Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness

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 Post subject: Hello all! Here is my story
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:18 am 
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Finch
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Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:41 am
Posts: 2
Hi all,

I've had quite the journey in making my way here, some shocking things happen to my health over just the past year. It is quite long, but a worthwhile experience to read.

To begin, I started bodybuilding to get bigger and in general just look more aesthetic. Reading forums and articles that were just filled with broscience recommended you take in as much protein as you can. "1.5g per lb? sure that's OK, but why not 2 per lb" seemed the general consensus around. To top it all off, people recommended taking a few servings from protein shakes to achieve that figure easily. Nothing I ate was organic and very little was from plant food.

I saw great progress, I was putting on mass and cutting fat at an alarming rate. I then did a 5 week cycle of an oral steroid (Hdrol, a mildly methylated one.) I'll be the first to admit that it was not the smartest idea, but I believe it was not the main culprit in my downfall.

So there I am, fresh off my cycle, weighing in at approximately 190 lbs and around 10% body fat. Needless to say, I felt I was on top of the world. Then it all came crashing down. A couple weeks after finishing the cycle, I started to see some yellowing of the eyes. Shocked, I ran to the doctor had my blood done and saw that my AST ALT liver enzymes were highly elevated each around 260-270 (while the normal range is 0-50.) In the next 3 months, it got worse. My billirubin reached a high of 44!! Not only did I look awful, like I was simpson's character, but with that high of a bilirubin the itching is so bad that you lie awake at night wanting to rip your skin off.

Throughout this time, I maintained a high protein intake, I'd say never below 1.25 gram per lb. My GI doctor was fairly useless to be honest. He just sent me for bloodwork every other day and had no changes to recommend and just wanted to jump to a liver biopsy and then do a liver transplant if needed. Mind you, I was 21 years old. I was petrified of the thought, and was at that point willing to do anything so I finally caved in to my wonderful girlfriend who took me to a holistic doctor (who I owe my life to.) This doctor put me on a cleanse to detoxify and changed my diet by severely limiting my protein and putting me on a raw diet; I had maybe 30g of protein on a high day. At first, I was quite skeptical but at that point was willing to try anything.

The results? Only two months later my billirubin which was in the 40s was down to 2. My liver enzymes? They were in the low 20s high teens (acceptable range 0-55, previous highs were around 260.) The rate at which my health came back was remarkable.

Happy ending/lesson learned right? Wrong. As soon as my jaundice symptoms dissappeared, I figured I could train and eat the way I did before and I simply blamed the stuff I just went through on the oral steroids, that was the easy thing to do. So, here I am, three weeks back into it eating not as much protein but close to 220g (I went back down to 160lbs.) I was gaining my muscle back and was happy and just told myself "hey, you see, it was the oral steroid."

Randomly, I just decided to get my blood work done again, and was stunned by the results. Just by increasing the protein intake (I took no other supplements) my liver enzymes had shot back up AST ALT were back up into the 80s and even my billirubin increased from 2 to 3. At that moment, it clicked for me. It was just my diet all along. I know that the oral steroid did not help the matter in the first case but I am convinced that the major damage was done by the ridiculously high protein non organ/plant diet I had been on.

Since then, I had switched to an organic vegan diet (I still have my protein, but not in exuberant amounts maybe 80-90g a day approximately .5g per lb) and what do you think happened to my health? Within a couple of weeks, billirubin down into its normal range for the first time in a year or so, and my liver enzymes were in the lower teens.

I know this was a long winded post, but I hope you all find some value from it, especially the younger members whom like I was might be under the misconception that you need ridiculous amounts of protein to grow. You don't, you simply don't. I've been growing and putting mass on with 90g a day max. It's simply not worth it, and I am appalled at the thought of how many other individuals or aspiring bodybuilders out there might be doing the damage to their liver and kidneys that I did to mine. I was lucky, I fixed the situation before it was too late, others might not be so lucky so I just would like to spread the word, and if it helps one person I would be satisfied.

Anyways, that is why I am here. I look forward to contributing to this community.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello all! Here is my story
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:12 pm 
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Elephant
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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:41 am
Posts: 2300
Location: Portland (SouthEast), OR
Way to overcome Roki46! A plant strong vegan way of living cleared everything up for you, so exciting! Can't imagine what you were going through. Glad it all saw it's way through now and it will be a blessing to have your presence in the community. Look forward to your posts and welcome to the club friend :boxer: 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Hello all! Here is my story
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:40 pm 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:19 pm
Posts: 195
Thanks for sharing AND for changing your ways! In the medical field myself, I see everyday where a physician simply prescribes yet another medication or procedure for an ailment that could be eliminated through dietary changes. Keep in mind, physicians in med school receive very little nutrition education. They receive more daily education from pharm reps and procedure reps! Healthcare is a frustrating industry with focus on secondary and not primary care!!
Kudos to you & happy health!


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 Post subject: Re: Hello all! Here is my story
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Elephant
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Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 1074
Location: in the Vortex
roki46 wrote:
I know this was a long winded post, but I hope you all find some value from it...if it helps one person I would be satisfied.

You are an amazing teacher, roki, and you have balls the size of coconuts for sharing the details of your learning-the-hard-way route to health. I'm so glad you made it but you're gonna go a lot farther, don't worry. You'll top your goals. Your experience will give you power and credibility as you "spread the word," as you put it, and people you haven't even met yet will listen to you.

Keep kicking ass.

Baby Herc

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 Post subject: Re: Hello all! Here is my story
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:43 am 
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Finch
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Lean and Green wrote:
Way to overcome Roki46! A plant strong vegan way of living cleared everything up for you, so exciting! Can't imagine what you were going through. Glad it all saw it's way through now and it will be a blessing to have your presence in the community. Look forward to your posts and welcome to the club friend :boxer: 8)


Thanks for the warm welcome!

LMNgetfit wrote:
Thanks for sharing AND for changing your ways! In the medical field myself, I see everyday where a physician simply prescribes yet another medication or procedure for an ailment that could be eliminated through dietary changes. Keep in mind, physicians in med school receive very little nutrition education. They receive more daily education from pharm reps and procedure reps! Healthcare is a frustrating industry with focus on secondary and not primary care!!
Kudos to you & happy health!


It is truly frustrating, I spent nearly 6 weeks going to my GI only to have him order lab tests and prescribe me 3 different medications to "see if it improves anything." Not once was a dietary change mentioned or investigated. Everyone wants a quick fix or a magic pill that will undo the damage, when instead a dietary change could help fix the problem. Don't get me wrong, medications have their place and purpose, for sure, but if you don't get down to the root of the problem, you're not going to solve anything.

Baby Hercules wrote:
roki46 wrote:
I know this was a long winded post, but I hope you all find some value from it...if it helps one person I would be satisfied.

You are an amazing teacher, roki, and you have balls the size of coconuts for sharing the details of your learning-the-hard-way route to health. I'm so glad you made it but you're gonna go a lot farther, don't worry. You'll top your goals. Your experience will give you power and credibility as you "spread the word," as you put it, and people you haven't even met yet will listen to you.

Keep kicking ass.

Baby Herc


It would probably be easier to forget what had happened, but I know that I cannot do that. I lived through it and learned valuable lessons and it is a goal of mine to now spread the word and share my story with others. I truly hope I can someday make a significant impact on the bodybuilding community. Before my so called awakening, I was just into bodybuilding for selfish/vain reasons. However, now I have another huge motivation to eat properly and train hard. It is a wonderful feeling.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello all! Here is my story
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:01 pm 
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Elephant
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Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 4:40 pm
Posts: 2579
Great intro, and welcome! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Hello all! Here is my story
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:57 am 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:59 pm
Posts: 67
Location: Columbia, MO
Thats so awesome man, it feels great when you know you are on the correct path finally for the first time in your life.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello all! Here is my story
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:37 pm 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:13 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Irvine, CA
Wow… scary man, glad to hear that you found a way to overcome it and heal up.
We live in a culture that if 1 is good and 2 is better... then 10 must great so let’s try 100.

Kenny


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 Post subject: Re: Hello all! Here is my story
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:35 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:28 pm
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Location: San Jose, CA
Wow, what an interesting story! Glad that your health is on the mend and welcome!

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