Let's start this out by saying that I am, and always will be a vegan. I eat vegan foods because I believe in the preciousness of life and our planet. I don't care why you eat the way you eat or about what YOU eat, honestly. I just care about what my family and I eat. I don't judge everyone else. I don't look in your grocery cart to see what you're buying. I don't complain about your health problems with an "if only you ate my way" kind of attitude. I don't think I am better than you. I am not. We are all on our own magnificent journeys and that is what matters. Are you happy? Are you doing your best to make the world a better place? If so, it doesn't matter what you eat (unless it's people - we just don't do that, y'all.)
NOW that all of that is out there I am going to be one of those food bloggers that comes out with a food issue. But I swear I'm not going to start eating meat, eggs and cheese all justified under the pretense of an eating disorder. My issues with food are separate from my moral compass. That's not judgment of others, that's just me telling you a bit about who I am so we can all understand each other a little more. This is my story, not yours (and I don't expect it to be yours! I'm so thankful we are all so different. Life would be so boring if we were all the same.)
My food issues are long standing and may not be different from yours. I've "dieted" in some way or another for much of my life. I've been anywhere in my adult life from 125 pounds to 220 pounds. I've measured, counted, calculated, weighed, abstained from, binged on and craved all manner of foods for years. I am not diagnosing myself with any certain disorder (I'll let a therapist do that, thank you) but I know that for certain whatever I am doing is not healthy.
To add to this - I'm oh so incredibly tired of people saying to me (and others) "if you just eat like me you will be fine. You will lose weight. You will have tons of energy. You won't have issues with food. You will this and you will that. Just do exactly like I do." Except the thing is, that really doesn't work for everyone because we all have our own problems. We have our own relationships with food and what works for one person does not work for others. Some people take this food advice and turn it into their own personal religion. I don't want to be part of that any longer.
This attitude of "if you just eat like me you can do whatever you want and lose weight/be healthy/maintain your weight/be happy/beat addictions/etc" makes those of us that try and fail feel like we must be broken in some way. It leads to worse feelings. More issues with food. It feels crazy. I want those of you that are like me to know that you are not alone. You are not crazy. You are not broken. We are all just DIFFERENT. That is what makes us human.
So here is the real problem: I have made my life about food.
For some people, this wouldn't be a problem at all. You could happily think about food all day and still have a positive relationship with it. And by the way, it really does take a lot of thinking, planning and eating food to blog about food. You try to come up with the next best recipe for your website. You consider all of the foods you could eat or make. What will look good? What do people want? How often can I produce a recipe that is great without filling up my refrigerator with food that will only be thrown away unless I eat it all? Then after thinking about it I have to cook it (eat it), revise it, cook it again (eat it), photograph it (eat it), write about it, post it and then talk about it with you.
I'm not saying this wasn't great. And that it didn't work for quite some time for me. It did. Now, it doesn't.
Food and I sort of need to break up. It's a weird thing to say, for certain. You have to eat food to live. A lot of people, myself especially, eat food for other reasons too though. I always say that it is my drug of choice and it is. I eat when I'm anxious, cranky, tired, freaked out, depressed or even happy. I eat to the point of pain at times. Then I try to not eat very much to counteract those binges. In short, I have a food addiction.
I have a food addiction and I'm sitting here with my biggest problem and trying to wrap my life around it.
It has taken me MONTHS to write this. The first revision of this was in the beginning of April. Not long after I wrote the first draft, I found out that I am pregnant with our second child! (yay!!!) With such a huge change as that, I find that I am ready to change other areas of my life as well. I am willing to seek help for my food issues, I am opening my life up to new experiences with new people, I am immersing myself back into creativity and I am reconnecting with a more natural state of just... being.
Why yes I am tired and huge already! Haha!!
(By the way I just made this dress! I can't wait to share more things I'm making with you!)
So NOW you are probably wondering - what does this mean for the blog? Are you quitting? Never posting again?!
For Fo' Reals Life it means this -
#1.) I am not quitting. I am not leaving. Things will be changing though... for a more rounded encompassing "Fo Reals Life" that I am desperately in need of.
#2.) I am still going to post about food but not every post. I will still share my moments of inspiration but I am not going to try to force it or make it like a job anymore. If I make recipes from other websites, books or other sources that are wonderful I am going to share those with you because I think we ALL love getting as many different options as possible.
#3.) I am going to start writing about the things that inspire me, the creative things that I'm involving myself in, things I make, the beauty around me, books/movies/products that are exciting to me and with that I will try to update you on what foods I am nourishing myself with.
I hope that you stay along for the ride because I really believe it's only going to get a heck of a lot more interesting around here. I want to thank every single reader, new and long term, for your support and encouragement. You are the ones that make this worth doing! Every kind email that I have received I have saved in a folder in my inbox marked "Appreciation" - for me to look back and appreciate the wonderful readers I have for those times that anonymity makes it possible for people to be total jerks to someone they don't know. I really do love connecting with people through this medium and I'm happy to continue doing so - on my terms.
Now that was a Fo Reals post - am I right? (And Fo Reals long - but I had to say it all. If you read it, I'm ultra impressed!)