Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Being an American is Killing Me!

Before you fly off the handle, this is not an attack on patriotism; it’s a call to be more patriotic. I am proud to be an American. I am grateful to live in a country where I am free. I fight hard to secure those freedoms and fight against anyone wanting to take them from me. I believe every person deserves the right to love whomever they love, and they should have that right to express that love, and make it legal. I put my hand over my heart when the National Anthem is sung. I am often surprised how many don’t. I admit there was a period of my life where I didn’t. I grew up. I believe in, even though it often makes me cringe what I hear, the Freedom of Speech. I support the right for others to bear arms, even though I am vehemently opposed to guns. Well, the people that don’t use them properly and end up killing people is what really bothers me. But yet, I believe all have a constitutional right to bear arms. I believe in the democratic process, even if it doesn’t always make sense as it is playing out. I believe in the power of the electorate, and wish more people would become a part of the process. I believe in demonstration and making your voice heard by those you, or your neighbor, elected into office. I believe in the troops and am so very grateful for their service. I may not be a fan of war (never have been – no matter what), but I support the troops. I believe in the care and health of all Americans. All should be able to have health as part of the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Enough about me and my beliefs. You pretty much now know how I vote. I admit, I often split my ballot, even though I am sure I sound like a raving Democrat.

You are probably asking, what the hell is she going to write about? How is being an American killing her? The killing is not metaphoric. It’s actual. I am so proud of being an American; I ingest patriotism on a daily basis. I looooooooove being an American. And my health and waistline are suffering for my high level of patriotism. Please be prepared for some frank and honest discussion here. I am open about my life in the hopes that I might inspire others. I am not happy unless I am effecting change on this world. I have arthritis, diagnosed at 25. I have chronic asthma. I have been told I have fatty liver. I am pre-disposed to type 2 diabetes. I am overweight. I am a sugar addict. I love diet pop! I don’t much like exercise. I suffer from mild body dysmorphic disorder. I have a self-diagnosed eating disorder. I suffer from chronic headaches (worse at times than others and a result of gluten). I have a high level of gluten intolerance, but yet I still crave it. And I still eat it. I have, as my doctor describes them, difficult feet. I don’t know this is a result of diet per se, but if my weight were more under control the pressure and thus pain would be less. I have done Weight Watchers, and even been a leader teaching others how to lose weight and maintain that loss. I have been a cutter in the past. I suffer from occasional bouts of depression. I have treated, and still do, my body in horrid ways that I would never want to see a friend do to themselves. I constantly look at skinny girls and wish I could be them. I can’t bear children. I lost that ability at the age of 26. No doubt my diet played a role.

Have you seen the video for Fucking Perfect by P!nk? It’s an amazing video and one that brings me to my knees. In so many ways, I feel I am that girl. I feel misunderstood, underappreciated, overlooked, not pretty enough, not good enough. I am tearing up now thinking about it and how I feel so connected to the content. I often wonder how much of my life I have wasted on these thoughts in my head and the hours spent eating them away. The eating only makes things worse and only aids in the strengthening the underlying issues. I know in my head that if I stop eating my pain and start exercising to release the endorphins and serotonin, I will feel better and achieve some victory over my issues with myself. And before you ask, I have done and continue to do therapy. It’s been a while, and I do wish to get back in that chair. It has helped me tremendously.

The Standard American Diet, also known as S.A.D, is killing me. I am the typical American (now at least). I work in a low paying job. I have discovered that when money is tight I gravitate towards the cheap food, which is the unhealthiest! I am a former vegetarian. I was only a healthy vegetarian for about 3 years of the 7.5 years I spent in that lifestyle. The majority of the time I was a Junkfoodatarian. While I am no longer veg, I am still a Junkfoodatarian. And yes, that isn’t a word but I am making it one. Someone alert Webster’s! The less money I have, the harder it seems to support my love of organic produce and the natural foods. I know many people do it, often for around $30/week. But for me, a symptom of my disorder, I like to buy more food and eat out more (only costing me more dollar-wise).

I feel like I am putting too much of this on me. The S.A.D is loaded with foods that do this to me. To us! To the U.S! We are in this together. My call to patriotism is that we fight the Standard American Diet, which is just plain sad. We must find ways to incorporate local and natural foods into our diet. We must stop all this dieting and eat naturally. We must work to eliminate processed foods from our diet as much as we can. We should start growing more of our own food. We need to walk, bike, run, skate…more. We need to drink more water, and not from plastic bottles that forever stay in landfills. We all need to do more. And we need to be easy on ourselves when we aren’t perfect at it. Perfection can’t exist as it would be impossible to maintain. And the definition of insanity is doing the same again and again and expecting different results. That has been my life for the last couple years. Why I am surprised to have pretty much gained all the 85 pounds back I lost in 2004, I don’t know. I know I have earned these friends. They’re unhealthy toxic friends that I want to go away. I wish I could just hack them off, but I know that isn’t really possible. Well, unless my health insurance starts covering plastic surgery. Am I going to be spot on as I answer my own call to be more patriotic by being less patriotic to the S.A.D? Hell no. Am I going to keep trying and showing my patriotism to the healthy way of living? Hell yes. Am I going to continue to work and make myself better so that I may continue to work and make America great? Hell yes. I have to or I won’t be here anymore. I ask you to be a proud American, a healthy American, and the healthiest you. That may just mean you drink one less pop today. I vow I will. But for the sake of all Americans, please vote with your fork and supermarket checkout bill. Please let the public know you support more natural foods and ways of living. I am counting on your help too. I can’t go this alone.


Looks like I will be blogging here again!  I promise to keep you posted.  Feel free to leave comments.