When I first went to the most popular of the local restaurants here on post I wasn't eating much meat. If anything is going to upset my system, it's meat, and I still wasn't sure if I was going to get sick on the food down here. It took 3 trips there, and sending my burito back 3 times on the last visit, even with 3 Spanish-speaking co-workers helping me order, to get just a bean burito with no meat. To them, 'no carne' just means I want chicken. It got to the point that they gave me the tortilla, lettus, and tomato, with nothing else. And this was with Bean Burito on the menu and me pointing to it.
A few months after I got here one guy came who is vegetarian. He got that restaurant to where they now realize that some of us don't want meat. Then another guy came here who is also vegetarian. It is now easy to get meals without meat and the locals don't look at me like I'm nuts.
I try to stay away from high calorie food now because I ballooned up 20 lbs when I got here. I have lost most of it, but I try to be careful. I also havn't had a physical in several years, and I don't want to have my cholesterol test come back high when I do end up getting one. So, I'm looking at cutting down on meat. My two co-workers are an inspiration. I can make the excuse that there really isn't a lot of choice in foods down here, not like in the States. I can make a lot of excuses. The dining facility food is a lot of choices in meat and starch and they always have several deserts. I don't have a 'real' kitchen to cook for myself.
Then yesterday I was out with one of the vegetarian co-workers. We went to Chilli's and he was talking about his choices. A lot of times he ends up with an veggie dip of some kind and fries. He got the nachos at lunch yesterday. And he was ok with all that. Makes it kind of difficult to look at my excuses when he just goes and does the whole veggie thing, making whatever consession necessary, except to give in to meat.
So, today I had the chicken and rice, and bean burito for lunch. I'll start with no red meat. I've gone 2 days without it so far. If I think it's 'too hard', all I have to do is look at my 2 co-workers who have managed just fine for a year down here without eating meat of any kind. Getting healthier is not something that would be nice to do, it is something that I have to do in order to have the life I want. No excuses.