Hello - as an introduction, my name is Ashli and I'm a vegan. Typically, non-vegans think of "vegan" as some sort of profanity, some deranged PETA flag-waving crazy person whose most basic goal in life is to free as many bunnies and rodents from medical testing facilities everywhere. I, however, am not one such vegan. To prove this fact, I go out to eat with a non-vegan pretty regularly and my nearly 7 year old son is not a vegan (although he does eat as a vegan at home, usually).
Also, I hula hoop. I've been learning since last Spring, and today was one of the few days we've had so far this year that included nice hooping weather. Today was the first day in 2011 that I whipped out the hoops and headed to the park. Surprisingly, after a winter hiatus, I still have skills, but they're still not as good as they were at the peak of last summer. Ah, last summer... when the pounds just began to shed off of me so fast that I couldn't keep my pants on right. Oh, the pairs of underwear that people saw without my intention all due to my new-ish diet and my fantastic form of exercise. I was the envy of the workplace, but that really wasn't my purpose.
I mean, yes, when I went vegan/health-nut and began hula hooping, I did intend for my weight to drop... but not quite so dramatically. Granted, my weight did not change until a good 9 months into the whole vegan thing after I began to really get good at hula hooping. I have a waist again! It's amazing.
So, why do I do it? I got into hula hooping because of my aunt Kim. She's basically the only other Queen of Awesome I've ever met. She's a nurse in the baby wing of one or two hospitals, a midwife, a mother, a wife, etc. She started hula hooping and got really into it. Now, she owns quite a few LED hoops, mini-hoops, poi, and she may have begun fire-hooping as well. It's really amazing to watch her do her thing, and when I started hooping I began going to her and my uncle for advice on how to get where I wanted to be. I'm not quite there yet, and I've got some retraining to do this Spring, but I'm excited all the same.
As for going vegan... I went vegan because I'm a "be nice to your neighbor" kind of girl. I read a book that sprung information I'd been trying to avoid all of my life about how the animals are killed before they're processed. Yeah, I'm just not into that. Let's bludgeon you on the back of your head and see how you like it... So, I take it upon myself to not do harm to animals, even by extension. I don't want anyone to harm an animal on my behalf. So, I went vegetarian at first and I managed to love the lifestyle. Then, I took out dairy and egg just to see if I could do it. And now I'm at the point where I check for weirdly named byproducts on my labels - be it food, shampoo, or lotion. I actually love the high-maintenance part of my diet because it restricts me from a lot. And, although I don't have the self-restraint and willpower to go through with a lot of things, I somehow manage to have just enough to tell myself that no, I do not need to eat that donut.
So, I'm going to try to tell you my story as it goes along. Not necessarily of weight loss, or how to live a healthy life, but just the fun part of being who I am. Maybe I'll even include some links to some really awesome recipes that I've come across. At the moment, I don't know. Let's just wing it.