For me, going vegan 2 years ago was a not easy. When true foodies tell me their transition to veganism was easy breezey, my immediate thought is LIAR! There is no way you gave up Brie, and milk chocolate and croissants over night! And if they insist that they did I feel a sudden urge to bitch slap the individual! I spent hours hiding food, and eating certain obscene amounts of pizza when I thought no one was looking. The truth was, no one gave a shit how I ate– I needed to give shit…
During my transition I spent a lot of time hiding in my bedroom with a brick of cheese I had purchased earlier that day. Guilt circled my brain as the cheese entered my mouth. It was an interesting time in my life where I could relate to the crack head that greets me every morning. You don’t know why you do it… but when you do, it feels AWESOME, for like 5 mins… then guilt sets in, and you feel defeated. It was one lonely evening after finishing a plate of brie and red pepper jelly that I realized; I had an addiction to food. At this point in my early adulthood, life without cheese and chocolate was not a life worth living.
Was going the vegan the best decision I ever made? Yes! It changed my life, but it was by no means an easy feat. Because I grew up in a vegetarian household; I never enjoyed the taste of meat. I had ditched it years earlier in favor of side dishes smothered in dairy and garlic. After reading about the incredible health benefits of a plant-based diet, along with the environmental and ethical atrocities that come with the production of animal based foods, I declared myself a vegan and only looked back once or twice.
I was sold sure, but I dabbled once in a while. It was not until I saw the benefits of this diet show up on my physical body that I decided. That’s it, I am committed to this. My skin became more radiant and clear, my energy levels are soaring, and I feel mental clarity for the first time in my life. I never want this to go away! Do I drink a little too much sometimes? 100%, but we all have our vices, and everything in moderation is acceptable. However, when you have 4 or 5 of them it is no longer a guilty pleasure, it is a bad habit of a lifestyle you are struggling with. Once I removed the cheese and the butter from my diet, I no longer craved it. After 40 days completely dairy free, the act of putting said item in my mouth grossed the hell out of me. I now know that if I eat dairy the devil himself will exit my body in the least flattering way possible. I also know that after I eat that refined sugar I will have a headache the size of china, so I choose to not do it. This was the start, the obsession, the method behind my madness. We choose how we feel.
Making any change in your life is a struggle; but I promise you, that it is worth it. At the risk of sounding like a corny cliché; you are able to do what you put your mind to, but you have to want it. You have to commit and face it head on, much like quitting smoking, or getting up early. There is no snooze button on your life. Health doesn’t care how many times you delay your alarm clock. When cancer and heart attack knocks on your door you can’t say, Well I was going to be healthy, but I had this thing and I was going to wait until tomorrow. It does not work like that. So do something for yourself today! Even if it means that for just one week you will get out of bed before 11 o clock. Challenge yourself!
Once you know how good you can feel, you will never want to go back to the way you felt before.