What is it like at family gathering, traveling to other countries and telling people what you are doing? Do you ever binge eat? How often have you slipped up? How do you fight guilt over not doing it perfectly? Thank you and I cannot wait to hear from you.
I am responding b/c, while I haven't officially McDougalled for 5 years, I've been vegan for 22 years. I.e., no meat, eggs, fish, dairy, etc. When I started McDougalling I ditched the added fat and the processed crap.
But this part of your question applies to me b/c I've been dealing w/ other people's attitudes towards my WOE for decades now! I was ovo-lacto veg for several years b/f I went vegan, too.
I have not knowingly eaten a single animal product since I went vegan. Period. I did that for ethical reasons and for me, anyway, that's far easier to stick to than doing it for health reasons. I occasionally have "feast foods" (non McD items) now, but they always MUST be vegan.
I approach social occasions by either bringing my own contributions or eating well before going. If I can bring my own (i.e., potluck) I'm good. I just make 1-2 dishes I love, I eat a lot of it, and if there is anything else there I can eat, I have a few tastes. If I cannot bring my own (i.e., going out to eat at a restaurant where I know there will be minimal options), I just eat well before going and get a salad for dinner.
Do people comment on it? Yeah. That's OK. When they say, "I could never do that," I say, "Oh sure you could, if you really wanted to. I really wanted to." If they ask, "What do you EAT?!?!?!" I explain. If it's a potluck they almost always love what I bring, so that helps.
The key is to Be Prepared (like a girl scout).
When you travel, take food w/ you and plan to visit grocery stores more often than restaurants. Keep in mind that if you are eating out w/ friends, it's the FRIENDS who are (or should be!) important, not the food. I don't have to have the World's Best Meal--I can get a salad or a baked tater anyway and have a good time w/ my friends.
Hope that helps!