Hi, My name is Meg, blog owner of Veggie Staples, wife, art teacher, soon to be mommy, yogi, artist, runner, and health nut. And I used to be fat. There is really no other way to say it. It’s just a fact. And it’s pretty much always been this way. I’ve never written a blog post about this before, so I’m going to try my best to explain my journey to you.
Growing up I was always overweight. If you could possibly think of a name that some child could have called me regarding this, someone probably said it to me, including a few of my family members (it still hurts to this day when I see them, because that is just something you don’t forget). This was by no fault of my parents. We were active, we ate healthy, and we had our occasional snacks and junk, but by no means did we live off of processed, boxed foods. Unfortunately for me, I did not get the skinny gene that everyone else in my family had, including my extended family. I’m not really sure, to this day, where I get it. I guess some people are not meant to have it; I’m not sure (I have not taken nutrition courses, but that is on the horizon).
As long as I could remember I was a size 14. I never shopped in the plus size, but was aware I was close. My first year of college (2001) I actually lost some weight by moving to art school in Boston and the all the walking I was doing to get around. In January of that year, I made it a goal to lose weight. By March of that year, I had lost 30 pounds, and was feeling great in my size 10 pants I was fitting in, as well as all of the compliments I was getting. Not to mention I could exercise longer, get around easier and was sleeping better. And then I met someone. It got serious and I thought we would get married. I also studied abroad in Florence and probably ate a little too much gelato. Needless to say, when I got back, things fell apart and we broke up, my Dad was deployed to Iraq for 18 months and I stopped exercising. I was depressed and the weight came back on.
It wouldn’t be until 2009 that finally decided to lose the weight for good. I had moved to Florida to take a job and go to Graduate School (where I would eventually meet my husband) and found a poster for Team in Training. I knew this was what I was looking for. I would help raise money for cancer and jump-start a personal weight loss journey in the process. I did not know the profound impact this would have on my life. To say that I met incredible and inspiring people is an understatement. Not to mention the lifelong friends I have made, who continue to help me stay on track and support me.
As I continued to lose weight through training for my first marathon (and I have since run 13 more), I changed my eating habits. I gave up ice cream for sorbet or frozen yogurt, ate snacks like homemade hummus or raw nuts, and ate more greens than I ever had. I also cut out meat and chicken, eating local fish only occasionally. I know this eating style doesn’t work for every one (I know plenty of people who swear by paleo), and I think it is incredibly important to listen to your body. I have also cut gluten and dairy out of my diet, which was surprisingly much easier than I had anticipated. It’s like anything else, you cut the junk out, and even though it’s difficult at first, you really don’t miss it once the craving leaves your system. I also make sure I have a filling breakfast (a large green smoothie or eggs and veggies) 15 to 20 minutes after I drink a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water (good to get that metabolism going first thing in the morning). That’s not to say I don’t have my treats. I am a sucker for ice cream (I make my own coconut milk ice cream now) and dark chocolate. I am an advocate for eating everything in moderation so no binging occurs. This goes the same for things like pizza. I always make cauliflower crust for my pizza and usually go without the cheese. This still always feels incredibly satisfying and I don’t miss the high calorie version at all (or the way it used to make me feel afterwards).
I’ve continued to keep up with my weight loss through watching my eating habits. It’s less about calories now (like it was when I first began) and more about eating until I feel 80% full, and filling myself with real, whole foods. I also work out 5-6 days a week, even if it’s just a 60-minute walk with the dog. I include lots of yoga in my workout routine, including bikram yoga, which helps so much with my running. I actually don’t sleep nearly as well and get antsy when I don’t work out now.
As of August 1st, 2013, right before my honeymoon, I had lost a total of 60 pounds, my heaviest at 208, in a size 14, my lowest, at 148 and in a size 4. Since then I’ve become pregnant. I’m expecting my first baby with my husband, Jake, on August 3rd. I still keep up a pretty good workout routine (I even go to bikram yoga!) and walking at least 60 minutes every day (running just isn’t comfortable for me anymore). I know this will help me lose the baby weight afterwards, and also help with my delivery.
The message here is to not give up! Sometimes you fall off the wagon, and you have a bad day, or a bad week, and it’s okay. It’s not easy. It’s hard and you have days where you want to give up and just sit on the couch and sulk. And for some of us (including me) it will be a never ending journey. I will always have to be careful with what I eat to stay in shape. And that’s okay. I know how I feel when I over indulge or eat something with unhealthy ingredients (believe me, not good), so in the end, it’s just not worth it.
Surround yourself with supportive people (I have a few facebook groups I’m a part of that I stay accountable with) and friends you can go to the gym with (it’s so much easier that way). Follow people on instagram or twitter, or maybe some colleagues at work. If you work out in the morning, make sure you find someone that won’t just text you in the morning saying they want to stay in bed. Make sure they are going to wake up with you for that morning run or kickboxing class at the gym. Just remember: you are not alone and you do not have to do it alone. There is someone else out these who at some point, has been in your position and wants to help cheer you on!
All of my new healthy lifestyle endeavors sparked a new creative love for cooking – and after a few years of health-ifying foods, I decided to start a blog. All of my recipes are gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and plant based. Some of my favorites include my Cauliflower Chili Tacos for dinner or my One Ingredient Fruit Roll Ups for snack!
Please vist me over at my blog at http://www.veggiestaples.com or connect with me via social media at anytime! I answer all of my emails myself and love talking to readers!