Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Starting Off With A Big "Thank You!"

Ahhhh, finally! After months of spending far too much time everyday creeping on some amazing blogs for the past few months, I have decided to jump in and try this out for myself.  This has been an aspiration of mine ever since my time studying abroad in Spain when I blogged about my travels there (mostly to avoid having to send 17 of the same email every day to different family and friends). Now, it's time to start reflecting on myself in my real life- as opposed to the fantasy I was living out over there.
Me and my amigas, Val and Rebecca, hanging out in the Albaicin in Granada

So, let me introduce myself. My name is Rachel, and I am about to start my senior year at the wonderful Ohio University. I am double majoring in Integrated Math Education and Spanish Education. I absolutely love teaching! I can't wait to get out into the real world and really make an impact in the lives of my students. I chose math and Spanish because that is where my interest lies, and because I think they are the content areas that need the most attention in our high schools. Math because we need to catch up in terms of where we stand in comparison to the rest of the world, and Spanish because I think every student's mind should be opened up to new cultures and new perspectives.

In terms of school, I am completely "in it", meaning it's all or nothing. A's or I'm not happy. This is where much of my stress and anxiety comes from. I have been doing better, but it still is something that I struggle with. Sometimes, it manifests itself in some not-so-healthy ways.

Which brings me to this... I am a newly proclaimed vegan!!!!!!!

The over-use of punctuation here is totally necessary. After struggling for the past 5 years or so with an extremely unhealthy relationship with food, stemming mostly from me feeling out of control with many aspects of my life including school, I have finally reached a place where I am ready to get it under control. My solution was to adopt the healthiest eating practices I could find. I have never been a big meat fan, so switching to a completely plant-based diet was not a huge switch. For the first time in my life, I feel like the food I am putting into my body is actually nourishing it rather than poisoning it or making into something I hate. After nearly 6 months on this journey, I have never felt physically healthier. My weight has stabilized, I have stopped counting calories, I have begun to enjoy regular exercise (having a hunky, personal trainer as a boyfriend helps), and there is no longer a scale in my bathroom. I would say this is some serious progress.

I would be lying, though, if I told you that I still don't struggle with it sometimes. I still have bad days, but recently, the good have been far out-numbering the bad. I think I have the food blog community to thank for this. Though my diligent creeping following, I have seen what it looks like to eat a healthy amount of food every day. I have gotten some great tips and recipes for fulfilling vegan meals. And, most importantly, I have found support by reading all of the processes you all have been through. For the first time, I have felt like I am not alone in this. And that there are people out there who get it.

So, this is me saying one big "Thank you!" to all of you out in the blogoshpere who have unknowingly helped me though some tough shit. You have no idea how much it means.

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