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Third Attempt as Vegan

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Old 08-05-2011, 04:25 PM   #1
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Default Third Attempt as Vegan

I have been a vegetarian for almost two years now - my two year veggieversary is on August 18th! And it was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire life. Last year, I tried on two separate occasions to be a vegan. The first time lasted about four and a half months, and the second time was only a month. It was very difficult while at school, as I have to be on the meal plan there, and they are not very vegan-friendly.

Although most of my friends gently tease me about my back-and-forth on this, I really want to try again. Today was my first vegan day, although I often find myself able to go several days at a time as a vegan without even knowing it. I guess, for some people, it seems silly that I keep bouncing back and forth. But it's an issue I just can't let go. Even when I started eating as a lacto-ovo veg again, I still purchased only vegan health/beauty items. So somewhere inside of me, the urge to be vegan never really died.

I want to be a vegan both for the animals and for myself. I know about the injustices of mass farming, and at the same time, I also know that I was never over 140 pounds as a vegan, and when I wasn't eating vegan junk food (mmm, Oreos), I felt pretty good.

I guess I just wanted to share, and wondered if anyone else had similar experiences.
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:24 PM   #2
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Best of luck to you!
I never had that problem, personally.. when I decided to become vegan I just did it "cold tofurky" with no looking back. I think being extremely stubborn by nature helped with that. Whenever I felt tempted to eat an animal product, the idea was slammed out of my head by thoughts of animals suffering, the earth suffering, with many items my health suffering... (now why can't I have the same reaction when it's the thought of a delicious slice of vegan chocolate cake and my thighs suffering? yikes, but I digress)
No matter what your "style" is when transitioning into a different lifestyle.. all or nothing, cold tofurky, gradually easing into it, slipping out of it but trying again.. all that matters is you're still trying, and that's great. You can do it this time! Good luck!
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:41 PM   #3
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here's a great resource: http://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/forum.php

Although I can't really give you advice (I'm a new vegetarian...my family says "oh she's a vegetarian with vegan tendencies), I can definitely relate. I know I want to be vegan. It doesn't make sense in my head to be a vegetarian, but not vegan (if you are in it for the animals that is...I know every bit counts, but still...oh and I'm not attacking any vegetarians either, as I am one myself).

I really recommend reading "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer. That will definitely give you some solid reasons on why it is a good idea. Earthlings is also a good documentary to watch (graphic, btw).

My issues come up when I'm eating out. I opt only to buy/prepare vegan meals. And I try my best when eating out, but haven't perfected it. It's tough, but I know I can get there.
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:57 PM   #4
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Thanks for the recommendations and encouragement, guys. I hope it DOES still count that I'm trying. ^^ And I will definitely get on that book and documentary!
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GW1: 149.9; GW2: 146.6 [[Bottom Half of Healthy BMI]]; GW3: 143.9 [[Comfy Back-to-School]]; GW4: 139.3 [[>Half to Goal from Recent Start Weight; Featherweight]]; GW5: 135 [[BMI<20]]; GW6: 129.9 [[120s - First Time!]]; UGW: 125

Neck: 12.125"; Shoulders: 37.500"; L Upper Arm: 11.333"; R Upper Arm: 11.500"; L Wrist: 5.875"; R Wrist: 6.000"; Bust: 37.375"; Under Bust: 30.33"; Waist: 32.500"; Hips: 39.167"; Waist-Hip Ratio: 0.82; L Thigh: 22.625"; R Thigh: 22.167; L Calf: 13.875"; R Calf: 13.875"
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:18 PM   #5
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i was a vegetarian for a year, then a vegan for the next year, and i found i used it as an excuse not to eat more often than not. i lost a lot of weight, but i'm just now coming to terms with the fact that my eating habits were unhealthy, and i'm also now having to relearn how to eat without all the shame.

in light of this, my advice is to go vegan only if you really believe in it morally, and to really think deeply about that. when i put those extreme restrictions on my diet without believing in anything except my own perceived fatness, it became a control issue very quickly--as in, if i didn't restrict, i was a fat, ugly, worthless person.

this is all probably very specific to me, but just in case it's not, be careful! just don't let your dietary limits put you in complete opposition to food, thereby cultivating what can be a really damaging relationship with food later.
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:30 PM   #6
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I totally respect and admire your devotion to animals and a healthy lifestyle, but I think often people get too caught up in perfection when it might not be reasonable or necessary. It's like dieting, I think. If you say, "My diet plan is 1000 calories a day." And one day you eat 1001 calories, you're still dieting, you're still on plan. I think it's the same here. If you feel strongly about this, come as close to it as you can while you are in a situation that isn't friendly to it. Just because you accidentally eat something with animal products in it, or have so few choices that you have to eat something with an animal product in it on occasion doesn't make you less principled.

I guess I don't really get why we have to put such strict definitions on it. You still love animals, believe in their rights, desire to end their suffering, etc. I think you are still a "vegan" in every sense. I think there are a lot of vegans and vegetarians out there who eat plenty of animal products and don't even realize it. Like white sugar being processed through animal bone char. Maybe the lack of acceptable vegan options at your campus will lead you to do some activism to petition for more reasonable options for vegans and vegetarians. In the mean time, I don't think you should go around kicking yourself for not being able to be perfect.
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Old 08-06-2011, 07:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DezziePS View Post
I totally respect and admire your devotion to animals and a healthy lifestyle, but I think often people get too caught up in perfection when it might not be reasonable or necessary. It's like dieting, I think. If you say, "My diet plan is 1000 calories a day." And one day you eat 1001 calories, you're still dieting, you're still on plan. I think it's the same here. If you feel strongly about this, come as close to it as you can while you are in a situation that isn't friendly to it. Just because you accidentally eat something with animal products in it, or have so few choices that you have to eat something with an animal product in it on occasion doesn't make you less principled.

I guess I don't really get why we have to put such strict definitions on it. You still love animals, believe in their rights, desire to end their suffering, etc. I think you are still a "vegan" in every sense. I think there are a lot of vegans and vegetarians out there who eat plenty of animal products and don't even realize it. Like white sugar being processed through animal bone char. Maybe the lack of acceptable vegan options at your campus will lead you to do some activism to petition for more reasonable options for vegans and vegetarians. In the mean time, I don't think you should go around kicking yourself for not being able to be perfect.
You're right! Thank you. This made me feel a lot better. ^^

TVC - It is definitely an issue I truly believe in, though I know what you mean. A lot of people DO use veganism as a means of restriction. So you are definitely not alone there.
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GW1: 149.9; GW2: 146.6 [[Bottom Half of Healthy BMI]]; GW3: 143.9 [[Comfy Back-to-School]]; GW4: 139.3 [[>Half to Goal from Recent Start Weight; Featherweight]]; GW5: 135 [[BMI<20]]; GW6: 129.9 [[120s - First Time!]]; UGW: 125

Neck: 12.125"; Shoulders: 37.500"; L Upper Arm: 11.333"; R Upper Arm: 11.500"; L Wrist: 5.875"; R Wrist: 6.000"; Bust: 37.375"; Under Bust: 30.33"; Waist: 32.500"; Hips: 39.167"; Waist-Hip Ratio: 0.82; L Thigh: 22.625"; R Thigh: 22.167; L Calf: 13.875"; R Calf: 13.875"
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:18 PM   #8
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I know this is a few weeks old, but I wanted to wish you luck. I tried vegetarianism unsuccessfully three times times before it stuck for good, and veganism twice before it became a lifestyle. I'm a stress eater, and when I'm stressed, I'm likely to put just about anything in my mouth (that's what she said!) so I had to learn to see the triggers coming ahead of time and stop them. Before an important work deadline, I stocked up on Oreos and watermelon, knowing I'd want to binge. Not healthy, but vegan!

I work in a place where I see new vegans in transition all the time. My advice is to find four or five quick vegan meals and snacks that you love and look forward to eating, and keep supplies for that on hand all the time. For me, it's hummus wraps on flat bread, bean and soyrizo quesadillas, melon, Peppered Tofurky slices, Boca chicken patties (in the toaster, so fast and crispy!), and Sweet and Sara coconut marshmallows. Not all healthy, but I don't think most people who have tendencies to be overweight (and presumably you do, because you're here!) can go vegan and purposely low fat/cal at the same time and be successful at both. Honestly, I lost 30 pounds without trying the first time I went vegan just because I was already cutting out so much dairy and eggs. I didn't need to worry about calories. Wish that was still the case!

If you're prone to eat on the road, stay away from fast food by keeping Larabars or fresh fruit or even sandwiches with you in the car. Low blood sugar and Taco Bell foiled me more times than I can count.

Find a local vegan community and start going to their events, even if you aren't 100% vegan yet. The support will be very helpful, and if you're lucky, they'll have potlucks where you can figure out what you like and don't. Don't force yourself to eat something you don't enjoy just because you think "that's what vegans eat." You can be vegan and never eat tofu, tempeh, nutritional yeast or fake cheese if you don't want to. I can't stand the cold grain and bean salads that are so ubiquitous at the vegan potlucks here, and most "raw" recipes I've had leave me cold. Someone made me try a coconut oil and buckwheat "rice crispy treat." Never again!

It can be easy, it really can!
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