The Road to becoming a Vegan Yogi

Never would I have thought I’d be going vegan. I’ve always been big on cheese burgers, thanksgiving ham, baked macaroni & cheese, and everything else that is a meat/cheese lovers dream.

IMG_4498

I had one friend in high school who was a vegetarian and I thought that was just the most cringe worthy thing ever. I couldn’t understand why someone would give up the glory that is steak and potatoes, something I would make as often as possible. I once traveled through a snow storm to go to the supermarket just so my uncle could make me one of his infamous oven baked steaks.

Here I am in 2017 four years without beef, two years without pork, and one month without poultry.

IMG_0845

Since attending college I knew I wanted to start eating healthier, so cutting out red meat seemed like the way to start. After one month of no red meat, I decided I just really wanted to have a cheese burger to reward myself for making it one month without beef. I instantly regretted that decision. I was curled up in a ball the entire day because of all the work my body had to exert in order to break down the burger. That was the end of beef for me.

IMG_0581

After looking into alternative lifestyles, healthier living, and “happy vaginas” I started to learn about so many different things that we consume daily that are harmful to our bodies.

I knew that in order to change my eating habits I would also have to change my sleeping pattern as well as my physical activities (which were non-existent).

My interest in yoga began after my anxiety seemed to worsen. Practicing and studying (currently reading The Yoga Sutras) yoga is helping me to center myself, understand my body, understand my emotions, take better care of my body, and have a healthier daily routine.

IMG_5807

My interest in a diet change is due to my family’s history with high blood pressure and cancer as well as the many connections made between meat consumption and diseases. I want to lead a healthier lifestyle, extend my lifespan, and wake energized every morning.

I am currently practicing naked yoga twice daily, waking at 6am well rested & energized, eating a vegetarian diet although I will be heading to Bill’s Bar & Burger for one last shrimp burger. Consider it my farewell. I gradually weened myself off of meat and I plan to do the same with dairy & animal by-products.

IMG_8412

Learning to Love Your Body

As kids we have a certain level of innocence, a purity because we haven’t been heavily tainted by society and the people around us yet. It isn’t until we start to grow up that we are taught to love or hate certain features we possess.

Comments that aren’t seen as a big dealΒ like “Do you eat?” or “Are you sure you should be eating that?” have a much greater effect than people realize. It pushes people to think thatΒ something is wrong with their weight or physical appearance which causes them to become extremely body conscious.

Sooner or later you have a self-conscious and insecure teen/adult. Keeping up with a socially acceptable body image is practically impossible. Instead of creating a body that others will accept, strive to love the body you have or create the body you love.

I was often teased for being too skinny. I’ve heard jokes such as “You can dodge raindrops”, “You’re nothing but skin and bones” and “If you turned to the side you’d disappear”.

The jokes may have been funny to the people saying them but I wasn’t laughing. I’ve even had people ask me on multiple occasions if I was sick, suffering from anorexia or bulimia.

These things caused me to shop in the boys section. Rather than wearing straight legged jeans I’d wear boys cargo pants. It took me a while to love the body I have.

These are some of the things I did to help me learn to love my body….

  • Sleep naked (be free)
  • Stand naked in the mirror (get use to seeing yourself naked)
  • Say two positive affirmations a day about your body (focus on the good)
  • Point out the features on your body that you love
  • Don’t compare yourself to others ( be your own body goals)
  • Wear sexy underwear ( it’s a great confidence booster)
  • Treat yourself ( get a mani/pedi, wax/shave, get a haircut or a new style)

Create the body you love

  • Eat a healthy diet that fits you (a good diet makes you feel good)
  • Exercise (workout with intent)
  • Surgical enhancements ( make sure your reason for doing this is not based on someone else’s wants or preferences)
  • Have a goal in mind (when you look at yourself in the mirror what do you envision yourself looking like?)

Learning to Love Your Body