A Vegetarian Dilemma

on 20 June 2011

I've been a vegetarian for 13 years.  I got sick and went to doctors and they couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, so I started to eliminate things from my diet.  I got down to what was essentially a vegan diet, and that's the point where things normalized.  But I was STARVING all the time.  So I gradually added in dairy and occasional eggs. 

But that didn't fix all the problems.  My guts were still...inconsistent.  Unpredictable.  I was still having good days and bad days.  But I didn't know what was wrong and I was now out of health insurance.  So I just accepted that it was what it was and left it alone.  For 13 years.

When I was pregnant with the Boy, I craved meat.  And not normal cravings, intense, insatiable cravings.  I didn't give in to them, I was too scared of being sick again.  So I did the best I could with beans and soy and cheese and eggs.  And nothing really changed.

And then this year...my weight has been...off...since the Boy was born.  It took a long time to bounce back from the pregnancy and delivery and nursing, and then it took a looooooong time to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight which was still MORE than I normally weigh.  I spent an inordinate amount of time tweaking my diet and workouts, trying to get my body to loosen it's grip.  And so I switched to protein at some point in every meal, thinking that I was eating too many carbohydrates and perhaps that was what was messing with my weight.  So I switched to soy protein at breakfast, beans, nuts and nut butters throughout the day and usually some soy protein in the evening.  I feel like my blood sugar evened out and I definitely consumed less sugar through the day, but I didn't see a noticeable difference in my weight.

And then...well, I was just so tired all the time, run down, drained and depleted, just not great in general.  So, come the Spring, I started to think about the last 13 years as a vegetarian, and really ponder a return to meat.  I vacillated, I waffled, I reached new heights of indecision.  One day I would be absolutely determined that I was going back to meat, and the next day I would think...no...not yet.  So, while I vacillated and waffled, I incorporated more fish into my diet and hoped that would fix it.

I've been feeling worse in the past couple of weeks, and craving a wide variety of meats.  So on Father's Day, Chris carved me up 2 ounces of red meat and let me just say, it was delicious.   Paired with a giant serving of salad and a medium serving of potatoes, it was a perfect dinner.  And for the next 4 hours, I wasn't hungry, and for the first time in WEEKS, I wasn't completely exhausted.  And that's saying something.

Here's the thing.  I believe everyone should choose what works for them.  I believe that EVERYONE needs to eat more fruits and veg than they probably do.  I believe in moderation in ALL things, including how and what they eat.  I don't want to have a grand debate on the virtues of vegetarianism.  Because I believe people should choose to do what works for them. 

For the time being, I'm going back to an omnivorous diet.  I think it's what my body and my life needs right now. 


The Mom said...

So tummy is still happy 12 hours out?? Thanks for yesterday it was a lot of fun!!!

Jeff Van D said...

I'm glad you found something that seems to be working. Good luck! :)

Sibley Saga .... said...

I say eliminating what sounds like feeling 'dreadfully anemic' sounds like a good idea. I am always impressed with how self aware you are with whats going on with your body. You do what your body needs right now and be happy dear friend. And three cheers to feeling good again!

Brett said...

That was one of the most frustrating things about that crazy diet I did... I had no energy and was totally grumpy. (For slightly different reasons...) I think our bodies really do need a variety of foods to operate at their optimum level. I hope omnivorism works well for you!!

And thanks again for the pick-me-up tonight. I'm up late trying to get some things taken care of. Yeah!