Why Am I Like This?
Siobhan started us on this brilliant topic with this post. I loved reading her story, as well as yours in the comments. Here’s mine.
1. An epiphany. I was an overweight kid and an obese young adult, until I pulled my head out of my butt and made a commitment to being healthy over a decade ago. It started with yoga. I wanted to try it because I felt like my body/mind/spirit were broken and scattered, and I thought yoga might help. I was putting out so much nurturing energy as a new mom and in my teaching job that I had nothing left for myself. Yoga changed everything. I was able to see my body as truly the temple of my soul, and thus worthy of care, whereas before I valued only mind and spirit. “Our body creates our soul as much as our soul creates our body,” my yoga teacher quoted from David Spangler one day, and I believe it. I cannot value myself without valuing the earth I come from, so, fundamentally, this is where my devotion to a path of clean living originated. I had a push to go further when I heard Siobhan interviewed on a local radio show a couple years ago. I rushed out to buy the book, then plopped myself down and got comfy in this wonderful NMDL community.
2. I was raised in Michigan on red meat and Twinkies. I hated vegetables, mostly because until I was an adult living on my own I had barely eaten a fresh vegetable. My mom did insist we eat vegetables, and on a good day we had frozen, but mostly they came from a can. A salad was iceberg lettuce with perhaps a sad looking tomato, covered in Wishbone Italian dressing. When I moved to California for graduate school, a new world of eating opened up for me. I was surrounded by fresh food, and though it would be a long time until I came to be truly healthy, I knew then I had been raised on crap and was never going back.
3. Strokes, death and whatnot. Eating poorly, smoking, and very little exercise or care for toxic exposure has caught up with my family members. I do not want to let my own health deteriorate, or set a bad example for my own child. Plus I’d like to live to enjoy some grandchildren.
4. My own delicate constitution. A lifetime of digestive issues and autoimmune problems pushed me to find the best way for me to eat. Things flew out of control when I hit perimenopause at the ridiculously young age of 37, and every health issue I ever had began to overwhelm me. That was when I figured out I’m gluten intolerant. Then a few months later I got a really nasty case of food poisoning (Salmonella – I don’t recommend it). I couldn’t eat anything for days, and when I could eat again, for weeks all I wanted was fresh fruit and vegetables. I discovered that eating raw is, like, a thing. My body is so strong and resilient when I’m eating vegan, raw, and gluten free. I doubt I would have made a commitment to this fairly extreme diet without the push of illness.
5. My super sensitive skin and picky sense of smell. I have to use clean products for my skin and home because of my sensitivities. I get pimples and rashes from preservatives and other toxins in products. Synthetic fragrance typically makes me physically ill and emotionally overwrought. I can taste dish soap in my food (no, it doesn’t matter how well I rinse). I am a total canary.
6. Being a sucker for pretty things. When I was growing up my mom would not have dreamt of leaving the house without full make-up and curled hair with roots freshly touched up from a box of L’Oreal. I remember playing with her make-up, which was drugstore dirty, but what fun! Those familiar cosmetics didn’t do my skin any favors though, and as a grown up I used just a few clean-ish products – until I recently discovered a whole world of clean cosmetics. Now I am hooked.
7. It’s all connected. In spite of my conservative, entirely non-hippie upbringing, I am deeply pagan and cannot disconnect my self from my son or my community or my planet. It’s all one, and all motivate me to be on this path, doing the best I can.