So the topic I wanted to write about today is the social aspect of eating and how it has affected me, including positive and negative aspects.
To start off, let me say that throughout my life I have been very conscious of the people around me. When I was very young in elementary school, I remember I was very quiet (people might have thought I was mute), though I was loud at home, but quiet at school. I was not sure of the rules and did not want to step out of line. I think part of this was due to Autism (diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at age 16) and the anxiety which I have often experienced in my life. I have always been trying to fit in, though I don’t think I ever had the desire to be “popular.” I was more often attracted to those who were weird like I felt, people who did not quite fit in, but basically, the people who accepted me, those were the ones I wanted to “fit in with.”
As I have gotten older, I have become more comfortable in who I am, mostly because I have more of an idea of who I am and who I want to be! When I was younger, and in adolescence, I was not sure of who I was. I had some idea but I was not confident in who I was. I also remember feeling self-conscious about my body and feeling chubby and overweight most of my life, especially those pre-teen and teenage years.
Anyway, my desire to fit in and not rock the boat, my desire for HARMONY (one of my results on Gallup Strength Finder quiz that I took in the first year at UBC), my desire to avoid conflict, also my ISFJ personality type, this all lead me to not be a picky eater most of my life, because I want to avoid conflict. Also, since I was shy, then at social events I did not talk much, and it was easier to not feel awkward if I was eating!
This is why I am not 100% vegan and just maintain 95% vegetarian, because of those times when I do not want to be the annoying person who makes others feel bad because I can’t eat their food.
Though the social aspects of eating can also be positive. Eating should be a POSITIVE THING. And that is why I am not 100% vegan and only 95% vegetarian because the people I share food with are more important than what I eat. I want to enjoy what I eat but I can’t do that if I am making others feel uncomfortable. The most I will do is be an advocate for lower animal protein intake. Though this would make me uncomfortable to be around a 100% vegan person but most of my loved ones are not, so at this point in time, it is easier to have some flexibility. Plus since I am on a student budget, I can’t afford too much variety so it is easier to make one meal and not multiple.
Anyway… I am on a journey and just taking it one day at a time with what works best for me and my life. Everyone is on a different journey and in a different spot in their journey and that is okay. The important thing is to love yourself, love your body, love the people around you and think positive. Have a great day!