It’s been almost 7 months (in three days) since our switch to vegan. Honestly, being vegan hasn’t been as difficult as I thought. Don’t get me wrong, those first weeks we had no idea how to eat. Many of our “go-to” meals and snacks revolved around some kind of animal by-product. Cheese, turkey, yogurt… these were staples so figuring out what to eat instead wasn’t easy. It helped to get the word “protein” out of our heads. We’re all told that we need a ridiculous amount of protein. “What about protein? How do you get enough protein? You need more protein!” Protein exists in plants, I eat plants, ‘nuf said.
I’ve noticed some positive changes since becoming vegan, one being a little bit of weight-loss. My monthly cycle “good days” have increased and the “bad days” have decreased. The overall cycle is closer to normal length now. Still, I felt like things could get even better and faster. So, I decided to do a 30 day raw challenge. Unfortunately, I opted for the taste of cooked food after about seven weeks. When I read my seven week entry today, I was floored I ate that junk because I was feeling so good. I have struggled to fully return to raw food ever since. About half the weight I lost during the challenge came back and I’ve hovered there for weeks… going up, down, up, down, up… Of course, being injured off and on for the last three weeks or so hasn’t helped. Limited activity and pain turned into a bit of depression. “Boohoo, poor me…” you get the idea.
With the half-marathon looming over my head, those injuries sent my frustration level went through the roof. Seeing the Husband’s runs added to the frustration. I was happy for him but jealousy reared it’s ugly head. I was the runner in this house… just like I was the “computer geek” when we met. He’s surpassed my skills on both counts now. He’s even “published” (albeit it was his opinion of the book) and now sits at his goal weight while I struggle to accomplish both. Sigh.
I’ve learned in the past few days that I am a very insecure person. This might come as a shock to some who know me, while others will think “well, duh!” I’ve been reading So Long Insecurity: You’ve been a Bad Friend to Us by Beth Moore. I can’t even put into words how open my eyes are to the unnecessary turmoil I’ve lived with for decades. The jealousy I feel toward the Husband is merely my own insecurity flaring up. I know who I am in Christ, but now it’s time to start believing it.
Where my nutrition is concerned, I have insecurities there as well. I know people thought I was crazy to live primarily on fruit. I often wished I looked like the picture of health so that my dietary choices would be validated somehow. I wanted others to do it with me so that I wouldn’t be alone. When it comes right down to it though, I have to decide the answer to one question. “Is merely surviving enough for me?” That’s what I feel like I’ve been doing since leaving 100% raw eating… surviving. Here I sit on my sofa on Sunday morning rather than being in church. Why? Because getting out of bed is difficult. I ache all over and I’m exhausted. Don’t think for a moment that this is due to being vegan, I felt much worse as a meat eater, I just kept it to myself because I thought it was “normal”. Having felt, first hand, how good I can feel, this current state feels like waiting for death. Which is why I call it “surviving”. I didn’t realize how bad I felt until I actually felt good. The difference is indescribable.
I’m reminded of two plants that we purchased for our yard about two years ago. I intended to plant them both in the area of the yard we were landscaping at the time, but both of them wouldn’t “fit”. So, I planted one in that area and the other I planted in a part of the yard, that still today, has not been landscaped (this project is taking lots of moolah so it must be done in stages). The plant in the landscaped area with adequate water, fertilizer…etc is beautiful and produces lovely flowers. The other plant, however, looks much different. Until this spring when some green appeared on it, we actually thought it was dead. This sickly plant is still alive but it has taken much longer to show growth and hasn’t bloomed. The soil is too sandy and lacks nutrients, it is only watered when it rains/snows, and it is surrounded by weeds. It truly is miraculous that it is still alive. Both plants started out looking almost identical. The one receiving good care is thriving, whereas the other one is merely surviving the best it can in those conditions.
So, why haven’t I stuck with what I know makes me “thrive”? Because you feel worse before you feel better. Because it takes about two weeks to really start feeling the benefits. Because I feel like a failure for all the do-overs. Because I live with five other people who have no desire to eat raw so I’m fixing two meals. Because when we eat out, I feel like an oddball so I give in (hello, is this insecurity or what?!). But isn’t feeling yucky much worse than the obstacles or feeling like a “weirdo”? Yes!
Hmm. To thrive or not to thrive… that is the question.