Eric and the Plant-Based Diet Part II
I really didn’t like being on Lipitor. I don’t know if it was in my head because of all the horrible reports about it that I had read online, or if it actually made me feel awful, but, either way, I wanted off of it. I went back to my doctor in June of 2014 and begged her to let me stop taking it. I told her that there was no way anymore cholesterol was going to enter my body because I was done with 98% of animals and their by-products. She said something about my body producing its’ own cholesterol, which I am sure is true, but I was doubtful that it would be an issue. However, I am not a doctor because I didn’t go to medical school because I am lazy and because people are gross (ok, I’m done stating obvious things). She finally agreed to compromise with me, and let me take the medication every other day. I don’t know why I let my doctors have so much power over me, but it’s probably because they are actually doctors, and they have the advantage of having been trained to make me doubt myself and Google—also, probably in medical stuff too. So, again, I don’t know if it was all in my head or if was real, but I felt better. I was on the lowest possible dose of Lipitor, and I was now only taking it every other day.
I spent most of the rest of 2014 working, watching tv, playing video games, listening to podcasts, dealing with our new surprise, adorable, yet medically improbable child, and trying to discover every type of junk food on the planet that was, as Peta calls it, accidentally vegan. There is a ridiculously large amount accidentally and intentionally vegan junk food out there. Now, it’s not very healthy and sort of defeats the purpose of why I started this diet in the first place, but you can be a vegan, and never eat a singe vegetable for the rest of your life. There’s also a ton of meat and cheese “substitutes” that certain desperate people will tell you are very close to the real thing. I disagree with those people, for the most part. I haven’t really had anything by itself that made me think it was meat, but when it’s mixed in with other things it can be hard for my brain to distinguish the difference. As far as the “cheese” goes though, I haven’t found anything close, and, besides ice cream, that’s the thing I miss the most.
When I started this diet I really believed that the lack of unhealthy choices would force me to lose weight. The more research I did, and the more online communities I joined, the more I learned that there is going to have to be more self control on my part than I originally had hoped. Some people, myself included, might have thought that just abstaining from all animal products completely would be all of the self control that one could muster. I can’t tell you how many stories I have read where the person went vegan, and lost all the pounds without even trying. I guess my life doesn’t work that way. So, that year and all of the next my weight hovered around 380 lbs with about a 5-10 lb fluctuation here and there. I’m pretty disappointed in myself being the only overweight “vegan” that I know—I only know one other vegan, my wife, and she didn’t convert until September of 2015.
My doctor sent me a letter in September of 2014 informing me that she was leaving her practice to go work on a new specialty or something. I have tried really hard not to take that personally. This was actually pretty good news for me because I really hated driving an hour and a half away to sit in a waiting room for another hour waiting to see a special doctor that I had only chosen because I thought that she could magically cure the headaches I was having 5 years ago (she didn’t, but she did try, I still like her). There was no way I would ever work up the courage to leave her, but I certainly did complain a lot to everyone else. I got a new doctor in early 2015 and she is a super cool lady. It took me a few months, and some blood work, but she let me quit taking Lipitor at the end of 2015. She is awesome and my new goal is working on her letting me get off of the blood pressure meds, but that’s going to take some doing.
After we lost our jobs in December of 2015 I gained 17.8 lbs, like an idiot. It sucks because when they announced to the plant in August that they were going to shut it down I made a mental note to myself that I needed to cut out all of the bad foods, count every calorie, start exercising, and write again. I did exactly zero of those things in that 5 month period. I don’t know why I’m so self destructive. I am now currently doing 2 1/2 of those things regularly. So, that’s something, right?
In March I made several changes to my diet. I cut out all processed food that had either, oil or sugar in the top 5 ingredients (that’s the 1/2 in 2 1/2), I started counting every single calorie that I consume (which is way more work than it should be, but it’s a real eye opener too)(that’s 1 of 2 1/2), and I stopped eating any food 3 hours before I go to bed (I’ve read that this does absolutely nothing for weight loss, but I feel better in the morning when I go to sleep hungry. That’s probably just in my head, right?). Also, and this isn’t diet related, but I have obviously, finally started writing again (that’s 2 of 2 1/2). As of this morning I weight 367.6 lbs which means that I have lost 30.2 in the last 2 1/2 months. That sounds better than it is because the first few pounds were much easier to lose, and now I am at approximately .1 lb lost a day on average. So, here I am, on a plant-based diet, counting all the calories, and losing weight at a glacially slow pace, but at least I’m writing, something, and I don’t have to take Lipitor anymore.
P.S. To be continued again…