others of course, I did a five minute BRUTAL plank workout for a few days. I might want to add that back in at some point even though I’m doing sit ups again. It would be really cool if somewhere in this I actually saw proof of ab muscles.

My biggest struggle with this whole streaking thing is seeing two mile runs on my Strava. I mean it’s barely worth even getting on my shoes for two miles! Right? Um yeah … given how pathetic my running has been the past couple of years, I need to be damn happy with any mileage! My goal is that if I make it through the entire month of January, then February’s daily minimum becomes three. March … four. Maybe.

Anyway, my week 2 streaking results were:

  • Day 8: 3 miles/50/50 (average pace 8:41)
  • Day 9: 3 miles/50/5 minute plank workout (average pace 8:55)
  • Day 10: 2 miles/50/5 minute plank workout (average pace 8:44)
  • Day 11: 2 miles/50/5 minute plank workout (average pace 9:08)
  • Day 12: 4 miles/50/5 minute plank workout (average pace 9:38)
  • Day 13/Day 14: 29 miles/100/100 (average pace: slow)
    • I combined days 13 and 14 (Long Haul pacing) since I’m not sure which miles were before midnight and which were after.

Little Red Wagon: A Long Haul Recap

This past weekend I paced and crewed my friend Sandy at a 100-mile attempt. She ran this same race, Long Haul, last year as her first hundred and I was honored to be a part of that crew as well. She’s had a couple rough race attempts lately including a DNF on a hundred a few weeks ago so Long Haul was a last minute redemption decision for her and I cleared my calendar as soon as she told me. Given I’m not sure my body will ever allow me to finish a 100-mile race, crewing is the next best way for me to still be a part of them. Continue reading “Little Red Wagon: A Long Haul Recap”

Streaker

On January 1st I started “streaking” with a group of friends. No not THAT kind of streaking though sometimes in the brutal Florida heat it’s tempting! A required minimum two mile run, 50 sit ups and 50 pushups every single day. Though it’s mostly a friendly competition, the deal is a night out where the longest streaker doesn’t have to pay for drinks. There were six of us to start Continue reading “Streaker”

Mommy Needs A New Pair Of Shoes

Altra Provisions

The first few years of my running I ran in Asics. I can’t say I tried many different shoes but that’s what I somehow landed in and that’s what I stayed in. Until I found Newtons. At the time, all the talk on the street was that forefoot running was better for the body and I bought into it. But about a year later I ended up with a stress fracture in my metatarsal which was likely caused by the forced shift forefoot. Turns out I have collapsed metatarsal arches so forcing my stride onto them was a bad idea. Continue reading “Mommy Needs A New Pair Of Shoes”

Adventure

As I mentioned yesterday, I don’t do resolutions. I used to, however, do a word of the year. I’m a bit annoyed that the phenomenon actually seems to have become a thing. I tend to jump off bandwagons not on them but this year I felt compelled to pick a word regardless.  Continue reading “Adventure”

Day 1

I do not make New Year’s resolutions. Nope. Never have. Never will. So everything I’m about to start today isn’t because it’s January 1st, it’s simply because it’s the day I finally decided to just do it.

I want to start writing again. I used to write. A lot. It was pretty damn therapeutic for me to pour a stiff drink and spill my guts out to a computer keyboard. But then I went and did something crazy … Continue reading “Day 1”