I’m currently sitting in bed wondering how long it’s going to take me until I get this healthy thing right.
It’s been a long road. I’ve gone from 100% cooked food to 100% raw vegan. I’ve tried everything in between and in all different combinations. I’ve done all of this within the last 3 years.
Today I ate an entire box of Trader Joe’s Ice Cream Bon Bons. They were absolutely delicious. It’s been about 2 hours since I ate them (oh, and I followed it with an ice cream sandwich) and my body is feeling it now. I just feel slow. Tired. I have a slight headache.
I’m glad I started this very long journey 3 years ago. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve felt the alienation that comes from being completely different from everyone else (in several ways). Trust me, living in Texas and being a 100% raw vegan is TOUGH. Texas was extra hard, but it’s pretty tough no matter where you live. Raw veganism, even just living a healthier lifestyle, is not the norm. At least in my experience.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently. Wondering exactly why it has to be so difficult. I’ve changed my complete mindset on the matter several times. I’ve went from “Ohh… I feel so terribly sad, empty even, that I can’t have this or that food anymore to comfort me,” to “I don’t need this or that food. I understand why it’s not the best option for me. I sincerely do not want to put it into my body.”
Then fast forward a two or three days of being excellent and I’m downing a bacon cheeseburger from Burgerville down the street. What happened there? How did I go from being completely determined and inspired to be healthy to not caring at all? How am I able to so easily go back and forth and justify both actions? So very easily see the logic and rightness behind two completely different actions?
I don’t believe in right and wrong. I believe in consequences. I do the right thing most of the time because I enjoy the after affects. I feel good when I do good. I don’t do bad things because I don’t want the consequences. I don’t have to worry and stress about getting caught by the police. I don’t have to worry about covering up my lies to get away with certain things. I just don’t find it rewarding.
So if I live my life by this certain code, why in the world do I constantly slip from my healthy regimen? I benefit in EVERY SINGLE WAY when I’m living a healthy lifestyle.
1. I always feel fantastic after a good work out. Every single time. I have never gone on a walk, run or workout session without feeling amazing afterward. Even if I end up feeling a little naseous. It is ALWAYS worth it.
2. Eating raw vegan food always feels good. Every bite is thoroughly enjoyed and eaten without any guilt. I never have to worry if my food is cooked thoroughly enough or not. I never have to worry about feeling sleepy, tired or nasty after eating healthy. It’s just never an issue. I always feel light and happy.
3. I get to enjoy the every day benefits of being healthy. You know those little aches and pains that you assume are normal? The slight congestion in the morning that you think doesn’t really bother you? The almost unnoticeable eye boogers and bad breath upon waking? If you’re female, any menstrual pains at all? All of these things aren’t “normal”. They don’t exist when your body is working the way it’s supposed to. These are only a few benefits.
So why is it so hard? Good habits are formed by positive reinforcement, right? It’s the way we train dogs or any other animal. Do something good and you’re rewarded with something positive. It happens every single time anyone attempts to be healthy. We always get rewarded. Why do we ignore this? Are we the only species in the world that cannot be trained? I feel like a moron that just can’t GET IT. I keep messing up over and over again. I used to have a dog that I felt like I could just not train no matter what. I tried everything. I eventually just concluded that the dog was stupid and untrainable. Who’s untrainable now?
Wild, undomesticated animals don’t get diseases. They don’t die from these totally preventable diseases. Humans do. When have you seen fat animals in the wild? Even fat human beings who don’t live typical, modern lifestyles? They’re all healthy. Vibrant. Alive.
I can talk about this until I’m blue in the face. I can ramble on and on and list a bunch of statistics and facts. But what’s the point? None of it matters.
What is important for me? What will give meaning to my life? When I sit and think about it, the only thing I can think of is health. I want to be healthy. I don’t want to get cancer or disease down the road. I don’t want to die that way. But I also don’t want to alienate myself and live a lonely life. I moved to Portland, Oregon. There are more people in sync with my values here than ever. Why am I making it so difficult?
When I lived in Texas it was difficult because I had made friends already before I went raw vegan. My mistake was attempting to make those friends understand and accept my new lifestyle. The difference this time around is that I can start creating my new circle of friends exactly the way I want it to be. Instead of people who think BBQ’s are a great way to have fun (and, honestly, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that – it just isn’t my idea of a good time), I can begin anew and make friends with people who feel the way I do about life.
I’m much better at staying healthy when I have some way of recording it publicly. I don’t write this down for anyone else. I write it down for me. It’s a way to keep myself accountable. If I write it down, it’s recorded. I can go back and see how many times I’ve messed up. I can visually see what I’ve done wrong. If I don’t keep a record, it’s easy to forget and repeat my mistakes over and over. It’s a sure way to prevent myself from succeeding.
So let’s begin anew. Starting over from page one, yet again. I am in a new city. I am incorporating a new mindset. I’m getting a new place. It is the perfect time to start over and begin creating new, positive habits.
The only thing stopping me is myself. The most important lesson I’ve learned throughout the years is that I am the only person responsible for myself. My significant other is not responsible for me. My parents, siblings or friends aren’t responsible for me. No one is. There is only me.
Our choices define us.
Who am I choosing to be in every moment?
All I have to do is decide. Remember: not deciding is deciding.
Make up your mind and just do it.
Easier said than done, right? It shouldn’t have to be. I genuinely want to disprove this saying. It should never be easier said than done. It should be easy to do every time. Why should it be any other way?
Life is amazing. It’s an incredible thing. We should never have to settle for a mediocre life. I want to make it amazing.
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