May 10, 2011

On Losing It, and Gaining It. Weight, Happiness, and Peace: Part II

I was unhappy because, regardless of my weight, I wasn't loving myself.

Sure, I was skinny. But I became skinny because I abused my body; I sacrificed my health and happiness to lose weight.

I didn't go out to dinner with friends.

Regardless of whatever plans came up, if they interfered with my scheduled gym time, I declined the plans in lieu of getting my workout, lest feeling guilty.

I turned away foods I once loved, because I feared eating them would make me gain weight.

Don't get me wrong - it wasn't all bad. I fell in love with cooking. I started this blog. I created new, healthy recipes that made me feel good because I knew eating them wouldn't make me gain weight.

But I didn't love myself. And I didn't love my lifestyle.

So it unraveled.

One thread.

Then another.

And four more.

Until I became a pile of yarn strewn across the floor.

I convinced myself that my restricted lifestyle would keep me thin. I didn't eat dairy, eggs, or meat, so I didn't have to worry about excess fat, cholesterol, or an of those "bad" things. I just ate my beans and vegetables and feigned a smile.

The ironic part of it all? I gained weight while being vegan. I gained weight without so much as a bite of meat touching my teeth.

Every time my clothes felt tight, I would go on a "cleanse". Or I'd vow to stay strictly vegan because I convinced myself that it would make me thin again. Or I'd decide I'd only eat raw for a few weeks.

I was a mess.

That made me learn a valuable lesson: It isn't what you choose to eat, but how you treat your body. You can abuse your body being a raw foodie, being vegan or vegetarian, or eating red meat every day. Conversely, you can be perfectly healthy eating whatever makes you happy.

I abused my body for months, and I'm still struggling. But I'm learning.

And now I'm at a crossroads.

Part III is on the way.

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