I haven’t been ready up until now, but I really think I’m ready now.
I must say goodbye to something I love; to a lifestyle I’m used to. We’re talking 40 years of celebrating food in all its Southern, deep fried glory. Fried chicken, mac & cheese, baked goodies full of butter and sugar…. these years we’ve shared we have had some really good times.
But you’re killing me.
So you gots to go.
Over the years my diet has changed and evolved, and each change I made felt like it would significantly alter my enjoyment of food and lessen my quality of life.
But each change, once adapted, has actually made me enjoy food *more*. It’s amazing that once you realize what you’re doing to your body it does make it feel almost clandestine to continue making those negative choices in regards to food.
A guilty pleasure is no pleasure at all.
When I was 15 I stopped drinking sweetened tea. I tried the Sweet & Low/Equal substitutes for a while but just got to the point where I simply enjoyed the natural taste without any additions whatsoever.
Same thing with fresh fruit. My mother used to put salt on watermelon and cantaloupe, and therefore I did as well. During the same period when I was 15 I totally resisted adding salt and discovered I liked food more without adding the salt to it.
Years went by and in 2001 before my wedding I gave up sugared sodas in an effort to drop pounds before I walked down the aisle. I hated diet sodas but I made the change because I was sick and tired of spending so many calories on things I drank. After I realized that not only could I live without it but my body was the better for it… it got to where I couldn’t imagine going back.
Back in July of last year I decided to give up diet soda altogether because 1. there was no nutritional value in it and 2. it triggered me to eat poorly. And a lot. So that vice I never thought I could give up was broken within a month.
Haven’t gone back.
Except for a couple of moments of weakness, I haven’t missed it.
Then came September and I realized sugar was my natural enemy as someone who has chemical depression issues. That was a hard one… harder than any other dietary change before it. I was a hard core sugar addict, and I couldn’t imagine going even one day without eating something sweet.
Every dietary change I made in the past I had substitutes, sugar free cookies and cakes and ice cream, simply because I couldn’t imagine my life without these things. This time I decided I was going to abandon all these crutches and opt for healthier, more natural choices.
Key word there being… natural.
One of the key reasons I decided to ditch the soda – and what made it easier than I had ever expected – was the fact it was full of chemicals my body didn’t need. I began to see it as this kind of toxic sludge. I mean, this is the stuff that can take corrosion off of a battery… and I’m putting it in my stomach why??
So if I was going to eat anything sweet, it’d be naturally sweetened or naturally sweet to start with. In doing so, I’d lose my taste for refined sugar and all its unhealthy brethren.
The experiment went so well that I became an instant believer and no longer wanted those things that I used to base my life around. I could even watch a commercial for donuts and not even stir for one.
I’m pretty sure I could even walk past a Krispy Kreme without much effort.
The best part, as well as the most immediate, is how great I felt emotionally. It was better than any pill I’d ever taken, without any of the negative, numbing side effects. But it didn’t end there. I also saw inches melt away, quickly, and lost weight without any real effort to do so. Easily a pound a week without any calorie counting or exercise.
Nothing had ever impacted my weight or health as positively or as quickly.
It’s made me open to making an even more drastic change… one I never, ever thought I’d even contemplate.
Within the next day or so whenever I can make it to the store, I’m going to begin my month of exploring the Vegan lifestyle.
That’s right. This mouse is giving up her cheese.
And even more remarkably… I’m excited to do so.
Like I said… I’m ready.
I’m scouring the internet for recipes and am excited about the prospect of putting healthy, natural fuel into my body. I’m going to start with just the month – like I did with the sugar – and if I see the same positive rewards then I’m willing to give it a year.
To be honest, it’s going to be more of a pescatarian diet ala Hal Sparks, who – in all honesty – has inspired these new healthier changes. I’m calling it my WWHE experiment. If I couldn’t eat it in front of Hal, then I have no business putting it in my mouth. Period.
But the first month will be as Vegan as I can possibly make it as a formal detox from my old eating lifestyle.
I’ll share my journey here, as always.
And I just know it’s going to be *epic*.