Enjoy the Trip More Than The Destination
I went vegan about a year ago. During that year there have been a few slip-ups. A few times I took a bite of something I loved even though I knew it wasn't vegan and other times were accidents. I was happily eating a particular type of bread until a friend told me L-cysteine is not vegan. Dammit!!! There is a huge learning curve here, as there is with most major changes. My daughter is a Celiac, and that, too, took a lot of learning with some mistakes along the way.
I purposely have not made any concrete New Year's resolutions this year. I've come to the conclusion that it's a set up for failure. I'm a bit of a sugar addict – OK I'm a total sugar addict. I'm not going to say no sugar at all. I already know I won't be able to do it. I'm going to try to reduce it gradually, and hopefully as I consume less and adjust, I will want it less.
I'm not going to have any concrete plan for this next year (except to maintain my current vegan state as best I can). It's so easy to set up these huge expectations for yourself. If you want to eat less, or eat more, or exercise, or quit or start doing something then take baby steps and see how it goes. I think small leaps are so much easier and eventually they morph into a big leap.
I've long been on the OCD side and have had a bad habit of saying “from now on I'm going to......” and then promptly fail after a day or two. In the past, I'd often spend money on a book, or a diet plan and run full on into the all or none mentality. I would then beat myself up over it, and be so mad at myself for “failing”. Then, of course, I'd convince myself that I'd already failed so I could just use that as a free ticket to REALLY fail.
I'm now going with the “one day at a time” mentality. What can I do today, right now, that's healthy, or productive for me in some way? What little thing can I change? Here's an example: I often don't think of dinner until five minutes before it's supposed to happen so I throw something together quickly and it's not necessarily healthy or even good. I just shovel it in because I'm hungry and it's there. I have beautiful vegan cookbooks that I love to read, but rarely actually use. So today I'm going to buy the ingredients for a simple meal that looks appealing and make a few of them and freeze some. Every time I do cook, I'm going to cook a little bit extra that I can freeze. Eventually, I should have some nice varieties of frozen meals to choose from on those days when I'm too tired, or stressed, or just downright lazy! Truthfully, I'll still shovel in some unhealthy food when the urge strikes. But other days I won't, and with any luck, a habit will begin to form!
So as 2018 unfolds, be easy on yourself. Do the best you can, and don't set up unrealistic, multiple expectations. Life often gets in the way of those! Small steps eventually become big steps and sometimes (often) change is a bit of a journey, and is ultimately more enlightening than arriving at your destination!