Greetings! Where to begin? I've heard of Dr. McDougall before, but only recently discovered his website and the wealth of information here. I've been inspired by many or your journals and found myself reading pages and pages of entries before realizing an hour has passed. This community is so supportive and friendly - it's a fantastic thing to find when the internet can be so harsh and judging. I feel like I already know some of you, and figured the best way to dive into this WOE is to start a journal and let you know a little about me. I apologize, as this may be long... I tend to get carried away.
I grew up near Youngstown with a father that worked full time as a tool and dye maker and a full-time-nursing mother. We also had a 180 acre grain farm as my dad's "hobby" with a large garden. So, while fruits and vegetables were always available - we ate the typical SAD way - buttered vegetables, potatoes and meat. My dad ALWAYS had ice cream in the freezer, and our family gatherings always centered around food (my mom has 7 siblings, and our holidays were often shared with 25+ people at the table!). My grandfathers both had heart disease - strokes and heart attacks leading to their deaths, one 71 the other 87. My maternal grandmother passed with multiple cancers at 78. My other grandmother recently passed away at 90, she was diabetic and had some heart issues. My father has hypertension and my mother has arrhythmia and acid reflux. My only sibling has thyroid issues, was always skinny and is currently pregnant
My aunts and uncles have various issues including cancer, practically all of them being obese to morbidly obese, and many other problems.
I was a skinny baby and child. It was somewhere in elementary school I started gaining weight and by the time I was in middle school I was over weight. High school didn't improve anything. By the time I graduated, I weighed approximately 185 pounds. I attended U of Toledo for 2 years then transferred back home to Youngstown State. At that time, I probably weighed 210. I started art school. My first year at YSU, one of my classmates lent me "Diet for a New America" by Robbins. This book is the reason I changed to a vegetarian diet. I slowly transitioned, but by 2005 I was strictly vegetarian. My highest weight was around 235 in 2006 when my ex fiance and I broke up.
Fast forward - I now live in Columbus, Ohio. I'm 29 and weight at best 220, which puts me at obese. I've been dating my boyfriend for over 4 years - he eats meat and will probably be my biggest obstacle as he loves cheese. I work full time at a desk job
I have a bachelors in fine arts and am researching going back to school to get a masters in Library Science.
We've been doing a "biggest loser" challenge at work since 6/7. My weigh in at the beginning was 228. I've currently lost 8 pounds in 2 months.
I've been lucky with my health minus a few odd ball discoveries and I occasionally get migraines. The only health issue I've had this year is edema - my ankles and feet were swollen for 2 weeks in May with no apparent reason. My doctor insists it was due to the extreme heat and that my extra weight wasn't helping. We checked my blood levels - and everything is in normal ranges, except that I was extremely iron-deficient anemic and my HDL is low. We're working on my iron as we now know the source is my menstrual cycles. And I'm working on *me* before I develop any other health issues!
This year, I've decided that I NEED to be healthy - and I want to be well on my way before I turn 30 next May. I've never exercised regularly, but I starting rowing in May with a Learn-2-Row program and I love it. I also just signed up for swimming classes/practices that started this week. So I'm now swimming 2x a week and rowing 2x a week. I've been trying to eat mostly vegan and now am working to switching completely to the McDougall plan. When I switched to a vegetarian lifestyle, I made up my mind that I was going to do it and I accomplished that with little struggle. I just have to find that mindset again!
My next step - to plan some meals and get started! My first goal weight is to be under 200 pounds and I'm well on my way.
The second goal is 175.
In order to be in the healthy range, I should weight between 122 and 164. 122 seems like it's too skinny... we'll see.
Thanks for reading, if you've made it this far! I look forward to this journey and getting to know you all more.
Blood pressure - always around 120/74
Cholesterol 148 [<200]
triglycerides 58 [<150]
HDL 38* [>60]
LDL 98 [0-99]
glucose 84 
sodium 139 [136-145]
iron 14* [50-170]
ferritin 7* [10-291]