First, I had to wrap my head around the shocking news that a dear friend chose to take his own life. Then I had to make the heart wrenching decision to end another friend's life, with dignity – a four-legged-2,000-pound friend – who'd been with me for more than half of my own life.
Still grieving my departed friends, another, very-much-alive one, sat me down and broke the news that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Knock me over with a feather!
To say that it's felt like my world, and my insides, have been whirling like that Dervish pictured above, would be an understatement.
But listen, I tell you all this not to have you join me in some oh-woe-is-me pity party. Nope. I share this with you because I have not looked to food for a fix, nor for comfort. I know. Really. Hello?
If you've been around the block with me a few times, you'll recall how this whole journey into Raw Food Land began. And if you're a recently acquired hitchhiker I've picked up along the way, let me fill you in.
Two years ago, my life could be summed up like so:
Yup, that would've been me. Only, I didn't just placate her with cookies. Cheeseburgers, French fries, and chocolate shakes were my drugs of choice. I was the Queen of the Drive-Thru Windows, minus the tiara and scepter. And, like any good addict, I had lost the ability to set limits and boundaries for myself.
See, I was a compulsive eater. I didn't eat in response to signs of hunger. I celebrated with food, mourned with food. I used food for pleasure, for comfort, for reward. I turned to food when I was sad, hurt, angry, bored and lonely. I had forgotten that eating had anything to do with being hungry. Food was the glue that held my life together.
So a little over two years ago, I set an intention to change my relationship with food and regain my health and vitality. A big goal, yes, but I was morbidly obese, tipping the scales at 300+ pounds, and plagued by a host of chronic ailments. Still, my intention had little to do with the number on the scale. I wanted to find freedom from mindless compulsive eating, whatever my weight. I wanted to begin living a healthier lifestyle that was more in alignment with my core beliefs.
That Was Then. This Is Now.
I've lost over half of my body weight, and in the process, have found myself.
I've managed to sort out my intimate, and rather complicated, relationship with food.
I've found a healthy balance between getting the nutrition my body needs and enjoying my meals mindfully.
And, I've gotta tell you, eating a plant-based diet, rich in raw living foods, has really helped me do all this.
Sure, it's easy to forget, as we indulge in a Mocha Frappuccino or inhale a burger in the car, that food is energy and it fills more than our stomachs. It feeds our brains, our hearts and our spirits.
It really is all connected. When I began to see that my physical hunger was capable of being fulfilled, I could begin to allow that same possibility for my emotional hunger. Once I learned to nourish my body, I discovered that I was spiritually nourished as well. Imagine.
A Fond Farewell
Ah, the cycle of life...it ebs, and it flows. And sometimes, you get thrown a curve ball, or three. We get shocking news that knocks us off our feet. We have to say goodbye to loved ones who have chosen to move on.
And, well friends, that's just what I need to do now. After much consideration, I've made the decision to let go of In The Raw. It's served as a wonderful venue to chart my progress, share my journey, and more than a few recipes, along the way. But it's also become increasingly difficult for me to keep up and has begun to feel more like a burden and just one more item on my ever-growing Things-To-Do list (an item that keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the list).
I had someone recently refer to me as "a leader in the raw food community." I dunno, I never thought myself an authority on anything. I was just a voice in the crowd. But I've witnessed too many folks in the community who've just abandoned their blogs, stopped updating, without so much as a goodbye. And I didn't want to do the same.
So before taking my leave, if there's any last wisdom to be gleaned from my journey that I might impart to you, dear readers, it would be this:
Take time each day to tune into your physical body and ask it what it needs. Treat it as a dear friend, rather than your worst enemy, and just as you will find with human beings, you'll receive far more cooperation from that which you love, than that which you hate. Your bodies have an intelligence all their own that if you listen, will tell you exactly what you need on any given day.
Nurture yourself in the same way that you nurture others and bless everything you put into your body to provide you with the nourishment that you need to maintain your health and well being.
Love both the food you eat and the Earth it comes from.
I have loved being a part of your life. Thank you for being a part of mine.
UPDATE: Yikes, my Inbox overfloweth! Yes, I will leave the site up so you will still have access to all of the articles + recipes. Please, enjoy and share.