How I Lost 44KG After Going Vegan
Jackson Slee discusses how he lost 44kg’s of weight after going vegan in this special guest post.
Aside from my Mum giving me soy milk as a kid, I had always been raised to eat animal products. I didn’t eat as much meat as my friends and family around me as my Mum tried to stay vegetarian for the most part (I ruined 8 years of it for her when she fell pregnant with me) and despite playing sports and going out to the beach, skating, bike rides, etc I grew up to be a pretty chubby kid. Not to say I was unfit so to speak, in my robust glory but I was definitely not “in shape”.
Over the years I had looked into diets and exercise routines and veganism a few times but either due to price, commitment or lack of knowledge nothing ever really stuck. By January 2016 I was weighing in at around 106kgs and actually had myself convinced I still looked okay.
In February 2016 I travelled across the country to meet a friend I had known online for a few years for a week and to avoid a whole saga I’ll summarise that we just ended up moving in together over on her side of the country. This is where the fun began, she had been vegan or at least vegetarian since she was 7 (at the time she was 18) and we often butted heads over snacks, places to eat, breakfast, lunch and dinner, it was a mess. Fed up with making two dinners a night so we could both eat properly I finally caved in and started asking her about veganism and what there is to eat. I had been interested but I had no idea what it was outside of salads and didn’t think I would actually be eating anything of substance, boy was I wrong.
I moved on into a world of pasta, wraps, homemade sushi, a wide range of vegan mock meats, homemade cashew cheeses and smoothies, I was eating almost more than I ever had and gradually started to notice a few changes happening. I had more stamina at work, walking or running, even sex drive and found that I wasn’t waking up feeling absolutely knackered as often despite having to lose 40 years of sleep to a newborn.
By November 2016, I personally hadn’t noticed much change in myself (by this point vegan for 6 months) but when my Mum came to visit me for my birthday she was blown away at how different I looked. I had her take a photo and compared them and sure enough, I had radically changed. I had more defined arms and my legs and my face had shed a decent amount of weight. Not owning scales due to knowing I was fat already, I had no idea of any weight loss as of yet though. Fast forward to September the following year (16 months vegan), we moved house and bought a scale!
After receiving multiple comments about my weight (mostly concerns because I was mentally not in a fantastic place) I decided to go weigh myself to find I had dropped down to 61kg from my 106kg. A total loss of 44kgs over 16 months with the only change being my diet. I was actually doing LESS exercise than I used to because I had no friends to go out with and do anything on that side of Australia. I went to a doctor because I wasn’t feeling too well and they told me about the vitamins I needed to be taking to supplement what I was missing from my diet, now you see I am a huge baby and I can’t (read won’t) swallow pills unless it’s life and death.
‘I had dropped down to 61kg from my 106kg. A total loss of 44kgs over 16 months with the only change being my diet.’
We looked into making more meals that encompassed the things we needed. More chickpeas, lentils, mushrooms (to my dismay) and tofu which I previously thought was gross due to not knowing what it was but now it has become a staple in most of our meals. I found a plethora of recipes using tofu including bolognese, mince, burgers, Chinese, Japanese and Thai recipes. With the new meals sorted, I then bought myself a couple of weights. Nothing fancy but just two 3kg dumbbells and began my own random workouts at home, which were very basic.
After finding vegan bodybuilders with blogs or Instagram accounts to follow, I organised a half-assed at home routine and built myself up to around 68kg now. I did get a bit skeletal down at 61 due to my body type. I’ll admit I since found vegan junk food and I’ve got more of that dad look going on now but I’m working on coming back from it!
I only exercise for about 15 minutes in the morning or night (or both) and lead an otherwise pretty normal day to day life. I feel happy with my new body and I hope my story can inspire more try veganism as a means to shift weight.
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