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Monday, March 8, 2010

T-Minus Six Days Until Texas

I am getting so excited about my travels to the Crossings in Austin, Texas for a week's retreat at the "Engine Two Immersion Program." Rip Esselstyn's office has been great communicating with participants and getting us all ready for this adventure. Packing is going to be easy...be/c we spend the entire week at the compound in gym attire. A week in my Asics and a pair of yoga pants? Does it get any better? (To non-WFM people, I describe this adventure best as a "Copy-Cat Biggest Loser.")

I've been trying to identify the moment in my adult life where this excess weight of 100 pounds crept up on me. It was gradual. My mom, Marie Nolan, died in 1991 and I identify her death as the saddest moment in my life. Do the math, and you will see that it was "only" five pounds a year. It was like someone pulled a plug, and really, I didn't care about my looks and gaining weight was not an overt issue for me. I know that I coped with her loss by stuffing my soul with food, any kind of food. Anytime of the day. And every Monday, was a new diet day and I would swear I would practice better eating. Whether it was a happy occasion, a sad occasion, or a joyous occasion, food was the centerpiece of my life's events. I thought that baggy sweaters would detract from this actual weight gain. But, I was kidding no one but myself. Oddly, through all of this, I have remained very healthy--my cholesterol was 160--my blood pressure 110/60. But, I am convinced, had I never found this vegan lifestyle, I may have had a health event that could have altered the quality of my life.

Anyway, I've been vegan since September, and I feel wonderful. And, I feel as though this way of eating has brought a new meaning to my life. The fact that I get to spend a week in Texas rejuvenating my life and adding more purpose to it is a dream. No, it isn't a dream, it is something I embrace with all my heart, just like another fact of life.

A few weeks ago, one of my bosses had asked me if I was excited about being vegan. This is a gentleman who is almost thirty years my junior. I tried to explain that I hadn't always been the size I had been for the past five years and that I was cognizant how differently people treat you when you are not in "mold zone" (that's what I call a normal size [12 and under]). What I most want from this experience, aside from feeling well, is to return to a normal size so that I can lose the judgement of others. I want people to see me as a silver haired maiden, and not a fat 60 year old.

So, Texas, here I come. Open hearted. Open minded. My appreciation to Whole Foods Market for providing me with this grand opportunity. My love to my family and friends for helping to sustain me, always.

Tip of the Day: All you need is love. And lots of green veggies.

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