How to run your health into the ground...
(...in one easy step.)
I've always been a victim to fad diets. I feel like a lot of women are prone to crazy diets (I mean, the paprika-lemonwater "detox" diet was a real thing....uhhh?) and perhaps it's because women are on a never-ending quest to get thin and fit with perfect breasts and a perfect butt too, but with abs and muscle and perfect lips and labias and noses and glowing skin and hair and white teeth and no body hair or cellulite and beautiful nails and eyebrows and....well, perfect everything. This has a lot to do with societal pressures and the system that places a lot of a woman's worth on her looks.
And don't worry, I will address this kind of stuff in a later post (probably in the "Life" category).
But back to my original point. I've done a lot of fad diets. I've been vegetarian for 2 years. I've done Paleo for a year. I've done low-carb off and on for 6 months. I've tried to do juice fasts (that never lasts, let me tell you), I've tried calorie-restriction to the nth degree, and everything in between.
Recently, after my stint with low-carb, I started watching a bunch of vegan youtube videos. Raw vegan videos. If you're not aware, raw veganism is basically when you don't eat any animal products, and you don't cook your food at all. So, you live off of vegetables and fruit and some healthy fats. That's pretty much it. And I started watching these videos of these slim, trims girls being like, "I can eat 2500 calories of salad and fruits a day and lose lots of weight! It's so easy!"
And, like the diet addict I am, I was like, "WOAH! THAT SOUNDS AWESOME! I SHOULD TRY THIS! OBVIOUSLY THIS IS WHAT IVE BEEN MISSING! THIS IS THE KEY TO GETTING FIT AND TRIM AND SEXY AF! BEACH BODY 2016 HERE I COME"
Now, I don't have anything against veganism or raw veganism. I think it's really commendable that people want to save animals - and in fact, the more I've been thinking about it, the more the meat industry seems unethical to me and the less meat I want to eat. And if it works for you, great. Keep on keepin' on.
But, for me, it would be just another form of masochism. Another thing to take up space in my cluttered mind. Another thing to worry about. Another thing that I would do under the guise of getting 'healthy' but in reality, just another diet to lose weight. Another way to imprison me in guilt and self-loathing.
There's no moderation in becoming a raw vegan. It's so extreme, with such strict guidelines that....for me, anyways, are very unrealistic. So what? I go raw vegan for 1 month (or 2 years, as was the case when I became vegetarian) until I can't stand it anymore, and then I go back to a standard SAD diet and gain back the weight.
On top of that, these strict diets can impact your health. When I was vegetarian for 2 years, I was so anemic the doctor told me I would need a blood-transfusion if I didn't get my hemoglobin up (and yes, I've been iron-deficient ever since). I also lost my period for a year, because my body was under so much stress. I was as pale as a vampire (and needed blood just as desperately, might I add). On my current low-carb diet, I'm pretty certain I've done damage to my poor thyroid. I stopped low-carbing because my energy levels were so low and my hair was falling out in handfuls. I also didn't lose a pound, and gained about 5 pounds.
And yet, my first thought was still- "This! This is the miracle diet that will change my life!"
You would think after you've gotten burned multiple times, you'd stop putting your hand in the fire. But it wasn't until I sat down and thought about it "objectively", that I decided this wasn't a wise decision. I know my body. I know that I will be miserable on a very high-carb diet, and on top of that, I know that it will probably make me sick yet again. The first go around with vegetarianism showed me that it's not a diet I can sustain long-term.
But, there are some things that I do like about veganism. I like the idea of eating delicious salads with fresh ingredients. I like the idea of cutting meat out of my diet a few days a week. I like the idea of eating milk products only once in awhile. I like the idea of getting shampooo/conditioner that's natural. I like the idea of eating less processed garbage.
And so, instead of jumping on the raw veganism bandwagon, I'm just going to take the parts I think I can incorporate into a normal, sustainable diet. One with plenty of fruits and vegetables, meat sometimes, dairy once in awhile, processed garbage once in a blue moon, and no gluten (which I haven't eaten in 4 years....so that hasn't been a big problem). I'm going to try a new extreme diet for me, called moderation.
It's only taken me over 10 years to get here. A long 10 years.
I hope you can learn from my mistakes - or at the very least, start looking at your past history with extreme diets - and forget about strict diets that look so tempting but do irreversible damage to your body and your psyche. You know yourself better than any health guru, youtuber, doctor, or personal trainer. Read books, inform yourself, but in the end, trust yourself. Trust your body. Experiment with how foods make you feel, and damnit, if they make you feel bad, sluggish, tired, or unwell, then maybe it's best to rethink them. But don't jump into strict diets to lose those 10 pounds....20 pounds....etc. Follow health, not weight.
And with that said, dear readers, have a happy, healthy Saturday. :)