Friday, May 04, 2012
Today was my first day being a vegetarian at my boyfriend's house. I've been hesitant to tell his parents that I've stopped eating meat (and am trying to slowly cut out all animal products) for several reasons:
1) I was a vegetarian when he and I started dating, and I noticed that I wasn't invited over to eat with them that much. Once I agreed to add chicken to my diet, I was invited over more, and they were even more excited (and told me so) when I dropped the vegetarian thing all together. I'm afraid that if they know I've gone back to vegetarianism, they won't want me there as much.
2) I don't want them to think badly of me. I already have to deal with the fact that they're Republicans and I'm a Democrat. I don't want another belief of mine to make me feel like an outsider. Certain members of his family have made fun of vegetarians in the past, and I'm afraid of what they'll think of me.
3) I don't like to draw attention to myself. I eat what they put in front of me, even if I don't like it, because I don't wan them to think I'm annoying. I don't want people to make special things for me or feel like they have to do things differently because I'm there. I want to just sort of assimilate to their lives. I guess I just figure that if they don't notice I'm there, they won't want me gone.
4) I'll be honest - part of me is afraid that I'll make a big deal about this now in front of them and then will change my mind later and then they'll know that I didn't stick with my goals. I've done this before with losing weight. Who hasn't told everyone "I'm going to lose weight" and then has had to duck their head in shame later when they've gained all the weight back and then some? I don't want to do that again - either with the weight or the vegetarian thing. That's why I wanted to wait a bit more before I told them, to make sure that I'm going to stick with it this time.
It seems like today was set up to test me, to see which was more important to me, my food preferences or those excuses listed above. And I passed.
We went to Sonny's Barbecue for dinner. The only veg option was the salad without chicken (or cheese or dressing if I wanted to vegan). If that wasn't bad enough, Sonny's has this 4 person meal thing where you get 4 different types of meat, 3 sides, and bread. Since there were 5 of us (us, his parents, and his brother), they were going to get that and figure that it would be enough food.
This was my big test. Normally, I would go with whatever they wanted, even if it wasn't what I wanted, because I want to cost them the least amount of money possible. This time, though, I couldn't. I ordered a salad without chicken. I felt bad ordering it, but I did it anyway. The waitress ended up giving me a side salad instead (since she didn't want to charge me $8 for a salad without chicken, and apparently the only other option was a small salad). So I only cost them an extra $3. I don't feel so bad about that. I also ate a piece of garlic bread and a helping of macaroni and cheese.
It was hardly vegan, but it was vegetarian, and I'm proud of myself. It wasn't the most filling meal ever, but I stuck with what was best for me. It would have been so much easier to at least get the salad with chicken (since protein would have been nice), but I didn't.
Also - during dinner, his mother asked me if I was not eating meat today for a reason or because I didn't feel like it. I told her that I was trying to eat less meat but that I would still eat it at her house. I figure that's a good compromise.
I consider today a win. :)