A medical emergency (gall bladder - although surgery wasn't required) prompted the immediate and drastic change from a typical SAD diet to strictly plant-based.
I had already switched to locally raised meats, dairy, eggs, at least 2 years before the gall bladder attack happened in an attempt to eat healthier, but still remained over 300 lbs.(yet my doc kept telling me all my blood work looked fine w/ each check-up and never suggested I change my lifestyle), miserable with inflammation, suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, "nervous stomach", was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis, severe fibromyalgia, severe depression, severe anxiety, severe adhd, and I'm sure I've forgotten a few. Was told to just learn to live with it as all of these things come with age. Grrrrrrr..........
Meds were thrown at me left and right and my body/organs/mind continued to be separated and farmed out to various specialists, none of whom could ever answer anything about specific root issues to address and heal causes, but could easily give me a pill or offer to cut me open to temporarily suppress symptoms, but things kept getting rapidly worse instead of better. I was given pills to relax me, to put me to sleep, to calm my nerves, to wake and wind me back up, to ease the pains, and to relax the muscles, and here, try this one, too, because it just might be "the one".
The gall bladder attack is what it took to finally force me to flip the script on my eating/consumption/personal environment habits. I was convinced I'd die without all the foods I was used to and still thought it a bit "out there" to have to change so drastically. With close guidance and support from a friend, my patient and loving husband, along with my beautiful village of healers that I've been fortunate to cross paths with, I dove right in.
I learned that slow and mindful are two words that are very necessary with such huge changes and that it often has to get much worse before it gets better. I've become my own full-time job in unlearning what I've been inaccurately taught through the years while filling in the dark lonely gaps of my newfound wellness grooves with relearning all about self and how to healthily love and nurture each and every cell.
Once I began looking behind the scenes to learn the processes involved with getting food to our tables, I realized I'd never again be willingly ingesting another animal product. My heart knows better now and can't handle the thought of not honoring what I now know.
However, I never realized how incredibly isolating it would be to regain vitality and nurture self. I'm a hell of a lot more sensitive to everything now that my body is much cleaner. I shed 110 lbs., and hundreds more, in the friends that no longer wish to share space.
I thought loved ones and acquaintances would celebrate my health with and for me, but I think it often places a mirror in front of them that they aren't ready to look that deeply into just yet, for many reasons, which is perfectly okay, but can certainly create some incredibly uncomfortable awkwardness.
I have to try to stay strong enough to avoid giving into strong cravings that get triggered easily depending on where I am, and have to keep pretty strict boundaries about spaces I'll visit. It's gotten a bit more lax as I get more comfortable within self in my almost two years of practicing whole foods/plant-based/vegan eating. Total script flip, totally different lifestyle, not just a temporary gig, as many seem to assume.
So much is designed around food and drink in the social and familial and even the workplace scene. You have to design and create your own personalized comfortable road show and spread the joy from your heart. Otherwise, you'll likely drive yourself and everyone else (even more) mad in more moments than you wish to digest. As with all things, I learned the hard way. lol