Shannon Michelle

Beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger from the UK..

Sunday, 2 April 2017

HOW I LOST 42lb

Just over a year ago I made the decision to change my eating habits and follow a vegan diet. I wrote a post a year ago called "A healthier, happier me" which is probably one of my favourite posts to look back on and think about the different person I've become. I've been wanting to write a post for months now about my vegan story I guess you could call it, but I've been putting it off for a while because I didn't know how to word it in a way that people wouldn't think I was shoving my opinions down their throat. Anyways, today I'm finally going to write about my vegan journey so if you carry on reading it would mean a lot.
photo from pinterest

I've always struggled with liking myself ever since I was around 12 years old, I was always one of the bigger kids at school because of my height and going through puberty at a young age I grew boobs faster than a lot of girls my age and piled on a few pounds quickly, so yeah I was very insecure. Ever since I was 14 I was trying all sorts of diets to help me lose a few pounds so I could feel better about myself, but I would only ever put the weight back on again. I tried fad diet after fad diet and even if I lost 9lb I still wasn't happy and as soon as the number on the scales would stop moving down, I would give up. I became obsessed with trying to lose weight that I wondered when I would actually start to feel good about myself. I remember stopping fad diets all together and just began eating whatever I felt like eating, good food and bad food, I got to a point where I just didn't care even though I knew I wasn't doing any favours to my body and I would regret eating sugar in the long run.

On February 28th 2016 I was out shopping on my sisters birthday, I remember walking into Topshop and seeing my reflection in a full length mirror and I felt so disgusted with myself that I could of cried right there and then. I knew that I needed to make a change so when I got home I started talking to my friend who had already decided to go vegan a month before, I asked her for advice and the reasons why she decided to make that change, but then she told me to watch a video called "101 reasons to go vegan" (highly recommend watching it, it's brilliant) which was an hour long presentation explaining logical reasons about why we think it's okay to eat animals and the nutrients you can get from other foods. I watched that video late at night and suddenly the next day I cut out all things meat and dairy from my diet, it was simple and so much easier than I ever expected it to be.

When I told my family about not eating meat or dairy products anymore they were supportive and only asked questions like why it would make a difference. I got comments from some people laughing and saying "yeah right, like that's going to last" and since then I've only proved them wrong. A year and 2 months later here I am, still following a vegan diet and feeling better than I've ever felt in my life. You don't realise how much of a difference a vegan diet makes until you follow it yourself, but I haven't missed meat or dairy at all throughout the year, I just don't think about it anymore. I lost weight gradually throughout the year and although it was a pretty slow process it was completely worth it. You get so used to eating really healthy food that you stop thinking about it as a diet, you think of it as a lifestyle change. I didn't ONLY follow a vegan diet because of my weight, I did it for the cruelty of animals. I absolutely adore animals, pigs being my favourite. I was in denial about how cruel farmers are towards animals and how many animals have to be killed every single day just so you can enjoy one meal. It's pretty disgusting when you really think about it. When I changed my eating habits my sister told me "I could never cut out meat, I eat it too much" and a few months later she became vegetarian. It is SO simple to cut out meat from your diet and I promise you that it is 100% worth the change. I am now 42lb lighter and am the lowest weight I've been in a very very long time. I try to work out as often as I can to help feel healthier and better about myself and I feel amazing. I know that I will never go back to eating meat or dairy as I know that neither things are actually good for our bodies and the many many vegan recipes that are out there are just so yummy that I would never even think of looking back into eating such dull foods again. Since becoming vegan I have discovered a huge love for making my own vegan recipes and cooking great food packed full of nutrients. Following a plant based diet reduces the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer so I couldn't recommend following this diet not only to save animals but for your health.

A lot of people go vegan after following a vegetarian diet for a few months or years as they believe that you'll last longer on a vegan diet this way, but I've coped just fine with going straight into following this lifestyle. You can find endless amounts of information about the reasons you should become vegan and the list of benefits you can get from it. I have found that not only did I lose weight since I started, but I always have that boost of energy that I never had before, as well as my skin feeling so much healthier. Even after a year, I still get people asking me what the point in veganism is, other people saying that we need meat to live (I'm constantly trying not to roll my eyes at this comment) and other people just give me a judgemental look as if i'm crazy for cutting out animal products from my diet. It's quite funny how many people get offended when you tell them you're vegan, like why does it matter to them? it's my body.

Veganism is becoming more and more popular and more supermarkets are stocking up on vegan friendly foods (there's already so many options anyway), but if you're from the UK you'll notice that a lot of local supermarkets have a "free from" section which has a lot of vegan goodies. You don't have to totally cut out everything from your diet at once if you do decide to go vegan, it's just something I did, but take baby steps if you feel you can't do it all at once. A lot of foods you eat already are probably vegan friendly, you just didn't know. Like hello, oreos? get in my belly. I still eat vegan junk food sometimes when I have movie nights with my boyfriend. I just try not to make it a habit as I know it's not doing any good to my body and I don't want to gain the weight I lost as it's been quite the journey.

I'm so happy and proud of myself for making that change and if you are struggling to find a diet that suits you, I couldn't recommend trying to go vegan enough, even if it is just for a week! See how you find it. I used to hate vegetables and now I eat them every single day, plus you can make vegan food really fun and colourful by trying out different things. See for yourself, you might love it!

I'm also trying to focus on buying only cruelty free makeup products, even though i'm still in the process of using up old makeup that I know isn't cruelty free. There are tons of brands out there that are vegan / cruelty free such as Tarte, Too Faced, Jeffree Star Cosmetics and Kat Von D beauty.

I think that's everything covered, I feel like I've been rambling a bit, but hey-ho whatever I guess.

Would you ever go vegan?

shannon

8 comments:

  1. You should be so proud of yourself Shannon. It can be difficult changing eating habits that are healthier, let alone going vegan. You start to feel better and you begin to love the feeling and do what you can to keep it up. I'm pescatarian (90-95% of my diet is vegetarian), I've been one for over 7 years and in the last year I've thought about going vegan every now and then. To eat well and for ethical reasons. The last couple of weeks I have tried to eat less dairy to help clear my skin and I also feel a bit better for it. I think I'm going to keep being more conscious about the animal products I'm consuming. As long as we find a diet that works for us that's what matters.

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    1. Thank you Natasha! I would recommend going vegan to anyone, but I always think it's best to stick with a diet you're most comfortable with!

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  2. Congrats girl!! You've done so well and this was so lovely to read! x

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  3. This is amazing! You should be so proud! x

    http://dreamingoffithavenue.co.uk

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  4. This was such an interesting read and you've done amazingly well!
    I personally wouldn't go fully vegan but I do try to keep my lunches meat and dairy free. It's good to see how much good it has done for you. Keep up the good work!

    Starlight & Stitches

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    1. Thank you Rachel! Sticking to a diet that suits you is what matters most and cutting out meat and dairy is a big step for a lot of people, so you should be proud too! Thank you for the lovely comment x

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