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Invasion of the fat body snatchers


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Hi everyone,


I happened upon this site and I am grateful and will hopefully be inspired.


I have been veg for 20+ years, 12 of which are vegan. I don't know why most people envision vegans as waif malnourished hippies! I have struggled with having too much weight for longer than I care to admit. I am 46 now and it is the strangest time in my body. The fat is moving places it never had! I am pissed! As women, we brace ourselves for things to shift apprx every 7 years. I guess I am in one of those shifts. But seriously vegan folks, I am depressed about it. I won't deny that I don't have the healthiest relationship with food and I use it to block feelings sometimes. Embarrassing to admit, but true. Also, I am so frustrated with how long it takes to lose weight....these days especially. When I commit myself, I workout 4-5 times a week. I am no slouch to exercise. I lift weights and do 40-50 min of cardio every workout. What frustrates the crap out of me is if I exceed my calories on any given day by a piece of freaking fruit, I feel the weight gain! This is not an exaggeration. So my frustration leads to giving up and over eating. FYI - I TRY to eat 1600 calories per day.


Another struggle is my husband (vegan of course) wants to eat all the time! He is a big guy and he likes to eat and can get away with eating at night. I am weak and I partake with him. I make pretty good choices so don't visualize me eating junk food because that is not happening. I make raw desserts, which are better in the sense of quality, but still contain massive fat. Regardless how good my choices are, I gain weight if I eat more calories than I should.


So I just wanted to take the time to introduce myself and ask for some support and inspiration. I live in a small town in Oregon. I am from Chicago and I miss having a vegan community.


One thing I read on this site before posting is to do cardio after weights, so I will try that.


Lastly, as a tidbit of info, I already eat small meals during the day because I am hypoglycemic so I am frustrated that this does not help my metabolism. Did I mention that I was frustrated???????


Any suggestions how to help me 1, overcome unwanted fat, and 2, not let discouragement get the best of me would be mucho appreciated! My stomach is starting to feel like a separate entity! I do so many freaking sit ups! It makes no sense.


Thank you for listening to the ramblings of a slightly chubby, but not hideous vegan!

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Hi and welcome! You and I are very similar! Food has always been my crutch that I use whever I get stressed or something. Happy, sad, depressed, etc. It doesn't matter, I'll eat. I am 30 and also struggling with my body. I have gotten myself into a routine and am turning my body around. It's definitely a slow process with 135 pounds that I want to lose. Heck, that's a whole person!


I'll support you all the way!!!!! You can do it!

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Welcome to the group!


I think I'll be in Ashland in 2 weeks. You have a lot of good questions and I'm glad to see you writing about it and looking for ways to get closer to your goals. That is a good thing and I think you'll get some good insight from others over time.


I'll try to get in touch if I make it down to Ashland in a couple of weeks.


Catch up later....I gotta get going but I'll follow up later on with some ideas and suggestions. All the best! -Robert

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What exactly do you want to change? And have you considered like a late night cup of hot tea, while the hubby snacks?


Thank you to everyone for the welcome and comments!


aluck, I want to change a lot of things. I want to firm my mid section, strengthen and tighten my legs and feel lighter. I can go through periods when I am exercising pretty damn heavy. The challenge is that I get really hungry when I workout heavy. I try to stay in the range of 1600-1700 calories, but I may exceed. I can't be too rigid or I will be miserable i.e. calorie counting precisely. I want to weigh 127 lbs. I am probably 8-10 over that now. That may not seem like a lot to some folks, but it is a lot to me. I am uncomfortable. I have actually lost 5-7 already. I was 127 a couple years ago and I never felt better in my whole life. Some challenging events happened in my life and I battled some depression hence the weight gain.....15-20 lbs to be exact.


A little info for anyone who wants to offer more aid:


I came up with 1600-1700 calories based on something I read. It stated that you take the number you want to weigh and multiply it by how active you are. In my case, I chose moderately which was 13. So 127x13=1651.


When I am on track, a typical day in my diet is something like below:


Vegan, organic, raw bar of some sort for breakfast.

Piece of fruit 2 hours later - sometimes dried, but primarily fresh

Lunch might be rice with veggies or maybe a raw cracker with hummus and tomatoes.

Another snack 2 hours later might be a green smoothie which has fruit too or more fruit.

Dinner might be apprx. a cup of rice and a cup of beans with toppings like olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. Or perhaps I will have a nice meal out with some tofu stir fry type dish.

Another snack at night will be some fruit


If I slightly go over calories or cut back on exercise, I blob out fast! It is freakish. I should be in the Guinness Book of Records.


My workouts are likely stagnant. I can easily get in ruts. I am sure I am in one now and it goes as follows:


Cardio plus weights - back and chest (2 exercises for each body part, 12 reps each)

Cardio plus weights - triceps, biceps and shoulders (2 exercises for each body part, 12 reps each)

Cardio plus weights - legs - 15 rep each - I usually do a sled of some sort, hamstring varies between deadlifts or a machine. Inner thighs and quads are usually a machine.

Then I repeat this cycle. I may workout 4-5 times per week.


I did weights before cardio this morning. I will keep trying this.


I have tried a cup of hot tea at night while hubby snacks and I always have a piece of fruit, but this does not always suffice. Sometimes I rely on dried fruit, which probably is not so good because high in sugars.


The main problem with overeating is at night. If we watch a movie, I am screwed. Some kind of robotic hypnotic force takes over and says "shovel food in your face!"


Anyway, I know I am making light of this and maybe 8-10 lbs does not seem like a lot, but I really don't feel right and this is a big problem in my life. My clothes just don't fit right. Some don't fit at all and I am just struggling emotionally with this. I know I am getting older and the shift may affect things, but the extra weight is not helping. My stomach is bizarre! I stated that I work my abs, and this is no joke! I should have a lean stomach. I notice, however, that it is not really the exercise that trims my mid, but watching my diet.


Any continued support is so appreciated. I am already inspired just by putting this out there and connecting with others. I really don't have any friends to speak of in this town and my husband does not understand. He is the most amazing and supportive guy and he would abstain from snacking if I asked, but I want him to be happy. The pay off living in this town is beauty beyond words, but I miss vegan friends. Hell, I miss having friends period, but vegan is always preferable. I mean, how close can you get to a close-minded flesh scarfer?


P.S. Robert, if you are coming to Ashland and want to have a vegan meal with my husband and I, let me know!




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I just want to say, judging from your photo you are very beautiful! I can't believe you're 46! A lot of women worry about their faces in their 40s, but that's one thing you don't have to worry about


About the weight loss thing. It sounds to me like you may have hit a plateau. When was the last time you changed your workout routine?


Also, you mentioned you recently moved. Moving is very stressful for people, and stress definitely contributes to weight gain and trouble losing weight.


That said I have some suggestions for you you might want to try:


- Eat more protein: Stuff like plain oatmeal with cinnamon has lots of fiber and protein and will keep you full for longer. There's also things like homemade bean dip, hummus, tofu, seitan, and other things you can add into your diet

- Instead of eating so much fruits, try eating raw veggies instead. Snacking on raw snowpeas, carrots, cucumbers with some hummus or bean dip makes a refreshing, healthy snack with less sugars.

- At night, when your husband is snacking and you want something, try air-popped popcorn with nothing on it. Satisfying crunchy snack that is low calorie.


-For training, try lifting heavier with less reps. This will cause you to rest a little longer between sets, but I find when I lift heavier, I get my heart rate up higher and burn more calories. I also build more muscle and strength. Alternate light and heavy days. On heavy days aim for 6-8 reps, and 12-15 reps on light days. Continue doing cardio after weights.

- Try new exercises and change your routine often. Every few weeks is ideal to keep your body from getting used to one thing. Try plyometrics, jump rope, swimming, racket sports, circuit training.. The list is endless! Be creative and do what you enjoy doing. Have fun with it.


Lastly, welcome to the board! We're happy to have you here

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I can't believe you're 46! A lot of women worry about their faces in their 40s, but that's one thing you don't have to worry about




Thank you so much for the lovely compliment. I attribute any remotely youthful look in my appearance to being vegan.....and laughing! I have known women in their 60's from AR groups in Chicago who were vegan for 20-30 years and they were such amazing examples of what a vegan diet can do for you physically.


I also thank you for all the suggestions. I will definitely try eating veggies with a bean dip for snacks versus fruit. That is a great idea.


I will also try to lift heavier with less reps. When you suggest lighter lifting, do you mean lighter than the weight I do now? Or do you mean even lighter? I have gotten lazy admittedly and don't push myself to exhaustion. I rarely get sore.


As for having fun working out, I sure try to switch it up! I bought a bad ass rebounder about 6 months ago. I spared no expense and bought a beautifully made German one from http://www.qibounding.com. It was a wise investment. This is the funnest form of cardio known to man! I also ordered a hoop and I am going to try hoop dancing! I will likely fumble all over myself, but who cares! It looks like it should help with the mid section. I live in a town nestled at the base of a mountain so I can be on hiking trails in like 3 minutes. How great is that?


BTW, I did not move recently. I have been in Oregon for 9+ years. Maybe the lack of community/social life for so long has not helped things.


Well, thanks so much!

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Welcome!! This doesn't have much to do with diet or exercise, but I have to tell you: years ago I would sit on the couch in front of the TV and have that driving urge to mindlessly snack also. It put me at my heaviest weight ever in high school, which granted, still wasn't that heavy, but I wasn't happy with it, so I know exactly how you feel. What really helped me was taking up knitting and crocheting. I can do that in front of the TV (I don't pay quiiite as much attention to the tv screen, but I can still listen and that usually is enough for me). I replaced eating with knitting because it took both hands to knit so I couldn't eat while in front of the TV. I did it long enough that it became a habit and now I can sit in front of the TV without knitting AND without eating, because I disassociated TV time with snack time, you know what I mean? There isn't any more urge to snack unless I'm actually hungry, but when that happens, I don't snack in front of the TV because I don't wish to reassociate the two habits.


Anyway, if knitting isn't really your thing, it's fine, but you could do something similar--find something that takes both hands and practice it in front of the TV. Good luck!!

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Thank you for listening to the ramblings of a slightly chubby, but not hideous vegan!
Awww, no vegan is ever hideous in my opinion! (Except some who work for PETA and come up with stupid backwards ad campaigns, but that's another story.)


I'm so glad you found this forum. Great to have more Oregonians here!


My stomach is starting to feel like a separate entity! I do so many freaking sit ups! It makes no sense.

You can't really target certain areas for fat reduction. Sit ups are great because you can get stronger abs and a core that does great things for you functionally. You can also work sit ups enough to get some cardio action going on.


The best metaphor I've heard for how weight loss happens is to think of the body like an onion. (Potentially stinky, I know, but bear with me.) When it loses weight, it's like taking peels off the entire onion. Some parts might lose weight more quickly or more stubbornly, but that part is genetic, and it can't really be manipulated by trying to spot reduce.


The other thing to be careful of is hypertrophy of the abs. It's possible to work them so hard that they actually grow and protrude past the point you want them to.


So I would say, for you, do lots of cardio. Play with what works best and what will keep you interested, intervals, jogging, swimming... etc And cut your calories.

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Awww, no vegan is ever hideous in my opinion! (Except some who work for PETA and come up with stupid backwards ad campaigns, but that's another story.)


I know this story. I worked for PETA.


Thank you for the practical way of looking at this. Since I have posted, I started thinking that I am over thinking things and been too hard on myself! I also realize that I have been feeling super impatient. I should have a more gentle attitude towards my body and appreciate it more. I have walked through cancer and more and so I should express more gratitude rather than nit pick about a few extra pounds.


I am also trying to look at the overall picture and focus on what is working and the percentage of progress rather than the lack of it.


As for mixing it up, I am certainly doing that. I have a rebounder, which I LOVE LOVE LOVE. I have started interval cardio, which I really like. I also ordered a hula hoop so I can hoop dance! I can't wait until that arrives.


As for eating less, that is where I am challenged. When I workout more, I am more hungry. I will have to experiment.


Anyway, thank you vivalasvegans for the post!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi govegan!!!


I gotta say that I agree 100% with marcina.....you do not look 46 at all!!!


I hope you've managed to sort out those night time cravings......If I feel peckish whilst watching the TV I start doing stretches to take my mind off the cravings.....


Good luck

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I can totally relate to what you are going through, but I have a lot more weight to lose! Something that has really helped me with mindless or emotional eating is Yerba Mate tea. In South America, they call it "the drink of the gods". Instead of snacking I drink some tea and if I am still hungry, I will eat. Yerba Mate contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. I like the "Empowerment Mint" tea, Iced. http://www.guayaki.com/index.php?p=health


Also, have you tried eating a lot more whole, raw, unproccessed foods? I find that when I start my day with tea and then only eat fruit until noon, I feel much better and make better food choices later in the day.

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You're eating a lot of carbs..you'll never lose fat like that, no mater how low the calories.

Switch to high protein, high fat low carb diet for a while and give that a go. Also, your cardio is all wrong..steady state cardio isn't the best thing you can do to burn off fat, if your body is not in fat burning mode. That's why people have suggested doing cardio after weights. That's a start, but you need to look into HIT cardio routines and use those..because sadly people who live on the treadmills nearly ALWAYS have too much body fat and you NEVER see them get any better!

Eating several small meals to lose weight has already been proved scientifically to be crap, although if you need to keep blood sugar levels constant, or just like grazing, go ahead, just remember its the TOTAL calories and what those calories are made up of which makes you fat or thin.

Carbs stimulate the apetite for a lot of people and personally, I find that if I add a lot of healthy oils and fats to my foods, that I don't get so hungry and don't need to eat as often as I do when I eat a lot of carbs. It was quite hard to get my head around the idea that maybe i needed to eat fat to get thinner, but if you read a bit and experiment you'll wonder why you didn't try it years ago!

Anyway, welcome to the forum!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

hey there - I can relate on several accounts to your frustrations...


My husband (vegan for sure) is an ectomorph and can eat and eat and then eat some more (especially when he's in work-out mode). It's hard not to join in

especially when I'm doing most of the food prep and it's so goood.


I can agree with comments to suggest you switch up your routine so it's, I would say, less of "a routine" to keep your

muscles guessing. It's working for me-



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  • 2 weeks later...
Food has always been my crutch that I use whever I get stressed or something. Happy, sad, depressed, etc.


Same here. But I'm bulking right now. Eating feels like a chore at the moment but in September when I start to try to lose the fat I'll have gained I'm probably going to miss struggling to eat a lot.



Anyway, welcome to the forum, govegan.

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