Earlier this year I decided to write about weight loss and health once a week. My first post was supposed to be about binge eating and counting calories and instead I wrote this. My wee blog that boast three comments on a “successful” post grew enormously. I didn’t have a single negative comment, all 100 comments were encouraging. However, I quickly became a shrinking violet. Do I really want to blog about my weight so publicly? If my blog continues to grow will I have trolls? I did have a few people contact me with serious mental health issues regarding PTSD or self-harm or eating disorders. I’m kind of at a loss of what to do to help them and I decided all I could do is STRONGLY encourage them to seek professional help. I am moved by the response to that post and I hope it helps others, but I freaked out over the attention.
I’ve waited for a bit and once folks realized I mostly blog about babies and books, I’ve seen a drop in pages views, comments, and shares. Now I am comfortable again. If you joined me after my eating disorder post and you’re still here then “Hi!” (waves excitedly). We probably have more in common than eating disorders and you are most likely a kindred spirit. Thanks for sticking around.
Now that I’m comfortable blogging again, I want to address my idea concerning a regular feature on weight loss and health. The focus will not be weight loss, although that will be a part of it, because I want to write about my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Care and Keeping of Me posts will discuss weight loss, cooking, exercise, journaling, mental health, etc…. This puts my sole focus off of the number on the scale and will encompass my entire live style change to live in a way kind to me, my family, and the environment. This week I’m discussing new project: becoming vegan.
Last year, while on maternity leave with Persy Jane, I watched several documentaries on vegetarianism, factory farming and health. I decided to become a pescatarian. After reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals last April I decided to go completely vegetarian. I have been completely vegetarian since April 5th, 2013. I have accidentally ingested meat three times since then and I can honestly say that I have no craving or desire to ever eat meat. Last year I told myself that if I went a full year being vegetarian with no health issues, cravings, or surrendering I would go vegan in April of 2014.
There are two reasons why I’m going vegan:
- The dairy and egg industry is every bit as cruel to animals as the meat industry. Cows are kept pregnant, separated from their young, and constantly pumped for milk. The egg industry has no use for male chicks and grinds and burns live chicks they view as extraneous. Personally, I felt that eating dairy and eggs was not eating in a kind manner. My family is still consuming dairy and eggs and I will discuss that later.
- Dairy is my trigger food. I crave dairy: ice cream and cheese in particular. This craving is never satiated. I can eat a large vanilla frosty and immediately want another. The more I eat, the more I want, and the worse I feel. I get stomach cramps and gas, my skin breaks out, and I feel sluggish and tired. I know this is the dairy doing it. When I was dairy-free while nursing Atticus (and for a little bit Persy Jane) my skin cleared, my stomach issues abated, I slept better, and I quit craving dairy. I have been vegan since Saturday and I’ve already lost 5 pounds. 5 pounds. I lost weight because I didn’t eat desserts, cheese, ice cream, and candy. My stomach issues are already getting better and I am less sluggish at work.
My Family and How We Eat
I’ve made the choice to be vegan and Sam has agreed on being vegetarian at home. We do not purchase meat at the grocery store. Sam eats meat at work or if her dines out and Atticus and Persy Jane eat meat at daycare. Hope has been vegetarian for over a year, but recently informed me she wanted to eat meat again. I believe that being vegetarian is a choice my kids will have to make on their own. After all, I can pack all the vegetarian food I want, but if they want to eat meat they will be able to.
I plan on writing a longer post about grocery shopping, but I’ve been using Nature’s Garden Express for the bulk of our organic produce. I also get one gallon of low-pasteurized, grass-fed milk (the mamas get to stay with their babies) and a dozen free range eggs from a local farmer. While I support veganism, I also know it is important to vote with my dollar for at least a switch to a kinder way of farming dairy and eggs.
I will keep you all updated on my progress!