A few months back I started a journey to regain my health, both physical and mental. The starting line of this journey was a fat, miserable, depressed guy who had yet to accept that his undoing could easily be undone. As I sat on the tailgate of the Swaggon struggling to buckle my riding shoes between held breaths, it occurred to me that this was not how my life was meant to be. It was time to make a change.
I put down the fried chicken, hot roast beef sandwiches, and fast food. I had spent the last year prior to this change feeling sorry for myself, being depressed, considering what actions I had taken to get to this point. I was suicidal. I had trashed a relationship. A lot of my life was upside down, and I just wanted to hide in a dark room until I didn’t have to breath any more. Riding didn’t help, it was a chore to get miles in when you don’t even want to leave the house. I became even more self destructive. My alcoholism flared up. Problems compounded. People hurt me, and in turn I hurt others, but mainly myself. Depression is a fucking monster. I’ve dealt with it my entire life. Sometimes I’m in complete awe of how I made it to this point in my life with all of the self-defeating shit my mind pulls. I fed my depression beer, shit food, and lies. I fucked up a lot of shit. I was lying to myself about how I was doing, until that day the struggle to clip a buckle on a shoe cleared the clouds around the actual struggle that was happening: My body was dying and my mind didn’t give a fuck.
I went Vegan. My life instantly changed. That’s not hyperbole, I felt the change for the better within 24 hours of putting down my old habits. It has been incredible. I have lost nearly 50 lbs since March 5th of this year. My clothes fit better, MY MIND WORKS BETTER, my average moving speed is up 25%, and I have energy to do the things I want to accomplish. My creativity has gone through the roof, and my home studio is being used on a daily basis to write shitty music. My depression has subsided, and my self harm thoughts* have mostly gone away. My loved ones have noticed, and they are happier now that I am not some miserable lump on the Earth. I feel myself starting to love life again, and I’m back to building a positive existence and using that to make my people happier. All this from just changing what I ate. It’s not some crazy fad diet with asinine rules, it’s not some self loathing way of sequestering yourself from eating “good food,” and it’s not something that people should fear. It’s an ethical way of treating yourself, the planet, and the other creatures on this planet. Yes, some people get a little annoying about spouting off about being Vegan, BUT IT’S BECAUSE THEY GIVE A SHIT AND THINK YOU SHOULD TOO. Honestly, I kind of enjoy it when people give me crap for being Vegan. At least I know that it’s crossing their mind.
So I’ve made a bunch of improvements, and life is a better for those around me, for the most part, because of it. BUT my weight loss has paused at 270 for the last few weeks, and because of an injury I haven’t been able to ride my bike. I have a goal of 235 by October, which is pretty heady considering the amount of work it will take and the amount of free time I have to take on said work. I think I can do it, but in all honesty I’m happy that I’ve come this far. I’m happy that I can say “I lost 50 lbs, but I’m still fat.” It’s a kind-of-funny self deprecating remark that reminds me that the travels aren’t over, that health and fitness of the body and mind is not a destination, it’s a journey.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental wellness, there are resources out there. A good start is contacting the National Alliance On Mental Health
Be safe in your journey,
*I know this is a very personal thing to share, and I don’t want anyone to worry or think this a cry for help. I have cried, I’ve gotten some help. I am putting this out there for others who struggle every day with thoughts of ending it all, so that they know that they aren’t alone in this, and that yes, even “successful” people struggle with thoughts of self harm. It’s something I have struggled/dealt with nearly every day for the past 38 years. I’ve lost some of the most important people in my life to their own hand. Depression is a real killer. Please get help if you feel like you need it, and if you see someone struggling please be there for them.