I Need Advice…

This post has been on my mind for awhile now and was extremely difficult for me to write, but I know that I needed to get it off of my chest and I would really appreciate it if you guys would comment and offer any advice that you could…

Lately, for the past few weeks, I started a weight lifting program since I am still barred from running due to my hamstring issues. I’ve started going to PT and seeking alternate forms of exercise since my love (running) has been taken away from me for 40 days now and ruined my chance at running in my first half marathon race a couple of weekends ago.

Well, I love lifting. I really really do. I love my new muscles and my new-found strength. However, with this new body has come a new appetite. I seem to be constantly hungry and never satiated no matter how much food I eat, regardless of the macronutrient content (protein, fat, carbohydrates).

So, while I seem to be always hungry, my body, which has been at a healthy weight now for over 2 months, has been all over the place. While my body has needed more calories because of the added muscle mass, I’m consuming many more calories than is needed to maintain this new level of metabolic activity because of the insatiable hunger.

But, overall, this is not about the weight. True, my clothes fit very differently than they did in the past few years, and I’m not entirely happy about it, but it’s just because I’ve never had muscles in the places that I do now. This is about being able to lead a normal life. It’s not normal to be eating non-stop and to never feel full. People should be able to eat, get satiated, and go on with their day without thinking about food all the time since their body wasn’t satisfied enough! Yes, food (and especially nutrition!) is a huge part of my life, but it isn’t everything and I don’t want it to ever be.

For some time now, I’ve really been trying to increase my protein intake, because I think that this is the area that is to blame. While I have my protein powders (and products that use protein isolates like Kashi GoLean, protein bars, etc.), grains, and nuts it just doesn’t seem to be enough anymore.

It’s been really hard for me to come to this realization, but I think it has finally been bashed into my skull enough that I’m ready to try and make a change for the better. Yes, I have been vegan for around a year now, and while I have loved every single second of it, I think that I’m at a point in my life right now where it’s just not the right choice.

If you follow Carrie (Moves ‘N Munchies) then you know that she went through much of the same thing this past summer. HOWEVER, I do not anticipate re-introducing meat into my diet. About 1.5 years ago, when my whole IBS journey began, I tried eating meat again, but my body just can’t take it. I don’t know what happened to my body that makes it so difficult for me to digest meat, but it just isn’t in the cards any more it looks like. So, very slowly since I’m still really nervous about dairy affecting my IBS (I’ve read that it is a trigger for many people), I want to start trying to reincorporate high-quality (and organic when I can get my hands on it) dairy and eggs into my diet again. But, of course, paying very close attention to how my body reacts in case the dairy-usage triggers my IBS symptoms.

Yes, I will be going back to being a vegetarian, but I still want to keep a mostly vegan diet. I love making my vegan baked goods and meals and don’t anticipate that changing any time soon. But, I think that adding things like cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and eggs (mostly the whites, but yolks every once in a while too because they really aren’t bad for you!). I don’t really have any desire to eat much more than that, like cheese, sour cream, ice-cream, etc. since those aren’t really good sources of the high-quality proteins that I’m searching for. I haven’t decided yet about trying whey protein powders again, but I just got a new protein powder tub that I’m going to stick with for now.

I know for a fact that there are vegan bodybuilders and vegan athletes out there that are highly successful and satisfied with their diets (physically, emotionally, and ethically), and I say “Good for them!“. But, all of us have different bodies and mine just seems to not thrive on a vegan diet and allow me to be the athlete that I want to be at the same time. Since being active has become so important to me, I felt like I had to make a choice.

Okay… I feel like I’m sort of going in circles now, but I really wanted to get everything that’s been on my mind out there in words.

I would love any feedback that you can offer me or to answer any questions that you may have. I’m not the greatest and saying everything that I really think. It’s just always a problem I’ve had and especially comes out when I have to write essays for classes and things.

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8 thoughts on “I Need Advice…

  1. Good for you for being in tune enough to realize something needs to change. Only you can really find out what works, so I say just trial and error.. if something doesn’t work, it is not set in stone, so you can change it, adjust, try something new. Enough with labels, they don’t mean a thing really, healthy and happy should be the “label” you seek. I am not assuming anything, but did try eating more calories for a long period of time, a few days wouldn’t really make a difference I mean like a few weeks… some people really underestimate their needs I think. I know personally, I need at least 3500 cals with running, more when lifting too! Even at times when I do not exercise for a while I still need at least 3000, no calculator or person can tell me otherwise. I am thin with muscle, like you, and our bodies need a lot… maybe more than you think? Everyone is different tho, but with more fuel your body will get used to it and manage it better and give you more energy too! And if you do eat eggs, try the yolk, that is where much of the nutrients are, but you know that 😀

    • This has been on my mind a lot for the past month or so. I’ve tried eating much more calorie wise, more protein, more fat, etc. but nothing seems to be helping, making me feel like I don’t have control over my own body (and NO BODY likes that!).
      I’ve never been a big yolk fan, but I do know that there are just so many vitamins and minerals in that little golden globe!
      Add in the fact that I really don’t get that much calcium and vitamin D in my diet (other than my multivitamin) and, as long as my IBS can handle it, I think that it should be good for me.

  2. I applaud you for making the choice to reintroduce some animal products into your diet for your health. We often forget that while we’re trying to make the world a better place and prevent the maltreatment of all creatures, that ourselves need to be taken into account too!

    I’ve been lifting twice a week and actually skipping cardio on those days (aside from a light jog before starting) and I’m feeling stronger and I love lifting now as well! I also find on those days that I lift that I’m constantly eating and I probably consume more than I usually would on any given day. I try upping my protein on those days and I’m usually not sated for more than 2 to 3 hours at a time. Everyone’s body is different, we all need different amounts of calories (and sometimes equations cannot account for genetic differences, don’t forget that!), and sometimes we just have to eat constantly. I’m trying to learn to live with this fact and I pack meals with me wherever I go on campus so that I’m not stuck in a position where my head is spinning and I have nothing to consume for energy to stay focused.

    My advice would be to just trust your body and natural instincts, learn what foods fill you up and feel right, and don’t worry so much about titles (“vegan,” “vegetarian,” etc.) for the time being.

    • When I say that I’m constantly hungry. It’s not an exaggeration. Literally, I will finish a meal and immediately I need to grab something else, until I’m constantly grabbing for something else. My body is full of food but my brain is telling me that it’s still hungry. You can see where that can be annoying.

      I always bring food with me to campus. Actually I bring food with me I’m going to be away for 3 or more hours no matter where I’m going, haha.

      I honestly do 1 MAYBE 2 days of cardio now, and like you said a little warm-up/cool-down thing when I lift (3x/week) and maybe 1 morning of yoga in there if I feel up to walking to the studio and paying the fee. Compared to what I was doing over the summer before I got injured and was training for my half I feel like I hardly do anything, but I know that my body is working hard on the inside building and enforcing my muscle fibers!

      It’s times like these that I could do that mask thing where they can calculate exactly how much energy your body uses, it would at least give me a good frame for what to aim for. But, alas, I don’t have such fancy equipment in my little apartment, haha.

      I just went to the store last night, so it’ll probably be about a week before I even get my hands on new food unless I can get someone to drive me to the store this weekend.

      I’m not so much afraid of the “label” being taken away from me, I’m still going to be a vegetarian and I still care deeply about animal ethics and industrial practices.

  3. Good for you for listening to your body! Lifting takes a lot more calories, fat, and protein! Sometimes more than it would seem so I would definitely suggest adding in more like you plan on doing! As long as you’re healthy and happy it doesn’t matter what your diet is called 🙂

  4. hey girl!!! LOvely post! Thanks for being so honest with us!!
    By the way I realized my IBS problem was actually candida. (it can cause many of the same symptoms…) right now I’m doing something called Body Ecology diet – you should look into it to see if you are interested!!
    🙂
    XOX
    Hope you have a great week!!

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