Reluctant, Married Vegetarian

See how my blog name has the word HAM in it? I guess I’m not chasing that pink dragon anymore, or at least for the time being. No more mainlining that deliciousness, which is totally unthinkable. Later on I might add it as a garnish, or nibble a piece of lean bacon over breakfast, but pork and beef, cow and pig, oink and moo – two of my lifelong besties – have become problematic frenemies who bring internal ruin and suffering.

Excuse me while I weep over a pile of healthy, overpriced microgreens.

After just one week of reluctant vegetarianism, I felt much better — so much better, in fact, that I decided a hamtastic reward was in order on Day 7. I’d made a dinner date with a friend, pre-plant diet, and she was making pulled pork sandwiches on pretzel rolls, my favorite. It would’ve been downright rude to refuse her, I told myself.

What followed that dinner can only be described as Exorcist-level projectile vomiting, and hours of that awful bathroom scene from Dumb & Dumber. Pretty sure I lost some internal organs that night. The next day, over many, many cups of green tea, I received a strongly-worded letter from system. 

Message received.
So it’s been a plant-based diet around these parts lately, to a fairly successful degree. I’m allowing fish, too (though I haven’t had any yet), so I guess it’s technically the pescetarian lifestyle for me but that’s the last time I use that word in public. 

I don’t understand the need for labels, especially when it comes to your food. “I’m a lacto-ovo-pesca-glutard-blatty-mcshatface-cheesarian.” I don’t even know what that means.

I’m a sedentarian.

***

Leading up to our New Year’s Eve wedding, I mostly kept my cool. No real tantrums, only two crying jags (over money and family stress, predictably), and no personal drama between us. Any time I would feel a freak-out coming on — something like intense worry, feeling out of control, being overwhelmed, self-negativity — I would abruptly change the channel. I’d notice it, seek distraction or someone to confide in, and occupy my time with something else. 

It sounds hard, but keeping your cool is easy when you spend months grazing in the land of King Taco McJack in the Fried.

Most brides crazy diet before their weddings, or lose weight because of stress. Not me! I stress-ate through the entire thing and barely moved one muscle. That was how I coped, is how I always cope. So many french fries and tater tots and sketchily-spiced ground beef! So much food in wrappers, and that slimy after-feeling of WTF?!

Two awful, motivating things:

1) My spare tire has turned into a murder of spare tires.

2) I bent over the tub a few weeks back and made the most incredible noise — something between a grunt and a squeal, something animal. I felt sure I looked like George R.R. Martin, matronly and beast-like with a fleshy, nautical flair.

Omitting meat from the diet has kept King Taco McJack in the Fried at bay, which is good for these two awful, motivating things.

***

We finally said our I do’s, and one of my favorite parts was the ring exchange.

The night before, we batted around ideas for two hours trying to land on a ring vow — like “With this ring, I thee wed.” Short and simple, easy-peasy. But we couldn’t find anything we really liked, mostly due to sleep deprivation. After two hours, I finally just wrote “Something something” into the ceremony script and sent it to our officiant.

“Just come up with something — wing it, I’ll follow,” I said to the fiancé. It was three o’clock in the morning of our wedding day. We had to pass out.

When our officiant asked for the rings during the ceremony, I had one quick moment of panic, like Shit! We forgot to do this! but then I remembered my job was to wing it.

And he said:

“With this ring, I promise to be the best version of myself, and to always see the best in you.”

One thing I love about my new husband is his comfort level with words. He’s good at stringing a sentence together, sure, but he’s totally confident about using any and all words. Words that would normally sound silly, outdated, or too scientific, float (or burst, depending on the topic) from his mouth with total ease. There are still words I’m not comfortable saying — the C-word, the River Thames, shart, most Latin, apothecary, panties (ugh) — but I’ve never seen him falter. So it wasn’t a surprise that he knew exactly what to say.

I take that ring vow very seriously – as I do the rest – but that one sticks out, “being the best version of myself.” The best version of myself is healthier, more active, and makes time for good food. My best version keeps at it because living longer means more time with the guy I married for life.

I picked a good one, and want to be around to enjoy this marriage. “But what is a marriage without bacon?” you ask. Indeed. I guess that’s our first big marital adventure. 

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One thought on “Reluctant, Married Vegetarian

  1. […] forward to being back in my old busted body, the one I previously failed to change here, here, and here. I’ve lost 20 pounds so far, but that hasn’t helped me back into my gold-sequined […]

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