I recently became a Vegan.
Just so you know, I capitalized “vegan” because that’s how major it was for me. So much has changed. More on that in a moment.
I just finished eating some vegetables and tofu topped with crunchy sunflower and flax seeds and stir fried in vegetable broth with a little soy sauce. Delicious AND satisfying.
You know, I love meat, chicken and fish. I mean, is there anything better than a half-pounder cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, mayo, Dijon mustard, mushrooms and onions drowned in ketchup?
Not that I can think of. But here’s the deal …
I had to make a change. I had become Type-2 diabetic, I was grudgingly taking medication, I was overweight and always sluggish, bloated and somewhat depressed.
Truth be told, for my entire life, I never felt good about eating animal products. Something about it just didn’t sit right in my mind or stomach. I sort of numbed myself when it came to thinking about how “food” arrived at my local supermarket.
I subconsciously knew the truth. I knew that animals were being hideously slaughtered and tortured for me. I mean, let’s face it. Does any good come to any animal intended for someone’s dinner plate? Let’s be real here.
As I sit here and think back, I knew many years ago that I would become a vegan. I just knew it. I knew that one day I’d have to take a real stand for and against something. I also knew that this decision would not be about me preaching to other people about what they should or should not do.
This was all about ME. This was about the buck – no pun intended – stopping with me. This was about me deciding what was no longer acceptable for me to do.
I think you begin to experience true maturity when you realize that changing the world isn’t really about changing “the world” or society. It’s about changing yourself. That’s the REAL deal.
I’m convinced that a lot of people focus on trying to change the world and change others because they know that changing themselves is extremely difficult and requires profound and sometimes painful self-examination. It’s much easier to point the finger at “society” rather than take responsibility for something in your own life.
Where’s the fun in taking personal responsibility? It’s much more fun to try to change someone else, isn’t it?
Given all of that, here I am. One day, I just stopped eating animal products. It’s was as simple as that. Nothing dramatic.
Apart from that, I must give a big shout-out to Dr. Neal Barnard. YouTube him.
Becoming a Vegan is one of the very best decisions of my entire life. Here I am, chatting with you and after only a few months, I am now 35 pounds lighter, my skin is clearer, my eyes are whiter, I have much more energy and I’m back to doing yoga with maybe plans to start running again.
So much is better now.
I don’t miss the bloating, the acid reflux, the sleepless tossing and turning at night, the ridiculous medication, the high A1C and all of the other nonsense that comes with not taking very good care of oneself.
Eating clean, green and plant-based is definitely the way to go for me. I feel great AND I am very grateful. I am grateful because I feel that I woke up – just in time. God spoke to me. He woke me up.
It was simply no longer acceptable for me to claim that I’m a good person, while at the same time, I had all of these bad habits.
My body is my temple. My mind is my temple. I feel that I am now treating them both with the respect that they deserve. I am treating myself with the respect that I deserve.
I also feel that I’m giving animals and our planet the respect that they deserve. I feel good about myself for deciding to step into what – for me – is a higher truth. I am truly walking my talk.
Wanna hear a quick story?
Recently, I ran into someone who I hadn’t seen in awhile.
“Wow Mike! Have you lost weight? You look great!”
“Yes,” I replied. “I recently ‘went Vegan’ and I literally dropped 35 pounds! I mean, the weight just FELL off of me,” I added.
And with that, she gave me that hard, tell-tale stare. You know what I mean. That look of indignation mixed with personal judgment that always reveals that the person in question is about to hit you with a zinger.
At this point, she got a little huffy and replied …
“WELL … I sure hope you’re not going to start PREACHING to other people about becoming vegan!” she said.
Somewhat dumbfounded by her quick reversal, I replied, “Nope … not on your life! I’m just telling you what I did!”
And with that, we politely parted ways.
I’m sitting here and sharing this story with you because I saw her again just yesterday. Here’s what she said …
“You know, after hearing you talk, I’m seriously thinking about becoming a vegan too!”
“Oh, really?” I replied. “Well, if you DO, I sure hope you don’t ‘get preachy’ about it!” We both laughed.
As I laughed, I gave myself a mental high-five … and then, this very woman who somehow thought I was going to "preach" to her about being vegan, was actually asking me questions about being vegan. I'm certainly no expert, but I shared what I knew.
Is this what happens when you truly take a stand in your own life?