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Sep 042014

“Hi. My name is Christa and I’ve been a vegan for 16 months.”

“Hi Christa.” (I hear an imaginary room full of reformed carnivores chanting in unison).

Yes, sometimes it feels like one needs a support group for making a lifestyle change. It’s a challenge to alter old habits. We don’t realize how much some of them form the fabric of day-to-day living until we attempt to modify them in some way…it’s establishing a new normal.

Focusing on what I “can’t” eat is counterproductive. When mentioning this change of food choice, most people focus on that very thing…what I’m missing. They express pity for my drastic culinary limitations. Instead, focusing on the vast array of plant options makes dinner enticing. There are too many great recipes to ever get bored or feel disappointed.

Don’t focus on eliminating the bad. Focus on adding the good.

This effectively translates into other areas:
- In karate training, it’s not as helpful to tell someone “don’t throw only one technique” or “don’t just punch at the board”. It’s more helpful to coach “throw multiple techniques in combination” and “punch through the board”. Student performance improves.
- In running, instead of seeing an evening’s run as time taken away from other activities, it can be viewed as an opportunity to enjoy the evening, the fireflies, feel the stress melt into sweat beads, and simply breath deeply that lovely dusky air. Running performance improves.
- In healthy eating, there are plenty of well seasoned vegetables, tasty hummus, and fruit to keep one too full to miss anything that once had parents. Body performance improves.

Add as much “good” as you can seems to elbow out the “bad”. Simply eliminating “bad” leaves a vacuum that must be filled — so have some “good” ready to replace it.

Confession: A much more recent change has been in how I spend time at home. No television. Like most people, I’d never fess up to exactly how much time I sometimes let myself waste away if a program catches my attention. Wasting time is wasting life and there is little on T.V. that is edifying. That void has been filled with vinyl records and antique books. I haven’t found a support group for this change yet.


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