People put a lot of emphasis on finding yourself, and being your true self. Especially when we’re younger, in high school and at college age, they’d say – take some time, find yourself. Its a big catalyst for wanting to travel the world alone, dive into religion, or receive counseling.To be honest, I never felt like I needed those things. I may not love everything about myself (who does?) but I do feel like I at least *know* myself. I don’t need to find myself, I was never really lost…
…but one big facet of my life IS lost – my diet. It seems silly, being confused against the most natural and innate thing in the world – eating! However, the more I think of it, the more important it seems. Your diet and how you treat your body does say a lot about you. It does play a role in the grand-scheme of “you-ness” doesn’t it?
One of my friends once described me as “a serial dieter” oh, that stung. But hey, its true. When I think about it all now, I feel a little bit more like all of my diet changes weren’t always about seeing what would result in weight loss, even though I thought it was. I actually think that all along I’ve been trying to find my food self. Trying everything to see how I feel, what I believe, and what I enjoy.
I still have a lot of discovering to do.
My views on food are varied and often hypocritical. At my core, I think I am fundamentally and emotionally a vegan. I love animals, and I don’t really see how we can separate that its OK to eat a pig, but not a cat or a dog, who we love so much. Yet – I love to eat meat. I love steak and sashimi more than anything. I love eggs and of course everything I ever cook contains butter! I think that our bodies are absolutely not meant to consume milk/dairy after infancy, yet I don’t know if I want to never have cream cheese on a bagel ever again. I am against so much processed food and genetically modified stuff – but those jumbo apples are way better than the organic ones! And I’ll be damned if boxed mac’n'cheese isn’t delicious!
Clearly, that’s some conflicting thoughts there.
Its a struggle for me. I don’t know, maybe it’s a struggle for everyone.
My latest experiment of trying to stop all of the dieting and eat intuitively is either working perfectly or failing miserably. I can’t tell yet.
What I know is that I don’t feel good. I don’t feel healthy or like I have a direction at all. I thought what would happen would be that I would open up this world of food to myself. A world free of restriction and rules and my body will just naturally fall into line and everything would make sense!
In reality, what happened was that I spend 2 weeks trying to eat everything that I thought I had been missing - cheeseburgers, cheese in general, bagels, steak. I quickly realized that I felt like shit, but I wanted to go through it, I wanted to convince my body that it had nothing to fear from these foods. I guess I was trying to take their magical powers away from them, by making them no longer off-limits to me. I still think it was a good idea, and I don’t think I am any worse for it now… but I’m kind of over it.
I feel like I am lacking something. And (I hope) its not in a disordered I-need-to-control-my-food crazy way… but I feel like I need to own my diet. I need to decide who I am by how I treat my own body.
But what do I need? I definitely feel like I need more structure. Perhaps not strict rules and restrictions, but just some structure. How will I do that? I have no flippin’ clue, but I have faith that I can figure it out.
Since Monday I’ve been eating vegan. I wasn’t entirely intentional, but it happened that way on Monday and I thought it felt really good so I kept it going. Am I now a vegan? NO. I have been enjoying it, though. Maybe I’ll end up a vegan. Maybe I’ll end up eating mostly-vegan. Maybe not!
I just don’t know. But I do know that I have to keep trying. I have to figure out what makes me feel good – physically and mentally!
If anybody is still reading this… I’d love some input.
Do you think how you eat says a lot about who you are? Do you feel like you’ve always been one with your diet, or did you have to “find it”?