Just over two weeks has passed of my dedicated vegan adventure (foodwise, at least!). 10 lbs gone without a single thought – so that’d be 10 lbs that my body simply didn’t want or need. I can’t believe the scales but my knees, my waistline, my energy levels, sleep patterns, general strength and yes, even my ring fingers say they’re telling the truth! It’s just fab and I feel fantastic. I’m just not sure what I’ve done to deserve this buzz. I started out simply trying to renew my interest in food. I was stuck in a rut, eating rubbish, feeling horrible inside, starting to look horrible outside – and it was back to the old spiral of eat-feel rubbish-comfort eat-feel even more rubbish-eat more anyway … Sound familiar?
Calorie-counting, points-counting, call it what you will … just don’t work on a long-term basis. Yes, of course it’s a case of calories in v. calories out – but you can eat three Mars bars daily and stay within your calories. You can also eat nothing but fruit and vegetables all day and stay within your calories. Neither diet is healthy and neither will lead to long-term sustainable weight loss. The only reason people lose weight with these ‘counting’ systems is because subconsciously they’re becoming more aware of what they’re eating, they cut down portion sizes and cut out some of the rubbish. Of course, that’s also a good thing – but ‘subconscious’ acts mean people are unaware of the real reasons they are losing weight and will therefore not be able to keep it off long-term or, indeed, know what on earth to do when the weight stops coming off. And that kind of demotivation and disappointment is the fastest way back to that eating spiral (see above) that I can think of.
Of course, I am in no way saying that vegan is the way to go LOL Absolutely not – particularly for a family, unless everyone is vegan to begin with. I’m very fortunate that I have a very supportive family who think my vegan adventure is nothing short of hilarious. Frankly, I think I have them to thank for my weight loss. It helps when the simple things like asking for a cup of tea remain simple – neither kids nor husband think twice about using soya milk for my tea and dairy for their own. Besides, this has turned out quite educational for the kids, too – they’re constantly asking why I can’t eat such-and-such and learning about carbs, proteins, fat and their role in keeping health at its maximum. Who can say that’s a bad thing, eh? They may not be eating vegan but they’re certainly learning from it, so another brownie point (dairy-free, of course) goes to my WWVD journey.
I said I’d only do this for two weeks – enough time to learn about it and get my eating back to something close to nutritional (yes, it really was that bad for a while!). Well, my two weeks is up … and I’M STILL GOING!! The first week was tough and I missed lots of my favourites (fish, eggs and milk were the most difficult) – but once I’d had a good talk with myself and reminded myself that instead of wasting time moaning about stuff I was missing my time might be better spent discovering new tastes, my vegan adventure soared to new heights and I am LOVING IT! Am I going to be ‘difficult’ and resort to beans and chips every time I go out to eat? That’d be an absolute NO! I’ll eat whatever’s available (that’ll be an extra treat!) – but neither will I forget how much energy I’ve gleaned from a new perspective on food, and surely that’s what eating should be about, isn’t it? Finding ways of extracting maximum taste but not at the expense of maximum nutrition? When did nutrition stop being about taste? Hmmmm. Personally, I blame the casual warping of the word ‘diet’ to its current meaning: hunger, boring food, fat free (responsible for more weight gain than anything else), sacrifice, a chore, dread, …).
My vegan adventure taught me lots about nutrition, introduced me to new tastes that I simply would never have touched before – and gave me a new and wonderful energy to do what I love to do: train and support my clients and train myself to the best of my ability. I’m loving life right now. If you’re struggling, then you know what to do: contact me and arrange your own 1-to-1 nutrition consultation (no, don’t be silly, I’m not going to suggest you go vegan LOL). Details on my website: www.youchoosefitness.co.uk