My journey toward veganism and how it changed my relationship with food

I finally committed to a vegan lifestyle 11 months ago after contemplating about it since I was 15. As someone who doesn’t like being in the centre of attention, not making this change was more about the worry about not fitting in within my social circles. It was also difficult to commit since I had much less freedom to do anything however I liked when I was still in my teens. So at age 21, I made the leap and told myself to go vegan for just 7 days and see how it goes. Initially, it seemed nearly impossible and I cheated right on the 2nd day with some milk chocolate, but I decided to persevere. Quite surprisingly, it just got easier as the days went by and I found myself easing comfortably into veganism. And I didn’t really have to force myself to commit. I think on the 2nd week, the barista got my coffee order wrong and served me a normal latte instead of a soy latte. Not wanting to waste food, I tried to make myself down the cup of coffee but I found that I was finding the taste of dairy somewhat revolting. Thus, I threw away the half drunk coffee rather reluctantly. It’s quite amazing, as though my tastebuds have changed completely in such a short period. It was also nice that my friends were merely curious about my change, but weren’t judgmental at all. Well, I’m taking that as a mark of true friendship!
I feel veganism has been calling out since I was very young, maybe when I was about 7 or so. I remember not really fancying the taste of meat, seafood, eggs, cow’s milk, cheese much, but I simply had to eat whatever that’s been served to me. Actually, I didn’t even like eating cake as a kid. But over the years, I managed to convince myself that I liked those foods and actually begun to like eating them. Then at 15, I learned about veganism and how it’s about not objectifying animals and making use of them for our own benefits. This resonated within me. I wanted to change back then, but couldn’t pluck up the courage to do so. So I’m just glad that I made the choice after so long. I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence that I started taking real interest in yoga around the time when I decided to become vegan. My personal experience is that yoga has encouraged me to be my authentic self, and not what others expect me to be.
The hardest part of going vegan is having had to learn how to cook and eat vastly differently from what I was used to. I was also very busy with other commitments during that period. So naturally, I leaned toward simple, whole foods. For example, I got used to eating fruits and vegetables and other vegan foods as they are, often without any form of seasoning or dressing. I now appreciate foods in their original forms. Many around me still continue to express surprise at how I’m eating. I suppose I could get used to this in time!
One more thing I noticed since I became vegan is that I started to think less about food the simpler I ate. It’s as though I’m becoming less attached to food. I eat, simply when I needed to nourish, and not to satiate my cravings. I’m finding this quite liberating, actually 😉
YY (200hr YTT Hatha/Ashtanga, Jul/Aug 2015)

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