As I’ve vegan for over a decade now, I am used to the questions from people who first find out about my dietary choices. In fact, some people are extremely nice about it while others can’t seem to hold anything back. “How do you do it?” “Isn’t it hard?”. The reality is that I became a vegan after reading a book about the benefits of veganism. From animal ethics to health, I had various reasons for giving up meat and dairy.
However, at the ripe age of 17, it was hard to figure out how to navigate the social aspect of veganism. I have done the hard stuff so you don’t have to. I’ve been labeled the “weird” girl before, and I’m here to share the experiences of being a vegan and how (thankfully) they seem to be shifting to be more inclusive of our “picky” dietary standards.
You Start Wanting To Take Care Of Yourself
As a plump child, I had an appetite for anything sugary, sweet, and downright delicious. Which is why once I made it to high school, I sensed that I didn’t get the memo about how to properly take care of yourself. Mere months before my 18th birthday, I decided that as I venture into adulthood I want to be able to take better care of myself. So I started going to the gym and I changed up my eating habits.
Turns out, simple shifts really do work because my body was definitely changing (for the better). But then, I had hit a plateau. After reading a book on veganism I thought I’d give it a try. So I went cold-turkey into veganism and really found immense joy in experimenting in the kitchen.
Back then, tofu was the most basic source of a
Reset Your Relationship With Food
Although I can name you the various reasons I turned to veganism, ultimately I knew I had a negative relationship with food and I wanted to find a way to heal that. While I still may harbor some poor feelings around food, I’m getting better each and every day.
Veganism allows you to eat bountifully without feeling too much guilt. It’s a great way to overcome some of the food struggles that most people deal with. That being said, it can be a form of restriction that can lead to eating disorders. So it’s important to research how to eat healthy as a vegan and have support from professionals as well.
For me, it wasn’t always strict veganism. There were definitely periods of time, particularly in college where options were incredibly limited so I’d eat meat and fish and other non-vegan things. But then, when I was able to take some time to figure out what was important to me- my health and animals, I knew that veganism was the right path for me.
It’s Not Just A Diet But A Lifestyle Overhaul
At the end of the day, there is a lot to find appealing about a vegan lifestyle- but it’s not just the food aspect that matters. I don’t purchase fur or leather and just try to be as environmentally conscious about all my habits- not just what I eat. But everyone is different and I am not here to tell you that my way of being a vegan is the only way. Finding what works for you is what is going to stick and last and ultimately make you happiest.