I'm not sure if I fully belong here, as I am neither a vegan nor a bodybuilder. But here goes.
Hi folks, thought I would introduce myself. I'm 39 and I live in Ontario Canada, near Toronto. Go Leafs...
About a year ago, I decided to try to give up meat. Prior to that, I ate beef, lamb, poultry, pork, seafood of every kind... I reckon I ate just about everything that walked, flew or swam at some point, for the better part of four decades.
I began thinking about the morality of killing sentient, defenseless animals for food when other options were available. Health reasons are another equally important factor in my decision. By my 38th birthday, after decades of indulging in just about every carnivorous pleasure imaginable, I finally decided enough was enough. I was was going to make a conscious effort to adopt a vegetarian diet.
Surprisingly, giving up most forms of meat was not as difficult or withdrawal-inducing as I had feared. For awhile, I continued to eat occasional portions of seafood(recently on vacation in Brazil I had some shrimp), and have been slow to part with eggs and dairy products until now. Naturally, there were-- and still are-- times when an advertisement for Wendy's or KFC can be... distracting, to say the least. Usually when I've gone too long between meals. Let alone the smell of hot chicken wings and fish and chips the local pub serves.
But time has made me less susceptible to those temptations. I continued to eat eggs for the past year, as well as milk and cheese, convinced they were the lesser of many evils. I am cutting way back on eggs and expect to be done with them sometime early in the New Year. Dairy might take a little longer, but if I can find suitable, ethical alternatives to milk, butter and cheese I am more than game to go that route. Milk was always my favourite refreshment after a hot day or a workout, but I could get used to life without it. Butter is more a glorified condiment than anything else, it can be replaced, I'm sure.
Cheese, on the other hand....
It was always the favourite snack, the one that went with everything. Even today, when I get the old cravings for meat I enjoy a grilled cheese sandwich with a tomato soup. Undoubtedly this will be the last animal product I give up. That, or honey. Speaking of which, is there any such thing as a vegan substitute for honey? There's a million-dollar idea right there, if anyone can successfully develop it.
The way I see it, it's simply a matter of developing new habits. Vegetarian protein substitutes are more plentiful now than they ever have been, even if the price is sometimes higher than one would like. I visit Whole Foods once or twice a week, if for no other reason than that they seem to have a wider than average variety of vegetarian, vegan products.
I have decided to get serious about working out, bodybuilding this year (2012). For most of my adult life I would say that I have usually been “fit,”but I can't say that I have ever been “muscular,” let alone “athletic.” When I was younger I took part in running, hiking, cross-country skiing, and rowing. So it's not as though I am starting from nothing.
I would also like to get started in mixed martial arts fight training, as I feel that would not only be a practical self-defense measure, but would add a dimension of “fun” to training, which can become routine otherwise.
So I am on the right track, I think. Just need to pick up the pace a little. As to the “bodybuilding” focus of this site, well up until now I have been one of those on-again-off-again workout types. That is another thing that has to change, but for now, the less said about that the better. Talk is cheap!
I am not sure if I am willing to show a “before” picture just yet! Though I can see how this can produce incentive to maintain training discipline. I will think about this in the days ahead. I am not vain enough to think that posting my photo on a website will cause shockwaves of controversy throughout the Internet, but I am warier than I used to be about those kinds of things.
Bon appetit! Happy New Year.