Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Constant Battle

I would love to say that I’m a healthy living blogger. In fact, I’ve tried to be before with a blog called Lori Goes Raw. During this brief stint, I ate more vegetables than I previously thought possible. I even exercised and got into what might have been the best shape of my life. I recall bits and pieces of my 3-month physical therapy clinical when I lived in Somerville, Massachusetts – the raw days. I remember going to work 5 days a week at an Early Intervention organization where I was praised highly for my skills. This felt good, even though my clinical instructor babied me (pun… intended). I touted the benefits of a raw diet as I ate giant salads every day at lunch. I constantly felt, happily so, like I got off easy with that clinical, working 6 hours a day and driving around to patients’ homes beyond the confines of a clinic. Every day after work, I’d hit the gym where for a while I had a personal trainer, and after that, ran on the treadmill. The treadmill! I once was running next to someone who clearly was only first setting foot on a treadmill. I glanced at my time and it was approaching 1 hour. I vaguely remember giving her some advice when she asked me a question. I tend to have a pretty good poker face, but you better believe I was grinning ear to ear inside.

Once I moved back home, things gradually changed. I was in my parents’ house again, after 6 years of living on my own. I didn’t have the space nor the creative energy to stay happily raw. I wasn’t beaming with the I’m-healthier-than-you glow because my family, the devout meat-eaters, chastised me for not being like them. I hate arguing, but got into a number of arguments about why I eat the way I do. I tried to just set an example, not telling others what to do, but doing it for myself, but it stopped being fun, and the novelty wore off. I eventually transitioned to regular vegan, which isn’t a decision I regret. I do feel that I lost my edge, the something in my life that made me skinnier and prettier than the others. I started occasionally eating processed vegan food, desserts, more coffee than I know is good for me. I started exercising less and developed more anxiety, something that has on-and-off been a problem for my entire life. I started working at a job that scared me to death because the well-being of my patients was in my hands and I knew I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to.

Now, it’s over one year later. I’m still vegan and I get angry with myself when I steal a bite of my dad’s apple crisp, made with butter. My acne remains a source of my anxiety, however less so since I finally quit using natural remedies. Lush, I love you and all you stand for, but yours and the other natural face washes and moisturizers did nothing to fight my adult acne. Hello, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. I am drinking far too much coffee these days, something I’ve quit too many times to count. Yes, I’ve tried decaf as well as that non-coffee coffee drink whose name is escaping me at the moment, but I always return to my beloved anxiety-inducing-but-still-somehow-fabulous caffeine. It’s an ongoing battle. I still live at home, which is an unrelenting source of my anxiety. My parents fight often and my brother treats me like we’re kids again, occasionally reminding me that my clinical doctorate isn’t “real,” among other lovely insults. I often resent having to pay rent when I don’t actually want to be here. Over the course of the past year, I mentioned needing to move out, only to have my mom almost break down in tears because they needed my rent money. In about a month and a half, I’ll finally be moving out with friends. This is something I should be excited about, but as it stands, it’s something that is just allowing me to see a faint light at the end of a tunnel.

This weekend has been hard. I recently stopped hanging out with a group of girls because I found that they were shallow, only wanted to go out and get wasted, and didn’t actually care about me as a person. I stopped seeing a guy who I [foolishly] wanted more than sex with. He clearly wanted only that, and though he says he’d like to continue to be friends, I only talk with him briefly at work and hear nothing about weekend plans.  I have so many friends elsewhere; I grew up in New Jersey, went to college in the lovely city of Boston, and now have friends scattered about the country. It’s hard not to get down on myself when I spend weekends alone, at home, where I don’t even want to be. This weekend was the tipping point for starting this blog.

Without making this into any more of a novel than it already is, I would like to say a big thank you to anyone who made it this far. Let it be known that I don’t plan on always writing such long posts! I feel like blogging on such a personal level is going to be a good outlet for me, because no matter how many healthy living blogs I read every day, I know I need to work through many of my own issues to become the person I know I can eventually be – HAPPY and healthy. 


  1. Lori!
    You seriously need some honest pep-talk.:)
    1. You are going to move out and find your own place. That's good!
    2. You eat vegan, that's super healthy!! Who cares whether you eat raw vegan or not or whether you throw in some prepackaged foods and/or sugar (even the refined one). And NOBODY on this planet but you thinks when he/she sees you:"Hm, she's pretty, but she'd look really gorgeous if she would just lose 5 pounds or so."
    You don't eat any animal products, that's a huge accomplishment on your healthy living checklist!Really, you go girl!
    3. You sound a wee bit like a perfectionist. ;)
    Relax a little and just live. Perfect is an illusion for humans - and it's a major hindrance to happiness and fulfillment.
    4. You are a beautiful young woman, please enjoy your existence and don't buy into this destructive mindset of competition (who is prettier, who is healthier, who is more popular, who is skinnier - you get the idea). That is absolutely counterproductive to developing a joy of living. And it is counterproductive to developing intimate, vibrant and trust-based relationships.It's all about INVITING BEAUTY not intimidating beauty.
    I totally recommend you to read 'Captivated - Unveiling The Mystery Of A Woman's Soul' by John and Stasi Eldredge as they explain this so beautifully in their book!
    Breathe freely, take a nice bath and relax. :)

  2. OMG did you write this about me, for me? Or are we twins? The same person even (awesome, name, by the way).

    Oh how similar we are. I too was raw for a year and loved every minute of it. But slowly, the outside influence of others got the best of me and I turned to coffee and other wonderfully non-vegan things that have left me confused at what true health is and with more anxiety and not even knowing where I belong. Does that make any sense? Probably to you, yes. ;)

    Anyway, I feel what you're saying and I'm so happy you joined the blog community! I cannot tell you how many amazing people I've met (who are like minded and confused with health just like me. lol). Writing has helped me tremendously and has given me a ranting way out.

    So welcome, Lori!


  3. Valerie, thanks for your honesty. I know I'm very hard on myself, and that's the real issue here. What's funny is that "relax" tends not to do it for me, although you better believe I try to! Hope you'll stick around the blog.

    Lori- so glad you made it over here! You make absolute sense, and I think I breathed a sigh of relief after reading your comment. I really do think blogging will help. There's something about being brutally honest with myself that I find appealing. Thank you for the welcome!

    And to anyone who might know, how on earth do I change it so I can reply to individual comments? Oh the things I need to learn.

  4. Um I'm not really sure either. With Blogger it might be different but with Wordpress you have to go into the comments settings... I think. lol Sorry, I'm NO help.