Saturday, January 2, 2010
The Defense Summation of the 4-6 Month Dedication
New Year's Eve party. A beautiful loft in TriBeCa. An equally beautiful doctor whom I met in late October just days before this radical lifestyle change says hello. A friend of a friend, I met her just once. It was at a party back when Saturday nights for me were more sloshing affairs, and less, alot less, salubrious.
After welcomed compliments about my thin, healthy, and "alive" looking face she mentioned she looked at this blog once and not again. After some prodding it turns out that the subtitle, My journey going 100% vegan for the next 4-6 months, was enough for her to assume, "He is not serious." Apparently, the non-committal 4-6 months really meant that I may or may not try to change my lifestyle. So, why bother committing time to this blog if the author himself is so undedicated?
As she said this I woundedly thought of that famous line in the 3rd Act of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night where Tyrone says, "If he's ever had a loftier dream than whores and whiskey, he's never shown it." OK, maybe that is a tad excessive, but the point was that this person, whom I really don't know, made the decision that I was not serious about this endeavor based on a first impression, the blog tag line, and yes, because of my sex.
In fact, over the past two months I have found that the only people who were skeptical of me sticking to this Vegan Quest were women. Now, to be sure I have had stalwart defenders - the lovely Ladies of London who never doubted my stiff upper lip. But, from teenage cousins, to female friends, to old ex-girlfriends (recent ex's are cheering me on), to mere acquaintances, many a woman greeted my quest with everything from askant smirks to outright monetary bets against.
Yet, my guy friends, to the man, all knew I would faithfully stick to this diet 100% and lose the 75 lbs. I have no explanation for this difference in male and female attitudes other than that most guys know that if he wants to change, I mean if he really wants to change, he will do so out of honor. Whereas, perhaps, many women have witnessed numerous broken promises from men swearing they can change, and never doing so. The mathematical formula for male flakiness is applied - either, "I know Terrence, and like all men, he'll never change," or "He gave himself an out, like all men do, he said 4-6 months." The sad thesis here, and its repeated often in the book, "He's Just Not That Into You," is that when men don't change it is not because they can't, but, rather, because they really don't want to. So, when a guy swears to his girl that he will spend more time with her, and not in the pubs with his mates, he is full of it. But, when he makes loud public pronouncements to every friend, acquaintance, or stranger that he is going to go 100% vegan until he loses 75lbs, you can bet his pride will pull him through faithfully and honorably.
Another question that pops up frequently, and, again, mostly by my female friends, is that of my drinking alcohol. Which is harder, giving up all meat, all fish, all cheese, and all eggs, or giving up drinking? Well, it depends on the day, the event, the smells in the air, or my disposition.
I have stated repeatedly that I am taking my veganism a giant step further - abstaining from alcohol because of their empty calories and to strengthen my discipline. But, since alcohol is used so often as a celebratory bonding at holiday events, and with my career which involves intense entertaining of clients I always knew I would not stop drinking for the full 6 months. "Ah, hah!" You say! He is equivocating! No, I am not. For the times I wanted to drink the most, Marathon Sunday, the World Series, watching college football with friends, tailgating at an NFL game, and the many Christmas parties this season, I have not had a drop of drink. No beer, no wine, no whiskey. This has greatly accelerated the weight loss and the discipline during the hardest part - the first 2 months of radically changing my diet in the most drink-heavy time of year. For that I am quite proud. Regarding my over-indulgent lifestyle prior to this quest I am quite certain that I will eviscerate that from my life for good! This blog, and this journey is about radically changing my lifestyle which I have done religiously for the past two months and will continue, God willing, for the rest of my life. I will break it down as a simple chart:
* Lose 75 lbs.
* Do this by adhering to a strict 100% vegan diet until I lose the weight (generally expected to be 4-6 months, likely 6).
* Change my over-indulgent lifestyle.
Efforts to help in this Goal
* Work-out at least 3x per week.
* Give up drinking to accelerate the weight loss.
* Have Vbites vegan food provided to me for the duration of the quest.
Now, will I stay vegan for more time? Maybe a year? Perhaps, but as I think about it, probably not. However, I can state right now, that I will never go back to my old eating and drinking habits. I will lose the weight and keep it off by following a nutrient-dense diet. Will I eventually add an egg, or a piece of fish? Yes, probably, but in a more disciplined and moderate lifestyle. What about drinking, will you give that up? Not sure. But during this endeavor giving up animal products means giving up animal products 100%. Since liquor is generally not part of veganism I am abstaining for accelerated weight loss and discipline only, it was never for the entire 6 months. The more I abstain the stronger my discipline. So, yes even a Christmas cocktail, or a New Year's champagne toast is part of that discipline because it emphatically states that I am not back on the horse, nor have fallen off the wagon. If I start drinking again, and by drinking I don't mean have one celebratory toast, rather the act of drinking on a weekly basis, it will be less than 25% of my previous alcoholic intake, and it will be on my own terms, perhaps after I lose 50 lbs? Not sure, it doesn't matter. Alcohol is a tricky thing, so if I am incapable of adhering to that less than 25% rule, then I will go back to abstaining 100%. The main focus of this quest is changing my lifestyle which I have done in a shocking way these past two months, and look forward to continuing!
I feel great, and I will continue this healthy lifestyle!
I hope this blog post provokes many of you to respond -- I am keenly interested in those who disagree with me. Let's generate some sparks! And by Sparks I don't mean that fabulous steakhouse where Gambino family crime boss Paul Castellano was rubbed out...sizzling steak, creamed spinach...ENOUGH! Heading to the Coffee Shop for a vegan wrap!
Oh, and yes, I do get verbal criticisms of my constant touting of the vegan wrap! Apologies to the Canadian Contessa.