Since I went vegan it has been crazy how quickly my health improved. My doctor told me on several occasions that my cholesterol problem is hereditary and I will be on meds the rest of my life. In under 6 months of going vegan I was completely off all cholesterol meds and my numbers are great. Bonus: this made a believer of my physician. Since then she has asked me about books she could recommend to other patients. Wow.
But I digress.
The other medication I was able to eliminate not long after going vegan, even before I was able to drop the cholesterol meds, was the high blood pressure meds.
Until a few weeks ago.
I see my doctor every 3-6 months and this last visit my blood pressure went from high-normal to stage 2 hypertension. WTF! She put me on meds, had me get a monitor and now I check my blood pressure a few times a day.
It is so hard for me to admit any health issues, even a cold. I am always worried that someone will blame it on being vegan. I so very much want to be a good example of a happy, healthy, vegan. I’m actually tearing up while typing this. I feel like a failure. I feel like I let “team vegan” down. I feel like I’m letting the animals down.
So then why post this? Because my whole intent of this blog is to provide an honest look at what going vegan is like, for me anyway. This is my experience and I want to be honest about it. I don’t want someone else who may be having a similiar experience to feel alone or to think that going vegan is all roses for everyone else but them. Life is life, vegan or not.
But I’m devastated. I have my first 7k run this weekend (Cosmo 7). I’m not sure I will be able to run it (but I WILL complete it if I have to crawl). My doctor said to take it easy and not over do it but still participate. I so love her!
So what happened? The fact is that after a few months of being vegan I lost a huge amount of weight. I started exercising daily and my diet was filled with veggies, grains, and nuts. However, I think my ego got in the way. I believed that being vegan was enough. “I have a healthy, compassionate diet so take that fate…I’m immune to health issues! HA!” Not that I ever said any of that out loud but part of me did really believe it.
Slowly over the past year I have put back on 12 pounds (again I HATE admitting this). I still eat lots of veggies but I discovered vegan convenience food. I let my career take over my life after I got a new position in May of last year and now I work insane hours. I use that as an excuse to not exercise every day.
The bottom line is that going vegan was great for my health but for me it takes a bit more. I so very much want to be a good example of what a vegan life is like and I fell a little short. But I didn’t go vegan for health reasons and I don’t believe that my experience is in any way a confirmation that going vegan is bad for a person’s health. My cholesterol is still amazing and my blood pressure is no higher than it was before I went vegan.
So I have admitted it. I’m vegan and I’m not perfect. I’m not completely immune of health issues because I’m vegan. However, I do not contribute to the suffering of innocent life and that is enough for me.
I just need to grow up and realize that we all, vegan or not, need to take care of ourselves. As many have said before me, potato chips and French fries are vegan but that doesn’t mean they are healthy.