Wednesday, April 3, 2013

love.this.change. -- going REALLY green

"Happy is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing or that, but simply growth.  
We are happy when we are growing." 
 -- William Butler Yeats

I've been struggling a lot lately.  I've been working a lot and I've put myself on the back burner, which is not good.  All the commitments I have made have kind of gone down the drain.  I keep recommitting and then something that day kicks my recommitment out the door.

So I got sad.  Very sad.  I realized that I was sad because I needed another big change.  I was happiest when I was creating change in my life.  The quote above, which was emailed to me today, couldn't put how I feel about my happiness any better.  I really am happy when I am growing.  I feel like I am stuck and not growing, hence the recent unhappiness.

Angie, Kristin, Kate, and I are committing to eradicate fried foods from our diet this month.  It's a good idea.  Honestly, fried foods isn't a big problem of mine, but every now and again, fried foods are what I want and I love every minute of it until I feel gross afterward.  

In trying again and improving my health, I decided to watch Vegucated and Forks Over Knives.  They both share a lot of the same information, but have different aims.  The first documentary focuses on veganism, animal rights, and health, whereas the latter is more about health, period.  But both documentaries emphasize the relationship between animal-based foods and the poor health of Americans.

I have to say, I was inspired by Vegucated.  Thus, I introduce my next phase of change, my next goal - going vegan!  Yes, you read that right... not vegetarian, but vegan.  Let me explain...

The hcg was not a lifestyle change.  It was a diet.  And though it gave me the initial kick in the butt that I wanted and needs to get the ball rolling, I didn't have a plan for the end of the diet, which was a bad, bad idea.  I've decided that my plan is veganism.

In Vegucated, as you could assume, they shared a lot of images of inhumane treatment of animals in farms... the animals that we eat... animals that I eat.  It made me sick to my stomach.  It made my heart hurt.  It made me want to cling to my doggies who were sitting next to me on the couch as I consumed this information.  I felt really wrong caring so much for my baby canines yet having a stock of pork tenderloins in my freezer.  I felt really wrong that I had OD'd on eggs this week.  I felt really wrong that I live in America, have the great fortune to make choices that improve my health and help animals, but I am too lazy to do so.  

I just felt wrong.  Guilty.  Seeing baby chicks ground up while ALIVE and seeing cows being castrated without any anesthesia... I wanted to cry.  This ball of change grew inside of me, the kind that showed me have averse I was to being associated with all this.  My dogs are my babies.  Animals are precious creations of God.  Outside the whole animal rights point, the smallest portion of my diet consists of fruits and veggies.  I eat more things that are bad for me and less things that are good for me.  

I can kill two birds with one stone by going vegan (excuse the unfortunate pun).  I can show my support for animal rights AND make myself healthier.... and make myself HAPPIER!!!

I've tested being a vegetarian.  I was in college and all it really resulted in was me eating a lot more carbs to replace the meat I wasn't eating.  Bad plan.  It was really stupid.  How can you be a vegetarian and still eat very few vegetables???

Ok, let's change everything right now.  I'm not going vegan.  I am going HEALTHY.  What does healthy mean to me?  Adopting a vegan diet, being more mindful of where my food comes from, and being even more mindful of what enters my mouth and what it will do to my body.

There, I have a project.  And it makes me happy that I have one.  I know it won't be easy, but I don't think I can live with myself continuing to eat the way I do and really loving Opie and Maizy.  Someone, somewhere is eating a dog and treating them the same way that I saw cows and pigs and chickens being treated in Vegucated.  

I've known about this for a while too... it's not like I've been blind to animal cruelty and the practices of food factories... I've just chosen to ignore it.  In my opinion, that is worse than not knowing and being educated.  I knew and I didn't do anything about it.

I don't judge anyone who eats meat.  And I'm not going to.  Actually, I have to finish the food I have here and some of it is meat.  I won't be happy eating it, but I am a graduate student.  The food should not be wasted.  Even though I won't be happy eating it, I know it will still taste good.  So I will wallow in shame until all the meat is gone (it really isn't so much and I can share...).  

I will be 26 in a month and a half.  I have a family history of breast cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and tons more.  It isn't looking all the great for me.  So now is the time to change all that.  If I don't do it now, will I ever do it?  Will I fall right into the unhealthy pit that my family dwells?  

I don't want to.  So I have to act on this.  

Here's my plan, and I am going to try my hardest to update everyday to keep me honest:

1.  Go vegan!  Get through the animal-based foods you have I have now and replace with vegetable-based alternatives.  Eat more fruits and veggies!

2.  Drink more water!  Drink only water.  I've done it before, I can kick every non-water drink out of my diet again.

3.  Start Couch to 5k today!  I've been trying to start this program for the past week and I just haven't done it.  Today is the day.

Three goals.  That's it.  Nothing complicated, but what a world of difference they will make to my health.

I can do this.... Encouragement is always welcome.

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