7 years ago I made the decision to become a vegetarian. It was an innocent decision that lasted for a few years that way.
Then it slowly started to become my excuse.
My excuse to not have to eat much.
My excuse I could use when I wanted to skip a meal. “Oh, there’s nothing here I can eat“
My excuse to eat as little as possible.
Vegetarianism can be healthy. For me, it wasn’t about a lifestyle change or better eating habits- it was a way to hide the fact that I hated my body. It was the excuse that people would believe when I wouldn’t eat.
Vegetarianism is also a diet. A diet that you can use to constrict food. It limits the amount of food options, and most the time it even completely eliminates any food options depending on where you are.
It also creates a sense of control. You are able to control something. Even something as simple as food, it’s control.
For me, vegetarianism was a way to restrict my food options, and have some control over my life when my heart was getting worse. Meat slowly became a fear food.
Over the past few months I’ve been taking a lot of medications for my heart condition that happens to make me not have an appetite. So that doesn’t help either- but that I have no control over. This- I can control.
When I’d have a bad day with my heart, skipping a meal was my release. It was how I’d handle the anger I had towards God for giving me this. It was how I handled the insecurities I had about my weight and my body. It was how I’d handle the depression. It was how I’d handle life.
A few months ago I decided I wanted to stop this unhealthy eating habit, or whatever you want to call it. If I had to deal with my body already failing, I didn’t want to be the reason it was failing even more. I decided that I was going to start eating meat again, stop using vegetarianism as a cover up for eating as little as possible, and get healthy.
That idea lasted a few days and I literally couldn’t bring myself to end it. So I didn’t.
Here I am, months later, into my 7th year of this, and I’m ready.
With my health getting worse, I’ve decided that I need to do this. It isn’t easy. Probably going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I want to get to the healthy version of me.
I want to be happy, and healthy, and that’s what I am working to become.
I post this to say that I’m not perfect. I make mistakes and this was one of the biggest ones I’ve ever made. I truly believe this vegetarian lifestyle can be healthy, and who knows, I might decide to stay one and turn it into a healthy one. All I know is that I’m finally taking this into my own hands. Whether or not I eat meat isn’t a big deal honestly. The important thing is that I live a healthy lifestyle.
I don’t know what I’m going to do in terms of this. I’m figuring it out along the way. The ache has just been getting stronger and stronger and I know it’s time to surrender it all.
I’ve been scared of what people will think when they know about this. Which is why I haven’t opened up much. But I know no matter what I choose, I am strong enough to handle this. Whether on my own, or with support, because my God is with me every step of the way.
I’ve struggled for years with not being enough. I am learning that I am.
Size doesn’t define me.
A measuring tape doesn’t mean anything.
Food shouldn’t control me.
I am strong enough to get through this. My goal isn’t to end this vegetarian lifestyle. It’s to become healthy again, vegetarian or not. I’m tired of labels. I don’t want to be labeled by the foods I choose to eat. If I decide to stay a vegetarian, I don’t want the label to define me. If I decide to eat meat, I don’t want to be defined by that either.
I want to be labeled as healthy.