What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
This past weekend I visited my super-smart sister at her Ivy League school, and I complained about my hair the entire time.
For the past couple months, it’s been falling out. Not like your normal I’m-a-girl-with-long-hair-and-I-shed falling out, but like, brittle, breaking-in-half, falling-out-in-little-clumps falling out. I have gone full hypochondriac about it by making appointments with various doctors, asking my roommates to check me for bald spots and even praying (over my Virgin Mary candles and a bottle of Pinot). I was about to lose hope until my sister threw me the side-eye after one of my diatribes.
“Are you eating healthily?” she asked. “Like, fruits and vegetables every day?”
OOPS. No. My diet is pizza, multiple times a week. Sure, I’ll throw a romaine salad in there “for some green,” but the last time I had a dinner that consisted of lean protein, fruits and veggies, was, well, when I was on a capital-D Diet.
My brain is so girl-growing-up-in-America warped that I’ve stopped associating healthy eating with health. To me, veggies are just low calorie snacks. If I don’t have a bikini or skimpy Halloween costume debut coming up, I don’t eat them.
Which, wow, I don’t think I’ve ever written such a sad, dumb sentence.
I am willing to stake my bank account ($56.14) on the fact that most twenty-something girls are like me. Healthy eating = dieting. This is the easy calculus society has taught us. I haven’t thought about the classic food pyramid (what is it? 5 vegetables a day? 9 grains??) since I bought my first copy of "The South Beach Diet" when I was 16.
So how do I shake myself out of this? I’m feeling pretty cool with my body right now (IDK, stay tuned), so I don’t want to lose weight. And I don’t want to start getting obsessive about what I eat. But I do want to, I don’t know, ward off scurvy. And keep the hairs currently on my head.
Here’s my plan so far:
- Add two servings of fruits and/or veggies to every meal. I don’t intend to stop eating pizza, but adding a side of broccoli can’t hurt, right?
- Look into this juicing business. It sounds like such a scam, but maybe it would be an easy way to fit extra servings of fruits and veggies into my jet-set life? (HAHA, I mean college). There is no way I’m going to replace a meal with juice though. Baby steps toward disordered eating, if you ask me
- Vitamins?? I was taking them for stronger nails, but I lost them, of course. I will buy new ones as a mark of commitment to my new healthy “lifestyle.”
So to reiterate, my goal is overall health, not weight loss. The vanity part is yeah, I’d like my hair to stop falling out. Maybe even get my skin to really GLOW. (Without products?) But basically, I want to retrain my brain so that I can eat asparagus without being on a Diet.
And now, I need your help. Send me your recipes, ideas, and tortured-relationship-with-broccoli stories. The brittle hairs on my head depend on it.
Allie’s GOIN’ GREEN on Twitter @allierileyjones.