“Where do you get your protein?”
I cannot tell you how many people have asked me this particular question. To be honest, yeah it gets a bit irritating to have to explain to multiple people so many times. However I do understand that not many people seem to know the difference between vegetarian and vegan.
Vegan: a person who does not eat or use animal products.
Vegetarian: a person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products, esp. for moral, religious, or health reasons.
Now I just wanted to make that clear for everyone reading this before I go any further. Mostly because people have thought of me as a vegan; yeah, no. I am not a vegan by all means, vegetarians are ENTIRELY different. I still keep milk, diary, cheese, and eggs in my diet.
I guess you could say the first time I first became vegetarian was around the middle of my junior year. This was before I became a serious runner as well. An old friend of mine mentioned how she use to be vegetarian for a couple of months and I thought I’d give that a shot. Personally it really was not as hard for me as you’d think to cut meat from my diet. I never really liked red meat, in fact, the stuff made me extremely sick to my stomach. Seafood was not my favorite and just, never all that appealing to me and so pretty much that only left two I enjoyed. Which were chicken and turkey. And I hated bacon, always could not stand the taste and just the smell physically made me want to vomit.
So when I finally changed my lifestyle I started by swapping all meat products to things like veggie burgers, and stuff vegetarian related. My aunt was actually the first person I told about my decision, she mentioned to be sure I do enough research on what I will be getting myself into. It helped me a lot, I learned what I can still have and why people go vegetarian and/or vegan. Also the different types of vegetarians. (Which I will explain in a later entry)
People who figured out I was vegetarian in the beginning assumed I would become ungodly skinny with my workouts added to the package. Looking back at pictures I will admit that, yes, I did become maybe too skinny for my height. This picture was taken of me around that time.
My height: 5″7′
Weight when underweight: 126
It took a while for me to gain a little weight and manage a healthy weight. Like I mentioned in my past post, my metabolism makes it so it takes me a longer time to gain any weight at all. So it took a while for me to finally reach up to a decent weight number.
However, that time I was beginning to fall even more in love with running. I didn’t want to give it up even though I needed to gain. So I went online and looked up ways to build muscle with running.
Surprise, surprise guys! It is possible to gain weight with running. To those who thought you could only lose with this sort of cardio…think again sweetheart.
Eventually I began to gain more and more muscle with my running. Unfortunately I was still underweight on my high school graduation night but I knew that it would take time. I wanted to make sure the weight went in the right places…not turn into fat. So that would take a lot longer for me!
But I managed. Success made once again and truthfully I feel great! I remember those telling me I had to give up vegetarianism to gain, heck no. I went vegetarian to become healthier for me and now anymore I am staying vegetarian because I don’t like the fact of eating animals. I don’t have anything towards people who enjoy eating meat, that’s your choice and if you like it then go for it. But that is my belief, don’t change my mind. According to my family I make freaking awesome meatloaf…would I know, nope.
So, for me it’s simple to be a vegetarian runner. Was never a fan of meat,love running, working on gaining muscle. And pretty much with how much running I do it’ll just go straight to my legs…so the added muscle isn’t too drastically noticeable.
I started out running only two or three miles each morning. Now anymore I run around eight or nine miles. So I am really improving. That’s not the end though, I will reach 13.1 (half-marathon) miles one day. When I do I will have a little dancing cheer go off in my head. 🙂