Editor’s Note: This is my personal account only, and not intended to serve as health/medical advice; as always, however, I would love to hear your opinions 🙂
After ‘cleansing’ and detoxing from the Standard American Diet, many who make the jump to vegetarianism report improved well-being – from increased energy and clearer skin, to better digestion and other amazing benefits.
As for me, however, it wasn’t quite the fairytale when it comes to my ‘picture of health.’
For one thing, my face looks like it would have at age 13 if I had gone through a severe acne phase; only, I never really did, so I guess now I get to experience it; lucky me, right? Ugh. I read that this happens to some transitioning vegans because diet changes might be shifting to more processed carbs and refined sugars and whatnot, but I feel like I added a whole lot more fresh foods than I consumed before. It could be a issue with soy or maybe a zinc deficiency – and you know, after just a month, I cannot even be sure if all the blame is on the diet. What I do know, however, is that I feel pretty unattractive, as vain as that sounds.
Next, as I pointed out in my first veganmonth recap, I was constantly hungry. And you know what, I really have only myself to blame for this one, since I could have avoided this by making sure I always had appropriate snacks with me, but sometimes, I just didn’t take the extra few minutes to pick up extra items at the store or throw a few extra packs of nuts or a larabar into my purse when leaving for work; and once I got to work, there were no options for me so I would just drink more water and wait it out until I could eat something at home.
Lastly – and probably most importantly (as well as the reason I am ending this chapter as timely as planned) is the fact that I just didn’t feel…well…myself! I didn’t have as much energy, I was quick to just admit defeat at restaurants (there are only so many side salads one can order) and last night, as hubs and I finally made our way back home, I fainted as we waited for a taxi. You could probably argue that it was just an unfortunate mix of running from one end of O’Hare + not enough sleep + whatever else, but I don’t really think it’s a coincidence that a possible low-blood sugar/dehydration event occurred just as I was questioning whether or not veganism meshes with my life.
See, this goes to show just another example of how I believe that everything happens for a reason. I do not regret – even a smidgen – this challenge and its corresponding ups and downs. Were there hard days? Yes! And were there days that went so smoothly I thought that I could sustain the title of a vegan forever? Oh, but of course!
You see, I embarked upon this challenge to learn; as stepping into the shoes of another, I believe, is the best way to understand a process or decision. I am thankful for the support I received from friends, family, and the blogosphere/twitterverse more than I can express – for, as many asked me, why would I even think about doing this during the holidays!?
And you know what, while I might not feel 100 percent today, physically – I feel great emotionally and psychologically about it all. I wasn’t a perfect vegan, and I admit that, but I accept that, too. Life is too short to be absorbed by labels and I will bring with me the lessons of animal welfare, sustainability in farming and organic produce – my life is forever changed! I do believe in the importance of a more plant-based diet for the world, but along with that, I don’t want to be ‘that person’ that takes 25 minutes to order a ‘safe’ salad.
(And if you made it this far into the post…you’re another person I’d like to thank. So thank you!)
Seriously, though. 🙂
Have you ever made a big decision that you knew would result in you both gaining and losing friends/support?
AND If you’re interested: