Home » Uncategorized » Vegetarian? Vegan? What the hell am I?

Vegetarian? Vegan? What the hell am I?

So, growing up, our family meals were definitely “meat, 1 starch side, 1 veggie side” and often bread to boot.  There were no salads.

In college, my food was primarily the kind I got for free from my various crappy jobs (subway, etc) or boxed mac-n-cheese or instant mashed potatoes, with some ramen noodles thrown in for good measure.  Hey, it’s what I could afford.

As a grown up, living on my own, my food tended to be mostly sandwiches, soup, a can of green beans here or there, and the occasional meat, mainly because I never could cook meat all that well.  I ate out a lot, which almost always included a meat, a bread, some kind of veg, you know, typical restaurant food.

I’ve never been a big breakfast person, so most of the time, I had no breakfast, although interestingly enough, brunch is my favorite meal, so a lot of weekend brunches were had instead of breakfast or lunch.

I’m a big girl.  How I’ve lived all these years on only 2 meals a day and still managed to gain significant weight on an annual basis, one will never know.  Although I do know that there are people who DO understand how that works.. metabolism..blah blah… it hardly seems to make sense to me that someone as big as me can be this big eating twice a day.  Even if my dinners were huge, which occasionally they were, but mostly were not, it doens’t really compute in my simple little brain.

All that is prep.

When my husband and I moved in together, eating out for so many meals stopped being affordable or even desirable.  That left us cooking.  He would pretty much like to eat meat with a side of meat and maybe a potato or corn for every meal, so my food intake became a lot… meatier.  He does most of the cooking, so he decided what we ate.  We ate what he liked.  He’s a pretty picky eater, so the menu was limited, to say the least, but I am not complaining.  He who cooks, decides.  She who eats what is given her, keeps her mouth shut.  Know what I mean?

In the 6 years we’ve been together, I’ve gained a lot of weight.  A LOT.  Lord knows why, exactly, but mostly I suspect it’s because in addition to meals that are a mimimum of half meat every night, my husband also has a huge (and I do mean huge) sweet tooth and he’d have dessert with every meal if he could.  Consequently, the incidences of cake/pie/ice cream/cookie after dinner skyrocketed for me.  For him, it remained pretty normal.  I have no idea how he’s not jumbo.  Based on how he eats, the quantities and types of food, he should’ve been pretty damn big when we met. He wasn’t, though.  He has gained a few pounds since we’ve been together but nowhere near what I have.  He still looks good and can carry that little bit of belly he’s got.

I am not a machine.  If you put pie in front of me, I’m probably going to eat it.  I’m sure anyone looking from the outside would think I’m the one driving the food bus in our house.  I mean, I look like a big eater, if you know what I mean, but truth is, my 6’4″, 250lb husband is driving it.  And driving it hard.   We eat nothing that he doesn’t like, and eat a lot of what he does like, which is all bad for you.  And I don’t think he really wants me to lose a bunch of weight.  He’s comfortable with me where I am.  You can speculate amongst yourselves why that might be.  I am totally trustworthy, mind you.  I’d end the relationship before I’d cheat, and he knows it, but we all know that our motivations are not entirely rational.  That said, he’d never stand in my way if I were dead set on something, but it’s easier to just go along.  It’s a LOT easier.  It is sort of like the difference between driving a car or pushing a car up hill on flat tires.

I’ve pretty much begged over the years that we try to be healthier.  I’ve bought supplements, made suggestions, injected some healthy stuff now and again, but nothing sticks.  There is no changing this man on what he wants to eat.  Unfortunately, going along with the hubby’s eating plan has waged total war on my health.  I have so many damn health problems it’s not even funny.  None of it is officially diagnosed, mind you, as there has been a real absence of health care benefits in our lives together.  The lack of diagnosis, however, does not equal a lack of issues.

I have a weird problem with breaking out into short-lived rashes.  A dog will accidentally scratch me and I’ll break out into a rash in that area for an hour, then it goes away.  I itch a lot.  If I scratch my back, my back itches even more and I break out in a rash (for an hour).  It affects my arms, my legs, my back, my butt.  It’s so weird and so annoying.  Sometimes my clothes shifting around on my body will cause an outbreak or just brushing up against something.

I have knee problems and feet problems. (Understandable)

I have back problems. (Also understandable)

I have severe fatigue.  Debilitating lack of energy and feeling groggy and worn out when I wake up after a full night of sleep.  It’s so bad that some mornings I want to cry, I feel so badly.

Intestinal troubles.  Indigestion.  Already lost my gallbladder a while back, so it’s not that.

Bad skin. (compared to before)

Bad hair. (compared to before)

Bad teeth. (compared to before)

Bad gas. (seriously.  terrible.)

Bad thyroid.

Eyeball problems (pressure, frequent cornea issues)

Really bad gynecological problems (no period for long spans of time, BAD cramps, excess bleeding)

Fairly frequent boils in discreet areas. (WTF?  I thought boils were a medieval times sort of problem.  like bed bugs.  Oh, those are back in vogue, too?)

Recently plagued with the uber-embarassing candida in a weird place. (yay!  my first fat-person-only problem)

Insulin resistance, possibly blossomed to full on diabetes, but it’s not been diagnosed, so who nows?

I really do not want to go on with this list.  It’s depressing. At any rate, it’s not a surprise that I don’t feel well most of the time, right?

So after reading the Wheat stuff I read, I thought I’d try that.  It was easy for the two weeks I did it, but I didn’t maintain it.  One moment of desperation and with wheat so readily available everywhere… that was that.

Then I decided to research healthier recipes.. more vegan, vegetarian type stuff.. as part of my exploration.  I tried a few things – they were good.  I watched a couple of documentaries about it.  Then it hit me..why not get rid of meat?  Of all the things that changed the most when my husband and I moved in together – the addition of so much meat was the biggest change.

So four weeks ago, I gave up 95% of all “flesh”.  I have eaten fish a handful of times since then, but have had no red meat, no poultry, and no pork in that time.   And it’s been GREAT not bad!

I am struggling a little to know what to eat all the time and also with feeling satisfied after eating.  I suspect a large part of it is just figuring out what I like and what to eat and how much to eat of it.  Also, I do know that I have to keep prepared food around at all times.  When I’m liable to eat crap that I shouldn’t is when there’s nothing easily available and I’m starving, which happens a lot.  I run around for work a LOT.  I never know where I’ll be on a given day and my meals are not at reliable times.  Hell, some days I don’t eat until 7pm.  That’s a sad fact.

As a bonus, I do think that I’ve lost a couple of pounds, but since we don’t have a scale (I wouldn’t step on it if we did, mind you), I have no real way to verify it other than a couple of articles of clothing feel looser and more comfy.

A part of me thinks that my particular set of health issues – insulin resistance and pokey thyroid – means that any sort of effects of food tend to be amplified in me.  As sluggish as my system is, things are bound to have a longer-lasting impact.  It’s just a theory, though, because no doctor would even have the time to talk about it with me, much less explain it.

Last thing, I’m starting a food journal.  I don’t know why other than I realize that I have no idea what I eat most of the time and also so I can guage the impact of having prepared foods around all the time.  How much better do I really eat when it’s already cooked and just waiting to be warmed up?



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