Q: I am very much interested in the vegan lifestyle and know it is the right thing for me to do, but I am finding it really hard to find the willpower to stick to my new way of eating, especially when I am out with friends or visiting my family. Do you have any tips that might help? - Will Power
Dear Will Power,
Thanks so much for this question, and just to let you know, you are not alone in your struggles. Even the most dedicated want-to-be vegans have moments when they wrestle with temptation. Changing habits is hard, giving up things you once loved is hard, and it is also human nature to try to stay safe in a known comfort zone and back off from anything new.
That being said there are definitely ways that you can make this easier on yourself and greatly increase your chances of going vegan with success. Firstly I think it is really really important to know why it is you are wanting to go vegan. Not just the rote reasons that everybody cites - but the real reason for you. So ask yourself why do you want to go vegan? Why is it so important for you? Then once you know the reason (or perhaps reasons) write it down. Write it on some sticky notes, and put them in places you will see them. This will help to reinforce your reasons and give you the motivation that you need when things get a little difficult.
Another tip is to stop and consider what is going on in your mind when you are struggling to resist temptation to eat non-vegan foods. What are you thinking? If you are thinking something like, "this is so hard, I am never going to be able to do this long term", well that is likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Using willpower is never a good way to get what you want. If you truly believe that you can do this and you have a motivating reason to do so, you will find that it all becomes so much easier. If deep down you don't believe you can do it, you will always be fighting a losing battle. So listen to your self talk and find out what you are saying to yourself. If it is not something useful, try and change your story to something that is. Hope this helps.
Georgia Bamber is a vegan success coach based in the Southern Highlands NSW. Certified in coaching and plant based nutrition she knows a thing or two about embracing a vegan lifestyle.