Get the body you want in only 2 1/2 years!

When Jamie Oliver famously (and somewhat successfully) tried to convince Britain via his preferred medium – the television documentary – that they needed to improve the quality and nutrition of school lunches, the reaction from some bordered on hostile.  People called him out for trying to tell them how to live their lives, how-very-dare-he and all that.  The media showed images of mothers passing fried chicken and chips through school fences so their little preciouses wouldn’t have to eat what someone else found good for them (though to be fair, the media probably jumped on those photo ops, and it was probably far less widespread than they’d have had us believe).

Food is a damned sensitive subject.  It is for me.  I’m betting it is for you.  It defines us culturally, socio-economically, and ethically.  It forms the foundation of almost every ritual we share amongst friends and family (particularly if we add drink into this equation).  We cannot live without it, and yet it kills far too many of us every year.  Corporations have corrupted it beyond recognition, and activists the world over have dedicated their lives to rescuing it (and consequently us) and bringing it back to the nourishing, life-giving thing it was meant to be.  Food.

I’ve mentioned it is sensitive for me:  as most of you know, I’ve been vegan for 17 years and vegetarian for 21.  I don’t yo-yo because I don’t diet and never have.  I understood from a very young age that healthy people ate well all the time, so it was simply (haha) a matter of learning to do that.  But I was an obese kid, a kind of chubby teen, a too-thin 21 year old and finally at a healthy weight as a uni student…broke my leg not long thereafter and within two years I was clinically obese again for the first time since I was 14.  That was 2009.  A year of keeping my head in the sand, and finally I got tired of all of it – the shame I felt in the skin I was in, the pain I felt as a result of carrying too much weight, the constant exhaustion, the inability to enjoy moments I knew should be wonderful.  This is very painful to discuss, though I know it’s been said a million times. Each of us has a unique relationship to our bodies, and I did not feel well when I was overweight.

On the left, my godson's baptism in 2009, about 220 lbs (99 kg).  On the right, a recent city break to Porto, about 165 lbs (75 kg).

On the left, my godson’s baptism in 2009, about 220 lbs (99 kg). On the right, a recent city break to Porto, about 165 lbs (75 kg).

Fast forward – and I do mean fast forward, because it took quite a while to lose the weight – to 2014 and I’ve been able to stay at a healthy weight for about the same length of time it took me to lose it – roughly 2 1/2 years.  All of this – picture included – serves only for me to prove my credentials… because what I really want to write about is how I got from the picture on the left to the picture on the right…and have stayed there.  I know this is cringy.  I promise you, it’s cringier for me than it is for you.  But I’ve learned a lot of stuff along the way that I’d like to share because I think it might be helpful.

Nobody wants to be told what or how or when or why to eat, largely because most of us know more or less the answers to all those questions.  The problem is that it becomes easy to get so caught up in life that we stop paying enough attention to the details, and food is a very important detail, indeed.  When I first began trying to eat better, what I found most shocking was that I wasn’t eating nearly enough…of the right things.  I had to fill my plate so full of the whole foods I wasn’t getting enough of, there was very little room left for what I’d previously been getting too much of – namely refined carbohydrates and overprocessed vegan substitutes.

So this series will seek to answer those pesky questions – what, when, why, how, and maybe a bit of who and how much even – hopefully without any judgement and with as much humor as I can muster for something that stings for so many of us.

Bon apetit.

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14 thoughts on “Get the body you want in only 2 1/2 years!

  1. Tiana says:

    This should be an interesting series. Can’t wait to read the rest!

  2. Antonia :) says:

    I love you so much. Thank you for this. We all need to motivate each other to be healthy, physically, emotionally, spiritually and you always have a way of doing that for me. You help me strive to be better than I think I can be. Now, if you could tell Jose to stop buying junk!

    • Ann says:

      yikes…yeah – that’s a tough one…C is so naturally healthy – he loves lots of sweets (gourmand, they call it here), but he can totally do without them, and only buys them in small quantities and once in a while. if i say, ‘no – we can’t buy that because i’ll eat all of it,’ that’s the end of it. no questions, no problem. so in all honesty, living with someone with naughty eating patterns like my own is something i just don’t have to contend with. but there are lots of tricks i’ve read about online…will try to think about this as i’m formulating the next posts. and thanks for always reading me and supporting me, tony. much love.

  3. suncitymom says:

    GREAT IDEA! And perhaps even ‘old’ mothers can glean from your wisdom.

    • Ann says:

      old, schmold…some of the people ’round your parts are in better physical shape than i’ve ever been. if i’m 1/2 as active and healthy as you in 30 years, i’ll be quite happy about it, thank you very much.

  4. t.dot says:

    I LOVE THIS! We are sooooo in sync on this lol. Am actually going to start a new blog on my journeys thru weight loss, fitness and spirituality! Kudos girl lol and you are truly beautiful at any weight…love from TO ♥♥♥

    • Ann says:

      aww, thank you t.dot – decided that the best way to get out of a creative block was to just write about what i’ve been through, so. having said that, it’s more than a little uncomfortable…but hey. here’s hoping i can whip out some interesting posts!

      • t.dot says:

        I have absolutely NOOO doubt you will! And I agree entirely. It’s taken months and a lot of self talk and guidance from forces beyond, but I too need to explore this creative/mental and spiritual block and attempt to write thru it. I await anxiously for both of us to begin. Kind of exciting! xo

  5. I recently started on a journey to a healthier place…I am so looking forward to your posts.

    • Ann says:

      hi ron! i hope i can make it interesting…this is partly an effort to kick-start my writing again…hehe…whatever works!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I put on a lot of weight after a bunch of life stuff happened, and I stopped engaging in the good habits and began indulging more bad ones. A pretty common story. Oddly enough, or not, one tiny thing kickstarted a very gradual process of losing the weight again, and that was getting an Android phone and packing it full of interesting seeming apps. One of the apps that I really committed to was ‘Water Your Body’ which gives you reminders to drink water frequently. Three months later and I’ve lost a stone in weight without really trying to. I’m taking other small steps like controlling my portion sizes (smaller plates) and the amount of oil I add to what I cook (one tablespoon is enough for anything.) I’m very content to be losing no more than one pound a week. I don’t want to be thin I just want to reestablish positive habits which will naturally maintain my weight at a healthy level. Well done for getting yourself in a great place that you’re happy with – I look forward to following this series 🙂

    • Ann says:

      one pound a week is perfect! because it’s long-term. and kudos on your return to good choices…C, the other sometime blogger here (he does post, i swear it!), is really good at finding excellent apps that help with the life hacks he needs…right now he’s on headspace, and he’s turning me onto it as well…it sounds to me like what you’re doing is exactly right, and i’m so glad you’re reading me!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hmm, wonder why my comments are coming up anon? I’ll sign off as PV in future.

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