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All good things must come to an end, right? Or perhaps in hindsight, it wasn’t such a good thing in the first place…

A colleague's experience...

Today I decided that enough is enough!
As a keen (very keen) gym enthusiast and clean (mmm not so clean) later, I decided that 10 weeks without meat was long enough. I was aiming to do 3 months but unfortunately, couldn’t (will go into why).
I feel that 10 weeks is enough time to see the benefits of a diet or exercise routine. By week 10 I want to see results whether good or bad, somethings gotta give. (call me impatient…)
How 10 weeks without meat affected me
The first 5 weeks I put myself on a Vegan diet (see other blogs) in a nutshell I missed eggs and milk but gained a ton of energy. The following 5 weeks I was on a vegetarian diet – (back on the eggs and milk) after 7 weeks out of the 10 I lost 80% of my energy.
What I missed most after 10 weeks of NO MEAT
After 10 whole weeks of no meat and NO cheating, I can honestly say I didn’t miss a thing – other than my zest for life!
I missed/miss my energy, my alertness, my ability to stay awake for more than 6 hours at any given time. I miss bouncing out of bed at 7 am ready to seize the day with bags of energy and life!
The truth is, currently I feel horrendous. I can’t 100% say whether it's down to the lack of minerals or nutrients that only real meat can provide for your body. However, for the last three weeks, I’ve been left mentally and physically exhausted. I’ve had to sleep a least an hour in the day time to muster enough energy to go to my studies or work. My eyes have felt heavy and my body has felt extremely lethargic. Even focusing on the laptop and reading has become a chore.

Obviously being a ‘vegi’ is a thing and very much doable, I'm pretty sure there are vegies out there who don’t resemble a zombie (like I do).
However, I lead a very active/busy lifestyle of which, perhaps being a vegetarian isn’t conducive to. Everybody’s bodies are different. If I’ve learnt anything it's that there is no point in following the latest fad diet – just because it may say in ‘Cosmo Body’ & ‘Women’s Health’ that Ellie Goulding is a Vegan and perhaps deep down you want her body…does not mean if you go Vegan, your gonna get her body! (not that I ever thought that…ever…okay maybe a little)
In retrospect, what a waste of time, because you could have been following a diet that suits YOUR body to fuel your body and more importantly, fuel your mind. You could have the best body in the world, but hey you’ve got zero energy to go out partying, dancing or even hold a conversation without yawning and thinking about your bed…So what's the point?
Another notion I would put my lack of energy down to is the stress of food. Thinking about food has become very stressful. Food is supposed to be a pleasure of life yet somehow I seemed to eliminate a great deal of my options when turning Vegan! I was literally left with a lettuce leaf, some fake meat and a couple of pulses.
Now I'm not knocking vegans & vegetarians if this diet suits your lifestyle and your body then perfect. But for me and the amount I like to workout, it simply wasn’t beneficial.
What changes did I see in my body?
  • I feel leaner – I look in the mirror and genuinely feel more toned – this wouldn’t have happened without the exercise though.
  • I still have all my strength – can still workout 6 days a week and lift heavy weights. This past week I’ve had to drop down the amount of cardio as I simply don’t have the energy.
  • I went from a normal amount of energy to my energy doubled within the first 5 weeks. And my energy levels completely depleting by week 10.
Now what?
So my plan from here onwards is to eat. Eat a healthy balanced diet. Meat (despite the fact I really didn’t crave it once during the 10 weeks and still don’t now). I had some chicken today, I enjoyed it but I can’t say I felt anywhere near the satisfaction as when I eat a bar of chocolate ( I mean spinach ummm).
Although we must all learn from our mistakes, my plan going forward is to eat healthy food that will fuel my busy weeks, fuel my brain whilst I study, fuel my body whilst I work out and fingers crossed I’ll have some energy left to spend time with friends feeling happy and buoyant!