If I am completely honest, I have been a yo-yo dieter for most of my adult life. That’s all well and good when you’re in your twenties or even your early thirties, but that kind of lifestyle can play havoc on your body later down the line.
I’m fast approaching forty-three, and my eating habits are no better now, that they were two decades ago.
Just over two years ago, I thought I had the situation in hand. I was eating the right kinds of food, running five days a week and cycling almost every day. I felt great, wonderful even. Part of the reason being that I was no longer eating wheat, gluten, dairy and had completely cut out empty carbohydrates. Pasta is certainly not my friend. With these changes to my lifestyle, I had increased energy, was more focused and didn’t always feel tired. Another positive side effect, the dark circles under my eyes had gone, and my skin looked and felt amazing.
Fast forward a year and in a few short months, I had undone all my hard work and was back to feeling lethargic. I had gained all the weight I had previously lost and was miserable.
Now, you may be wondering why does this have anything to do with choosing a vegan diet and I promise I will get to that.
For the last six months or so, I have realized that if I have any hope of returning to my normal weight of 112 lbs, I am going to have to think long-term where my eating habits are concerned and that it will require some pretty significant sacrifices from me in return. Gluten, wheat, and dairy are a big no-no, I know how my body feels with and without it. In my house, we all do drink other milk forms, rice, almond, hazelnut, and soy. My local supermarket does dairy free butter, cheese, and many other products, so I am ready to go there.
So why remove meat from my diet, if I’ve eliminated the foods that are causing the problems? The simple answer is, it’s not enough.
Realistically I have always been borderline vegetarian and as a family, we do eat a lot of meat substitutes such as soy mince, but in my case, it has more to do with how I felt when I ate meat. And I don’t mean the taste. I love the taste of a bacon sandwich, a medium rare steak with pepper sauce, or even a thick wrapped chicken fajita would make my mouth water. Unfortunately, that is not where the problems lie. Every time I put meat in my mouth, I have to trick my brain into believing that I am not eating a once a living, breathing animal, an animal that could have lived in one of the many farms around me. However, there is only so much time you can live with that illusion, and it has finally come to a head.
For example, a week ago, I was eating half of a prepackaged ham and cheese sandwich from a local food retailer, I took one bite out of it and looked down at the box. There staring back at me was an image of a pig with wings. I couldn’t eat it. I took the ham out and finished that half, (I know, I shouldn’t have eaten the cheese either) but couldn’t eat the other half. That was the turning point for me. Within a few hours, I was on Amazon ordering vegan books and researching vegan diets on the Internet.
Are you going to turn into one of those crazy vegan warriors who believes that all will suffer eternal damnation if you eat meat or animal products? No, my choices are just that, my choices. Just because I have chosen a meat-free path doesn’t mean others should. It must always be about what is best for you, your life and your family, not about what others think you should be doing.
Where do I go from here? I am currently at my heaviest at 168lb with at least 50lbs to lose. So, I need to start making changes now. The Sci-Mx Protein powder I have been using for years, unfortunately, contains milk, so that has to go and I have found an alternative to the protein shakes I would eat for breakfast/lunch. I signed up to Natural Blender. A smoothie subscription service that sends a week supply of fresh fruit/vegetables/grains etc. to make delicious, filling smoothies packed with the right amount of carbohydrate/protein/fat ratios. Vegan & gluten free. I am looking forward to giving this a go when my first box arrives on Saturday. Plus, I had a £10 off voucher on my first box!
I don’t pretend to think that this change won’t take time, it will, and I am positive I will stumble along the way. However, if I want to feel better and look healthy, it is going to be worth it.
Next week, I will post my progress over the course of the week. Let me know your thoughts or if any of your have any vegan suggestions, please let me know by either leaving a comment below or on any of the social media links.
I’m off to check on the Vegan minestrone that I’ve made and is currently simmering away in the Crockpot.
And on a sort of related note: I also signed up for a coffee subscription service from pactcoffee.com, my first order should arrive tomorrow; I will talk about it more in “Real Life Wednesday’s” blog post.