Hello, I've been vegan for 35 years (I'm 53 now). I'm not exactly "new" to body building. I first started about 10 years ago, but then discontinued after 6 months. My reason for discontinuing was that I got testicle cancer, and lost a nut. To me, the correlation between the radical change in my diet, and the cancer was very scary. Although I'd been vegan for so many years, when I started body building, I also started eating TONS more peanut butter, tofu, beans, and anything else that was high in protein. I was also drinking several protein shakes throughout the day. I think my body was very un-used to this level of protein, and it caused, or at least contributed to the cancer.
The change in diet, and the body building had an effect, though! In 6 months, I went from 125 lbs to 141 lbs... all in noticible muscle mass, especially chest, arms, shoulders, back... (I run, hike, and ride a bicycle a lot, so I chose not to focus on weight lifting in my legs at all). Hehehe, my wife (and other women) made many comments. Mostly to the effect of "WOW!" That felt good!
To be fair regarding the cancer, there is one other factor which certainly contributed. I used to drive with my cell phone on the seat between my legs. It was the most convenient spot to reach my head set, which, at the time, was one of the corded ones. I would talk on the phone a lot, and I'm sure the radiation was affecting me.
Here I am, 10 years later, and I started to notice "love handles" and even a little gut. I hadn't gained any weight, but I guess it got re-distributed to my waist. I began dieting on Feb. 25. I'm already seeing progress - love handles are almost gone. So is the gut. Now there's loose skin. Almost unnoticible "visually" but I can feel the skin doesn't have the tightness as, say, my chest or legs.
I didn't exercise at all during the winter. My wife and I have been talking about joining a gym for about a year, but wanted to wait out the pandemic, so we wouldn't have to wear the damned masks. But we decided not to wait any longer, and joined about 2 weeks ago. (Planet Fitness, in case you're interested). She has never been in shape, so she's just there for some light cardio (for now). But I went right to the weight machines, and started using them. Unfortunately, I have been going about it kind of randomly. I haven't hurt myself or anything - I'm just thinking I'm probably not giving myself the best work-out.
That brings me to my current situation, and goals.
First: my weight and diet.
Since February 25, I've lost 18 lbs. I went from 126 to 108 (this morning). Some of you may feel that's unhealthy. You're probably right. It was a reaction to my love handles, and I never want them to return. But I'm not going to continue to eat a restricted diet. Well, ok, I guess being vegan is already a restricted diet, but I want to make an important distinction. I've been vegan for 35 years, but I never restricted my CALORIES before. To lose the love handles, I've been eating almost nothing all day, every day, for about 5 weeks. My meal plans look like this: fruit around lunch time, dinner = potato, or sweet potato, or beans, or salad. A few days where I ate something else, like rice with steamed vegetables. Portion sizes have all been very small.
I want to continue eating like this until May 1. I don't have a target weight that I want to drop to, but rather a target "date". I'm kind of curious to see just how low I can go in that time. When I was in High School, I wrestled in the 98 lb. weight category. They allowed us to gain, I think it was 5 lbs, by the end of the season. Can I get back to that weight? If not, I'm not going to be stressed, I'm just curious. On May 1, I start eating again, regardless of what my lowest weight turns out to be.
Now, starting on May 1, I want to put my weight back on, to my ideal weight which seems to be around 125, 126. But I don't want it to go to my waist. If I gain MORE, I'd be ok with that as well, but I want it to be upper body. And of course I want my abs to be visible. So I've joined this group, hoping to take inspiration and INFORMATION from others who are on their journeys, whether similar to mine, or dissimilar. I'm open to all good vibes.
Before I end my intro, I want to reassure those who might be concerned about my rapid weight loss. I practice kung fu twice a week. I have noticed NO decline in my abilities, since I've dropped weight. In fact, I think I'm a little BETTER! And as for energy - I have MORE of it now than I did when I was just eating "whatever". I started running again, and felt fatigue by the end of 2 miles, but no different from in previous years where I didn't run all winter. I expect to regain my cardio quickly.
So please don't worry! If I feel any negative effects of calorie restriction, I'll address it. I'm just LOVING the fact that I was able to eliminate my love handles and gut so quickly. I'm a little proud of my self-discipline, because I'll admit, I'm hungry ALL the time, and all I think about is food. In fact, I'm torturing myself by watching you tube videos on how to make delicious-looking vegan dishes. LOL - I don't know why! It's not helping with the hunger.
Anyway, good day to everyone!!
(Photo was taken 2 weeks ago in the Catskills, NY)