THE pepper EXPRESS: I Used To Be A Vegetarian

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I Used To Be A Vegetarian

About four years ago I read a book called: Skinny Bitch. Which gave me a horrible visual of what happens to pigs when they are turned into bacon. I cried. I still hold that vision in my head and sometimes it haunts me. There was a point during my reign of being a vegetarian where I became selfish and was only a vegetarian because it was healthier. And then I found things that were delicious (like oreos) that claimed to be vegetarian however they were not healthy. My husband and I had a great relationship with our food and our kids only ate like a vegetarian when they would eat meals at our house. There was a turning point during my second trimester of being pregnant when I wanted a pastrami sandwich so bad. That I was having vivid dreams of sneaking it and just devouring that sandwich in seconds. The dreams continued and I craved meat like a mad woman. I started thinking: is my body deprived of something? Should I be eating meat for the sake of my unborn child? You could argue both ways… I know because I have debated this scenario. I blame my best friend for my relapse. (Yes You) we went to Fiori's Butcher Shoppe in Lodi, and I had to have it. The pastrami sandwich is nostalgic for me because I would buy this specific sandwich when I was in high school… so the decision was a true gut feeling. I crunched into that delicious dutch crunch with full force and ate the entire thing plus a few dill pickles and a ginger ale. This was only the beginning. I started to sneak ham and turkey during the holidays. My lunch time was based on planning my next meal, whether it was steak at chipotle or a BLT at our favorite coffee shop. I was officially cheating on being a vegetarian. And the worst part is I was keeping it from my husband. I felt ashamed. I didn't want him to know that I failed at being a vegetarian. That I was sneaking meat on my lunch breaks. All my friends were involve, even my step daughter knew what was going on. Every night for dinner I would continue my vegetarian facade and eat what my husband had prepared… eggplant parmesan, tofu steaks, and even my favorite indian dish Korma Masala.

I really thought that my cravings would stop once I had my baby. But then the breastfeeding… of course I have to blame it on the breast feeding. Why would I stop eating meat, I'm breast feeding for god sake. I should give my baby all the nutrition that is possible. And worst of all I still hadn't told my husband. Once I went back to work I started to binge. We would go out to lunch at Dickey’s BBQ and I would get two meats. My friends would invite me over to have dinner at their houses just so I could eat meat. It was a joke. I was in denial and afraid to tell my husband. Not that he was going to be mad at me, but I had felt like I had failed him. I was the one who asked to be the vegetarian. I read the horrible book. I watched the documentaries and wanted the vegetarian lifestyle.

One morning I woke up with a sharp pain in my side. Just below the rib cage and a little above my right hip. I thought nothing of it and continued with my day. After my morning coffee the pain progressed and was severe. I called my husband and we started to drive to the emergency room. Reading up on webMD I was sure I had appendicitis! I was going to die. On our drive to the hospital I was in sheer panic mode. And with terror in my voice i said to my husband: “ I have a confession.” While sobbing I confessed “I’ve been eating MEAT!!” I started to ugly cry and it was bad. His response was generic “How long has this been going on?” As he laughed at my tear stained face. It was so cliche in that moment when he laughed at me… I knew everything was ok. Yes I had kept a secret from my husband for seven months. But he thought it was hilarious. Once I was examined by my doctor I was diagnosed with an inflamed gallbladder. If I didn't change my eating habits the Cholecystitis would persist and only the worst could happen. Did I give up meat… HELL NO! I just started eating more healthy. I also confided in other family members and told them that I ate meat and all that shameful weight that was on my shoulders is off. I don't feel guilty about eating meat anymore. And our family dinners are still vegetarian to promote a healthy lifestyle. But I still occasionally indulge in a BLT and I am so happy to eat grandma's delicious enchiladas once again. This has been a lessoned learned, I am just content that I can eat in harmony :)

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