THE CHALLENGES AND THE REWARDS
We've all had a different journey to get here, we've all had to deal
with a different set of "character building" challenges, I had sunk to
the lowest point in my life and I really doubt there was anyway I
could have gone lower.. I stick the diet and lifestyle because of
where I've been, I know what I stand to loose by straying, I mean what
would it matter if I just had one bite of my flat mates beans and
sausage, or just one sip of my friends" lovely" vegan milk shake..
but i never do because the memory of where I have been is enough,
811 is magik, it turned my life around, but it's far from easy, you've
really gotta want it and not just like the idea of it but really
really want it for yourself, cuz you've gotta earn it, your gonna have
to do it for three meals a day every day mostly by yourself surrounded
by people who eat normal and who will tempt you every step of the way,
and not only that but your own mind will try and sabotage your
efforts !! for me the cravings have never gone away, I haven't eaten
anything "normal" in over four years and still it looks like food,
still I want it, still I think about it !! But worst ov all I didn't
realise how special sharing food actually was, when I had it I didn't
appreciate what it was, to sit and eat the same food at the table,
sharing... sharing, oh I miss it so so much, even if you are
surrounded by similar people, what you eat is so important.. maybe
it's just me and I'm blowing it out ov proportion but a few months
back I visited someone and we shared some fruit, and it was totally
amazing, we ate a few boxes of lychees and a tonne of lettuce, and it
was amazing, I hadn't shared that moment in four years, four long and
quite lonely years..
So is it worth it..??.. the price is so high, the effort and self
control needed is beyond most, but the rewards..??.. what can I say to
convince you, there isn't anything I can say.. all I can say is that
as hard as it is I stick it, as boring as it seems sometimes (I'm
actualy satisfied eating the same dam meal over and over and over).. I
don't cheat or stray even when every fiber of my body is willing it
and everyone around me is trying to convince me I'm gonna wither away
and die and that one bite doesn't make a difference, and when my own
body is saying that my life is not complete without that "whatever"..
It's like what dr doug says, "if you want what other people have got,
then do what other people do".. and you know what, they don't have
what I want, none of em have what I want, so why do what they do, why
listen to what they say..
Why do I do it, why do I try so hard, why do i single myself out..??
plain and simple, its the rewards, 811 has given me what I always
wanted, what I always knew was missing, what I had never felt but
always knew was out there right there just out of sight and just out
of reach.. its radiance and energy and hope and passion and love for
myself and the world around me.. but it's not for everyone, only for
those who are tired of their old lives, who want something more, who
want to feel alive and in love with life and themselves, but most
importantly its only for those who are willing to give things up, pay
the price, cuz nothing is free and if it offers the best then you can
dam well be sure it costs the most.. I'm willing to pay the price and
I'll do it alone if I have to, but it would be nice to make this
journey they call life with others, I'd love to hold someones hand and
not feel so alone.. and that's why I say to you, come join me, it's
totally worth it, to see the world through these eyes, to see yourself
this way, it makes all the difference, it has turned life into
something to be excited about, something actually worth living.
This is so beautiful, and beautifully written - it literally bought tears to my eyes, Thank you! xx
Great sentiments. Thanks for sharing! I'm on year three of raw... not 100 percent 80/10/10, but definitely lower fat than in the beginning (gourmet) and much more conscious of how foods affect me. Lucky for me, I really have no cravings for cooked food. I still make "healthy" whole food vegan cooked dishes for my kids most days, and it just feels like a task, not an invitation to indulge. However, I spent the first 30 years of my life overeating, eating compulsively and eating poor quality foods, so old habits die hard. I'm 39 now, 110 pounds lighter than a decade ago, but still struggle sometimes with "using" food as a sedative... even a heavier raw dish can do that. So, I just work to shine awareness on my feelings and do something productive with that energy, rather than eat when I'm not hungry. Most of the time, I succeed. :-)
But, I have to say, you hit the nail on the head with the concept of "sharing" food. I never want to eat what my friends or family are eating, but I so miss sharing the togetherness that food facilitates. I don't feel like there's any going back now... I'm on this journey, and even if I didn't stay 100% raw the rest of my life, I would never be drawn to mainstream foods full of chemicals and additives. And, the changes I've seen in myself on this journey inspire me to continue, as well, even if it's a lonely road, because I'm just so curious where it will take me.
So, I guess the solution is reaching out... finding community... on-line is great, but the camaraderie of like-minded folk in your area is important, too. I've tried endless attempts at raw potlucks in my area with our MeetUp, with minimal success... there's just not the interest out here, so I have to go towards the city, and I get lazy. But, if you're in a progressive area, start a MeetUp group and build a community of support that will benefit you and all those that join!
You have great fortitude, but I intuitively feel like you're going to have to shift your perception a bit in order to thrive on this long-term. Nobody can "white-knuckle" it everyday and hang on forever. If you truly are still having cravings for the cooked food around you, maybe you need to tweak your raw diet to be more gratifying. Minimalism and simple eating are great, and definitely lead to some spiritual awakenings, and improved health, but sometimes we need to stay grounded in the world, and we use food as our medium for that, so we have to find our own balance.
But, what do I know? I'm just getting started...
Best wishes on your continued journey of self-exploration! :-)
(aka Food Fog Gal)
that was just beautiful! Thank you
Very well done. At this point in my life.... I truely do NOW believe... I want it.
Your post is so inspirational, and makes me a little sad to think how lonely it has been for you over the years, not to share food.
I am very new to this lifestyle (1 week!), but I understand your comments about eating alone. My partner is still eating cooked foods and will barely even try any smoothies I make. We sit together to eat in the evening but eat such different things its a totally different experience. I have already wondered many times how this will affect my social life - eating out with friends, Christmas celebrations with family etc.
I notice you live in the UK, I live in Bristol; so perhaps in a few months from now when I'm settled into the lifestyle, we might talk about meeting to share a meal!!
From all the comments here, it is plain to see how your strength and inner beauty has given motivation to others, and I am no exception. Thank you.
very elegantly put. :)
It is hard, it is lonely, but it is worth it. The hardest things are keeping the "big picture" in focus and reminding yourself what you are doing this for, and the fact that no one understands, and people start to avoid you because they don't understand. But it is big, we only get one life, and it is a waste not to live it the best you can. And this is even bigger than your own life, it is also about the animals, other people, and the environment. I noticed that if you make the diet seem more "fun" you can get people to share a meal of fruit with you. Like for example, I brought some strawberries with me today, and me and my friends just sat on the grass, talking, looking at the clouds, and eating, and it felt absolutely normal.
Thank you for sharing this Gareth!
Your story inspires me. I've tried to start raw diet many times but never success. Now I understand that I didn't have enough inspiration. And it was necessary for me to see somebody who eat raw food for more than one or two years.
thank you SO MUCH for this. i read it the other day and have been thinking about it since then and wanted to come back and read it again. really appreciate your sharing.
It's funny because everyone who has made it to this website and to this post has probably suffered at least a little to be interested in raw veganism. Many people are blinded by the outer beauty of a long term raw vegan but when the going gets rough vanity will not sustain them. Some have good intentions and the power to sacrifice their favorite foods and deny cravings but they failed to comprehend the risks of leaving behind not only the comforts of food but companionship and camaraderie. When you leave you go alone and only the pure will walk through the fire burning all around us. This is the new world as dramatic, exotic and intense as any that Columbus discovered. This is the real El Dorado, this is a truth so shrouded in mystery that only the heart can guide.
you da man!