Earth Day, April 22, 2017 was the day I went vegan. Prior to that, I had been a vegan & vegetarian dabbler since the age of 18. I was mostly vegan, except when I got invited to this party and there was cheese in the appetizer (oh well, I’ll restart tomorrow), but wait, I need to drop weight fast for this race so let’s try bone broth and bulletproof coffee (yuk…what on earth was I thinking), yes, I am definitely vegan, but if I go gluten free won’t I starve to death, so I cheat, but now that I’ve watched Cowspiracy I understand that it’s not just about me, and holy cow I just ran a 50K and got smoked by the vegan founder of Farm Sanctuary, and finally met some other vegans, and I’ve meditated, and asked myself who I am and who I want to be for the rest of my life, and began to feel compassion for the Earth and all animals, and slowly the decision was made. I would go vegan. All In. Even if I craved other food, or felt deprived, or gained weight, or ran slower. I was willing to risk it because in my heart I knew that this is who I am and what I care about more than superficial personal gains.
So today is August 22, 2017, and it is my 4 month Veganniversary. I am 10 pounds heavier, my running is slower, and I am slightly tired. But wait, this is not a post about bashing veganism, or quitting, because I am loving the healing (mental, emotional, and physical) that is taking place, and I am not about to stop. Ever. In fact, I’d like to thank veganism for getting real and setting me straight on the truth.
The truth is, even if I longingly gaze upon Instagram images of hair flips in infinity pools in Bali, technicolor fruit platters, and dewy skinned millennials WWOOFING on organic fruit farms in Hawaii, I am still a 40-something living in the suburbs.
The truth is, no matter what the 80/10/10 diet gurus proclaim, I can’t eat as much as I want, or maybe more accurately, some people don’t feel satisfied as easily as others when it comes to eating. And yes, I am one of those people and sometimes I overeat.
The truth is, I am fully capable of running raw, but that doesn’t mean I will run fast or be able to see my abs any time soon.
The truth is, I am not a minimalist when it comes to food. I’m overcomplicated, I overspend, and sometimes making my own food still feels overwhelming.
But the truth is, I have never been happier. I am finally living in alignment with my values, and after some pouting and anger, and more than a few internal tantrums, I have accepted that the key to success in veganism lies in understanding what is enough. Enough food, but not excess. Enough passion, but not militancy. Enough commitment, but not isolation. Enough progress, but not perfection. As I slowly learn the process of recognizing enough, my weight and my mood and my fitness will return to equilibrium. And I’ll be in a much better place than I’ve ever been before.
Thank you for the life lesson, veganism. I’m glad I didn’t blame you or walk away. I’m glad I had the wisdom to turn within when I didn’t experience instant success. I’m glad there is a passionate vegan online community to turn to for answers when I’m struggling. I’m so glad to call myself a vegan now.