Welcome to The Cosmic Vegan! I am Lexi and I am obese (I despise that word).
I am here because I’ve done everything, tried it all and failed miserably.
I am here because I want to document my voyage into a world where health and fitness are attainable. I may struggle to change sometimes but that is the purpose of this blog. I can document what works and what doesn’t. I can write about what I’ve struggled with and why. I have found little online about people in my same situation so I decided to share the topic from my point of view.
Let’s start with things that I am not. I am not a nutritionist. I am not a health and fitness scholar. I am not fat. I have fat. This fat does not define who I am. So, if you are here to be shocked or stunned by my weight or to say mean things then I advise you to leave because you are not welcome here. I am trying to better myself, lose weight and grow exponentially.
Now, let’s start from the beginning…
I was born and raised in the Midwest and brought up on a diet full of highly processed pre packaged food and an absolute massive amount of animal products. I was a chubby kid from about 2nd grade and was truly fat by 5th. I was always carrying around extra weight and constantly embarrassed and teased by everyone. Even my own dad. I ate my emotions and developed an unhealthy relationship with food. Anytime something went wrong in my little life I’d eat. I was constantly overeating and eating in secret. I was always hungry. It didn’t help that my family celebrated everything with tons and tons of food. Fattening foods such as Velveeta cheese, cream cheese pickle rolls, chips and dip, sour cream and mayonnaise on everything. My veggies came with butter all over them. I didn’t eat starches unless they were smothered in an animal product.
When I was 16 I got a job at McDonald’s. Biggest mistake of my life because it was then that I turned my relationship with food into a true addiction. I would work evenings and take home the leftover food or purchase meals to take home with me at night. I would buy 3 piece chicken selects, 2 double cheese burgers, a large fry and a large iced tea. Don’t forget all the dipping sauces- ranch, honey mustard, bbq and sweet & sour. I’d come home and my parents would be asleep and I’d go into our basement which had a futon and a tv. I would turn on my favorite TV show, layout my food on a little table in front of me and binge. This cycle continued multiple times per week for over a year.
Full-speed ahead to when I was 17. I wanted to be different from everyone else. I changed the music that I listened to, I changed the things that I cared about and I changed the way that I viewed myself and the world around me. I spent a lot of time on the internet illegally downloading music and discovering new topics and ideals. PETA was on my radar and I decided to become a “vegan”. A vegan that still ate animal products, that is. Yea, I know, how does that work? Back in the MySpace days you could be whomever you wanted to be. I tried eating vegan on occasion but I would just eat junk food and didn’t pay attention to labels. Online I was Vegan and in real life I was still the same depressed teenager that ate her body weight in Totino’s pizza rolls.
Back in the MySpace days I would write poetry as a creative outlet. I had an unhappy home life, I hated myself and I just dreamed of something better than the teeny tiny BFE town that I lived in. It was then that I was about to graduate high school and I met a ton of other writers online. We all read and commented on each other’s poetry and writings and it was the best community for me to escape reality. These people felt like real friends to me. I met a man who also wrote poetry and we developed a deeper connection. We started chatting and sort of became obsessed with each other. We talked on the phone multiple times per day, fell asleep while talking to each other, obsessively texted every minute and professed love for one another. The problem? He was much older than me, he lived in Oregon and I hadn’t graduated high school yet.
I needed to be with him and was so unhappy that I just dreamed about leaving and getting as far away from my family as I could. So, this Oregon man bought me a one way ticket to Oregon for a week after I graduated. I just had to make it to the airport that was an hour away. Easy. I packed everything I could into two suitcases that I stole from my mom while my parents were at work and I loaded them up into my friend’s car and she took them to her house. Later that evening I told my mom I was going to spend the night at this friend’s house and made up a story about helping her and her dad with some work the next day so I wouldn’t be home right away. My flight was going to leave at 4 in the morning and I needed to be there 2 hours early. Two of my best friends, my suitcases and I drove to the airport in the middle of the night. We even took pictures to commemorate the occasion. I had never flown before, never left my tiny little town and surrounding area. I wasn’t nervous, until I got on the plane!
It was an extremely long day of travel with multiple flight changes and layovers. I kept my phone off in fear of my mom calling me. Until I got to my last flight exchange in San Francisco. I was too cowardly to call my mom so I sent her a text that said something like this: “Please don’t be mad, I am in San Francisco right now on my way to Oregon. I love you” and immediately turned my phone off. I got on the plane and flew to Eugene. I landed in Eugene and as I stepped into the airport it was the first time that I had the thought,”I am going to die, he is going to murder me!” But I didn’t let it stop me. I walked down the steps and I saw him right away and it was like magic, instant connection. It was right.
At this time I was still claiming to be vegan. He took me grocery shopping right away and I moved in with him and his two small children who became my kids too. I hardly ate anything substantial for the first month that I was there. I got a job at Starbucks and would eat in secret because I was always starving. I was finally back on speaking terms with my mom but it was a constant battle with her and stressful because she made it all about herself. I did this for me and only me and it had nothing to do with her. She couldn’t accept that and I carried a lot of guilt with me.
Another month went by and I discovered that I was pregnant. Holy shit, I was pregnant! How was I going to tell this to my mom? I was very emotional and I was sure my mom would reject me at this point. She could tell something was wrong when we spoke on the phone and asked me to come home to visit and I had to tell her the news. She was pretty devastated and tried to get me to have an abortion. I went home and she took me to planned parenthood and a few other clinics and tried to talk me into it. It wasn’t going to happen. I couldn’t do it. I stayed home for an absolute miserable month before flying back to Eugene.
I came home to my “vegan” life in Oregon. Things were going back to normal and I was getting to know my boyfriend’s family. His aunt had us over for dinner and she made ziti, with meat of course, and ravioli which also was stuffed with meat. I decided to take the plunge in front of everyone and claimed it was my pregnancy that was making me crave animal products and I wasn’t getting enough protein. It was all downhill from there.
At the beginning of my pregnancy I was at my highest weight ever of about 250 pounds. Yikes. As my pregnancy progressed I started my horrible eating patterns from high school all over again…only worse this time. After my boyfriend would go to bed I would drive down to the McDonald’s nearby and buy a double quarter pounder meal, super sized with an iced tea, an extra burger and ranch to smother everything in. I would take it home and sit in front of the TV and force feed my little helpless growing baby this poison. Every last bite. It gave me terrible heart burn and I would drink pickle juice from the jar to get rid of the heart burn and my legs would swell up so huge I could barely walk. Over the course of my pregnancy I gained and additional 100 pounds. That’s right, if you’ve done the math then that means I am 350 pounds. Astronomical, mind boggling.
I was in such an unhealthy state at the time of my daughter’s birth. I had to have a C section after being pumped with drugs for hours trying to induce labor. But she was here and it was the greatest moment I have ever experienced. Two years after she was born my boyfriend and I got married at the courthouse.
It’s been 9 years since she was born and I haven’t lost a single pound. I have a slew of health struggles because of my weight. My doctor has had me on multiple prescriptions and suggested gastric bypass surgery. I quit the drugs on my own and decided I would never have gastric bypass. I’ve gone through every diet you can think of to lose weight. The main one being Weight Watchers because I kept going back to it every few months or so. The most weight I’ve lost on WW is around 5 pounds. Of course, it never stayed off.
Rewind to 3 years ago when I discovered youtube. There are Vegans all over the place. The main one that I watched at the time was Freelee the Banana Girl. I hated her at first, she was rude and harsh and I thought she was a troll but I kept watching. I started absorbing more and more of what she was saying and decided to transition to vegetarian in June of 2014. Turns out, that was worse for me! Wherever I’d skip the meat I’d just replace with heaps of dairy instead. I gained another 15 pounds! I was so discouraged and down. I felt helpless. I was still watching Freelee though and after a year of eating vegetarian I took her suggestion and watched Cowspiracy and Earthlings. That was life changing for me. In March 2015 I went vegan. I haven’t looked back since. I also haven’t lost any weight. At first, I lost about 22 pounds but my weight has been steady ever since. Fluctuating only a few pounds here and there. So, I set out to research why!
Through my research I discovered High Carb Hannah. She was an inspiration to me because she is the first Vegan that I found that had lost a ton of weight. She’s never been as heavy as me or needed to lose as much weight as I do but she was inspiring. I watched her videos and watched her social media like a hawk. She recommended Dr. McDougall. I checked out his book from my husband’s college library and read the shit out of it. It made so much sense. I started off eating as he recommended and it felt so good. I was less tired and depressed, I was happier and more satiated. But, for some reason I am not sustaining the diet like I need to be. I still struggle with junk food and mock meats and cheeses. I am also not active enough. Because of my weight I need to take it easy on my knees until I lose some pounds.
So, this is my documentation of the goals that I am setting for myself.
Goal #1: Take a walk every single day. Trying to push a little further each time if possible.
Goal #2: No eating after 7pm.
Goal #3: Keep a food diary of what I eat each week.
I hope to keep log of my progress on this blog with recipes that I try, my food diaries, my fitness progress and weigh-ins. Along with other tidbits that I’d like to share as they come up. I hope you will subscribe to my blog to help keep me accountable and share information with me as I go along.
Now, for the scariest part of this post…. My “before” photos:
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