Closet Full of Colors

For almost twenty years of my adult life, I was obese. (I was also “chubby” as a kid, but won’t go there today.)

Obesity not only robbed me of health, vitality, and quality of life, it literally zapped colors right out of my life; not only deleting colorful food from my plate, but colorful clothing from my closet as well.

Over the years I invested in a few pieces of plus-size garments in the color black: a pair of black, stretch pants, a few black t-shirts, a black-patterned blouse, a black sweater, and a black jacket or two. Sometimes, rarely, a slight shade of gray was thrown into the mix, creating a rather dreary palette.

In fact, I had a “uniform” for all public events that I attended; my standard outfit consisted of a pair of size 3x black, stretch pants, and a black tank top with a lightweight, black-patterned blouse thrown over it. I wore it fall, winter, spring, and summer; even on the hottest, most sultry days of summer. It was suffocating, but it shielded glaring eyes from noticing my obesity. Of course, I always adorned myself with an artsy piece of jewelry so that people could focus on it, and not my size.

Gradually, over the course of this past year, as I got my health back, my closet started to change also, until one morning this past spring, I noticed an entire palette of beautiful and refreshing colors peaking out from its hangers. Pink. White with stripes. Sky blue. Aqua. Peach. Golden yellow. Light green. Lavender.

Black is beautiful, but becomes dreary when it’s the only color. An even drearier life. Terrible grammar, I know. But I don’t care. My closet is symbolic of the pretty colors flowing in my life now, and nothing else matters. No joking.

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Comments (21) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Josef - August 4, 2009 11:05 AM

Emily, can we hear more stories about you that bear little or no relevance to, again what is an otherwise focused and informative blog?

These personal perspectives do little to broaden appeal of the blog or spread helpful information; personal biographies are obviously relevant to you but provide little more then a "commercial break" on this blog. I suppose I do not understand how your contributions add value to this blog. Your dissertations would be better suited towards a Facebook or MySpace.

I believe I'll avoid your articles going forward and stick to Gerry's pieces.

Hanlie - August 4, 2009 11:31 AM

I know exactly what you mean... The fatter I got the darker and drearier my wardrobe got. And black is not even my color. I have made a firm decision never to wear black again and am wearing out the remaining black items (shoes and bags too!) in my wardrobe. I'm an emerging butterfly!

Elijah Lynn - August 4, 2009 12:24 PM

I am sure many people will relate to your story Emily and although I wasn't overweight before and was not anywhere near your physical state, I must say that I wore pretty bland clothes before I started my nutritarian lifestyle. Somehow I have started wearing a bit more color now. Maybe it is because of all those Carotenoids in my body! I still have a ways to go though since my taste in style shows at times but at least I have started caring now!

When our skin changes color from a pale white to skin with color then maybe we just feel better and decide to improve our image in other ways as well. Maybe we just start caring about our bodies more, in all aspects!

At the opposite spectrum of your story, in the world of a skinny guy trying to live in a world of large men I was actually acquiring larger clothes to mask my thinness (subconciously). I finally realized I wasn't fooling anybody and have started replacing all my large clothes with clothes that actually fit! I now notice that many men in our American society wear oversized clothes just as I did.

It is my opinion that they do so because their own social zeitgeist tells them that it is more socially appropriate for men to be larger and bulkier. I also think that many men also associate wearing tighter fitting clothes with being more feminine and are a bit homophobic at times. I think women like to see a man's body just the same as we like to see theirs.

Go figure, go body, go color!

vegan charity - August 4, 2009 2:12 PM

I agree with josef. Emily you see like a nice lady, but this isn’t for you. This is a blog, which I thought was about science. I am a vegan and I like to hear about how meat is bad and vegetables are good. Your posts are very much selfabsorbed and off topic. When I see your name I will pass up your articles. Sorry

Adam - August 4, 2009 2:43 PM

Emily, I'm very glad that you've conquered some of your personal demons, which is a laudable goal. However, at Disease Proof I'm interested in the process and the methodology - the science - I can witness the results myself in my own improved wellness.

Again, there is a place for testimonials - but I don't think you need to cheerlead for the nutrarian diet so much - so much as help give us advice on how to fit our nutrarian lifestyle into a modern world full of hectic schedules and toxic processed foods.

Maybe there's a place for both, but I strongly prefer Gerry who always gives me the latest health news, along with informational tidbit. I just don't want those types of informative posts to be drowned out by personal introspection.

Thanks for listening.

carfree - August 4, 2009 4:17 PM

There is nothing wrong with Emily's posts, and in fact, they are a nice perspective from one who has succeeded. I don't understand all the hostility! The negative posts all seem to be from the same person writing under different names. So, sure, if you're so sensitive , skip Emily's posts, already. There's no need to get aggressive about it. Many of us like her posts, and she has obviously generated more interest than previously on this blog. (But I love you too, Gerry).

Carfree since '93

Those who object to the term "nutritarian" are reading the wrong blog, and showing your ignorance.

aunt cia - August 4, 2009 4:33 PM

Emily, thanks for posting. I always believed that a blog should be informational and thought provoking. I love having different styles in here and I also think that what info we get from you is this: there is hope for the sick, the obese, the ignorant. Your story helps us to see both sides of the spectrum. Keep it up. As for the rest of you paint by number readers out there...is green the only color you know? Why are you so insistent on style? I cannot imagine how boring your lives must be if you live in such small boxes! Give 'er a break!

raspberryclover - August 4, 2009 5:03 PM

I'm so tired of reading all of these negative comments about Emily! I for one happen to like her posts much better than those Gerry writes. In fact, I frequently skip over his! Those who seem to think that a blog can only take one particular form are quite mistaken--The whole point of blogging is to have the freedom to share whatever you have to say with whoever wants to read it. If you don't care for someone's writing, don't read it! Start your own blog!

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) - August 4, 2009 9:20 PM

I had the exact same transition! Have a look at my colourful array: http://meghantelpnerblog.com/2009/03/29/soapy-nuts/

Sara - August 4, 2009 11:12 PM

Lighten up guys. This "serious" blog has banana hunts, cartoons, veggie characters. And you complain about Emily's posts? Some like it some don't. Personal preference. No blog police are necessary. Skip what you don't like. I love wearing colors now that I can. Many of us can relate. I celebrate being able to wear attractive clothes. Many of us worked hard for our health and weight loss. It is serious but it does not mean we have to be dour. Nice clothes is one more incentive though certainly not the most important. Sometimes it just makes it easier to persevere.

Emily Boller - August 5, 2009 3:38 AM

I love your "kitchen full of colors" image Meghan! Love it ~ keep up the great work!

Elijah, you gave us a perspective on being thin and wearing baggy clothes that I'm sure many of us had never thought about before. It sounds like your closet is slowly transforming also!

It's truly amazing how much, whether consciously or subconsiously, we express ourselves through colors.

Eating to live, and eating for health not only changed my body from much physical suffering and pain, it truly did bring color back into my life again.

May we all continue to make wise choices that bring nourishment and health to our bodies!

Colleen - August 5, 2009 6:25 AM

Let's consider the sub-title of this blog before we go much further--"Eat Smart Live Happy". Nothing about science or no testimonials or anything else but eating smart and BEING HAPPY. I agree that some need to work on being less self-absorbed, but it isn't Emily. How about letting us read what we enjoy without being so nasty? And try a smile once in awhile with your veggies!

Lizzie - August 5, 2009 9:14 AM

Sara. To me. The diferences between the banana and other stuff on this blog and emily's posts is that stuff is light hearted. Where this emily character seems to think she is special. Taking her self very serious. I agree wtih others in other comments, her writing detracts from the overall information here. thats probably why so many blogreaders have been commenting about her (this is my first comment ever] If somethign is not broke why fix it? why does dr Furhman want this sort of writing here

Donna - August 5, 2009 9:40 AM

I have to agree with alot of the others. These new posts by the new writer are not very good. Is she a celebrity or something? Why should we care about her every little story? I don’t like people who glow about themselves. It is a turnoff.

CClakersfan - August 6, 2009 1:14 AM

What is this supposed to mean!?! I don't care about your closet and your clothes. I want health and science news. Not blabber from an obessed fan. This is junk. Thats why so many people have been annoyed with the blog lately.

Janey cakes - August 6, 2009 1:30 AM

Sorry emily. I'm with the negative comments here. Your stuff only appeals to the member center folks on drfuhrman.com.

It has no mass appeal. I agree with the cult analogy. Its a turn off. Plus I think the name nutriatiran is silly. It sounds bizarre and nondescriptive.

For example, everything has nutrients. even meat and bacon. So someone who eats that stuff could also call themself a nutriatrian. I know Dr. F is all about vegetables, so why not something like near-vegetarian. That is more to the point.

Emily hav you ever taken a writing class. could help you out.

I don't know just some food for thought.

aunt cia - August 6, 2009 7:06 AM

It's interesting what one finds when one goes looking. To put it nicely: there are personal stories on this blog. Check out Gerry's story. That I found pretty personal. And informative. And inspirational. And scientific, in a personal sort of way. It's great to hear others stories and learn that it can be done, it has been done, and then: it will be done again, by me! (another personal reference.) Life is personal. Good health is personal. Emily, and Gerry at times, and others stick their necks out to make that point. Thanks to all you great writers who take the time to blog for others to read and learn.

Michael - August 6, 2009 9:11 AM

For the record, Emily did not come up with the term nutritarian, that is from Dr. Fuhrman. I agree it is not a very good term to use. I don't think there is a single term that will adequately define the high nutrient aspect of this eating style.

Elijah Lynn - August 6, 2009 11:29 AM

The word nutritarian rocks!!!

Check out this page - http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/are-you-a-nutritarian.aspx

Near-vegetarian is a poor word as well as vegan and vegetarian. Most vegans and vegetarians are just as unhealthy as all the junkatarians and saddies.

aunt cia - August 6, 2009 3:34 PM

nutritarian is the best word I've heard of yet...it's true that being a vegetarian or vegan has nothing to do with consuming highly nutritious foods. And it's true that bacon and meat have nutrients and will serve you well if you are a carnivore. To my knowledge the human body isn't designed to handle eating alot of meat as the carnivorous animals do. The bottom line (at the end of all this bickering and banter) is: eat your veggies! And be a nutritarian.

Claudia - August 7, 2009 11:43 PM

Hi Emily,

Thank you for sharing your celebration of life! I think it is important to celebrate the things that we have to be thankful for in life, and all the great possibilities that life holds. It is important for people who are struggling to know about your triumphs, and the rewards that this diet-style can bring. In the toxic food environment that surrounds us, its easy to fall back into old habits, but, as the saying goes, 'if you do what you always did, you'll get what you always got'.

As for myself, I can totally relate, because this diet-style has brought color into my world as well. Previously, I was eating the 'McDougall' diet, and with all the starches (potato, rice, bread, etc.) my meals had gotten pretty colorless, and my skin was rather pale and dry. After switching to the ETL diet-style, with the emphasis on all the colorful fruits and vegetables, I saw a total change in my complexion. I didn't look pale and washed out anymore, plus I got down to a weight that made me feel really good. All of a sudden I could wear all sorts of great colors that I wouldn't have been able to wear before, and I love it.

Claudia

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