Today was the first day in over a month that I simultaneously had no dizziness and no homework. How did I celebrate? By cleaning my apartment, of course. I'm not talking about just tidying up. I gave this entire place a good, thorough scrub down, a real "deep cleaning" as my boyfriend calls it. I swept, vacuumed, and mopped all the floors. I cleaned both bedrooms, both bathrooms, the kitchen, the laundry room, the walls, the floorboards. I washed all the sheets and blankets and laundry. I cleaned every inch of this place. And it feels amazing. It feels like it should. I don't consider myself a neat freak by any means, but I like keeping things clean. Since I've been sick, I've done only surface cleanings in the few, fleeting moments I didn't feel like collapsing. It's so great just to sit down in a nice, clean room, breathe in, and relax. So I started thinking,
Isn't it the same for our bodies?
Our bodies feel better clean, too. No only is it important to eat and eat regularly, but it's important to eat smart. Eat healthy. Know what you're eating. Love what you're eating. Let it nourish your body.
Take care of your body. Keep it clean.
I consciously buy foods that don't have additives or chemicals or ingredients I can't pronounce. I don't want to put anything artificial into my body. Instead of buying food flavored with unnecessary dyes or weird things like cochineal/carmine/carminic acid (it's ground up bugs!) I opt for foods colored with natural ingredients I understand--like beet juice. Or carrots. I cook 99% of my meals at home. I make things from scratch. It isn't difficult, it's therapeutic. It's more satisfying that way. It makes me love food for the first time in my life. Simple food. Clean food.
I care about my body, and I care about the earth. Since I became vegan a few years ago (though I've been a vegetarian since childhood) I vowed to put nothing in or on my body I didn't understand, trust, or support, or value. Veganism is a cultural dedication that goes far beyond food. As a vegan, I don't wear fur or leather. I don't use any cosmetics, chemicals, or products that were tested on animals or contain animal ingredients. This is obviously a personal choice, but it's one I stand firmly by. There is no room for guilt in my life.
I'm coming clean.
I understand that my body needs food to survive. I am also sorry for the years of calorie restriction and starvation I subjected it to. I want to make it up to myself. I want to nurture myself, to protect myself. To give only the best things to myself. The best ingredients.
I wouldn't do it if I didn't love myself.
If you asked me if I loved myself six years ago, I would have laughed in your face.
All that baggage. All that pain. The guilt, the sorrow, the lies, the mistakes. The shortcomings, the insecurities, the disappointments.
I've come clean.