My 30 Day Vegan Experiment Days 3-6

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Weigh in:  Another two pound off 8pounds so far.


Day 3 Livin and Dyin with the choices I’ve made 

There’s a George Jones Country Song called “Choices” there’s a lyric that has always stuck with me:

“I’ve had choices
Since the day that I was born
There were voices
That told me right from wrong
If I had listened
No, I wouldn’t be here today
Living and dying
With the choices I made”

It’s a bit maudlin, but the point is a valid one. We do live and die with the Choices we made. As I continue on this weight loss journey, I am becoming more mindful of how we end up where we are isn’t usually one big choice but ten thousand little ones.  If being overweight and unhealthy is a series of minute choices, then being balanced and healthy will take a lot of little choices to undo.  I’ve already screwed up. The first couple days I was putting cream in my coffee and work until someone pointed out that cream is most obviously dairy. And the other day I ate some Cheetos which (surprisingly) actually contained real cheese. In both cases, I didn’t chastise my poor choice too harshly because in both cases, it was an unconscious and not willful error. In the Christian tradition, they call mistakes “Sin” (an old English word used in archery to mean the target was not hit.) The Buddhist word translates into English as “Unskilled.” I like the word better. Making better choices is a skill. And skills can be improved.

Day 4 Chicken/Egg mean Heart/Head

The place I work at is tied in with the “New Thought” or “Science of Mind” school of thought. The idea is that any real change begins first in the Mind. You conceive an idea and birth into action. But the head is where it all starts. If we can conceive it, we can achieve it. I get it, and the concept seems to make sense, but I contend that while the head may be the engine, the heart is the petrol. I am much more of a head person than a heart one. I trust my logic, my emotions notsomuch.  But when I look back at the things I am most proud of (going to Europe the first time, getting the lead role in “The Elephant Man” in college, some people who I have chosen to partner with) were all heart-based decisions. So what really does come first the heart or the head. For me at least the best scenario is when my head creates an image that my heart can buy into. As far as this applying to my weight loss journey, I have found exercising does wonders for my (metaphorical) heart, (hopefully my literal one as well). But there is something about movement that makes my emotions calm. While stagnancy and inertia have the opposite effect. So I have to exercise even if it only has a marginal impact on my weight loss.

Day 5 The Carrot and the Stick

A huge part of overcoming unskilled eating habits is being aware of not only what I am eating but why I am eating. Ben Franklin said “Eat to live, not live to eat” but for many food has become a form of reward and punishment. Ever since we were children, food was the bounty. If we were”good,” we were rewarded with something usually sweet. If we “misbehaved” we had food we liked withheld. I observed that at least in my head, I punish myself with food much more than as a reward. If I am depressed or frustrated, I will intentionally eat something unhealthy. I am telling myself I don’t deserve to be healthy. If I have been successful in losing some weight occasionally, I might eat off the diet as a reward, but this isn’t as common. An old pattern I finally see some healing is the old habit of eating badly if I somehow failed to keep on track with the diet. I used to say “Well, you already messed up earlier today, so you might as well have the Pizza.” Buddha once said, “You can not show compassion to others if you deny it within yourself”. It all goes back to the “Sin” vs. “Unskilled” idea. If I make a mistake I am not broken. I need to improve my skills.

Day 6            “I ain’t missin you at all.”

So far so good on the whole vegan thing. I really am not craving anything I have given up. I am sure the time will come. Thirty days is a long time. I think if anything Dairy will be a much bigger issue than meat. Cheese is one of my trigger foods. Once I start, I have a hard time stopping. Cheese is the ultimate gateway food.  You can put cheese on anything. To be honest a lot of times I never even tasted the cheese. I mean if you put it on a sandwich, I can’t really tell but boom! It’s another 100 calories. Butter is another weakness. Butter and Salt. And is their evil friend Cheese comes along, it’s sheer lunacy.

So it will be interesting to see if I can avoid the Cheese-Jones.

sliced tomato and avocado on white plate
Photo by Artem Bulbfish on

2 Replies to “My 30 Day Vegan Experiment Days 3-6”

  1. Nice post. Just FYI, I was vegan for 6 years (vegetarian for 50) and I traveled to 15 countries on three continents without a problem. Key is finding where “the kids” go in town. Many young people have opened healthy food cafes with great results all over the world! I didn’t lose weight but I felt so much healthier. I went back to dairy when I moved to Greece for six months — you can’t not eat the feta and yogurt!

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