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An honest post that sucks…

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Stay with me. Being honest isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to being honest with ourselves. This is not a fat hate post; this is a post about how veganism has really changed my body..in a very negative way. I know there are things I can do better, and I will work on those things, but generally speaking, I do eat a very healthy low sugar, low oil diet that contains enough protein. I know I eat too many things with gluten though. Anyways seeing the first picture makes me want to cry.

Before removing animals from my diet/lifestyle:

Six months in I was already gaining weight.

A year and a half in into being vegan I still looked pretty great; this was mostly due to working part time at Wild Oats when it existed and having cheap access to healthy food:

Six years, meat free:

Ok, ok, so the above is unflattering and would be for anyone. But here’s another, taken last November:

Since removing meat from my life (and dairy and eggs, which I’ve admittedly struggled with many times-not dairy so much as eggs) I’ve gained more than 40 lbs. I’ve been healthy, I’ve done the low fat, high protein thing..I’ve done everything. And it just seems unhealthy for me. I’m going to take a stab at being raw and see how that affects me. Otherwise…I’m at a loss and veganism doesn’t seem to do my body good…AT ALL. I do want to reiterate though; at this point, I am not considering giving up veganism. I just want to feel healthy and be comfortable with myself, and I’m working on it, but I know nothing happens over night. It’s going to be hard, but I can feel better about myself. Self-hate is so unhealthy…sigh.

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About laceythevegan

I'm a reader, a food lover, a crazy cat lady, an animal lover, local shopper and local music supporter. You can find me in East Nashville most of the time, shopping, having a drink at a locally owned bar, or eating food at a local restaurant. I like cumin and smoked paprika way more than I should, winter squashes make me happy, and while I do like most fruits, I only *love* berries and mangoes. I'd rather have salty snacks than sweets, and the darker chocolate is, the better. I still think Earth Balance is the best fake butter, Vegenaise is the best vegan mayo, and Almond Milk tastes better than soy milk. Chia seeds are my favorite egg substitute for the most part, and pumpkin tends to bind better than applesauce-especially in chocolate goods. I know a lot about food and nutrition, but that doesn't mean I'm the healthiest person. I tend to avoid eating out because I know I can make food that tastes better at home.

30 responses »

  1. When I first went vegan I lost weight but once I learned to cook and then BAKE vegan sweets I gained 40 lbs, too. I was eating every vegan cupcake and cookie because “OMG it’s vegan” and “I have to have it”.

    Then I quit eating all sugar except for fruit. I had absolutely NO sweets, baked goods, even agave or stevia, etc. I lost 50 lbs and have kept it off.
    I started and ended every day with a smooothie made of unsweetened almond milk and frozen strawberries and bananas. Lots of people think it’s hi/lo fat and carbs but for my body, sugar turns directly into fat.

    Are you eating sugars or sweeteners in any form? Also, I started to get on the elliptical for 15 mins a day (then I increased it to 1 hour 3 times a week) and I was my lowest weight ever from 170 to 114. I still ate carbs, I still ate fat and all the comforting savory stuff. I just kept off sweeteners and sugar.

    Lots can change in a few years: you may suddenly need to exercise regularly even if you never needed to before, your metabolism can slow down the older you get. It’s not as simple as saying veganism makes anyone gain or lose. If you are eating vegan baked goods (even healthy ones with oats and bananas) that may be the main factor because it was with me. I could be totally wrong too but I can only offer what worked for me.

    You look great and I hope you find someting that makes you feel great, too.

    Reply
    • laceythevegan

      Thank you! What you had to say really encourages me to rethink my eating strategy. I have been thinking lately about how sugar is quite likely a contributing factor to my weight and have wanted to give up sweetners for quite some time to see how I would feel. I honestly feel the same way about gluten. Since going vegan, my gluten consumption has more than tripled and that may be a factor. Thank you again for your thoughtful comment. A lot of this rings really true.

      Reply
  2. you already know

    and you are still beautiful..

    Reply
    • laceythevegan

      love you Lance. Thank you ❤

      Reply
      • you already know

        you are more than welcome.. you’re a beautiful person and you already know that, just stay positive and don’t give up.. i’m struggling with my weight too, but i have nothing to blame but my diet and lack of exercise, my motivation is slowly coming back but it’s taken a pretty good bit of time

  3. Hi Lacey!

    One of my readers sent me to this post. I want to start by saying that I believe 100% that you know your own body, so please don’t think I’m butting in. But I do work as a nutritionist who specializes in overseeing vegan transitions, and I have seen that it can take tremendous time and experimentation to find the right approach. In my experience, high protein is rarely helpful.

    I also want to say that, even if you aren’t comfortable within your body right now, you are beautiful, always.

    G

    Reply
    • laceythevegan

      Thank you for your input Gena, I appreciate the reinforcement. I’m seriously re-evaluating what i consume at this point, because I cannot fathom eating animals ever again. I haven’t eaten meat in over six years, but it’s only been four years since I gave up dairy. I really only struggled with eggs for some reason. I just want to be healthy and feel comfortable with myself. I’m working on it and will definitely keep everyone posted on my progress.

      Reply
      • Please do!

        And it’s really important to banish the notion that all vegans are skinny (I read your response to JL, below), as well as the notion that vegan diets are a guarantee of weight loss. All ways of eating depend on nuance and on doing what works for your body (in my opinion, it all depends, too, on not going to any extremes or falling into black and white thinking).

        It’s great that you stand by the desire not to eat flesh. Also know that overcoming dairy and/or egg cravings is normal and takes a long time — we human beings are creatures of habit! I missed Greek yogurt for a long time in the morning. My body adjusted, but I had to gently break the habit 🙂

        G

  4. I have no genius words of advice for you, but just wanted to give you some support and positivity from a lurking reader! Good luck figuring out what works best for your body… and I agree with Gena, you still look lovely. 🙂

    Reply
  5. I think you look wonderful! Six years is a long time — my weight has done all kinds of crazy things over a span of years. Please think about other behaviors and how and what you eat — it may not be about animal products and rather too much of one thing and not enough of another. Again, you look wonderful!

    Reply
    • laceythevegan

      I was able to maintain previously, but I feel best raw and am returning to that lifestyle to see if I feel better. I wanted to put this out there so people know not all vegans are skinny, we are all different.

      Reply
      • Girl, I am so with you on that. You have no idea how many times I say “I’m not that skinny vegan” But I do say that I’m super-healthy and feel great, I just had to adjust my expectations when I looked in the mirror.

  6. I am with JL on this one, why would you point to veganism? There are so many variations of the vegan diet, so I feel it’s impossible to blame it. It’s just too broad a category. And you CAN be high protein on a vegan diet. Just ask Robert Cheeke, vegan body builder, how he built all his muscle.

    I’ve never been a super thin vegan either, but I’ve never been that thin in general. I’ve gained some weight since I’ve been vegan, but so have almost everyone I know who is my age (31) in the last 10 years. Not that we can’t work to get it off, but I know it’s not because I’m vegan.

    As for raw, sure, it could help. It might help to just take the gluten out of your diet, but be cautious not to replace it with tons of gluten-free carbs.

    Another thing is emotions and stress: I know that I’ve gained weight at stressful times in my life, regardless if my diet changes that much. It’s unfortunate but does happen to some body types.

    If I were you I’d read up on some vegan nutrition books. Becoming Vegan is a great resource and has a chapter on weight loss. Any of Joel Fuhrman’s books are good too. Good luck!

    Reply
    • laceythevegan

      The reason I point to vegansim is that it is the only change I have made. I’m not giving up veganism just evaluating what’s happened.

      Reply
  7. Good luck with this! It sucks that our bodies don’t change/adapt overnight, so we never really know what works best/works the worst for us. Hopefully in the next few weeks you can figure some of these things out!

    Reply
  8. Sending love to you! Weight balance is something I think about a lot, but my main priority is feeling nourished, and not worrying about the scale.
    Do you feel nourished? Have good energy?
    Best wishes on your journey,
    ❤ Aura

    Reply
  9. I know how you feel. I put on about 15lbs when I went vegetarian thanks to a steady diet of pasta and bread. Not until I adopted a no-white diet that things really changed. That is, no white rice, refined sugar, white flour, and potatoes. That pretty much includes everything I love, but when I stick to the diet, I feel and look better. Of course, I haven’t done that in a while. I need to get back into it. :/

    Reply
    • I have considered giving up gluten and sugar completely to see how I feel. That’s one of the first things I’m doing. So far I feel ok. I cannot imagine taking potatoes out of my diet…well, sweet potatoes anyways. Did you just remove white ones?

      Reply
  10. Good luck on your journey! There are so many resources out there in the blogosphere and amazon, I’m sure you’ll find what’s right for you. Definitely do an elimination diet. I recommend the book “30 Day Raw Detox” – believe it or not, all recipes in the book are not raw or vegan…there are different levels you can choose from depending on your lifestyle/want. You’ll never feel better than after you drink the detox green lemonade in that book!

    Best of luck!

    Reply
  11. Lacey, can I recommend Isa’s new book, Appetite for Reduction? a ton of great tasting food but with just as much nutritional advice and much more appropriate portions.

    Sometimes, our bodies just change… I haven’t had the experiences you’ve had – every time I’ve made a change, I have truly felt enlivened by it, but I have had issues with my weight since going vegan. I maintained my weight for about 5 years, and then I quit my last vice (smoking cigs) and gained 10 lbs ONLY because my metabolism wasn’t getting a boost from the nicotine – no change in my eating habits.

    try focusing on nourishing yourself – whatever that means. I think you will do better to focus on how to feed yourself rather than how to restrict what you’re eating. When you do that, you set yourself up to fail because you’ve marked this or that food as forbidden…which usually increases its allure.

    in any case, I’ll be happy to lend whatever help and support I can – best of luck and blessings to you!

    Reply
    • I love that book. I’m also relying on The Happy Herbivore as well ❤
      I'm definitely working on figuring out what's best for me. I just got a new book about vegan detoxing, which offers encouragement for reducing/eliminating gluten, sugar and refined oils. I'm hoping to learn something new!

      Reply
  12. emerging from teh interweb shadows to say: eating a vegan diet of fruits, veggies, and legumes (with reduced salt, sweeteners, and fats) has totally helped me; I hope it works for you too 🙂 also, you’re totally beautiful in ALL of your pictures. that being said, I’m sure you’ve done much more interesting and important things in life than being skinny.

    good luck and good health 🙂

    Reply
    • I hope it does work! I know I’ve done more important things than being thin 🙂 I just want to feel comfortable and at this point; I’m not. My excess weight is noticeable to me in many ways, being uncomfortable when I sit or sleep are at the top of the list. I’m working on it and adding daily exercise to my life to see if things change!

      Reply
  13. Lacey, as you know I’m not vegan and I’m definitely not the skinny gal. However, I’ve found that when I cut out the fats, my weight balloons. So flirt with a more Mediterranean diet. I know there’s lots of seafood and such, so that’s obviously not what I’m talking about, but they eat a massive amount of fruit and fresh veggies and olives and olive oil. For me, right now, I’m working on cutting out sugars with the exception of honey. Next I’ll be working on reducing breads. I’ve switched all my oil to olive and coconut oil and I’m feeling better. I’m also reducing the amount of red meat we eat as well as increasing our veggie load, raw and otherwise. I wish you well on your quest to figure out what works for you.

    Reply
    • I’ve been reading about food combining and processed food lately; and I am starting to think the problem lies in sugars that are not in their natural state, too many processed foods, soy and gluten. I’ve decided fats like olive oil and coconut oil are definitely here to stay!

      Reply
  14. I just stumbled upon your post, and wanted to encourage you to listen to your body. I really feel like it is more about Mindful Eating then anything else. Women, Food and God is a simple book to start with… Once I started listening to my body, I figured out that I prefer a vegan diet without refined sugars and flours (I wasn’t a vegan until a few months). Anyways, so far, so good… and my favourite cookbooks to help me along the way have been from Tess Challis (she blogs here: http://rhiw.blogspot.com/). Anyways, good luck with your journey. 🙂

    Reply

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