the quitter’s almanac.

QuitThis past Valentine’s Day marked two weeks for my vegan diet. For the most part, the only cravings that I had trouble with during this time were ones involving cheese or some product that normally contains cheese (pizza, nachos, cheez-its). I really had no other issues during the two weeks. That is, until my mom and sister were involved in an auto accident. They’re both fine, but the accident is hitting us hard financially and that brought on something that had really been absent for the previous 13 days: stress. I guess stress was creeping up either way – I’ve been studying for the MCAT and adhering to my studying schedule has proven less-than-stellar. Another event on Valentine’s Day that made things difficult was the absence of quality or really delicious vegan food in my house. I had mentioned before the importance of having a well-stocked kitchen, and I think it’s really helpful to have many options when stressful events arise and when willpower alone will not quell the cravings or provide comfort. Stressed, concerned about my and my family’s future, without many vegan food options, and feeling pretty lousy I decided to end the all vegan diet.

I’m pretty upset that I only made it halfway through my goal, but on the other hand, I’m also pretty proud of myself for doing it for two weeks. No it’s not an impressive feat; I didn’t do anything that would amount to much, especially when compared to what others have done with their diets. It’s not that I achieved anything, really. But I did manage to do something, even in my quitting, that I have had trouble doing over the years: I halfway kept a goal. I didn’t completely stick to my goal – and yes, that is failure – but I did keep it for two weeks. Normally I would have failed to merely keep it a day, let alone a full week or two. I still have difficulty exercising regularly, waking up on time, going to bed on time, completing my daily to-do lists, as well as a slew of other things. I by no means stuck with my goal. I in fact failed, rather miserably I might add. I didn’t form some new eating pattern or see the light. I didn’t stick it out long enough for my sense of taste to change. I didn’t even manage to make it to 21 days, which I hear is the time needed to form a new habit. After two weeks, I know what I knew before: I am a quitter. I quit when the going began to get tough. I quit.

So what now? Do I plan to resume the vegan eating anytime soon? I’m not sure. I have noticed that even though I’m allowing myself to eat non-vegan foods, I am still mostly eating vegan. I think if I learned anything these past two weeks, aside from the realization that I can somewhat stick to a goal, is that I am more aware than ever of what I am eating. I wish I had stuck it out and had realized some of those changes that I’ve read about – more energy, the change in taste, needing less sleep, better sleep, clearer skin, weight loss, etc. – either way, I’m still satisfied with the outcome of this experiment. I now need a new goal. Or maybe an anti-goal. Maybe I need reverse psychology or something. It’s true that we only want to do what we’re forbidden to do, so maybe I should go on a 28 day long non-vegan binge fest. Perhaps not. I think I just need to work towards change, as gradual or dramatic as I can handle at the time. And, when it doesn’t work out, give it another shot and keep at it. After all, you’re only a quitter when you quit. As long as I keep trying I’m not a quitter.


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4 Responses to “the quitter’s almanac.”

  1. Star Scott Says:

    I’m proud of you for going two weeks eating vegan. That is HUGE! And one step forward in the being healthy category. Funny you’ve been experimenting with this, because I’ve been thinking about doing the same. Just a month, to see if I feel any of the changes people talk about feeling. You are awesome and inspiring!

  2. Chad Says:

    A young seeker approached an elderly monk asking: “What do you do in the monastery?” The old monk replied: “Oh, well, we fall down and we get up. We fall back down again and we get back up. And then we fall down and get up again.”

    If you wish, you can continue the vegan diet…

    • jbh301 Says:

      Indeed. I will probably give it some time before I give it another shot. I want to do it for an entire month to see how things go. Thanks for the words of wisdom!

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