Living my truth

I am obese.

There I said it. I said it out loud. I have written it in this post.

I did not die.

Living my truth – a reality

This is the second step in cultivating the courage to live my truth and embracing who I am.

While obesity is not the sum of all who I am, it is a huge (no pun intended) mirror of how I see myself. It’s difficult exercising the compassion that comes with knowing I am made of both strength and struggle. But I have begun to start mindfully practicing authenticity of another soul-searching struggle. My weight.

If you have been a reader of my blog, you will note my many posts on varying diets and exercise programs I have started that only ended up with no follow-through and failure.I know I will never be my 26-year-old, 108-pound self again. Yet even genetics and Hashimoto’s disease aside, I own the reasons for why I am obese 30 years later.

I am beginning to nurture a lifestyle that connects a sense of worthiness that comes with knowing who I am and that I am enough. I don’t need to be perfect. I don’t need to be thin. I need to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

Living my truth – setting the boundaries

I will never diet again.


I will never diet again.

I am being deliberate with sharing my weight struggle. By sharing my weight imperfection and admitting my vulnerability particularly in recent blog posts, I cannot continue to cope with my weight, nor do I believe I can conquer it, but I know I can manage it.

I have made the following 5 empowering decisions in managing my weight struggle:

1. I do not have a weight goal.
2. I do not have a time goal in which to lose weight.
3. I will not weigh myself.
4. I will not measure myself with a measuring tape or do the once-over in the mirror.
5. I will not measure myself in terms of success or failure.

I know these decisions go against every self-help, diet and exercise plan on the market today, but I say, “enough with the nonsense!!

Living my truth – a lifestyle

If living my truth means being authentic, then being authentic means living and loving wholeheartedly the person that I am during my wrestling matches between my struggles and the strength of being a survivor including believing I am deserving of joy and love too.

My new lifestyle is inviting grace, joy and gratitude into my life… like stopping at my favorite coffee shop, The Flower Bar every morning for a cup of organic coffee… and other things people may find to be an inconsequential part of their routine, but for me it’s just a small bit of kindness I spend on myself.

“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” ~ Christopher K. Germer

Another lifestyle change comes in the way of a book recommendation, Diabetes Meals by the Plate, 90 low-carb meals to mix & match by Diabetic Living. (I LOVE THIS BOOK.) I hate to cook or follow recipes. This book was written for me – simple, visual, and ‘normal’ food. It shows how to fill a 9-inch plate, one-half inch high of healthy foods all under 500 calories. The mix and match style allows me to determine what foods I can exchange for my tastes and for foods that don’t agitate my Hashimoto’s disease.

5 Lifestyle decisions:

1. I do not count calories.
2. I do not record what I eat.
3. I do not have a weekly workout goal.
4. I will not live and die by wearing a Fitbit.
5. I am committed to the 9-inch diabetic plate.

My husband, Vinny Sal joined a gym with me. I’ll go to the gym right after work or after dinner and if he wants to join me – great! If not, I will still go by myself. It’s my weight struggle, not his. I am grateful though for a supportive and a loving husband.

Living my truth – today

“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.” ~ Mark Twain

How do I know that this new lifestyle change will not end up in failure too?

I don’t.

But the sad truth is, I won’t have tomorrow if I don’t make the necessary lifestyle changes today that will allow me to see my sons graduate from college, get married, and hold my grandchildren. I want the happiness I have not known before which is just being happy with myself. That sad truth is my daily reminder to live and enjoy the poetry of today in mind, body, and spirit.




#Vegan2016 Pop Quiz Fail

24 days in.

Within the first 10 days I lost 3 pounds. On day 15, it was a Friday. Vinny Sal didn’t feel like cooking dinner. If I can’t tear open a box or  open a bag and pop it in the microwave, we go out for dinner. I hate to cook.  Actually, the kitchen hates me.

But were we ready for this pop quiz?

Vinny Sal wanted to go to a vegan restaurant. I didn’t want to drive that far. We opted for the local Olive Garden. Could we actually go into a restaurant and not mainline ricotta or snort grated Parmesan? We looked at the “healthy alternative” choices. Not really healthy, but we ordered angel hair pasta sautéed in garlic and olive oil with tomatoes and asparagus tips. The entrée featured shrimp. We asked our server to take the shrimp off and just double the vegetables. Vinny Sal had the salad minus the grated Parmesan with bread sticks and I had the minestrone soup. One glass of chardonnay. Water with lemon. It was satisfying. I felt full and comforted, although I worried about the oil. Yet, we felt proud for making decent food choices in a dangerous environment.

I may have passed the first pop quiz, but the following week; I failed the next one.

I was starving and the thought of adding more beans and nuts to my diet to fuel my body was making me beyond cranky. I ate 2 pieces of deli ham. It tasted awful. Two days later, I was running late to a meeting and I stopped at McDonald’s for an egg McMuffin meal. It was satisfying for about 3 minutes and my stomach felt bloated for the rest of the day. The next day, I decided I needed more protein but I couldn’t stomach any more beans. I boiled a skinless, boneless chicken breast with mixed vegetables. I was able to get through the day without scavenging for anything vegan.

24 days in.

This is what I have learned.

I have replaced meat with bread and (not always gluten-free) pasta, which is an absolute no-no for a Hashimoto’s patient. I dream of meat and if I don’t eat meat soon, blood will be spilled in my house – it will be from the blood running down my chin from tearing into a bleu-prepared Kansas City strip.  Don’t bother with the A-1, I’ll take it naked.

Dairy kills. I have a high sensitivity to casein. Cashew or tofu cheese is NOT cheese. Quit trying to pass it off as cheese. It is NOT cheese and it will NEVER be cheese.

Nutritional yeast. Women think of infections when they hear the word yeast. Or should I just say, no comment?

Eating is no longer a comforting family experience. The vegan diet is about fueling the body. I am like a squirrel constantly trying to find a nut. I am tired of nuts!!

Men lose weight more easily. Vinny Sal is adapting better to the vegan diet than I am, although he does slip on occasion and affectionately calls me, cheddar.

24 days in.

I weighed myself.  For the love of scotch!  My 3 pounds are back!

I am a competitor. I am not quitting. I may have failed the pop quiz, but I have not failed the class. Not yet – because if Vegan You Can.


Vegan Quiz.pptx

#Vegan2016 Twelve Days In

Twelve days in.

I grew up on a hog farm in southeast Michigan.  My parents are of German descent, so no meal was without the staples of meat, potatoes, and vegetables, bread, and of course, gravy.  My father always said, “We may not have much, but we will always have good food.”

Fast forward, I marry Vinny Sal.  An Italian.  Pasta, bread, and of course, cheese!  Two people who love good food and are diehard dairy addicts.  Since we didn’t find each other until our thirties, our two sons arrived later in life. Entering my forties, my diet of good food and baby-weight blues started a cycle of yo-yo dieting and hormone imbalances.  After fifteen years, I would finally be diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease.  Ugh!

“Hashimoto’s disease, also called chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis or autoimmune thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the body’s own cells and organs. Normally, the immune system protects the body from infection by identifying and destroying bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful foreign substances.”

The next five years would be another cycle of denial and rebellion of trying to eat a gluten and dairy free diet – Paleo – finally just giving in and giving up. 

Last fall, my youngest son came home from high school and gave me his teacher’s card about a community group called, Plant Based Nutrition Support Group.  I connected with the group on Facebook.

It is there that I learned about the, “FOK Diet.”

For Christmas, I presented Vinny Sal with all of the Forks Over Knives books.  Our theme for 2016 would be HEALTH.  We would become vegans and tackle my Hashimoto’s disease and Vinny Sal’s heart issues together. Could we overcome our dairy addiction and carnivore appetites?

Twelve days in.

Not one tooth mark on our children or the dogs.  We have not succumbed to slathering them with a nice Alfredo sauce and nibbling on their limbs.

Twelve days in #Vegan2016.  My year of transformation in mind – body – spirit

(More about my key word, transformation, in future posts.)

I hope you will continue to follow the #Vegan2016 journey.  Because if “Vegan You Can.”