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Old 03-02-2005, 12:30 PM   #1
VeganArtist
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"Overweight" Vegans

Hi All,

I know that there are a few threads that touch on the subject of being an overweight vegan, but I thought that I would start an official thread. This is a place where overweight vegans can go to vent, and to share their daily experiences, ideas, and support.

I have struggled with my weight all of my life. I was a vegetarian for 15 years, and became a vegan within the last month or so. Since I became a vegan, I have actually started to gain a little weight. I guess that is due to the fact that there are so many delicious vegan foods, and I have been eating a lot more junk-food. I guess that I have been in "panic" mode - I am not sure if other vegans went through this when they made the transition. I went through a phase, in which I did not really know anything about the variety of foods that I could eat, so I did not know what to eat. So I sort of went into a sort of "panic", and just started to eat whatever I knew for sure was vegan. A lot of that food turned out to be junk-food. I have been learning about all of the different meat and dairy substitutes, and I think that once I start to "calm down", I will begin to eat more healthy foods.

I think that is what a big part of life is about - being healthy AND happy! There are healthy people of all sizes, and most people think that just because someone is overweight, they are unhealthy. I think that if we are eating a balanced diet and getting some exercise, our body will "find" it's ideal weight. I have an issue with exercise right now. I can't seem to motivate myself to get out there and just do it. I think that it is important because it improves our mental health as well as physical. That is important because there are so many emotional issues that we, as overweight vegans, face every day. I think that if we keep trying, with the help of a support group like this, that it won't matter what other people think because we can know within ourselves that we are aspiring to be the healthiest and best that we can be, no matter what size we are, or turn out to be. We can also know that, at the end of the day, there is a place to go where people care and want to listen, a place where others understand.

I read an article that someone posted on another website about her experiences as an overweight vegan, especially in health food stores:

http://www.livejournal.com/community...81.html#cutid1

I would love to hear from any other overweight vegans, and to keep this thread going as a "safe" place away from the "cruel-to-overweight-people" world.

Those that are "overweight-positive" are welcome to participate in this group.

I look forward to hearing from you!
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Old 03-02-2005, 02:17 PM   #2
dropscone
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I know exactly what you mean about panic food!

I went vegan about this time of year (8 years ago now!) and I was a student - cold weatherand not knowing what to eat apart from fried potatoes really wasn't a good combination. I don't think I put on any weight but I don't think I took any off either, and I've been 2-3 stone overweight constantly (28-40lb-ish?) since hitting puberty.

A friend died during uni and the shock made me lose a lot of weight, and I carried on a very self destructive course of drinking so much I couldn't actually eat anything for a while after I finished uni - I could have been heading towards anorexia at one point, but I got to just below 9 stone (which is in the lower range of my ideal weight band) and stopped. Started getting healthier and happier and then the weight started coming back a bit, but slowly.

Then a couple of years ago I started a really tough uni course and it all came back, and more, and I'm the heaviest I've been in my life now. I don't feel terribly unhealthy with it, but it amazes me and astonishes me the difference in attitudes of people dealing with me now to back when I was thin.

The main thing that bothers me is the attitude of my family. I've always made it clear that it's nobody's business but mine what I look like, but when I recently told my granny that I was on a bit of a health kick, trying to go swimming every day she acted really happy and started going on about how much better I'd be likely to feel weighing less (I'd said "health kick" not "diet" ) and it was clear she'd been discussing it with someone, probably my mother. What really gets me is that they knew how unhappy (if not how self destructive) I was when I was thin but it doesn't seem to have sunk in.

I would like to lose about 2 and a half to 3 stone, which would put me at the upper end of my ideal weight band. I think I'm just tipping obese now (isn't that a horrible word?) and I'd like to be able to get into all the clothes I have that are one or two sizes smaller. At the moment I'm more worried about ditching my horrible job that had me in tears today than losing a few pounds though.
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Old 03-02-2005, 02:59 PM   #3
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Thank you, dropscone, for posting your story. I hope that you, along with everyone who posts, will feel comfortable here. I have gone through a lot of the things that you have mentioned, and I am sure that many others have as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dropscone
I don't feel terribly unhealthy with it, but it amazes me and astonishes me the difference in attitudes of people dealing with me now to back when I was thin.

The main thing that bothers me is the attitude of my family. I've always made it clear that it's nobody's business but mine what I look like, but when I recently told my granny that I was on a bit of a health kick, trying to go swimming every day she acted really happy and started going on about how much better I'd be likely to feel weighing less (I'd said "health kick" not "diet" ) and it was clear she'd been discussing it with someone, probably my mother. What really gets me is that they knew how unhappy (if not how self destructive) I was when I was thin but it doesn't seem to have sunk in.

My family does that too. I don't understand why. My father and grandfather have said some pretty mean things about overweight people. I hate when they do that. I wonder what they say about me behind my back. I don't like when people ask, "have you lost weight?, you look great!" It's like, hey thanks, I didn't look great before? I understand that they are just trying to be "nice" but it is offensive to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dropscone
At the moment I'm more worried about ditching my horrible job that had me in tears today than losing a few pounds though.

I am sorry that you had such a bad day What happened? If you don't want to talk about it, just tell me to mind my own business

dropscone, P.S.: I looked at your profile, and I noticed that your birthday is July 11, 1975... Mine is July 12, 1975!
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:06 PM   #4
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Ah, it's a long story and I've already spent too much of my day whinging about it. I've probably got it out of my system now. Basically I just work on a project where everyone involved is constantly stressed out and trying to meet impossible deadlines and one little incident sparked a row with my co-worker who I really didn't want to row with, it's just that we're both really pressured.

We're friends again now, but I desparately need to get out of that job, but it's really zapping my self esteem and hindering my ability to apply for something better, when coupled with my lack of knowing what I want to do with the rest of my life, only knowing what I don't want to do
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Old 03-02-2005, 06:24 PM   #5
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i have pretty much been 40 plus pounds overweight since puberty aswell. i did lose over 25 pounds a few years back...took me over 8 months to get it off and only a few months to gain it back going vegan (4 years or so ago) made no difference as i can still find lots of vegan junk food!

i eat for comfort and i also gained a lot of weight due to depression after the suicide of a friend. i use food to deal with stress, i have a stressful and busy job and i end up eating all night to make myself feel better.

i am starting to feel uncomfortable in my own body and do feel that it is time to try and deal with my eating 'issues'. i always end up trying to do some stupid crash diet which always fails and give myself unrealistic targets.

most of my family are thin, or at least a 'healthy weight'. my father has to work at keeping the weight off as he is naturally chubby (like moi), but he works out everyday and does a physical job.

thanks VeganArtist..cool thread
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Old 03-02-2005, 08:24 PM   #6
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Ive been overweight for the last 10 years. Losing weight after having children has been a challenge for me, no energy or drive to workout, ect. So last June I weaned my youngest and started working out regularly and eating with more mindfullness. I so understand where you are coming from fayking, for me its eating to quell anxiety. Anyhoo, Im down 15lbs but it looks like 25/30 more to get to healthy weight. Dang but its slow going, trying to stay motivated and on the working out has been hard. I know, whine whine whine, .

thanks for starting this thread veganartist !
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Old 03-03-2005, 12:45 AM   #7
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I know how you feel..About five years ago I lived a much more active life then I do now. I had a job where I was outside most of the time and literally running around all day..I was meat eater at the time and weighed...a whopping 102 pounds and wore a size 0. I had the body of a model, my tummy was so slat.

Anyway I met my hubby around that time. About a year later he came to Canada and we got married, I got a new job sitting at a desk on my arse all day and I became a vegetarian. Well I ended up gaining 50 pounds over 2 years.

I became a vegan January 2004 I think and lost some weight..and then gained and then lost..I am now 135. It is very depressing for me to be this size..When I became a vegetarian and vegan I wasnt eating healthy..Lots of processed foods like YVES. Then ofcourse chips and chocolate..I used to blame my husband for always buying chips but I realize it isnt his fault..It's my lack of willpower.

I have done a 360 on my diet and lifestyle. I have cut most processed foods out of my diet and a biggy for me is no longer eating out for lunch..instead packing my own homemade healthy foods. I have learned to cook exciting homemade meals. I have increased my water intake to 8-10 glasses a day and try to do a 30 minute exercise 4 days per week after work.

My husband and I are currently doing a 15 day cleanse and are in our second week. I have lost 5 pounds since starting the cleanse. The first few days of the cleanse we suffered from headaches and lethargy but now I feel like I have this renewed energy and feel so much better.I sleep better, I can concentrate more and I am not so moody.
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Old 03-03-2005, 01:50 AM   #8
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I'm not really "overweight", but I'm bigger than average for this area. Practically everyone here is a damn twig. When I go to a veg*n restaurant, I'm usually the curviest person in there. (It's genetic - 38D chest, 36-inch hips, virtually no waist due to extra set of ribs getting in the way.) I used to be heavier, before I went veggie (think size 14), and I've been a little thinner than this (when I was in college, drinking heavily and not getting fed). But, surrounded by all these wire-thin girls (whether they're vegan or not) makes me feel huge. I'd rather not get into the eating disorder I developed at age 13.
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Old 03-03-2005, 10:33 AM   #9
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Anxiety / Boredom / Depression

I too am an emotional eater. It sucks. Sometimes I just get bored. I kind of need "fake" foods along with the veggies. Veggie dishes by themselves at every meal is not appealing to me really.

Hey LittleHottie, I don't know how tall you are, but 135 seems healthy in my opinion. It seems like you are taking the right steps to acheive what you want for yourself. I think that you really just have to be comfortable with yourself, and truly healthy...

I encourage everyone to do just one thing for themselves today that starts the process of pushing your life in the direction that you want it to go, whether it be making the decision to quit that job that you hate, and spend all day looking for a new one that you love, cleaning out your closets so that you don't have to think about the clutter anymore allowing room for better thoughts (which is what I am doing today after I stop procrastinating), or simply planning out your meals for the day and sticking to it.

Last night I couldn't sleep because I was thinking about all of the time that I have wasted in my life analyzing EVERYTHING. I think that I need to occasionally re-evaluate what I want for my life, and then just go for it. I need to just take those first baby steps, and actually do what it takes to be happy instead of just thinking about it. Does anyone else do this?
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Old 03-03-2005, 01:11 PM   #10
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a great, great article.
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Old 03-08-2005, 02:31 PM   #11
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Wow, crazy. This thread and that article are just what I needed! I've been a veg since forever and I'm increasingly becoming vegan (I'm transitioning, I guess you would say). I've been mid-size to big all my life, but now I'm huge (lot of reasons) and I'm not feeling myself at all. Sigh.

Anyway, thanks for this.

- Tania
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Old 03-14-2005, 04:08 PM   #12
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I gained 100 pounds when I was pregnant. I had toxemia and lost 55 pounds in two weeks after the c-section. I still haven't lost the rest. I thought about trying McDougall but he is so strict! Weight watchers sucks because you have to measure everything. It's not like I eat junk food, I just eat a lot of food. The foods are good for me, but I am always hungry. I guess when you are running after a baby and feeding him all day long you tend to burn a lot of energy, but I guess I am eating more then I am burning. My father-in-law lost 40 pounds on Atkins then ended up with renal failure and had to have his arteries scraped out. The idiot went back on the diet two weeks after getting the surgery! I guess some people don't learn.
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Old 03-14-2005, 04:17 PM   #13
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Shai, are you nursing? I held on to a good chunk of my baby weight until I was done nursing. The body tends to hang on to some extra fat as insurance.
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Old 03-25-2005, 02:28 PM   #14
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depressed today :(

i am so discouraged. i have been walking for an hour with my mom every monday, wednesday, and friday for the last 2 weeks, and i have been trying to eat healthier, but i haven't lost any weight. i have noticed that a lot of vegan food alternatives have a lot of fat (like earth balance, better than cream cheese, better than sour cream, tofutti cheese slices, flax oil, etc...), but i don't know how to cook interesting meals without them. i also notice that i have to add a lot of salt to things to make them taste good. i don't like eating just vegetables, but right now it seems like the only thing that is going to help me to lose weight. veggies without some kind of fat and/or starch are just boring to me. i want to be sure that i am getting enough vitamins. i'm just frustrated and depressed about it.
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Old 03-25-2005, 05:43 PM   #15
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Hey VeganArtist heres a big *hug* just for you ! keep up the good fight
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