“I couldn’t kill my first patient!”

This is one of the most memorable lines spoken the fund raiser for PCRM’s Research Without Cruelty campaign that took place last Sunday at Millennium Restaurant in the heart of San Francisco.

Spoken by none other than the brilliant and energetic Dr. Neal Barnard, champion of the healthy vegan diet and advocate for human health and animal welfare at the highest levels from his office in D.C., it sparked an evening of festivities that would refurbish the motivation for change for even the biggest slacker amongst us.

I wish I could give you a direct injection of the heart and enthusiasm this event generated for moving the cause forward.  This snapshot and a few anecdotes will get you started.  I’ll be covering more about the details of this event in future articles here and at my columns at Vegan Mainstream and examiner.com.

Yet with so many angles to cover (wait til you hear about my dinner with the Toxicologist!) I wanted to share with you what’s at the top today:  The motivation that comes with connection, and how you can tap into it for realizing your own goals and dreams.

Getting motivated for dietary change

Let’s face it.  When you have made the big changes to plant-based diet as you have, or if you are just getting started, you can often feel someone alone if you don’t have a buddy in the neighborhood to help support your dreams.   Add to that being faced with new recipes and menus, new foods, and taking some long last looks at old favorites that you are phasing out, and the challenge can seem steeper than you first suspected.

This is simply because you are learning something new, or you have lost the fire in your belly for change, or both.  It doesn’t have to be this way and there are simple solutions.  Besides arming yourself with an education and good food, the first stop for making change is motivation and support.

Change is not only taught, it’s caught

By staying connected with those further along the path than you are right now, you will be pulled forward.  Not everyone can have the opportunity to spend an evening with Neal Barnard and a roomful of other people with a bright flame for positive change burning in their bellies, of course. But you can share virtual rooms via hot spots all over the internet to fan the flames of your most burning desires.

The solution: Stay connected

By bookmarking key blogs, pages, and resources of support – and visiting them every day – you will get big doses of motivation by that very connection.

Today, find 3 key locations that support your desire for health, conscious eating, weight loss, plant-based dietary change, and healthy fitness.  Then, make a commitment to visit each of them every day.  That’s all!  Your commitment is to taking the action of connecting with places that educate and motivate every day.  And watch what happens.

Share your top 5

Below in replies, please share your top 3 – 5 favorite blogs, forums, or facebook groups (besides this one!) to go to for inspiration and connection with your fitness, weight loss, or healthy living goals.  Tell me what it does for you – does it help you eat better?  Get your exercise in?  Get the junk out of the house?  Anything, no matter how small – if it helps you on your journey, share it!  Chances are it will help another as well.

And oh!  Before I forget.  I’m betting you want to know the rest of the story around “I didn’t want to kill my first patient!”  Dr. Barnard was sharing about his early days in medical school.  He was faced with the task of running tests on a dog – yes, we’re talking animal testing here – and he knew by day’s end the dog would, well, not make it.  In his gut, he knew he just couldn’t do it.  His mind screamed “I can’t kill my first patient!”

Guess who took a stand in class?

OK, I KNOW that has motivated you!  Now share those spots you like to go for reinforcements below! Thank you!

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