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Hi! New to VBB, longer-term vegan and weight-lifter, got Q's


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Hi All,

 

I am a long-term vegetarian (1998), vegan since about 2002. I have worked out consistently since 2005, including progressively heavier lifting, cardio, and some work with a personal trainer.

 

I'm 30 years old, 5'9.5"

 

In 2007 after going through some rough personal stuff, I developed a bit of an obsession around food/exercise, and got down to 130 pounds. That was too thin. I am a classic pear, and my upper body was frightening. Through work with a personal trainer and eating more, and healing myself emotionally, I became a lot healthier about food again, and gained some needed weight. Things went well for about two years, and I lingered at about 143, and liked the way I looked. My bodyfat was measuring pretty consistently then by my trainer at around 18-19.5%.

 

Fast forward to now. I find myself now anywhere between 144-149, depending on the day and where I am in my cycle. Though I am actually not all that concerned about the number on my scale.

 

Instead, recently, I have been not liking what is happening with my body - the way it looks or feels. I am trying to trust myself and continue to eat enough (I vowed never again to work out excessively and be hungry), but I am developing a "fatty" look that really bothers me, particularly in my butt, a bit in my hips, and for sure the dreaded saddle bags. I have been lifting heavy (3-4 x/week), a combo program based on "The Body Sculpting Bible for Women," the advice of my very good all sorts of certified personal trainer (no longer seeing him, can't afford to), and I also read Oxygen magazine.

 

I eat pursuant to Eat to Live for the most part, and have realized that I have recently dramatically increased my intake of fruit. This is mostly because it is summer. I think I am consuming like 6-7 servings of fruit daily, sometimes up to 9. I do not eat sugar, white flour, pasta, bread, crackers - I am mostly gluten and sugar free. I do eat tempeh, tofu, beans, a little quinoa. Huge salads every day for lunch (with fat free homemade vinegar/mustard dressing, but with avocado or raw seeds/nuts for fat). While I have oatmeal every single morning, it is sometimes my only grain/starch of the day. Occassionally I'll have quinoa, brown rice, or baked sweet potato, but not every day. Dinner is usually a huge green stirfry of veggies. I have protein powder (vega, brown rice) on occassion, not as much recently.

 

My hunch is that I am eating too many carbs via sweet fruits, and not enough protein. My snacks are almost always fruit and nuts. I do eat a high percentage of raw, but I am not a raw foodist.

 

Anyone have ideas for me? I'd like to be healthy, not be hungry, but achieve a tighter/leaner look. My plan is to lift 4x/week (about 50 minutes, I do lift heavy with circuits), continue doing cardio (20-45 mins 5-6x/wk), and perhaps reduce the fruit and increase the protein.

 

Oh, and here I am, this is about what I look like right now:

http://images1f.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp8%3B3%3Enu%3D3335%3E669%3E9%3C8%3EWSNRCG%3D327678566%3A335nu0mrj

http://images1f.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp8%3C4%3Enu%3D3276%3E53%3B%3E895%3E236753%3B986244ot1lsi

http://images1f.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp8%3B5%3Enu%3D3335%3E669%3E9%3C8%3EWSNRCG%3D3276785669335nu0mrj

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Looks like you're doing pretty well with things already. It would be helpful for you to try and figure out how many calories you are taking in per day, then look at the specifics and see where to cut things out without becoming hungry. I'd suggest the nuts are a good place to start. They're definitely good for you, but depending on how much of them you're eating, they pack a ton of calories without much satiety.

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Looks like you're doing pretty well with things already. It would be helpful for you to try and figure out how many calories you are taking in per day, then look at the specifics and see where to cut things out without becoming hungry. I'd suggest the nuts are a good place to start. They're definitely good for you, but depending on how much of them you're eating, they pack a ton of calories without much satiety.

 

Hello! Thanks so much for your response. I do limit nuts/seeds to 1 oz or less per day (usually like 2 walnuts, 5-8 almonds, 1 tsp peanut butter, one tablespoon sunflower seeds). I agree that they pack major calories without a ton of satiety. I generally eat between 1200-1500 calories per day; I tracked calories for a long time, stopped for a while, and then food journaled for most of July to see where I landed. Some days are as high as 1700, but I would say average is 1400 or so.

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You don't look fat at all. You look thin.

 

How heavy are you lifting? I'm not seeing a real hot buffed out look, i see a pretty slim body.

 

If you are 5'9.5" and under 150#, and working out, the numbers and conditions don't suggest you would have a fat look either.

 

That said, if a more buff look is what you want, I would say ditch the circuit, use a split schedule, and work up to lifting really really heavy, like a guy. Maybe cut out some cardio in favor of more weight work.

 

I hope you don't mind if I'm brutally honest and speak my mind. I think honesty might be what you were looking for when you posted here. To me, you still seem to be off on your perception of how your body looks. You're pretty slim. 12-1500 calories per day isn't a real lot for someone of your height who's doing the amount of cardio and lifting you're doing either.

 

So my general advice is, since you asked, eat up to rev your metabolism, and lift harder. Check with a health care professional first!

 

You're so gorgeous! Don't ruin it by going back to that scary thin look you had.

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Just a thought, but at 30 years old, there are hormonal differences that may cause fat to deposit in different places than it did when you were 20. This can also be affected by things like birth control pills etc. Like the previous posters mentioned, you look great, but that is really for you to decide. I'm sure some of the women here can give you advice on how to shape your body just about any way you want, at any age.

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Thanks for the responses! I do think that lifting heavy and eating enough are both super important. And I really appreciate the positive comments! I very much want to arrive at a balanced place. For the most part, I do really enjoy and respect and love my body, I want to keep myself in that healthy place and still be motivated to get stronger and stay in good shape.

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You don't look fat at all. You look thin.

 

How heavy are you lifting? I'm not seeing a real hot buffed out look, i see a pretty slim body.

 

If you are 5'9.5" and under 150#, and working out, the numbers and conditions don't suggest you would have a fat look either.

 

That said, if a more buff look is what you want, I would say ditch the circuit, use a split schedule, and work up to lifting really really heavy, like a guy. Maybe cut out some cardio in favor of more weight work.

 

I hope you don't mind if I'm brutally honest and speak my mind. I think honesty might be what you were looking for when you posted here. To me, you still seem to be off on your perception of how your body looks. You're pretty slim. 12-1500 calories per day isn't a real lot for someone of your height who's doing the amount of cardio and lifting you're doing either.

 

So my general advice is, since you asked, eat up to rev your metabolism, and lift harder. Check with a health care professional first!

 

You're so gorgeous! Don't ruin it by going back to that scary thin look you had.

 

^^^ what he said...

 

What's your diet look like?! In my mind when it comes to shaping your body training is obviously crucial but diet is more important. You can't out-train a bad diet. Know your macros. Plan your meals around them. Train hard.

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If you're taking oral contraception, that eats your muscle. It's pretty bad news.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30266121/

 

Stressed? Worried. Sad.

Cortisol cannibalizes muscle, which lowers our metabolism. It increases fat, particularly belly fat, promotes atherosclerosis, and is the hormone that prepares our bodies to die. It's naturally occurring and helpful when it's at normal, non-freaky levels. Nutritional stress, work stress, relationship stress, financial stress, and so on increases cortisol levels, let's do something about this first!

 

Natural ways of lowering stress and lowering cortisol:

 

1,000 mg of Vitamin C a day has been shown to dramatically decrease stress. If you take it in an isolate (as a vitamin), get a time released version. A diet rich in fresh citrus fruit and raw, dark veggies is very high in Vitamin C.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200304/vitamin-c-stress-buster

 

1,000 mg of Vitamin C a day has been shown to dramatically decrease stress. If you take it in an isolate (as a vitamin), get a time released version. http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200304/vitamin-c-stress-buster

 

Eat more protein, a lot more. Look at http://www.eatcleandiet.com/ it can be modded to fit the vegan life. These Oxygen models eat 1g of protein per pound. It works out to be about 30% protein, then complex carbs (green food mostly), then a little fat (just a little).

 

VeganPersonalTraining.com knows what she's doing!

 

I wrote a non-vegan, but pro-vegan article about fat loss here:

 

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2068091/my_top_10_ultimate_fat_burning_tips.html

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Thanks again for the additional responses, they are really helpful. I am reading all the links and thinking about what everyone posted, and will keep you updated on my progress. Training and diet are both going really well right now, I feel more in control of it all. We'll see what happens over the next few weeks...I've really appreciated the input!

 

lily

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