Sunday, August 18, 2013

In Defense of Good Enough

I confess: in some areas of my life I'm a black and white, all-or-nothing kind of gal.  If I've decided to do something, I'll be diving in head first and commit my whole self to it.  My personal relationships, for example. I've always striven to be the best mother and wife I possibly could be, putting my family first, making it my life's work to create a happy and loving home. (I'm twice-divorced, so maybe that didn't work out so well, but I digress..) I also admit to being a bit of a perfectionist with some OCD tendencies.  I know it, my family knows it, and they love me anyway.  However, there are some things I've learned not to stress over, some things I simply can't control, despite my best efforts. At the ripe old age of (almost) 49, I'm not going to be a supermodel. It is unlikely that I'll ever be a size 2 again, at least not without plastic surgery and/or more time & effort than I'm willing to invest.  But that's ok, I'm willing to accept myself as I am, making some improvements where reasonable and possible, and letting go of the rest.  I'm just doing the best I can given my own circumstances, within my own personal ethics and belief system.  

Lately I've been reading a lot of "not good enough" type of posts here in Blogland, especially within the health/fitness/vegan community. There seems to be a lot of pressure to be a "better" vegan. It's not good enough to simply eat plant-based; you've also got to choose only organic, GMO-free, salt-free, oil-free, sugar-free, etc. etc. etc.  The lists go on & on. If not, you risk the wrath of the "vegan police" who pop up on blogs & discussion forums, always at the ready, just waiting to pounce and tell you what you're doing wrong. 

Well, I'm here to tell you: I do a lot of things wrong.  I consider myself vegan, yet I still have leather in my family room and closet.  They are used items, purchased before I decided to make this lifestyle change, and I have neither the means nor the desire to replace everything just yet.  I will get there someday, but in the meantime, I'm doing the best I can. 

Family room, another view photo 334043_3020484995608_676358737_o.jpg 

I prefer organic and hate GMO's, but there are commercially-prepared products in my pantry and conventionally-grown produce in my fridge. We travel a lot, and I don't always have access to a decent supermarket, much less a natural foods store.  Also, since Chip is still a vegetarian-in-training, I try to provide tasty alternatives to his omnivore favorites. If faux meats & a bit of vegan "junk food" help him transition, allow me to keep a "clean" kitchen and provide harmony in our home, I'm all for it.  I'm doing the best I can. 

Veganized Lettuce Wraps photo IMG_20130814_181910_zpsa62ad4b0.jpg
Veggie Lettuce Wraps 
 My chosen way of eating is Whole Food, Plant Based, no added fat/oil, but you'll see many pictures of restaurant meals that likely contain oil.  It's no secret that my favorite food is french fries and I indulge in them about once a week, usually alongside a veggie burger that may or may not contain a trace of eggs or milk, washed down a with a glass of wine or beer that is likely not vegan in the purest sense of the word. My hunny and I like to dine out, and I'm making the choice to compromise just a bit in order to enjoy the social time with him.  I'm doing the best I can.  

 photo IMG_20130712_180441_zpse0d31492.jpg
big ol' messy veggie burger with sauteed mushrooms & onions

Like many of my friends, I dislike Wal-Mart's policies, procedures, and politics, and it goes against my grain to shop there.  Yet, sometimes I do.  They are often the only option for us when we're on the road, and I've found that they carry quite a few healthy, organic products. So, I do the best I can.  

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Recent purchase from the clearance section at Wal-Mart
 So, here I am, an imperfect vegan. A little bit chubby.  Living with a partner and a wolfdog who still consume meat (Chip, at least, prefers his cooked!).  Buying imperfectly. Eating imperfectly. Striving to live cruelty-free in this imperfect world, with the understanding that there is always room for improvement.  For now, that's simply good enough



  1. You know chick, it's like a very wise friend of mine said (only hers was in reference to politics and the liberal vs conservative debate): after a while, with everyone trying to out do everyone, they all become two sides of the same coin. Then she told them to go eff themselves. Just the effort is commendable. Good for you!

  2. Hi Michele! Well, I think that the most important thing is for you to be happy with yourself. If you're okay with it, then it's okay. :D

    1. Marion, well, I'm never 100% happy with myself and realize there's room for improvement, but there's a line between bettering oneself and striving for perfection, you know?

  3. I love this post Michele and so relate! I know what trying to be perfect got me which was a lot of anxiety. While I enjoy feeling in control to some degree with my eating, I now realize that eating perfectly is not possible for me anymore.

    Great post!

    1. Thank you, Linda! Perfectionism is highly overrated. :)