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Vegan or not vegan? And why?

17 July 2012

I lack willpower… or maybe it is self-control. Are they the same thing? I have been eating lots of non-vegan sweets recently. My reason for being vegan is personal, and it is to be healthy, not because of animal welfare, so I don’t feel that I’m being hypocritical for eating non-vegan food once in a while. It’s not like I’m saying, “I don’t eat food that comes from animals because it hurts them,” and then I turn around and say, “Well tonight I do, because I feel like it!”

I used to eat non-vegan food only every once in a while, and when I did, I called it a “5% day,” meaning that I was 95% vegan and 5% vegetarian for the day. That allowed me to have something that wasn’t completely vegan. It turns out that when I did this, it was because I was having a bad day or a bad week and I was punishing myself for being frustrated by letting myself eat something that I knew wasn’t healthy for me and that I knew I would feel guilty later for eating.

I told my friend S. about this recently and she told me that I should eat non-vegan things when and because I want to, not to punish myself but to honour myself and what I want. These instances are called “10% days” instead of 5% — not because of the amount of non-vegan food I consume, but to differentiate from 5% being a negative thing and 10% being more about positivity and embracing myself and what I want regardless of whether it is 100% good for me or not.

In the past month or two, most times that I’ve had something non-vegan have been 10% days, and some have still been 5%. I haven’t been able to figure out whether or not I want to go back to being 100% vegan or not, and what my deep-down reasons are for letting myself be only 90% vegan sometimes. I know that in the end, a little bit of non-vegan food is not going to kill me. It’s only a little bit of egg or milk as an ingredient. I’m not eating heaps of dairy, or meat. It’s like if I have a cake that has a little bit of egg in it, or if I have a sandwich or cooked meal with a tiny bit of cheese in it. I will pick most of the cheese out, but not worry if there’s a little bit left in there.

The problem is, I have been using being vegan as a crutch! I didn’t realise it, but it makes it so easy to decline a sweet treat if I have the reason of being vegan behind me. But now that I’ve taken that reason away, and let myself have non-vegan sweet treats sometimes, I can’t really say that I won’t have one if I’m out somewhere and it’s offered to me, because that’s not a reason if it’s only a reason sometimes! And let me tell you, I have been taking advantage of not having a reason to decline sweet treats anymore!

This is what bothers me. I don’t have the willpower or self-control to stop myself from eating junky food ALL THE TIME. Being vegan WAS my control. What do I have to control my eating habits now?

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