Day 23. Decided to go Vegan and take the next step towards mindfulness.

Yesterday was profound.

Not much happened physically. I was still a bit sick with a lingering cough so I held still. But mentally and spiritually, it was a roller coaster.

First, I went to DUI class, which I wrote about in yesterday’s post. That was essentially what kick-started my day. Upon my return home, I had a medium case of the ‘shoulds’ about going to the gym or for a run, but was afraid about my hacking cough that was still revealing its ugly face when I least expected it. So I decided to do some writing and then see where the day took me. Oh boy. I ended up going on a journey.

It started with writing yesterday’s post. But it was tough to stay focused (seems to be an ongoing theme for the last few weeks) and I felt all over the place with not much to say. So I decided to check out Rich Roll’s website, since I’ve been so hooked on his podcast. He’s a huge advocate of the plant based diet. This got me thinking, because I’ve been thinking of going back to veg for a bit now.

So I decided to start researching vegan fitness competition prep for next year. I’ve been having this pull or desire to enter a bikini or figure competition in June of next year.

Of course, I know me, and I was still hung up on all the reasons why someone should NOT go vegan. Not enough protein. Not enough nutrition. Will become scrawny instead of strong. etc. etc. the list goes on.

But the more I researched, the more I realized there are a LOT of strong vegans out there. RIPPED vegans!! People out there were SHATTERING paradigms!

And that’s when I decided I wanted to be someone who shattered paradigms. I was not only intriqued by the thought of putting a way more interesting blend of food in my body (rather than chicken and veg which was enough to derail me from wanting to train) but by the thought of debunking a widely accepted assumption. One that I accepted for YEARS. Fuck everyone else. I wanted to prove myself wrong.

Then I watched ‘Earthlings’ and the compassionate reasoning started to flow in. The movie is pretty violent and intense, and came off a bit as propaganda (I don’t like the use of fear tactics, etc.).

But I told myself that even if only 10% of it was true, 5%, then did I really want to be someone who perpetuated that industry? I believe energy is transferred, and if the anima died in fear or anxiety then I was consuming that energy. Plus was that creature’s entire life experience, all the joy and saddness or even just rolling with instincts, worth the three minutes it took for me to eat and forget about that meal?

Ugh. Let me tell me. I really resisted these thought processes at first because I didn’t want to become some feel-good hippy. I’m already getting all foofy and shit, did I really need to throw veganism into the mix?

But just the thought of having a compassionate basis for the way I ate, a purposeful reasoning, as opposed to mindless or just doing as I’ve been doing, made me feel good. In fact, that sense of compassion seemed to spill over to the rest of my life. I felt more compassionate towards Meech when she came home. Heather too.

Who knew that choosing compassion in the way I ate would seep to other areas of my life! WTF.

Paradigms be shattering all around me.

So I tossed out all my cheese and dairy. I purchased vegan protein powder online. Then I went to the store and went on one big protein splurge. Came home and went on a huge cooking spree. Now I have the fridge full of vegan ready-to-go deliciousness. I just have to make sure I’m getting enough calories for my strength training.

I’ve decided to go 30 days and see how I feel. I don’t want to attach to this IDEA of myself being vegan. I’m going to go with how my body responds. Plus I’m not going to get all anal about how truly vegan everything I eat is. If there’s trace of something in a food I’m not tripping. I still want to be able to live my life without checking every fucking thing to make sure there isn’t trace of dairy or some shit.

Anyways.

Finished the night off with reading my ‘Mindful Recovery’ book, which kept the brain exploding. Here are some favorite passages:

Chapter: The Process of Change

“You fail to live the actual moments of your life because you are instead aways trying to get to some other, better moment. You never live, but are always planning to live.”

YES. This is (was?) me!!! I often do things with the goal of getting it over so I can get onto the next. I go to work so I can be done with work and go to the gym. I go to the gym with the goal to get it over and be home and comfortable. And so on. I have to constantly pull myself back to the present moment. This is something I have been working on with small, everyday stuff.

“When we are not mindful, when we are not getting the experiential food we need, we get a little crazy. We become psychologically starved. We are plagued by all manner of imaginings and fears having little to do with reality Worse still, we can run around trying to seek intense stimulation to feed our starving minds. Some people try to do this through drugs and alcohol, rather than by tuning in to the wealth of experience already at hand. But this is a kind of junk food to the mind, filling but not nourishing.”

I get this. Checking Facebook all the time is not nourishing, it’s filler. It’s like when your body gets so used to sugar you need tons of it to experience flavor. Same with the mind. It’s time to get back to letting the small, mundane stuff bring a lot of flavor to life.

“Recovery is a process. It is a process of navigating between complacency on the one hand, and self-recrimination and despair on the other.”

“Whether the day ahead presents a busy round of work, or a peaceful day at the beach, the mindfulness practitioner approaches it the same way, with an intention to be aware, to experience fully and deeply.”

“The problem with valuing one thing so much is that our attachment to it then makes it difficult to value anything else. Because you find one thing helpful, do you have to reject everything else? Does that exhause all possibilities? A both-an approach is often more useful and more complete than an either-or approach”

“Mindfulness is not a shallow philosophy of living for the day, as if you had no past and no responsibility toward the future. Mindfulness heals the past and cares for the future in the only time in which it is possible to do this: the present moment.”

Ok, I’m officially starving. Time to go!

 

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