More than a Label

I started my Instagram account nearly 5 years ago. You all have seen the beginning of my weight loss journey (scroll back a long time if you wish), the day I lost 100 pounds, giving my life to Christ, the running of 2 half marathons, travels, family and for the past 3.5 years; living a vegan lifestyle. I look back on the past 3.5 years and am in awe of the ways the Lord has redeemed my life.

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I write this with much hesitation, fear and deep consideration for those whom may be reading. My fear is driven from others who have received much hate and ridicule. I am writing this because I cherish all of you as my friends, family, followers and readers.

I am choosing to walk in the life of freedom and rid the label that has identified me for nearly 4 years. I am no longer going to feel ashamed or guilty for living a life that I have chosen. I have listened to my body, I have reconsidered my goals for my life and from the words of Jordan Younger, “it’s time to advocate a lifestyle that doesn’t involve restriction, labeling or putting ourselves into a box.” My identity is no longer about being a “vegan” but rather being a Child of God.

You are defined by God and God alone. He identifies you as his own (2 Corinthians 1:22)

In Galatians, Paul says: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1) Freedom is the will of God for all who believe in him. Christ died, rose and sent his Spirit for our uncompromising and unrelenting freedom. We enjoy this freedom when we depend on the grace of Christ. “To be fully free, we must have the desire, the ability, and the opportunity to do what will make us happy forever,” John Piper explains. “Only Jesus, the Son of God who died and rose for us, can make [full freedom] possible” In Christ, I have been set free from my sin and guilt and have gained the freedom to live my life honoring him through such decisions.

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I chose the vegan lifestyle my freshman year of college out of curiosity and a newly developed outlook for my health and animals. I had recently lost 100 pounds but was still fighting an inner need for control of my life. While suffering from an eating disorder, restricting all animal products allowed me the control I so desired.

Veganism is a lifestyle that works for some and I know of many who live it passionately. For me however, I no longer consider myself vegan.

I am extremely passionate about eating ethically and eating whole, plant-based foods. I have a degree in nutrition, study it regularly and am perusing a career as a dietitian, so I am not ignorant to the functions of the body when animal products are incorporated into the diet. Today, 95% of my diet continues to be plant based as I simply enjoy preparing and eating such meals, I have though incorporated foods such as salmon.

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Regarding my Instagram, I wrestled with the thought of starting a new account. I began my account almost 5 years ago, giving you all a small glimpse of my journey of up’s and down’s, decision’s, new beginning’s and the ending of different chapter’s, veganism being one of them. I have accepted that I will loose followers and may receive negative comments, but there’s only one person who’s judgment I consider.

I pray that by sharing, I can experience the freedom I feel behind the screen of social media and that others can do the same. I am Amber, a woman pursing freedom, a life without labels and one devoted to Christ.

In him,

Amber

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