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Image / Editorial

Did Becoming A Vegetarian Make Me Fat? A Cautionary Tale

by Laura George
30th Oct 2017

I’m pretty sure becoming a vegetarian made me fat but of course, there’s no scientific proof. I added on an extra 3 kilos around exactly the same time I decided to take the plunge for the planet and, allegedly, health. It could be hormones but I think it has a lot more to do with poor planning. Actually, there was no planning. I did it more or less on a whim after watching Cowspiracy one night.

It was a colourful, beautiful journey full of exotic sounding grains (freekah! kamut!) and cheesy goodness and serious indulgence. ‘Was’ because I’ve pressed pause on it while I get my act back together. Looking back, it all went horribly wrong ridiculously early on – sure, I should’ve known everything was going to go pear-shaped at the get go when I felt like I ‘deserved’ a second (or third) helping of every nut-encrusted quinoa concoction that crossed my field of vision because of the nobleness of my sacrifice. But I suppressed the voice of reason. Overnight, carbs became my default reward currency.

And we all know where that leads. Fat pants. It seems the limits of my self-control are hideously finite. I simply can’t watch carbs, fats and proteins simultaneously.   Science, principles and behaviour modification should be able to co-exist, just not apparently in my body.

Friends say they’ve recently experienced the exact same trajectory and there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest my experience is nothing out of the ordinary. If only I’d read up on how to transition gracefully before I started and solicited more advice. Or stationed an armed guard at the fridge door.

Now, at least for a while, I’ve no choice but to un-veggie, which theoretically leaves me enough head space to become carb-aware again (sadly, vanity trumps altruism). I’m pretty confident that there’s no other option because I just can’t trust myself to suddenly do veggie properly. Relatively new habits have already become old habits. Someday I aspire to be in a good enough place that I can just do away with rules altogether and make mindful choices on an ad hoc basis but I’m just not there yet.

Only a week into the new (old) regime,  I’m amazed to find that weirdly, the normal gravitational pull of a slow-cooked roast or burger has lost some of its power . The result? Less personal responsibility for the world’s methane surplus (yay) and the weight is already coming off (also yay). Will I ever learn it’s all in the head?


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