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Friday, August 24, 2012

A Rant About Vegetarianism

Can I just get something off my chest? Thanks.

It really bothers me when people assume the reason I lost weight was because I became a vegetarian. Yes, vegetarianism cut-out a lot of unhealthy foods from my diet, like Big Macs and deep-fried chicken tenders, but there are still a lot of unhealthy foods that don't include meat. Things like chips, fettucini alfredo, and Nutella are all fine in moderation, but when you have no control over your portions and eat junk until your stomach is about to regurgitate, it doesn't matter if you're a vegan or a carnivore, you will not lose weight.

Yes, becoming a vegetarian helped open my eyes to healthier options, but it didn't stop me from eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's in one sitting. There has to be a moment in your life, a turning point, when you look yourself in the mirror and say, "I need to get healthy," and then you need to focus on doing just that.

I thought I had that moment many times in my life. I can't tell you how many times I started a "new" diet throughout my short lifetime. But there was a moment, back in November of 2011, that changed my life forever.

I was sitting in my college dorm room with my roommate and it was around 11:30, 12 at night. We were watching SNL and talking about food, when my roommate looked at me and said, "Ya know what I could go for right now? Ice-cream." I agreed, having ice-cream always sounded like a good idea to me, it was my favorite food. After gushing about all the delicious ice-cream we could be eating, I looked at my roommate with this crazy grin on my face and asked, "Wanna go to Quick Chek?" And with that, we were off, no hesitation necessary.

Because I was obviously thinking about my health that night (ha-ha), I opted for Ben and Jerry's Half Baked FroYo. I'll spare you the gory details of how I devoured the entire pint like I was going to the electric chair, but like a drug addict, I forced myself to finish the entire pint, even when I started to feel full. Mind you, there are four servings in a pint of ice-cream. Immediately after, I went to bed. With an entire pint of frozen yogurt sloshing around in my stomach.

The next morning I felt like I had been hit by an eighteen-wheeler. I looked in the mirror and I hated who I saw staring back at me. This was not the person I wanted to be, I didn't even know her. That was the moment I knew I needed to change. For good.

Looking back, I don't regret that night because it showed me that I had hit rock bottom. Climbing out of that hole I had dug for myself over the years was no easy task, but it was definitely worth it. I learned so much about myself, fitness, and nutrition throughout the journey, and today, I can proudly say that that sad girl who glared back at me with tears in her eyes is no longer lurking behind my mirrors.

The reason for this long rant is to remind everyone that trying a new fad diet, cutting out carbs, or becoming a vegetarian will not solve your weight loss problems. Moderation, portion control, and exercise will, and if you don't want to put in the effort to get to your goal, then you haven't reached rock bottom. It's not about going on a quick-fix diet. It's about changing your life forever, and you need to be ready to take on that task.

So if weight loss, or getting healthy is something that you've struggled with, I ask you to look at yourself in the mirror, right now, and ask yourself if that person is the who you want to live with for the rest of your life. If not, then it may be time for you to re-evaluate your lifestyle. I can tell you from experience, it will be the greatest thing you ever do for yourself.

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