I was definitely one of those people who felt that grains were bad, rice was bad, starch was bad. If not immediately fattening, then they were empty calories, a waste of caloric budget. So I ate very little of them, preferring to fill up on my other veggies, or my main entree. I've been vegan for a little over four years, and while I started off great (with the Eat to Live 6 week challenge), all of the processed flours (baked goods) and refined sugars crept back in and caught up with me and now I'm heavier than when I started. I was a defiant overweight vegan, and as a defense I would point to the other members of my immediate family, all of whom are considerably larger and unhealthier than I am. As long as I was smaller than them, I reasoned, I couldn't be that bad.
For the past year I've loved
all of the plant-based food and health documentaries that have been coming out. I still considered myself a whole food vegan, conveniently forgetting about the baked treats, the chocolate, the sneaked spoonfulls of peanut butter. For several months this year I did some intense work on my emotional issues with food, and I think I made a lot of progress. Not anywhere near perfect yet, but I'm more willing to sit with things and question my actions and reactions rather than automatically turning to food. (Doesn't mean I wouldn't turn to food later in the evening, though.)
In mid-December I started reading more from Dr. McD, and a lot of what he said made a lot of sense. It would explain why, whenever I tried to go back on a strict Eat to Live plan, I would never feel satisfied, even with enormous salads and lots of fruit. And I would never lose weight again when I tried it, but maybe that's because I could never stick with it for very long.
So for the last few days of December I transitioned into a more starch-based diet. Eating a big bowl of oatmeal or rice or quinoa feels so indulgent it makes me smile every time. I'm very curious to see how my body reacts to the change, as well as to the lack of added fats.
Besides losing weight (I have at least 30 pounds to lose, but at this point I think I'll take whatever I can get), I would love to see improvement in my complexion (pimples and blackheads since pre-puberty, and I'm 33 now) and in the inflammation I have in my knee and hip from past accidents. But again, I'll take what I can get.
So I'm adding my voice to those who are starting, restarting, or rededicating themselves to a better way of eating and a more healthful life. It feels pretty good so far.