Yesterday afternoon I put on a shirt I hadn’t worn in a while. I was startled. So I went to the bathroom, pulled out the scale, and stood on it. This was when I became worried. It read 138.7 pounds.

I began to reduce my consumption of animals about three years ago. Much of this transition had to do with physical problems I was going through, specifically with my stomach, and since then my diet has fluctuated with a few instances of animals and continued consumption of dairy. It wasn’t until this past summer that I understood that, in line with my ethics, I had to become vegan. To my own detriment, I didn’t weigh myself when I did that, nor had I weighed myself months or years before that. I have little basis for comparison now.

And to be fair, my entire life I’ve been thin. At the peak of my physical conditioning when I was working out regularly and drinking protein shakes daily, I remember weighing 153 pounds. These days, I’m not nearly exercising enough and not nearly eating enough, but I’m still concerned that my problem may be nutritionally and not quantity.

Thanks in great part to I., my diet is mostly plant-based. We hardly eat pre-packaged foods and infrequently use tofu as our base source of protein. We prepare most of our meals ourselves with an organic and diverse range of produce whenever we can find it. We’ve only recently discovered spirulina as a natural source of B12, and I look forward to replacing my supplements.

And honestly, I don’t feel unhealthy. I don’t feel weaker or thinner or anything of the sort. However, I’ve been so vocal about veganism lately that I feel hypocritical going any further in its advocacy while my body is this way. How can I tell people that I am meeting all nutritional requirements when I’m 14 pounds lighter than the last time I remember weighing myself? And even if that weight is from 7 years ago, and even if it’s not the lightest I’ve ever been, I no longer know my truth to be certain.