Yes I know it’s completely Un-American for me to consider giving up beef. I mean it’s “what’s for dinner” right? What’s life like without a hamburger? And Oh My Gawd, what’s life without a melt-in-your-mouth tender and divine $40 steak from a fancy restaurant? Well, the answer is that I can live a life that’s perhaps much healthier without all of that. I know firsthand that people often get their panties in a bunch when you tell them that you don’t eat a particular type of food.
But, here are my reasons:
1) I already gave up eating pork. When I tell people I don’t eat pork, some of them look at me crazy like I said I eat boogers for breakfast. They take MY eating preferences so personal. “Swine is Divine!” “Oh, you’re crazy” “Why???” and the typical, “Oh good, more bacon for me.” I’m never judgmental about it, and I don’t point the finger and say tsk-tsk you shouldn’t eat it either. I usually defuse the conversation by saying “my doctor told me not to eat it.” Which she actually did, except that was a couple years after I had already decided not to eat it. I can’t remember exactly how long it’s been since I ate a piece of pork sausage or pepperoni, but probably close to 5 or 6 years. I remember that I physically felt better, lighter and “cleaner” after about 3 days. Pork always made me feel queasy anyway. But I do have to admit that not eating pork revolutionized breakfast and made me get really creative with the breakfast meats. Have you ever tried chicken sausage?? It’s so good. Most of the time though it’s simply no meat with breakfast which saves on calories I would have otherwise eaten.
2) Eating Beef increases your blood pressure. A few years back I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. I pop a tiny pill every morning and try not to add salt to food. I kind of filed it into the “I’ll worry about it one day” pile. But when I asked my GYN at 31 years old, how serious I need to get about whether I want kids, she said my age is the least of my worries, and that I should worry about getting off blood pressure meds. Yikes! I had NEVER even considered that. If I meet the man of my dreams and we want kids, taking a daily med while pregnant is definitely not something I’d want to do, even if it is the ‘safer’ version of the medicine.
3) Watching how they treat the cows is pretty sad/gross. If you really want to be grossed out, check out this YouTube video with the literal hole they put in the side of the cow to dig out infections and other nasty stuff. And check out my video review of the book Skinny B!tch, the authors are all in favor of a vegan animal cruelty free diet.
4) Erika doesn’t eat beef. Who in the heck is Erika? She’s one of my role model weight loss bloggers (she’s a recovering emotional eater that eats clean (whole unprocessed foods) and lost like 150 lbs.) She wrote a great post about The Case Against Eating Beef.
5) I’ll Eat fewer french fries. Almost every time I order a burger it comes with a side of fries and a sweet drink. Sure I could swap it out and eat a fried fish sandwich or a battered chicken sandwich with the fries and drink, but honestly that doesn’t sound that exciting to me, and I’d probably skip the whole drive thru all together if I can’t eat a cheeseburger.
6) I Want Pretty Insides. I often wish there was a scale to track your internal health progress. When I step up to the internal scale, it should take a quick blood sample. And then announce “hey your cholesterol is down and you’ve lower your chance of dying from heart disease by 5% oh, and you’ve lost 2 inches of fat from your waist line. I need that scale so I can see that my evenings in the gym are paying off even if the other scale doesn’t acknowledge my hard work.
So… have I made up my mind 100% to give up beef?…nope, I’m stubborn like that. But these are some pretty compelling thoughts swirling in my mind. It’ll probably make family BBQ’s downright boring, but then again, maybe I could focus on the conversation and not who took the last hamburger. Do you eat pork? Do you eat beef? Are you vegetarian? What are your thoughts?
P.S. My 5K race is NEXT weekend; I’m totally not ready, still struggling and sweating through Week 4. But I’m also still hitting the gym 3 or 4 times a week training. I will definitely attend the race, I don’t care if it takes me an hour to finish the 3.1 miles. My goal is to finish and not be last, I can’t let some lady with a baby stroller pass me up…. As long as I cross the finish line, I still get a medal for my collection, and that’s what counts.
Way to go girl! But I do want you to know that even if you come in last at the race, you are still a winner. And just think of how many people that never even started the race. They are the ones still in bed when you hit that finish line! I never care any more about being last. That is where I found one of my dearest friends. Her name is Dorothy Brunker; she will be 87 this year. She has Parkinson’s disease and uses her walker to do the races. The first time I met her was at one of my very first runs. I must have looked really bad because she asked me if I needed her walker. Since then I have come in last many times just to walk and talk to her. She always decorates her walker to the season or holiday. I may be last, but she most always places somewhere in her age group. She is inspiration. So, don’t worry about being last. Great friendships are formed there. And really you are never last!!
Take care and keep moving!
People often ask me what foods I gave up to lose weight, and are surprised when I reply “none.” I explain to them that moderation has been key, and that ultimately watching my caloric intake regulates when and how often I have that cheeseburger or dessert. My point is, if you want to give something up all together, it is understandable–heck, probably easier than moderation. But consider that food decisions do not have to be all-or-none, and that you can chose to drastic reduce consumption of something without outright banning it from your diet. I happen to know a number of ‘sometimes vegetarians.’
I stopped eating meat over 15 years ago, and boy do people get defensive when they hear that. I still eat fish and seafood occasionally, but am mostly vegetarian. I don’t particularly care what other people eat, and I recognize that there’s a food chain, but I just can’t eat meat.
Good luck on your 5K. I started doing your podcasts in January, and realized after the first couple of weeks that I was going to have to repeat weeks here and there. Which is fine, since I’m not really planning on running a 5K, I just want to be able to.
Thanks Tam! I do sometimes put unnecessary pressure on myself. To finish is to win…Wow she uses her walker??! That’s amazing, thank you for sharing that story. I’ll be thinking of her and you when I cross that finish line.
Jack that is so true, sometimes giving something up is actually easier than doing it in moderation. Since I wrote this post, I’ve been more mindful of my beef intake. I’m not addicted to it, so to speak, so it hasn’t been too bad at all. But you’re totally right, it’s more about caloric intake. I haven’t fully made up my mind yet, but I’m leaning more towards limiting my intake as opposed to getting rid of beef for good. Thanks for commenting!
Jennifer isn’t that the strangest thing when people get offended by what YOU don’t eat? I think on some deep level they feel judged because you’re making a healthier decision, I don’t know…But I think I’m just going to be more mindful of my beef intake, and watch the calories closer general…. If you’ve followed along with my blog, you know that I’ve had to repeat days and weeks as well. It might take longer, but I’m going to get to “Week 9” even if it’s really week 13. You can check out Active.com to see if they have a 5K in your area, it’s such an amazing feeling to cross the finish line, especially after all your hard work.