Vegan Cheating Confessional

Confession time: I cheated on my vegan diet the other day and had a little cheese in my salad. The aged cheese was a thoughtful gift from the travels of a friend and not something we bought, it should be noted haha. I felt as though I was a crazed animal with a newly found, hypersensitivity to my taste buds and palette. Oh the massive amount of guilt that consumed me. In the past, if a little cheese was on something I was eating I barely noticed, didn’t give much thought to before. But now, it’s a completely different story. It’s an once-in-a-lifetime treat in my mind. The thrill and happiness that I experienced from eating that cheese… I was disgusted with myself, how it could have this affect over me, leaving me feeling weak and powerless.

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         I was reminded of a story my mom had told me of one of her former students. The child in her class had parents that enforced very strict diets for their kids since they were born, forbidding any and all sugar. But once their children were old enough to enter school and have the freedom from their parents’ presence, they stuffed themselves sick with candy and sugary treats, going on a wild mission for it. The restrictions that were placed upon them made them hunger for it and crave the unhealthy food more than the average child, who was used to having treats fairly often. I worry about having a similar incident and the parallels that I feel to those kids and one day cracking, giving this up. Perhaps going cold turkey was not the best approach for me, too much all at once. Although “cold turkey” is not the best term of phrase when speaking about veganism, I have to admit.

My boyfriend nicely shook off my worries and advised that it’s best not to refer to my cheese transgression as cheating, perhaps to remove the “forbidden-ness” aspect out of the picture. Rather than dwelling on your cheating, you should accept your few weak moments and actions, forgive yourself, and move on. Allowing you to continue on your path and be successful and guilt free, without the all-hope-is-lost attitude that tends to spin you back to your old habits. It all sounds very similar to the diet tips for people trying to lose weight. No one guaranteed it would be easy. I must remind myself what I’m going through is normal and I am not alone in my feelings during this journey, as others before me have wrestled problems during their diet change. I also have the support and backing from my boyfriend, family, and other loved ones to help me along.

From the lessons I’ve gained from the matter, if you slip up, do not think that everything is ruined forever. You must have an optimistic and determined mentality. Just continue on no matter how many times you have to hit the “reset” button on your diet change and keep going in the direction of your goal. In fact, a lot of people go through a transition period on their path to becoming fully vegan, and it’s ok, as long as you remember the exact reason that led you to becoming vegan in the first place. That will help get you through the weak moments.

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         Because all of this is psychological, we must train ourselves, body AND mind, in order to undertake one of the hardest challenges we face on a regular basis with every choice we make; which is to delay our immediate joy/gratification, in exchange for a much greater benefit in the future. I’m forgiving my cheese offense and carrying on.

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The Pursuit of Taste

Want versus need. What really, truly drives our decisions? Do we listen to what our bodies actually require rather than answer our strong, current desires each time we sit down for a meal? Is it a balancing act of sorts? As I reach the third week mark of my vegan diet, my cravings have been on the forefront of my mind, consuming any other thoughts of nutrition and threatening to drown out all the reasons why I chose to follow a vegan diet in the first place.

My boyfriend noticed my struggling and poignantly reminded me of the true, little importance that taste-based food choices have in the long-term and towards your happiness. He simply asked me if I could remember what we had to eat for dinner three nights ago and my mind drew a complete blank and I couldn’t recall. Which was astonishing because I’ve never craved, discussed, blogged, and thought about food as much as I am now. In the moment, you think how you absolutely must indulge and order those fries, buy that candy in the grocery store, and have that frozen pizza in your fridge instead of preparing a salad. Taste is your main focus. Yet, as my boyfriend has found, nine times out of ten, if you ask anyone, they cannot tell you what they had to eat for dinner three nights ago. Some time after I remembered, when I really thought it out, but his point really resonated with me; how taste is completely insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

That discovery gave me pause and I hope will create a shift in my thinking. Having worked as a waitress for a number of years, I am far too used to the atmosphere of a restaurant where taste is absolutely everything, customers come to indulge and gluttony doesn’t exist. I hope that’s what’s happened to me. Trapped too long in the restaurant world, warping my way of thinking temporarily. How am I so wrapped up in the present, pursuing mere taste and my wants time and time again? Allowing this inner child/brat in my head, without any regard for health, win out. In those times of temptation when I give in, I tell myself it’s just a little treat and all in moderation, as long as I’m not having this every day… maybe there’s still some truth to that, but I’m so focused on taste.

Hopefully there’s an ideal middle ground where you can have both, taste and health. I’m happily discovering it really is possible and proven to be so with the nutritious and delicious vegan cooking my boyfriend creates every day and undoubtedly surprises my taste buds with as well. There have been some things, such as juicing, that I have had trouble mustering though, even with hearing all the health benefits. Which leaves me contemplating the ultimate dilemma; how do I rise above and overcome my obsession with taste? Perhaps I have a very unhealthy relationship to food. I wonder if everyone faces this same battle, with some of us having stronger self-discipline than others, silencing their urges.

I suppose it boils down to a mental game to be won then. A test of determination. And in that case I must fight, every day, until the battle is so familiar to me that I hardly notice it, until it’s not a struggle any longer. I must resist my cravings that have built up, cutting off their power to take hold and control me. I cannot allow my heightened attention to food influence my desires and goal to maintain a healthy vegan diet. I do not wish to be at the mercy of my cravings. My problem has been that I’m too focused on what I cannot eat, instead of concentrating on all the new food possibilities that’s opened up to me since becoming vegan. I must let it go, recognize what is truly driving these unwanted urges and remember that these cravings feel and seem more important than they actually are. What’s more important to me is leading a healthy, happy life and that can easily start with diet.

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Taste is fleeting, too easy to give into, allows you effortlessly to think solely on pleasure, living in the present and not the future. Health is forever. Or in a case where you’re not thinking about health and nutrition, health isn’t forever at all. Health will be your doom and take your life sooner. Life and health are forever entwined. When you are in a hospital bed with death on the horizon, you won’t be applauding yourself for indulging all your life and you still won’t remember what you had three nights ago for dinner. Health and every food choice you make right now, add up, it is all your future stands on; it’s the entirety of your life. Taste, therefore, no matter how hard it is, must be secondary to health. Like the Rolling Stones’ song lyrics state,

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“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”

Fugazi – “Waiting Room” or “My Labor Day Weekend… SO FAR!!”

Sitting here in the kamuela hospital emergency room…

Wondering if my girl lauren made it back ok to hawi to drop off my bosses car as he is very upset to have been put out so to speak…
Listening to bits and pieces of whoopi goldberg on the view talking about epidurals and kanya west not making any moronic statements… Or was it the blonde haired girl with the Kanye stuff…?The view tv show in a hospital

Helping an old man into a wheel chair as a nurse couldnt be found… he fell out of a tree…
Watching a young lady take care of her mom who was in some sort of insulin shock or lack of insulin as she vomited and wet herself… That made me feel pretty sad/fortunate/confused at the same time….
And me, with an infection slowly creeping up my leg to the point that I am now nervous…. Yes, I had it looked at at the first sign of infection, got a shot in the ass, a tetanus booster, pills, and still it creeps on…. Oh sweet day in the morning=]. What a trip life is….

That we will die one day is all the more reason to live now…

If you’re not laughin, you’re cryin. – LQ, girl I had torrid and confusingly criminal relationship with (wannabe Bonnie and Clyde style)

 

No empy spaces in me that can be filled by someon out of me

I just had a hot daydream that got me an erection, so I guess im on the road to recovery or perdition as it were. I just looked up perdition, NOT what I was thinking, so we ixnay that part….

Im thinking about my legs, now that I am lying here with a leg elevated, two bottle os pills that i eagerly await taking as thgh i am. Personally sending in the troops that will slowly win the war!

Antibiotics apparently make my skin itch in odd places

Its shameful for me to think about how little attention i pay to my body parts unless i have anaged to pay so little attention i injure them….. That, to me, couldn’t be ninja could it…?

I got to see what my skin looks like on the ultra sound in the emergency room…. Dr. C. Fredrick Von Trampe.  And yes he did seem like he was the man and the name was very well applied to this one…
there were no pockets of pus or other happy substances that he felt were worth lancing into to drain…. It had too many small ones… I didn’t know wether to be comforted or weirded out and i had thought of how cool it would be if it were in color and of course my mind tried to come up with what that may have looked like and good god im glad it was state of the art grainy black and white with #fiftyShades ofGrey in between…

The first time I heard music…

This is what I heard….

It was coming from the TV in my grandparents living room in their Sunsites, AZ home…

My life changed for the better, though it would take me some 30 years to realize this had subconsciously become one of the most influential moments of my young life.

Until I die and forever after I will love Lauren (my girl) and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers!

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Hurrmmmmmm…

The introspection is deafening, its crushing my very spirit and yet, it does nothing at all, the sounds of the helicopter reverberating off the low canyon walls at Lake Las Vegas herald the arrival of yet more tourists dishing out for an aerial tour of mans endearing quest of building on all of its surfaces.

Not really a quote so much as a snippet of my thinking, but the WordPress for iPad is acting most odd, and this is what I have access too.  ahem, my thoughts from September 2013, Lake Las Vegas, during the Ironman regional championships, the World Championships of Wake Boarding and me putting on a health retreat weekend for a stand up paddle board operation that eventually got cancelled as the proprietor felt that I was trying to steal her company…..  Life, if given the room to be, is, truly, hilarious.  

Rally Cry of Today….

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Tricky Communication Devices

One of the first tricky communications I learned was the very powerful and seldom used in todays day and age, “Not It!”.

In recent history I have noticed an equally powerful and exasperatingly widespread rally cry, “GOOGLE IT!”

You may or may not have run into this bastion of argument coup de tats, if you are lucky, perhaps you are yet free from having your ears soiled with this devious
shirking of responsibility.

Its like this, two people are having a conversation/argument/debate, fill in the blank, person A. will be certain of a fact as will, for the purpose of this explanation, person B.
The first person to say, “Google It.”, has essentially “won” the verbal sparring contest in a way that hasnt resolved anything or enlightened anyone. they have won by putting the onus
of verifying the facts on the other person. Should the “losing” contestant NOT go forth and “Google It.” the argument is won by the person regardless of the facts.
Should the person actually sally forth and ply google for an answer, perhaps they will be able to regain some semblance of dignity back should they have been in the right,
if they were not in the right, then at this point they will suffer a re-occurrence of the initial spat of shame as they will “re-lose” the argument.