I was looking through my drafts and came across this one. Although it is a little later than planned and now more like “My first year (and 2 months) being Vegan”. I have been crazy busy of late and havent been able to blog as much as I would like, or do much of anything if I am honest. But its a crappy raining bank holiday monday so here I am!
The other day my Finace said to me that I had been vegan for over a year now! I made the change in March 2016 (the 1st I think) and she suggested I write a little post about my first Vegan year; how I feel, how I found it etc. So here it is 🙂
So, over a year as a vegan. Firstly from a health point of view I feel the healthiest I have felt since……I don’t know when. I feel good. I feel awake, alive and ready to thrive! I never realised how shit I felt until I started feeling good. I used to have aches and pains in my knees, shoulder and back (all from previous injuries), I had severe IBS, I would get bad skin and outbreaks, I would sleep late because I had trouble getting to sleep. I was massively overweight, lethargic and sluggish. I was a bit of a mess to be honest. I had been through depression a couple of years ago before going vegan and although I was off my meds and doing good, I always felt I was close to falling back into that. Now, I feel happy a lot of the time. I have lost weight, gained confidence, its like all the things that made me feel crap are now gone and I just feel good.
When I went vegan I had just started a second job as a Sainsbury’s online shopper, I was working 4am-8am there, then off to my full-time job as a Health and Safety Officer from 8:30-5/6pm. I would get to sleep about 11pm and would be up at around 2-2:30am. Even though that is a shit amount of sleep I didn’t feel too bad from it. I knew it was only short-term, just so I could save some money to pay for a trip to the states to meet my future in-laws and spend some time with my fiance. Even though I was getting poor amounts of sleep, I still felt ok. I was doing those hours Sun, Mon, Tue, Fri. Giving me the Saturday off which was a catch up day. If I had even attempted that before on my old lifestyle, I wouldn’t have lasted a week. As it was, I lasted 7 months in the end, which paid for the trip.
(My awesome Father-in-law to be)
(TBH, I would work 24/7 to be able to spend time with this amazing person)
Apart from feeling so much better in this last
year fourteen months, I think I look better, I don’t have such bags under my eyes, my weight has dropped by a couple of stone (I dont weigh myself so I cant be exact, although I am back in 34″ trousers when previously I was buying 44″ and at one point 46″), my skin feels clearer and overall I just feel happier. I feel happier in my life, my choices everything. It has given me confidence that if I can go vegan (which I NEVER ever thought I would be able to do) then I can do anything. Off the back of feeling good and healthier which gave me confidence, I now have a new job. A new job for a great company in a great position. Thankfully I dont need a second job to save anymore. I’m not saying Veganism will get you decent paid jobs, but I know I wouldn’t have felt good enough in myself to go to the interview.
In the 14 months I have been Vegan it has been awesome. It really has. As I mentioned, I went to the states (loads of vegan choices there and I so badly wish Ben and Jerry’s would bring their ice cream over here!) and met my amazing future in-laws. I started Devon Animal Save. I go to slaughterhouse vigils. Attend regular vegan outreach events (across three areas in Devon). Take part in marches/protests. Became Admin on the Veganuary group on Facebook. Met some incredible people. Helped turn other people vegan. Ultimately, I have just learnt to look at things differently. Myself, my choices, the world, those around me etc. Its been a liberating experience. It feels bad getting so much out of it, because the reasons for being vegan have nothing to do with personal gain, but it seems to be a byproduct of it.
(Some of the Vegan Yummies easily available in the states!)
I have a lot going on (new job, Admin on veganuary, Moderator for a poetry website [April being National Poetry Writing Month meaning April was busier than normal], Looking for solicitors to handle a immigration/visa application…..) and even though it has been/can be stressful I am feeling “fresher” and more able to handle it.
Being Vegan has gotten easier too! Sainsburys and Tesco both bringing out their own Vegan cheeses, Asda working with the Vegan Society, more chain restuarants adding to the Vegan options, my local pizza place adding a Vegan “meat” feast pizza to the menu (little bit personal to me that one but encouraging). Vegansim gets easier every day. More products are becoming vegan, more companies are realising the growing number of vegans means they need to adapt.
Proof of the rise of Veganism can be seen where Veganuary had just shy of 60,000 people sign up!
There has been a drop in meat and dairy sales, a rise in free from and Alpro. Its been an encouraging year for Veganism.
(Meat and Dairy Decline)
Personally, my eating habits have started to change since being Vegan. Up until literally a couple of weeks ago I was a full on junk vegan. Mock meats, accidentally vegan crisps and chocolates etc. Vegan burgers, hot dogs etc. But now I actually choose to eat hummus and salad sandwiches, with no spread. Seriously a couple of months ago I’d never have considered that. A year and 2 months ago my cholesterol packed heart wouldve given out from laughing so hard at something so absurd. Don’t get me wrong, I still indulge in some of that stuff but I don’t crave it. I am hoping that in the future I can shift my diet towards more raw options.
Anyway, I am starting to ramble on. So the TL:DR version. Been vegan for 14 months. Never thought I could do it. Now feel amazing. Confident enough to take on the world. The End.
(Strangely, Still representing the Sainsbury’s Purple!)