Okay…I realize that I might sound a bit crazy, but bear with me for a sec while I explain why you are in the best possible place you could be in right now…
YES, it’s true that thousands of fitness professionals and gym bunnies are hitting seriously low body fat percentages all over the world
And YES, it’s also true that had you jumped on the fitness bandwagon sooner and spent hundreds of hours tinkering, testing, weighing, measuring and obsessing over how to make it work for your vegan lifestyle, you MAY also have been one of those success stories that women’s magazines love raving about.
But here’s the thing…
Contrary to what you may have heard, most people who attempt to lose weight and get very lean, NEVER GET MORE THAN A COUPLE OF POUNDS BELOW WHERE THEY ARE NOW.
In fact, my VERY first attempt at getting lean ended up with me being almost 10lbs OVER the weight I had started! (I kid you not)
And the funny thing is - I actually did everything right. (I measured my protein intake, I worked out 5 days a week in the gym, learned everything I could about nutrition and the body.)
One tiny (but really huge) mistake…
But one tiny mistake on my end that nobody warned me about (Really? I’m supposed to eat less calories than I burn off?) sunk the whole thing faster than you can say Titanic, in less than a month.
And I know that my own epic fail may sound..
uncommon and unlikely.
But if you’ve ever attempted a weight loss and gym program yourself and tried to make it into a vegan program (or listened closely to the struggles of your peers), then you’ll know that this kind of horror story isn’t so far off from the typical weight loss experience.
Here’s how most “get lean” programs go down…
First, you sign up to a gym and hire a personal trainer (and just any trainer because surely they’re all good, right?)
Or…if you can’t afford a gym, you buy some dumbbells and resistance bands and maybe one of those ab machines that you saw advertised on the late night shopping channel, and wait for the “magic” to unfold.
And maybe you actually DO start to see some results. Something you feel good about.
So you go to work on changing your diet. Meal times turn from being pleasurable to anxiety ridden as you spend hours wondering what you should be eating, choosing to stick with mostly fruit because surely fruit can’t make you fat (wrong!) or sitting down to a plate of lettuce leaves and celery while the rest of the family tucks into your hearty, homemade dinner.
But even as you eat it, you can already feel how wrong it all seems. You’re starving most of the time, and also miserable.
You worry about the balance.
Am I working out too little? Eating too much? How quickly should I be seeing results?
But you’re a strong, independent person and you’ve already spent hundreds on new workout clothes, home exercise equipment and DVDs that you don’t really even know how to use yet. So you plunge on with a “I will not let this beat me” attitude.
“I’m just food deprived and tired…I’ll feel better once I see the weight beginning to drop off” (you tell yourself)
Sure…if that even begins to happen.
Next, it’s time to wake up at 5am (cause fit people work out at this time don’t they?) and squeeze into that expensive workout gear.
But “it’s all good” you say…“The investment will be worth it in the end”
So you take stock of it all – dumbbells, yoga mats, resistance bands, complicated machines, barbells, swiss balls…
And push through a few sets – stopping to watch a few YouTube tutorials and “how to” workouts, realising half way through that you’ve spent 45 minutes trying to decide on the best workout in YouTube and now only have 15 minutes left to actually exercise.
And let’s say you get lucky…maybe there’s a “fit friend” you can call who gives you some direction and tells you the name of a celebrity trainer who has free online workout videos. So you commit to doing these instead every day.
Phew. That was close 😉
Then the one week later you decide it’s time to step on the scales…
You have resisted stepping on the scales up until now (well, apart from those sneaky couple of times mid week, but they didn’t count because it takes at least a week to see real changes, right?)
You’re feeling good. You’ve gotten up early every day and squeezed in as much of a workout as you can.
You’ve been starving and irritable most of the week, but that’s okay because you know that the results are going to be worth it.
Minutes before you step on the scales you remove every single last item of clothing, jewellery and even your hair band because you know that every last ounce counts. You silently curse yourself for having long hair because it must weigh at least a pound, right?
So you take a deep breath and do it.
You close your eyes and wait for the dial to settle.
Then you glance down.
There’s no change.
You’re exactly the same weight. Or worse, maybe you’re a pound or two heavier.
How can this be?
Maybe your weight distribution is wrong, so you try to stand on your tip toes. Nothing.
So you try standing on one leg. Nada.
You suck in your stomach and draw yourself up to your full height. Nein.
“How can this be?” you inwardly wail
You did everything the “so called” experts told you to do.You exercised more and you ate WAY less than is healthy or normal for a person your size.
How can your weight remain the same?
But the show must go on, so you dress (in your clothes that are still two sizes larger than you know you’re mean to be) and make your way to the kitchen for breakfast.
You’re so depressed that you just want to eat your body weight in chocolate. Or cake. In fact you’d eat anything right now other than that depressing half a grapefruit.
The devil that resides on your shoulder starts whispering in your ear…
“Just give yourself the morning off… you deserve it! Have a chocolate croissant. Just one won’t hurt”
But once again, you push through and eat your half a grapefruit and treat yourself to a black coffee.
Then at work someone delivers pastries from the local bakery.
Your stomach rumbles and your head pounds.
So you reach for one…
... just a bite won’t hurt
... And it tastes so good.
So you quickly demolish the whole thing in one bite (cause everyone knows you’re on a diet and they might call you out on it)
And the cycle of self-loathing begins once more.
Close the curtain.
You curse the celebrity gym program that you bought that covered only one piece or a large, intricate puzzle… and decide that you were never meant to be thin.
You’re naturally big boned and genetically cursed.
You pat yourself on the back, slink back to your old ways and learn to live with those skinny bitches who parade around in their size 8 jeans, taunting you with their flat stomachs and thigh gaps. (not that you’re spiteful or anything…)