Here's an amazing email I received from an old family friend. I think I've known her as long as I've been vegan (going on 9 years), so witnessing her transformation is quite special. She and her daughter decided to try being vegan for the month of January, mainly to cleanse, but it resulted in a lot more:
I just wanted to let you know that I LOVE being a vegan!!! We are preparing the most visually and deliciously beautiful meals. I don't miss the animal products at all (except perhaps a piece of fish now & then). I feel energetic and clean! I also feel a sense of peace that I was not expecting. A reconnection to the earth and to my body. This whole thing is really blowing my mind. I was a vegetarian for many years before I had children - I forgot how good it made me feel.
Eating out is a bit of a challenge. This morning your mom & I went for breakfast and I had such an unpleasant interaction with the counter woman when I told her I didn't eat animal products. Couldn't even get her to serve me a bowl of granola w/soy milk - two products I know they have. I wrote to the owner of the bakery and he was very gracious and apologetic. Never thought I'd be advocating for veganism!!!
Surprisingly I haven't lost a single pound. I am trying NOT to think about that, as the real reason for adopting a plant-based diet was for my health. I was secretly hoping it would be a by-product! Perhaps that will come in time, but I do tend to eat more carbs albeit healthy, whole grain only.
Your website and videos have been a big help, along with some terrific other sites. Thrive Foods is great!!
After reading her comment on weight loss, I decided to ask some women around her age and older (late 40s and beyond) about their own successes, challenges and insights, and I received these great responses on Facebook:
- From what I read over the years weights are amazing for woman. They build and tone muscle. Muscle not only keeps you safe from injuries as you age it also speeds up your metabolism. The muscle mass burns calories without even trying. Walking is also great for burning calories and conditioning the heart. Oh and I've been doing yoga and while I am still only 32 I know women who are in my class who are older and loss weight because it builds muscle and releasing stress. Stress causes a shift in chemicals that cause weight gain so getting rid of it helps. The thing to remember as others said here is that you need to love yourself, I believe losing weigh should first and foremost be for health and a better fuller life!
- Not everyone is the same, and some people may not change with age, that doesn't mean no one will. I turned 40 recently and have been noticing a gradual slow down in my metabolism, and I have never eaten so healthy or exercised so much as I have this last year! Just be healthy and learn to love the body your meant to have!
- As a 47 year old woman I can say that for me age does have something to do with it. In my 20's and 30's I could eat anything and not gain weight. As I got older and hormones change, metabolism slows down, etc., the body does change. I have to watch what I eat much more and pay more attention to how I treat my body in general. I exercise 5 to 6 days a week which incorporates spin, yoga, Pilates and weight training and I eat on the healthy side of vegan. I will never be the size I was when I was 20. I am curvier now and embrace it. It's sexy and I don't mind. I am much more concerned with being healthy than I am with being super skinny. Curves are sexy and so is helping animals
- I don't buy into gaining weight w/ age. My neighbor & friend Chrissie is 48 years old and is in the same shape as you Whitney. She works out about 3-4 days a week - eats organic & healthy. She doesn't eat sweets - ever - and has portion control. She is consistent.
- I am 51 & was so upset yesterday cause I'm doing things right & still 40 lbs overweight... discovered I am allergic to wheat last month, stop it completely, thought, "It was wheat ~ it'll melt off now", nada. But I keep on w/ doing the best I can, eating healthy, exercising, etc. & I have faith I will eventually reach my goal. No matter what, Luv myself the way I am AND I'm ready 4 more energy & vitality!
- I am eating really healthy and exercising 3-4 days a week and still can't get my weight to drop. I am 59. I refuse to get discouraged because I feel great and know I am doing the best thing for myself and the planet by eating clean vegan.
- Metabolism slows and your hormones go wacky. I used to be able to drop weight quite easily. I now have to work twice as hard. That paired with physical limitations I have due to spine issues - nerve compression, herniated discs - caused from arthritis and sitting in a desk for almost 20 years which causes poor posture. So age is absolutely a factor.
- ...changing hormones and metabolism make it more difficult, the key for me has been to keep my metabolism ramped up with an hour of exercise a day... stay fit! and don't drink alcohol...
- Stick to 1600 calories a day.
- Portion control and keep moving!