Back in college, I had been playing with some ideas about how to be healthier. You see, when I was fifteen, I had been consistently having prehypertension blood pressure levels, high cholesterol, and high triglycerides. Hurray for genetics. I made a switch to pescatarianism pretty easily since I love seafood, and I didn't really miss beef, chicken, or pork that much at all. However, in my last semester of college, I was taking this class called Medical Spanish. We all got to pick our own research topics, and I decided to go ahead and research the effects of different diets on the human body.
What I learned through that research was amazing to me. Thanks to that class I have been trying to make the switch to vegan. Most of my cheat days are vegetarian (I still have the occasional full blown hamburger slip-ups). I have also started up a pretty regular exercise routine and am looking to add a yoga studio to my lineup.
Because of my "difficult" lifestyle, I fear I might alienate some friends and family members. Thanksgiving was pretty tricky one year, and I felt bad for inconveniencing everyone. But how I feel when I make sure to take care of my body like this outweighs the negatives easily. To me, this is just one more step I have to take to make my life exactly what I want it to be. Why does it matter to other people what I do and don't eat? Does my choice to skip on the chicken parmesan really change the lives of those around me?
This is going to be a pretty huge stretching of thought so bear with me. In addition to people feeling the need to comment on my menial choice of diet, I have had people comment on bigger decisions such as my choice to drop out of college a year before I would've graduated to get married. I hear all the time of people commenting on the state of a woman's uterus - her plans of having children, the timing, and the quantity of said children. There are people who comment on the love lives of strangers. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. The amount of things others can find in our lives to poison with their judgements is unending.
So I return to my two questions. Why does it matter to others what we do or don't do? Do our choices really change the lives of those around us? In some respects, yes. Big decisions will ripple into the lives of others, but ultimately, my choices are my own. I only have one life. If I want to spend it eating vegetables in the gym saying meditations to myself, I will. If I want to have one, two, fifteen, or zero children, I will. If I want to be married for nineteen years by the time I'm forty, I will. I am the one that has to live with the consequences of my actions so I WILL make them things I can be happy and proud to have done.
That realization is what has given me the strength to keep doing what I'm doing. I want to impress upon each and every one of you that your life is your own. You only get one so do what you want with it. What are some of the dreams and desires you want to accomplish? Has anyone else made "controversial" decisions? How did you handle the backlash? Find me on Facebook if you ever need to talk to someone. Life can be big and scary so if you need someone to lean on, let me know :)