I’m about to head out the door for the day, but I wanted to address something, because it’s been the theme of my in box for a couple of days. The “other person” excuse. Okay, I know it is hard to switch your eating ways, it’s hard to go vegan (at first)… But do not let another person be an excuse to not go vegan. I’ve heard so many times now,.. “but my wife!” or husband or partner or girlfriend or boyfriend or workplace or boss or any other person will first have to be convinced or be on board with YOUR food choices for YOUR body in order for YOU to make the choice to change your eating ways.
Um…. sorry, unless those people are holding the forks, and opening your mouth and making you chew, they don’t have much to say about what YOU eat and what YOU put in YOUR body. If you are living with someone, married, or otherwise and you really want to change? CHANGE. If you are the one cooking, cook what you want to cook – you can either have something else for them, or if they want it, tell them that you are sorry but it is too hard for you to have to cook/buy the food they are eating right now, and that you will be making lots of new vegan meals, that they are more than welcome to try, or they are more than welcome to cook and buy food that they want. It’s okay to have a schizophrenic fridge.:)
Most importantly, you need to be honest. You need to express with out being mean about it why you want to give it a try to go vegan. Tell them if you are scared about your health, tell them that you want to be around a long time, tell them that you know they might not understand why you have decided on this path, but that you know because they love you they will support anything that leads to you being more healthy.
So let’s look at the people in your life and your Vegan food choices:
- Your husband/wife: Tell them why you want to give it a try . Start buying separate groceries and cooking separate meals if you need to.
- Your parents who have a big Sunday meal every Sunday: If you have to, skip it all together. You have to start doing what is best for you, even if it ticks off some people, it is okay to be selfish. You can also bring your own dishes, and be sure to explain what you are doing in a friendly way.
- Your friends: Tell them what you are doing, and if they suggest eating out somewhere that really won’t work for you, either skip out that time, or suggest another place. Tell them it’s hard for you to be around certain foods right now, and that you could really use any support they can offer.
- Your extended family: You can also tell them what it is you are doing, and if you are invited to a family meal, be sure to bring something along. And again, if it’s a problem, you need to remember to do what is best for yourself. If they are not healthy to have in your life, find ways to minimize time spent with them, or to make sure that the time spent together is not about food. Plan to go mini golfing, on a hike, to a movie! Make family more about quality time and less about food.
- Your co-workers: There are donuts in the break room! Stop going to the break room, bring your own snacks (to share if you can) be the one at the dinner out to order a plate of veggies if you have to. When people ask about it, say “I’ve got a pretty strict diet ” . You don’t have to explain it all if you do not want to.
- That person who gives you a hard time about it all: It might be time to simplify your relationships a bit. This can be hard at first, but is something for me that has been life changing in a very good and positive way. You might need to take a break from this person, and you may come to realize that they do not want you to change, because they, themselves do not want to change.
- The person who tells you “Oh but you look SO good! You don’t have to do anything like that!”: Tell them there are a lot of reasons that you are deciding to go vegan, and that you are wanting to prevent some bad stuff down the line.
- The person who makes it about them: You will run into some folks who will say things like “oh so I guess you think I’m eating terrible!” . You can tell them that you have decided for your health and well being eat and live your life in a certain way, and if they would like to have more information about it, you can definitely direct them to some great resources. But your decision to eat and live the way you are is strictly to do with you.
- The person you can’t just drop and you have to see day in and day out that is really giving you a hard time: There is a great book out there called “emotional blackmail” by Susan Foward. Read it! There are people in our lives that are really hard to deal with, and sometimes who can hurt us. It is so important that you learn how to deal with these people, and how to live your life for you and live in healthy ways, even though they are around. The best way I have found is “broken record” this is a method of telling the person the same thing over and over, and not getting into an argument. Have a one line defense. So if they say “You are an idiot for buying into that tree hugging hippie talk” tell them “I’m sorry you feel that way, but for me and my health, I am doing what I think is best, it is okay if you do not agree with me, but I am going to do what is best for me”. Anytime the subject comes up, repeat the same thing, do not get into an argument or try to convince them. Live your life in the new healthy way, and if they want to put you down for that, it is their own loss. But often, they will see how much things change for you. Be an example!
Okay, with all that said.. do what is best for yourself! Start taking time for you, it is YOUR health and body and well being. Do not let others get in the way of your changes, and do not let them hold you back. In the end, you choose what you put in your body, and you are the one accountable to that. Remember that you are completely capable, and have every thing you need right now to make the changes.