My Journey Through Perfectionism + Veganism

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If you've kept up with us through real life or Instagram lately, you know that life moved a million miles an hour in the month of July. In a matter of three weeks, Michael was offered a job in Houston, we found a house one week later and we moved in a week and a half after that. If I had to pick one word to describe that month it would be INSANITY. It was insane, all of it, but somehow it all worked. I really wasn't stressed, everything felt right. Life was still moving so fast but I was moving right along with it. We've been settled into our new House now for almost two months and it feels so good to be here! Lot's of doors have opened and I am now a full-time Health Coach at Noom! Which is such a dream come true for me as I have always wanted to work in the health industry AND work remotely. It also gives me more time to work on this little blog which I think we can all agree could use some attention :)

I learned a lot during this move. I took time away from social media and The Nutritious Table for a few reasons. 

1.) The obvious: we were busy af.
2.) I wanted to be a little more present as we were moving away from a city we had lived in for 16 and 8 years.
3.) I became very self-aware of how perfectionism was starting to take a toll on me.

Perfectionism is one of those things that sneaks up on you ever so slowly over time until it's taken over one part of your life and begins to trespass into other areas. I knew social media was starting to get to me a while ago, but I didn't understand the depths of it until recently. The majority of the people I follow are very successful food bloggers. I find them so inspiring! But there was this little voice in the back of my mind that constantly told me I needed to be on their level ASAP. ME...a new blogger and food photographer of less than a year vs. bloggers and photographers of 3, 5, 10+ years. I realized over time just how much I compared myself and I knew if I didn't stop now it would defeat me. If I didn't embrace my own journey now, exactly where I am at, I would never live presently, authentically, or fully. So I took a step back and I let go for a little bit.

Taking time away from this site gave me space to see other parts of my life that perfectionism was taking a hold of. Specifically my diet. Now if you've ever let me talk about my dietary theories, you know how much I am into food freedom. That is, not letting food or other people's opinions of food take control over you. And as I preached that I didn't even realize that it was exactly what was happening to me in recent months. Veganism was no longer about the love and respect of animals, the environment, and my body. It was a game of catch up. Every. Single. Day. I wouldn't go so far as to say it became a disorder, but it definitely weighed on me mentally. I felt like I *had* to eat this way, that there was no other choice because I had told the internet *gasp* that this was for me forever.

Recognizing this need to be something, prove something, and live this way for others had to stop. So I did exactly that...I stopped. For about a month and a half, I took a step back from veganism. Not because veganism failed me (many people who leave the vegan diet will say this) but because I was failing myself. My view on food had done a complete 180 and I wanted to make another 180 to get back to me, for me. So I ate whatever I wanted. Surprisingly enough, I still stuck to mostly plant-based foods but animal products showed up here and there. I ate cheese, I drank a little bit of milk, I even had a chicken taquito and a sip of BONE BROTH. (Spoiler: that stuff is so nasty.) And through that time I came back to myself and my roots. I wouldn't say I regret eating those things (although ethically, yes, it makes me sad) but my mentality towards food had to change and this was my journey that I had to make for me. Through it, I was reminded once again how unnecessary I find animal products. I am so much happier, lighter and ME without them. 

In the beginning, I was so worried that if I ever told my followers and readers about that month that I would be judged and considered a hypocrite, and maybe I will be, but I no longer care about the opinions of others. I started this blog and the transition of my Instagram to health & wellness because I wanted to inspire others in their OWN journies. I have never wanted anyone who has followed me to copy what I do because they felt they had to or that is was "right." And that is why I wanted to share this part of my story today.

Walk your journey with pride. Own the pieces that make it yours. There is no such thing as a "perfect" way of living. So let's do our best every day for ourselves and no one else. Educate yourself in new ways, consider what others have to say and then make a choice that is your own.

What is best for you today? Take 5 minutes to think about how you can honor yourself fully.

Thank you for reading. I am so, so grateful to have you here.

Kelly ZoghbiComment