Why I Started This…

...at my very worst...

To hold myself accountable. A few years ago, I was 30 pounds overweight and could really feel it. While others looked at me and told me I looked “fine,” the problem was that they couldn’t see where I gained weight. As a woman, I hoped and dreamed that I could gain it in my hips, thighs, etc., but sadly, I gained it all in my stomach. Consequently, I felt like I had a beer gut.

I didn’t realize how bad I truly felt. Sure, I got upset when I tried my clothes on and saw that it just didn’t look good on me. I was emotionally sad and disappointed with myself, but I didn’t gather how much better I could feel. I’ve grown up eating meat and dairy and I definitely was one of the many who thought those who were vegetarians or (gasp!) vegan were just a bunch of freaks. Oh, so you don’t eat meat because it once had feelings? Get over it, it’s part of the food chain, and we’re at the top of it, loser.

Oh, yeah. I was an unapologetic carnivore.

Until one day, while planning for a flight to meet with a client, I realized that my size 8 suit didn’t quite fit. It was more than snug. Sure, I could wear it, but man on man, I had to find just the right professional blouse that wasn’t fitted. Camouflage! If I could have wiped camo paint on my face and worn a large military field jacket, you’re daggone right I would have done it. But, I guess that’s just not appropriate to wear to a client meeting…

So I went to the store and tried on every business suit I could, even ones I didn’t like, but nothing fit in that size 8. I could have upped it to a size 10, but that double digit suit scared me.

Now. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a size 10. But, for my body height and frame, a size 10 and 30 extra pounds on me was not healthy. It did not feel good. There was no way I could embrace that “beer” gut and be happy. I was exhausted all the time, I had a hard time sleeping, waking up, and just living life.

I went to my meeting with my regular size 8 suit. On my way home, I landed in Atlanta for my connecting flight, the last one back home, and had five minutes to get to my gate. Dragging my rolling carryon behind me, my briefcase banging into my side, I felt every extra inch on me and struggled to get there. I got to the gate and the door was already closed – I had missed my flight home and was stuck in Atlanta for the night. Red-faced and struggling to breathe, I sat down at the gate and cried.

The next day, I started to take all those vegan books seriously. I didn’t want to start out as a vegetarian – I wanted to go hard-core. And I did. Within a week, I had lost a few pounds, but the most important thing? I was sleeping so well – and waking up at the crack of dawn. I felt incredible and motivated to learn as much as I could. Within six months, I had lost 30 pounds and was loving life!

Then, I went on my honeymoon to Italy. Ahh, Italy. The connoisseur of all things lovely and divine, the Italian food was so tempting and I had to have cheese. I did forego my vegan lifestyle and became a vegetarian. I loved it!

But now, a year and a half later, I’ve put some of my weight back on and I can feel it. Feeling difficulty to breathe easier, to walk my dog and not feel exhausted has crept back into my life and I don’t like it.

This blog is simply my own personal attempts to stay as close to the vegan lifestyle as I can. I realize that I love some dairy products and it’s tough for me to be as strict as I was before.

Or, is it? I don’t know – I’ve done it once before, so why can’t I do it again?

...where I want to be again...

So feel free to follow along with me – I will try to be consistent (although not daily!), and I will be honest. You can also catch me on my other blog in which I review all things book-related, but primarily books I’ve read. It’s here at Coffee and a Book Chick.

Happy Eating,

The Wanna Be Vegan

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10 Comments to “Why I Started This…”

  1. Sending lots of support your way. I hear you completely about being just a little overweight and uncomfortable. I’m there! After having my boys, I know I’m not at my perfect weight, but my friends and husband say I look fine, but in me I feel terrible. Vegan is definitely the way to go, its so much more healthier!

    Best of luck 🙂

    • Thanks so much! Weight sure is relative and different to all people, huh? I’m short, so gaining weight is just felt more on me. I love the vegan life, I always feel so much better – I wish you good luck as well!

  2. Like your new blog! I’ll be following along. I don’t eat meat and struggle with the dairy/eggs end. I try, I really do. But I found it much easier to cut out meat than it is dairy. Still, I try. I had to start over and over again with meat until one day that was it and I’ve never gone back. The longer I go, the more it disgusts and saddens me. Since it took me a few tries with meat, I am hoping it will be the same for the rest and I will get there eventually. Good luck!

    • The cheese part is the tough one for me, which I’ve heard from a lot of folks as well. It’s tough to break out of those habits, at least for me. Not eating meat was actually easier for me to break away from, since at first, it was hard to agree with how some companies process it – but, I’m primarily shying away from meat because of how amped up and full of hormones they are injected with. One hundred years ago, meat was (extra) hormone-free, so it was much healthier to eat, but I’m fine with not eating any of it anymore!

  3. Love your new blog. We eat very little meat, but lots of dairy. I’m interested in adding more vegan meals during the week though, so I’ll check in here for inspiration!

  4. Hi Natalie, I’m sending you my *full support*! I’ve been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for almost 20 years and have been wanting to cut back on dairy and eggs *badly* for a while now. As a matter of fact, 9 days ago I started my personal pilot project of eating vegan: ExtraVeganza! It was supposed to be for 10 days only, just to give me a start, but it’s going great and I feel so good about myself I’m going to prolong it.

    I’ve been blogging about it on my ordinary blog (Graasland) because I have a hard time keeping it ‘alive’, but I did claim the wordpress ExtraVeganza domain for future adventures… 🙂

    You can do it grrl! You’ll feel so much better! Gogogogo!

  5. Fantastic blog Natalie!! I’m so excited to follow along! You KNOW you have my complete full support!

    You will succeed 🙂

  6. I’ll be following along on your vegan journey and perhaps you can motivate me a bit. I won’t give up dairy or fish so vegetarian is what I aim for. I’m about 75% there.

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