Size 16 And Migraines And Heartburn, Oh My!

 Eight years ago, I was a size 16 and suffered from debilitating migraines and heartburn. Pepcid and Imitrex were a norm for me.  Like many of you, I was under a great deal of stress, for a number of reasons.  The main reason was that I had just lost my Mom to colon cancer.  It was her second battle with the disease in 8 years.

I was confused as to why my maternal grandparents lived well into their ninety’s while my Mom barely made it to age 68.  Why did my mother suffer and die from such an awful disease while my grandparents passed quietly of, well, old age?  What was different?  I knew the answers, intuitively.

The real question quickly became,  Was I prepared to acknowledge the differences and be disciplined enough to make the necessary changes?

When I was 37, I wore a size 16 and weighed 148 + lbs, give or take 5, (I am 5’ tall).  I acknowledged and respected the fact that we all come in different shapes.  However, the shape I wore at the time, didn’t wear well on me.  I felt unattractive and frequently became winded when I climbed stairs.  Even when these facts and feelings periodically emerged, I looked in the mirror and saw the girl that used to be 90 lbs and truly thought that I was still that size.  When I looked at pictures of myself I saw the true image of my thick, box like body shape with beefy arms.  Who was that woman in my wedding dress?!  It never really stuck in my brain that I was growing up on the weight chain.  Oh yeah, most brides loose weight.  I gained it and had to let my dress out at my last fitting!

Insert my husband, Erik and my weekly trip to the bookstore.  There it was, the book Skinny Bitch, written by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin.  It just kind of fell in my lap.  By chance or by law of attraction, I am not really sure.  I wasn’t looking for a diet.  I wasn’t really looking for anything….or so I thought.

After my husband and I both read it we began to make changes with respect to the foods we consumed.  We did it slowly, methodically and successfully.  The results were immediate. I haven’t experienced a migraine nor have I ever needed Pepcid again.  Our immune system grew stronger and we were sick less compared to our friends and family.  NO joke, NO exaggeration.

Today I am a size 0 and am at my natural weight of 112.  It was an amazing process.  None of it felt like work.  I didn’t exercise at all until recently.  Insane!  I have energy like I did when I was in my early twenties.  I only need 5 or 6 hours of sleep at night.  I feel vibrant, just like the colors that my family and I eat!  If I could bottle and share how I feel I would, but the best thing that I can do is to tell you about it here, and send you to my husband, Erik Horton at

To show you the transformation, here are some photos from our wedding in 2006 and from our 2011 Summer Vacations. The last two photos are from 2015.



 I initially thought I would struggle with this new lifestyle.  The ritual of eating and the food I consumed was how I comforted myself.  I ate more even though I was full, simply because I wanted the taste in my mouth to last longer.

We transitioned to a whole foods, plant based diet.  It took us approximately two years to implement a 100% change.  We do not eat any dairy products or meat. I no longer eat something that contains ingredients that I cannot pronounce.  I stick with the rule of:  If my grandmother wouldn’t eat & didn’t have access to it, it isn’t going into my mouth.

People always ask me, “what do you eat”?  “Where do you get your protein from”?  I eat everything that I want, when I want. Mostly beans, rice, pasta and of course beautiful,                       lush produce, with a heavy organic influence.  I also eat food that is indicative of the season that we are in.  11034317_10204375447801052_864891625030458127_n

I eat what I refer to as peasant food, glorious peasant food!  Our meals are similar to the meals my grandmother used to make for me.  The aroma and savory tastes will blow your socks off, I swear!  I am much more mindful of my eating and appreciate the experience of chewing flavors in a way I didn’t think possible.  The truth be told about protein.  As “vegans”, we probably get more protein than the conventional meat eaters because protein is in every vegetable, fruit and grain.  Our system receives the protein faster because it is broken down easier than if we were to receive it from meat, for example.

When I took the time to think about the changes our food has seen and experienced in the last 50 years, the veil lifted.  One begins to see how our food is built, rather than harvested. I hope that by reading this I’ve encouraged you to peak from out underneath the veil.  This was a choice my family made.  I promote making your own educated decision.

Folks, we are truly what we eat.  This posting refers strictly to our our food intake, but I believe we are what we consume, period.

Be warned.  If you decide to read Skinny Bitch or research other sources to learn more about our food you may become a tad angry with the system of how our food ends up on our plates. Furthermore, I found the language in the book Skinny Bitch to be for mature audiences, for shadowed by its title, effectively.


About The Author

Pamella Horton

As a child, Pamella Horton was a quiet observer who learned in her formative years how to protect her then fragile, inner self with perfection, over achievement, defense, deflection, dismissal and disassociation. Today, she is a blessed woman, entrepreneur, dedicated wife, mother, life enthusiast & athlete who has taken her life experiences and repetitive behaviors both healthy and unhealthy to a place of peace and joy.