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-   -   Help me to stop feeling guilty! (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/vegetarian/772825-help-me-stop-feeling-guilty.html)

tammay 05-28-2012 04:08 AM

Help me to stop feeling guilty!
Hi all,
OK, I was a meat-eating low carber about 7 years ago and did very well on it. Lost 35 pounds, got to my goal weight. Then I went to being a vegetarian and for the last 5 years I've been dabbling with veganism. Add to that, life's stresses and 4 moves in as many years, and I not only gained the 35 back but also added 30 more. I'm at the point where I want to start losing weight for health reasons (I'm 42, so all of the health issues you don't worry about when you're in your 20's are suddenly something to worry about!) but have just kept sliding off a vegan plan, probably because I've been trying the very low fat, no added oils, types of plans.

Just recently, I've started to question whether veganism is really for me. I love the theory of it and the idea of it and I would never go back to eating meat (that is, chicken and beef) just because it doesn't appeal to me. I have no problems with people who eat it - I just never was a big meat eater.

For the last several days, I've been having massive cravings for, of all things, fish! I was never a huge fish eater but I did like fish, especially salmon and tuna.

So I just went to the store and bought some cans of Starkist tuna in water. I swear, I felt like a junkie buying a drug - I couldn't even look at the guy in the market (it's a local market so they know me well and have never seen me buy anything but vegan stuff and sometimes dairy). I live right next door to my parents and I felt like a thief stealing into my house, looking around to make sure my mom or dad weren't outside and saw me, since they are used to my refusing to eat any kind of meat or fish and they would freak out :hyst: .

I've been seriously thinking of going back to doing LC and adding a little fish (like a tuna or salmon salad at lunch, say) and also dairy and eggs.

But I just keep hearing the voices of those no fat vegan doctors in my head about how unhealthy it is to eat animal products and how there are so many studies showing that eating a vegan diet is much healthier and how I'll gain weight if I eat it.

So I guess I just need some reassurance that adding moderate amounts of dairy, eggs, and fish will not make my health deteriorate rapidly.

I have about 2 or 3 months until I go on vacation and I really want to lose some significant weight so that I can buy new clothes and just feel good about myself. I'm seeing that doing the no-added-oil vegan thing (a la McDougall, Barnard, Furhman, and Ornish) is just not doing it for me, as I keep falling off. I enjoyed the low carb diet (I wasn't doing an Atkins type thing, but a higher carb level with lots of veggies) and I was successful with it. I can't understand why I'm so afraid of it now.

BTW, the plan I'm thinking of is about 40%/30%/30% in terms of carbs/fats/protein and is about 70 carbs a day, so it's a lot more moderate than Atkins.

Any encouragement?


Nigel 05-28-2012 06:26 AM

Hi and welcome.

I think vegetarians that eat fish are labeled as pescatarians...funny name...but a lot of vegetarians eat fish. It's the vegan label that doesn't eat any animal or animal by products.

I call myself a semi-vegetarian. I know animal produts are not good for us because of all the crap they feed the animals and inject them with.

I think you are okay with eating fish and dairy if that is what you like/crave or just want. Let go of the guilt. You are in charge of your own body, so eat what you want. If you want fish or cheese, I say eat it and don't give it a second thought.

Mind you, this is my own opinion and I'm no expert by any means.

I just think we all or most of us with weight troubles, overthink our eating and have too much feelings and guilt when we indulge in something we think we shouldn't.

You have to figure out what works for you.

I basically love vegetables and faux meat products, most of them, not all of them. But I digress, I love anything cooked in bacon grease and fake bacon is a far cry from the real deal. On the other hand, if I allowed myself to consider where bacon actually comes from, I'd never eat it. And I love real cheese way too much. But that's just me. I could be strange about food.

Mostly, I try to limit serving sizes and not have anything too high in carbs regularly, but I do have what I want if I'm craving it, but not a boatload of it like I did in the old days. Doing low carb, I learned portion control, which I never had my entire life.

Now I basically am on maintenance, my own way. And probably no one else eats like I do, but it works for me.

On here you will find some people who have too many rules about what you can and cannot eat, etc. But I say, make your own rules. That's what I did. And feel good about your decicions.

If you eat something and it makes you feel bad, tired, sleepy, lethargic, nervous, etc.....then that food should be only consumed on rare occasions. If you eat something and you feel energetic afterwards, then I'd say it's good for your body.

The program you are considering is a good balance. I've always eaten more carbs than Atkins, except the frist time I tried Atkins, I was super strict with myself. The next times, I couldn't stay on that super strict carb limit. In my case, I found out that I had to actually consume some starchy carbs once in a while in order to keep losing weight. Just the way my body is, I reckon.

I know you will find your way. There are lots of good people on here that can help. Sometimes it takes a while for people to see the threads. There are also lots of good recipes on the recipe suggestions forum...not a lot of vegetarian, but everything can be modified to suit your tastes.

Good luck and please keep posting.

Nigel 05-28-2012 06:37 AM

I forgot to add:

If you keep a daily food journal and a carb count for a few weeks or at least a couple, then you can look back and see how much you actually ate. It's kind of a pain, but it does help.

If you eat say 70 carbs per day and you lose wieght or inches on that, then great!! You may be lucky and able to consume 100 carbs per day or only 50 and it will take time for you to figure out the right amount.

I also advise not to weigh that often...either once a week or once a month and if you weigh, then measure your inches...inches really count more than weight loss. You will notice your clothes loosening up and you will gain energy and a feel-good type of attitude or better attitude.

When I was overweight, my attitude was overweight too and everything overwhelmed me. With each passing week, I started feeling better and noticed that tasks weren't so difficult to perform, I could walk faster and even wanted to walk and I looked forward to each new day. In the old days, I would wake up and oh man, another day to face...you know what I mean?

Losing the weight instills natural confidence in anyone. You start to feel like you can conquer the world instead of the world conquering you. I'm sure you know all this already, but this is what I think of often when I think too much about food.

Decide your plan and stick to it and give it a fair shot. Give it ample time to work and you adjust it to suit you as you go along.

Sometimes people need to "wean" themselves from certain things. My wife is working on "weaning" herself from sugar. She's not overweight, but she's a sugar addict and it makes her feel bad to eat it all the time. It does take time for things to become normal when you change the way you eat.

On the up side, there are some faux fish recipes online that you might want to try. I am not a fish eater, never was, but I have seen the recipes.

Smile and have a great day!!

tammay 05-29-2012 12:24 AM

Nigel, thank you so much for your inspiring words and encouragement. You're right that I need to do what works for me. I know that low carbing did work for me. I'm making my plans and I plan on giving it another shot. I think I keep getting this image of taking a bite of grilled salmon or tuna salad and instantly having a heart-attack, since I've been reading so much about the evils of saturated fat and meat and fish and the like. But the more I look at the success stories on these boards, the more I know that this isn't the case and every person is different.


Nigel 05-29-2012 05:27 AM

Understandable. I get a bit paranoid about a lot of food if I read too much about it. I have watched movies like The Future of Food and one about Corn and even though meat is tough to watch, the corn one will scare the heck out of you too.

So I tried to stop thinking about my food so much because technically, someone could find something wrong with even the purest grown vegetable or fruit, *sigh*, so now I try and read labels and eat as much fresh stuff as I can and do a little exercise every day.

Walking is the best exercise or swimming if you have access to a pool. You don't even have to swim, just moving around in the water helps a body's metabolism get going. And walking doesn't have to be fast, just steady.

Even if you walk around the block, it helps rev up the body. I'm no exercise advocate, but it has helped me to do small stuff, like walking and moving around more and not be such a couch potato like I used to be. It all counts to help us be healthier.

Even parking a few spaces further away from the grocery store--that equals more walking steps. I still do that, but that was how I started walking because I didn't have anywhere to go and walk then.

I know you will find your way. It just depends on how strict you want to be---some people will not eat anything processed or anything wheat, corn, etc....some people just want to eat healthier and learn how to along the way.

There are some great posts on this forum when you have some time to read/browse thru them.

If you need recipes, go to vegweb and they have thousands...don't know how good they are, but they at least can give you ideas of what to eat.

For me, I keep it pretty simple. Once in a while, I try something new, but I don't have a lot of time for cooking most of the time unless I cook on my day off. It is fun to experiment when something turns out good.

Madge17 06-04-2012 03:38 PM


I've been seriously thinking of going back to doing LC and adding a little fish (like a tuna or salmon salad at lunch, say) and also dairy and eggs.
Hi Tammay. As Nigel said, you have to do what will work for you in LC and you shouldn't feel guilty about it (I know, easier said than done :console:). We all have our reasons for not eating various animal products and need to find a healthy balance we can live with. I've toyed with veganism over the years and until I started LC a couple months ago, probably half of my days were vegan without even trying. I think it's hard enough to do LC without the meat, let alone doing it vegan...I'm still adapting from a HC vegetarian diet to this new LC, high-fat one. :eek: I keep picturing my arteries clogging up too, from the eggs and whole-milk dairy products. I've been trying to take my statins every night now and not intentionally (or unintentionally )skipping them, so I'm a little less terrified of that happening, but more terrified of the long-term statin damage. :dunno: Getting your weight within normal limits will help with health problems as much, if not more, than eliminating some healthy proteins - IMVHO anyway. I'm hoping that by getting down to a healthy weight I can eliminate some of the prescription meds I take (and maybe even skip a surgery) - at least this is my goal. Good luck in yours!:)

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