Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Lifestyle changes


I have several friends that have turned vegan, or nearly so.  It’s a thought I’ve toyed with off and on over many years.  Mostly off.  Vegetarian seemed more doable…but I’ve never given that a real try either, if truth be told.

I still think about it, and this morning I just watched the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.   I intended to watch it yesterday, but was so exhausted I fell asleep right after doggy school and napped the afternoon away until we had to leave for a neighbor’s pig roast.



Yes pig roast.  As in not vegetarian, nor close to vegan.

Turns out I really didn’t like the meat and munched on all sorts of (not vegan) salads, vegetables and of course deserts.

Good stuff

Good stuff

Still…this morning the whole healthy living thing is lurking on my mind, hence me making time to watch the entire movie. Which turned out not to be difficult…it is entertaining and thought provoking.   I’m at the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life.  I struggle daily with trying to wean myself away from things that aren’t good for me.  I’ve been observing people when I’m out at lunch.  Thin people tend to be walking the neighborhood.  Heavier people seem to be hanging out with me the days I’m  in the fast food drive through.  Coincidence?  I think not.

I have my annual physical scheduled next week; perhaps this is why I’ve been contemplating lifestyle changes.  He’ll be telling me things I already know.  The reason I’m so exhausted all the time.  The headaches.  The body aches.  Things I could probably fix myself if I took better care of me.

So, as Katie and I head out on a great adventure this morning I’ll think some more.  Seems like a change is in the works.  Who out there has made lifestyle changes?  How hard was it for you?  Are you glad?  Did you stick with it?

Tell me your stories, good or bad.  I’m going to need some support.

Yes I am.

Neighborhood party

Neighborhood party

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

22 thoughts on “Lifestyle changes

  1. I’ve been trying to eat healthier this year than I have in the past – not vegetarian nor vegan, but choosing chicken for meat, mostly veggies and grains, fruit smoothies. Husband is a beef eater, but will tolerate stir fry and such occasionally. In warm weather I tend to fix him a meat and potato or pasta and myself a big green salad. In colder weather, I turn more to stir fry and soups. I get lazy though and take easy outs sometimes – “easy” translating to prepared frozen things. But I’m trying. I think trying counts – so don’t get too hard on yourself. I bought Snapeas Crisps at Costco this past week to satisfy my salty chip urges. Satisfying, but not so unhealthy.



  2. I was vegetarian for years. Then, I went back to meat. Not even sure why.

    This year, I’ve been dealing with fibroid issues, and read that they can be caused by all the excess estrogen we get from our food – especially hormone injected meat.

    My doctor wanted me to have surgery to remove the firbroid, but I decided to try changing my lifestyle first.

    So, I’ve been making an effort for the past few months to change my diet. I eat vegan at least four days a week. I added a ton of veggies to my diet. I eliminated gluten, processed food, and almost all sugar (my downfall) and all dairy (I switched to almond/coconut milk products). When I do eat meat or cheese, I get pasture raised products free of added hormones and antibiotics. I try and avoid nonorganic veggies/fruit too.

    Let me tell you – I feel SO much better. My migraines have been virtually eliminated (I used to get 10-12 a month). And my fibroid issues have also subsided.

    I also started getting acupuncture and doing daily energy medicine routines at the same time, but I’m pretty convinced my diet is the main reason for feeling better.

    It does cost more to eat this way, but I’m spending so much less on processed/prepared food, so after awhile it seems to even out.

    HUGE adjustment at first, but now only a few months later, it is pretty easy. Plus, grocery stores are offering so much more in the way of organic/healthy options.

    Now I crave veggies when I don’t eat enough. Weird.

    AFter sticking to the diet for a good 6 months, I do allow myself to “cheat” a bit and indulge in the occassional baked good – apple brownies and cupcakes!

    Best part – no need for surgery 🙂


    • Wow Sara, that’s quite a testimonial! I’m glad you haven’t had to have surgery. You cut out a lot of stuff! I need to start with a list of stuff…I don’t know if I can give up yogurt and cheese…but I could start with some of the rest…


  3. Here’s my new favorite bring to work vegan lunch recipe. If you want to try it. Makes enough for two days.

    Stir fried chickpeas

    2 tbls sunflower seeds
    1 can organic chickpeas, drained/rinsed
    2 tsp chili powder
    1 tbls safflower/olive oil
    2 cloves garlic
    14.5 oz can organic diced tomatoes, with Italian spices
    5 oz fresh organic baby spinach
    Toss chickpeas with chilli powder in bowl
    Heat oil, sauté garlic
    Add chickpeas, stir constantly for 2 minutes.
    Add tomatoes, with liquid and spinach. Stir until spinach is wilted. Add sunflower seeds.
    Makes 2 servings.


    • Thanks Sara…do you eat this hot or cold?


      • I eat it hot. But I guess you could eat it cold too.

        I’ve been buying the “so delicious” greek yoghurt, and it’s really good. It’s made with coconut milk, instead of cow milk.

        The cutting out stuff is really, really, really hard. I’d been eating like a ten year old for decades – pepperoni hot pockets and twix bars for lunch everyday. Changing your diet does take A LOT of thought and planning, which is tough when we’re already doing so much thinking/planning about other stuff. But I promise you, it gets easier, almost second nature, especially when you start feeling better.

        I went cold turkey, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing it that way!


  4. I have never been a meat eater – not for any noble cause but just because I don’t like much like the taste of it – especially pork (did you know pork it is the closest meat to human flesh) . Also don’t like fish much…will occasionally have chicken – but I am a big fruit eater…..LOVE cheese and most veggies. That is how I have eaten all my life and it has never bothered me. Also don’t like ‘veggie’ food – peas, beans lentils all that stuff – blurk 🙂


    • I’ve never been a big meat eater either…and I’m also not a big fish eater. Chicken I eat a lot of, and I’m thinking if I can introduce 2 meatless meals a week….but it will take more planning than I’ve been doing lately.


  5. We made a major lifestyle change about 8-9 years ago when I was first diagnosed with gall bladder disease. We ate very strict–macrobiotic–not something easy, for sure. But we both lost lots of weight. Barry lost 25 pounds; I lost 20. We felt so energetic! But, then, it’s easy to creep back to drinking coffee and wine and pretty soon, gosh, the gall bladder had to come out anyway. We still eat pretty darn healthy, mostly vegan plus fish. Also, I eat lean chicken or turkey when out because it’s often much healthier than the vegetarian entrees on the shelf. Veg entrees can be packed with killer cheese and oil–30 mg of fat for a veggie sandwich at Starbucks versus 5 grams for a chicken.

    The body feels so darn good when we eat healthy like this, it’s a wonder why we ever slip up. Go for it, Dawn, you’ll feel great!


  6. Dawn, I, too, have noticed that people who are vegetarian tend to be much leaner than the rest of us. I don’t particularly like pork and only eat small bits of red meat. I much prefer chicken, turkey, fish, fruits, and veggies. I try awfully hard to watch what I eat, but who can deprive themselves of an ice cream sundae now and then?!! Good luck with your lifestyle change!


  7. You can do it! I rely on my running coach to keep me in line. You should consider hiring her to help you get yourself back on track. She’s a jewel. Her name is Erin Henderson at See Mom Run Far on Blogger.


    • Hey Jamie…I hadn’t put together the fact that when I stopped running the eating got really out of control. I went to read See Mom Run Far and thought it was really interesting that she was talking about change. 🙂 I’ll think about it. I see she is a whole different kind of runner than I ever was…but then again she wrote that she’d help someone starting out again after injury…so it’s a possibility. Thanks for the heads up!


  8. Mommy has tried dieting and fails miserably. The only thing she did that worked for her for a while was counting calories . She would write a log of everything she ate. It worked for a while butt stuff happened and mommy stopped counting and gained back all the weight.


  9. Dawn,

    Have you been tested for sleep apnea? I’m on a machine now and feel a lot better. I have more energy, have lost some weight and the knees feel better.

    My weakness has been sugar and snack foods. I’ve reduced the quantity instead of cold turkey. Now I get a candy bar or a bag of chips when I go grocery shoping, instead of buying a pack. At the snack machine I get nuts.

    I’d probably done a lot better if I did a crash diet change, but I’m not sure I could keep it up. So I try to reduce the amount of bad food.

    Dog Dad


  10. I’ve gradually made changes over the past decade or so and have lost about 60 lbs. total. That’s a very slow way to lose weight. lol! I challenged myself to a year of vegetarianism (2011-2012), and although I occasionally have meat now, I don’t eat much of it. I was just thinking this morning that when I crave meat, I order it out somewhere, and then don’t really like it once I get it. Weird. My husband and I eat vegetarian most meals, with two to three days a week of vegan meals, and seafood once a week or so since we’re so close to the ocean now. I guess that makes us Flexitarians.

    The move brought on a lot of stress that I coped with by overindulging in pretty much everything unhealthy. I started packing on the pounds again, and did not feel well at all. We were in between insurance so I took matters into my own hands and made some big changes. More exercise (I have a MOVable band now — it’s great! — to track my exercise), yoga & meditation, and I’m taking a vacation from alcohol. I’ve lost 10 lbs. since August 2. However, it might have been more if I hadn’t taken up eating a small bowl of ice cream every night, feeling I needed to indulge in something. It’s from a local, organic, dairy where the cows are grass-fed. No antibiotics and all that. Best ice cream in the world. 🙂

    Since I mentioned the MOV band, here’s a link:

    It’s cheap (compared to the other accelerometers on the market), and I’m finding it fun to challenge myself. I love the graphs, too. It’s nice to see something tangible during the everyday, slow process of changing my body (which always involves changing my mind and spirit as well).


  11. We’ve made some changes too, but have focused on edging out the not-so-good foods with good foods. So instead of cutting something out, we try to eat healthy options – then you don’t want the bad stuff. And since you’re still allowed to eat anything you want, you don’t feel guilty when you do. Since January, we’ve had a spinach smoothie (I blogged the recipe ages ago) every morning for breakfast. It keeps me full, is yummy, and even if I eat terribly for the rest of the day, at least I had that health kickstart in the morning. We’re now in the process of reducing our wheat intake. That hasn’t been fun 😦 I really like pasta. I think we’re just going to cut it out almost entirely at home and not worry about it when we’re out. Good luck Dawn! We’re all here to support you 🙂


  12. I have been thinking about what I could add to this post—and it occurred to me that you might find this link helpful Leo is giving up one thing each month: TV and Videos one month, coffee, sugar this month (I think) and then sharing the impact the “giving up” had on his life and if he plans to continue. The whole idea being that change is best done in baby steps…
    My goal is always moderation which sometimes I achieve and sometimes I don’t. I also don’t generally do things that separate me from the people I love.
    Good luck, love and support for whatever your choose to do or not to do!


    • Interest blog, zenhabits, he’s certainly challenged himself with some tough stuff. But I bet he and his family are better for it. Looking for your link to the bug…don’t remember where I saw that.


  13. I’ve made changes through the years. Lost 40 pounds…twice? And gained it back, and lost it again, and gained some back, and lost it and am now up 20+ again. For me, it is primarily the sugar. If I can get myself off of bags of candy or entire packages of cookies, I lose weight fairly easily and keep it off fairly easily for years. Eventually, something snaps and I just need to start eating that sugar again. Still, I have made quite a few changes that have stuck. I gradually weaned myself from whole down to nonfat milk. Stopped drinking sugared sodas. (Got bored with water and started drinking diet sodas–now I’m actively working on weaning myself off of them again.) Now mostly can’t even eat fried foods or foods heavy with greasy fat–I eat it so seldom that I don’t have the taste for it. Don’t eat a lot of meat, and it’s mostly chicken. Haven’t had a Pop Tart in years, and those used to be regular breakfast foods. Things like that. Most of it sticks. Just–danged sugar cravings! One piece at a time, one step at a time. Weight Watchers has been very helpful to me in understanding portion sizes and healthier foods and all that (and in losing the weight). I feel that I know more about good nutrition–even though I don’t always follow it–than the majority of the population as a result.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s