Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What I've Learned About Myself

There are so many things in this life that make you wonder if "I am OK". You probably already know that I'm American but I don't live in the US anymore... so for me this is an excellent position to be in if you want to take a step back, analyze the path you've been on and hopefully incorporate any changes or improvements which need to be made.

We live in a society where we compare our INSIDES to other people's outsides. This person is slim and works out like a maniac - hmmm what is she doing, I should do it too. What is she wearing? How much money does she have?

Well there is another blog that I read pretty often that hit this exact nail on the head today when she discussed what she has personally learned from her recent 90 day "juice feast". People who read this journal very often will know that I too started the "juice feast" back in April. I completed 15 days and then unfortunately was forced to stop.

At first, I was absolutely devastated and thought to myself you know, I can't do anything to completion!! What's wrong with me?! The reason I stopped was beyond control, but the fact that so many others were doing juice feasting and going "raw vegan" made me feel inferior.

And so I started back cleansing about a week ago. I am doing this not for weight loss but for a sense of purpose and to detoxify. I am feeling OK and I think it's teaching me a lot about the things I have seen going on around me. It's helped me to figure out what I'm not.

Our society is obsessive. If it's not perfect, it ain't good enough. If you can do it 100% it's not perfect. Well what the heck kind of crap is that? We tend to get ourselves all worked up and lose focus over the things we have taken on and instead go onto a whole new level of madness.

And it is madness. What I've learned is that I have a relationship with food that's not really healthy. What I need to do is switch off from that, and stop thinking about things in such an obsessive and perfection-oriented way.

I am not down on anyone who is raw - it's good for you. But whatever happened to just listening to your body, taking good sound medical advice, getting exercise, and most importantly having a hobby or an interest OUTSIDE of your learned obsession.

That's going to be my focus. I am really glad I did the juice feast and I am going to finish my cleanse that I'm on now because I am reaping the benefits from that. I have a closer relationship with myself now and am happier for it too. I consider what I put into my body before I'll use/consume anything. And I am more socially aware.

I think that what we all need to remember is as simple as this - if you have weight to lose, or if you have a debt problem, or if you have any sort of behavioural issue that you want desperately to overcome, you are going to have to accept that there will be no one magic potion for you - no silver bullet - no cure-all. And that includes shelling out your money on X, Y and Z (fill in the blank here with any as are applicable - including vitamix blender, spiral slicer, self help books, classes on debt, or any number of cure alls we tend to blow our money on).

You might be surprized by this blog, but I'll tell you what did it for me... what changed my beliefs. It was this raw food forum where everyone was into something called "natural hygene" and it was really interesting. Until that is, when this guy said he only ever ate fruit, never brushed his teeth and had serious pain in several teeth - and when he asked about a dentist people were saying yeah go but don't use any pain relief. I'm like whoa hold on. I have never had a cavity because I brush my teeth at least twice a day, use listerine, and chew gum. I have done so since I was a kid...

There are extremists in every culture, every hobby, every everything! Why should we compare ourselves to all these people who get off on telling people what they think is right? I don't subscribe to that sort of thinking. I hope you don't either.

So what am I doing now - well I am listening to myself. I am exercizing but I'm not doing stuff I don't like. I am doing things that interest me. Things I want to do. I am seeing life without the preconceived notions that are shown to us from year dot, and I am enjoying the idea that my life could proceed in any number of directions.

I am going to be eating LOADS of fruit and vegetables. But I'm not going to pressure myself about the details... I just know I want my life and my food to be as simple as possible.

I am still into raw and I admire people who are all the way raw, but I am not striving for perfection. Because that doesn't exist. That is not real.

And girl, I am real and I choose to live in the realm of the living.