There is just no way I can bring myself to write a post about how my decision to veer from the vegan journey was born from some enlightened realization of the oppression of labels and the need to categorize oneself. We all have labels, we all need labels, it’s the way we understand others and ourselves. While the labels may be fluid and have exceptions in the fine print, they are still important to finish the sentence “I am…”
More importantly, a post like that simply wouldn’t be true.
Towards the end, I liked being “vegan.” I wanted to remain being “vegan.” I still want to want to be vegan.
It was an amazing lifestyle. I felt wonderful. There is not another method of consumption that has ever come close to making feel wonderful – for a time.
But, feeling wonderful isn’t enough. I want to BE wonderful. I want to BE April.
And now, before we get off on the topic of “see this is why extreme/fad/trendy diets don’t work” and “haha I told you no one could really live without bacon,” let me go ahead and weigh in on those two things…
- It did “work.” I learned new things about how to fuel my body. I learned what types of food make me feel great and which others are going to require some planning for how I am going to feel the next day. I dropped all that weight. I changed some really serious eating habits. I knocked down some food addictions. I connected with some really cool people. I learned great new recipes. I introduced my kids to some new ideas. I learned a lot about how to eat out in a healthier way. I am starting to think I should just do a whole post on this. If that doesn’t fit a definition of “work,” I am not sure what would have.
- Bacon was not my turning point.
The truth is, I just want to be April.
I realize that at some point I will have to put together a cohesive thought on this Happiness Project business. Unfortunately I don’t have one yet. But I do understand why Gretchen’s first commandment for herself (Be Gretchen) will be mine as well (Be April).
I read a ton of posts on a regular basis that often have great ideas, uplifting thoughts, insight, and inspiration. However, so often I find myself thinking, “Why do they feel the need to over justify?”
That is what I do not want to do here. I don’t think I did it with the original post that started this whole thing. That was a real moment with real feelings and resulted in some pretty real action.
But I don’t live in a vacuum. And the truth is things change; they evolve. And Gretchen (who I am seriously crushing on right now if you haven’t noticed) hit a cord with me…
Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
~Voltaire (via Gretchen Rubin)
I am not going to be a perfect vegan. I would love to be one. But that won’t make me happy.
While it is a good and noble way, makes me feel fabulous, and keeps my waist amazingly slim, it does some not so great things too.
I blame MasterChef.
I love to cook. No, actually, I love to watch my husband thoroughly enjoy himself eating what I cook. And, if I do say so myself, I am pretty damn good at it. The family in general enjoys great cooking shows and they are pretty convinced I can recreate anything we happen to see there. That makes me happy.
In turn, my husband has a few amazing tricks in his own grilling hat that he pulls out from time to time. He gives him great joy to be able to take over the cooking duties for the evening, give me a break, and fulfill my love for great food. That makes him very happy. That makes me happy.
Perfect is a great enemy of that good.
So losing vegan makes me happy. Retaining some of the great stuff I learned also makes me happy. Finding a great balance between the two sounds like a great happiness project resolution.
Because I will still eat the hell outta these!!