Every once in a while, I put myself in a sort of time-out. When I find myself spending more time checking Facebook than I do talking to my kids, and more time with my head bowed over my cell phone than looking at my surroundings, I know that it’s time.
Right now, I’m in a social media time-out. I’m also in a junk food time-out, which is ironic seeing my last post was all about food. I suppose it was only a matter of time.
I was a vegetarian for about five years during and post high school. It was during those impressionable years of youth where you hate mirrors and grip onto anything that can possibly tell you who you are. Somewhere, around the time I started dating my would-be husband, I began eating meat again. At the time, it was almost rebellious, as I’m sure is the cringe-heard-around-the-world in the vegan crowd. It was rebellious, on one hand, and also a matter of nutritional necessity. At that age, still a teenager, but legally an adult, I didn’t know how to be a healthy vegetarian. Hell, I didn’t know how to be healthy in general.
I was extraordinarily anemic, as the blood center told me every time I tried to donate blood. They’d give me a long list of foods I deemed “too disgusting to consider” to consume and build my iron back up. I’d eat a handful of raisins, thinking that would do the trick, but I just didn’t get it.
I felt sick all the time. I’d go days without eating only to eat a caveman-sized portion of greasy mac n’ cheese. I thought “thin” was all that was important, and yet, I was wasting away. And not just physically. Emotionally and mentally, I wasn’t as sound. I felt dizzy often, lost my train of thought easily, and existed for ages on caffeine to keep me alert and Pepto Bismol for my self-made ulcer. Maybe I’d eat a meal, somewhere in there, and by “meal” I mean an apple or handful of Captain Crunch cereal.
I still remember the first bite of meat I took. It was an incredibly odd and poor choice of eatery. IHOP, of all god-awful places. I ordered an omelette with bacon on it. Yes, bacon. Isn’t that the one that gets you in the end? It wasn’t even good, surprise surprise. I actually kind of hated it. It wasn’t until months later when I’d fry bacon in a pan and consume four slices in a row that I truly remembered and experienced all the salty, mouth-watering, melt-in-your-mouth goodness that was bacon.
On one hand, I’m grateful that I switched back into full carnivore mode. If I’d have missed out on In-N-Out burgers while in Cali, or the out-of-this-world burgers at the local legend I spent last summer slinging liquor in, or those tacos we ate in North Carolina, I would have missed out on some truly magical foodie experiences.
The thing is, though, I’m finally old enough, and kitchen-savvy enough, to try this whole thing again. This time, I’m ten years wiser and more experienced. I remember old staples, but I’m also excited to learn new things. Before I became thin-obsessed, I was actually extremely healthy, sound of mind, and a happy weight. To be honest, I don’t know what possessed me at the time to think I needed to lose more weight. I was the healthiest I’d ever been, drank tons of water, and ate more vegetables on a regular basis than most American’s do in a year.
So, along with my Facebook time-out, I decided to put my eating habits on a time-out. A couple people have noticed that I’m not on there, and that’s flattering, but the funny thing is…so many people won’t know for weeks, months even. That’s how social media works. You talk to these people every day, and then, suddenly, you aren’t there and everyone is none the wiser. And that’s okay, too. I’ve got a lot to focus on. Summer is four days away for my kids, I’ve got about a hundred different activities pinned for us to do, and I’m happy that my face won’t be glued to my phone while we do them. 🙂 The amount of free time you earn when you give up an obsession is jaw-dropping.
So, until next time. Cheers, folks. Happy summer.