As I approach my 50th year on this planet, I have taken inventory of my life and my well-being. It has always been hard for me to not worry about things I cannot control. I worry about everything. Things I can and cannot control. I battle depression and the everyday rigors of life. I have also battled weight issues my whole life.
As a kid, my Mom used to take me shopping for school clothes and, inevitably, we would end up in the Husky (nice way of saying fat) section at the local department store. Luckily, in high school, I played football, thus I had a few months of forced exercise and activity. I remember being around 170 pounds back then, which is a weight I would love to revisit. Unfortunately, at 49, high school football is not an option.
I mentioned depression earlier. I am an emotional eater, thus I find my way to the kitchen and refrigerator far more than I should. Joy … eat. Sadness … eat. Bored … eat. Well, anyone that knows me knows I have pretty much grown up as a “meat-a-tarian”. When I pass a McDonald’s and see the numbers on their signs that say “billions and billions” served, I often thought at least one of those billions was consumed by me over the years.
I have not aged well. I tip the scales currently at 262 pounds. Nearly 100 pounds above my goal weight. Those of you that read my blog know that last year I posted a blog about losing 90 by the time I am 50. Well, that year and a half has now dwindled down to a year. I would still love to achieve this goal, but it is going to be harder than hell.
I have searched and searched for ways to lose weight. I am hoping to be pushing into a new phase in my life. I am hoping to become a vegetarian. In the past, there is NO WAY I would ever even consider this move. My diet consists of burgers, pizza, hot dogs, etc. How in the hell am I going to live without those things? Over the years, I have become close with Papa John, Chef Boyardee, and of course, Ronald McDonald. How can I turn my back on these friends that I have made through the years? Easily … look what they have done to me.
Friends aren’t supposed to make you feel like crap, zapping your energy and endangering your health. Friends aren’t supposed to cause pain in your joints, put you on blood pressure medicine, and cause you embarrassment of being the fat guy. With friends like those, who needs enemies, right? Sorry, old “friends”, it is time for me to take care of my real friends … animals.
I am not going to lie. I still love meat, but over the years, I have thought more and more about it. Eating meat is like going to a casino and putting your money into a slot machine. Once the money is in, you don’t see it again. They machine spits out a piece of paper showing how much money you have left. So, in essence, each time you play and lose, you aren’t losing “money”, it’s just a piece of paper. To me, eating meat is kind of the same. Eating chicken nuggets, burgers, hot dogs, etc. are eating things that come out of a box, bag, frier, etc. Where do the animals come in?
Even though you don’t see the process in which this food is made, you know somewhere, at the front end, an animal was scared and put in less than ideal conditions before it’s life was ended prematurely so I could eat it. I have never watched any videos of killing floors, etc. at food processing plants. I don’t plan to. I don’t need to see that to know what I have been doing is hypocrytical.
Over the years, I have evolved into an animal lover. If I happen to run over a squirrell or rabbit or something on the way to work, it truly ruins my day. I used to like to fish, but even that seems cruel to me now. It just doesn’t seem right for me to continue eating meat that comes from the animals that I hold so dear.
Still, it’s not going to be easy to break a 49-year-old habit. I will start slowly. I also have to realize that there are still fat vegetarians. I can’t quit eating meat and replace that with donuts, M&Ms, and bread out the wazoo.
At first, it will be hard, but I hope it will get easier. Meatless Mondays will turn into no-meat Fridays, etc. Another thing I have to kick is the whole sugar thing, which I believe I have read is just about as addictive as cocaine. Gonna be a fun summer.
If anyone has any suggestions or advice on the vegetarian path, please let me know.