Well, I don't really know how to word this - but I'll try. I am here for two reasons: my university research, and my own issues with food and my body.
I've been vegan for three years or so. I was already vegetarian for eight years - then I watched Vegucated on Netflix and decided to go "all the way". I was more in it for nutritional reasons than anything. But I was never into bodybuilding. I just wanted to keep "foreign"-weird-animal-stuffs out of my body.
In my last year of university I started to question whether my identifying as gay and becoming vegan might be linked. Sort of like: a self-inverted double-queer sort of thing. I sort of had a niggling in me to explore this further. So I decided to do my university research about those that identified as "gay male vegan", and interviewed four males for my research. I wasn't so much seeking a universal truth, of course, but I was interested in probing at this issue. If anyone is interested in the results, I would be happy to share.
But well, the last year or so I become quite obsessed with exercise. So much so that if I missed a day of doing it, I would feel incredibly guilty. I would do work-out DVD's primarily - those of Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper - such as six-week six-pack and kettleball workouts. Trouble is, I would put off going out to meals and things like that. I would become incredibly stressed over food. This was a post-break up thing, I realise now. And this struggle with food is something I'm still honestly trying to overcome. I get really quite stressed out about it. And my sex drive has pretty much completely disappeared. I've been to the doctor, and I've stocked up on my vitamins, and I just come to think that I probably need to eat more. I think I still want to continue to exercise 5-6 days a week, but perhaps 3 days on and 1 day off, so my body doesn't get used to it. And just to chill a bit more and relax about what I eat. I even apprehensively had a doughnut yesterday, even if it took some peer pressure to do it. As for my daily diet - I kind of strictly eat every two hours. I always aim for three different wholegrains a day, at least 50g plant protein, a handful of nuts and seeds, and calcium/vitamin-fortified foods. Oh, and fruits and vegetables. I don't think I've been reaching 2,500 calories.
But anyway - I'm now an MA student. And I've become really interested more in exploring masculinity and veganism more broadly. And coinciding it with my own issues with food. This means being here, participating and actively engaging with you guys with my own issues, and hopefully at the same time coming to know some of you guys to inform my research. I am quite interested in how male vegans that engage in bodybuilding might be challenging and shifting perceptions of masculinity. And I am also interested in how you may use different vegan food brands. And further how you might relate to media representations of vegan men in some media that I have found.
So, the response I hope to get from this post is twofold: I am hoping someone might be able to relate to my issues with food and give advice so as to get healthier and "in shape" in a safe way - to maintain an exercise regime whilst also staying my ideal weight. I don't want to "bulk" up so to speak, but just to be fit and athletic. But I also hope that I might get some responses / volunteers to respond to my research questions and media findings (maybe you could PM me in this respect so we can start to build dialogue).
Not really sure where this is going, but thanks for reading. Was all a bit of a "mouthful" haha.
Introduce yourself. Tell us about your training history, how long you've been vegan, share some of your goals and some of your interests.
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