When I transitioned to vegan eating in 1989, everyone thought I was a little overzealous to totally give up animal flesh. My transition started in 1986 and took three years to complete, mainly because I had no intention of being vegan. I lucked into it.
Every step of the way, the outside forces were against me, but I just kept going because I started feeling better. However, it doesn’t have to take that long to transition. I know some who have done it overnight and others who have taken months. My job now is to help ease the transition for my clients and introduce exercise to maintain supreme health.
However, my concept of supreme health doesn’t always jibe with my client’s vision of themselves and their desired lifestyles. Therefore, there are two mental pitfalls that can get in the way of moving in a more powerful direction.
First, being overconcerned about how you look—the vanity curse! I have a dear friend who wants to eat more plant-based food and lose weight mainly in her gut. But, as she puts it, “I don’t wanna lose my butt!” However, she’s on blood pressure medications that she wants to get off of, which obviously can compromise your health.
So, lose the weight and get off the meds or keep the butt and stay on the meds? If you let vanity rule what you will do, you could face some serious problems in the future. I tell her she’ll still look great with the weight loss (actually better) and her butt will take care of itself, but she doesn’t want to hear that. Sometimes you must readjust your concept of how you should look to live a higher quality of life.
Second, the supposed negative impact on your social life—no more fun! Yes, transitioning to plant-based eating will impact your social life because you cannot simply walk into any restaurant and eat anything. But, do you really want to do that anyway? Unfortunately, many people do. American culture is based on eating way too much crappy food way too often. This country is in a constant food fest. Hence most people are overweight and metabolic diseases are on the rise. However, sometimes in life, discipline is a necessary concept. You must be willing to put the work in (backing away from certain foods and exercising) to reap the rewards (looking and feeling spectacular). What I thought was “fun” to eat years ago I would never touch now because most of those foods are physically devastating.
All that said, I know it’s difficult to readjust your concepts of yourself and your lifestyle, but you must get out of your own way.
Think of it as an evolution to a higher life!