Part-Time Parsnipian

Can one really be a part-time vegetarian? The concept does sound remotely retarded and yet it is something I have chosen to pursue. Apparently, I’m not alone. I was guided to the term Flexitarian courtesy of the great Google gods in response to a “part-time vegetarian” search. I like the "flex" part of that word. It is, I ashamedly admit, non-committal.

Those of you who know me well or have been reading this blog for a while (same thing) realize that my name is not even remotely synonymous with the term “vegetarian” in any capacity. In my world… vegetarians live on Planet Parsnip. I respect their choices but I don’t really understand them seeing as I don’t speak Parsnipian. I live quite comfortably on Planet Predator. Here, pig tastes good. Chicken tastes good. Cow tastes damn good and that baby sheep over there? Yeah, I’m going to eat it too. Hence, I predict there is a bit of shock and awe happening around the world in regard to this change of lifestyle revelation. Reactions are probably ranging from maniacal laughter to “Pfffft! Like hell.” to “May the force be with you.” to, dare I say, pity.

Here’s the deal: Drastic times call for drastic measures.

In July I launched
Operation Skinny Bitch in a desperate attempt to reclaim my health and my life… and it was working. But, by mid-August, I ran out of money. Eating healthier and paying for the gym proved far too much for my single-mother-with-two-boys-consuming-everything-in-sight budget. By September I had not merely fallen off the proverbial wagon… I had launched myself face first into the quagmire of muddy hoof prints as my team of motivation horses galloped down the path of good intentions with my wagon careening carelessly behind. Then, to complicate matters as I made feeble attempts at trudging through the mud of that very same path, my body began to rebel against any forward momentum. My right elbow began to act up… not wanting to hold any substantial weight and my left knee (the “good” one) started trying to slip out of joint. Great. Lovely. WTF? Is turning thirty-five an immediate death sentence on bodily joints?

Point being: I failed. Failure, my friends, is not a shade I wear well.

Another approach had to be taken.

I’ve yet to figure out the whole “working out” situation. With Christmas looming large on the horizon, there is no money for the gym. Even if that materializes out of thin air, my workouts (gym or home) have to be modified for these new my-body-hates-me developments. So, food consumption must be altered to the extreme.

Ideally, I’d give full-fledged vegetarianism a hearty go. And, perhaps, this part-time gig is a stepping stone to that eventuality. Beyond my fear of actually being able to adapt to living as a vegetarian all the time … (Hello? Didn’t I just mention that failure is not my friend?) … is the fact that my children, while very fond of vegetables, are primarily carnivores. They could easily be spokesboys in those bloody stupid “Go Meat!” Hillshire Farms commercials. (Sorry non-USA television watching audience for that reference.) The reality is that I do have to continue cooking for them … some of the time.

I live in the same town (dammit) with my ex-husband. This, combined with the fact that he’s not a complete and utter douche bag, means that we share physical custody of our boys. To most it would appear that I am a part-time parent because of this arrangement. It doesn’t exactly work out that way, but I do have more time to myself and far fewer meals to arrange on my “off” weeks. These weeks, when I’m feeding only myself, are when I have chosen to live life as a vegetarian. Menu planning will be easier, I think. This will definitely be easier on the budget. When I have my children I will proceed semi-business as usual. There are some changes happening there as well: serious portion control, no bread, fish (for me) instead of pork or beef, etc.

Here I go. New month. New plan. A very little bit of success would be lovely. May the force, indeed, be with me.

"You will profit by the failure, and will avoid it another time. Every failure teaches a man something, if he will learn.” ~Charles Dickens


  1. Yeah, I had a medication derail my happy decline in weight and waist. But now I am off the foul little bitch-pill and I have no excuses.

    And neither do you.

    It's time to get started. Joints, age, penchant for muscle tissue as nourishment...these are all X factors in your weight-loss plan. You need to find out what you can do to counter these annoyances and get it in gear. Looks like you got the beast-flesh addiction (and what a sweet, sweet addiction it is) in your crosshairs. Now figure the rest out.

    So, sister. As the vernacular goes - "Put up or shut up."

    I'm behind ya all the way.

  2. I was going to comment with "May the force be with you" and you had to spoil it by ending your post with that same line. I'll pretend I didn't see it.

    Someone just made my pal an impassioned argument about how meat is murder and we're not meant to eat animals and *yada*yawn*yada*. I told him I was glad that he was vegetarian because then I'd get to eat an extra animal for every one he spared. His expression was priceless.

    I tried to go vegetarian back in college. I quit after one day. I hope your record gets to be longer than mine. Go Beth.

  3. Beth, you are awesome and you can do it! If nothing else think about Reunion 2010 and always remember "Is it worth the weight!?"

  4. Beth,
    I am not a vegetarian myself, but I think that there is no such thing as a part-time vegetarian, or flexitarian, etc. You're either a vegetarian (=vegan) or you're not.

    That said, however, I wouldn't be overly concerned about the terminology. I think that any attempt to decrease the percentage of animal flesh in one's diet is a worthy step in the overall "direction of goodness" (as Richard Feynman would have said), whether it's motivated by health concerns or moral ones.

    So good luck to you, and please know that I fully appreciate and support your efforts in this!

  5. jimfre ~ Yes, well... I have the bloody pill problem as well. Not much I can do there. Damn bipolar.

    Mo ~ You're awesome.

    Amanda ~ You visited my blog! Thanks, babe.

    John ~ Terminology aside, we'll see how long this lasts. Sigh.

  6. good luck! wait til you hit your 40's,than you'll know what pain

  7. LOUDnProud ~ Oy! Don't do that to me! =)

  8. I did it the old fashioned way, I counted calories, chewed my food throughly, and drank lots of water. I did not beat myself up if I overate one day. Each day is a new one was my mentality. It resulted in a safe gradual weight loss of 40 lbs.

    I walked, hiked, and did something physical everyday.

  9. Beth! Beth! Beth! Beth! (and the crowd goes wild!(in that whisper scream) Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!)

    Here's to the successful unburying of the uberhotness that is us!

  10. I have entire days where I try to eat meat-free. It's nice for a break.

    As for weight loss, just be sure you're not substituting tons of cheese and empty calories for that meat.

    Do you have access to a pool? Swimming is excellent exercise and is easy on the joints. Other than that, walking and yoga or pilates are effective. You can go to Wal-Mart or Target (or Amazon) and get a DVD to follow to get you started.

    E-mail me if I can be of any help!

  11. Finn ~ CHEEEEESE! Sigh. I am wisely avoiding the cheese. =) No pool. Boo. I'll get it figured out. Thanks for being there!


"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman


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