Vegan, Vegetarian, Fish or No Fish?! Who Am I These Days?

wp-1480011837054.pngI’ve had a lot of thoughts about this issue for quite some time. Am I a vegan these days, or a vegetarian who eats fish? At times it feels like you “need to know” and be strict about it, because if you’re not there’s always that chance for those moments when the “meat eaters” go after you and smirk at you that why are you eating this and this and I thought that you only eat some tofu stuff.

There’s this weird mentality that if you “only” eat veggies and want to be a vegan or a vegetarian, without bothering anyone with it, it still does. It somehow gives the idea to people that it’s their place to judge the choices I’ve made. What is it that that is worth the ridicule and why it doesn’t go the other way around? Is it that veggies are more tolerant or accepting of other peoples choices? Why don’t we feel the need to make a point of what the other one is eating every time?

I’ve had my own journey with food. I’ve had my own struggles with food and how it affects my mental health. I’ve had my own journey with almost toxic relationship with food and how I use it to either comfort or the exact opposite. I still see my body completely different than what it really is, because few times in my life I’ve gained a lot of weight and still have that mindset that I’m fat.

But on that journey has also been the joys food can bring, I’m very fortunate to grown up in an environment where I was offered the choices of many different foods. I was a “I eat everything” kind of person for majority of my life, I went to culinary school to become a chef. I’ve been that one who says things like “vegetarians are the difficult ones” and that’s saying it very nicely. I used to love a good steak. I was all about junk food and still have and probably will always have my deep rooted love for chips/crisps.

And I’ve been a very strict vegan, wrote about it and how it has benefited me and my mental health. I’ve fallen off that wagon really hard and now I am climbing back up.

This whole blog started partly because I watched a documentary called “Hungry for Change”. It opened my eyes with how much the food we eat affects our body and especially our mind. I still remember this one man in it, who spoke about his diet choices and how they affected his depression and I just had tears streaming my face, because it was like he was talking about me. That made me want to change my ways, I wanted to see if I could really feel that much better with so little as what I ate. And it really did. It made a massive change for the best with me. So why have I stopped and jumped on and off so many times in such a short amount of time, as few last years?

For me, I tend to still be a people pleaser and in a way respect what they’ve cooked and eat that, even if it’s not what I would eat if I would’ve been the one cooking. I’ve noticed a lot that it eases the minds of those people if you still eat fish, it’s like you’re not that weird yet or haven’t jumped on the dark side fully. But lately, with Christmas looming and me going deeper and deeper back to my vegan ways I’m finding myself questioning how I will deal this coming Christmas and all the food. What should I cook for myself when others eat the traditional Christmas foods, for example all the fish dishes that used to be the best part for me. And how can I sit in that table with my Christmas tofu or whatever I’ll figure without someone pointing it out like it always happens. It’s starting to get a little tiring for me that it’s the joke or the issue that it’s okay to make a joke about. And to be clear, I haven’t been a strict vegan for quite some time so in a way “it’s starting to get a little tiring” can sound funny to some who know me close enough, but it still does because it’s just stupid to make those remarks. But I also have to point out that when you have people in your life who respect or just purely don’t care what you eat, it does make this whole thing a lot easier. Still those remarks are nonsense and better to left unsaid.

Also, just like my journey with my own mental health and how food affected it, my mind has broadened over the years about how much what we choose to eat effects the world we live in. I started my food journey purely on selfish reasons, but the more you read and research, the more you come across with environment and animal welfare, it would be impossible to not see, read, hear those while doing your research. And it would also be stupid to close your eyes from all of it only because it’s unpleasant.

The last 3 something years I’ve started to appreciate the natural world more and more, it’s for the first time for me, became this sanctuary like place. It’s where I found my love for trail running. It’s where I’ve found myself after breakups or loosing loved ones. The more I spend time in it, the more I want to do something to keep it as it is. I find myself wanting to read books, watching documentaries and doing research on the internet about this all. And the more I know, the more I ponder about it all, the more I lean towards wholehearted environmentalist attitude, I guess that could be what this feeling would be.

So it’s not only the choice of foods, it’s where I choose to buy my clothes, my cleaning products, my everything. I want to make conscious decisions on not affecting negatively on this world.

Back to the diet choices. Since I moved to my own home start of July, my diet has been basically vegan with few instants of vegetarianism. I don’t even think about it myself, but I notice it every time I for example go to my parents where I tend to eat fish or cheese or stuff like that. And the last time I was there I was just thinking why am I eating this fish if I really don’t feel it to be right, for me? I think it’s the easiness of it all. It’s there so you just eat it. It’s the fact that they’ve gotten the fish because they respect you not eating meat. But the last time I ate fish there, I just noticed that this feels wrong. And since then I’ve thought about this and especially this coming Christmas a lot. I’ve only been a vegan for one Christmas before and back then I was a funny, not knowing enough vegan, so this time I would like to make an effort in what I would eat.

It’s funny how Christmas makes this all feel so current, but it’s about eating in most homes, it’s about gathering around that table and eating, a lot. Being together obviously too, but food is a massive part of it.

But so, what am I these days? A vegan? A vegetarian? Fish or no fish?

I would say that majority of my time I’m fully vegan, and going more and more back to that direction. Purely because I’ve felt the benefits of it in my body and like before, especially in my mind. But I also feel like I’m okay to make an exception if something is vegetarian and not vegan. I still don’t eat eggs, I did during the summer, but then it started to feel wrong again, it’s like this is still a baby chicken, no matter how I look at it. Now that I haven’t eaten cheese regularly anymore, I don’t crave it, and it was the hardest for me to leave behind in the beginning on this journey. And damn now I just realized that there’s going to be so many delish cheeses at Christmas! 😀 And that fish is in the past too, it just doesn’t feel right. There’s nothing different in eating a factory farmed fish than any other animal.

Few good reasons why I chose to decide that I want to give veganism a good go again and to refresh my mind of what I already knew, was documentaries like Cowspiracy, Food Choices, Before the Flood, books like Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer which really opened my foggy and forgetful mind wide awake. There’s loads of great sources to get some knowledge about this and other issues that are all linked together. And that’s what it is for me, the stuff we eat affects the planet earth and we’re already cruising here like it’s going to last forever and not stopping and thinking that will our kids or their kids be able to play in the snow or see any animals in the actual nature where they are suppose to live.

What I really loved about the book, Eating Animals, was that the writer didn’t sugar coat anything, but that he also wanted to offer the opinion of all the sides in the arguments, so you were able to think them through yourself too with that help. It didn’t give a one dimensional look on what eating animals, fish too, does to our planet.

I think for me the most important thing about this is, that you should do your every decision with the fact in mind that it will affect someone somewhere, whether you like it or not. And on the bigger scale those decisions are hurting all of us, if we do them on a whim or with no thought. That does not mean that your life is supposed to be extra hard. For me it means that I have done my research and that I buy stuff with that in mind. I use products that at least try to make a difference. Because every little change is a change for the better.

And like I was happy to notice the first time I went vegan, this time I’m noticing it too. I’m calmer, my skin is way better, so is my hair, I don’t have stomach issues anymore, no more gassy bloated feeling after almost everything, more energy, my depression is a lot more balanced, I feel a lot more tuned with myself, I recover from workouts faster, I don’t have those sugar spikes as I did before, the food that I eat actually does me good. And that is enough for me to choose this path, once again, hopefully this time braver than before, not caring so much what others feel about it.

I respect your choices, so let’s respect each other in every way, okay :).

PMA ❤

 

Advertisements

Embracing The ME I Am Right Now

wp-1477852857055.pngIt’s taken me some time to come to terms with who I am right now, and how much I love the Me right now. It’s weird feeling, I’ve never felt this good with all of me and my life in general before. I’ve always yearned and hoped and wished for this kind of feeling and now I have exactly that in my life, made by me. I really feel that I’m giving myself a chance to really embrace who I am right now, no apologies or anything. Me.

Before I wrote a lot here, I journaled all that I was going through, I felt that it was the best way to get it all out. And for a long time it was, it was who I was and could stand behind with no hesitation. But lately, more so this year, I’ve felt that I want to take a step back with it all, with all that’s been in my life. I needed to quiet down my life, in all areas, to find who I am and be okay with all of it.

I’ve been about the less is more life for couple of years now, in a way searching what it means to me. And I’m on that path still but found out what it really is right now. I’ve read a lot, which means that I’ve learned a lot, and that has helped me with how I feel about certain issues and what I personally want to do to them in my life.

One thing that was massively important to me when I moved to my own place, was to be able to fully be the one who decides what products to use around the apartment. I remember the day I got the keys and went to buy some cleaning products and how happy it made me to be able to choose the ones I wanted, the ones that are cleaner and at least a bit better for the nature. Sometimes it’s that simple of a thing that can spark your being slowly back to it’s “who am I?” gear to the right direction.

I’ve also really started to think more about the food I am eating and what it does to me, but also a lot of what it does the environment. I’ve noticed that when I live alone, I tend to go back to my vegan ways. I’ve been pretty much vegetarian for a long time, but sensing how I want to go back to those ways that truly felt the best for me and my body. And that are truly the best for the world too. A thing that is important to me, as I feel that why should any animal suffer in any way for my satisfaction when it’s not really even doing that. I feel better and I’m not harming any one while choosing this, a win – win situation.

Back when I originally started my journey to better health, especially mental health and finding ways to feel better as a whole, it was a selfish want that sparked it all. It was because I felt and was overweight and didn’t like how I looked and how that made me feel. That was the root reason for my want to change. As the time has gone by, I’ve gone from one end to another and back again and to this. But what has changed that I know more, and it’s getting harder and harder to just push the knowledge to the side and keep going like it doesn’t exist. They say that ignorance is a bliss, and in a way it is, but at what cost. I’ve been asking myself that a lot this summer. It’s really easy to be selfish and only think of your own happiness.

I think my less is more mentality has grown to take over all areas of my life, and it feels really good. I find that when I calm my life down to a level where I am strong enough to really say what I want and don’t want, to make those hard decisions without doubt in me, then I get closer and closer to my true self. I’ve started to question my decisions in a whole new way and found answers that I didn’t think I would have the courage to say even to myself. If I’ve always been honest, I’ve really been honest to myself now.

I can say that it’s one of the best feelings in the world when you are completely happy with your life and You. Like I said, I’ve wanted this moment or feeling in my life my whole life, but I’ve also been afraid of who that me really is and how it all could really feel.

This is all a funny tangle of things, but it basically all comes down to me enjoying life in the simplest of ways. I absolutely love being on my own and just read or watch interesting documentaries or movies or some ridiculous reality show. I love that I don’t feel anymore that there’s something wrong with me needing that much time alone, because I’ve felt for so many years that there was something wrong with me. That me being really sensitive is a fault in me, when it’s actually a strength.

For me right now living and enjoying my life in the simplest of ways means that I choose to buy foods that are organic and good for me and the environment, to challenge myself in finding ways and products in all areas of my life to be cleaner, to get rid of all that I truly don’t need and keeping my home simple and uncluttered.

I want to challenge myself in ways that I haven’t before and take myself further in the search of Me.

Right now for example, I am challenging myself to find clothing brands that are sustainable and ethical, while maintaining the style I’ve come to feel Me. I’m not going to buy any fast fashion anymore, the only things I’m still “allowed” to buy outside of this challenge are underwear and certain sports items, if I really can’t find alternatives to them. The thing is that I’ve bought so little clothes this year that where I’m starting is situation that I actually need new clothes, but I rather keep wearing the ones I have now than buy something that doesn’t feel right. And I’ve noticed that the less you cave in the less you feel the need. I’m happy that my general style is very simplistic and classic in a way and that I rarely feel like I want to jump to different hype styles. But the main thing in this challenge is that I want to show myself that having this style is possible in ethical and sustainable way too.

I strongly feel that it’s good to consider the whole picture of our actions and not just what feels the best for you. I’ve found myself thinking a lot that if it’s important to me that I use clean skin and hair care products, and eat clean food, then why don’t I only buy clothes with the same mindset or all else we need in our lives. I don’t think that it can’t be a whole “deal” and that you need to be without something because of this mindset. I think it’s just more about finding ways to make it work. And right now, I want to challenge myself with it and show that I can do it.

What this all really boils down to is Me feeling better and better with less is more as a whole life mindset. Being 100% okay with who I am and not being uncomfortable to face my fears or insecurities. Loving the life I am living right now and not thinking jealously that why is someone else having this or that and why am I here just being bitter of their success.

I’ve found ways to find more peace in my life, from meditating every morning, to eating cleaner, being extra gentle to myself in this once again new chapter of my life, being active in a calm way, learning more by reading and really tackling that as it is a thing I absolutely love.

I’m happy that I don’t have to be the same person I was couple of years ago, that would be sad and also impossible. I am happy that I’ve gone through a lot of heartbreak and struggles, because that’s why I am the Me I am right now. What I can do now, is to live my life the way I really want to, not saying I’m sorry in every turn, setting boundaries with what feels right and what wrong and standing with them strong. I know that not all of my decisions will make some people in my life happy, but I have to put myself first and think of my own wellbeing as my number one goal. Because when I feel good with myself, I am able to be more to others and to this world.

You’ll be seeing this new challenging chapter here too, hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

PMA ❤

When Passion Turns Into Doubts And Fear

wp-1476214605352.pngI feel little nervous even writing now, it feels that it’s so long since I last wrote a piece that felt something and made me fear to get it out a bit. Usually those are the ones that give the most after they are done.

I’m on the verge of recovering myself again, once again. The me I’ve been last year or the two years ago is so far from the me I am now. And the me I am now, I’m not even sure who that is, I am am very much in the search of that Me.

This year has completely thrown me on a spin of feelings that I did not expect and got very off guard because of them and how they truly made me feel. The things that were my biggest passions have dwindled into things that I feel no interest in doing and am really pushing to being interest again, as I know in the deepest place in me that they do bring me joy and support in a way that not others can.

When I started this blog, I remember how the words just flew off from my fingers and writing was really easy, not grammatically good but I got the feelings out and felt always better after. Probably because I never thought that no one is actually really reading what I wrote so there was no pressure in what I did, I just let all it out. This whole year has been a low key on this blog, I’ve felt strongly that I don’t really have anything to say worth writing about, which might have made me feel even more confused with all. As I haven’t written about them to anywhere else either. I’ve also felt this massive pressure to write anything at all, there’s so many amazing blogs around and I’ve just felt that what do I have to say that someone actually would like to read, do I really have something to say?!

It’s been the same with my running, or more like the lack of it, or with any physical activity in my life this year. No interest what so ever, which has been so tiring and weird but a relief too. Two years ago I did nothing else than run, I ran to heal myself from the pain of loosing my Grandma, from the end of a long and meaningful relationship, the changes I had in my life, from the confusion of it all. I ran to feel better, I ran from it, I ran to it, I just ran. And I’ve felt many times that I just ran out of that course in my life, I didn’t have anymore running or anything else in my life. And I felt and have still felt really guilty of that feeling, or not having any interest in doing anything, while so many know me through my running and now I am nothing, in a way, or at least I am not doing anything in that way.

This year has just flew past, it doesn’t feel real, so much has happened and still it feels like no time has gone by. That’s what’s scaring me so much, the realization of how fast time moves on without no care about if we have done anything with it, good or bad, to others or ourselves. And in this world we live in, it feels so often than if you don’t do do do and do something all the time, you are nothing at all. If you don’t have something to show for every damn thing all the time, you basically don’t even exist.

I’ve gotten so tired of that all, the last couple of months I’ve noticed how I have no tolerance for extra pressure if it’s not necessary, and I know now that I have no need to let it in my life, I have the keys to make those lines that others and also myself aren’t allowed to cross. And I do not need to feel bad about taking care of myself like that.

There’s this massive trend of being more all the time, faster, anyfucking thing, just as long as you do it a lot and show it to the world in some way in your media outlets. It gets tiring and has no effect at some point. I feel like I’ve been on both sides of that, and now I notice more often than not that I just don’t feel anything when I see someone posting a positive this or that or how much and fast they’ve been running, it’s just noise to me. And I feel in a way guilty of even letting myself be this honest about it. But I’ve felt that less is more can be so many things, we don’t have to post every aspect of our lives for them to be real, to us, who they should mean the most. The quality of our own lives doesn’t feel as high as it should, we put it out there like it does but does it to us all when we behave like that or do we just grave for the attention to validate our own being through likes?

And there’s this flipside of starting to feel bitter and jealous of it all. You’re surrounded by it all, it comes from every aspect of your life, not only social media and then it starts to feel like it’s suffocating you whole. And doing anything starts to feel like it’s useless because, why should you you’ll never get “there”.

It’s really hard to stay relevant even to yourself when you really don’t do a thing to make the situation better or different, but that’s the thing the pressure to do anything starts to be so massive that it’s easier to be bitter than try. Especially if you’ve had a history of failing as a habit or a way of life, because of those self doubts, those insecurities. What all that drifting further and further from that “Do” Me does is, it fills you with doubts on top of doubts, it pushes you further away from the you, you were before it all landed on you like a thick blanket without you realizing. Climbing back up from there is insanely hard work, especially when you clearly are not who you were but not 100% sure who you are or want to be now. There’s a certain pressure in “getting back up” once you’ve already done it before, whether it is writing or running or whatever. It almost gets harder and not easier, because of the fact that you’ve done it before and it also can make you feel extra insecure, because the biggest step in your way is YOU!

I have too many years in me of getting used to failure and not believing in any way or form that I do deserve the good in life, that it’s really easy to fall on that side of thoughts than remember that positive push you also have in you. But it is like anything else in life, if you don’t practice it enough and make it a habit you forget it and it becomes hard again.

I’ve had to find ways again now to start feeling better, it’s been a long road to recovery in many ways this year. I haven’t wanted to slow down because deep down I knew that when I do, all that I had dusted away will pop up. But I never knew how much will come and to what level I need to dig to start the healing once again. I really needed to slow down to a full stop to see how broken I was. I needed to let myself fall down to see if I still have the fight in me.

After almost a month of morning meditation, which isn’t the easiest thing but I’m really feeling the benefits, and reading actual books a lot, I’m starting to feel like I might have a idea who I am and who I want to be. And there’s nothing wrong that that is nothing who I have been, that’s only a good thing. I am not who I was, I am who I am now. And honestly I am scared shitless. I have no idea what to do, but I know I have to try, even when that is the one thing I wish I could just jump over or crawl under. To behave like I have done and be miserable when it didn’t work like it never did. I don’t know if anyone reads this blog, or if anyone wants to run in my running crew, but those are still two things that seem to make me feel better, so I choose to keep trying.

My insecurities, depression and doubts will always take over me, when I am weaker, but maybe that’s not so bad. I read in one book this thing that said around like this ” our depression often comes to our lives when we need to slow down and stop to evaluate our situation”. I had it bookmarked because it really resonated with me. Maybe depression isn’t only a bad thing, for me it has made me who I am now. Not with the easiest roads but still. So without the struggle who would I be, I have no interest knowing.

Being alone and really slowing down is one of the best things I know. It charges my batteries, and sometimes that takes a lot longer than before but it’s so necessary in this “ON” world of ours. And we don’t need to be able to do and be like everyone else, if someone hustles all the time, let them. But you don’t have to or need to, to be where you feel the best. That is something I need to tell myself quite often, but I’m only a human. And that’s okay.

And here it is, a piece that I just wrote, didn’t think just wrote and didn’t even proofread…

PMA ❤

Self Confidence / Insecurities

screenshot_20160916-131214It’s funny how little you need to feel like your confident self again. Sometimes you need to go far to see very close, something I’ve done a lot lately. But it also seems to be the only way to find myself again. So from insecurities to finding my self confidence to realising that I get still very lost with myself.

Last weekend I was in Stockholm, the place where I always feel like I can breath free, not sure even now after all these years why. Something in that place that I just feel so at home. I was there because of our massive running gathering, which also meant I got to see people I’ve missed like crazy, and meeting new forever friends you just click instantly.

The funny little thing I felt in me was that, instantly when we landed in Stockholm, I felt like that long lost confident me that I’ve been searching and looking for such a long time, basically the last year or so. Obviously I’ve had moments I’ve felt that me, but most of the past year has been such a weird time that wow.

After battling with my self confidence and body image this whole year, it felt so damn good to feel good about myself. And the thing is that I don’t know what changed, why there I got that part of me back. In a way it doesn’t make any sense, nothing really changed, other than the location and the people around me. Maybe just the pure positive atmosphere around me was the key. Something I feel like I am hunting after with dogs here in Finland.

The feeling of feeling comfortable and beautiful in my own skin and clothes and all that, felt so damn good. I had to do a little “you got this” at home before I left to the airport, but I remember looking at myself in the mirror and saying that “you look great” and that “do not give a shit if someone doesn’t like this”. Those peptalks are needed at times… Just try yourself.

Being myself has been a challenge lately and I’ve been so damn tired of that. I’ve known all the time that I’m there, under some weird pressure, but it’s been hard to get to the center, under all those layers of doubt. There hasn’t been enough “who cares” and too much of “what ifs” and “maybe I should make myself smaller in every way possible”.

Sometimes we need good company to remind us of our amazingness. Sometimes someone needs to give us a little attention to wake up. It might just be a look to make you smile. Or it might be words like “your body is amazing” from someone who has no idea about what you’ve gone through with your body and how insecure and at times even ugly you’ve felt with it.

We tend to forget how important it is to be there for each other and positively comment, even if it feels funny. The importance of being positive and saying those things out loud can be so massive to someone. I need to get better at that too, saying those to myself as well as to others.

Maybe someone is thinking now, that that confidence should come from within, and yes I do agree but sometimes we really need a reminder, that’s it. It’s that simple.

With all my bumps and cellulite and wobbly bits, I actually felt so beautiful and desired. I loved that feeling of not needing to be embarrassed when I felt the touch on those parts of me. Something so simple but so important. Honest gentle touch and words.

Now I just have to keep being that confident me here, in my home where it’s a lot harder. There’s something that happens to me every time I’m back in Finland that I forget all that progress I’ve made in these past years and go back to that insecure uncomfortable one, feeling like I’m stuck and have no future. It’s like my past here is holding me back, but only because I let it. That’s the only reason.

Maybe every time I feel like I’m falling to my old ways, I need to remember those words and that touch and bounce back up to my amazing beautiful self! 🙂

Self love in full effect! And thank you to that one who helped me realise my real worth without knowing my past. ❤

PMA. LOVE. ❤

Pressure Drop

wp-image-399967542jpg.jpgIt finally happened, my overly stressed mind and body got some time off and I felt a massive pressure drop happening in me. I only needed couple of days in a different surroundings and time off from my angsty day rhythm.

Like I’ve written during this summer, this whole recovery thing has taken a toll on me in ways I never expected. But it feels so damn nice to finally feel lighter and happier and more focused. That massive cloud is lifting from my happiness and I’m slowly but very surely getting my happy back.

Sometimes we need to go back or far, to see close. I needed couple of days with a person in different city, that really knows me and listens in a way I needed. My Grandpa. Me and my Grandpa have always had a bit special relationship, we are very close, in my childhood people thought that he’s my Dad more than few times. We’re made from the same wood in a way.

When I left my home to go and visit him, I felt so down and restless and just overly stressed. My body was swollen without a reason, I had a minor migraine all the time, it was just rebelling to all what had been going on. Yelling at me to calm down any way possible. I didn’t realise how massive of a difference couple of peace filled days could make.

I remember noticing this thing on my way back from there this Tuesday, I’ve had my ankles swollen for some weeks now, just a little bit or a lot, depending on the day. And all of sudden when I was travelling back home, I noticed that they were normal again, I could see my normal ankles. It’s a small thing but showed me in a very literal way how important it is to calm down. I could also feel how my body in general felt and looked better. And the difference inside, it glowed out with a peace and calmness that I had been yearning for a long time. Life has felt better than in a long time now.

Today is a good day, we have a Midnight Run in Helsinki tonight with members of my crew KARMA runners joining, and I get to run next to them while some of them run their first race, ever!

And next week I get to see so many of my international running friends in Stockholm as we tackle the amazing weekend there during the Half Marathon. Cannot wait!! So things are looking up. 🙂

Sometimes we really need to go away, stop and feel that we are heard and then pick ourselves back up. And we need to remember how insanely wise our grandparents are, so call to them, go visit them, show them that you care.

LOVE! PMA ❤