April 18, 2010

The lightbulb went off

It was a few months ago when I was reading one of the local dailies and came across an article about food myths. I was intrigued. 1) Because I like to be healthy; and 2) My health pretty much has been up and down for the last 2-3 years, mostly down. I read ‘Vegetarians are healthier: False’. I thought: ‘Yeah, whatever!’. But as I continued to read the small little blurb about some people’s bodies just can’t handle it and cannot get what it needs from a plant-based diet, it dawned on me: this may be my problem.

You see, since turning thirty a number of years ago my body started rebelling. I mean, the teenage years. While in my twenties I became lactose intolerant, followed by a wheat intolerance years later. But I learned to deal with it. Then I turned 30. My joints began hurting, my hip began causing me problems, then my shoulder, and my energy plummeted along with my mood. This past winter I finally came to the realization that my body is genetically jinxed . Don’t worry, I’m not exaggerating; well, maybe I am just a bit. I know there are people out there far worse off than me, and thinking about them helps me get out of my funk. But some days, you can’t help but think: ‘What the hell is going on?!?’.

So I began my quest. My life as a vegetarian was changing, or adapting, depending on how you want to look at it. I was taking the leap, there was no going back. I had entered the forbidden zone. Are you ready for it? I have become a closet carnivore. Yes, I have added meat to my diet. Now I’m sure vegetarians reading this are gasping and possibly disgusted, while meat-eaters are pumping their fist with a ‘YES!!’. However, it may not be permanent. I finally confessed yesterday to a friend and her husband that ‘have been experimenting with meat’. Her husband snickered a bit as it sounded like something from a confessional reality TV show; like someone’s teen coming home and telling mom and dad that they’re experimenting with pot, or a snooty friend telling you they’re experimenting with different liquors for their martinis. I must admit, it feels good to get it out. For a month or two now I’ve felt like a big fat liar. I explained to my husband that I felt like I was leading a double life. When we were with people we knew, I didn’t dare touch the meat. I knew questions would follow as would some kind of lecture. You know the one that all vegetarians have heard: ‘Humans were built to eat meat’ or ‘God wouldn’t have given us animals if he didn’t want us to eat them’ and the B.S that usually follows. I’ve spent 15 years hearing this garbage and didn’t really want deal with it, so it became my dirty little secret.

We’ll see what happens. We’ll see how my body does. We’ll see how far out of the closet I come.


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