I am as stubborn as they come. I know it, you know it, so I'm putting all my cards on the table. Really, I prefer to say I stick to my guns. Other people call it hard-headed. Either way--and for better or worse--I just don't back down. If I believe something to be true or right, I will fight to the death to defend it. Well, maybe that's a little dramatic, but I will at least argue with you until you go away. It's just what I do. #sorrynotsorry
Being stubborn definitely presents some challenges, and the real problem comes when I've really invested in believing or defending something and then change my mind. Do I (*gasp*) admit that I might have been wrong? (Actually, maybe I was just mistaken because surely I wasn't WRONG. No. Never that.) Do I maintain my position just for the sake of standing my ground? Or maybe I should hold on to that belief simply because it's what I know and what's comfortable.
Honestly, far too often, I choose one of the latter two options. Even if it's an insignificant issue or simply a matter of opinion when there's no right or wrong, changing my mind on something I've committed to--especially publicly--feels like quitting. I guess it is in a way, but it's not always a bad thing, I've learned. In fact, when you're doing what's right for you, quitting can sometimes be the best move.
All of that brings me to this. I've changed my mind about something (first step is admission, right?). It really took me a while to accept it, but I finally decided that it's time to admit that I've had a change of heart and to move forward doing what's right for me. So yeah. Here we go.
Y'all, I've changed my mind about meat. I'm quitting vegetarianism.
This is the part where you roll your eyes and say, "That's it?" But really, this has been a big decision that I've been thinking about for months. Even after reaching a point where I knew it would be the best thing for me, I couldn't wrap my mind around quitting. Or admitting that this thing that I believed was going to be great for me just hadn't been. Might I have been...wrong? Even worse, what about the people who told that being a vegetarian wouldn't last? To be fair, I usually agreed that I'd turn back to meat eventually, but do I really have to admit that THEY were RIGHT? Ugh. It's so hard.
Since becoming a vegetarian several years ago, I've had to answer lots of questions about why. I always gave three reasons: health, budget, and ethics. Health was always at the top of that list. I really thought eliminating meat would be a means to improving my diet, thus improving my overall health and helping me to lose weight. There are tons of success stories out there, so it seemed promising. However, I haven't had those same results. I haven't seen significant improvement in any health markers, and I have actually found it harder to lose weight since cutting meat from my diet.
I want to be clear this is not an indictment of a vegetarian diet by any means. Yes, you can absolutely get enough protein with vegetarian diet! The issue is that MY vegetarian diet wasn't working for me. It wasn't helping me reach the goals I set out when I started. I realize that I'm part of the problem when it comes to my lack of success with being vegetarian. I don't like a number of vegetarian protein sources or most "meat substitutes," and I can't sustain a diet filled with foods I don't like or with only a handful of options I do like. Maybe can't isn't the right word, but I know I won't. (See paragraph 1 re: stubbornness.) So for me, the solution is adding meat back into my diet so that I can eat a larger variety of foods to maintain the nutritional balance that helps me be most successful.
I know simply eating meat again will not be a magic pill. I'll still need to focus on balance and making healthy choices. I'll need to be better about hauling my rear end to the gym. I am committed to doing that, and part of the reason I'm sharing this publicly is so that I'll stick to it. I don't want to be proven wrong again. Wrong is not my comfort zone.
But wait! What about the environment? The animals? Well, to be honest, simply not eating meat at all was the "easy" way out of these moral dilemmas. I still have a lot of research to do so I can figure out what being a more mindful omnivore will look like for me. (That might be the hippy-est sentence I've ever written.) I still want to minimize my negative effect on the environment. I still cringe when I think about factory farming. At the end of the day, though, my health was my top priority going into vegetarianism, so I'm okay with it being a primary reason for me walking away from it. I want to live a healthier life, and the biggest impact I can make on my health is to lose weight. If I can't do it without meat, I owe it to myself to at least try something different.
If this doesn't work for me, I'll go back to the drawing board. One way or the other, I'll get it right. But right now, I'm about to get right with some Super Bowl food, and for the first time in a long time I won't be relegated to the veggie tray. Praise Jesus and pass the wings!