Friday, October 01, 2004

Convictions Revisited

As I sit here eating my low-carb snack and low-carb sweet (even Oreos have a low-carb version), I am reflecting on something a friend of mine said. She said she was surprised how long I have "stuck with" being a vegetarian, and then going on a low-carb eating plan. As I review my choices, I am a bit surprised myself. The decision to become vegetarian was not an easy one. I tried it out for a week, to see if I could do it. I saw that it would be no problem, as I love pastas, bread, sweets, and other things, and have never been much of a meat-eater. Still, choosing to make a change, admit it to others knowing they will watch to see if you fail, and taking a stand on it based on a belief....it is a big step. Not that much different than those of you who choose a religious conversion. Then I looked into a low-carbohydrate eating plan for two reasons. One, I have a stomach ulcer - I have had it for nearly 20 years - and often feel sick when I eat. Type 2 diabetes runs in my family, so choosing something that might go easier on my ulcer and limit my likelihood of contracting type 2 diabetes was a concern. Two, I wanted to find a better way to manage my weight. Yes, yes, I know....typical woman. But I've been on the heavy end of the scale and the extremely skinny, and I like the spot in between. Anyone who has had a constant weight problem, whether obvious or hidden, knows what it is like to worry that everytime you eat something, you might be eating too much. It follows you like a demon shadow, and plagues every meal. I've managed to stay thin most of my adult life: I work out, am very active, eat carefully, and frequently skip meals. So finding a plan that would help maintain my weight without much effort was fascinating. Add to this low-carb fad that I am a vegetarian. Notice the foods that made it okay to become vegetarian - pasta, breads, sweets....Do you see the problem? What the heck do you eat?! I've managed to find a way and am quite content with my eating patterns. Why am I giving you this much carnal knowledge into my eating habits? No, I'm not publishing an article for Weight Conscious Central. Simply because....it amazing what happens when you honestly feel strongly about something. Who knows how long I will manage the low-carb thing....so far, so good. But vegetarianism is here to stay. I didn't do it because it is vogue, or because I get to turn up my nose at McDonald's. It is a damn expensive food plan. I truly believe in something, and set my mind to standing up for it, even if only in a small way. I wish people would make decisions based on convictions rather than emotions. Emotional decisions are frequently incorrect, and rarely have staying power. Taking a stand on something based on well-thought out reasons, and sticking to it, is much easier and has more creedence. Too often during the current election I hear people say they will vote for Kerry because 1) they are Democrats, 2) they don't like Bush, or 3) Kerry is better looking (I'm still trying to figure this one out). They are not voting for him because his positions match their own. It is because of their political traditions or out of emotion. Thank God for the abolitionists a hundred years ago. They were strong enough to go up against this kind of ridiculous reasoning. I hope we are.