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I posted my story to Tumblr- and though I've already shared it here, I thought I'd share it again :) Thank you everyone- this site has really helped alter my life, your support has been essential to my transformation xo
Sometimes, terrible things can lead to unexpected happiness.
Back when I ate meat and dairy, I developed a thyroid disease from my terrible lifestyle. To be fair, it was inordinately unhealthy- and especially after I quit all of my sports, the weight gain felt uncontrollable. I grew incredibly depressed; this was from between the end of high school, through the start up of college.
My first major was Graphic Design- Art had always been my only passion. Growing up in Europe, I was heavily influenced by my surroundings- and my parents sure never missed an opportunity to drag me to a new museum. I always got good marks in school, especially in math and english, but Art was where my heart was at.
However once I started school, the rigorous demands of my classes began to really affect my love. Drawing for fun and for pleasure, and for when the mood strikes you- it was different than doing 14 hour pieces of things you hated every week. I stopped drawing for fun at all, even doodling on my notepads. It had become a job, and I hated it. I also lived in the state with the worst economy, and when my talented professor revealed he only taught because he couldn’t find work elsewhere, I decided to change my major. It felt practical. So that was when I began classes for computer science. This tossed me to the other end of the spectrum; it was a very employable degree, but I found it exceedingly tedious. I was good at math, for sure, but I loathed it vehemently. Writing code had translated differently from my dreams than what it was in reality, it just wasn’t for me.
After this, I had some medical problems and took a break. My mother began to receive diagnosis after diagnosis, and my mind turned again to health. I had been interested in veganism, raw food, vegetarianism, etc., for a long time- since high school, when I started to gain the weight. I idolized the idea of leading a healthy lifestyle, but had never moved on my desires. Because I desired sitting on my ass and eating whatever I felt like, more. I had already begun to lose weight by exercising more regularly, and cutting back on my portions- and the positive feedback, coupled with the massive anxiety I felt over my mother’s health issues, gave me the last push I needed.
That year I made a resolution to become Pescetarian. The more research I did, and the more my health seemed to improve, the more enamored with lifestyle change I became. I researched every fad diet, every study, every cardio regiment. I found myself getting into conversations with people at the grocery store, debating which protein bar was healthier, which chemicals to avoid on the ingredient labels. I had found my calling. I became vegetarian immediately afterward, and then vegan shortly after that. Exercise got easier and easier, and my thyroid pills became less and less relevant. I had joined a website for recipes, and began watching my first documentaries on animal abuse. By the time I started classes for dietetics, I tossed my medicine- the medicine doctors had said I would always need, until the day I died- and began to truly live my life.
I fell in love with cooking, and I fell in love with animals all over again. I was met with a great wave of relief, as if a wall which had separated me from animals had been lifted. Always in my heart, I had claimed to love them, but had been so disconnected when it came to stuffing their bodies into my mouth. And my karma had been severe, my health had declined, putting the beings I loved inside of me. Free to love and free to be healthy, even my depression lifted, and my insomnia eased. Family and friends all noted how much better my skin was, how much better my body looked, how much better my mood had become.
I began to truly thrive in school. Not only had I found something I loved, I enjoyed learning so much that my classwork never felt like work- it felt like doing my personal research again, discovering all the secrets of the body, and the fallacies of the diet myths which saturate our culture.
Everyone walks their own journey, everyone makes mistakes. You can’t let them knock you down. Something horrible, like gaining weight or being diagnosed with a disease- it doesn’t have to be the end of the world for you. Take that end to one era, and start a new one. Take control of your life, because no one is going to save you but yourself. Each day you are a little bit closer to never breathing again, make each one count, and bless the breaths of the creatures more vulnerable than yourself. Every life is precious; live for yourself, live a life of compassion, and breathe your own great sigh of relief.
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