Hi. I'm Laura. As of this writing, I'm 40something years old. I live in Chicago with my husband, my step-son, my miracle baby, and an elderly neurotic dog. My life is busy, often stressful, often joyful, and full of diverse things. I'm a long time vegetarian, for both ethical and health reasons. I tend to like animals far better than I like most people.
I used to weigh a lot. I was exhausted and listless and completely unhealthy. I despised the way I felt AND the way I looked. I tried so many diets, and I failed spectacularly at them all. I drank like alcohol was going out of style. The most exercise I got was moving from my computer chair to the back door in order to let the dog out.
One day I had an epiphany of sorts. I was killing myself, and it would be a real shame if I died from something I could prevent. I liked my life; I rather wanted to keep it for awhile. I decided right then and there that I was going to get healthy. Then I did it. That was the turning point for me; diets had never worked, because diet's DON'T work. I needed far more than a diet anyway. I needed a complete and total lifestyle overhaul.
I gave up the weekend warrior alcohol habit, and now only drink on the rare occasion. I started to exercise, and I was totally surprised to learn that I like it. I feel so much better when I exercise. I do both strength and cardio exercises, and my mood shows it when I don't get the exercise I need. I went about learning how to nourish my body, as opposed to just feeding it. I learned that when nourishing myself I could eat, A LOT, and still lose weight. Even though weight loss was not my primary goal, the pounds came off, and I felt spectacular. For the first time in my life, I was able to do normal things without being short of breath and exhausted.
I've never been a huge fan of cooking. Though, I like it more and more as I have more and more successes. I'm starting to get comfortable with "winging it" in the kitchen, but for a very long time, I couldn't produce anything palatable without step by step instructions, preferably with pictures. I'd like to share my successes (and failures too) here with you all.
I've got stage IV endometriosis that can, at times, be debilitating. In early 2008 it almost killed me. I spent six days in the hospital, with no clear memories of that time. The infection was so rampant and the fever so high that I lost almost a week of my life. After that experience I had surgery and then a post surgical infection that put me back into the hospital for longer than I was there in the first place. I spent almost nine months recovering. During this ordeal, I learned that I was completely infertile, due not only to the endometriosis but also because my tubes were scarred totally shut. I hopped on the IVF roller coaster and spent three years attempting to have a baby. Three long years of fertility drugs, swollen ovaries, shots, surgeries, negative cycles and losses.
After four years of trying, three years of medical intervention, three doctors, six IVF cycles, and three losses, we finally brought home our miracle. My beautiful son was born, via c-section, on February 28, 2011. All of those hormones and drugs I had to take while cycling, then an extremely high risk pregnancy that kept me on either bed rest or extremely light activity for the entire pregnancy made for some weight gain. In fact, I gained back a bit over 25 of the 75 pounds I initially lost. To say that I'm not happy about this is an understatement of the largest degree. However, he was worth every single pound, and I'd do it again in a heart beat (in fact, we're considering doing it again really soon!). Now I'm back on the bandwagon, so to speak, and I'm working on finding my healthy place once more. I welcome company to come along for the ride!