I’d like to say that these last ten days have been easy, that I’ve enjoyed myself and that it’s going really well.
But I’d be lying.
As much as I hate to admit this the last five days, in particular, I’ve felt like I’ve hit a brick wall.
I haven’t slipped up in terms of any food, as far as I know, but that is only part of the journey. The rest of it is like a massive wall I’m scaling with no end in sight. Some people, on the various support pages online are having great fun. I however feel constantly bloated, am getting sick of the sight of vegetables (like that should ever happen), and am feeling rather agitated by it all.
January is possibly the worst time to be doing this. I know my overall state of mind is being hindered by the weather outside which is emphasising every small issue I come across when I go to eat something. If we were in March it would be slightly easier, if nothing else I could be growing vegetables at the same time as eating them to feel more connected to the reasons of having taken this challenge up.
Personally, I think this is a hard challenge. To go from a meat eating, dairy sucking, chocolate chomping lifestyle to one that now has nothing but plant based food in it is a tall order. I desperately need a day when I say “f*ck it, I’m going to eat this chocolate and tomorrow I’ll get back to it again”. I say that because that’s what I’ve done with all my other change in habits. I’m human, not a robot, sometimes you fall off the wagon, it happens and then you get straight back on but this is relentless! I’m pushing my body hard on this and it’s pushing me back in return which is in no-way a good place to be. I don’t want to be at the point of feeling that I detest this challenge.
One thing that has really got to me over the last couple of weeks is the constant and rather bewildering array of items that as a vegan you would never eat or touch including wool, beer and some biscuits. I feel like aside from the food I’m having to learn a new language about life in general. Problem is it’s less about living and more about lifestyle. We live in a culture that basically involves a hell of a lot of animal exploitation that is generally accepted because it’s regarded as normal, regular and instilled by people like me who don’t know about it. It’s depressing.
Oh and also, trying to be vegan around family member is also mildly frustrating. They are carrying on as normal and I’m looking at life in a completely different way. Not only that but there is now twice the washing up which just adds to my annoyance!
Okay, I’ve just read all the above and it sounds too negative. I’ve probably just given anyone that scoffs being vegetarian or vegan enough fuel for a year. So let me balance this out a bit.
- I know habit changes are hard in the beginning. Taking up exercise regularly was hard but now it’s not. Learning computer skills was hard at first but now it’s easier. Writing this blog was hard when I first started but now it’s something I do because I want to. So I need to really cope with this better. Time, it just takes time and knowing this particular feeling(s) will pass.
- It’s a lot of change in a small period of time but the bottom line is, I am still doing this challenge for the right reasons. I set myself a task to become 100% vegetarian (that looks like a holiday), and to complete Veganuary. Each day is a step towards the lifestyle I wish to make for myself.
- There is still 1,000s of vegan recipes I need to try. I’m only touching the surface with meals.
- Our weekly food bill has dropped dramatically and I’m happy with that!
- I’m developing as a person. It might not be the easiest way of doing it but self-development rarely is. I know that because when I started jogging I hit bricks walls all the time. Somewhere along the line I was going to leave my comfort zone. Once I realise this, identify where I am, I can begin to carry on.
- The reasons why I am doing this still hold up. Ethically I couldn’t kill an animal so why would I get someone else to do it for me? If I could justify the suffering of another animal for my bacon sandwich then I’d have dropped this challenge last weekend but I can’t, so I didn’t. In fact I felt quite ‘odd’ walking down the meat isle in the supermarket last week, something that has never happened to me before.
- I’m still eating crap (crisps and chips) but I’ve cut down on sugar and I haven’t felt hungry once so far on this challenge. Needless to say I do need to cut out the processed crap but come on, give me a break here!
Would I still recommend anyone else taking up this challenge. Yes, most definitely but if your reason for doing it is purely your health there are levels of eating healthy that I still believe can be achieved eating meat/fish. Paleo is still 100% better than the average Western diet of processed sh*t. It would be very easy to become 100% unhealthy vegetarian and that is something to be avoided at all costs.
Unless you try these things you won’t know. Everyone I’ve chatted with changed to a vegan lifestyle for all sorts of reasons. Ethical, health, environmental. It doesn’t matter as long as it is important to you and right now this may be the hardest thing I’m working on but it matters to me.