For the month of April I will be participating in the A to Z Challenge. The goal is to write 26 posts through the month – one for each letter of the alphabet. It isn’t required but most people choose a theme to tie the posts together. I’m going to be writing about what is happening with my diet and health.

Background – I am a long time vegetarian. I think I stopped eating meat around 2000. I don’t remember exactly when it happened but I remember where. I had been gradually eating less meat because I didn’t like the taste. When I would go to restaurants I would ask for dishes to be made without meat. People would ask if I was vegetarian and I would say no and then have to explain. It was a hassle. I was sitting in the Taco Bell drive-through when I decided that it would just be easier to say yes when asked if I was a vegetarian. At that point the only meat I was eating was Big Macs and Taco Bell Nacho Bel Grande. Not exactly the best examples of the cuisine.

I’ve always been heavy. I’ve really gained a lot of weight in the last 5 years or so. I’m not entirely sure why. It is super frustrating too. I eat healthier than most people I know. People comment all the time on how healthy I eat. I think I’m just designed to easily put on weight. I’m the descendant of people who survived some famines. I’m not saying that I didn’t have a junk food habit. I totally did. I just didn’t think it was that bad.

I also ate some cheese. That was bad. I’m very lactose intolerant. I knew it would be exactly 4 hours after I ate cheese when I needed to be home waiting for the pain to strike. I kept lactose digestion tablets with me and took them faithfully. It didn’t matter. Why would I keep eating food that I knew was going to make me physically ill? Yeah, that was dumb. I had transitioned to mostly non-dairy cheeses and milk but I was still occasionally a sucker for neon orange processed cheese sauce or white Mexican queso.

So what changed? I’ll cover that for letter B.