Finding a Balance


Food, for me, has always been an issue. I try to think back to when it wasn’t…and honestly I can’t recall a time where I wasn’t afraid of food. Until now…the present moment. Afraid of food? That sounds so silly! Maybe to some, but for me it was a fear of gaining weight. Gaining weight seemed like the most awful thing in the world to me. I didn’t come up with that notion on my own. As children, we learn everything from those around us. I’m not pointing fingers at any one thing in particular, but I grew up and went into my teenage years and my twenties terrified of being overweight for numerous reasons. And I was overweight at one point…mainly freshman year of college where I decided to eat my way through depression. Mmmm nachos.

Everyone is different. People have said to me “oh, raw is so extreme, vegan is so extreme, everything in moderation is fine” and while that may hold true for certain people, moderation does not in fact hold true for me.

There are certain truths that I now clearly know about myself which I will divulge here. I need discipline with food. Being raw-vegan for the past 6 weeks or so has really changed my life. It has made me adhere to rules, which were it not for the title “raw-vegan” I would not have followed. In that raw-vegan practice, I lost my fear of food. I didn’t have anything to be afraid of. Fruits and veggies do not pack on the pounds like cheese and meat and starches can. Suddenly I found a freedom that I had not known my entire life. And finding that freedom, made the raw-vegan rules seem like a lifesaver, and not so much like “rules” or “dogma”.

I am not vegan because I dislike cheese and I dislike meat. I ate it for years…not in moderation. I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. Always have been. If you left me alone in a room with a large cheese pizza, I guarantee you I would have eaten practically the entire thing. And then I would have felt sick, guilty, freaked out, and probably made myself throw it up for fear of getting fat. That moderation “control” really was lost on me.

But being raw vegan, I am not around those foods. I do not buy them, I do not go where they are, and I avoid other people who have them around. Sounds extreme, but it’s really saved me. And being raw-vegan for this long has helped me see that I don’t even desire those other foods anymore, because they never made me feel as amazing as raw-vegan does.

I originally went raw / vegan to lose weight. Which I did. I am not yet to my goal but I am getting there one day at a time. Then I found myself feeling happier and much healthier, and now I am passionate about raw foods more because of their health reasons than because of a vanity/ beauty reason. The beauty reason is just a superficial plus that comes along with the raw lifestyle.

Right now, I am trying to find a balance. I want to be happy with my food choices and I want to enjoy life. I want to be able to go out to dinner occasionally with someone and I want my diet choices to be in such a way that I really do stick with them for my entire life. I have been thinking about adding raw fish back into the mix occasionally. I’ve been thinking about it for weeks actually.

What is the point of reaching my weight goal if suddenly I am going to make a diet change and then reverse my results? There is no point. I want to get there and stay there, and be totally happy and satisfied with what I am doing food wise.

I think I need to make that change now and see if / how that change affects my energy and my weight etc. I really doubt that 4 ounces of raw fish a week will hurt me. And it would give me more social freedom which I have been missing for weeks. I would be able to go to a sushi restaurant and not just eat ginger and a seaweed salad, but sashimi too!

I am still fully on board with being raw, I believe in it, I think eating raw, whole, organic foods is the best thing one can possibly do for their mind and their bodies. It’s the vegan part I struggle with sometimes. I was always a huge fan of fish and seafood in general…and I miss it.

I was always a huge fan of cheese too, but dairy causes mucus and cellulite so that really is a no-brainer for me and easy for me to say no to. Even raw cheese, I just don’t think I can get there mentally… that throws me right back into the “afraid of food” category. I will probably always say no to dairy.

But raw fish, I think I am getting closer to saying yes occasionally. I think it would just make my raw lifestyle complete. It would feel more balanced. I know there are people out there who would disagree with me, but my choices are my own choices. I believe eating a raw vegan diet with the occasional raw fish is probably healthier than the food choices of most of the population.

Our bodies are not machines that should get filled with the same gasoline every day. I don’t believe that drinking only green smoothies every day for months is healthy. I don’t believe that eating only meat everyday for months is healthy. There are some people out there who can eat in moderation and just have a little bit of everything and sample and try everything. Mentally, I cannot do that. I’ve got a history of being afraid of certain foods…so that literally if I had one bite of a regular non-raw dessert, I would feel fat. I would feel fat, and freak out, and feel guilty and beat myself up about it. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s the way my brain works. I know that about myself. I’m real and honest about it. It’s always been something that I have struggled with. For years.

Veggies and fruits saved my sanity. They gave me a freedom with food that I never felt before. I don’t fear anything about them. In fact, eating them for so long now has made me forget that I used to be afraid of food. It’s an awesome feeling. A huge sigh of relief. I no longer think about it on a daily basis.

But now I am on that search for balance. I need to perfect this raw lifestyle in a way that works best for myself, my desires and for the rest of my life. Because this is what I want to stick with. I’ve never found a way of eating that made me this happy before.

I stumbled upon a blog post by Frank Giglio about finding his balance with food, and it was so eye opening. He was the first raw food person I came across that dare mentioned eating any raw animal products. But I loved his message. A message about listening to our bodies, and not disrespecting our bodies needs just to obey some sort of raw rules that someone told us. If you are interested in that post, you can find it here:

http://truetoyourdreams.wordpress.com/2009/10/13/frank-giglios-perspective/

Then I met Randy Bramblett, a personal trainer / sports performance specialist / pro cyclist / raw food enthusiast – check out his site at www.myrawfitness.com
Randy is all about balance…getting the most nutrients from the best raw organic sources, with as much variety as possible. Randy told me that there are a lot of right ways to achieve something. Not just one way. Until I heard that I really was pretty tunnel vision about what I was doing as a raw vegan.

Two people all about balance appeared in my life in such a short span of time…and that I cannot ignore. It got me thinking and really looking at my diet and what I was doing, and questioning, and re-examining, which we should all do. We should never stop questioning. We should never stop seeking our own personal truth.

So for me, the occasional raw fish might find its way to my menu…and I’m okay with that. The raw vegan foodies might throw stones at me and might shake their heads, but they’re not living my life. They don’t have my history and they don’t all share the same desires as me. No two people should ever be compared to one another. We are all different. We all respond differently to things. We all need to seek and find our own individual balance…in every area. What works for me might not work for you. So that is where I am at right now…just trying to find my balance.

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