One of the responses I get a lot when talking about living a healthy life or living a life that is cruelty free is that somehow living that way will make ones life hard, less enjoyable, and less satisfying. I also get a lot of responses regarding health that include “I’m going to die anyway”. The latter is completely sad and depressing to me.
Something amazing has happened to me the past year, I cherish life and I want to feel amazing in my life, I want to feel alive and bright and living. I think as a society we have become so used to the idea that we will suffer from something, no matter what, so therefore, we should just indulge in whatever we want, whenever we want.
The trouble in that is, we don’t die overnight. There are few preventable diseases that will just kill you overnight. Instead what you are choosing by living a life that is unhealthy, is death that takes years. Truthfully, once you get a preventable disease? You start a life that is about death and not life. When I was in the worst of my diabetes, there were many times where I thought that I would have much rather had it take my life quick, rather than go through the years of what I was going to endure. Diabetes is a full-time job, and for those who ignore it, it only gets worse, and becomes not just a full-time job for an individual , but for everyone around them.
We have this choice every day, to live life or to live this life that is about death. I have never felt more alive than this past year, pumping through my blood is now life, it’s like air to me now. The way I eat, the way I live my life has breathed life into me in a way I never thought possible. I wake up with an abundance of happiness every day. In contrast, a little over a year ago, there were many days that I went to bed hoping that I would not wake up.
Rather than looking at things like working out, walking, running, and being outside as something painful, I now see how unbelievably fortunate I am to be able to enjoy those things, how amazing it is that my body can move, and can feel the way that it does. This has only been made possible by what some would call “drastic” food changes, but really? It was not drastic in the least bit. I eat and live a much simpler life now. I eat simple foods that give life, not take it away. I eat foods that breathe into me, not take breath away from me.
I used to think that I would be missing something if I didn’t eat and indulge in all of the selfish desires of my addictions. I used to think I’d be withholding some right that I had to things like fast food.
It’s funny, now I see the horribly sad way of my old thinking. What I never understood, was that by eating and living the way I was? I was depriving myself of so much more than I ever knew. I was depriving myself of what health felt like, what being able to breathe deep felt like, I was depriving myself of climbing over cliffs while listening to waves crash against them, I was depriving myself of not knowing what it would feel like to run along the sand, feeling the earth below me.
The thing that people do not understand when they say that eating things like living, whole plant-based foods is hard? By not doing so, they have deprived themselves of life this entire time. Consuming death, chemicals and poison, impact you in ways that you will never understand until it’s gone. Giving those addictions up will not deprive you of anything, but will give you more life than you ever imagined possible. It is not a sacrifice, it is not hard, and that is the secret.
So many will tell me that they could never be strong enough or disciplined enough to stick to a plant-based life. What they don’t know, is that it is much more hard to live a life of death, I see what they do, how they live as impossible. I know how that felt, and I could never, ever imagine anything that is worth feeling that way. The truth is, most days I did not even realize how bad I felt, it was just that I accepted how I felt and what was inside of me.
The contrast is so different, but there was nothing that anyone could have said to me to describe the life that is breathed into you when you decide to live a life that is filled with love for your body, and when you decide to live a life that breathes something into you.
I wish I could explain it, I wish I could bottle it up. I am sure that if it were something people could feel just for one second, they would stop and see the absurdity of thinking that the way they are living life is something that they actually want to hang onto.
People will put up such a fight with me when I suggest things like not eating fast food, as if I am suggesting taking something away from them. What I wish they would understand is that they are not taking anything away at all, instead they are getting something they did not even know they had lost.
I may not choose how I will die, but I do choose how I will live. Every day we can make that choice, the choice to feel alive, to feed our bodies with things that are healing and life-giving, or we can choose to feel numb or settle and to feed our bodies with things that only do us harm.
Move towards a life that breathes life, each and every day.