Mind over Matter

Hi everyone, Ash here ?

Two years ago I did something I said I’d never be able to do. In the past I called it ‘extreme’. I joked about it, I didn’t really understand it. I’d said “it wasn’t for me”…


This email is not an email that I’m writing to persuade you to adopt the same lifestyle (although I highly recommend it!). We are all able to do our own research, listen to the facts and make up our own minds. We all make decisions in our own time, so this email is about how I overcame my reasoning that I could NEVER be vegan. It’s about MIND OVER MATTER. It’s about approaching a decision with consideration, kindness and trust.

Before I became vegan I had been on/off vegetarian for 10 years. Like most of us, I called myself an animal lover. I donated money to animal charities, raised awareness of animal cruelty and did my best to offer kindness to any animals I came in to contact with. I lost count of the amount of petitions I signed! One of my best friends, Jake, went vegan six months before I did and I remember telling him that I thought it was a ‘step too far’, that he would ‘waste away’ and would have no energy. When I look back I’m quite disappointed that I took this view when I am naturally very encouraging of my friends decisions, even when it may be something I wouldn’t choose to do myself. Why was I like this? I think it was because it was a reflection of what I knew I _should_ be doing, but wasn’t. Seeing my friend do something that was helping animals, something that mattered to me dearly, was subconsciously making me uncomfortable so I wrestled with that feeling and masked it by telling myself that it was the wrong thing to be doing. How often are we guilty of this? Masking our insecurities and guilt through discouragement and negative words? When we tell ourselves that we can’t do something, without trying, are we being ‘real’ or are we simply scared?

Six months after this I decided I would go vegan, and I haven’t looked back! Admittedly, it was hard, and the first few months had some ‘mistakes’, but ultimately I felt my mental health strengthen by finally feeling like I was living with conviction. My actions matched my morals. On a daily basis I would remind myself why I was doing this, why it mattered to me. I would offer kind words of encouragement to myself when I felt like I was about to give up. I learnt to practise patience with those around me who mocked my decision (although many were very supportive!). I remembered what I had said to Jake, when he told me he was vegan, and I reminded myself why some people were quick to question my decision. They were doing what I had done to him!

Have you been considering a lifestyle change? Maybe it’s starting a new hobby or habit? Maybe it’s your diet, exercise, a new relationship, a break up…. There are many things that take effort and willpower and we must do our best to be kind to ourselves when we take a huge leap outside of our comfort zone. When faced with something new, it’s normally our instinct to look at what could go wrong. This way of thinking served us thousands of years ago, when we needed to be much more cautious to survice. These days, it’s more of a hindrance and often holds us back.

Here are my top three tips when you approach any type of lifestyle change –



  1. Be kind to yourself. You won’t always get it right, you won’t know if what you are doing is going to work out for the best, but you can make the most of this journey by being kind to yourself, and others around you.


  1. Trust yourself. You’ve come a long way and you know what you can do when you put your mind to it! Your path is unique and no one knows _you_ better than _you_ do, TRUST YOUR GUT. It’s _almost_ always right.


  1. Only a few people in your world have your best interests at heart, they are the opinions you should seek. With everyone else, smile and be gracious, learn something if it seems valuable, have an open heart… but know that, ultimately, decisions always start and end with you. I’ll say it again, NO ONE KNOWS _YOU_ BETTER THAN _YOU_ DO.


What are you thinking about right now? Has this email got you thinking about changes you need to make? Opportunities you want to take? Chances are, this is exactly what you should be doing! It may not be easy, but it will _probably_ be worth it.

I’m content with the decision I made 2 years ago – I’m a very happy vegan! ??

Have an amazing day and don’t forget to smile at yourself in the mirror. You’re looking beautiful, as always ?

You’ve got this!

Sam and Ash

Content is from Sam and Ash at SMASH London. To find out more about them visit their site: www.smashlondon.co.uk

Author profile
Sam Tank

I have been a Personal Trainer since 2015, having previously been a listening volunteer for the Samaritans, I knew that I wanted to work with people to see just how amazing we can all be! I am a lover of life and enjoy a challenge, pushing myself and others to reach various goals. I very much believe in whole body fitness and health -my mission is to inspire you to become the best version of yourself and make every day count.

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