If you're having trouble sticking with your goal of being a strict vegetarian, consider some sessions with a counselor who can teach you strategies for staying on course. The counselor doesn't have to eat a meatless diet or be associated with a vegetarian organization; instead, this person is highly knowledgeable about helping people achieve their goals and avoid self-sabotage.
Identifying Why You Revert to Eating Meat
Being mindful of your triggers can help you avoid succumbing to cravings -- or even experiencing cravings in the first place. Your counselor has likely helped many other clients learn how to avoid and manage triggers involving types of behavior they want to stop.
Are you an emotional eater? Do you revert to your previous habits out of anger or frustration? Do certain events and settings make it difficult for you to avoid eating meat? Does it sometimes feel like it's just too much of a hassle when you go out to restaurants or when you're having meals with family or friends?
Once you get a clear view of these issues, you and your counselor can begin working on techniques to overcome these obstacles.
Keeping Your Eye on Your Goal
Perhaps you stopped eating meat because you don't feel comfortable with killing animals for food, because you view vegetarianism as a more environmentally friendly choice or because you believe this diet is best for your health. Your counselor will help you learn strategies to stay focused on that goal.
For instance, you might benefit from joining an organization focusing on animal compassion, environmental concerns or reducing meat intake for better health. You might sign up for email newsletters on these topics for daily or weekly inspiration.
Being Gentle With Yourself
In some respects, avoiding eating meat while craving it is similar to dealing with an addiction to alcohol. The difference is that many people who quit drinking alcohol because of their dependence on it know they can't stop drinking once they start. In contrast, you may very well be able to eat a small amount of meat now and then without feeling the need to become a full-time meat eater once again.
Your counselor will likely advise you to focus on the dramatic success you've had at reducing your meat intake even if you indulge once in a while. You're still doing a lot of good.
Learning What to Do Now
Contact a counseling center, like Albano Fischetti Counseling, to start your process. Explain your concerns during your initial conversation on the phone. Your counselor will be ready for you to delve into more detail at your first session. You'll begin learning the tools you need to successfully continue on this path.