I really want to get in shape, eat healthy and just live a better life than I have for the past 40 years. I think I've been making good strides toward this goal, but when there are so many junk foods that are vegetarian, I have a really hard time saying "no". I've never had very much self control when it comes to turning down what I know I shouldn't have. It's something I'm working on, but progress is slow.
I learned to comfort myself with food growing up. Had a bad day? Eat something indulgent, it'll make you feel better. Broke up with your boyfriend? Have something sweet, it'll make you feel better. Bored with nothing to do? Snack on some chips, it'll make you feel better.
Of course, none of this actually works, but I can't seem to convince my inner voice of this. We'll refer to her as Jezebel. She's still convinced all things can be cured, corrected or celebrated with good food. So essentially, I'll eat for just about any reason under the sun. That would explain why I've had issues with my weight on and off throughout my life. And even though I've been a vegetarian for nearly two years now, I still have quite a bit of weight to lose.
Oh, I'll do well for a while, tracking what I eat, the calories I take in, the exercise I do (or don't do), but then there she is again, Jezebel whispering in my ear, telling me I should reward myself with a big fat slice of cake. And of course, to get that one slice I have to bake the entire cake. And I can make a cake that's vegetarian easy enough, and now I can make them that are vegan, too. Yay me! (Should I celebrate that with some vegan ice cream?) No. No, stay focused.
I have the best intentions when I do my grocery shopping, too. I buy all these beautiful, delicious fresh fruits and vegetables, make sure I have enough grains on hand, and all the soy milk and vegan butter I'll need, but I don't live alone. And I'm not the only person with self-control issues...or a debit card. So chocolate, candy and chips still make their way into my house and there go all my good intentions, all wrapped up in what's left of a Snicker's candy bar wrapper.
I was talking on the phone with a friend of mine the other day about the weight he's lost and mentioned how I really need to lose some, too. He said, "but your vegetarian - don't you automatically lose a lot of weight?" Oh how I wish that were true. I guess if you're a dedicated, health-obsessed vegetarian with loads of self-control it would be. But I'm a vegetarian because I love animals. Yes, I want to be healthy and yes, I want to lose weight, but those weren't my driving motivation for becoming a vegetarian.
I really work at it every day to keep myself in check and to say "no" to all the sugar and fat in my kitchen calling my name. It truly is a daily battle for me. But I remain hopeful that I'll succeed, that I'll finally flip that switch inside me that will silence Jezebel for good, and I'll lose the weight and improve my health. I continue to believe that I'll live my best life, and I am always....a wishful vegan.
- Cari Ann
- Clarksville, Tennessee, United States
- I have been an Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian for a few years and am considering making the switch to a full Vegan diet. I decided to become a vegetarian because I could no longer disassociate the meat on my plate from the loving, kind and peaceful animal it had once been. I have always been an animal lover, so I guess this was a natural progression. I am not a diet or nutrition expert by any means, I am just a woman on a mission to eat better, feel better and live better.