This week marks my second month as a vegetarian. There, I said it: vegetarian.
I have been hesitant to use that word. Primarily, it’s due to the fact that it hasn’t been all that long. However, the other is, living in the Midwest, not eating meat is considered almost sacrilegious. By not eating meat, you are one of “those people”. But, the biggest obstacle to me claiming this has been the fact that, right now, I don’t look a whole lot different. People naturally assume that all vegetarians all rail-thin and a big guy who doesn’t eat meat just doesn’t compute.
To those folks, I invoke my two favorite words: So what?
So what if you don’t understand my change in habits? So what if I don’t fit your picture (yet) of what a vegetarian looks like? It’s a choice I am making to live healthier.
No, I am not lashing out at folks — this is the mental exercise I go through to stay focused on why I am doing this.
I had to do this just yesterday. One of my co-workers, bless her heart, gave me the strangest look when she found out that I had brought a bag of steamed vegetables, a Boca Chik’n patty and some fruit for lunch. Today, she was joking with me, saying she was surprised that I was still standing after eating “rabbit food” for lunch.
However, I suspect that I have been deriving more nutrients from the “rabbit food” I have been eating than from the fried and starch-filled diet I’d been consuming. You know, the stuff you order by talking into the clown face?
I’m a vegetarian, with all the weird looks and questions that come with it. I figure that, if I am going to be categorized, at least let it be related to something healthy.