Last February, I posted my fitness goals this year, of which I emphasized my desire to look strong, lean and tone at least for my age. It’s a personal challenge, a goal I want to do on my own terms, timing and volition. Just like when I first went plant-based in 2007 (read my decade long journey), can I do it? where will it take me? Well here we are four months after, a quick check-in of my vegan bodybuilding progress.
From dreading to loving weights. I have always been active but I am new to bodybuilding. I dread weights. I have dumbbells at home but rarely get used. My husband has Soloflex Muscle Machine that I was intimidated to touch. The first time I did bench press (10 pounds) at 20 reps, I felt like giving up. But I took my sweet time, allowing my body to adjust to this new routine, increasing the weight band as I listen to my body’s capacity. Well 3.5 months after, can you believe that I just surpassed 50 lbs (50 reps) as of this writing? I am now lifting what my husband has been lifting! Oh I can’t wait to be able to lift more.
Adding kettlebell. Because I find dumbbells just outright boring, I bought kettlebell (10 lbs) to add to my routine. I am still learning new tricks but so far, I love doing deadlifts, swings and squats with kettlebell.
Treadmill alone ain’t fun but dancing on treadmill is full cardio-fun! I guess you can tell that I hate doing the same repetitive actions hence I constantly find ways to introduce things that I enjoy to things that I don’t. I love hiphop dance so it’s the way to go. For “complicated moves”, I slow down the speed of treadmill and face front, for basic moves, I switch up and face the side. Safety first before anything.
I film myself to monitor my progress. I am accountable to ME. I work for ME. I want to be reminded of my own progress, how well I am doing. I film what I do to correct my mistakes and improve. This is not to put pressure on me but more like understanding my body and to be able to analyze it, I need to view it from the outside (check out my recent vlog).
I joined some Facebook groups that advocate vegan bodybuilding. I don’t know of any groups here in Hawaii that promote the same hence I find “motivation and support” from social media. Since I am new to bodybuilding, I look for tips from like-minded individuals. But right now, I am there like a bystander, hoping to gather relevant information from the pro’s.
So what have I achieved so far? My legs are definitely looking a lot leaner. Even my butt seems to look more lifted. While my triceps need more definition, I have “awakened” my biceps a tad bit. But beyond these slight body changes, I have proven to myself yet again that whatever I set my mind into, I can do it. Laziness can get in the way and I do allow myself to chill to recoup but at the end of the day, my willpower is stronger.
So what’s my next game plan? I want to be able to devote more time to exercise, perhaps change my body clock (wake up early?) because right now, I am only doing 2-3 times a week at 2-2.5 hours each. I will report back by Fall and see what other things I have added.
Lastly, I just want to say that yes, you can be lean, strong and tone as vegan. I am glad that more and more athletes are now embracing this lifestyle to improve their overall stamina and well-being. There are plenty of resources and hundreds of clinical studies that link plant-based diet to disease prevention and reversal. Protein source is abundant in plants, the key is eating variety. Vegan nutrition advice penned by medical doctors like cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Esselstyn, bariatric surgeon Dr. Davis, psychiatrist Dr. Barnard, internists Dr. McDougall, Dr. Ornish, and of course Dr. Greger who founded Nutrition Facts have converted omnis to adapting vegan lifestyle including my husband! Vegan athletes like Rich Roll, Venus Williams, Scott Jurek, Meagan Duhamel, among others are living testimony that plants can power you to your fullest potential. As of June 12, 2018, The California State has unanimously passed a bill that would offer plant-based options to hospital patients as well as prisoners. Also, the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to change their policies to clearly specify in federal food policies that meat and dairy products are optional. They have also called for a change in federal law so that children can request alternative to cow’s milk without the need to prove that they have a “medical condition”. Need more inspiration? I have written topics here on the blog which I think you will find helpful, they are all lumped under the Fitness tab.
’til our next update. Eat the rainbow. Hydrate. Exercise.
Sweat in Style
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