The end of the year always motivates me to reflect and take stock. In fact, I've tried to get into this blog a few times over the past year but some issue with Blogger had me locked out of it.
I am no longer trying to go vegan, and I'm happier with my eating habits than ever. This is not meant as an affront to vegans, whom I will always admire for their dedication to animal welfare. I find that about half of my meals just turn out to be vegan. I don't eat meat, but I eat fish 2-3 times a month. Increasing the protein in my diet has been one of the best changes I've made. Plain yogurt with fruit and nuts is my mainstay for breakfast, but the protein in other meals is more often from beans, tofu, eggs, or seitan than it is from dairy/fish sources.
In late 2009, I decided to try to drop some weight and started a good old-fashioned calorie-counting regimen. By late 2010 I'd lost 25% of my body weight, bringing me from 6 pounds "overweight" to near the bottom of my "healthy weight range." I lost 4 clothing sizes and half a shoe size. I've maintained all of that weight loss and a few pounds more since the end of my diet, 14.5 months ago. I joined the National Weight Control Registry, which is a research group of Big Losers.
I discovered that I love weightlifting. I also love yoga, running, and walking. However, my weight loss was 90% due to diet and 10% due to changes in my exercise routine (I've been exercising at least 4 days a week for the past 16 years now).
I've become pretty good at naturally balancing my intake and output. Contrary to what you might read in the popular media, weight loss is not that hard. Slow and steady is the key, not the starvation diets cited in the linked article and too many others like it. Also, I don't think any weight loss programs will succeed without frank and honest examination of emotions attached to food.
I'm nattering on about weight loss because it was more than an aesthetic undertaking for me. Seeing it through has transformed my relationship with myself, as well as sparked even more interest in health, food, and fitness.
It doesn't seem right to continue a vegan blog when I have decided not to commit to veganism. I've been logging regularly at the forums at leighpeele.com, which is a paid subscription site. I'm not sure whether I'll resume a public blog. I still dip into vegan blogs occasionally for recipe ideas and because I still like all of you!
Best wishes to everyone in 2012 and beyond.