It is another day in the life of an aspiring Vegan Warrior. I wish I had noted the exact day when I decided to increase my consumption of whole grains, beans and starchy vegetables, decrease (eliminate) my consumption of fat and oil, and eliminate (mostly) junk food and sugar from my diet.
So, I will have to make up a day that is around the start date of this newly adopted journey. I am looking at the calendar and know that it was before Easter (April 21st) and after the month of March. I have decided to settle on April 2nd because April first is Fool’s Day and I am no fool. LOL!!
We are looking at roughly six weeks ago-not a long time in the grand scheme of things-especially when someone is making a dietary/health change. I will tell you that I had some digestive issues when my body was becoming accustomed to even more fiber. I was already eating a lot of plant based foods and I was not prepared for what ensued.
I have read that the body does not like (in the short term) change, even if it is for its own good. As described by Dr. McDougall,
Homeostasis is the process by which your body maintains itself in a stable condition. Maintenance of this equilibrium within the body is accomplished by the internal mechanisms, such as appetite, physical activity levels, energy expenditure, and hormones. This stable condition has also been described as your biological setpoint.
Unfortunately, according to Dr. McDougall, we are, as a result of our poor health choices,
maintaining a stable condition, through homeostasis, that is undesirable – both for appearance and health.
It seems logical then to presume that when one decides to make a positive change for the body’s well being, one can expect a rebellion of sorts. And this is what I had. There were gurgles and goings on that were not all that pleasant. I can understand why people get discouraged and even think that all this hype (medical studies and info) must not be true.
And so we give up. We go back to the old, comfortable ways of abuse that our body recognizes and loves-talk about a toxic relationship. We don’t improve. We wonder why our skin is blotchy, our hair is dry, our body is tired and prone to viruses that come along.
But, if we can get through the icky, uncomfortable stuff, I do believe that the health benefits, inside and out, begin to manifest themselves in a real and wonderful way. With the right fuel, the body can get to work on re-establishing homeostasis at a new, healthier, lower setpoint.
And then there is the issue of exercise. I already do rehab Pilates twice a week as well as walking outside twice a week, but had always planned to add something more as time went on. So, just before I made these dietary changes I joined a gym where a former trainer of mine is now employed.
I train with her once a week and do cardio and stretching about three times a week. It is tough, but, with repetition, I am actually starting to look forward to my workouts. Crazy huh!
Now here is the fun part! People are starting to notice. My trainer, with whom I have worked for nine, one hour sessions told me this past Saturday, that she is noticing steady improvements in my strength, stamina and balance. I find that pretty cool!
On Sunday, my daughter-in-law (bless her heart), who is a big believer in healthy living said that I had changed. “You look different”. Something about you is changed”, she said. I thanked her for noticing and told her a little bit about what I am doing differently. I find this to be pretty cool, too!
Now, in case you are wondering, I am not doing this so other people will notice, but it is nice to have confirmation that I am on the right path.
May the progress and success continue!
Annie’s Vegan View
MY VEGAN GOALS
1) to be a healthy individual in my family, able to contribute in a meaningful way, able to play with my grandchildren, able to keep up.
2) to honour my life by supplying my body with the right fuel, exercise, rest, and fun times.
3) to use my renewed energy, vitality and health to bring my life more in alignment with my veganism.5) to be a strong and credible representative of veganism, for the sake of non human animals and by extension, for us and our planet.
4) And, as Gandhi once said: to “be the change you (I, we) want to see in the world”.
May all beings be happy and free.