Blog of Sara Jakša

How Did I Stop Eating Meat

Becoming vegetarian was my first diet change, that I had made to my lifestyle. I decided to share with all of you, how did I become the vegetarian, and what were the pitfalls, that I had fallen in and successes that I had.

The whole story started around November 2011. I decided to become the vegetarian, this time for a longer period of time after already trying it for shorter amount of time.

I had one month vegetarian periods, where I had not eaten any meat, so I knew I am capable of doing that. But I had never before tried it for more than a month. Mostly because I didn't trust myself to have sufficient self-discipline. The other reason was, that I was afraid, of how my parents are going to react, seeing as my dad is a big consumer of meat and my mother is a person, that worries about everything.

But since I wanted to permanently try and change my lifestyle for better, I chose that as my first challenge. I was not satisfied with the way I lived back then, and I am still not satisfied with it right now (but I am more content by it every month).

My rules to myself were as follows: I am going to start with 30 months, and I am not allowed to stop during that time. After that, I am only allowed to stop, if my body tells me that or if I start experiencing any health problems (even if the two were closely connected).

Before I even started with my quest, I had to tell my mother. She is the type of person, that is buying food and cooking for all of us. But she never asks in advance, about our preferences and she is then all disappointed, if we are not all happy and satisfied with her care. I simply did not want to suffer the constant complaining, that would have followed.

She was understanding, and she only inquired, when I am going to start. But she looked unsure, like she was convinced, that I am going to fall. The first couple of days

The first day went all right. It was after all only a day.

The second day, the whole 'you don't have to do it now' operation started. My mother was the one that started it. She was trying to convince me, that I could always start again on the later day and to eat meat just this once more. But I am stubborn, and even thought I knew, that I could just start again, if I fell, I wanted to hold on for as much as possible (interesting to note, that when I decided to become vegetarian for a month, everybody was supportive, but for a lifetime, everybody tried to change my mind). So even though I was aware of the possibility of failure, I decided to adopt Edison's approach. He didn't give up after hundreds of failures, and the only thing he said is, that he had found some many ways, that simply didn't work.

I also figured out, when did I prefer to eat meat. We usually had some leftover meat from last lunch, just sitting there on the counter. I am lazy and it was easy to just grab the meat instead of cooking something. I also hate to throw food away.

In order to fight the pull to the meat, I started experimenting in kitchen and I made a couple of mushrooms receipt, that were all finished in under 20 minutes (some of them even under 10 minutes).

The pull was strong, but it was not there, where my first failure had met me.

Here came into play my biggest nemeses in staying vegetarian, my father. He was finally made aware, that I am trying to become the vegetarian. He is of the opinion, that the people, that do not eat meat are not normal and annoying. And had the most powerful weapon in his hands - the knowledge of my favourite meat food and how to make them just the way I like it. He was convinced I could pull 1 month (had seen me before), but I will always came back to eat meat. Meat lovers can't change and they always return to eating meat.

The first tactic that he used was teasing. Every single time, I came to eat, he would ask some meat related questions. Some examples were: -Did you eat any meat today? -Should I make you some meat? -Are you getting sick, not eating any meat? -Do you want some [insert some name for meat here]? -Do you want some of it? (While showing his food with the meat inside)

I managed to stay on my course, so he brought the perfect weapon. He made golaz. It was my favourite food with meat or more likely is has the first place together with some of the see food.

I have to say, that I had eat it, but as soon as it was gone, I simply started to count from the beginning, how many days did I managed to go without meat. I did not make an exception like that again, since I knew the danger and I managed to stand my ground and not eat it next time.

I have to say, after a couple of months, the habit of not eating any meat was already deeply integrated into me. Then I had the seminar with my karate's club and we went to the hotel. Being in the hotel, we were having the all-you-can-eat buffet. With one problem. The only things, that weren't meat, were rice, fruit and the things, that I didn't like. We had pasta once, but that was all (it probably would have been different, if we didn't go the the least developed region in our country in a small hotel - the only one in the city). In that moment I realized, that eating in hotels in going to always be complicated, if I am to continue with my eating reign. In that moment I decided, that I am going to allow myself to eat fish and seafood, when I am outside, and there is not other alternative. But I still refused to eat any other meat.

After more than I year, I can say, that I don't regret my decision. I had become more lax in my rules, but I still prefer to not eat any meat, if I have a chance. All the urges had disappear, and even if I am put in the situation, that I am required to eat meat, the feeling of wanting meat doesn't come back.

Everybody around me just accepted, that I am a vegetarian, and unless anybody would have counted the teasing from my father, if I want to eat meat, nobody even comments any more (my grandmother sometimes forgets and asks me, if I am still vegetarian, but only once every couple of months).

My mother gained a new respect for me, since she started asking me for help with her habits change (but she didn't like my suggestions).

But the most important lesson that I learned is, that no matter what, I should not give up on something I want to do, no matter, how many times I fall.