How to Lose the Dead Weight

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Obviously I’ve been on this journey called life for a minute now.  I’ve said this before, I just want to be happy.  Now don’t get it twisted, saying that doesn’t mean I’m unhappy now.  I look for the positivity in every stage, even the struggles.  Sometimes being happy doesn’t mean adding something.  Sometimes it means losing something, cutting out, saying goodbye.

I’ve said ‘Bye Felicia’ to a lot of things over the last few years.

And I regret none.  Doesn’t mean I don’t miss anything or anyone; missing is fine.  But I say again, I regret NONE.  I’m good with missing as its far outweighed by the value of what’s gained.

So here’s 5 weights I’ve dropped off my back in the last few years.  Thought I’d separate them into physical weight and mental weight, but I won’t because they’re so tightly tangled into each other there’s no getting in-between them.  Holistic AF…

One:  Leaving food to chance.

Unless you fancy and got a chef on call to make you whatever whenever, not planning how you’re going to fuel your body is fucked.  You’ll end up making a bad choice or no choice at all, both of which are torture for your mind & body.  So, on Thursdays we meal plan.  On Friday’s we grocery shop.  And on Sundays we meal prep!

Two:  Consuming animals.

Vegan AF.  Not only has this given me more energy and helped me to lose the extra weight I put on (more on that here), but it’s also lightened my mind.  Living according to your values, especially those ones you subconsciously ignore is fire; matches & accelerant.

Three:  Inorganic Chemicals.

It’s taken some time to source beauty, hair and make-up products that work for me, are natural & cruelty-free and don’t break the bank but I’m almost there.  Again, it just feels better; inside and out.

Four:  Fucking Carbs & Sugar.

Woah brah, I’m not carb-less, but I have severely cut my carb & sweet intake and replaced it with healthy fats and periodic sweet treat cheat days, along with working real hard at keeping my protein intake on point (more details here).  And FYI for any mofo who wants to open the “vegan protein-deficiency debate”: try logging everything you put into your mouth for a week and then tell me you as a meat eater are getting enough protein – If you are, I’m certain you’re in the minority.

Five:  Unlike-Minded People.

Of course everyone doesn’t agree with everything you say and we go out in the world and work with all kinds.  I’m talking about those people who don’t support you, those people that always have some MF negative thing to say and poo poo on your goals.  And those negative people that feed into your insecurities because misery loves fucking company.  Nawwww man.  Fuck them.  Next!

Obviously it’s not easy to not care what people think.  Everyone cares.  Sometimes I say I don’t care, but I really do, just not enough to have someone else’s opinion dictate the value I see in myself and certainly not enough to stop me from doing something that’s right for me.

So drop those sand bags and live free baby!

 

Where can a vegan eat on Bloor Street?

I tried a little something different for my cheat last week.  Instead of the Friday night to Saturday afternoon sweet binge, I planned a last minute food-venture down Bloor Street in Toronto; hitting a number of spots I’ve been meaning to check out.

Just one quick rant before I get into all the amazing things I got because I came across this saltiness more than once…  The reason why someone might ask if something or everything on your menu is vegan, is because outside of the city, the rest of us in the GTA don’t have access to the quality and quantity of fresh vegan eats that you do.  We are used to going over the menu with a fine tooth comb for the one or two vegan options, to asking the waitress to confirm with the chef that there are no animal ingredients in our meals and we never assume that when something says ‘cheese’ if DEF means non-dairy cheese.  No matter how many times you get asked this question you should answer with pride…

Knowing that you are part of a business that is not only successful financially but also in spreading a message of kindness and compassion for all living creatures.

So leave the saltiness at home.  Okay.  Rant over.  Let’s get to the good stuff.

My first stop was Rawlicious.  While there were a few things I wanted to try, I needed to save room and just ordered the sliders.  They were alright but TBH I think I’m just not a raw type of girl.

Next up was Apiecalypse Now!  I was (and still am) drooling at their vegan pizza but I was more interested in treats on this visit.  Specifically donuts.  I love me some fucking donuts but I haven’t had one since going vegan, so you already know what it was about when I walked in there and laid my eyes on their selection.  I got the Cookies ‘n’ Cream donut.  Fuck.  Sooooo good.  I also grabbed a Simpsons donut which literally looks like the donut from the Simpsons with the pink glaze and the sprinkles.  No pic as evidence since I ate it in the car when I got back to Sheppard West Station and ended up with a pink disaster all over my face, my lap and the driver’s seat.  Ooops.

Next stop was Bloomer’s.  I had the Rose Pistachio donut and a ginger soda.  There was a ton of other things I wanted to try here but again, I needed to save the room.  All kinds of proper food and I’m DEF going back.  Not to mention that there was a pretty big seating area, it was air conditioned at a comfortable temperature and had a giant garage door which was closed but I can imagine just how chill that spot is in the evening.  Anyway, back to the Rose Pistachio donut…  THIS.  THING. WAS. THE. SHIT.  Just omg!  Fucking heaven.  So much pleasure on my face as I ate it that a girl standing at the counter noticed and pointed it out to me – so embarassing but we had a giggle about it.   If I visit no where else again, I will fo sho visit Bloomer’s (again and again).

My last bakery stop was Through Being Cool Vegan Bakery.  They also seem to have a pretty good selection of donuts, though as I was there late in the afternoon, there wasn’t much left.  I had my fill of donuts at this point though, and settled on one strawberry and one tiramisu tart.  Both were delicious but I prefer the tiramisu, probably just because that’s another dessert I haven’t had since going vegan.  I’d visit here again but earlier in the day so I could have my pick of the donuts.

The last two places I visited were Good Rebel vegan grocery and The Vegan Imperative.  We’ll get into the goodies I picked up there on a later post!

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The vegan ‘food-venture’ route

Yah I’m Vegan… And I don’t drive a hybrid!

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Photo by Jeffrey Valerio

Or an electric car.  Or the transit.  Or a me powered bike.  So many misconceptions when people find out that I’m vegan.  As if there is only one way for me to be vegan?!?!?  And of course the expert on this one way is going to be someone who isn’t even vegan?!?!  Or more importantly someone who isn’t even me.  Sure.  Seems legit.

The car thing is just one of them.

“Oh, okay.  You’re vegan, but you still drive a car.  So…”

Ummmmm.  TF are you even talking about?!?!  I guess because I am vegan – for the animals, for my health, for the environment or any number of reasons, which of course this ignorant mofo has already decided my reasoning without asking me…  Then it must follow that I should live off the land or only shop at farmer’s markets, also be a minimalist, zero waste and be the most perfect, angelic, green, zero carbon footprint chick ever.  That means I should not, ever drive a car, which of course is polluting and destroying the environment, ruining it for our children (well your children since I’m not having any).

Yes.  I drive a car.  A regular, old car that runs on regular, old gas.  That only recently became old enough to require emissions testing and clearly passed as I’m still driving it.

I’m vegan and I drive a car.  Because at some point most vegans were meat eaters and I’m one of them.  I would love to own a more environmentally friendly vehicle (and will in the future) but I’m not going to get rid of my car and buy a new one now because I’m vegan.  Nor would that be financially feasible and is a complete waste at this time since my beautiful Daytona is still running just fine.  Nor is it necessary as just because I’m vegan doesn’t mean it’s for or just for the environment.  And it def doesn’t mean that you get to dictate what being vegan means to me or how I choose to fit my choices into my lifestyle.

So yes mofo, I’m vegan and I don’t drive a hybrid.  TBH, my values are my own and I couldn’t give zero-er more fucks about what you think about them.

What is comfortably uncomfortable?

Sometimes being uncomfortable is exactly what you need

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Comfortable…

Other than in reference to temperature that word doesn’t have a positive connotation for me.  Not negative either though.  Just not a word I would like to use when describing my life.  Happy.  Exciting.  Pleasurable.  I’d take either or all instead of comfortable.

Comfortable for too long of a time almost feels like complacent.  And complacent..  Well nawww, complacent just won’t do.  Comfortable would mean I have no desire to go further,  no appetite for more or thirst for something…  Something else.  Comfortable would mean that I’m content to remain in this spot.  Know this though,

I don’t associate comfortable with happiness or with fulfillment.

Comfortably Uncomfortable…

Now if I’m comfortably uncomfortable that’s a different game altogether.  It means I’m okay with the sickening, stomach dropping, most uncomfortable feeling in my current position.  More than okay with it; I revel in it.  I embrace it.  Surround it.  Inhale it till my lungs can’t hold anymore and I’m coughing and wheezing from the burn.  Because I need that discomfort.  To say to me;

“Hey J!  Are you good?  Cuz if you’re good then cool.  But we both know, you’re not good.  So next question:  What are you going to do about it?”

We’ll see then won’t we.

 

Are You Trapped???

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This idea of being trapped has been lingering around me for some time now.  I hear it mentioned more than I’d like.  Thing is, I don’t feel it.  Or at least not in the way it’s intended.

I’ve found myself in situations I’ve wanted to get out of.  Some more difficult than others but I will say that I never felt trapped by the situation.  I have felt trapped by myself.  Knowing the trapped feeling is transitional.

When I decided to study fashion arts and had to work full-time concurrently to pay for it, I made a promise to myself.

I promised myself that I would suck everything I could out of the program.  Go 200, all day, everyday, no matter the cost.  I barely slept.  I ate poorly, if at all.  I didn’t train.  But I finished with a 4.0 GPA and more importantly I was overflowing with skills and perspectives I could have only dreamed of obtaining otherwise.  And the cost?  Well the cost was 40 lbs of extra weight.  Forty pounds and I knew exactly where they came from.  Not sleeping.  Not eating.  Not training.  As my previous identity was all wrapped up in being a competitive cheerleader and training 5-6 days a week, this was hard for me to reconcile.  But I didn’t feel trapped.  No chance because nothing can hold me boss, promise.

I knew exactly what needed to be done but I also knew they were not changes I could make quickly while maintaining their longevity.  I needed to make them slowly.  I did and continue to do so.  The only reason why I’m able to do this is because I know that I am the determining factor.  I’m the only one that can allow myself to feel trapped.

This is in my bones.  I believe it in all aspects of my life; above all.

I am not trapped.  I am only caged if I allow myself to be.  The difference between where I am now and where I want to be is defined by…

How much sweat I’m willing to give.

How many tears I’m willing to shed.

How much pain I’m willing to stand.

How much work I’m willing to put out.

How much shit I’m willing to eat.

How much patience I can squeeze out of me.

I am not trapped unless I allow myself to be trapped.

And I don’t allow it.

 

How to: Patience AF

but patience is HARD

I’ve been quiet for the last little while but quiet doesn’t mean stagnant.  I’m working.  My head is down, my eyes are open, my mind is processing.

Werk.  Werk.  Werk.  Werk.  Werk.  Werk.  Every once in a while I poke my head up to take a look around.  Take a look back.  A quick check to what I’ve left behind (won’t miss you) and glance forward to make sure I’m still in line for what’s just ahead (and further still).

Promising myself that I will be patient as fuck and failing every once in a while with a volcanic eruption of anxiety prompting me to check & correct myself.  Reminding myself that…

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I’ve realized that while I’m the one in my circle that people come to when they want a raw, uncut opinion, I don’t often take my own advice.  Tried a little experiment the other day when I was feeling especially anxious and worked up about something.  I wrote down what I would say to one of my friends if they came to me in the same mental state and then made a voice recording of myself saying it.

Listening to my little rant two nights in a row was enough to kick those negative vibes.

I realized that the reason why I communicate in this blunt, tough love kind of way is because that’s the type of communication I respond to.  While it doesn’t work for everyone, a lot of people respond to it as well.  If you’re one of these people, try it.  It couldn’t hurt – just saying.

There’s something to this recording and listening to myself talk to myself as crazy as it sounds.  I’m sure I’m onto something.  In the meantime:

Werk.  Werk.  Werk.  Werk.  Werk.  Werk.

Patience.  Patience.  Patience.