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Posted on Apr 25, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food, Pup Posts, Weigh Ins, Weight Loss | 6 comments

Lenten Lessons Learned (Weigh-In)

Well y’all, it’s official. Lent is over, and I’m off the vegan wagon (though not totally back to my fully omnivorous ways, as you already know if you read my last post!) After 40 days (and 40 nights) of being meat-free, egg-free, and almost totally dairy-free (oops…), here are 5 things I’ve learned:

1. Vegan food is good.

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Yup, you heard that right. It is. So many people automatically turn their noses up at the mere mention of the word vegan, but I bet you’d be surprised how many of your favorite foods are already vegan. Guacamole, anyone? Spaghetti marinara? Feel like a rice and bean burrito? Knock yourself out!

2. Being vegan at home is easy.

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It’s really not too hard when you’re cooking for yourself to stick to a vegan diet. There are a lot of easy staples to keep around and it’s fun to experiment with new proteins and trying to “veganize” versions of dishes you already know and love. I enjoy a challenge in the kitchen!

3. Being vegan in public is hard.

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I’m fortunate to live in an area where there are actually a lot of really great vegetarian and vegan restaurants (like Sunflower!), or at least places that will be accommodating if you have those kinds of dietary restrictions. However, I now know what it’s like to try to eat vegan-ly (not a word?) at pretty much any chain restaurant, and it is very difficult. Research your options ahead of time, and expect to feel a little tool-ish dictating your needs to your server. Be aware that these restaurants will put butter and chicken stock in EVERYTHING, even the things that seem passable at first glance. If you have a voice in choosing the restaurant and a vegetarian place isn’t an option, I suggest you go for Indian or Asian cuisine. Because they use very little dairy in their dishes anyway, just get a dish without meat and it’s likely to automatically be vegan.

4. Vegan does NOT necessarily equal healthy.

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There is a plethora of unhealthy food out there that just happens to be vegan. Guess what – chips? Vegan. Fries? Vegan (well, most of the time.) Becoming vegan does not automatically mean you’ll be a lean, green, healthy-eating machine. And in that same vein…

5. Becoming vegan is not a guaranteed way to lose weight.

A lot of people think that going on a vegan diet means you’ll automatically drop libbies left and right. Well, news flash: I have barely lost any weight over the past 6 weeks. I’ve maybe lost 2 pounds total over this entire period (you know, a loss there, a gain here, a plateau tossed in the middle.) I think that I’ve isolated the reason for this though (hooray for progress!) I don’t do well under any kind of forced deprivation (even when I force it on myself!) Not allowing me the possibility of having any meat, or cheese, or order what I wanted off a menu… well, I tried to compensate by filling up on more of the stuff I was allowed to eat. But I realize now that overeating is overeating, whether it’s with “healthy” foods or not! Lesson learned, Lent. See? That alone makes the experience totally worth it.

Okay, quick weekend recap: the pupperoos and I traversed to Milton, Delaware (near Rehoboth Beach) to spend Easter weekend with Steve and his family! Despite the fact that it didn’t start out great (it took me almost FIVE hours to drive the two and a half hours it SHOULD have taken!) it ended up being a really wonderful weekend. The rain Friday turned into hot and sunny weather Saturday and Sunday, and I really enjoyed the Easter festivities — aside from another lesson I was forced to learn, which is that Daxter gets carsick. Womp womp.

Lent ended for me exactly after midnight with…

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A Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge! Oh, cheese, how I’ve missed you!! So good. 😀

And life included a lot of other animal products as Easter Sunday continued, haha. I suffered for it later of course, as was to be expected, as I had to deal with some hardcore acid reflux last night before bed. Bleh. I shall keep the verbiage to a minimum and provide the following photo tour of my Easter weekend for you lucky peeps (ha! Get it? Peeps? Easter? Anyone?) 🙂

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Big thanks to Steve for taking the pictures since I was super lazy with the camera this weekend (what else is new, eh?) As you can see, it involved a lot of the dogs, sunshine, and bacon. Heehee. That last photo is of my iced up foot, which was rather unpleasantly stung while we were out walking the dogs. We think it was a wasp sting — it REALLY hurt. 🙁 I guess another one of those life experiences, I guess?

All right, last things last (haha? Oh, I’m so lame.) Drumroll, please…

Starting Weight: 246 lbs.
Last Week’s Weight: 197.4 lbs
This Week’s Weight: 196.0 lbs
This Week’s Loss: -1.2 lbs
Total Loss-to-Date: 50 lbs.

Huzzah! I’m almost back to my pre-birthday-weight, hahaha. I wasn’t expecting to lose anything, honestly, given that I’m sure my body needs to adjust to eating animal products once again but maybe the timeframe between meat-eating and weigh-in was too short for it to really be affected. Whatever, a loss is a loss and even though I’m not making the astounding progress I wish I was, I’ll take it!

Hot yoga‘s on the docket for this afternoon (and I’m actually excited for it! Who am I?!) now that my yoga muscles are fully back in working order, hehe. And this week I actually get to go into work a whole HOUR later than normal (and remember, normal is 7 AM) since my boss is on vacation! Hello sleep, I’ve missed you.

Did you learn any lessons from what you gave up for Lent? Or how about from any kind of dietary experimentation you’ve done in the past? Share with the group! 😉

6 Comments

  1. I think in general, sticking to any eating plan is hard when you eat out. It’s easier to just make everything at home. I think that’s why since my journey, I only eat out 2-3 times a month (if that) unless I’m traveling.

    Good for you for sticking to your lent plans! Mine was to give up swearing and I failed after day one.

    I haven’t had any diet restrictions since I started losing weight because I tend to overindulge if I am deprived for too long. (It’s how I yo-yo’ed in the past) but I have weaned myself off of fast foods and I haven’t gone into a chain restaurant in months. When I eat out, I like to go to one-of-a-kind places!

    Have a lovely week!

  2. You are hilarious with ending Lent with a laughing cow wedge!!! I love it.

    A few years ago Jason and I gave up dairy (still do), wheat and corn. Guess what – I put on quite a few pounds since all I ate was sugar! Eek. I learned from that experience that cutting out certain foods does not mean I’m healthy or eating right, that there are tons of unhealthy foods out there no matter what “diet” you follow!

  3. I ate a bunch of chocolate yesterday and I think I’m back into the sweets swing of things but i have to say- that first piece of chocolate surprised me by how incredibly sweet it was, it was almost tooooo sweet you know? But i’ve rebounded quickly and am enjoying being able to satisfy a sweet craving with a hershey’s kiss again 🙂

  4. I really enjoy your journey…especially that you are extracting useful lessons about yourself along the way! Keep up the impressive work…and enjoy that bacon and cheese!!

  5. I became a vegetarian last June (no meat, but still ate eggs and dairy). My boyfriend is vegan, so I tend to cook a mixture of vegetarian and vegan type foods. Then one of the blogs I was reading inspired me to go vegan for the month of February and since it was only 28 days, I figured I’d try it. I expected it to be really hard…but like you, I found it to be pretty easy. The hardest part was going out to eat since it took much more planning. Also, I found that it was difficult to follow a vegan diet while traveling for work. That being said, I didn’t loose any weight while being vegan either, so I tend to not believe people who tout veganism as a way to loose weight. After February ended and I was officially not vegan anymore, I find that now more than ever, I still stick to a mostly vegan diet. It’s become more of a choice to choose to have dairy than a choice to not have dairy, if that makes sense. I wonder if you’ll have the same experience now that Lent is over. 🙂

  6. I’m sorry your drive was so bad but I’m glad you came!

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