Day 90: Stall

Many people my age moan about the disappearing years of their lives and try to come to terms with all of the hopes and dreams that never left the planning stages.  Boo-hoo, I didn’t become an astronaut.  Sniff-sniffle, I didn’t become president.  Waaa, I never got accepted to Hogwarts.

They find fault with the years that have passed and lose some of their ability to dream about the years still to come.  I give those dark thoughts their due- maybe a few minutes a week of critical introspection- before returning to my standard emotional state, which is shocked and impressed with myself.

This is not a new development.  You might be thinking that my vegan superpowers have given me the ability to control my mind.  They don’t.  I can control the minds of others around me, but not always my own.  I felt pretty sure of myself as a carnivore too.

I am shocked and impressed with my 40 years on Earth and how they have allowed me to collect a vast storehouse of experience and understanding.  I can remember periods of my childhood when I was faced with questions beyond my maturity level.  I would wisely shrug and accept that I would need to be older to tackle such issues.

Now that I have reached this level of understanding I find that I am very comfortable with where I am on the planet.  There are still plenty of questions that don’t have answers, but I have such a solid foundation of experience that I can handle not knowing the answers.

Today I am celebrating three months of vegan living.  You might think after three months of something as drastic and life altering as veganism, I would be ready to pat myself on the back for a job well done and return to normal by heading to the nearest bar-b-q joint.  No way.  21 day kick starts have come and gone since I started.  Month long cleanses have been lapped twice in that time.  60 day plant infusions were left in the dust.

I feel like the wisdom and experience that my three vegan months has granted me are similar to the general wisdom that age and experience has offered.  I finally feel grounded in this new life- like I’ve answered all the big questions and located all the grey areas.

Today I feel like Chuck Yeagar breaking the sound barrier.  There are hundreds of milestones and firsts that came after he managed to travel faster than sound itself, but it was the initial sound barrier that had to be shattered before any of the other records could be claimed.  I have broken the Vegan Barrier.  Breaking this record means I am now able to claim all of the other prizes and titles that come afterwards.

Chuck Yeagar and I have another thing in common.  We’re both prepared for the inevitable stall.

When piloting super sonic jets at deafening speeds Chuck had to be prepared to handle a stall.  When the angle of something or other reached a maximum thing-a-ma-bob (see Wikipedia for details) he had to be prepared to regain control of the aircraft or be able to bail out before he became pilot puree flambe.

When I changed the way I ate in an effort to shed unhealthy fat I learned to be prepared to handle a stall.  When the effort going into a diet didn’t seem to equal the pounds being lost (see Stick of Butter post for details) I had to be able to maintain what I knew to be working or risk giving up and eating lots of horrible food for weeks out of despair… becoming dieter puree flambe.

I’ve lost weight on a lot of diets and whether it is low fat or low carb, Fit For Life or South Beach, the dreaded stall seems to be part of the cycle.  Weight drops off at a good clip for a while and then suddenly levels out.  The quarter pound per week loss is slow and tedious, but I have found that if you stick with it, the stall is almost always followed by accelerated weight loss for a period of time.  I have seen this on several iterations of the Atkin’s diet and a few other miscellaneous diets that I had mild success with.

However, many people would question a diet’s effectiveness when the weight loss drops from five pounds a week to a half pound a week.  If that continues for three and four weeks, they might even begin to wonder if the the diet finally failed.  This, of course, can lead to apple fritters and fried chicken very quickly.  I’ve seen it happen.

That is why it is such a huge relief to not be dieting anymore.  Plant based living is not a diet.  It is a way of life.  Being a dietary and ethical vegan isn’t a fad you use for a span and then toss away when your pants aren’t getting loose as fast as they were.  I was in a three week stall, losing a quarter to half pound a week, and never once questioned my decision to give up dairy and meat.  I never once thought ground beef might somehow save the day.

Now at 256 pounds, I am giving a celebratory fist pump because a three pound loss this week means that my stall has ended and the momentum is building again.  Living an animal free life is rich enough without weight loss perks, but I’d be a big fat liar pants if I tried to tell you that pulling out of a stall isn’t a thrill that Chuck and I both find exhilarating.


About jasongillett

I'm Jason Gillett, 2 year VEGAN, and a 41 year old family man. My wife & I teach in a FL school. I am using a blog to chronicle our family's new life. View all posts by jasongillett

9 responses to “Day 90: Stall

  • Sheree

    What’s so interesting about eating a vegan diet (to me) is unlike your average “lose-weight-quick” diets, your body seems to shed the toxic fat until it finds its healthy weight and then, even though you are eating the same way you were before, you don’t continue to lose weight~~you stay at a nice weight! I’ve maintained my weight and wear the same size jeans I did 18 years ago when I first stopped eating meat and dairy. And I rarely do “cardio”~~I do my normal farm chores, hike every once in awhile, stretch, and that’s about it.

    And for me as a woman, it means I have kept my boobies! In my younger years, every time I would go on a “diet” it meant the first thing to go would be my breasts. But on a vegan diet (at least for me!), my breasts haven’t changed~~which I find remarkable (which is why I mention it, ha!).

    And I truly get what you mean about having your answers in life. I feel that way, too. Sometimes it makes you feel like an alien living on planet Earth, but it is worth it.

    • jasongillett

      Sheree that is awesome! Nothing better than hearing how clean and normal being vegan is- and the benefits!

      However, my boobies have been with me for a long time now and I am finding that plant based living is bringing me down SEVERAL cup sizes. 🙂

      You rock!!

      • Sheree

        I think in your case, the boobies leaving are a *good* thing, lol~~see how that works? Yay for eating plants instead of the hormones of animals with genders possibly different than your own!

  • Joshua E. Bigger

    Regret and longing are understandable, but I believe that both Orpheus and Lot’s Wife have taught us the consequences of looking back – you can’t go home again.

    But as you mentioned, a truly sustainable, ethical and dietary way of life, can only occur organically, finally reaching a critical mass of experience, a crystallization in consciousness. All those yesterdays, all those cheeseburgers, were necessary for the wisdom of today.

    May your new Vegan powers be used for good, to defeat the Legion of Doom, restoring truth and justice, peace and harmony, in the known, and unknown, universe.

    • jasongillett

      Absolutely- I made every mistake in the book- far from just the diet related kind- and have become wise because of each of the many misadventures and their follow-up lessons. “Reaching a critical mass of experience” was the phrase I wanted to find in my writing brain but it never came to me during the posting. Stellar description sir!

  • Di

    Really enjoy your blog. Found it a couple of weeks ago and read all of it to catch up. I, too, am going plant strong – a fan of both of the Esselystyn’s as well as the movie Forks Over Knives. Best of luck as you continue to break new barriers.

  • jasongillett

    Best of luck to you too Di- isn’t it funny how this seemed like such a huge undertaking? Once the ball is rolling it gets easier and easier. Thanks for reading the whole darn blog! That kicks so much butt~ Thank you!!

  • Stephen

    Excellent post! It comes at a good time, as my wife is going through frustration at this whole-food, plant based “diet.” Yet I try to have her look long term and judge this lifestyle on a 2 week trial period. You are correct it isn’t a diet, it’s a way of life. For 3 months I have been very fortunate to reap the rewards of giving up those foods that were causing harm to my body. Now 23 pounds lighter and 64 points lower in my cholesterol (263 to 199), I now know this is how I want to live. Hopefully she will push past the no initial no weight loss and see the other benefits.

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