From (V)LCD’s to Paleo and whole foods- part 3 Scotland (round 1)

(again I apologise for the length)

After my successful breast reduction, I was back at work 2 days later.  Seriously.  (If I didn’t work I didn’t eat.  The only job I had was my part time summer job and money was very tight.)  I also had to pack up my entire life in my Boston flat and consolidate my life down to a few boxes to go into storage.  The rest either was given to my sister, donated, or freecycled.  Not much made the trip over with me.

I was attempting to follow the post diet plan that I found on Breast Health Online.  Steph was staying with me for part of the summer and she cooked healthy meals for me and I made sure I drank a lot of water with lemon.

When I left for Scotland I was at my lowest weight in a long time at 185 (5 pounds courtesy of my reduction LOL) but sadly I didn’t maintain it.  Since I was restricted in how much exercise I could do for a few months, getting back to running or anything else was put on the back burner.  (I was a bit more cautious since I wasn’t going to be able to have the checkins you normally get post surgery as I was out of the country.)

I did walk a fair bit when I arrived in Scotland so I could see and experience everything that was so new.  I also didn’t eat well at all.  There were lots of chippy visits as well as Indian takeaway.  My diet was horrible.  I would attempt to make changes but always failed on following through.  I was also in a fair amount of pain due to the headaches, and that made me rather crabby.  I tried to get on a weight loss plan, even trying the Tony Ferguson shakes (didn’t I learn my lesson from that already?)  As usual it didn’t work.

And then my life changed.  My mum died.

I was depressed and stressed out over my dissertation.  For some reason I decided it would be a good idea to try the Dukan diet.  I think we lasted 4-5 days on it.  I couldn’t think on such a low carb diet, and I needed to think to write 3000 words a day for the rest of the summer.

And then life threw me another curve ball. I didn’t get approved for my student loans (maybe someday I will write a post about how I suck at all things financial, but it is very embarrassing so…) and I had to return to the USA.

My last month in Scotland had me packing, sending out my CV for any and all jobs in MA, selling most of my possessions, and crying.  I was devastated and upset, not to mention feeling like a complete failure.


My diet at that point was eating whatever we had in the flat (pasta, rices, shelf stable foods) since we didn’t have much money.  I also wasn’t thinking about calories.  I was thinking about making sure we both had enough to eat period.

When I returned home, it was much the same.  I literally had no money.  (I’m dead serious. I had no money, no savings, no nothing.) I was living back at home with my dad, sister, and her 2 kids.  I ate as little as possible because I felt like such a burden (and I didn’t want to take food away from them).  My sister gave me a bag of chocolate shakeology powder, and that was my meal source for about a month (until I finally got approved for food stamps- another thing that just made me feel useless and worthless).

I lost about 10 pounds in the first month I was home, and maintained that for the entire time I was home with eating frugally (it is very hard to stretch food stamp money on healthy food as I needed to get easy to make recipes for reasons not relevant to this story) I eventually returned to running after pretty much spending every day laying in bed reading/watching tv/looking for jobs/sobbing.

This four month period was such a low for me.  I didn’t have any treatment for my headaches so I was in a lot of pain.  I was really depressed because I felt like a failure for not managing my money well enough to continue on to my PhD, and felt even more worthless as I couldn’t find a job.  I finally got a seasonal job at Macy’s and then my dad and I talked about everything (rationally for once) and he agreed to co-sign my loans so I could return to Scotland and continue on to my PhD.

In a year and a half I had yo-yoed weight wise and eating wise.  I would have good intentions, but I wouldn’t follow through.  I was still looking for a quick fix.  I was still eating too many processed foods.  I knew I needed to make a change.

In part 4 I will bring you up to my current lifestyle and how I finally learned to fuel my body in a way that’s good for me.

Part 1
Part 2


  1. 23/07/2013 / 14:55

    Yikes, Cindy!

    Sometimes when we feel like the present is a struggle, it’s often a good reminder to look back at the past and see how far we’ve come!
    jennifer recently posted…FringeSport OFW Bumper Plates ReviewMy Profile

  2. 23/07/2013 / 18:07

    That is a sobering post, it is horrible to see how wrong things can go in our lives. But as Jennifer says, good in a way to look back at and give yourself a pat on the back for what you have got through and where you are now. You could just have curled up and hid in a cupboard.

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