I've been receiving messages here and there from my readers, and I've also been talked to in person about my blog. To all of you beautiful people who have told me that my blog has been helpful, inspiring, and special to you: I just want to let you know that it means the world to me that you care. It means the world to me that amidst my own dietary struggles and questions and raw honesty, you have found something to take with you from this blog.
It's been WAAAAY too long since I've written in here. But I needed this time off, as I explained in my last post months ago.
Tonight, Natalyn in the Raw popped in my head. Deep down inside, I knew: it's time. It's time to return to the blog. Time to continue what I started, and what I loved.
I've wanted to go back to writing recipes and posting in here for some time, but I wanted to be sure of where I stand. I thought I had to have a perfect labeled lifestyle that people can grasp - that I could grasp... but here's what I've decided:
1. I've decided that, for me, eating whole, plant-based foods is best for MY body.
Yup. After years and years of trying every diet and un-diet imaginable, after inspiring and worrying family and friends, after being on a yo-yo and a roller coaster for so long, wondering where I stood and what lifestyle I should support most. After years and years of never being consistent, and thinking that was wrong. After years and years of giving up foods and quickly returning to eating them ravenously. After years and years of this spiral of healthy and unhealthy thinking... After all this, I've realized that plants truly make me feel my best and my strongest.
But here's what I've also decided:
2. I do not wish to ever FORBID myself of a food again.
Unless I'm allergic to it. Or unless it's against my religious beliefs. Or.. well, you get the idea.
3. I no longer wish to blindly follow what everyone else says as TRUTH.
While it has made for great experiments, there's only so much more bad advice I can take and call truth before I go mad. From now on, I want to make informed decisions for me. My body deserves it. I shouldn't read anyone's blog and feel that what they're telling me is the ultimate truth. I've got the right to take that and test it/research it first to see if this really has something to it. Also, in the end, it's my body. Perhaps what they do works for them, and that's wonderful! But it's my choice to take what they say and apply it to me. It's also my choice to give some of these things a try anyway and see how my body handles it. But I should NEVER again think that just because it works for them it will work for me. Neither should you think that. Research. Watch documentaries. Be informed!
4. I no longer wish to be under a label, even if the majority of it is wonderful.
Veganism is one of the most beautiful ideas I've ever encountered. However - let's make this short and simple - being strictly vegan - or strictly anything, for that matter - is not for me. Honestly, I sometimes wish to call myself a vegan, but the truth is, I'm not one; I do eat other things too, sometimes quite regularly, depending on my mood. I don't want to offend a vegan if they see me call myself one and then I post a picture of eggs or chicken teriyaki on Instagram. As it is, I try not to post too much of that anyway - but you get the idea, I think.
For those people who are completely vegan - which by the way also means they wear vegan clothing (clothing not made of animal products), vegan cosmetics, etc. - it goes way beyond just food, and is all about caring for animals and the planet - You guys rock! I am a huge fan of anyone who can go all the way and give up all animal products and live such peace-driven lives! I admire you! I envy you! I wish I could be like you!
So I strive. I do my best to eat more and more plants. I also believe in natural cosmetics because they are better for me. I try not to support leather, or fur, or even fake fur (I heard that stuff isn't so great for the environment). But unfortunately, I'm not perfect. I know you aren't perfect either - you just have a gift that I do not currently possess. Blessings to all the vegans for inspiring us to eat more plants!
5. I'm no longer looking for the perfect balance, ratio, or lifestyle, because there isn't one.
What in the world do I mean by this? Well, truthfully, I've been obsessed about finding a perfect, cookie-cutter balance of healthy eating and exercise that I could put a finger on and call my own.
All this time, I've been looking for the perfect way to explain what I eat, what I wear, how to love every single bit of exercise I do (or else I don't do it), how to have the perfect willpower, how to no longer make mistakes...
We do not live in a perfect world. Life changes, for the better, and sometimes for the worse. Plus, we are not perfect. I've come to realize quite recently that I will never get to the unrealistic goal I have set for myself. My body is changing and will continue to change. I must do my best to treat it right in the now.
To some, it may look like I've found a balance. To others, maybe it looks like I'm far from finding it.
But for the first time, I'm okay with not being perfect about my diet or exercise - or even my feelings toward my current lifestyle.
I'm accepting that sometimes, life throws curveballs at me. It just means that I will need to throw a curveball back at life, think outside the box, pull myself up from my bootstraps, and move on.
6. I'm going to try to no longer to worry about what people will think of me or what they will call me.
For all I know, I may mess up BAD after writing this post. Someone may see it.
But you know what, people? Do yourselves a favor: Don't put a human on a pedestal, because they are bound to let you down that way. People are people - they make mistakes, I make mistakes, you make mistakes.. we all make mistakes. If you want to put someone on a pedestal, search with all your heart, and you will find the perfect One to put on a pedestal. I've found Him. Many know him as God, others call him Jesus. Well, He's kinda both. Anyway, He's amazing. More important than anything else in your lifestyle is your decision of whom you serve while living on this earth.
7. I'm going to have fun!
This may be the hardest thing I'm trying to do. Countless times I've been so hard on myself. I've struggled SO much in these past few years and have not let myself truly enjoy the life I've been given. I've thought and said hurtful things about myself, and have deprived myself of so many good opportunities to see life in a happy light. It's time to have fun. Time to be a human being instead of a wannabe Goddess. Because guess what? I SUCK at being a Goddess. Unrealistic expectations for myself, and I would rather people not worship me.
All jokes aside, I just want to have a good time discovering healthy living. And I need to accept that this journey to health never ends. Each day, each moment, each bite, each move I make, each thought I think - each one of these things is something that could move me forward or that I could mess up and learn from. I'm going to strive to move forward and enjoy doing it. And I'm going to strive to get up gracefully and cheerfully when I do fall.
So, um, there you have it. My thoughts as of late. Comment if you relate, let me know your thoughts. Or just read this if you want.
Much love and hugs,