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!