Wednesday, January 13, 2010

she's baaaaaack and she's blaaaaaack. not really. she's caucasian. but she is back.

So I've been on hiatus for just a little under four months...


Have you not been able to sleep for 120 days because of sudden disappearance of Her Soy and Beans? If so, I apologize again. But now that I am back, feel free to sleep all day long with a relieved smile on your (maybe) vegan face.

Now where do I begin?

I was vegan for about a month or two. And then I became un-vegan from October-right now. I have decided on veganism again, much to the distress of my sweet mother and possibly a few other carnivorous loved ones. Why did I stop?

Hmmm. A few reasons. Well, mainly one reason. If you are a devout (ha) follower of Her Fog and Pearls, you will know that I have some deep rooted eating issues. Namely, I have an eating disorder. It reared it's seductive and cuckoo head in the recent past, which scared me for obvious reasons. I did not want to be anywhere near as sick as I was two years ago, but I didn't know how to stop it.

So I read a book.

A few books, actually. On eating disorders and, well, how to stop them. The books were surprisingly quite intelligent and helpful (despite the poorly designed covers featuring butterflies and daisies). One thing in particular stood out to me: Don't restrict food choices.

I initially went vegan sincerely for ethical reasons. It is fairly common for those with eating disorders to become vegetarian or vegan because it is just another way for them to unhealthily control and restrict their diet. I questioned myself if this was why I was vegan. But I insisted (and still do) that ethics lead me to veganism.

But I found that I became really upset and disappointed in myself if I would slightly stray from veganism, such as using a tiny bit of half and half in my coffee or eating bread made with honey. I have issues with guilt, especially when it comes to food. This guilt only fueled my eating disorder and added to my already low self-esteem. I started forgetting why I became vegan in the first place and instead used my diet as a way to restrict--and frankly punish--myself.

So I decided to experiment. I decided to "go on vacation." I decided that I wouldn't restrict myself of any foods and instead learn to take care of and love myself.

Well... It worked. Kind of. I still have (and may always have) issues with eating. I'm not completely in love with myself or even that nice to myself on a daily basis. But I learned to listen to and honor my body (on most days). What do I really want to eat? What is my body trying to tell me? How can I give my body what it needs? Is it okay if I "mess up" once in awhile? Of course. And what does "mess up" even really mean? I had to throw out some pretty cemented rules in my brain. As obvious as it sounds, I'm human and I can only do so much.

One thing I decided I can do is to live my life according to what I believe is right. And I believe that for right now, veganism is right for me. I need to be careful, though, to not let veganism disguise itself as that bastard Ed (my convenient nickname for my eating disorder). I need to be nicer to myself and not so strict. I need to remember that the world probably won't end if I accidentally eat a drop of honey.

But you know what will cause the world to end? OPRAH GOING OFF THE AIR. Psych. Anyway, happy tofu eating to you and I hope to talk to you soon.