Little did I know on the 4th November 2015, as I sat in the uni lunch area, eating a ham and cheese pasta salad, that the little YouTube video I watched on a whim would instantly change my life.

I started my instagram for weight loss back in May of 2015. I had used my fitness pal and fitbit for a few years, but had piled on weight in the run up to my dad dying. I decided I needed to change it up a bit and started my instagram under the name fiona.mfp. I loved instagram as a medium for charting my journey, and still do, even though the weight loss part has ground to a halt. The people on instagram are great, and I got, and continue to get great support from there.

My last year of Uni I spent a lot of time alone, at a lunch table in a small area at university frantically studying, attempting to get through my Masters (I did, the postgraduate diploma anyway, with a great distinction too).  On the fateful day, (a Wednesday), I had sat down to eat this pasta salad, and was browsing the internet, reading a story about an instagram model who had changed her entire instagram to the “reality” behind the pictures. Definitely not my type of story, but as it related to instagram, and that was my new big thing I went with it. After skim reading the story, and checking out her instagram I reached the final lines of the article. The journalist asked her “Do you have any final words for anyone reading this story?” (or something similar to this). Her reply, I’d ask them if they could do one thing, they should watch the YouTube video 101 reasons to go vegan. No more, no less, no why people should go vegan, no comment, just watch the video.

It seemed like a reasonable request, I had previously been vegetarian many years ago and if i’m honest veganism just seemed unattainable. I felt bad eating animals but I buried my head in the sand. So I thought, why not? I googled it, not even thinking what may happen, put in my headphones and took a break.

45 minutes later my friend pulled up to sit next to me, I took my headphones off and sat in a stunned silence. She asked if I was okay, I said yes, yes, I was just watching a youtube video. I don’t think I said about what. I still had about 15 minutes left, but we talked for a while before I had to leave. All I could think about was the end of the video. Something had clicked while watching it, whatever it was that drove me to vegetarianism was back in force. That night myself and my husband ordered a chinese, I ordered a vegetable curry and boiled rice with vegetable spring rolls versus the usual prawn curry/meat spring rolls/prawn toast combo. I wasn’t sure, but I thought I might be vegan.

The next day my husband was at work, and I decided that I needed to stay at home, to research what I had seen. Overnight I had came to a conclusion, that I couldn’t un-know what I now knew.

Now, one year later, my life from the outside may seem very similar, but from the inside, to me, there have been massive changes. I feel like I have grown in compassion for all life. I see things, and feel things I didn’t even really consider before. I feel I still have a long way to go on my vegan journey but I’m excited to see what the future holds.