When I was a vegetarian, I was admired for a lot of reasons. I was admired for my strength to suddenly give up meat. I was admired for my keen desire to save animals. But most of all, I was admired because I was supposedly doing something good for myself and for my health. At least people thought so. And so did I.
When my dear uncle had passed away 9 years ago, his older brother, my dad, decided to turn his life around. He gave up smoking. He started exercising. And he finally became determined to lower his cholesterol. So, he made the choice to become a vegetarian. For him, becoming a vegetarian meant no more eating at fast food places (because of their almost non-existent vegetarian options) and eating more of fruits and vegetables in the comfort of his home.
But I knew that becoming a vegetarian would be very difficult for my dad. I mean, it can’t be easy to give up meat after 50 years. So you know what I did? I became a vegetarian too. It was my way to say, ‘dad I support you.’
But can I be completely honest with you? Becoming a vegetarian wasn’t just about my dad. It was also about me. In fact, it might've been all about me. I wanted to lose weight. I wanted to get rid of my belly fat and of my love handles. I thought giving up meat was the answer. But it wasn’t. Giving up meat actually made me hungrier. At that time, I didn’t understand the role of protein, carbs, and fat in my anatomy and diet. So I started eating more – eating more bread for breakfast, eating more potatoes for lunch, and eating more rice for dinner. A few months went by and I noticed weight gain, the complete opposite of what I wanted. Not knowing how to deal with this situation, I turned to purging. I thought to myself, "What a wonderful idea. I get to enjoy all the food I want and stay lean."
Bulimia damaged my body, but so did my vegetarianism. When I turned 25 years old, I was finally able to kick my eating disorder’s ass. But despite getting my health back on track, there was still something odd about me. I still wasn’t menstruating regularly. I was still bloated. And I was still depressed. So I had a blood test – it turned out I was suffering from hormonal imbalance.
About two months ago, I had my first appointment with my endocrinologist. She confirmed my hormonal imbalance. She also said I’m iron deficient. She said that my body hasn’t been absorbing the iron from my vegetarian food and that if I wanted to have a baby sometime soon I had to get my iron levels up. She spoke a lot about supplements, but she also hinted that I should possibly consider eating meat again.
So I started doing a little bit of research and I stumbled upon this article that explained how one’s diet should look like based on their blood type. And do you know what I found out? People with my group, O blood group, should not be eating a vegetarian diet. Go figure!
It’s now been two months since I started eating meat again. I know that what I’m doing is the right thing for me and my body. And whether you agree with my decision or not, it really doesn’t matter to me. Please keep your opinion to yourself.