I’ve started this blog several times already, each time as a marker to the onset of my vegan whole food lifestyle. These new beginnings always started at night, with that all too familiar feeling of being fed up with being fat and feeling sick and tired. But by all of these post’s next mornings, I somehow forgot all about the motivation, the new beginnings, and the fed up feelings. A new day of cravings had kicked in and that was just about all I could think about.
Although I’ve been a vegetarian for almost twenty years, my near addiction to fat and sugar has taken its toll through weight gain and a host of health issues. With all of these previous failures to go plant-based I would often think in despair that I might never have the willpower to stick with this new lifestyle. But last week something quiet yet dramatic happened: I started a plant-based diet with minimal willpower. How did this happen? I wish I had some amazing discovery to pass on to others in the same boat, but the truth is that things just clicked.
That night I was watching Vegucated, a movie about three New Yorkers starting a vegan diet and learning about the cruel conditions livestock animals experience. At the same time, I was quite distracted from the movie due to strange, aching pains in my chest which radiated down my left arm. Not wanting to seem like an alarmist, which is apparently scarier to me than keeling over from a heart attack, I ignored the pain for a few hours. But as it persisted, I sneaked in a few “chest pain” searches on my computer.
Well, I still don’t know what the pains were from. Thankfully, they went away after a few more hours, but the combined result of watching other people change their diet, for their own health and for the well-being of millions of animals, and experiencing disturbing chest pains allowed a similar shift in my perception of food as when I went vegetarian. Becoming vegetarian was the easiest and most natural process for me so that now I don’t even think of meat as a form of food. (The drawback to this is that I sometimes forget that most people do think of meat as food. Dinner hosts, especially, don’t appreciate hearing the news that you’re vegetarian after you’ve told them, “Oh, I eat anything.”)
So, it’s been over a week of eating plant-based whole foods only. Processed foods, chocolate candies and cookies, and high amounts of fat just don’t seem like food anymore. It’s not exactly easy, and there have been a few hiccups along the way (like discovering an annoying corn allergy), but I feel less depressed than I used to and the chronic swelling in my ankle (Sounds pretty, doesn’t it?) is gone.
My chiropractor likes to tell me that healing is a slow (and expensive) process. I’m not so sure. I think things are changing and healing quite quickly, and I can’t imagine better motivation for staying with an increasingly tasty way of eating.