I’m Lauren, a 21-year-young old soul, born and raised in a small Connecticut town.
As a child, my first-gen parents afforded me the luxury of being a world traveler — by the time I was 17 I had already visited Spain, England, France, Greece, Hawaii, and had made multiple trips to visit family in my mother’s native country, the Dominican Republic. From a young age I was raised to be very self-aware, due in part to my creative outlook and incredible knack for observance (i.e. people watching), and also my differing cultural experiences.
I’ve always been free-spirited: a little quirky, a little different, not afraid to speak up or break the (fashion) rules.
Flip-side: I’m a Capricorn through-and-through, strong-headed and stubborn. My perfectionism got me into trouble as a young adult when I developed an eating disorder as a coping strategy to handle college stress. After taking a semester off from school (an illusion of failure for a perfectionist) and working with a nutritionist, therapist and psychiatrist, I started the not-so-linear challenge of gaining 30 pounds, finding my passions, regaining a sense of self and purpose, and a fresh take on life.
Now, at 21, I can confidently say that I am at a healthy weight, have developed healthy relationships with both food and exercise, and am working towards reaching my career goal of becoming a plant-based registered dietician.
So beyond the heavy stuff, I’m your average 21-year old girl. Full-time student, part-time retail worker and puppy mother. Hobbies include running and eating, the latter of which is contributed largely to my passion for veganism. As a life-long vegetarian and animal lover, I became vegan shortly after my 18th birthday for purely ethical reasons. Now, after recovering from my eating disorder, I have health reasons to add as well. I had a life-changing moment days before I was admitted for treatment in which I saw myself in the mirror and for the first time saw a sad, scared, malnourished and mistreated little girl and I feared death. I decided right then and there that I did not want to die, and I committed to a life of compassion: to myself, and to all other sentient beings who do not want to die, either. It was a tumultuous two-year journey of self-discovery, painful challenges and many, many tears, but I can now confidently say that I am happy to wake up each morning and am proud of the person who I am, regardless of any numbers, but it is a constant struggle that I face daily.
I want to become a plant-based dietician first and foremost to have authority to dispel the harmful rumors that society sends to young girls: eat less, work out more. I, like many other women, have fallen victim to the trap and I almost paid for it with my life.
Aside from school, I am the proud mommy of a 2-year-old rat terrier/beagle mix, Asher. I rescued him from the Humane Society in December of 2012 and he has changed my life for the better. Together we enjoy daily walks or runs, eating peanut butter, playing with every toy we can get our hands on and incessant barking at squirrels and passersby out the window (hah!).
I also have an amazing boyfriend of two years who has supported and grown with me throughout my recovery and rediscovery who I will refer to on this blog as “TravTrav.” I’m a lucky girl to have him in my life.
This blog will serve as a space of creativity and inspiration, and a way to document my thoughts as I navigate through my life.
-Lauren, free-spirited girl