Reality bites (of the non-vegan variety)

Greetings from the land of holidays!

It’s been nearly 3 weeks… and over the past few days I’ve been doing a really crap job at being a vegan. I’ve regressed and sinned multiple times. Something to do with finishing uni and getting caught up in all the end of year festivities – a lot of parties, casual drinks, farewell dinners, takeaway and restaurant food, more drinks, barbeques, and the odd drink. I ate some camembert on crackers at a party. I ate some delicious cake my friend made that was probably full of dairy. I went out to dinner at a pizza restaurant and carefully ordered the vegan pizza for myself… but still ate a piece of my friend’s which had cheese on it. My flatmate bought an entire box of Moro Gold nuts bars (about 40 of the things) and I’ve been eating some when he tells me to (which even strikes me as odd because I don’t actually like chocolate that much).

I’m certainly learning some things about myself.

1) My strong resolve and passion of the first week is fading a little as the novelty wears off and reality hits. By that I don’t mean it was just a blind headlong rush into something stupid and I am giving up – definitely not. I still believe that this is a worthy goal and something I believe in and feel good about. Now that I’ve gotten over the honeymoon stage, I need to look at how to make this a serious and long term choice, and work out how to properly integrate it with the realities of my lifestyle.

2) In my natural state I’m lazy. I haven’t regressed and eaten cheese because I’ve desperately craved and desired it. Nope. Most of the “slip ups” I’ve made have come from pure apathy and just not being bothered enough to say no because it takes more effort.  I do miss the taste of cheese. Not enough to go seek it out and buy it secretly for guilty midnight feasts, but just enough to go “oh it’s right there, I’ll eat some.” I can work on that.

3) I’m a complete people pleaser. I just don’t feel ok asking a waiter in a restaurant detailed questions about the menu like if the sauces have dairy or animal fat in them. I don’t want to go into someone’s home with a huge list of “demands”. I hate being difficult, I hate feeling difficult, I hate other people viewing me as difficult. ARGH. Having a social life and attempting to be a vegan can feel very difficult.

4) I’m in holiday mode. I’m eating too much of everything, drinking too much wine and not enough water, and sitting around inside all day mooching on my computer rather than getting off my butt to go exercise or see the sunlight. I have an excuse while it’s my first week of holiday after 3 years of study… I’m sure I’ll snap out of soon enough.

All of those things have come together to make my week thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing, but not 100% vegan or healthy. I’m not going to beat myself up, there’s no point. I’m still trying. In the words of the immortal Rachel Hunter, oft quoted by the indomitable Pascalle West, “It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen!”

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Sara said,

    Good for you for making the transition!! One of the hardest things to do is accept the that the transition could be difficult (I’ll use that since it was your word) – but essentially it’s true. I’m a people pleaser too – but one thing I’ve come to realize is that I’m the most important person I need to please..at least before I please others. And for a people pleaser, sometimes that’s hard to realize, and even harder to accept and put into practice. Holidays are tough, especially your first one..and without a go-vegan buddy, you can feel isolated. Slip-ups happen, and like you say..no need to beat yourself up. After 4 years of being vegan there are certainly moments of laziness and poor-student syndrome that I think how convenient it would be to eat the sandwich provided at the seminar even though it’s slathered with cream cheese, or eat that donut, etc… but I forbear – and those moments have definitely diminished over the years. Once your feelings – whether they be health or ethics reasons for veganism – start to outweigh the laziness..that stuff will just melt away and it won’t be difficult any longer… Stay Strong!


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