This switching from vegan to raw vegan has been hard. It’s been full of stops and starts and more than one do-over. But I am still calling this a win. So far. It would have been much harder if I were going from the Standard American Diet to raw vegan. So all in all, I can’t complain too much. Ok, I can, but I won’t.
Although I still, for the life of me, can’t remember to drink enough water in the day and I haven’t learned to love kale or green juice yet, I haven’t given up. I drink enormous glasses of juice and eat more salads than ever and have managed to (mostly) go without bread and french fries.
My biggest win, however, is that I no longer drink coffee or beer. I would have thought that the removal from my diet of two of my primary food groups would have a greater impact on my weight loss, but it hasn’t done much. I’ve lost 5 pounds in a month, which isn’t a lot. Since coffee with A LOT of very vanilla soy milk was a daily occurrence and beer was frequent but not daily, it really should have had a bigger impact. I am thinking that this has to do with my thyroid still being out of whack. Hopefully, once my body resets itself, it will get better.
Over the course of the month, I remembered several things about making huge changes in our lives.
1. The first 3 days are the hardest. This is because we are used to our various habits, good and bad, and have to consciously remember to change what we’re doing. This is the hardest part of the whole thing, the actual eating of the raw foods is the easy part. But if you can make it past the first three days, then you’ve started to get into new habits.
2. After 3 weeks the new habit becomes permanent. It takes 21 days to develop a new habit or get rid of an old one. (This only partially applies to addiction, which I’ll get to in a minute.) It takes 21 days for your brain to develop new patterns, so once you’ve don’t something for 21 days, it becomes permanent. As far as your brain knows, you have always done whatever it is. So I got in the habit of not drinking coffee in the mornings and now I don’t think about it. Now what I do is immediately make grapefruit juice. Same with beer. I’m no longer in the habit of betting beer if I’m stressed or after a lot of studying. Of course it takes a lot longer to get rid of an addiction but it’s always possible. The three week rule also applies here, but only to the habit parts of the addiction. For example, say you’re a smoker. If you normally get up in the morning and have a cigarette with your morning coffee, you can more easily change the single habit of your morning coffee/cigarette ritual than to stop smoking altogether. If you forced yourself to move the time of your first cigarette back to 10am, then the addiction would still be there but the habit wouldn’t be after three weeks of not doing it.
3. Finding other things to occupy your time is key. Changing a bad habit requires replacing it with something positive. My positive anti-coffee change is to drink juice or a smoothie and work out. Working out has been a challenge during the transition because of how tired I am, but I refuse to give up. I’ve had this pic on the blog before but it still applies.
So I keep working out and keep trying to like green juice and keep trying to give up bread. My current goal for habit changing is to stop eating french fries. I succumbed to them yesterday because I am sick and slept most of the day. I think giving up bread and french fries are the hardest for me which is why I haven’t been able to do it completely yet. And someday, maybe I’ll even learn to drool over kale.