When people find out that I am a vegetarian, there are usually a lot of questions and sometimes statements. "How do you get your protein?" "I could never give up meat." Every now and then I get "are you vegetarian or vegan?" and that one makes me perk up. The person who asks this question has done a little homework. I was asked this question just this week, and my answer was "depends on the week, this week, I am vegan."
My return to veganism came about for many reasons. A brief history of my dietary choices may be helpful at this point. In December 2005 I saw myself on a video and was shocked at how big I had become. I decided to do something about it, and in January 2006 I began a low fat diet. It was during this time we visited some friends, the wife of the family being a bosom companion and, at the time, was vegetarian. I observed her eating patterns, compared them to mine, and decided eliminating meat would help me reach my weight loss goals. After about a month, I decided to try veganism. I lost 50 lbs. and continued to live vegan.
About a year ago, I was ready to lose more weight. About 15 lbs. had found it's way back into my life, and I was not happy! I thought I might reintroduce low fat cheese and eggs in an effort to avoid so many carbs- not vegan choices, but it worked. I was able to lose 40 lbs. Now, here we are.
Cheese is wonderful and sinful. I must purge it from my life. I need rules and guidelines, or I slip. Thus, I began Operation Return to Veganism on January 27, 2011. But, I am troubled by my need to lose weight and fit into a mold of perfection. Who has set this idea in my head? No one but me. It is fine to eat well and exercise in an effort to be healthy, but what if I don't lose any more weight? What happens then? Why is it so important to me and to society?
This takes me on another spin. I find the trends in weight loss alarming and somewhat disturbing, even though I have fallen victim to desiring many of these very trends! Why must we all strive to be perfect? No one can attain it! There is so much beauty in diversity- all shapes and colors.
Being vegan makes me happy, and I feel fabulous. That is important. Exercise can be fun (though sometimes it is awful), and if I am using my body for hard work, nourishing it, and taking time to meditate and de-stress, I will be a better person. I may not be thin (I won't be thin), but I will be happy.
(Now, everytime I feel defeated, I need to read my own words! LOL)