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Carla Landreth

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Hello, My Name is Carla and I'm a Vegetarian
by Carla Landreth   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, January 31, 2011
Posted: Monday, January 31, 2011

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Becoming a vegetarian or a macrobiotic is just not becoming one, you must change your whole life to understand it all.


    I'm doing laundry and have discovered some colofrul size six panties. I believe they either belong to my eldest daughter, George or one of her college friends that have came and stayed for a while. In either case they have been nicely laundered and put aside for my daughter to decide if they are hers ot her friends. I usually have this same problem between my younger daughter, Marion and George when it comes to shirts and stuff, they are close in size and when the older one gives the younger one a shirt I get confused. I put the underwear into a pile and go on with my merry business; laundry, cleaning and so forth. Hey, that's what mom's do dirty work.
      As soon as George comes home from school (she commutes back and forth from college) I tell her I think I have her panties or one of her friends and that I have placed them in a stack for her to go over and sort. She quickly picks up the panties and frowns informing me that these panties are not hers or her friends, but mine! Now you're asking how can you get your own panties confused with everybody elses? Well, it's easy in my case. You see just earlier I bought new panties. I normally get the plain white ones with the extra panel in front (due to giving birth to ten pound babies I had to have the little extra support down there), but since my weight loss I thought a little color was in order and no more front panels anymore. My brother is laughing when I realized that the panties  I have threatened to burn if nobody claims are actually mine.
     Now how did I get to this place in my life where I'm buying smaller and more colorful underware has been under fire from my family and friends and yes, acquaintances. But I have made my choice and felt today I should explain my reason. Perhaps some of you will understand after you read this and stop and think of what I'm saying.
     I have been asked by so many, what are you taking? You have lost a lot of weight and I want whatever it is you are taking. My polite answer is I'm not taking anything. I just found myself. Nobody believes you when you say that, which is odd. Don't you think you can loose weight after finding yourself? Then I reveal that I'm vegetarian. Suddenly like a dramatic soap opera, oh that's dangerous or are you crazy you have to have meat you need protein and iron. Some go on to say, no you aren't, I saw you eat hamburgers in the past. Yes, I did and now I don't. I wish I could say I just woke up one day and decided to become a vegetarian, but the truth in the matter is it happened from a trip to California, where they actually eat healthy with fresh veggies, fresh fish and fresh fruit everyday. But that wasn't the deciding factor. I do give credit however where it is due and that one person who held a mirror up in my face and made me think about myself. Yes, I became a vegetarian after meeting writer, actor, Dirk Benedict and reading his book Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy. I know you are rolling your eyes, thinking she's taking advice from a crazy washed up actor that does that weird macrobiotic diet. But hear me out before you judge.
     After my husband died I did what most parents do when left to pick up the pieces of a once happy home, I put all my energy into my kids. They needed me right now and I wasn't going to tank up on drugs to get through the day to do it. Even though several people commented on the fact I was walking the tight rope without a safety net in doing so. I made the choice to have clear head to take care of my kids. I was going to pick myself up and put them first which I did. Unfortnately, I sort of lost who I was when I did that. At least that is what I thought, but after taking some time to examine my life in general I found I have always put everybody ahead of me and yes, lost a little bit of myself each time.
     While I was in California, I ate healthy for once. Not that I didn't before, but something about the veggie, fruit, fish diet was absolutely pleasing. I felt full at the end of the meal and breakfast was wonderful with all the fruit and whole grians presented to us. I already limited myself on any sort of caffeine drink, I could stay up for days if I drank that so I usually stuck with water and my little alcholic drink, hey, it was vacation.
     Now after meeting Mr. Benedict and reading his book Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy in one night, and re-reading it on the way back home to Texas. I was gaining some  information about myself. I quickly learned that I had to change myself and in doing so, I had to get control of my life. So where does one start with this new found information; my diet. Let's face it people the theory you are what you eat is true . It all leads back to that so I started there. I could have chosen any diet plan as they say, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, everything baked diet, instead I went vegetarian not because I wanted to loose weight but because I wanted a healthier life in general. The other diets are only a temporary fix to my problem. I had to really think hard, do I really want to change myself? But beginning with my diet or shall I say inside of a machine where all transformations take place would be only a beginning. Once I established how I was going to eat I stuck to it. Now with good food comes abundance of energy. What do you do with that excess energy you never had before? Every morning I wake up and smile at myself. Yes, that is the first smile of the day; myself. It's not vanity that causes this, it's the fact I see I'm healthier, happier and  finally finding myself. Once I'm dressed I say to myself, (I take note from Mr. Benedict when I say this) Chew your rice. Drink your tea. Wear clothes. And everything else will take care of itself. I began taking thrity minutes in the morning to work out and another thirty minutes to walk  in the evening. While most of you thank God at the end of the day, I thank him when I do my cooling down streches on my yoga pad in the morning where it is quiet and I am not disturbed or caring what the world has planned for me for that day. Changing my eating and adding exercise was the best thing for me. It gave me energy to finish projects around the house, it gave me strength to let go of my grief that had burden me so much. My family and friends slowly noticed the physical changes that were beginning to show but my mental and emotional changes were being seen more. I still had a few more changes to do in my life. Like letting go of negative people which I soon did and surrounded myself with positive people. Of course I would also learn some positive people were not so positive people after all and they too would be obsolete in my life. The small things are small things and big things aren't so big after all, we just trick ourselves into thinking they are. With my attitude changing, my body getting healthy, my mind clearing up from the garbage that had been pumped in there by negative people, I had one more task to do. I went back to writing which had my kids and the rest of the world thinking I had given up on.  All this from a diet you ask? Yes.
     No diet pills, no meat, no sugar and no caffeine. Just pure veggies and fruit. Yes, I have learned a few things about whole grains, brown rice, green teas, miso soup, beans, oatmeal, flax, and humus, things I was told was awful tasting wasn't bad at all. Sure there are some foods I'm not fond of but isn't that the way it is with any food? I follow my new eating habits. I made a choice to change my life so I could be a better mother, sister, cousin, friend and human being in general. Some have not liked the new changes I have put forth and have lashed out in ways you couldn't have imagined. But that's okay. I have had great support from the ones who have supported my choice, espeically from my children and understand and respect why I made the choice that I made.
     We all have to find oursleves eventually even after we have lost ourselves slowly over time. Eventually you will have to make a choice and discover yourself. So when I look at the new panties I bought and knowing I have went from a size twelve jean down to an eight. My tee shirts are mediums instead of extra large all because I found myself, I say screw those who crticize who I am. At least I'm not having headaches anymore, heartburn episodes, insominia, severe monthly cramps and acne problems. I have also  noticed my allergies and sinus haven't been acting up and this season I haven't even had a cold not even the crude that plagued out little town. As my sister in law Paula said, "You eat healthy no, wonder you haven't got sick." I use to take pain reliever on a regualr basis for my legs. In the past few months I haven't taken anything for it because it no longer bothers me.
     I always tell people, just because this type of lifestyle is for me doesn't mean it's for you. I know some of you are asking what about your children? Surely you aren't making them do this. Even though my children have supported me and yes, they do eat some of the foods I have prepared, doesn't mean I forced the poor things into my journey. They have also, along the way have discovered a new taste for foods they didn't know existed and in the process finding themselves on their own level.
     Now that I have explained myself it's time to let those of you who think you know how dangerous being a vegetarian or a macrobiotic diet isn't. It doesn't cause blindness, sexual problems, acne, PMS, fetility problems, growth stunts, smaller boobs, athirtis, memory loss, dry skin, tooth decay or hair loss. I do get enough protein contrary to belief. I have energy, healthy energy unlike you I won't be crashing after a little from that sugary cola drink or candy bar that you have poked in your mouth. I have done without caffeine drinks that you give you jitters or mind blowing headaches. A good vegetarian is not pale and pasty believe it or not. I know I have seen some too that look like that, but you have to remember those are the ones that have not truly found themselves.
     According to statistics most American's will be severely obese and diabetic in the near future. With high blood pressure not going down and cancer not backing down either, don't you think fast foods, meat, salt and sugar play a major factor in all of this? If you have it in your family history, listen,  up time to take control. Now, I'm not saying that becoming a vegetarian is going to make me disease free, but it sure will cut down my risk. Lots of veggies and fruits are more beneficial than you realize and if you don't believe me, you need to go back to health class.
     So don't be so quick to judge a vegetarian or a macrobiotic. I don't say anything when you are chewing down on that big medium rare steak, why should you be the one to tell me how I am eating is wrong? You could learn a thing or two from us.
     As I said earlier I had to learn to find myself in order to change my whole being. Several factors play a part to make one whole thing; whole. I didn't become a vegetarian to loose weight; I became a vegetarian to help me become who I am now.
     Hello, my name is Calra and I'm a vegetarian.      

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