So you’ve finally decided to get yourself together and clean up your act (pun intended).  It’s been a few weeks since you started your healthy eating journey and your starting to find you groove.  Fast forward >>> it’s a regular Friday night and you decide to have dinner with a friend.  You guys are at your usual spot but you’re not eating your usual meal…uh oh.

So the scenario can play out several different ways. Usually everyone’s first reaction to something different is to question it; anything that’s different or out of place always brings about curiosity.

“You didn’t order any meat”

“I know, I don’t eat meat anymore”

“Say what now, you don’t eat meat?”

“No”

“When did this happen?”

“It’s been about three weeks”

“Oh so what do you eat?”

“I eat vegetables”

“Oh okay, that’s it?”

“Yes that’s it”

“Why did you stop eating meat?”

Of course from there you will probably go into a long drawn out story about why you stopped eating meat, processed foods and dairy.  You will answer question after question.  The person you’re speaking with actually seem to be taking a genuine interest in your journey only to say “that couldn’t be me!”  That scenario has happen to me on several occasions and my response usually includes an eye roll and a sarcastic comment.

When I decided to make my lifestyle change I felt as if I was living in a glass house.  I never made a huge announcement about my decision but little by little people in my circle started to figure out I was different.  All of sudden if felt like all eyes were on me, especially at work:

“What’s that you’re eating?”

“Veggie humus wrap”

“Ewww humus?”

“Yes humus!” I annoy very easily, especially when people criticize my food, lol.

“You’re always eating weird stuff”

Blank stare…I don’t consider puréed chick peas to be weird but hey if you have never had it I guess it might seem different. What I am getting at is when you do decided to change you might find that people will be unintentionally discouraging because you are now doing something outside of what is normal.

People will temp you all the time just to test your will power.  They want to see if they can break you so they can validate themselves and say “see I know you couldn’t do it or that didn’t last long” You will be put in situations where your at a function and you absolutely can’t eat anything being served because there aren’t any vegetarian or vegan options. I learned pretty quickly to take the time to ask questions, be it a business lunch, dinner with friends, or just a family meal I need to know what I’m going to eat.

My family and friends caught on pretty quick and for the most part are very accommodating about either calling to find out what I eat and don’t eat.  If we have a function at work my boss always runs the menu by me to make sure I have as many choices as everyone else.  If we attend a business lunch I call ahead to request a vegetarian meal.  If I go on a date I make it known well in advance that I don’t eat meat and would prefer to go to a restaurant that has several vegetarian options.

It wasn’t easy for me to undo 31 years of eating habits, I still miss chicken and burgers oh and I get the occasional craving for barbecue ribs *sigh*.  However, living in a glass just means everyone can see you at your best.  Eventually you will end up rubbing off on them; they probably won’t admit it but anyone passionate about living well is always a great influence.

How has your experience been so far with those that are close to you?  Are they supportive, do they think your weird? Or could they care less?

13 Comments

  1. Some people still think it's weird that I adopt a low carb lifestyle (at least I try). However with PCOS, cutting rice, breads, and pastas (for the most part) works for me.

  2. Amanda Nagy

    It is great how you are handling the issues that you face especially the boundaries that you have set when it comes to people eating at your place. Like you I didn't make a big announcement, people found out gradually. Thankfully my parents were supportive when I first became vegan. When I met my husband he came on board with me because he wanted a healthier lifestyle. He loves it! I hate the question, "What CAN you eat?!" A lot actually! I hate feeling like I have to convince them or defend my choice…MY choice. I am not trying to force my lifestyle on others (even though I know they would benefit as well) so I don't deserve the attitudes. I don't mind answering questions if one is curious or trying to understand but trying to make me feel like I am crazy is sad.

  3. I get both sides…some are very supportive and some look at me like I'm crazy. Especially when I order hot lemon water at a restaurant…I tend to get the weird eye look. I enjoy it & welcome questions about what I'm eating 🙂

  4. I actually went to a bbq place with my coworkers for lunch & ate all sides…zuchini, collard greens, beans & rice….it was delish…they surprisely catered to vegetarian as well (they don't use any meat to cook their sides!

  5. Courtnei

    I want to slowly transition into being a vegan and eating organic. I coupon so it is very difficult to find healthy, organic items that aren't very pricey being that I am on a strict budget. Im confused as to where to start but I love this blog and it is helping me along the way

  6. I try to stick to a budget as well. I shop @ Walmart a lot. They have organic produce…your neighborhood produce junction will have reasonable prices & Farmers markets…Trader Joes is good as well. When I go to produce junction (everything tend to come in bulk) in my area. I prep & freeze my fruits & veggies to keep them from going bad. Hope this helps!

  7. Are we related? I get annoyed easily when people (who have never tried what I am eating) point at my food, say it's "weird", make faces… You get the picture. I love hummus, pesto, falafel, miso soup, using avocado instead of mayo. I could go on and on. BUt, so far I have inspired my boyfriend to eat better. In addition to feeling better myself.

  8. Serenity

    I'm 15 years in and my family still doesn't get it. My mother told my cousin I'm committing suicide really slow. At some point it just has to roll off your back. And always bring food to family function. Otherwise you will be hitting gas stations on the way home on xmas trying to find something to eat….

  9. YaYa Yielle

    I applaud you for eating healthy and not letting other people's opinions sway your decision and dedication to being a vegetarian. It does come off a bit selfish that you would want other people to accommodate your eating habits, but if they come to your house you wouldn't accommodate theirs. I'm a huge meat lover, but I have vegetarian friends. When they come over, I make sure there is food for them to eat and vice versa. Just seems like the fair thing to do.

  10. I must say I am very strict about my eating but I never expect anyone to accommodate my choices. I have found that most people are willing to make sure I feel included which I appreciate but it's never expected. If I invite someone to my house for a meal I make sure they know it will be vegetarian or vegan. Most of the time it's not an issue. The food is always so great they don't even notice the absence of meat in most cases. If they must have meat I will make I just won't purchase it. That might come off as selfish but that's not my intent. Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  11. YaYa Yielle

    Well thats nice that you will at least cook the meat.

  12. This is my 5th week being pescetarian and its awesome. My mother is very supportive. The first week my mom totally forgot and made steak and potatoes for my bday dinner. When I saw the meat I reminded her and she quickly made me a salad lol lol. At times I get cravings and she would say you do need meat and encourage me to keep on the straight and narrow. I am not even tempted any more. I ate dinner with her and she made my fav ox tails. It did not brother me and I ate my salmon. Food Gawker has helped me a lot and I am experimenting with different vegetables and fruits. I am also cooking alot but its a lot of work because I have to prepare my meals way in advance. Enjoying the life.

  13. MARISSA Hopson

    I was actually a Vegetarian for a year and a half before I had a really big scare in June. I do prefer being a Vegetarian but you definitely have to take time out and make sure you're getting all your nutrients… Which I wasn't. Eating super healthy now but I do treat myself every now and then. I have a weakness for chocolate but high 5 to you!!! I always had friends telling me I was crazy for not eating meat but little did they know that I had Graves Disease and clean eating is a must. Gonna try again to go Vegetarian just have to make sure I'm eating right.

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