Not all vegan transitions are perfect. Mine certainly wasn’t. It was interrupted by bouts of vegetarianism, depression, carelessness, weight gain, and unhealthiness. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning…
July 17, 2017 was a day that changed my life forever. It was the day I decided to watch (against all my prior “knowledge,” “research,” and prejudice) the YouTube video titled The Best Speech You’ll Ever Hear by Gary Yourofsky.
My world turned upside down, inside out, caught on fire, then was drenched in a tidal wave of emotions such as guilt, shame, resolve, hope, desperation, enlightenment, motivation, and those are just to name a few.
Seeing animal cruelty right in front of my face, knowing that I had been paying for that to happen… for animals to be raped, tortured, and murder all for the sake of feeding me things that only made me sicker… Well, we’ll just call it the BIGGEST WAKE UP CALL OF MY LIFE.
I was devastated to see what I saw, eager to change my ways IMMEDIATELY, and hopeful that I could spread the word and encourage others to take their blinders off to the pain and suffering that we had been – not only allowing to happen – but paying to happen.
I went vegan that day, and thought I would never look back. But before we get to that, let me tell you what happened that year:
I lost 50+ pounds by eating healthy plant foods. I grew my mind – researching, learning, and watching others who had stumbled across this lifestyle. I learned that a plant based diet is the healthiest diet in the world – backed up by unbiased scientific evidence. Note- please read How Not To Die by Dr. Michael Greger (linked below).
I became encapsulated in my journey towards health and helping the animals, raising awareness wherever I could. I was on top of the world.
And then it hit me, like a dementor taking up residence in my house: depression.
If you’ve ever dealt with depression, you’ll know how it can steal any resolve, any cares you have, any joy, hope, interest… I let depression get a hold of me and sank to the lowest point I’d ever been to in my life – suicidal ideation.
I tried fighting it with exercise and “moderation.” I had let vegan junk food deep into my diet, you see. I’d eat healthy all day and then at night binge on Oreos. But my heart really wasn’t in it. I was going through the motions in order to keep people away from asking me probing questions about why I’d slipped from my fully healthy lifestyle and routine. And then it got worse. I was eating fast food most of the time, junk food all the time, and the worst part is, I really didn’t care…
And so, for months and months (maybe over a year?) I swam in the black lake of despair. I let it pull me under – I started eating dairy and fish. I felt like I was being held at the bottom by an anchor of lead, not caring about my health, myself, or really, anything about more. I started caving on eggs as well. I ate myself into an even deeper hole.
I gained back all the weight I had once lost and then even more. This only perpetuated my depression. Just thinking about it now brings me to tears because I feel for that girl I was. I wouldn’t wish those feelings or depression on anyone – well, maybe Hitler, but, you know… 💁🏼♀️
And then something changed. I’m still not sure how it happened. Maybe it was all the inspiring vegan YouTubes I was watching, or the recipe books I started investing in, or God calling me to my senses. It was probably all of those and more.
But I began to hope again, hope that I would finally end my (yes, my – I created it!) depression and despair. I began to see another future for myself- one where I was happy, healthy, and free! It was a slow awakening. The end of this awakening it was quickened by this book called Mind Change by Heather McKean. Please, please, please – go read it! I’ve linked it below for easy access. It entirely changed my mindset and it can for you too!!!
I made a decision. In the act of making this decision, it was like a light switch was flicked on! I was a dark room finally lit up by an unshakeable resolve to stop being who I was and be someone different – the person I had always wanted to be. I chose to stop doing depression, to stop repeating the diet cycle of health-junk-health-junk. I chose to change my life. And in that moment, it was like
I casted my first ever patronus (a husky, if you please),
and ever since it’s been living with me, keeping the dementors at bay. By now, if you haven’t caught the Harry Potter references, please go read Prisoner of Azkaban – again, linked below!
And so, as you see, vegans are NOT perfect. My vegan journey was filled with as much dis-ease as a person may be able to bear. But I got though it.
2020 became my year of authenticity: living authentically according to my morals and values, and in alignment with who I was always meant to be, my true self.
It is the start of the rest of my life, everything else is history, a book bound by chains that I’m never allowing to leech into my authentic life.
And so, I’ll leave you with this:
How can you choose to live authentically? What choices can you make that will transform your life into one you want to live, that will lead you where you want to go, and that you’re obsessed with? Do that! Make those changes for yourself! Do them everyday. It may take time, but soon enough, you’ll be living the life of your dreams!
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