GUEST POST: Fitness Advice from A Formerly Fat Guy Who Loves Food, TV, and Lounge Wear

I am slightly less fat now. Apparently that qualifies me to give others advice now.  Take this with a grain of salt.  (But not too much, we want to keep your total sodium down.)

People I Hate
I don’t want fitness advice on how to eat, exercise, and be happy from skinny twenty-year-old fitness trainers who ran track in high school and have never been fat a day in their lives; I’m sure they’ll be heartbroken by the news.  And those biggest loser folks locked in a dorm with their 24×7 trainers? They work way harder than I ever will be willing to work, and get to dedicate their entire day to their fitness.  I’ve got work, household chores, and uh, (cough, sputter) TV, that interfere with my attempts to get fit.  I honestly wish I could find a fitness trainer who proudly displays his/her pre fit picture on an ergonomic standing desk and can fawn endlessly over Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, The Flash, and House of Cards.  It is not surprising, then, that I suddenly realize I roughly fit the description of my own perfect trainer.  So, though not remotely qualified, I offer up my own story and “advice.”

Damn you Dr. Oz
I am a 51 year old male who spent 25+ years working a computer job, had zero interest in exercise, and ate to relieve stress, boredom, and because I really, really, like food.  Over the years I went from wearing a size 36 pant to wearing a size 38, to wearing a size 38 with an expanding waist band, and finally wearing a size 40.  Ok.. a size 40 with an expanding waist band.  I was 5’10, 240 (ish) lbs, obese on the BMI scale, and winded taking two flights of stairs- and was not phased by any of it.  I looked in the mirror regularly, saw the same charming, extremely good looking, and modest guy I’ve always seen, and continued ordering fries with my lunch.  Dr. Oz ruined it for me.

What comes before beginner?
Dr. Oz convinced me the fat around my belly was bad.  And, he had a plan- walk 10000 steps a day, it’ll make you lose fat.  He had a lot of other advice on supplements, eating right, etc., but I pretty much zoned out after the walking bit.  I ordered “You on a Diet” and the “You Workout.” and..  failed.  Even the beginner workout was overwhelming.  I couldn’t get through the 20 minute Pilates and stretching type workout without pausing the DVD to breath, and then couldn’t do half the stretching moves fully.  I needed the dreamer workout, not the beginner one.

Advice 1: Walk
So I bought a pedometer and walked.  10000 steps is a lot.  So I started smaller.  I walked slowly, and not very far.  I figured I could spare 30 minutes, so I walked for 30 minutes.  Not fast, and not very far.  Never more than 30 minutes.   Having a number to hit made me keep walking just a little more trying to get to 10000.  I’d park my car a little further away for a few extra steps.  I’d get up once in a while at work and make the “long loop” around the building on the way to the diet soda machine.  (Did I mention my soda addiction?)

Advice 2: Get a Fitbit
In December 2012 I finally started hitting my 10000 step goal.  For me, seeing the number on my device was important, a fuel gauge doesn’t cut it.   Having to look at my phone is too delayed.  The app is nice, but get a numerical display.   The Fitbit site has great charts, great history tracking, and ways to add your friends and compete!  I bought a Fitbit.

Advice 3: Have goals
Have a goal.  Some of my past and future goals (in order of difficulty): extend my 30 minutes of walking to 60 minutes.  Up my walking from 3 days a week to 5 days a week.  Enter a 5k.  Do the couch to 5k program (probably should have done that before entering the 5K.)  Enter another 5k.  Jog continuously for 1 minute.  Jog continuously for 1 mile.  Jog continuously for 2 miles.  Enter another 5k (do better than last year.) Jog continuously for 3.11 miles. Put my socks on standing up.  Sit cross legged.  Touch my toes.  Some of these may seem ridiculous or silly, but I assure you getting up a ½ hour early to walk did not seem simple at 5:30am. There were days when I had to fool myself by saying “I’ll just do 10 minutes of walking today,” to get myself out of bed.   The point is that having the goal keeps me moving in the right direction.  Small goals are OK!  Full Disclosure: I still haven’t jogged continuously for 5k, and can’t touch my toes (yet.)

Advice 4: Watch TV
I am, it seems, the only human being to watch TV or actually eat at McDonald’s.  I have given impromptu surveys, and can’t find anyone who watches more than a few hours of TV, or has EVER eaten at McDonalds.  If, however, you, like me, like to watch TV- use that as an excuse to workout.  Get an app, download your program to your phone, tablet, etc.. and only watch when you workout.  This is harder to do while walking outside without walking into a tree, so probably you should confine the use of workout TV to the gym.

Advice 5: You can’t outrun your mouth
I started walking 5 miles a day, almost every day, two years ago. I started jogging some of that along the way. I walked over 3 million steps in 2013, 3 million steps in 2014, and lost roughly (tada) zip, nada, nothing. Damn you and your lies Dr. Oz! I’m not complaining, though, because I didn’t add any weight over those two years, either, and I improved my overall fitness. I no longer got winded going up stairs, could walk / jog (WOGGING™ is a trademark of Byron Ferguson Fitness Enterprises), and go up and down the stairs without holding the banister. Here are some potential reasons I didn’t lose some weight at the same time: I ate more because working out made me hungrier, I added muscle mass (ha!), I figured since I was working out I could eat stuff that was a little worse (ouch, painfully true), or my average workout burned only burned 300 or so calories. The truth is, if you really need to lose weight, you’ve got to pay attention to the food you eat. I knew that, I just did my best to prove it wasn’t true for two years.

Two years not much progress on weight loss. October 2014- Started paying attention to food.

Two years not much progress on weight loss. October 2014- Started paying attention to food.

Advice 6: Eat a little better, rinse, repeat.
Shortly after I started paying attention to what I would eat using the MyFitnessPal app, I joined the Whole Life Challenge with my sister ( The challenge encourages different eating habits, and has different levels. The simplest level asks you to cut out bad oils, sugar as an ingredient, bread and pasta, beer, soda, diet soda, chips, fries, and a few other foods. (What the heck is left!) While doing this “cold turkey” might be challenging (not hard- cancer is hard, not eating something is not hard -WLC), try cutting ONE thing out for ONE meal.  If I gave you $100 to not have soda for one meal, could you?  Of course! One meal is EASY!    Now just do that three times and you’ve done it for the day.  Good?  Try two days.  Say to yourself, “I have had ______ all my life, I can not have it just this once.”  Got the soda down?  Do the same for fries.  (OMG I love fries!)  Keep making small changes and eventually you WILL see a huge difference.

Advice 7: Fail quickly, rinse, repeat.
Once I started really paying attention to food, I bought a scale and logged my weight. I set my goal high- lose just one pound. Not 75 pounds overall. Just one pound (Really I wanted to lose all 75 pounds in one week but that seemed just a little unrealistic.) At the end of one week I had lost one pound. Winning! Two days later I had gained four pounds. Fail. 🙁 I started again. This time I lost two pounds.

Obviously your weight is going to fluctuate daily, but weighing myself daily did three things for me. First, weighing daily made it impossible for me to hide going off the rails at that all-you-can-eat country buffet. Second, not hiding from the scale made me plan how I could go off the rails less (not less times, but like only going back for seconds ONCE at the buffet. Finally, this eventually made me go off the rails less FREQUENTLY! A way to measure, even an imperfect one, allows us to correct course and head in the right direction.

Chart showing weight loss via scale

Way off the rails in September. Restart. May looking a little rocky. Focus.

Advice 8: Jedi Mind Tricks
I’d like to think I’m too smart to fall for simple tricks, but the truth is I’m easily swayed. Here are a few mind tricks that made me make better decisions. If people ask me if I’m losing weight I never reply with “I’m working on it,” “so far,” etc. I say, “Thanks for noticing,” or better yet- “Only 20 more pounds to go.” Trying implies failure is still an option. There is no try; do or do not! At least tell yourself that. Also, stop telling yourself losing weight, working out, … is HARD! The Whole Life Challenge tricked me well by saying, “Cancer is hard, living a healthy lifestyle is EASY!” Tying hard to cancer made it impossible for me to whine to myself.. “it’s hard.” Finally, one last trick- when you’re at a meal and want those french fries, garlic toast, or other food non grata (not to be confused with au gratin,) remind yourself, “I am not a wild dog that has to eat everything someone puts in front of me. Just this once, I can not eat this.” I know, you’re thinking these are all silly word games. Words don’t matter. I’m not saying these. Yep. You’re right. Don’t say them. Don’t think of them. Oh, and don’t think of pink elephants today, young padawan.

Advice 9: Burn your bridges
I wore my size 38 expanding waist pants as long as my wife would let me. After she started calling me homeless man, I finally had to bite the bullet and start buying clothes. I hate buying clothes. I would much rather give my money to an obviously faking homeless guy. I could slowly transition, switching, as laundry required, between clothes that fit and don’t fit until I finally hit my target weight, or I could go all in. I went all in. I donated nearly my entire closet to Goodwill. My wife asked, “what if you put the weight back on?” I have in the past kept the old clothes, finished twenty pounds or so, and then put it all back. This time, however, I’ve made a full commitment. I’m not going back. The bridge is fully burnt. If I do go back, guess I’ll have to parade around buck ‘nekid. Nope. Not going back.

Advice 10: Don’t be done
The biggest problem with every other “diet” I’ve tried is that it was a diet. Oh, I told myself occasionally that I was doing a lifestyle change, but in truth, I knew it was a diet. The more weight I lost, the more likely I was to cheat. I’ve lost some weight, I’m entitled. My changes have started much slower this time, but every change I’ve made is something I can live with, and feel I HAVE to live with, forever.  I want to eat more real food, and less boxed stuff.  That’s not a diet, it’s a decision.  I want to eat less (or no) fried food.  That’s not a diet, it’s a decision.  The other problem with a diet was that after it was done, I was done.  Now I can go back to eating fries, etc- until I finally have to diet again.  This time I’ve made decisions that I will do forever.  And now, I don’t have to be done.  That change makes all the difference.

Do Something.  Anything.
I might be wrong.  Really.  If it doesn’t work, dump it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing you’ll keep getting what you already have.  I’ve gotten so much help from others online, I hope my story and advice will help someone.  Want to be my fitbit friend, email me telling me how much this helped?  My email is, and may the force be with you!

Byron Ferguson is a professional “computer guy,” who likes performing magic, building stuff, cooking, and hanging out with his family.  He does not like to exercise, but it a necessary part of his master plan to live forever.   So far his plan is going swimmingly. Byron currently lives in Parker, CO with his wife Toni and their two kids Nolan and Kyra.


Do You Supplement?

I’ve been struggling to get back into my workout and diet routine.  The aftermath of the holiday free for all wreaked havoc on my routines.  Then I went back to work and immediately got sick.  Two months and one antibiotic later, I’m finally getting back to the gym.  Everything is heavier and I’m so much more fatigued during my workouts.  It seems like my muscles are taking longer to get back to normal and I’m just plain tired.  Additionally, I’ve felt pretty weighed down from my consistent diet of chips and salsa and margaritas.  So I went online to look for some stuff.  It’s overwhelming how many pills and adaptogen complex powders there are out there in supplement land.  I’ve used DoTerra products before and I’m assuming they’re pretty natural so this is what I chose:

That's a lot of pills, yo.

This is a ridiculous amount of pills and I’m taking them all day long.  And, well, they tend to get things moving, if you know what I mean.  And by get things moving, I mean bowel moving.  They’re definitely are cleaning me out.  But I don’t have any more energy and they’re so darn expensive.  There is a huge market for people like me who don’t really like things that are hard like eating vegetables and exercise.  I worry about the nutrients my body isn’t getting from my diet.  I try to keep it balanced, but let’s get real.  I have a job, grad school, kids…I don’t always have time for good choices.  And there is no way I can eat half my weight in protein every day.  Are supplements a legitimate way to get what I need?  Web MD had this interesting article.  And then there was this:

This is scary stuff, man.  I tend to live on the natural side of life.  But I have purchased every type of vitamin, drop, serum, powder, etc…there is trying to balance my desire for health with my desire for things like sleep and macaroni and cheese.

I have friends who swear by their supplements. They have this perfectly orchestrated concoction.  I just haven’t had that moment, I guess, where me and my supplements truly understand each other and become one with the universe.  What are your thoughts, scootadooters?  Are you and your supplements in a committed relationship?  Or is it all bologna?

Putting Up a Fight…And Winning!

Well, so far.

A few weeks ago I blogged about how I was going on a diet. And the next day I went on said diet. And that same day I asked myself, “Self? Why did you go on this diet?” The day after that I seriously pondered the link between lack of carbs and homicide. But I kept going. And going. And going on phase 1 of the South Beach diet, which lets you have yummy things like lean protein and veggies and dairy (THANK GOD) and nuts and beans and blah blah blah no carbs blah no sugar blah blah what the hell am I going to eat blah blah etcetera.

At any rate, I kept chugging along. And what do you know?

It’s working! I’m down 6 pounds. I’ve actually been down 6 pounds for a couple weeks and have basically plateaued, but you know what? That’s okay, because I’ve lost 6 POUNDS!

Other interesting things to note: when I sneak a bite of something that’s not-so-healthy, I immediately feel it. As in, “wow that was good in my mouth but no me gusta in my stomach.” It seems that my body likes the good stuff I’m feeding it, and now that I’m feeding it 90% good stuff, the bad stuff sticks out even more. I’m surprised by this revelation because I felt like I was always going to have to battle against wanting to eat the crapola foods.

Of course, I say this having just snuck a piece of brownie. But I snuck JUST a piece. That was enough, and yeah, my body’s kind of eh about it. But my mouth? Looooved it.

The best part of all of this is that I’m starting to feel good about my body again. The second best part of all of this is that my co-workers are telling me how great I look. I’m still the same size I was before. I don’t think my body looks insanely different. But my clothes fit better and I’m definitely slimmer and the scale and I are really starting to mend our relationship.

So there it is, people. I’m winning the fight so far. You were all so lovely with your words of commiseration and encouragement that I had to update you.

And, may I submit into evidence this before (left) and after (right)? Both taken in work restrooms, I’m sorry to say. I wish I had a more beautiful backdrop but alas.



I’m going to keep at it and fight the good fight. If any of you out there are dealing with the same thing (and I know you are!) I hope this encourages YOU, since you were all so wonderful about encouraging me.

Diet is a Four Letter Word

So is cult. Hmmm.

Last week, Meri sent me a link to this very interesting post from Triathlete Magazine’s website.

You should give it a read. I’ll wait right here.

*folds nine millionth load of laundry*

So? Did you spend half of that article nodding like a bobblehead? Because I did.

Now, keep in mind, I had just come off on my less-than-30 day stint on Whole30, a diet with a decidedly cultlike following. But Whole30 is certainly not the only diet that meets at least a few of those criteria. In fact, most of the ‘diets’ I’ve been on over the course of my life fall into at least one of those categories, most of them more than one.

Similar to religion, I’ve spent years trying to find the one diet that just fit. Except that I accepted years ago that no one religion fully encompassed my belief system, yet I’ve continued to try on diet after diet, looking for the perfect one.

But no sooner had I adopted a new diet plan, then I would immediately start feeling the chafe of the restrictions and questioning whether the principles of the diet were even based in sound nutritional science at all. What do you mean no fruit? Why is peanut butter forbidden, but almond butter is fine? What do you mean no substitutions, I hate beets! Why does everyone need me to drink the Kool-Aid? WE’RE NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO HAVE KOOL-AID!!

Clearly, the part of the article that really spoke to me, the part that gave me one of those elusive ‘A-HA’ moments, was where the author, Matt Fitzgerald, talks about “agnostic healthy eating.”

Boom. Like a ton of bricks. This made so much sense to me.

I’ve said to more than one friend over the years, and even my doctor, that I keep waiting for the ‘magic plan’ that will finally work. And really, I’m an intelligent adult. Logically, I know that unicorns don’t exist and that the rabbit was really in the hat all along and that any number of diets will help me to lose weight if I’m willing to do the work. Still, there is a part of me that likes to believe that magic exists. And that a magical perfect diet exists.

It doesn’t. When it comes to weight loss, there is no magic. There are no fairy godmothers, waiting around to grant our wishes of instant and lasting weight loss.

Sorry. I know, I’m bummed too. (Let’s hug it out, we’ll get through this together.)

The funny thing is, the fact that a diet that is loaded with high quality food and light on processed food is the best option? This is not news. Anyone I know that has had significant, lasting weight loss, has done so by eating more whole, natural foods and less (or no) chemical laden junk, regardless of what name their diet plan had.

It seems so simple when it’s broken down like this. And really, without even really realizing it, my head was already kind of going to this place. Immediately after giving up my quest for a Whole 30 halfway through day 5, I immediately bopped over to twitter and tweeted the following (in several tweets because I am wordy and 140 characters is not a lot):

So, in the wake of my opting not to finish Whole 30, I needed a new diet plan. Decided to come up with my own and I’ve got it! It is a combo of vegan, clean eating, Paleo, weight watchers, low Carb, and a few others. I’m calling it Eat Food That is Good for You in Reasonable Quantities and Don’t Go Off the Rails When You Occasionally Indulge. The name needs work, admittedly. I took my inspiration from the Michael Pollan quote, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Brilliant.

I’m a little sassy on Twitter sometimes.

Look at that. I’m cured! Now that I have had these realizations, the weight will fly off my body like magic!

Oh. No. It won’t. I will still have to do the work. I will still have to make the tough choices, like ‘Cookies for breakfast? No. Not today.’ And I know myself well enough to know that cult-like or not, I do best with some kind of a plan, something with structure. It doesn’t have to be rules, especially if those rules are ‘no ice cream shall ever pass those lips again’, but the support system and the community aspects? Those parts of diets work for me.

Enter Weight Watchers. Surprisingly enough, when I joined, confetti did NOT rain from the sky and I was NOT handed a free toaster for being the member that had signed up the most times. Hard to believe.

While Weight Watchers definitely holds some of the characteristics of a cult-like diet, the one thing it definitely does not do is make any food forbidden. So, while cookies can’t be an everyday thing, and most certainly should never be for breakfast, they are something I can indulge in on occasion.

Weight Watchers is not the answer for everyone. Heck, it may not be the answer for me. But it’s a place where I feel like I can have my agnostic beliefs, where I can do it my way, and still be part of the ‘cult’.

I really wanted to make a commitment, to give this long enough to start to feel ‘normal’, so I prepaid for six months of meetings. I went for my first weigh in on Sunday morning. It was nothing unexpected. The plan hadn’t changed since the last time I joined. The number on the scale was nothing I hadn’t seen there before.

But it isn’t one I care to see again. So, let’s get to work.

*blows an eyelash of my finger*

Just in case.

Dear Pizza, I Miss You

This is definitely going to be a TMI post.  But I’m okay with it if you are.

All I’ve ever wanted was to be one of those people who could just eat like a normal person and not worry about gaining ten pounds immediately.  I don’t think it’s too much to ask.  I don’t even want to be skinny, I just want to be able to eat the food I love.  And I love food.  How could I not?  I grew up sneaking rolls in my family’s Italian restaurant.  And it just so happens my grandma makes the best berry custard pies on the planet.  Seriously, they’re magic.  This culinary-rich childhood has led to an extreme appreciation for really, really good food.  Unfortunately, the metabolism gods hate my guts.

Side ponytail for the WIN

Side ponytail for the WIN

My Body Back session is wrapping up and I’ve already enrolled in the class again.  I’ve lost about 10 pounds in 8 weeks.  Which I’m fine with because I’m stronger today than I was 8 weeks ago.  What I’m not fine with is the fact that I’ve lost and gained over 100 pounds during my twenties and thirties.  I’ve tried every fad diet known to mankind and I’ve been pretty successful with some of them but I always revert back to my old eating comforts.  I’ve come to the reluctant realization that those comforts have to be replaced if I’m ever going to maintain a body I’m healthy in.  Forgoing my favorite foods has been incredibly hard for me.  My family IS food.  Whether it’s crepes that taste just like my great grandma’s or homemade pizza from a secret recipe, every family memory I have is wrapped in a meal.  How can I just give that up?

Well, my future satisfaction with my life depends on it.  Because right now, I’m not satisfied with the quality of that comfortable life.  My energy levels suck.  Dairy has declared war on my intestines.  I’m medicated for depression and medicated for the side effects of depression medication.  I’m pre-diabetic and anemic.  And all I want to do is comfort myself with a giant, cheesy, slightly burnt piece of pizza.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get over my cravings for comfort food.  I don’t know if I SHOULD get over them.  Part of me wants to scream fuck it and eat a damn piece of pizza.  And then some cake and coffee.  Because I’ve worked really hard these last two months.  I deserve it.

Another part of me knows these foods will actually provide very little comfort, especially all that dairy.  How do I find new comforts?  How does this become a life change?  How do I come to terms with the stuff on the inside so I can be comfortable with the outside?  When will I stop being tired?

The key word here is change.

Whole Lot of Crazy

If you’ve learned anything about me through my blogging in the last year, you’ve probably learned that I am a complete goldfish when it comes to healthy eating. I get distracted by shiny things. And then, before that thing has a chance to take hold, I’m distracted by another shiny thing. Or by ice cream.

It’s a thing. A not-so-great thing. Me and food…well, we’re in what I like to call a relationshit. It’s completely dysfunctional and something definitely needs to change.

Enter Whole 30.

If you don’t know about Whole 30, it’s essentially a SUPER clean, Paleo-esque program for 30 days. It’s something I’ve been contemplating for well over a year, but I’ve always brushed it off as being ‘too hard’. According to the Whole 30 website, this is NOT HARD.

You can find the complete program rules here, but in short:

  • No sugar or sugar substitutes (meaning no added sugar, real or artificial)
  • No grains (no, not even quinoa)
  • No white potatoes (oh French Fries, how I will miss thee)
  • No legumes (this is the one that I don’t really understand, but I’m rolling with it)
  • No dairy (I’ve been trying to break up with dairy for over a year. It’s time.)
  • No carrageenan, MSG or sulfites (hello, reading ALL the labels)
  • No alcohol (this is actually the only one I’m not remotely worried about)
  • No ‘paleo-baking’ (essentially taking all compliant ingredients and turning them into cookies)

This is pretty far from where I am right now. Being that right now, I am eating a giant breakfast sandwich and drinking an Extra Extra iced coffee. I’ve been to Dairy Queen so many times in the last week that I think they are going to start calling me by name (curse you, Celebration Cake Blizzard). I leave my house every morning with no lunch bag, no snacks and no plan, which ultimately dissolves into a high-calorie, high fat lunch out.

And if you think my relationship with food has fallen into toxic territory, you should probably know that my pants and I are in the midst of an epic battle. (My pants are losing terribly. It’s tragic.)

So, why not just make some moderate dietary changes? Why so drastic? In truth, I’m not at the point right now where moderation is my friend. While as an overall ‘lifestyle’, I fully support the ideal that you can, and should, be able to eat what you want IN MODERATION, right now a cookie = two cookies = a bag of cookies.

I’m a classic Type A personality. I do best with a set of guidelines and a goal. I’m competitive and results oriented. And I like to WIN. While I don’t necessarily buy in to the ‘this is NOT hard’ mantra behind Whole 30, I get what they are saying. In the grand scheme of life, nothing about this program represents actual hardship. You get to eat. You don’t have to be hungry.

There are plenty of delicious things to eat. Fruits. Veggies. Lean protein. Avocados. NUTS.

And it’s 30 days.

Honestly, the thing I think I am going to struggle with the most is the non-food related regulation that you not weigh yourself or check your measurements at all during the 30 day period. I am a complete slave to my scale. That said, while I am sure weight loss will occur, I’m really doing this as more of a personal challenge, to see if me and food can come to a more peaceable coexistence.

I’d also like my pants to fit, I’M JUST SAYING.

As of today, I’m T-minus-four days. I’m trying to suppress my natural urge to eat EVERYTHING I won’t be able to eat during the program over the next four days. Trying. Failing thus far, but still trying.

Monday, I jump on the Crazy Train. All aboard!

Have you done Whole 30? Do you have tips/tricks/recipes you want to share with Bec? Do you want to join her on the Crazy Train? She loves company!

For The Love of Bacon – A post by a non preachy, aspiring, maybe, vegan

As my fellow Scooters Jess and Meri can attest to, my love affair with bacon has been a deep and complex and downright torrid at times (Maple Bacon Donuts).

Maple Bacon Donut

There were mixed reviews on the Maple Bacon Donuts, but I was a huge fan.

It’s also coming to a close. *cue sad violin music*

I know. I KNOW. No more bacon? Why would I do such a thing? What is this world coming to? This world, or at least my world, is coming to some realizations regarding my relationship with food.

I’m going vegan, baby. Maybe.

Yeah, I said vegan. And no matter what people tell you, vegan bacon, or any bacon that isn’t actual bacon, ain’t bacon at all.

I’ve toyed with vegetarianism before, both in high school and about a year ago. But my previous attempts at vegetarianism (or pescatarianism… or flexetarianism… or veganism) were also specifically geared toward weight loss. I didn’t want to hear about the cute and fluffy animals and their feelings (and if you don’t, I don’t judge you and I promise, I’m not going to go there, so you can keep reading) and I didn’t care about the health benefits of plant based eating. I just wanted to be skinny. So, I would start eliminating foods that I thought were making me fat (meat) while continuing to eat foods that were actually making me fat (Little Debbie).

While I found that a vegetarian diet could be both satisfying and (sometimes) healthy, there was always some part of my brain saying ‘but we NEED meat!’.

Okay, technically, what my brain was saying was ‘Get thee to Five Guys, wench!’ My brain is kind of a jerk.

But, a few weeks ago, my brain and I sat down and watched a couple of documentaries on Netflix. Hungry for Change was enlightening with regard to the food and diet industries, but very fact based. The information isn’t Earth-shattering but there is a lot of it. It was a good documentary, and worth watching, but don’t expect to be blown away. Still, there was a lot of data so my brain was plenty busy processing the idea of eating a plant based diet, when I turned on the next one.

Vegucated, for me, was much more captivating. A documentary by a vegan, asking three non vegans to go vegan for six weeks and see how it goes (that’s a loose summary, at best). I won’t go into detail. If you want to watch it, it’s on Netflix instant. And maybe not everyone will take from it what I did, which is totally cool. But since my brain was so busy processing the previous facts and figures, that just left me to watch Vegucated. Well, me and my heart.

While being rather moderate in terms of footage and facts about factory farming, the part that I’ve always avoided looking at was there, and by the middle of the film, I was bawling my eyes out about baby chickens while my teenage daughter gave me the ‘seriously, Mom’ side eye.  (She cried too, she’s more like me than she cares to admit).

Vegucated = InstaVegan!

Okay, no. Not exactly. I didn’t go to the kitchen after watching the flick and immediately start flinging cheese and salami into the trash. Heck, I might have even flung some into my mouth.

But I did start thinking. And over the next few weeks, I kept thinking.

Could I be vegan, if I wanted to? Did I want to be? Was this yet another ‘diet’ idea that I would obsess on for a few minutes and then shove to the back of the pile with the rest?

I talked to people, both pro-vegan and pro-bacon, and tried to decide if this was something I wanted to pursue.

And I talked to Meri, who knows me well, and knows my propensity to jump into things without thinking. (Chick Mer is very wise, yo).

So, am I vegan? No. Not yet. And maybe not ever. I’m not sure yet.

What am I? Right now, I’m just a person trying to do my best at eating what I feel is healthy for me and working at making my body its strongest. Oh, and I’m a pescatarian.

I’ve completely eliminated cow’s milk dairy from my diet. This has been a long time coming since dairy exacerbates a medical condition that I have (I pretended it didn’t because I really like cheese). And I’ve eliminated meat (beef, pork, chicken, etc). I’m still eating eggs (which we’re starting to get from local folks that are nice to their chickens) and fish (which I don’t have a lot of warm squishy feelings about).

So what do I eat? Just about everything else I can fit in my face. Lots of nuts and seeds, almond  and coconut milk, grains, soy (not a lot). Oh and a lot of these…


Organic fruits and veggies, which I get through a local delivery service.

And I may have had an Oreo, which is totally vegan. Don’t judge.

I’m still learning. I’m learning what I love (vegan chocolate peanut butter bars from Whole Foods – shut up, nutritional yeast) and what I don’t love (beets, it doesn’t matter what color or what I do with them, they taste like dirt). I’m paying attention to my body and how it feels (today, it feels amazing). And I’m taking my time to decide if this is the lifestyle I want, one that I can sustain.

So for now, I’m a non-preachy, aspiring, maybe someday vegan. Who kind of misses bacon.

<3 Bec

P.S. C25K is not dead, I swear. I just haven’t run in a couple weeks. But I’ve been doing plenty of walking and I’ll get back to it.

What is your diet mentality? Tell us about it! And feel free to spam us with recipes!