I’m not a poser by nature; using the British slang: “One who attempts to appear to others as something they are not, especially by their manner of dress; a charlatan.” So taking a photo — like the one you see — is not something I’m comfortable with. But to be able to see my “vegan gains” I need reference photos. As much as I work out now, and as much as my body is changing, I still sometimes think with my 275 pound “fat brain”. There is no doubt I like the changes I see in my body, and want to continue to see … but somewhere in there I’m afraid there will be those who see pride as vanity. Or should I really even give a flying felafel!
It didn’t happen over night. I didn’t go from 0 to 60 in .25 seconds. This has been a four plus year journey, and it continues. But what’s even more mind boggling? I will be 60 (sixty) on January 20, 2017! How did that happen? If I’ve learned anything through this all, it’s this: health happens! Even when you think you’re done and ready to give in to outside forces — seemingly out of your control — the universe sometimes puts you at a fork in the road and says “Choose bitch!”. It sounds existentially trite, contrived or even rude; but none the less true. Life is full of choices. When I walked into the Asbury Park Visiting Nurses Clinic on March 12, 2012 at 11:45 AM I had no idea the series of events that would follow; nor their outcome. I knew what I was capable of through my battle with Sarcoid, but when you’re down on the ground feeling pummeled, one might tend to forget — I am one perseveringly strong individual!
“There’s strength in numbers”, as the cliche goes. But I don’t think they were referring to the passage of time or accumulation of years lived. But if I also look at the concept of “measurement” of my gains — there is certainly strength there. I’m a stickler for recording data. Whether it was the spreadsheet I kept during my original weight loss, or the records I keep every day I go to the gym. There is certainly strength in those numbers! In weight loss … I had a visual expression of every ounce lost. In the gym … I am able to see progress of weight and rep increases. But either way you “look” at it, the waning of weight, or the increase in lifting amounts and reps, they both have visual and measurable outcomes. So photos have played a big part of positive reenforcement all during this journey.
As I continue my vegan journey as I gain muscle mass, I also lose fat. Though the later is always more difficult — especially the last 10 pounds or so. But like everything else — it takes time. I just have to be consistent in my diet and my exercise; I still measure all my food. I know my calories in and out, because I monitor my heart rate and calories burned in te gym via my Apple Watch. On my iPhone I run Fintness Point Pro app and have 4 weeks of 6 days of always changing workouts, so my muscles stay “confused”. I am able to record sets and reps per exercise and am always able to see the last time I did that exercise and the amount of reps and sets I did. I use a scale, measure my food, and follow the same diet knowing the amounts of carbs, fats, and protein reatios needed. I use Fitness Pal Pro to create meals and match the macros needed. Yeah … did I say I was anal retentive? Through all these tools, plus just looking in the mirror, I can see my gains and my losses. It’s what keeps me motivated and going to the gym 6 days a week! And being vegan also has its benefits too; both in keeping weight off, and my overall health. For the first time in a very long time, my last fasted metabolic panel blood work came back ALL normal. Nothing high. Nothing low. Just every test “within normal range”. Amazing! So being vegan DOES have some serious side effects … and they’re all good! Win, win, win!
So I’ll stick with what I’m doing and keep on making those vegan gains!hyoid-lie