Amanda

I’m Amanda and I’m powering through my 27th year. This is my second attempt at blogging, with my primary intent of this blog being on maintaining accountability for at least a month worth of weight less. Anything is possible for just one month, right?

 

Diet

I have been vegetarian since May 2006 after an unassuming reading of Skinny Bitch – I instantly knew this diet was for me. During the past few months I have been transitioning my diet to mostly vegan meals after reading Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet. A blood test recently revealed I have high triglycerides, which is probably linked to my high intake of carbohydrates and dairy. I’m hoping this change will be better for my overall health and for my carbon footprint. During the past few months I’ve been cooking new vegan meals almost every night, and wished I had this blog to review and share all my successes and near failures!

My current diet incorporates a “vegan at home” lifestyle. I try to make all the meals that I cook and eat from my kitchen vegan (including meals I bring to work, snack on, etc.). I’m still finding ways to maneuver in social situations and hope that as time continues on I find my place in non-home vegan dining. For now, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made and am comfortable with my eating habits as I continue to explore the vast possibilities this lifestyle offers.

Fitness History

HIGH SCHOOL When I was 17 years old I stepped onto a scale and was floored at what number I saw, and angry that no one had alerted me to my ballooning figure. I had never counted a calorie or ran more then a few feet during gym class. With a goal of graduating high school with a happy body in mind, I managed to lose close to 25 pounds by counting calories and hitting the gym each morning before heading to school. I would consider my first attempt at diet and fitness a moderate success, however I still had a ways to go.

COLLEGE I attended college in Manhattan, where the majority of my time was spent walking around the city and discovering new places to eat and play between classes. Without even trying I lost another 5 pounds freshman year through sheer walking in addition to my regular elliptical routine. This routine continued onward through sophmore year until I moved out of the dorms and free gyms and into my own apartment. I had a longer walk to classes/work and joined a local gym. It was here that I began to change my eating habits and became slightly more interested in diet. I lost another 8 pounds through diligent calorie counting on Selfdietclub.com and 1-2 workouts a day on top of my 3-4 mile daily walking regimen. At this point I may have been a tad too frugal in my calorie count and even had a few black out episodes at the gym. I was by no means scary skinny, however I wasn’t fueling my body proper for the amount of physical exercise I was pumping out. I literally lived on the following food items: turkey/chicken breast, lean cuisines, and luna bars, aka: protein overload. Sure a low carb diet coupled with intense exercise brought me to my goal weight, however I was feeling shaky and weak the majority of my days and dreaded the evenings where I had to resist food in fear I would binge. For the first time in my life I would find myself bingeing following deprivation, mostly on frozen yogurt and bowls upon bowls of cereal. NOT HEALTHY. This was soon to change. I began to run so often (and always after I binged) that I developed ITB syndrome and limped around Manhattan for 4-months in agony before I went to an orthopedist, who suggested physical therapy and no more running. SUPER! This obviously was going to change my entire approach to fitness just in time for me to graduate college.

GRADUATE SCHOOL I made a life-change and decided I would attend graduate school in San Diego for a number of reasons. Two months before the big move I read Skinny Bitch and couldn’t believe that as an animal lover I had been so naive as to never make the connection between meat and the animal who was sacrificed for me to eat it. After one chapter I realized this diet change was for me, and haven’t looked back or slipped once. For a year and a half I was able to maintain my “happy weight” with 2 short runs a week outdoors on Mission Bay and eating a vegetarian diet. I was so fearful of hurting myself from running that I was happy with a 3-mile run and not pushing my luck. At this time I was still counting calories; however less diligently than in college as school had now become a bigger priority in my life than my fitness. During my second year of graduate school I rejoined a gym and discovered kickboxing and group strength classes, and was able to drop down to a happy lower/toner number while actually enjoying myself at the gym and not wreaking havoc on my knees. However with graduation approaching and finals I quickly gained 5 pounds which have been a struggle to shake off ever since.

ADULTHOOD/CURRENT

Upon graduation I moved back home to New Jersey and my boyfriend D and I moved in together. D eats meat and I, obviously do not. I began to cook vegetarian meals 3-5 times a week in attempts to find things we could both enjoy, however that meant mostly fatty cheese-infused meals which led me to gave another chunk of pounds, and probably contributed to my high triglyceride count. In an attempt to cleanup my health and ethical well being, I’ve been trying to infuse vegan meals for dinners and have acquired a large number of cookbooks that I have enjoyed referring to each week. Hopefully my blog will help other vegans in training become more aware of how fulfilling a vegan diet can be.

Fitness wise I’ve been enjoying hot yoga 1-2 times a week, home yoga 1 time a week, and running 2-3 times a week. It’s been hard to stay consistent when I leave early for work and get home sometimes at 7, however I’m hoping this blog will keep me motivated and accountable.

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