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Sharpe-Jefferson: Confessions of a struggling vegan at Christmas

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Who chooses to go vegan at “the most wonderful time of the year” – the only time we truly get “a day pass” to eat as much unhealthy food as our stomachs can hold?

I am guilty of this very thing.

I must admit, there’s something that’s moderately appealing to me about exhibiting mass restraint during a time when we are expected to wholeheartedly cast it aside.

Ahhhh, I’m closing my eyes right now imagining the table spreads stuffed full of savory seasonal food offerings and delicious desserts.

In all honesty, “going vegan” has been a struggle for me at times.

I remember going vegan in 2018 and I followed a strict, plant-based diet for several months and avoided any animal products in my diet. It was so successful, resulting in weight loss and better health, I contemplated abandoning all of my former eating habits for this new way of eating and living. The decision just stuck and produced results back then.

Add to all of this the not so insignificant fact that I’m an animal lover and the thought of them losing their lives in order to satisfy my palate actually became disturbing to me (yes, I know that’s extreme but it’s true).

As the demands of work and life pressed on me, I slipped back into former eating habits later in 2018 – opting for the burger and fries instead of the salad; choosing the meat and two rather than cooking a veggie plate or veggie stir fry. I made a good run, but it didn’t last.

So, I decided to give it another try this December to help with weight management and to incorporate plant-based foods into my diet.

Here’s a confession. Midway through the month, not only have I fallen off the wagon, I’ve fallen off so much, the wagon appears to be inoperable/stuck at this point.

But, there is a stick-to-it-ness that comes with my personality (my husband calls it simply being strong-willed lol).

The circumstances that allowed me to easily adhere to my new diet in 2018 are not the same today.

And since my circumstances, or things, have changed, I must also change in order to see this decision through until I see results.

Here are a few items that I will implement to see victory this time around:

  • Choose an accountability partner.
  • Quickly resume my vegan eating plan if and after a less healthy choice is made.
  • Keep buying and preparing vegan food items regardless of whether I “feel like it.’

Are you seeing any keys for yourself when it comes to making major changes in your life or sticking firm to a decision, diet or otherwise?

Struggle does not equal failure, it simply means the strategy must be adjusted to see victory.

So, whether you’re reaching for the yams or the roast, make this your most enjoyable Christmas ever – even if it’s unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed before COVID-19.

Note: For those contemplating changing their diet plans to eat vegan, consider the “whole” picture and talk to your doctor to make sure it’s a safe option for you.

Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson is a life coach, author and speaker. Her column appears on the first and third Thursdays of each month online and in The Birmingham Times. You can contact Keisa at keisa@keisasharpe.com and visit http://www.allsheanaturals.com for natural hair and body products.