Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'm Back (I hope)

Don't want to jinx it, but this is Day 3 of all raw.

I've been eating lots of papaya, which is quite possibly my favorite fruit. We got some good citrus, too. And I tried some of my Fuyu persimmons that I got at a major bargain price--2 forty pound cases for $70. Not totally ripe yet, but still sweet and yummy.

I am experiencing some cleansing symptoms already, such as an intermittent headache, a rash/ hives that migrate around my body, and other mild irritations.

I feel a lot less dehydrated, bloated, and backed up, though. So that makes up for it. LOL!

Someone (Elchanan from Path of Health) suggested that every time I feel a craving, I should stop and try to explore what might have triggered it. This has helped somewhat. Sometimes, I realize that I feel upset about X, but I can't really solve X at this point. So it can be a little frustrating.

My husband and kids and I are taking a mini-trip for Thanksgiving to an indoor waterpark. We hope it will be a time to really bond as a family. I may end up in bed the whole time.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Rewards and Punishment

I remember when I thought of eating healthy as a habit to be checked off on a chart with a gold star. I proudly, religiously (some might say self-righteously) ate my 5-9 fruits and veggies a day. Actually, the more veggies the better--more nutrient-dense, dontcha know. Every serving of whole grain, home-cooked, vegetarian food was an antidote to my vices (overeating, ice cream, cheese, smoking).

I liked "healthy" food, too. I loved my stirfries with 8 or 10 different locally grown veggies, brown rice and tofu, seasoned with herbs, "good fats," and salt. I loved the little fruit I did eat.

Then, I learned that virtually everything I had ever learned about nutrition was wrong.

Suddenly, I started viewing everything I put into my body that wasn't food for a human--dairy, grains, tubers and crucifers, oils and salt--as a check mark against my good record. I no longer delighted in my virtuous consumption, only worried about my sins. (Of course, I'm exaggerating a bit for effect.) I worried about food combining and how early was too early to eat in the morning.

Now, I'm just starting to scratch beneath the surface of all of this behavior to find the real issues lurking beneath. Can I love the little girl inside and meet her needs without training her to respond to praise and punishment?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Looking for Joy

Have you seen her?

I was just looking at my picture to the right. I look pretty happy, don't I? Actually, I was faking it in that picture. I remember the day that it was taken. I remember feeling unhappy about many things that day. I remember that a couple of hours before that picture, I had eaten a high-fat raw meal that was sitting like a big brick in my stomach. Still I did feel a sense of happiness that I could show off my newfound physical beauty in a picture. I did feel appreciation for the beautiful weather and the gorgeous flowers around me, and appreciation for the opportunity to spend the day with my family on an adventure. Overall, I felt hopeful at that time that my life was on an upward trajectory.

So, why did I ruin it by feeling the need to project a false sense of perfection to the world? Look at me, I'm a perfect raw vegan, I am saying.

If I took a picture of me now, I would look much different. My body is swollen and bloated and overweight (over 20 lbs. in 2 months!). My hair is greasy and at an awkward stage of growth. My skin is dry and lustreless. I am wearing an expression of malaise, unhappiness, and even possibly, anger. I'm wearing the same pair of tattered, mismatched sweats for the second day in a row, for God's sake. LOL!

I can say, however, that my insides match my outsides. I am not faking anything. I am just feeling what I am feeling. And I'm saying it out loud in public.

I feel like I am ready to go on a search for REAL FEELINGS OF JOY! Not for some glossy image of perfection to portray to the world.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

30 years of problems take more than 3 minutes to fix

"Am I in heaven here or am I in hell? At the crossroads I am standing."

Sarah McLachlan

One conversation that I see repeated numerous times on raw forums is when newbies state that they have been raw for a number of weeks or months and they have not seen their symptoms disappear completely or their energy soar. Invariably, the wise sages appear and assure them that a lifetime of damage cannot be repaired in such a short time. So, be patient, stay the course, have faith, they are counseled. Some do, some fall by the wayside. Such is life.

I am trying to apply this lesson to my emotional struggles. Be patient, stay the course, have faith. Will I survive? Or will I be left laying on said wayside, a casualty of my own special collection of trauma and weakness?

Today, I was feeling under the weather and contacted a person I was scheduled to meet to beg off. She expressed concern that my illness was caused by my raw vegan lifestyle. Actually, her words were, "I wish you would consider eating more."

This is the umpteenth time this person has expressed her concern that I am going to kill myself or my children with my crazy diet.

I could not contain a derisive laugh. Hasn't she noticed that I have gained 20 pounds in the last 6 weeks, I asked her? I have been eating lots of foods on her approved list, huge amounts of calories.

"Brown rice?" she pressed. Yes, my problems are definitely caused by a brown rice deficiency.

She is just doing her best, I reminded myself. Feeling a disgusting combination of guilt and fear, I went on to explain to her, honestly, that I was going through a lot of emotional difficulties and that I felt uncomfortable being subjected to her judgements. I played the "miscarriage" card (I had a miscarriage last year at this time), which was possibly a bit dishonest, since it isn't at the top of the list of what is really bothering me, but I felt I had to say something.

She apologized profusely, for not being aware that she was letting her judgement show through. In other words, she doesn't think she's wrong, she just thinks its wrong to make another person uncomfortable by sharing her correct opinion. Sigh. I feel frustrated by my inadequacy at standing on my own.

I want this to be true:

"All the fear has left me now
I'm not frightened anymore.
It's my heart that pounds beneath my flesh.
It's my mouth that pushes out this breath

and if I shed a tear I won't cage it.
I won't fear love
and if I feel a rage I won't deny it.
I won't fear love."

Sarah McLachlan