A Note About Veganism and Weight/Health

I wrote my thoughts out about veganism and weight loss, disordered eating and general health on my insta-stories but for those of you who don't have instagram, I wanted to share my thoughts here.

In my opinion, weight loss and veganism need to be separated. Vegans come in all shapes and sizes and becoming vegan does NOT mean you will lose weight. In order to stay vegan, you must be driven by something other than vanity. I was already a healthy vegetarian when I went vegan so I did not lose weight. I felt better and lighter but I didn't lose huge amounts of weight.

Putting weight loss and veganism together implies that vegans should be skinny and perpetuates body shaming. Veganism is a lifestyle and making it seem like a fad diet hurts the movement. You can be an overweight vegan and still be healthy.

You can still eat plenty of sugar when you are vegan. You can still eat more calories than you burn. You can still be unhealthy (all sweets, no veggies). Vegans, like omnivores, need to plan well balanced diets. Veggies don't just end up on your plate when you become vegan; it's not magic.

As far as disordered eating goes, you can still have eating issues as a vegan. Veganism isn't going to cure your binge eating, or your calorie restriction, or your addiction to exercise. You have to fix your head in order for that to happen. I am vegan for the animals and that has driven my vegan lifestyle for the past 7 years. Not my weight or the way I look.

Lastly, health. There are so many aspects to health and disease and mortality. A plant-based diet can improve your heart health. It can lower your risk for some diseases and improve the symptoms of some diseases.. Read The China Study. An absence of animal fat does wonders for the body. But it doesn't mean vegans never get sick.  We aren't immune to cancer and it doesn't mean we will never die from heart related issues. It doesn't completely reverse certain diseases. So we still need to get check ups (mammograms, Pap tests, prostate exams, cancer screenings, physicals, blood tests). Preventative medicine is awesome. Vegans still need to move their bodies and maybe even take medication. My cholesterol levels plummeted when I became vegan. I never worry about them anymore but I still get physicals once a year.

I am not a skinny vegan. But I'm healthy. I'm running my second marathon in two months. I lift weights. I eat (mostly) veggies and fruit (but I so love to eat cupcakes). Saying that all vegans are skinny or saying a vegan diet will cause weight loss for everyone is a slippery slope and should be avoided. Embrace all vegan bodies. Strong is the new skinny and healthy comes in all shapes and sizes.

I used to lie when people asked how long I've been vegan because I thought they looked at me and thought, wow, why isn't she skinny. Now I don't care. So be proud that you are vegan! Whatever drives you to pursue this lifestyle, it's amazing, it's healthy and it's helping the planet.

I'm opening up the comments again on my blog so feel free to speak your thoughts! Love ya for reading and following me. You are a beautiful vegan, stand up and say it out loud!