For some reason that even I don’t completely understand, I decided to challenge myself to go vegan for the month of September. It’s been just about a week since starting this challenge, and it has certainly been, well, challenging. More so than I thought. Being in a place like Austin where there are vegan options definitely helps, but being in Texas where barbecue and Mexican food are religion make things a little more complicated. I underestimated just how big of a role meat played in my diet, and that’s just the easy part. Vegans don’t eat anything with any ingredients that come from animals, so besides meat I can’t have anything with eggs, milk, butter, cheese, cream, etc. While I’ve been able to find some delicious alternatives to some things, I’m finding myself wanting a big fat cheeseburger, and unfortunately there’s really no replacement for that.
So why would I subject myself to this kind of torture? Good question. I wish I had an answer. I’ll try to come up with something. Let’s see…
Is it because of my love for animals? While I do love and respect our furry and feathered friends (2 points for alliteration), no, that’s not it. There are certainly issues with the way animal products are harvested and sold to the public, but I personally do not have any ethical or moral issues with eating meat or utilizing animals as a food source.
Is it because I want to lose weight? Not really. I mean everyone wants that, right? But I did not set out on this challenge with the goal of losing any weight, though it has forced me to eat healthier and think more about the foods I’m eating. It’s been incredibly eye-opening searching ingredient labels and seeing that there is egg in soy “chicken” nuggets or milk in my Raisin Bran cereal, or that Oreos have no dairy whatsoever (crazy, I know).
I think it comes down to the fact that I simply wanted to challenge myself. I admittedly have a really big problem with self-control and self-discipline, and I’ve found that challenging myself in a concrete way has helped me tremendously. About a month ago, I did a 30-day no soda challenge and have successfully gone from an at-least-one-soda-a-day drinker to having one maybe once a week. And although this challenge is a little different and completely temporary, it is helping me become someone who can tell herself no, even when the alternative is much more appealing.
Now it’s time to get #deep. Recently, I reached a point where I realized that I really wanted to better myself in all areas of my life, from taking better care of my teeth do being a better friend to the people I care about. This challenge is just one of many steps I’m taking on this journey. It also involves taking risks, saying yes to things I would’ve said no to (and saying no to things that just aren’t in my best interest), thinking about my health…the list goes on and on. While they seem like small changes, I can feel things adding up and starting to fall into place, into the life that I want to lead.
I truly believe that how you treat yourself, both physically and mentally, has a huge impact on not only your life, but also the lives that you touch. As the great Ru Paul says,
So, I’d love to know – how do you want to better yourself? Is there something you’re struggling with? A change you really want to make? Let me know in the comments or tweet it @born_raisedTX!
Until next time,