Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Today's Wednesday, Right?

Dear Diary,
Oh, today's my day I write you, isn't it? Well, I can't say that I haven't been thinking about this. I had to admit yesterday, though, that I've officially entered that phase of the semester during which I no longer know what day it is, (The next one is the phase in which I don't remember my name. Yeah, that one's coming.) but the sun is shining and the temperature is rising and I'm sitting here with the doors and windows wide open. My dog is at my feet, my cat is in my lap, and life is good.

I'm not eating as much raw food each day as I did when I arrived home from St. Paul. Don't let anyone tell you that this isn't hard. Hard like climbing a mountain? Hard like fighting an illness? No, absolutely not, but hard to ... It's just hard to do everyday, but it leaves me feeling so good that I want to keep doing it. I love the link Becky recently posted to Facebook. It's a link to blog post written by Rachel Brathen of Mind Body Green and it seems to summarize my experience beautifully.
"Raw food is great. I know it, you know it. But it can also suck. We all know that, too. No way of eating leaves me with as much radiant energy as eating raw food does. And no way of eating stresses me out more that eating raw food does!" 
Isn't that the truth? I guess I'm not the only one for whom this is true. Okay, so it's hard. Sometimes, it downright sucks, but I'm still at it. I'm still juicing every morning and I still strive to eat a yummy raw lunch every day. This is not exactly the practice I was striving for at this stage of the game, but hey - I'm still this much farther along than I was in January and that's what I'm focusing on. I even made raw beet burgers again this week and they were even better than the first time. (Don't think I didn't get a few quizzical looks during lunch at the student center on Tuesday.)

So, I've been considering something lately. I'm calling it my 'this or that' thinking and it goes something like this: 
If I eat a slice of roast beef, then I'm not a vegetarian. If I eat a meal of roasted chicken, steamed broccoli and a baked potato, then I'm not 'eating raw'. If I stop at the coffee shop on the way home and have a scone and a cup of coffee, then I'm just not doing anything right at all. 
It tracks right alongside my 'all or nothing' way of thinking. And, yes, I really did stop at the coffee shop yesterday afternoon. (Oh, how I hate to admit that!) 

I'm really striving to get over that hump and to accept that there are benefits to be had in every small improvement I make. And that big slip-ups don't undo every mile gained. Those slip-ups may simply serve as an attention-getter, a gentle awareness of something I can strive to do better. If my mistakes always take me off track, to a place of giving up, then how do I ever fix them? If I always put myself in a place of choosing between being perfect or not trying at all, then where's my growth? The hard part is being in that place of growth and change, and having those less than perfect parts of myself sticking out like a sore thumb. It's hard to face those things and to accept my tendency to fail. I think that's why it's easier to go to that place of not trying, to the 'all or nothing' place, or my 'this or that' way of thinking.

This seems like pretty deep thinking for food stuff and maybe the food stuff is just an opportunity to look at other areas of myself and parts of my life. Maybe this is a good opportunity for me to say I sometimes fail, sometimes with the small stuff and sometimes in really big ways. Maybe this is an opportunity for me to be more accepting of that in myself. Maybe what Maggie said is true, maybe it really doesn't matter how many times you leave. It only matters how many times you come back. Maybe for me, what matters is that I don't drive myself away and that I stop being afraid to fail, believing that if I can't do it perfectly, then maybe I can't do it at all. Maybe the important thing to believe is that I can do it and that I'll screw up royally sometimes, but that I can do it - even when I can't tell you what day it is.

That's all for now,

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