Tales of a fat and frustrated vegetarian Most Liked Hot Conversation

I went to my doctor last week for a follow-up visit. The blood tests ratted me out. My cholesterol levels were over the top.

What’s confusing is – I’ve been watching my calories and walking 3-5 times per week since January. I’ve lost 7 pounds. Apparently, that’s not enough.

My new doctor (a skinny, young blonde, by the way) tried to convince me to go back on statin drugs. The same meds that prompted me to call her in January.  The statins had caused my whole body to throb with pain for months, including the bottoms of my feet.

When I refused the meds, she recommended aerobic exercise and a vegetarian diet. Not even fish or eggs. Apparently, she thought I’d give in and take the meds. Wrong!

Fool that I am, I told everybody that I was becoming a vegetarian. Of course, the expert advice came rolling in.

“You have to eat fish –it has Omega 3 vitamins.”

“They say you need eggs now, for the choline. Does your doctor want you to have Alzheimer’s?”

“You should cut out sugar. My coworker cut waaaay down on sugar”

“Vegetarians aren’t healthy”

“Maybe you should go off those anti-depressants”

“Walking is not enough – join a gym”

“Stop Drinking – not even wine”                               “Eat Oat Bran

“Vegetarians can eat Chicken”


After leafing through vegetarian magazines and skimming over diets recommended by Dr. Oz, Dr. Weil, and every doctor on WebMD, I made my mind – let’s do this thing.

I stepped up my walking routine from 30 – 45 minutes 5 times a week. I haven’t touched any food that once drew a breath, and cut down my sugar intake to one square of dark chocolate a day.

A week later – you would expect to see at least a 1-pound weight loss, wouldn’t you? Well, guess what? Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

I am not happy.


Posted in health & fitness, other topics, Our Blog Circle, Vonnie Kennedy.

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17 Responses

  1. Generic Image RamblinRedhead says

    I have been where you are – so much conflicting information out there!  This study – that study, what worked for someone’s sister last year.  Eggs are bad.  Eggs are good.  Blahblahblahblah.  I was on Simvastatin, had just crossed from being overweight to being OBESE.  My knees ached all the time.  No matter what I did, I could maybe slow down the gain.  But I rarely lost any weight.  I did Jazzercise, I walked, I kayaked.  I thought I ate better than most people I know.  I hated being on that med.  I felt completely trapped and hopeless.

    What worked for me was Weight Watchers.  Not a paid promoter here.  The program includes things any person can do. 

    1.  You record everything you eat.  WW uses a point system, but you can also track calories.  There’s even phone apps for it.  I was amazed at how much I ate without thinking about it.

    2.  Anytime you look at my plate, it’s over half fruit and veggies, and then a lean protein.  Minimal carbs, and for me no suger at all.  It is like a bad drug for me.

    3.  I use oils, but healthy ones like olive oil, safflower, canola – and in very limited amounts.  I also developed lactose intolerance, and was forced to give up things like butter, ice cream, sour cream, and a lot of fast food items which contain milk or whey.

    4. I eat eggs every day.  And turkey bacon, and other lean proteins – but also things like quinoa, beans, nuts.  You do need adequate protein, and it keeps you satisfied longer.  Ditto on high fiber, complex carbs, instead of refined flours, sugars, etc.  They don’t last.  It’s hard for me, without low fat dairy as an option, but I manage.

    5.  I still have pizza (but one slice, with a big salad, and a LactAid tablet!), and I eat a rainbow variety of fruits and veggies every day to keep it from getting dull.  For me, the only foods off limits are most dairy, and things loaded with sugar.  I haven’t had dessert in a restaurant in over 2 years now.

    Poor me.  I lost over 50 pounds that first year – slowly, but in a natural, healthy way.  My hair and skin are looking better than ever.  My knees are like a new pair.  I’ve maintained the loss for over a year now – and changed my lifestyle in a way I can maintain for the rest of my life.  I HAVE BEEN OFF THE STATIN DRUG FOR 6 MONTHS NOW.

    Bottom line – you have to find a realistic, healthy eating plan you can live with.  It will need to involve both portion control, and also what you eat, at least most of the time.  It’s not easy – vegetarian or not.  But I can tell you, being FAT was not easy either!  I’d pick this hard over that hard any day!  It is so worth the effort.  And you are so worth that effort, too!

    8 like

  2. Sahayoga Sahayoga says

    Drink lots of water and allow some time. Eventually your intestinal motility will increase. Lots of greens and simple foods. Beware of carb intake. Lots of people cut the meat and keep eatting crappy. I don’t watch what I eat I keep my 56 year old body satiated with simple good food and always protein. I have been vegetarian for over 10 years now and my cholesterol has never been so low

    4 like

  3. gigi gigi says

    One advice tip that is very important.  I have rarely eaten meat for many years and as I have aged (I am now 60), my B12 got very very low.  I now take B12 injections every three weeks.  So it is important to make sure you are getting enough B12 and of course that comes from animal sources.  So make sure to get it from another source if you continue to not eat animal products. Even though I was eating cheese and eggs, my body was not able to use what little I was getting.  This can happen to some people as they age.  Belive it or not it can cause severe memory loss and my dr. told me he has seen people come in and not be able to even walk and it was something as simple as the B12 deficiency.  I really thought I had had a stroke because I could not remember task like cooking, driving directions,etc.  It took me over a month of weekly injections to get back to my old self.  I was so fortunate for it to be something so simple to treat.  Just wanted you to be aware.

    5 like

  4. gigi gigi says

    I also wanted to say that I started eating Vegan and joined our Y in January.  I initially lost 11 lbs.  but just seesawing back and forth now.  My cholesterol and tryclycerides did go down and that was my first goal, but sure wanted to lose some weight also.  It is much harder for us now that we are not 30 anymore isn’t it!

    2 like

  5. Generic Image dsharmon says

    Watch Forks Over Knives, it changed my life. Eight years ago I became Hypothyroid and suddenly gained 30 pounds. Since then I have been unable to lose weight, regardless how much I exercised and restricted my eating. in January I watched Forks Over Knives. Following basically a plant-based, whole foods diet, I have since lost 20 pounds and feel better than ever. Along with the weight loss my energy level is fantastic, and i no longer have any arthritis pain.

    4 like

  6. Vonnie Kennedy Vonnie Kennedy says

    Red – I’ve tried WW 3 times, but my head just wasn’t into it at the time. I’m writing down everything I eat now on the ‘Loseit’ app on my iphone. It helps. I also have the healthy oils, etc. I’m ramping up the exercise, slowly, and just determined to stick with it until I see changes. Congrats on your loss! :)

    Gigi – Thanks for the heads up about B12. How scary about the memory loss. I already problems with that. I’ll make sure I have it checked on my next blood test.

    dsharmon – I will be checking out Forks Over Knives ASAP. Congrats on your 20 lb loss. I’ll be happy when I hit 10.

    Thanks for the tips and the support, ladies. I’ll keep plugging away. :)

    4 like

  7. Crystal King Crystal King says

    Okay, gals, I have to do this because battling obesity is business. I have a brand new blog I’d love to have you come visit. Because it IS brand new, some functions are not yet working, but the info is still there. I can help if you’ll let me.

    0 like

  8. Vonnie Kennedy Vonnie Kennedy says

    Update on weight loss, gals – since I started the vegetarian diet on April 14, I’m down 2 pounds – woohooo!! I know it’s not whopping but because of minor eye surgery last week, I haven’t been exercising, so I’m applauding myself just a little bit. :)

    Signed, the not as fat and frustrated vegetarian.

    7 like

  9. Generic Image dsharmon says

    Congratulations on your success! Two pounds in a week is pretty good; exercise or not. After all, in the end, it all adds up. I have averaged a little over a pound a week for 19 weeks, but I look at the big goal. I am now down just shy of 25 pounds. You go girl!

    4 like

  10. Vonnie Kennedy Vonnie Kennedy says

    Congrats on your loss, too, ds! A pound a week for 19 weeks is no easy task. We’ll just keep rooting for each other. :)

    3 like

  11. MrsB MrsB says

    Vegetarians smell bad. My daughter and I have both noticed this about vegans. Maybe it’s all the things they eat that are not part of a meat diet or maybe something they drink or whatever. Personally, we are cutting back to almost non-existent any beef products. The beef industry is on our DO NOT SUPPORT list until the FDA or powers that be regulate the processing of meat better. No pink slime for us. So, chicken and pork on limited use for us. If you have joint ache I would suggest cutting out carbonated beverages, especially dark beverages like coke, pepsi, rc, etc. The carbonation used to make drinks has phosphorous that is involved and it does something to the inside of your bones that causes osteoarthrtic problems. I’m not a doctor but I know for sure this has been a problem with me personally. When I don’t drink those beverages, I don’t have pain.

    2 like

  12. Cathonye Cathonye says

    I’m with RamblinRedhead on Weight Watchers. I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but I’ve been on and off it since 1976!  I’ve maintained my goal weight for a while, but I know I still have to track what I eat and track my activity daily. I’ve been doing it online for several yrs.
    For me, it makes a difference to know I’m keeping a record. On days (like yesterday with lots of family here for Memorial Day weekend) I just record a total of what I think I did in the day, keeping in mind the wine and snacks, but I know I’ll be back on regular tracking tomorrow.

    0 like

  13. Shotajo Shotajo says

    A little over a year ago, I started to cut out carbohydrates and added more walking. Since then I have lost 35 lbs. There is a diet that I know has worked for a lot of people that is a low carb diet. It is called Dr Gundry’s Diet Evolution. There is a book of course. I know of one author who lost a lot of weight and no longer has to take bp meds. I don’t completely follow the diet as bananas and milk are a no, no and I love both. 
    Last Fall, I decided to go back to being Vegan. I had been for several years before I met a meat loving boyfriend. I too am trying to cut my cholesterol.  I am hoping come my next Dr appt in Sept., that all of my work will  have helped. 
    Thanks for the information on the B12. I will have to check on that.

    2 like

  14. Jane Barnes Jane Barnes says

    I was vegetarian for 3 years (not eating any processed foods or simple sugars) and gained weight. had no energy and my digestive system just about shut down.  Now I’ve eaten Paleo (grainfree. low sugar) for over a year and never felt better.  I would love it if I didn’t need to eat eggs and dead animals but I do.  My friend is the opposite to me – her body can’t handle meat at all.  So it largely depends on what your specific physiology is.
    I would say if you have any insulin, cholesterol or digestive problems then you might want to cut out the grains and see how you feel for a month.   Asking yourself how you feel after you’ve eaten something and checking your hunger level and energy level hours later, will pretty much tell you what helps your body and what doesn’t.
    For more info on Paleo, my best resource is the Primal Blueprint (great book and blog).  My 89 year old mother, also a big fan of Paleo now her health problems have all disappeared, recommends The Paleo Solution as a good primer.

    2 like

  15. Vonnie Kennedy Vonnie Kennedy says

    Wow, so many suggestions, it’s so confusing. I’m going to stick with the vegetarian diet until July when I’m due for a cholesterol check. If the numbers haven’t gone down, I’ll have to decide on something else. My weight loss is very slow. Nine pounds total and 21 to go to reach my goal.

    ds – I watched Forks over Knives and was impressed and depressed, if you know what I mean.

    MrsB – I hope you were joking about vegetarians smelling bad. I’ll freak if I do!! :)

    onward and (in my case) downward in cholesterol and weight. Sigh…

    1 like

    • Carolyne Carolyne says

      yes it is confusing!!  but you are doing well to have lost some weight!!  I started juicing a few months ago, and i have lost a few pounds of belly fat.  I feel thinner than i have in years.  In addition, I have not been craving meat protein as often, i think i am getting a lot of nutrition from the veggies i juice.  I do not eat wheat of any kind on a regular basis, altho i am sure some sneaks in here an there when i am not careful.  Vegetarian cant be all bad!  I am just thinking that for the nutrition you might try a masticating juicer.  Mine cost the same as one doctor appointment.  lol!  there are a lot of vegetables that i have not ever eaten but i juice them, and if you use organic you get a good amount of nutrients you need.  I have found I am not as hungry and i dont eat as much.  I think that has been the key to the weight i have lost.  just my suggestion, to add to the confusion!!  I do think, like a few have suggested, that every person is different when it comes to what helps lose the weight.  so hang in there with what works for you, and good going!! 

      0 like

  16. Vonnie Kennedy Vonnie Kennedy says

    Carolyne – I don’t really mind the veggie diet. I don’t miss meat at all. I have a juicer, but it’s big and a real pain to wash, so I avoid it. I do make smoothies with oat bran, greek yogurt, and fruit.

    I’m back to writing down calories this week, so hopefully that will help. Also need to start an exercise routine again. I stopped when I had eye surgery a month ago.

    Thanks for your comment. :)

    1 like

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