6 years vegan THIS week!!! Here's my going vegan story...
I remember on 5th June 2015 going to a BBQ style restaurant in Leeds, UK. Was living in the nearby city of York at the time.
At this point I had gained some muscle from my gym-bro days, but put on a bunch of fat with it. Wish I had more "before" photos but hey ho!!!
Anyway, I already had it in my head that I'd clearly gone too far with the muscle-building attempts.
Throughout this time I tried little "cuts" here and there or just methods to gain muscle without a bunch of body fat. I'd lose a couple of pounds here and there, but never really breakthrough.
Several reasons for this, and each attempt was different, but here are some of the main reasons upon reflection:
flexible dieting approach I did many times meant that I never fixed my relationship with food
often having a calorie deficit that was way too aggressive, I used to feel awful much of the time
my flexible dieting approach still comprised of calorie-rich foods, so I was eating SMALL amounts
eating meat in huge amounts, irrespective of calories, is not as effective as plant protein sources
very little fibre in my diet, this is directly not wise for weight loss, but also indirectly because it made me more hungry
For several months I'd been toying with adding more plants to my diet. Vegan YouTube blew up in 2015 and, back when people still read blogs, I read a couple of articles on the health impacts of animal products.
This planted the proverbial seed...
I would attempt some fully plant-based meals in the following weeks, but my gosh I didn't have a clue what I was doing frankly.
I remember making my first smoothie, it was an absolute disaster! Way too thick, too green to be appetising, and for some odd reason, I put an apple in there?! Apples are great for juices, don't get me wrong, but they don't work so well in a smoothie!
My first go at cooking lentils was a nightmare too, I overcooked the them into oblivion.
Despite failures in the kitchen, I kept with it. I suppose this is testament to how much the message resonated with me.
Anyway, fast-forwarding a little, I went to this BBQ restaurant in Leeds already eating less and less animal products and feeling okay with it - but still without doing it enough to notice any major changes.
I ordered a pulled pork burger. The whole way through eating it I remember not being that bothered about it. I could take it or leave it.
My head had already been turned.
So as I finished, I said to myself: "that's the last time I eat meat."
And so it was....apart from the beef soup I accidentally had a few years back in Italy!
I wasn't vegan yet though, I remember having some egg-fried rice and some bread that contained egg whites in the following days.
It wasn't until I saw a video from Vegan Gains (remember him?!) about the ethical side of things that it all finally clicked.
I'd only looked at this from a health perspective previously, and although that was plenty to get the ball rolling, the ethical argument sealed the deal.
From there, the weight loss flew with little effort.
I wasn't even being that smart about it at the time, now I looked back, but I somehow managed to drop 25lbs in the 3 months that followed. Happy days!
Plateaus soon came though and I was forced to learn more. The Starch Solution is almost a right of passage at this point. You can't google plant-based nutrition without quickly stumbling on Dr. McDougall's ideas.
Those ideas helped me immensely, and though I have a few minor criticisms of SS to this day, I am eternally grateful for its lessons.
I soon then discovered Esselstyn, Neal Barnard, Forks Over Knives and the like.
The weight continued to drop as I learnt more.
And now here we are, trying to teach those lessons to others looking to do the same. Full circle!
Thanks all for your tremendous support. This has been good fun!
If you want to work 1-on-1 with me for the greatest guarantee of success, learn more about my coaching here: https://ryanadamscoaching.com