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Day 260 Embracing my inner VEGAN

Saturday, December 01, 2012

My choice to be vegan is based on many ethical and personal health reasons. But the actual 'choice' - the action involved in the 'choosing', is all about how I believe in myself enough to follow my dreams. Being TODAY who I dream to be.

Today I finally embraced the vegan in me. This vegan has been dancing around inside of me for well over a decade. I never fully cut out some things from my diet, like the choice to have cheese. I love cheese. But like most other dairy products, it doesn't like me. And it's a trigger food.

I had slowly cut eggs out of my diet also - not purposely, just stopped wanting them. And slowly with out realising it, I was living as an 'almost vegan'. Honey in my chai the only thing I was having. But I have my agave syrup now (which is yum, btw).

Today I thought I would 'label' myself vegan. December 1st 2012. I hate labels, so I'm just as happy to not be called one. BUT I have to say, when out at a restaurant or something, it's easier to say I'm a vegan, than to give a list of what I don't eat. (sometimes I have to do that anyway) After my experience yesterday (see below) I AM going to call myself vegan, to the world. Even though it's not really a big deal (or shouldn't be) to anyone but me.

Today I thought I'd be excited. Elated that I have finally 'publicly' hopped from my seat on the vegetarian/vegan fence. No, I find myself grieving, and a little fearful.

This grieving layer is not the part of me where my values/ethics and sense of wellbeing reside. The grieving and fearful part is the binging little wounded child who can't trust herself that she'll survive without her favorite comfort foods.

I'm spending most of the day reminding myself respectfully to breathe. That everything shall be okay.

By the way. Yesterday I told a friend what I was doing. Without asking me how long I'd been considering this (my ethics), without reminding herself just how much study I'd done in the past in natural therapies and nutrition (my understanding), without stopping to think what this might mean to me (my journey), I received an exclamation and a lecture on the health properties of eggs and WHY on earth would I give up such a 'gift'?

Her response surprised and saddened me. I can still feel it in my chest. (she apologised later) Because I am trying real hard to learn to trust myself around food issues (regardless of which foods I eat), and because I KNOW how much self doubt has crippled my life, I NEED to know that my friends support my choices. I need to know that they believe in me. That there wasn't a 'right' or 'wrong' to my choice. But I did get judged. I was 'told' that I was wrong.

I resolved that telling my friends isn't safe. So I was going to keep this a big secret and make sure I don't put myself in this position again.


Eating disorders are secret disorders. Most of us binge in secret, purge in secret, obsess in secret, break diets in secret. You don't really know just how much we can put away in a day, and how much of our income is spent on food and food related activities, or how much our famililes are affected by our behaviours. You don't really know how much shame we daily carry over this. Making myself as open as possible - as vulnerable as I can manage - is part of my journey to believing in myself. It's not for my friend's sake nor for your sake but for mine.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm glad that you are doing what your heart tells you.
    emoticon emoticon
    1898 days ago
    Good luck with your new choice to live a vegan lifestyle! emoticon
    1906 days ago
  • DALID414
    Follow your heart.
    1906 days ago
    I loved your blog my friend and am so glad that you made the decision to go vegan. I to love my cheese and think you are so brave to forgo it. I will watch your progress with admiration. Go for it my friend.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1906 days ago
    I loved this blog, and for what it's worth you have my full support! I made the decision to go vegan 15 months ago [i was vegetarian for 27 years] and I'm so happy I did for a variety of reasons.

    I'm sorry that you had that experience with your friend, but she did apologize. I had a couple of those too.

    If I can help you veganize anything, just ask! Just check out my blog--I don't deprive myself of anything!
    1906 days ago
    Good for you! It is your body and your choice. I have a friend who is a vegetarian, who does not make a big deal out of it. The folks who make a big deal are those who are uncomfortable ( and usually on the heavy side). Since you have determined that this is right and good for you continue to GO FOR IT! emoticon
    1906 days ago
    I love the idea of living through the fear instead of living with regret. Great motto!
    1906 days ago
    I'm proud of you for making a firm decision on something you have been thinking about. Friends and family may just not understand and their confusion sometimes comes across as recjection and denial.

    Nobody understands what it is like to walk in your shoes. My daughter struggles with bulimia. She's doing very well now but I understand it will always be a struggle and all I can do is support her when she needs it.

    You respected yourself today and took a big step. Any big step is scary but today is a very good day!!!


    1906 days ago
    You have to make the choices that are right for you. Your friend is living in her fear. It sounds to me as if you have put your fear to bed. Congratulations. This is not another dieting "rule." It is a choice. A choice you're making for your optimal emotional and physical health.

    My mother spent several years as a vegetarian. During part of that time, she was pregnant with my sister. This was in the mis 70's. Her Dr. fussed and lectured her, but she remained steadfast. He ran blood work on her during one of her appointments and came back, telling her there was a problem. They would have to take more blood and rerun the tests. In disbelief, he told her she had the "best blood" he had ever seen. then proceeded to lecture her some more on how bad vegetarianism was for her unborn child. However, the proof was in the blood. (and my sister turned out just fine!)
    1906 days ago
  • SHOES17
    I am a Pescetarian. I rarely tell people I just avoid the foods not included in my diet. People still tend to look at me when I order something and say, "Hold the meat." I admire you.

    1906 days ago
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