The Long and Short of It

When I changed my eating and workout routine about 16 months ago, there were many things I didn’t know.  I didn’t know exactly why I had a heart attack.  I didn’t know if I would actually stick with the whole vegan thing.  I didn’t know how I would feel about what I was doing or what to expect from others.  And I didn’t know how much different I would be these many months later.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot and can answer all these questions.

I know why I had the heart attack, as I’ve written in a previous post (

I know that a vegan diet is not hard for me.  I don’t miss anything.  If this sounds like an exaggeration, I promise you it’s not.  I used to miss real ice cream, but not anymore.  I actually crave the foods I’ve become accustomed to eating and have learned to cook many of the things I love without milk or eggs.

When I began this whole transformation, I felt like I had to explain a lot about why I was doing what I was doing.  I felt a little defensive when people asked or challenged my choices.  And then I realized that many of these people were, themselves, feeling defensive.  I don’t know if they thought I was judging them or what, but there was certainly some tension.  As I’ve said before, that totally surprised me.  On the other hand, I’ve been so touched by the attention my friends and family have paid in trying to accommodate me when I visit them.  And I feel terrible for how stressed this whole thing seems to make them feel.  The truth of the matter is that no matter what someone is serving, it’s rare that I can’t find something to eat. I wish so much not to be such a stress trigger for them.

Finally, I didn’t have a clue about the way I would physically change.  Between the food and the very routine workouts,  I feel so good.  And my whole body seems different.  I have great energy and I feel like all the moving parts are moving well.  I feel both light and strong–like it’s easy to move through the world.  I think about the first time I ran the neighborhood path.  I could barely make it down, forget about back up.  Now, when I’m running, I barely have to think about it.  Muscles have shape and clothes fit better than ever before.  And while I did lose weight (that happened right away when I changed my eating), it took this long–about 16 months–for me to actually feel so physically different and solid and strong.

When people ask how I’m feeling, I can say without hesitation that I feel better than I can ever remember feeling.  I’m grateful for all that’s happened to me.  I hope that this inspires someone to make a change without the kind of motivation I had.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Denise San Antonio Zeman on August 21, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Laurie,thank you for sharing your journey. Every time I read what you write I smile. I knew from day one that you would be completely successful, and I have kept copies of all of your wonderful recipes for my files…your bread is now my bread! Last week marked my 4th vegan anniversary and I still have not gotten family and friends to calm down when they cook for me. Tonight we went to Vegeterranean for dinner and had one of the best meals ever. A disciplined lifestyle can be so good for so many things…my once debilitating hip ailment has been under control for two years due to bi-weekly pilates, and a random stranger approached me after a speech the other night to compliment me on my complexion (not bad for almost 59!) which I attribute to my diet. If people are defensive around you, that is their problem…you are doing what is best for you and your family, and that should be encouraged and celebrated. You say that a vegan diet is not hard for you, but that, I suspect, is because you understand the importance of discipline and balance. Discipline is not hard for me, but balance is…I still tend to over commit and over work, but because of discipline, I can almost always get to a place where I can take a deep breath and exhale. So be sure to incorporate balance into your disciplined life, and you will remain strong, solid, healthy and happy for many years to come. That is my wish for you, my friend!


  2. Denise, you are such a great inspiration to me. Thank you so much.


  3. Posted by Dana on August 22, 2010 at 8:34 am

    It is interesting how things work out in life. My main goal is to show my children the right way to eat. I was not provided a “how to” diet. Eating right growing up was more so McDonalds or other fast foods. Those habits followed me through most of my 20s. Being a Soldier and always exercising motivated me to eat better. After 22 plus years in the Military staying fit has become part of my profession. It helps not just reading other experiences, but hits home when its from someone you are related to. Thanks Lori.


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