A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Vegetarian Gaffe

Yesterday at a county fair my friends and I encountered one of those food trucks you might see featured on Food TV, specializing in a good deal more than just burgers and fries.  A bit overpriced, but since the opportunity presented itself, we decided to sample their pork parfait (barbeque pork topped with collard greens, mashed potatoes, cheese, and Applewood smoked bacon as garnish) and buffalo chicken nachos (thick, hand cut and freshly fried tortilla chips coated in shredded chicken, buffalo sauce, blue and nacho cheese, celery salt, cilantro).  As you can guess – the food was worth the indulgence.  And splitting things between friends is definitely the way to enjoy such treats without them driving my calorie count for the day too far over the line.

As we were in line debating what to order and my friend asked me what I wanted, my response was, “anything on the menu but the vegetarian selection.  I see no reason to eat at a food truck like this if you’re not going to have the pork.”

At which point the vegetarian standing in line in front of me turned and (chuckling) said that she was the vegetarian ordering that one menu item.

Embarrassing, yes – but she was very nice and laughed it off, as did my friend and I.

It occurred to me that to a casual observer, this would probably look like a moment to indulge in judging the meat eater (me) for their poor lifestyle choices.  The vegetarian I was speaking to was tiny, slim and fit, and standing next to her I’m sure I looked… more than a bit well marbled.  Seventy three pounds down I’m still no lightweight in size, I’ve got some road left to travel yet.

I learned a great phrase from a fellow weight-loss blogger last week: “Your body, your science experiment.”  It really resonated with me because for the past five years that’s exactly what I’ve been doing: trying out different experiments on myself to try and figure out what combination of factors (both physical and with regards to what I could live with mentally) might result in my desired goal of weight loss.

One of the things I tried and failed at rather miserably, was being a vegetarian.  Although this is a tactic that works very well for some, it was not the right choice for me.  As a vegetarian I was hungry constantly, and unable to get the lean animal proteins that satisfied hunger and kept me feeling full for a long time, I was constantly turning to my favorite carbohydrate instead: bread.

I’m not gluten free either, but bread and pasta are substances I do measure carefully and limit due to their high caloric value.  Without meat, I ate far too many flour based foods and went relentlessly over my calorie goals.  The times when I was trying to eat vegetarian were invariably the times when I would wind up binging on entire sleeves of crackers at once.  And a sleeve of saltines contains almost 1,000 calories in one go.

With meat in my diet, I binge less, have more energy, and am more satisfied for longer periods of time.  Vegetarianism is a fantastic choice for some, but while seeking a way of eating that can sustain me for a lifetime at my desired health level, it is not the right choice for me.  One more self-science experiment I tried and checked off the list on my way to finding the road I was looking for.

The food truck in question - tasty!

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