As I promised myself, after six long months of being a vegetarian, this past Sunday was the day I chose to end it all. That’s right, after half a year of not eating meat, I returned to being a “normal” person once more. Honestly, being a vegetarian was never something I really planned on doing and it’s not really the kind of thing I could ever imagine myself being. But I surprised myself and my friends and family as I changed my life (or at least my diet) so drastically for half a year. Do I think I could have done it longer? Probably, and if it was not for the traveling I’ll be doing in less than a month (to Spain) I may have continued on the vegetarian path. But six months seemed like a long enough time frame for my food journey and I’m glad I did it.
Also, for anyone curious, I did not get terribly sick after eating meat. The more I thought about it, the more I didn’t really think I would get sick, so I’m glad it wasn’t a shock to the system. I had a few people tell me however, to wait a day to let my body decide how to react to this new substance it was ingesting. Sure enough, a whole 20 hours after first eating meat, I did get a stomach ache, but it wasn’t serious and not a big deal.
So what did I gain from this experience? First of all, the main reason I embarked on this diet was to lose weight. Being a vegetarian proved success. Along with exercise I was able to lose somewhere between 15 and 20 pounds. I suppose this isn’t that much for half a year, but it’s not too shabby either. With bringing meat back into my diet, I’ll need to figure out how to keep from gaining the weight back.
Also, I can say that now that I’m returning to the omnivore’s diet, the way I now think about food has changed. I used to not treat vegetarian options the same as the more carnivorous options. But after relying on vegetarian food for so long, I have come to see it in a different light. There is no reason why vegetarian food should be just for vegetarians. I know that this might not come as a surprise to some of you, but it’s also easier thought of than actually executed.
With this being said, I’m not really sure how I’m going to eat now. Sure, I had my fair share of meat products on Sunday which was pretty tasty and exciting, but I haven’t eaten meat since. Part of me is in no hurry to stuff myself with meat, but on the other hand, I would like to re-orient my body with the stuff so that I don’t get a stomach ache every time I eat meat.
I think I’ve confused my brain and my stomach now. I’ve grown so accustomed to not thinking about eating meat, that it’s like I need to re-introduce myself to meat: what to eat, how to prepare it, the greater variety that is available to me now. Don’t get me wrong though, I do love me some meat. But just because I can eat meat now, doesn’t necessarily mean I will; which I think is the biggest difference in how I will see food now. Sure, I don’t have to be limited in my diet, but why go crazy and be a carnivore and go all out? I think my mind has been partly brain-washed into thinking that meat isn’t really that important. And sure, it may not be, but that’s not the point of all this.
Maybe what I just need is a(nother) delicious serving of chicken wings to bring me back to reality…