Hey everyone! As you can tell by my join date, I have been around VB for awhile. However, I doubt anyone on here knows who I am, because it's been so long since I've been around.
The last year or so of my life has been very hectic, but I wanted to come back to VB because I remember it being a huge help for me as a new vegetarian, and later as a vegan.
I have been a vegetarian since I started college two years ago (was almost one before that, but, some of you know how it is to live with parents who are skeptical, if not out-right antagonistic about that lifestyle), and around a year ago, I became a vegan. When I was at home, it was very easy; within a month or so, I had broken down all of my cravings, and even had an easy time out at restaurants.
However, the problem I had was at school. I was on a meal plan (my campus is 100% residential, and almost everyone has to have a meal plan), and there were SO FEW vegan options. It seemed like the cooks could only pick out the most disgusting versions of vegan food possible, as if they were consciously adhering to the old stereotype that vegan food cannot be delicious. Not to say the rest of their food was good, either, but with one main dish option every night, I couldn't even choose the lesser of two evils. It came down to eating what little fruit they had and a lot of peanut butter. Feeling malnourished and defeated, I gave up in December after five months. I tried again briefly in January after reverting back to veganism during winter break, but failed again, and have been vegetarian ever since.
Having gained a lot of weight from ****ty, processed foods, especially following a back injury that left me temporarily immobilized (I'm better now!), I'm really prompted to think about all of the health benefits I formerly enjoyed with veganism. My body always felt light (not in an 'I'm hungry' way, but in a 'Gee, I'm not bogged down by gross food' kind of way), and I was thin and fit. I was so confident.
And secretly, not being vegan hasn't really sat well with me. I've been unable to force myself to purchase cosmetics with dubious testing policies and ingredient lists, even though I still eat dairy and eggs. I guess, mostly, I'm afraid of failure, but I really, really miss being vegan, and I keep hoping that there is SOME WAY that I can make the dining hall situation work for me for my two remaining years (and possibly three additional years, if I end up using a law school cafeteria =P).
I actually have a trip to my boyfriend's house coming up from the 18th to the 20th, and his parents are ridiculously difficult to please, so I'll be eating vegetarian at their place, not vegan. But I guess there's no time like the present to try again. I really want to believe it can work.
I know this is like the longest intro thread ever, but I guess I'm just looking to introduce myself, and also for a little support from the kind of understanding and sympathetic audience that doesn't exist where I live. (Although my boyfriend and some of my friends are incredibly supportive of whatever I decide, it's not the same, because they wouldn't last a day as vegetarians.) This is an awesome community, and I'm excited to jump back in.
Welcome back! I'm also a returning member from many years ago. (Although, I had to leave and come back a significant time later under a new name because I have stalker family members with issues... lol.) The day I re-joined was like coming home. It really is a great place of support for those of us who don't have much of it in real life. Thank goodness for understanding significant others, at least!