For some reason, the new forum wouldn't let me enter under my previous user name, Aurelia. I tried everything.
Anyway, I'm back!
I was vegan for two years and returned to omnivorism around Thanksgiving. I let myself eat whatever I wanted for 2-3 months, because I felt that was healthy psychologically after two years on such a restrictive - and I now think, unnatural - diet. However, I gained more weight on top of the 15 pounds of extra fat that I was already carrying. At five feet, this is significant. I am 31, and want to get things under control now, while it's still relatively easy, and while I can still reverse any damage to my health caused by the Standard American Diet.
I went primal in March but fell off the wagon, but I've decided to try again. I'd be interested in hearing any advice from folks about how to deal with withdrawal from breads, pastas, and sugars. I never had a problem turning down non-vegan food as a vegan, but I was motivated by ethics, so it seemed a simple choice. I am doing primal for me. So, since I haven't tried the lifestyle for a long enough period to see significant results, it's seemed really easy to rationalize a soda here, a free cookie there. Also, I've never had much of a sweet tooth, always preferring salty, carby, or cheesy snacks, but now that I am trying to give it all up, I am having real trouble saying no to sweets. Where I work, people constantly bring in leftovers and "gifts." Yesterday, three different people brought in free cookies! I also hate to exercise, which is another reason Mark's primal plan appeals to me - he insists that exercise be integrated into life - not a chore that we do because our daily lives are so unnatural that we have to set aside time to move our limbs - ridiculous! Mark's approach seems very natural and appealing to me.
I really value this site, and look forward to see the progress of others' - it's so motivational. I love the success stories! I can't wait to get serious about this again. I feel so pudgy and lethargic. Bleh. Today we had our food bank drive, and it presented an easy way for me to primalize my pantry: all nonperishables were to be left in paper bags by your mailbox, to be taken to the food bank by the postman. Perfect! I took out two bags full of canned beans, pasta, flour, and packaged cornbread and dip mix. I feel a weight lifted.
For me, this decision is part of a larger transitional period in which I am also learning about personal and social sustainability (from a peak oil and environmentalist POV); planning to move from the 8-5 rat race to a small rural home with a large garden in a few years; and slowly moving into the neopagan spiritual path known as Druidry (even though I am an atheist). I am looking for a more holistic, natural, sustainable, and real life. Life is short, and I don't want to be another typical American consumer, on any level. I know this site attracts a diverse group of people across many political, religious, and cultural views, but I sense that there are others here who share my interests and values. I look forward to learning from everyone.
Go and read the vegetarian myth by Lierre Keith and you'll find ample ethical motivation to eat pastured meats and natural grown vegetables. Every time you feel yourself backsliding remember that eating grains destroys the soil and without good soil everything else would die.
Originally Posted by AureliaBlue
AB - If you can hold off of sweets/sugar for say, a month, I'll bet that you won't have such a hard time turning them down. There's no magic trick other than just to do it. Some people can gradually wean themselves off, some people have to go cold turkey. But the longer you go without them, the less you want them. After not eating sweets for a period of time, things you previously enjoyed will taste awful (toooooo sweet).
Also, I used to hate to exercise also. But as i got leaner/healthier my body wanted to do more, which fits with what Gary Taubes said in GCBC. Again, if you can push through the first couple of months, the amount of activity your body wants to do may surprise you. I love working out/exercising now. Just make sure you're doing something that you don't hate. Like, I'll never be a runner or a cyclist because I hate running or cycling for long periods of time (I love sprinting though and other running in short bursts) so I do other things. Maybe walk or exercise in a pretty place and really concentrate on your surroundings which will be enjoyable in itself, but also distract you from the fact that you're exercising
Last edited by AuH2Ogirl; 05-09-2010 at 12:20 PM.
bushrat, The Vegetarian Myth was actually the final spur I needed to leave veganism, something I'd been thinking about for a while. That book was amazing. I haven't read GCBC yet, but it's on my list. I've read a lot of summaries of the science behind Taubes' work online, and it seems sound, but I am not a scientist and would like to read the arguments and explanations myself so I have a genuine understanding. Anyway, you make a great point about approaching primal eating from the same ethical stance as veganism. Of course I don't eat factory farmed meat, and when cooking at home I only use organic meats and produce (local meats insofar as possible), and I shop at a food co-op and farmer's market. I'm really into bison lately, and I'm lucky that I can get Texas-raised bison. It was also important for me to realize that no diet is a solution to our ecological problems, which spring from our heavily industrialized, fossil-fuel-based civilization. The Kantian categorical imperative is no help, though I cannot help but think in those terms. If everyone was vegan, that wouldn't really help; likewise, if everyone was primal, even if they hunted their own foods, that wouldn't help. There are simply too many people, so many people that no system is truly sustainable. And we've backed ourselves into a corner with our reliance on fossil fuels and monocrop mass agriculture. But I digress. The point is, this will work for me, now. I've read, studied, thought, considered, and experimented a lot, and primal makes sense to me. It's not a perfect solution to my dietary problems, nor is it a perfect relief of my guilt; but it is the best I can do under current circumstances. It feels right to me.
AuH2Ogirl, thanks for the input. I gave up sodas (I have a nasty soda habit - my mother let me drink the stuff from about age 4 and drank it the whole time she was pregnant!) for Lent last year, and after two or three weeks had no desire for the poisonous stuff. But I had one on Easter just because I could and, even though I didn't even like the taste of it anymore, found myself quickly back into my old soda habit. I find that drinking unsweet iced tea in moments of weakness is a real help, and, I figured, far superior to soda. I don't think I can wean myself off anything! Haha. I think I'll try going cold turkey for a month as you suggested. I don't eat that many sweets (don't have any in my home, just dark chocolate and fruit!), but I find I am craving cookies and cupcakes. Weird.
I think the approach you mention regarding exercise would work for me, also. I like physicality, I just don't like "putting in my time" - I hate hate hate gyms. The idea of paying for the privilege of hooking yourself up to some medieval torture devices in some artificially lit basement, just so you can move your arms and legs, is nuts to me. I, too, feel that after I drop a few pounds of bloat and start to feel lighter, I will naturally begin to move more. I already walk to work and a lot of errands. I plan to tune up my bike next month and buy panniers, as well. Walking is really the best though, isn't it? Too bad it will soon be 100+ degrees here!