So it all started around January this year when I noticed that I was being a little bit more tired/sleepy/exhausted as usual. It was around the same time when my wisdom teeth got removed+school work was just immense and overall I just wasn't in the best place mentally. Since I was about 13 years, I was maintaining the same weight - which the doctor told me every year when I got weighted at school. I wasn't checking it myself or anything, I had a lot more other stuff to be worried about - for example the fact that around this time my not so good sleeping habits were coming up again. I remember being able to sleep only about 4-5 hours a day, and just constantly looking for the classes where I knew I'd be able to sleep without a problem in school. Around February I started realizing that my back was hurting like never before. Being 5'11 tall (180cm) I had a couple of problems with my spine anyway so I went to the doctor to see what we can do about it. I was told to go to hospital to this spine training class almost every day - so I did. Basically my days looked something like this: waking up at around 3:30-5:00am, go to school,finish around 3-4:30pm then literally RUN to my training. So with this way of living my every days, by the end of February I started noticing that something was off - my clothes didn't really fit anymore, and despite all the training my back was hurting SO bad - probably because of the loss of muscle. I was cold and dizzy ALL THE TIME. It really was hell. One day, and I remember it clearly, I was watching tv at night with my family and for some reason it was really hot in the room so as one do, I took off my 3 hoodies; and that's when I (along with my mom and sis) realized how skinny my arms were - like scary skinny. They asked me how much I weighed - and that was the question I was asking myself too as it wasn't checked in months. So the next day, my first thing to do in the morning was to weight myself and I didn't want to believe what I saw on the scale. I was SHOCKED. And so was my family. Not wanting to put numbers here but I was roughly 10 kgs lighter than the last time. I felt TERRIBLE. So the next weeks were followed by seeing 5 types of different doctors, blood and all that kind of tests to see if I'm ok. I was perfectly healthy by my results, well I certainly didn't feel like that so they prescripted me a protein shake kind of thing which I kept drinking for 6 months (!!!) in the hope of gaining some weight. I was also eating a lot more than before and when I say a lot I mean A LOT. I've been vegetarian for 4 years now (so is my mom, sis and a major part of my family) and even though almost everyone kept telling me to start eating meat to gain weight I didn't even want to hear about this idea. So what do you eat when you want to gain weight on a vegetarian life style? Basically everything else, I was eating A HUGE amounts of pasta, cheese, milk, eggs, bread and all that. Yeah, I really shouldn't have. I was confused because even though I was eating three times more than the rest of my family I still barely gained any weight. In addition, every single time I drank my protein shake (which was made of cow milk..) or ate my huge bowl of pasta I felt an excruciating pain in my stomach for hours, still couldn't sleep very well and was just overall very tired/moody/dizzy. That went on until the ending of July when I watched '101 reason to be vegan' where I learned about the cruelty behind the milk and egg industry and decided to cut out diary completely of my diet and only eating eggs once every 2 weeks - and voila, I started feeling better. My stomach would still be in pain after eating pasta or bread so I kinda knew I'd be having an intolerence or something. I went to a food intolerance test where they take your blood and check if you have an intolerence to something. Suprise, suprise, it was positive not only to milk but pretty much all to the types of gluten (except oat thank god) - light positivity to eggs as well. So from then on, I wasn't consuming anything that contained gluten, I started buying gluten free breads and pastas and of course was sticking to my beloved coconut, oat, soy and rice milk along with my vegan cheese. Thankfully ALL of my symptoms went away just like that. Not only did I not feel painfully tired anymore, but my mood drasticially improved, I started GAINING weight and right now I sleep around 8-9 hours every single day and it's just fantastic. I also started taking gym classes from a personal trainer in July to get some muscle on me (well mainly on my back areas and arms) and it was probably one of the best decisions that I've ever made. Some of the concerns my friends/family had was if it was gonna be okay for me to gain weight while modelling and let me tell you - the first thing my bookers told me when I got to modelling in April was to gain at least 3 cms MORE on my measurements which I succesfully did by the way. I still wasn't able to gain all the weight back but I already feel SO MUCH BETTER and generally think that I've never been in such a good place mentally/phisically speaking. I'm also fascinated by the world of vegan food and actually planning on studying gastronomy at university once I finish high school. Being a glutent and lactose intolerant sucks - especially when you travel (and let me tell you, you don't get gluten free bread for 2 cents in Paris...) or eating out with friends but we all have our prroblems so if you have the same ones as me I'm here to tell you: I understand.
Thank you for reading this long rant and I hope I was able to provide you some useful information. You can always feel free to ask me if you have more questions, I'm more than happy to answer.
Have a nice day guys!!
- 101 reasons to go vegan - watch it, it's life changing!!
- 10 signs you're a gluten intolerant
- Gluten intolerance explained
- 5 benefits of being vegan
- Being vegan - why and how
- Gluten free and vegan
- Gluten free and vegan 2