I ate fish.
Gasp. Hold up. What? Now, depending on how well you know me, how long you’ve been following my blog and your personal opinions/beliefs, that statement will probably get one of three reactions…
1. Um, okay? #nobodycares
2. How could you?! #fisharefriendsnotfood
3. Hell yes! #letseatsushi
Before you judge my decision, let’s backtrack for a second…
I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 8 or 9. I never liked meat and stopped eating it before I even knew the term “vegetarian” existed. As time went on, my eyes were opened to a world of non-meateaters and I began to associate myself with the lifestyle. I love animals (particularly pigs but that’s a story for another day), so it all seemed to fit. I was ‘Emily The Herbivore’ and damn proud of it.
In high school, I was a “grilled cheese” vegetarian. No need to elaborate- I’m sure you all know a few of those. After gaining a few unwanted pounds at the beginning of college, I set out to get “healthy” and diet my way back down to a comfortable size. Unfortunately, things went too far.
I won’t delve too deep into this part either (another post, another day)– let’s just say, I took things to the extreme. Emily The Herbivore became Emily The Vegan. I convinced myself and everyone around me that meat was bad, dairy was bad, eggs were bad…and “I didn’t like any of it anyways”. Two years passed and I was left underweight, lonely and hungry for the life I had lost.
I was fed up and something had to change. It started with yogurt, then cheese, then a little milk in my coffee and suddenly I was back to a [slightly healthier] version of my vegetarian lifestyle. I started gaining much-needed weight and, even thought it was extremely uncomfortable, I kept going.
Now I’m here; two years later, 30 pounds heavier and healthier than I’ve been in my entire life.
Which brings me back around to the topic of this post– fish.
Since the day I stopped eating meat, I never once thought about it. I never craved it or felt unsatisfied with my meals until about 2 months ago. I began to notice that I never felt “full”. I would be stuffed-to-the-brim with food and still feel like something was missing. When I saw my friends eating sushi and salmon filets, I wanted it. It was weird and, to be honest, it freaked. me. out.
After thinking, re-thinking and over-thinking, I decided to bite the bullet and eat the damn fish.
I went out for sushi and I liked it. I liked it a lot.
Now, don’t expect to find me at In-N-Out with a burger in my hand any time soon, but I’m done labeling myself by the food I eat. If I go a month without meat, that’s okay and if I go out for sushi with my friends, that’s okay too. Life is too short for limitations that feel restrictive. Eat what you crave, do what you love and stop worrying about the rest. Freedom is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
Here’s to nourishing our mental, physical and emotional hunger…