Anyone who really knows me will read this title and say to themselves…”She doesn’t mean what I think she means does she?” Does the girl who dislikes most things green, who recently found out that corn isn’t a vegetable and likes a little lettuce with her dressing really thinking of turning vegan?!?!?!
The answer is…. (drumroll please) YES!
I’ve struggled with my weight for years. I’ve tried just about every diet out there, and I might have enjoyed some success, but ultimately, all the weight came right back and usually a bit more. I am currently the heaviest I’ve ever been, and I’ve added a list of doctors to my health and weight loss seeking resume. I’ve seen an allergist, an internist, a general practitioner and even a hypnotist. I’ve joined weight watchers, e-diets, Atkins, the Zone, the biggest loser, Jenny Craig and read every book I could get my fat and swollen fingers on. I’ve tried a myriad of diet pills, some over the counter, some actually prescribed by doctors. Nothing works.
I know what you are thinking, just eat less and work out more, it’s not rocket science. I’m not looking for a quick fix…not anymore anyway. I understand the science behind losing weight, eat less and burn more. The problem to my way of thinking is that I’ve so polluted and abused my body over the years, that it’s in a state of permanent confusion. Plus, I feel like crap. My mood swings make me feel like Linda Blair from the Exorcist on steroids! There are months when I literally thought I was bleeding out (sorry about that visual), my cycles are so messed up. I’ve gotten where I name my pimples because I feel we’ve become such good friends. My ankles are swollen, my back hurts, I suffer horribly from allergies and headaches, and I’m getting to where I need a rocket launcher to help me off the couch. I have zero energy most days, and I won’t even go into my sex life. Put it this way…my husband has been researching topics like “does virginity grow back” and “sex…it really is like riding a bike”.
I trained for a 15k recently, and I completed it. It almost killed me and I cried the last 2 miles and if a cop had passed me, I have no doubt I would have thrown myself on his hood and begged for mercy. But I did it! After months of training, I only lost 10lbs. Which may seem like a victory for some, but my caloric intake was under 1500 calories and I was working out 5-7 days per week, and over a period of 6 months only lost 10lbs!!!!! And I still felt like crap. It was demoralizing.
There has to be a better way…right? You hear all the time about making a lifestyle change, not a diet, but what does that even really mean?
My two oldest daughters have signed up to follow me on this daunting task of going vegan. Their energy levels are low, and my oldest suffers from horrible cramps and heavy periods. We spend hours each year going to see a dermatologist and nothing seems to help give each of us clear and beautiful skin. I don’t want to leave them with a legacy of my poor eating habits, health issues and weight problems. Sure they are tiny little munchkins now, but so was I…once.
I can’t get my husband or youngest daughter on board, but a few weeks of my new “propaganda” might win them over. My husband has been known to give in, just to shut me up (if you knew me, you would empathize). Of course, this battle could be won with a simple “yes dear, you may get another tattoo.” My son is too young to say yay or nay, but he will benefit indirectly without even knowing it.
I bought the book “The Kind Diet” by Alicia Silverstone, and I have to say, I’ve found it very eye-opening. Do I really want to eat something that’s been fed euthanized cats and dogs? Or that stands around all day in a pile of its own muck and poo? Am I okay with pigs being hit over the head with bricks or baby male chicks fed through a meat grinder while still alive? Is this tree hugging, granola nut, extremist propaganda? Does it matter? Not to me, the thought of it is enough to turn me off meat, and if that didn’t do it, or if I could convince myself that it is nothing more than left-wing nut propaganda, I can’t get the image out of my head that my intestines are 70 feet long and it takes meat 72 hours to work its way thru my digestive system at a body temp of 98.6 degrees! I might as well slap a piece of chicken on the sidewalk in the middle of summer for 3 days and then eat it. How’s that for a visual!
I’ve begged my husband to let me get a pet pig, yet I’ll eat bacon and ham! Look up hypocrite in the dictionary and my picture might be posted there.
So what’s the worst that can happen, I try vegan like I’ve tried everything else, and it doesn’t work either? At least I know I’ll poo more regularly in the interim, eating more fruits and vegetables isn’t going to kill me, and I don’t have the slaughter of cute little chicks, piglets and calves on my conscious. This may sound hokey to many of you, especially those that have been around for all my “fads” but this decision actually feels right to me, in a way I can’t really describe.
I’ve decided to dip a toe into the vegan pool to start, if I go radical off the bat I might scare myself away, and I’m thinking approaching this whole transformation a bit more realistically might be better for me personally. Rome wasn’t built in one day afterall. So I’ll continue walking on my treadmill daily, and I’ve added yoga at night with my 2 girls, but the first official step into Vegan World is….
STEP 1: No Meat!
I am giving up Daisy, Wilbur, Nemo and friends. Wish me luck!
p.s. Naysayers need not apply, I’m not forcing my self-improvement journey on anyone, so please don’t pollute my blog with negative energy!