I became a vegan after spending a year in Italy, where I literally only ate meat and carbs and gelato. I gained so much weight, and I wanted to change my lifestyle. My friends who were vegans could not stop talking about the benefits of a vegan diet. So I thought that my diet was a good place to start. The day I got home from Italy, I cut out all animal products. I was thriving, to say the least.

It Started Out Great...

I learned to cook new and exciting food and felt amazing. A lot of people around me didn't understand why I made this choice. I was never a meat-lover, so it really wasn't a difficult change to make. For me, being a vegan was not hard at all. I love vegetables and fruits, and I found that being a vegan made enjoy produce such as tomatoes, mushrooms, and mango. 

My skin became flawless and I noticed that I had a lot of energy. I loved the way that being a vegan made me feel.

So Why Did I Stop?

cheese, bread, dairy product
 Kylie Kinder

At the boarding school I went to, there were not a lot of vegan options available. We did not have kitchens in our dorms and I ultimately didn't have the final decision on what was being served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I had to eat the cafeteria food and didn't have the option of cooking for myself.

Honestly, I was excited to eat cheese again. However, I still have the guilt of what they do to animals in the back of my mind when I eat dairy products, and that is something I really struggle with. When I eat dairy, I think about the animals and the environment, and I don't think those thoughts will ever go away.  

Noticeable Changes After I Stopped Being Vegan

I eventually transitioned into a vegetarian diet, yet still tried to cut out dairy. Dairy never made my body feel good, and it definitely didn't make me feel great as a whole.

My skin doesn't glow as it did when I was vegan, and I occasionally break out. My energy levels are low and the whites of my eyes are not as bright as they were when I ate vegan. My body felt crummy and all around not great.

I couldn't mentally re-adjust to the non-vegan lifestyle. I kept reminding myself of how bad eating animals is—not only for your body, but also for the environment. I am someone who takes climate change pretty seriously, and I wish everyone knew that avoiding eating animals could really help save the environment. 

From my experience, you shouldn't expect to feel as great when you are not eating vegan. Also, prepare to get made fun of a lot by your friends for being a vegan. I mean, this vegan even had something to say about vegans.