Here's a brief history of my health life:
-A childhood of bad eating which was reproduced by me in adulthood.
-Grad school = almost total inactivity, a diet composed largely of pasta and crackers and cheese, and high cholesterol by the age of 26.
-Went vegan because of animals at age 28. Lost some weight and started exercising fanatically. Lost tonnes of weight but the exercise became about obsessive weight loss not health. Was miserable so stopped entirely. Over the years remained vegan but as vegan convenience foods became more common, started eating less well and this plus renewed relative lack of exercise, gained a lot of weight back (luckily, cholesterol remained low).
-Just over a year ago, found myself almost unable to walk because of back and foot problems and realized I needed to change my life--I didn't want life to be about self-neglect and -abuse; I wanted quality of life for the rest of my life! So, instead of trying to change everything at once, I did three things: 1) sought professional help for my back, etc issues (physio and massage therapists), 2) vowed to eat a salad each day. Started to feel better almost immediately, and 3) addressed my issues around anorexic thinking (I still need to keep a very close watch on this though.)
-It turned out I needed a lot of pro help as my spine was compressed from the base of my skull to my tailbone!! 9 months of therapy and it's almost completely decompressed now.
-I started going to the gym and could only manage about 15 minutes at level 3 on the elliptical before my back made me want to weep in pain. Also, I was out of breath and my feet really hurt (v. bad plantar fascitis).
-Last February, I read The China Study
and Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
and very slowly started cutting down on oil in my diet; now, I'm nearing 0 processed oils. I eat nuts and seeds though.
-Now, I go to the gym every day and do mostly cardio (elliptical, stationary bike, and now rowing machine now that my back is healthy enough) but also some limited weights. I have lost about 25 lbs in the last year. My back feels much, much better and my feet are much better too.
Also, I ride my bicycle as much as possible but winter is long here...
This year, I really want to up my weights both in terms of frequency and type of activity. For this, I'll need a trainer as I'm still considered to be coming back from injury.
I would also like to get to the point where I could run maybe 5km outside every week or two, but I'm not sure that's possible. My plantar fascitis is much improved but I have arthritis in my big toes...We'll see!
I would also like to make swimming a real part of my repertoire. If someone can tell me the voodoo required to put on a swimcap in a way that will result in hair that remains dry, that would be useful.
That's all! Nice to meet all of you.