March 30, 2012
A life of Compassionate Choices
I am happy and nervous to be writing about something I care deeply about. Nervous, because of some of the vehement opposition I have encountered about this subject at the mere mention of it. Happy because I hope to at least get some to think about choices we make on a daily basis, that effects all of us, and can change the lives of many in our world. I will start by telling a story from my youth.
My father used to take me out shooting. We set up cans on logs and he guided me through the steps of how to hit my targets with precision. We soon knew that I was a natural. I could even somehow calculate wind and how it would guild a bullet to the bull’s eye if I used it right. I loved to shoot targets. When I was thirteen my father surprised me with my own gun, a 22 rifle, and I was thrilled. When I was 14 years old, we were vacationing with my mom’s employer Dr. Phelps and his wife at their family cabin. I heard everyone out on the porch in the morning and I went outside to see what was going on. There had been an overpopulation of prairie dogs that year. From the porch, Dr. Phelps and the others had been shooting them as they roamed the nearby field. Wanting to show off my shooting skills I asked Dr. Phelps for his gun. From the porch I spotted a prairie dog way up on the hill sitting upright. I told everyone that I could hit it from the porch. Doc said it was too far for the gun to reach but I sensed it I raised the gun a few degrees I could get it. Everyone watched. I aimed and slowly pulled the trigger. The prairie dog went down. Everyone cheered. But I felt immediate shame. Something inside me turned when I saw the prairie dog fall. I was too embarrassed to say how I felt at in the moment while everyone was praising my shooting skills. For a long time after that, I contemplated my thoughts and feelings of that day. It was just a prairie dog right? But something inside me kept nagging in ways that I could not completely articulate. After time, I found the words. A small creature was living its own existence interrupted by mine. I questioned “Who was I to decide that any living creature’s existence was more or less significant than my own?”
I thought of people in the past, and even today, that somehow believed that there is a race superior to another. Or that a person’s wealth gave one a more significance in life than that of a poor person. And there were, and still are, people that believe in a man’s domination over women. These ideals seemed preposterous to me because I didn’t grow up in a society that these ideals existed. We still see some people and societies that have not progressed past racism and sexism today. They can’t see the reasons why racism or sexism is a problem and they justify it in many ways. Through a lot of pain and suffering of those before me however, there were people that spoke out against these injustices, in spite of being ridiculed for their propositions. I began to think of other injustices that might still exist, but I just could not see it because it was so widely accepted.
American writer, Alice Walker wrote “The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.”
As humans we tend to regard ourselves as the central most significant entity in the universe.
Our assessment of reality tends to only be through that of a human perspective. But I questioned this perspective.
For years I struggled with this until, in spite of family and church pressure, I decided to live my truth and live a compassionate lifestyle, what some may call vegan. The first step to a compassionate lifestyle for me was vegetarianism. I became vegetarian for the following reasons:
My life is dedicated to living an existence that causes no harm to fellow man or creatures alike in my words or actions.
Because all life is sacred and animals are “the least of these”, and completely at our mercy.
My decision and path in this is personal, but one I know would make a better world for more to take.
Likewise I attempt not to use products or take actions that harm or perpetuate the suffering of any people.
I choose not to ignore the suffering of any living thing to satisfy a desire of my own.
I won’t pick and choose what will be my pet and what will be my food. It would be arrogant to believe I have that right, just because I have that power.
All people and creatures are precious. One of the greatest traits of our humanity are those that realize the value of each life and treat it accordingly, even if that life form does not realize its own existential value.
What I can’t understand is why my non-violent choice to be vegan is met with such opposition.
Or why people make so many excuses to themselves why not to change in the face of so much known suffering.
I became vegetarian 13 years ago. Three years ago, I went all vegan.
When I became vegetarian, I did not know any other vegetarians. The only celebrity vegetarians I knew of were Paul McCartney and his late wife Linda. I felt very alone, especially in the face of lack of understanding from others and in some cases harsh criticism.
When I did some research, I found that I was no alone. I found literally thousands of famous vegetarians and vegans. It is not a new concept or fad.
Leonardo da Vinci was a dedicated vegetarian and was quoted as saying “I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.”
Albert Einstein, a vegetarian, stated “ Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet”
Thomas Edison said “Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”
There are many reasons to choose to live a compassionate lifestyle.
With a plant based diet we use less land and can feed more people.
We can end the unnecessary suffering and fear of animals caused by humans.
We significantly reduce our carbon footprint.
Spread less disease and live healthier more abundant lives with a guilt-free conscience.
The only suffering I have control to end in this world is that which is caused by me. I choose not to be a vessel for harm. Perhaps by my example I can inspire others to live that way.
March 28, 2012
I’m so proud of myself. I stuck with my under 600 calorie goal. I’ve discovered these delicious quick easy vegan “meats” for protein. The Crispy Tenders are only 50 calories for a good sized piece so I keep my portion down while having it on a bed of baby green lettuce and low calorie dressing. They keep me from binging or feeling dissatisfied. Other good low calorie food I have discovered is Trader Joe’s Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, one cup is 40 calories or their new Unsweetened Coconut Milk which is 50 calories. If I am craving something creamy and sweet I add a packet of Stevia or Truvia to the milk. I can heat the milks and add cinnamon for a good hot latte to sip. Cinnamon is said to stabilize blood sugar while increasing metabolism.
March 27, 2012
It’s pouring rain outside. I couldn’t find the motivation to get to my class a college so I am bundled up in plush blankets with a cat on the couch listening to the rain fall while I blog about my skinny goals.
Come rain or shine, I am looking forward to my workout today.
March 27, 2012
This was me, not so long ago at about 100 lbs. Between the time of the first photo I posted and this photo, I got a breast lift with implants (doesn’t matter how thin you are, breastfeeding and gravity take it’s toll on the boobs). At age 39, I wore a playboy bunny costume for Halloween and pulled it off! The bouncer at the door of the club checked the age on my ID, then curiously looked at me and said “Wow!”. Oh, I want to be there again! I know that in this American culture, the average eating and working habits of a person finally takes it’s toll and really shows in weight gain, flab, cellulite and skin by 35. By their forties, they are pretty much written off as middle-aged pudge-balls who have lost all youthful vigor. People’s expectations of a mother of teens are very low. I am usually shocked by the old, fat appearance of people in my age group. I know that by cutting out animal flesh and processed foods and fast foods in my twenties, I was able to conserve and even improve on my health and sex appeal. Most of the women on thinspiration blogs are in their teens. To these young women, please don’t feel you are crazy for not wanting to buy into the idea that living in a fat unhealthy society is acceptable. We are so used to seeing fat people, that we have distorted our view of what it is to be healthy and lean (but there is a difference between lean and beautiful and bony and sick, you can be just as unattractive too thin as you can be overweight, learn the balance). I don’t think there is an age in which being thin and self care is a forgotten ideal. But I’ve gotten off track. Stress and grief for a time were winning, but I am ready to get back on track. All things considered, I don’t think I’m that far off from where I was. My perfect weight was 92 lbs. At that point, I didn’t have a single unwanted bump of fat on me. My clothes slid on perfectly, and I was perfectly comfortable to be naked with my then boyfriend (who was a personal trainer, and also vegan like me. We fought a lot but I still miss him). Just keep with my low calorie goals. I’ve increased my workouts to 6 a week. Usually 25 minutes on a cardio machine then a 30 to 55 minute weight lifting class. I am more aware of the reasons I need to eat a high nutrient and antioxidant, low calorie diet and exercise, because depleting myself can cause bone loss and wrinkled skin. Superfoods such as shelled hemp seeds and bee pollen are low in calories, high in amino acids and protein.
Although seeing pictures of Victoria Secret and Calvin Klein models are often seen on thinspiration sites, I find them to be extremely frustrating in comparing myself. So I look to women in my age group who can inspire me. In turn, I hope to inspire women of any age group to live healthy, compassionate, thin lifestyles.
Don’t let people tell you that you are crazy for wanting to get and stay thin. You know they are jealous of thin people so they have to find ways to make you think it is unnatural while it is perfectly normal to be thin. It is proven that low calorie, high nutrient diets increase longevity and promotes anti-aging. You won’t have to deal with stretched out skin as you age. And eating low on the food chain (eatin mostly veggies and fruit while avoiding processed foods and animal products) decreases your carbon footprint.
My goals I started two weeks ago and seeing through til summer:
Workout 6 days a week.
Keep my calories under 600 (except on Sunday I can have a family dinner and a little desert).
Yesterday I had 632 calories and exercised 75 minutes.
If everyday were like yesterday: I would lose 2.7 lbs per week. In one month, I would weigh 100.9 lbs. I would reach my goal weight of 92 lbs on 5/18/2012. (Calculated by myfooddiary.com)
March 27, 2012
This was me at 98 pounds. When I started my job in a medical office in 2007 I was a size 1. I learned that by keeping my weight down, my hair long and my teeth white, people would often guess I was in my early twenties. In fact I was 37 at the time and had two teenage kids. I used to go out dancing three to four nights a week at a bar. I would swing dance until I was exhausted and drink seltzer water and diet cokes. In addition, I limited my use of my car and rode my bike everywhere. My job was as a massage therapist, so I used a lot of body strength while I worked too. I changed careers and took a job that had medical benifits when I suspected I had skin cancer. As it turned out, I had two small spots of melanoma on my middle back, most likely due to my use of tanning booths sporadically throughout my life (they are not a safe way to tan, no matter what you’ve heard). I have always strived to live a healthy lifestyle but except for the use of tanning beds. I was relieved to have gotten medical insurance in time to have it removed without it spreading or going through evasive treatments. I now get spray tans. But my new job took a lot of freedom from me. I was stuck in an office where the break rooms was frequently filled with the worst foods, cakes, donuts, cookies, chips… there always seemed to be a birthday or a well-meaning patient leaving a treat to say “thank you” to the staff. I stayed thin while there, remarkably, compared to how I have put on unhappy pounds in the past two years. I was 95 pounds but topped off this December 2011 at 115 complete with a muffin top and ripping jeans. I am only 5’1” with a small frame, so these unevenly placed fat stores make me feel like I am losing my battle to age and American lifestyles. I haven’t eaten fast food in 10 years, and I became a vegetarian in 1998. Still, with the growing availability of vegetarian and vegan convenience food, and my work schedule and stress, I am fat and depressed. Added to my stress in 2011 was the sudden loss of my mom. I was doing well losing weight and by October I had reached 107, but then in light of my loss, I began to eat, trying to fill some kind of emptyness I am just beginning to understand. So I realize I haven’t been on a date in a year. I feel like men don’t notice me now, when it almost got annoying how much they flirted with me when I was thin. I’m on a road of recovery from job stress and personal grief, but I am hoping to inspire myself to thiness once again and not feel old and unattractive for a long long time (maybe in another 50 years). So I begin a blog about my progress, and hopefully inspire others, as thinspiration sites inspire me. I don’t want to start wearing clothes for my age. Screw that. I was new hot pics of me in bikinis with disclaimers stating “I’m in my 40s bitch!”. Being a MILF is worth its weight in gold.