something fishy

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.

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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.

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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…

-Emily

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27 comments
  1. I am in the #hellyeahletseatsushi club!! Haha! So happy for you girl! No labels is the best way to live. And now you can officially join the dark side and become a seafood addict like me! I swear I’ve never had a seafood that I didn’t like! Not yet, at least 🙂

    • Emily said:

      LOL! Yay! I’m not going to lie, your reaction was one of the few I definitely wasn’t worried about. 🙂

      I can’t wait to explore all of the seafood options out there! I’ve legitimately never tried 95% of them so it’s definitely going to be an adventure!

      xo

  2. Irina said:

    Yesss!! I am so happy to see you venture out and try new foods. Of course I understand and very much respect any and every eating lifestyle/label but sometimes it’s best to listen to what your body craves, even if that means ditching your eating label. Personally, adding fish (and meat for me!) back into my diet has had a huge positive impact on my well-being. I eat fish almost every day and have never felt better.

    With that said, I hope you try mussels and oysters soon because oh.mah.gawd ❤ And there's no denying that living out in LA gives you access to some of the best and freshest seafood around! #jealous

    • Irina said:

      And I can’t forget to mention ceviche!!! Your world will never be the same. And now I’m done being crazy 🙂

    • Emily said:

      Ahhh…YES. Thank you for the support, love! Your varied eating habits (particularly the breakfast challenges) have inspired me sooo much over the past year and opening the door to seafood is already making a difference.

      Oooh…mussels and oysters! I’ll definitely add them to my Must-Try ASAP list. There are some amazing seafood restaurants around– I feel like I’m discovering a whole new world!

      PS: I’m proooobably going to be emailing you for some tips on how to prepare fish at home. 🙂

  3. adashofmeg said:

    oh my goodness sweetie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! proud of YOU for being so in tune with your body’s wants and needs to know what to do NOW!!!!!!!!! oh girl i am so so so so proud of youuuuuu! i wanna phone chat so we can have a big chat! love you and so proud. YOU HAVE NO IDEA!

    wish i got some pics of the sushi from you 😉

    • Emily said:

      AW, thank you Meg! Seriously. This makes my day.
      I’m so proud of YOU! (And excited for you and your wedding but that’s a discussion for another day…)

      I was so overwhelmed by the sushi experience– in a good way!– that I completely forgot to take pictures. Who am I?! But I’ll definitely be documenting future fish endeavors and will send them your way!

      xoxo

  4. Taylor said:

    YAAHH!! That is such a big step acknowleding that your body is craving something and allowing yourself to have it!
    And girl you are looking amazing! Keep me posted on good places to go and we will have to venture out together for sushi so very soon!! ❤

    • Emily said:

      Ahh….I.CAN’T.WAIT.

      October, right?! Text me soon!

  5. Sushi! I’ve never had the real stuff…apparently potatoes are the only thing in Idaho. I’m glad you enjoyed it!!! Also I just want to say you really inspire me. The difference in those photos truly shows just how much of a different life you live when you take care of yourself and feed your body correctly.

    • Emily said:

      Thank you so much, Hannah. Your comments always make my day.

      If you’re ever in California, you have to try the sushi. Coming from someone who thought she hated fish, it’s amazing!

  6. Despite what you initially thought (: I’m in between camp #nobodycares – in a positive way – and #letseatsushi #Illtaketheveganrolls #morefishforyou. Honestly, as long as you don’t decide to join some weird cult, go shave-your-head-like-Britney crazy or go paleo and tout it to be the ONE lifestyle everyone should follow I’m fine. Just be the Emily I’ve been friends with for a great while now and the world will keep turning in its usual way. Long story short: I’m glad to hear you’re at the point where you can listen to and honor your cravings without second thoughts or labels. Do what feels best for you.

    • Emily said:

      I don’t know why, but this comment brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, love.

      I’m definitely the same Emily I’ve always been…just ridding myself of the restrictions I’ve abided by for the majority of my life.

      Thank you for the support and for your unbelievable friendship. ❤

  7. I’m definitely on the “heck yes lets get sushi” train!! 😉 I’m coming to cali and we are eating fish together.. k thanks. No but really, good for you girl! I know exactly what you mean about not feeling content. I was vegetarian for about 2 1/2 – 3 years and I just had this feeling that I needed more. I was so scared to even eat chicken, but I went slow! Listening to your body is most important! ❤

    • Emily said:

      OMG PLEASE COME TO CALI

      Okay, calming down now…but really, that would be amazing. I actually have a feeling I’ll transition into other meats soon too but only time will tell. It’s such an amazing, freeing feeling.

      PS: Following your ‘journey to the stage’ is unbelievably inspiring to me. Seriously. Keep up your amazing work. ❤

  8. I’m so proud of you! I felt the SAME way being a vegetarian. Like I was so bloated and stuffed, but still hungry if that even makes sense. Now I enjoy meat and just listen to my body. And no judgments if you try In ‘N Out, #worthit 😉

    • Emily said:

      EXACTLY. It’s so bizarre, isn’t it? I can remember reading your posts about your transition away from 100% vegetarianism and I was going through the exact same thing.

      PS: Everyone keeps telling me the same thing about in-n-out…and chick-fil-a. haha

  9. Kelsey said:

    So happy for you! This rocks. I have become such a believer of just eating what sounds good and right for you!

    • Emily said:

      Me. Too. It took a long time but it’s the best feeling.

      Thanks, Kelsey! xo

  10. Floey said:

    Isn’t it a wonderful thing to listen to your body. To be truthful, when life gets in the way or I am stressed and busy I admit that I don’t. Like you, I never liked meat. I stopped eating beef in high school because the taste starting becoming offsetting, and eventually I started straying from pork as well (still ate turkey and chicken sometimes). But anyway, I’ve always enjoyed fish and scallops and squid (haha) for some reason. It might be the chewyness that I enjoy.

    So very happy that you’re smiling 🙂

    • Emily said:

      Thank you, lady!

      We’re so quick to forget that our taste-bites change and evolve just like everything else in our lives…but they do! And, when we listen to our bodies, we can finally feel nourished.

      xoxo

  11. AND you’ve been looking like one hot momma lately 🙂 One of the biggest changes I have seen is how happy you’ve been – not so exhausted/worn out. I always tell my clients there is no “right” or “wrong” way of eating – labels only create a disordered way of eating.

    • Emily said:

      It’s so true…and that’s something that took me a long time to realize. Thank you for all of your constant support & inspiration. ❤

  12. Amen, Emily! Happy for you. I tried being a vegetarian but after losing too much weight in a week, I stopped. Some things may feel right, but your body needs certain things. You’re so strong and inspirational 🙂 sending love!

  13. Ashley said:

    I’m so happy that you’ve found something that works for you! I’m still proudly on the vegan train but if I did choose to reintroduce animal products, I would definitely go the fish route because that’s really the only non – vegan thing I crave! You just gotta do what’s best for you and things change all the time so don’t stress about this shift away from vegetarianism. ❤

    • Emily said:

      Thank you!

      I give you major props for sticking with the vegan thing– i definitely don’t think I’d ever be able to do that again…love me some cheese. haha. But, I still think there are a lot of benefits to that diet. It’s all about what works for you. 🙂

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