Sunday, February 10, 2013
I recently moved to a new state. I moved from one extreme climate to another. In some respects that goes for culture too.
As I've mentioned previously, the last year and a half have been difficult. We had an exchange student with us for a year and then we had to move due to a job change. I was dealing with a new human being in our home as we were saying goodbye to what had become our home. It was surreal. It was really really hard.
I had to deal with all the details of the move, both physical and emotional. I had to deal with teens who were devastated - that was rough and still is. None of us wanted to move but it was the best choice given the circumstances. Everybody understood that but the heart always has a different agenda.
We said goodbye to our exchange student in late June and have been in our new home seven months now. It doesn't feel like home yet for any of us but I suppose we'll get there. It's not like we're the only people who have ever moved in the history of time. (And, we've done this three times, twice with kids. Again, we're not the only ones.)
Lately, I have begun to feel like I am getting back into a routine. I think the last time I felt like I had any sort of routine was in early August 2011, just before our exchange student came to live with us. Interestingly enough, I had just reached my all-time low weight-wise and was feeling on top of the world. But life interrupted and it's been a white knuckle roller coaster ride ever since.
I don't have many friends here yet but I do finally have a routine. The kids have their activities and have made some friends. My husband has been in his new job about a year so has an established routine. We are all putting one foot in front of the other. There is a certain grace in having a routine.
On Friday, I did my longest run since March. It surprised me when I realized it had been that long. Last March?! Really?! I had been lamenting how awful I felt each time I ran - the hills, the heat, the humidity. The reality is I haven't done any meaningful distance running so of course it is going to feel crappy until my body gets used to it again. Oh, and I need to lose the extra stress weight I've put on. That might help too. Ha!
At the beginning of the new year I started to eat with a more vegan orientation. Almost immediately I began to feel better - more energy, less cravings. As one of my Sparkfriends has said, it is actually easier to cook with a vegan mindset. It is less labor intensive - fewer places to visit in the grocery store and less time spent in food prep. That has certainly been true for me.
I have also enjoyed the freedom from measuring portions and worrying about carbs. I suppose the vegan focus on low fat, green leafy vegetables and complex (vs simple) carbs means that quality counts to the point where you don't have to worry about quantity. I am not vigilant (I have eaten some meat/dairy) and don't plan to be but I have managed to lose weight since the beginning of the year, about 8 lbs. My clothes are fitting better. I feel better. So I will make it part of my routine. If I never lose another pound, I will still be healthier.
There have been lots of changes in the last year and a half. I have been forced to change my view about a number of things. I never envisioned myself living in the state that I'm living in. Never. I also never envisioned being vegan. Never. But here I am sitting in a new town and eating new foods. Just this morning I wanted a breakfast sandwich. I toasted a whole wheat pita, pan-fried two small slices of tofu with some herbs and microwaved two slices of Morningstar bacon. I put it all together and had a great - very filling - Sunday morning breakfast sandwich. No meat. No dairy. Still satisfying. And I finished it off with an orange.
I have been making lots of non-sushi salad rolls - vegetables rolled into rice paper. They are easy to make and perfect for lunch or a snack. I dip them into a sweet chili sauce just like the real sushi salad rolls.
It has been a painful journey since August 2011 but I feel like things are finally falling into place. I crave routine and now that it is finally beginning to happen, the doors and windows are beginning to open. I can run a little farther. I can try new foods without the threat of portions hanging over my head. I can finally focus on me.
For the first time in a very long time I have hope.
And I am grateful for that.