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Thinking Out Loud 9.4.2014 – A Ton Of Thoughts And Questions


Hey everyone!

It’s my favorite day (blog post wise) of the week!

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Thanks Amanda!

 

1. Workout – 6 miles in Central Park to start my day!

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Recycled (and blurry!) photo because I didn’t actually take any in the park this morning.

I stuck to the standard run/bike road today instead of venturing off onto the other trails. This was partially due to the fact that I didn’t feel like running uphill anymore than I needed to (although, I will say that a majority of this run was still uphill.. The climbs just weren’t as steep as they would have been if I had ventured off of the main trail) and partially because it was early in the morning and I felt more comfortable being around a lot of people than being on my own. 

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2. I go to Fairway way too often.

Also, the Fairway near where I currently live is absolutely nothing compared to my local Fairway back home. I miss it.

 

 

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I really can’t keep going to the grocery store/buying coffee/spending money every day… But I just really “needed” more dark chocolate covered ginger (I shouldn’t keep that stuff around, let me tell you), crystalized ginger (again… dangerous), and pretzels (Fairway carries the best super thin whole wheat pretzel sticks ever). Needed…

 

4. Breakfast. Same as per usual + crumbled Weetabix. A winning idea. 

I also have been putting my yogurt in the freezer in the morning upon waking up so that it will be slightly frozen to a froyo like consistency by the time I have worked out, showered, and am ready to eat.

 

 

 

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4. So that yogurt…

Last night, I watched the very well known and well loved documentary Forks Over Knives.

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I have been wanting to watch this documentary for quite some time now. I loved the idea of a documentary that focused on a whole food, plant based diet that used facts, numbers, science, and testimonials over scare tactics and horror-movie like scenes of animals being tormented that you find in most “go vegan” type films.

Also, since I have been reading Dr. Cambell’s Whole book and Dr. McDougall’s Starch Solution, I found myself even more motivated(?) to watch this particular documentary.

It was great, I would recommend it to anyone and everyone, whether you are vegan, are interested in going vegan, or have absolutely no desire whatsoever to embrace a vegan lifestyle. Regardless of your dietary preference (as you know, I myself am not vegan), I truly believe that everyone should live a predominantly plant-based lifestyle.

That leads me to my next point…

5. I feel so guilty.

I have been watching nothing but vegan Youtube videos recently, and now I have unleashed the beast on the vegan documentaries. I am the type of person that once I become interested in something, I become obsessed. It doesn’t matter whether or not I agree with everything that I am watching (I watch all different types of vegans on Youtube, and I’m sorry but some of the advice that some of them give is seriously alarming and disturbing), I will still watch as much as I can. I love learning a lot, and I love learning as much as possible about everything that I can… Whether or not the information that I am learning is correct.

I am also an extreme person, but I am also working on trying to be less extreme, less intense.

Balance. I am trying to learn balance.

For some reason, I thought that it would be a good idea to watch another documentary as I was eating my breakfast/right after.

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It seemed innocent enough, 3 meat loving New Yorkers challenged to a month of veganism. It also started out innocent enough.

And then all of a sudden there were animals being killed… I skipped past that part.

And then I felt guilty about skipping that part.

I don’t eat a lot of meat, and I am very careful about where any animal products that I do consume come from (I know that there is no real way to make meat/dairy consumption “humane”… but there are definitely some sources that are better than other.. a little less cruel I guess). I felt guilty that even though I was skipping the graphic scenes, I still knew what they were saying. I felt so guilty that I was not vegan. 

I ate yogurt right before watching this film. YOGURT.

So I started freaking out. 

Am I bad person?

Why am I not a vegan?

Why can’t I just become a vegan?

I don’t even consume many animal products.

Why?

Why?

Why?

And then I realized what it was.

Basically, the intense and extreme part of my brain is also the part of my brain that is “sick”. It is where my eating disorder, my anxiety, my OCD, and my depression lives. Then, there is the part of my brain that is ok. That part of my brain is the part that wants to heal, it’s bigger than the part that wants to remain sad and sick, but it is also much weaker.

The non-sick part of my brain is also the rational part. It knows that I am extreme, and that labeling myself to committing to any specific type of diet or lifestyle will force the bad and sick part of my brain to latch onto that title and thrust me into a constant state of anxiety over the pressure to be absolutely perfect. 

I don’t know what to do. I do know that I want to limit animal product consumption as much as possible… And I do believe that I do that. But still, that bad part of my brain keeps telling me that that is no where near good enough. I feel like there is this entire community sitting around a table and discussing what a terrible person I am because I claim to love animals and dream of peace and want to live in harmony with the world… But I won’t commit to vegan. I feel like I am thought to be a fraud.

And here’s the kicker.

There is not one single person (that I know of) that gives a hoot about what my diet is. 

I don’t judge anyone else’s dietary choices… So why do I feel like others judge mine.

Wow, this just turned into a really long point… I guess that my mind is just really spinning right now and I feel like a bad person, but I also know that committing myself to being vegan will actually detract from the (small) progress in mental healing that I have made so far in my recovery from my eating disorder.

I know that there are many many people who find that adopting a vegan diet actually helped them heal from mental disorders.. But I know myself, and I know the pressure that I put on myself… And I know that putting a title of any kind on myself, whether it be a good one or a bad, is not good for my mental health.

I don’t know man, I just don’t know.

But I don’t like feeling like a bad person.

Well, if you read this entire rant, you deserve a hug and a high five, because you, my friend, are awesome.

5. I walk by this every day on my commute to school and it never fails to make my heart happy.

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6. And now I am off to my 3 hour class in the room that has no windows or air conditioning. Wish me luck!

 

Question(s):

1. What is your opinion on my whole “to vegan or not to vegan” thing? I would really love as much input from other people as I can get!

2. Do you like documentaries? What are some good ones to watch (health related or otherwise)?

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2 thoughts on “Thinking Out Loud 9.4.2014 – A Ton Of Thoughts And Questions

  1. Oh girl — I definitely feel your struggles. I stuck to a vegan diet in the early parts of my recovery before relaxing it into vegetarian, and eventually doing away with that label too… and that was what finally allowed my mind to heal. It was hard and there are even times now where I’m tempted to go back, but I definitely know that any kind of restriction isn’t good for me — even with the best intentions. I do what I can to make sure my animal products are ethically sourced, but at the day your priority should be taking care of your mental health… and that in no way makes you a bad person.

    • Erin says:

      I really needed hear that. Thank you. Yeah, it’s definitely hard to find balance. I have so much trouble distinguishing what my disordered thoughts are and what my real thoughts are. I definitely think that labels are just a recipe for disaster unfortunately. =\. I really look up to you in your recovery by the way. Reading your blog each day is nle of the high points of my day =). Does that sound pathetic? Probably >.<.

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