People like to asked me a myriad of questions, from how are you Jewish? To when did you convert? Why are you a vegan and what about your protein. Sorry for all the folks curious about my Jewish identity but this note is about the latter and not the former 🙂
So first of all I am 40 years old and I started lifting weights when I was 18, and have been lifting consistently since I was 21. In my middle 20’s I became a vegetarian and was able to pack on a ton of muscle, and gain a lot of strength often out lifting a lot of men that I knew.
In my 20’s I became a Powerlifter and vegetarian. In my 30’s, some friends persuaded me to enter my first bodybuilding competition. None of us knew anything about being a vegetarian and competing; there was some information out there but not a lot and all of my friends and fellow bodybuilders were all omnivores and so I acquiesced and started eating fish. I cannot even begin to tell you how much fish (mostly Tuna) and how many egg whites I ate for that first competition.
Well, needless to say I got very bored with that diet and could not eat it any more of it. And as my love of the sport of bodybuilding grew, so did my meat consumption and I threw out my vegetarian diet completely. I stopped bodybuilding to go to graduate school but continued to lift and eat meat. I continued my weightlifting regimen and I was working as a personal trainer and over the course of a few years my healthy diet deteriorated and I gained 30 pounds. I knew I needed a change and I wanted to go back to being a vegetarian but for some reason I didn’t.
Then one day in February 2009 I saw Rip Esselstyn on the Today show and that changed my life. I didn’t have any serious plans to be a vegan, I just wanted to follow his plan for 30 days and get back on track to at least being a Vegetarian. From February to May/June I dropped those 30 pounds (it’s still gone) and a few more and became a committed vegan. Although I became a vegan for vanity reasons, I have since stayed a vegan for ethical and environmental reasons.
Now, I am recommitted to bodybuilding, smaller and leaner than I was when I first started bodybuilding, not sure I want to compete but I am definitely building lean muscle mass again.
Anyway that’s my story.