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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tree Hugging.

There are small bits of 'tree hugging' qualities in me, and I'm proud of it! 

Much of time at college has been devoted to exploring my religion and spirituality. I knew I wanted to have a strong connection with God, but couldn't figure out a genuine path towards the enlightenment. Kashrut (the set of Jewish dietary laws) was a legitimate possibility for me, especially because I could control what I ate once I moved into my apartment. A little over a year ago, I broke my foot. ED freaked out and was convinced I needed to find a way to stay 'healthy' without the privileges of exercise (I was in a cast and on crutches for +7 weeks). This led to my attempts at vegetarianism. I was never really an advocate of meat and poultry to begin with and had difficulty buying and preparing it, so this presented itself as a logical option. Plus, I support animal rights, they have feelings too!!(hehe) It was during this time I also considered Kashrut. I had previously kept Kosher most of my freshman and sophomore year, thus if I didn't eat meat, it would be much easier to maintain. In addition, I began my term as Hillel's Social-Action Chair. One event, in particular, that I planned had a significant impact on my life. I planned and hosted an eco-shabbat at HIllel in correspondence to the Jewish holiday, Tu B'shvat. Tu B'shvat is a holiday that honors trees, fruits and other aspect of nature that we generally fail to recognize and has recently become a holiday that has taken on more of an ecological significance. This shabbat dinner included environmentally friendly and locally grown food products (as well as traditional Tu B'Shvat foods) and 
eco-friendly place settingsand utensils. At each table 
there were a display of facts and tips on how to be more aware of the environment and how to incorporate 
more environmentally-friendly methods into daily life. Furthermore, a collection of ecology-related quotes and 
recycled art(from Pitt computer print-outs and other recyclables) were displayed  throughout the third floor. One goal was for students to consider the relevance ofa subject we often take for granted, including our
consumer practices (i.e. what we choose to eat).

Flash forward 5 months. I was given the opportunity to volunteer on an Organic Farm (Oz) in Northern California during my spring break. The experience slowly changed my life and the way I thought about what I consumed. I learned about local & organic farming, energy and water conservation and how to live a more sustainable life. I am now conscious about what, where and how I purchase all food related products and I refuse to eat at chain restaurants.
Working hard on Oz Farm!

Do I believe ED contributed to my 'more sustainable, kosher lifestyle'? Probably. But I am passionate about support of the local economy and I strongly believe our bodies were not constructed and meant to eat processed foods and artificial ingredients (I stay away from any artificial sweeteners, corn syrup, etc.). And here lies one of my biggest challenges: The ability to separate my passions, morals and beliefs (myself, really) from ED's.

Yesterday was difficult as I struggled with overwhelming thoughts, inappropriate behaviors and self-destruction. I could have spent a fabulous day with my greatest support-- with my rock, Brittni. I had an intense, yet incredibly successful and rejuvenating run and was proud of my 'mental work' that morning. Yet, something stopped me. It was like some gravitational force held me back-- I failed.  It just wasn't my day. Then, last night my sister convinced me to go to the movies with her, and I'm glad I did because we had a wonderful time. I always enjoy quality sibling bonding. Speaking of bonding, today is the greatest day of the week. It's football & food shopping Sunday, and the Lustig household is amped up and ready to kick the Charger's butts, hehe :) I'll share more about my supermarket adventures later, I double pinky promise!

In the mean time, I need to get my act together and figure out what the hell is wrong with me. I now have just 7 weeks to come up with and complete a 'plan' that will allow me to return to Pittsburgh for spring semester. I can not comprehend my ambivalence towards recovery and what stops me from pursuing the healthy lifestyle I need to obtain. Rather, I engross in my misery and nonexistent loneliness and refuse to take care of myself and my body. I take my friends and family for granted as I fantasize about love and unconditional happiness. But, perhaps I'm just over analyzing (shocker). According to Buddha, I am. Do you over-analyze or catastrophize? How do you pull that rationality back into your mind?

"Does your mind wander when it wants to? Exercise discipline and control it, 
as a elephant keeper controls the elephant." - Buddha.

....Nonetheless, LET'S GO GIANTS!


  1. i've never kept kosher. i've considered it- but it'd be too tough for me! i mix mikl and meat alot & i love my shellfish :-\ i admire your ability to keep it though!

    ugh i hate that you are so down- you can do this though. you can make it back for spring semester, you have to let oyurself heal! seriously, think about how much better life will be if you are healthy :) you will be so much happier. i know you can do it and i'm here for ya!


  2. I am sooo glad you comment on my blog! You see, I have the attention span of a fruit fly and I would always see your comments on other blogs and I was always really impressed, but of course before I could travel through cyberspace to find your blog - something has caught my eye - perhaps a cat in the backyard? :)

    Make sure you think through what is ED and what is you!


  3. i did the vegetarian thing for over six months, not because i had a passion for animals (i do love them though), i was doing it because i thought it was healthier and i wanted to lose weight. now that i look back i always felt the need to bring it up and point it out, just to make sure people knew.
    i totally understand the difficulty in figuring out what Ed is telling you and what you really want. i think the best thing to do is to be conscious of your needs and be committed to them, if that makes sense.
    ps--that organic farm stuff sounds so fun!

    love the buddha quote :) i am the queen of over-analyzing, damn type a personality.
    can't wait to see the grocery goods. and remember there is always tomorrow to put in to practice what you learned today.

    now i don't know about the giants, but i do know the bengals won! (who dey!)

  4. i really adored this post. I agree on so so much of it.. You really took all the words out of my mouth on how I am dealing with my eating disorder. Its difficult to know if I am seperating MY mind from the distorted mind..
    I too am vegetarian, and then went vegan later on. I went vegan after I was discharged.. because in inpaitient, i was forced to eat chicken, salmon, and other things I never once ate.
    I havelearned a lot about nutrion and health, and am genually passionate about it.. though sometimes (mostly my mom and doctors) question me whether that is distorded thinking or not...

    Same goes for working out.. Do I really want to work out? or is it an unhappy force wich ED is pushing me towards?.. i love the rush of a good run, and how GOOD it makes ME feel.. yet someties, i really want to relax, yet CANT and feel so anxious :( so i NEED to work out. (says ED).. oh. the on going battles.

  5. hey there lovie :)
    i just read your comment on my post and it made me so so happy, all your comments are always the best, you are just the sweetest, most genuine and wonderful girly, and, I inspired you to eat your snack today :) that makes me so happy, i am going to be going to bed with a big smile on my face and in my heart thinking of that :D you are amazing,
    love you xx

  6. hey rebecca!
    i just came across your blog and read your story! i am so happy for you that you have found a path back to life and enjoying it! well you sure do in that picture above as a tree hugger ;)
    i love your name! are you german by any chance? you're name means funny in german :D
    hope you have a good day hun