In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, this is mine:
I am going to spend one (1) year as a vegetarian.
* (01/21) – Vegetarianism is hard, guys. I’m going to try to aim for as many vegetarian meals as I can, but for now the motto is “portion control”.
2. In this time, I am also going to embody a healthy lifestyle.
3. I will exercise as regularly as I can. I will carefully monitor what I eat and drink.
4. I will try to discover a balance between empowerment, confidence, and belief in myself.
What are the limitations I envision? First of all, being a vegetarian should be easy for me. Though I have no dietary restrictions of my own, my parents are vegetarian. My heritage as a Hindu is a partial inspiration for me here – if my ancestors could do it for their entire lives, surely I can manage this for a year. This seems easy to me today, while I’m living at home and on a vegetarian diet anyway. But when I get back to school, I will need to put a restraining order on pepperoni pizza.
Second – healthy lifestyle? WTF does that mean? Frankly I have no idea. But apart from dietary and physical health, I think it’s important for me to work on my mental health and self-esteem. Like I said in About Me, I’ve been struggling with my body image and shape for my entire life. I’ve never been confident in the way I look, and that has affected the way I feel about myself in areas other than appearance. Hopefully a healthy body and healthy mind will go hand in hand.
Third – On this never-ending struggle bus that started when I was a pre-teen and never stopped running, I’ve tried all varieties of exercising. I did JV Tennis in high school. I did classical Indian dance. I’ve tried being a runner. I took kickboxing classes. I had a personal trainer. I did Tae Kwon Do. Nothing stuck and nothing worked. Why? I probably haven’t been at it long enough. Each of these lasted for 3 months to a year, no longer. To me, this year-long challenge isn’t about working out like a maniac every day, but about creating habits. Maybe I only work out 2-3 times a week (even that is going to be tough). Maybe I only get in a 20-minute workout. But as long as I keep doing it, as long as I don’t let myself falter after 3 months, maybe I’ll finally see some changes.
Four – this is the penultimate goal. Why do I always stop with the healthy lifestyle after 3 months? Because my internal struggle between the confident woman who’s unrestricted by her body and the ashamed woman who wishes she were healthy rises to a climax and Woman A wins out. Unfortunately I feel as if self-confidence, to me, has always been tied to my appearance. Maybe if I can become a healthier, more balanced person, I can also learn to love myself in every way.
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WHEW that was really gushy. I’m not usually like that. Expect a lot more rants about squats and kale in the future.
So why keep a blog? I need to keep myself accountable. To me it’s like keeping a journal, only faster and with better graphic design. Since I’m keeping this anonymous and a bit vague, it will still act as a diary for me, but I hope to get some encouraging feedback and advice from the lovely people on the interwebs as I ride this struggle bus.
Also, I’m a millennial and voicing my personal thoughts in public is liberating. Sue me.