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.