Monday, May 06, 2013
Fourteen months ago, I went vegan. It didn't happen overnight (it never does) but I lost 20 pounds between March and December.
From December-May, I've gained about 10 pounds back. Here's my post-mortem of why.
1. Emotional Stuff. I went through some bad !ish in December, and the aftermath of dealing with all the emotional eating took its toll. I am a million times better equipped to handle this stuff than I used to be, but still, when there are cookies and potato chips and all sorts of things around, I indulged 'to feel better'. Truth be told, it really wasn't to feel better, but because it was an excuse to eat things I know I shouldn't be eating. It got out of hand.
2. Complacency. I've said from the beginning of this journey that I'm about 90% vegan. I knew that with the way I travel and the places I go that a pure vegan diet would be extremely difficult, so I allowed myself some leeway to go vegetarian should veganism prove too difficult. Instead what happened was 'well it's Paris, of course I should have a croissant.' 'It's Brussels, of course I should have that chocolate.' 'Sure, I'm home, but everyone else is having pizza.' I'm proud that that last one only happened once, but still, it was proving to be far too slippery of a slope. There are times when vegan = iceberg lettuce, and I'd rather have a veggie burger that uses egg as a binder than starve to death. But I can do better here, when 90% vegan turned into 80% vegan. I'm doing this for my health, for the animals, and for the environment. I need to keep that in mind.
3. Vegan Junk Food. In the beginning, it was easy to be healthful and vegan. So many veggies! Fruits! Beans! Whole grains! But then I discovered that Oreos are vegan. So are potato chips. So are Justin's dark chocolate peanut butter cups. This list kept growing and I took advantage of every 'loophole' I could find. That needs to stop.
I just got back from two weeks in the Caribbean, which is far from known for being vegan-friendly. I did the best I could, but I did have quite a few vegetarian meals. Now I'm home and in the US until July. I have one trip to the Outer Banks in NC where it will be difficult to stay vegan, but otherwise I'll either be home or Chicago, both of which are totally doable on the vegan scale.
I went to the store Saturday just after I got home and bought tons of vegan food, transformed some of those yummy ingredients into a mushroom and spinach strata and a delicious lentil salad to eat all week, and I'm sitting here snacking on my hummus and pita bread.
I sometimes forget how much BETTER I feel putting solid fuel into my body instead of a bunch of processed crap. There's a physical difference in my energy level, my quality of sleep, etc., and a mental difference in knowing what I'm doing is good for me, good for the animals, and good for the environment.
IOW ... I'm back. I'm re-dedicated to plant-based living. And I'm ready to tackle these 10 pounds, and work on the next 10 after that.