VeggieBoards banner

Should my sister stay vegan?

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to the forum and not vegan or vegetation, but my younger sister is. My name is Joe by the way. Let me start by saying that I don't have a "problem" with this life style so no worries.


OK I am on here because I am becoming increasingly concerned about my sister. She is 17 and is probably the strictest vegan that anyone has ever heard of, not joking. She has been a vegan for about a year now. She became a vegan after reading the book Skinny ***** which is undoubtedly propaganda to support veganism. So she is not vegan for ethical reasons, I have talked with her about this, she believes it is more healthy.

She has been athletic her whole life, she was a gymnast up until about 2 months ago. She quit because of physical issues such as; tight muscles, craps, stiffness, and injuries(minor). She has since taken up body building. Before she was vegan she was on a super strict regular diet. Both, the vegan and regular diet have been super low in fat like around 20 grams, I think she as since slightly increased this but not much. In addition, she now supplements with soy protein about 150g per day. She eats the exact same thing every day, Im not sure on the specifics tho.

I am concerned because she has lost 20+ pounds since becoming a vegan, shes around 6% bf. Before she became vegan she was super muscular but still under 10% bf, it was low enough for her not to have a menstruation cycle
sorry if tmi. She is seriously a shell of what she once was physically
. She just had blood work done and had elevated liver enzymes. Another thing of concern is she believe she lost mostly fat! This is absolutely absurd I can promise you.

So am I over reacting or does something need to be done? I can understand a vegan's moral choice to live this way. But, for an otherwise health teenager, I can not comprehend how this can be more healthy than a balanced diet that includes everything else. I've done extensive research but the internet seems flooded with propaganda that supports ether one extreme or the other. It seems impossible to find a balanced comprehensive review of risks and benefits of both. Please help and educate me, any advice is greatly appreciated! I look forward to your replies

V/r
Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,741 Posts
It doesn't sound like veganism is her problem, it sounds like an eating disorder is probably her problem. See if she will follow up with her doctor, especially after all that weight loss and no period. There is no normal reason for someone to go vegan and loose 20 pounds (and their period) as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmm I haven't necessarily considered this, thanks for the reply. She eats about 5 or 6 times a day, so she is eating, and I don't believe that she is bulimic ether, but definitely something to watch for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
BTW the low percentage in body fat is what causes the loss of the period. This is common in elite athletes, such as Olympic athletes.
 

·
Rat Queen/Mouse Matriarch
Joined
·
836 Posts
She needs to figure out what's going on and get well first. Then if she still wants to be vegan for the animals, maybe she can modify her diet to suit her needs and keep herself healthy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,938 Posts
~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Generally speaking, 6% is very, very low. Female professional bodybuilders usually have a body fat % of 6-10, and that is only temporary while they are preparing for a show. If she is like that all the time, that is probably not a good thing. It does sound like she has an eating disorder and is obsessed with controlling her body to an extreme degree for one reason or another. If she eats the exact same thing everyday then she is possibly not getting all the nutrients or calories she needs. Did the doctors not say anything to her when they saw her and her test results?

To answer your original question, no I don't think you are necessarily overreacting, and I think you should talk to her about it. Tell her that you are concerned for her and her health. It is possible that her restrictive eating habits, both before and after going vegan, contributed to her issues in gymnastics. Maybe use that to try and drive a point home. If she is covered under insurance, maybe make her an appointment with a nutritionist who is knowledgeable and supportive of a vegan and vegetarian diet (not all are) to help her make an eating plan.

Well, that's my 2 cents. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Yeah whip up some avocado dish or something! more avocadooo

It can take a while to get your diet right when going vegan but eventually you won't have to worry about these things once you find your balance

its great though that you care about your sister enough to come online to ask for help
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,272 Posts
I agree Veganism and Veg diets don't do this , I believe its an eating disorder myself. My husband years ago was very slendor and he ate mcdonald's for his staple meals and he was slendor, something is wrong with her system not because of plant base diet.
 

·
Ankle Biter
Joined
·
9,333 Posts
I'm sorry that your sister seems to be going through a difficult time with her eating habits. Are her/your parents involved? Perhaps you should talk to them about your concerns.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,961 Posts
Plant based foods are not all fat free. I actually gained weight when I chose to eat vegan simply out of an increased interest in cooking, and baking.
Your sister has an eating disorder, and she either truly believes in animal rights or is just using it as a cover up is what's in question.
Skinny ***** isn't about propaganda. It's based around facts that other diets sugar coat. I don't believe the authors meant it to support anorexia, but appartently many who are already prone to ED see it as that support.

Staying someone is as vegan as possible really says nothing about what they eat, other than it's only from plants.

We have members here who eat very low fat, raw foods only, and are very athletic, without starving themselves.

In what other aspects is your sister vegan? I mean is she as concerned with animal free (and tested) products as well as foods? That would indicate whether being vegan is something she really believes in, or another diet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I only call it propaganda because thats what it is.
I.E. Information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. Thanks for the input
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I was replying to this
Quote:
Originally Posted by whisper View Post

It's hard to believe you don't have a problem with a vegan diet when you call it propaganda. As for your sister, she has a serious eating disorder and may be trying to hide it by claiming she's vegan and has to eat that way. There are plenty of healthy vegan body builders and athletes, a vegan diet isn't the problem.
 

·
Arrrg! Me mateys.
Joined
·
5,591 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by maddog42 View Post

I only call it propaganda because thats what it is.
I.E. Information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. Thanks for the input
Peer-reviewed scientific studies from health to environment, information groups in animal agriculture willingly share about their work, and a large number of undercover videos showing workers and owners of facilities abusing helpless beings is biased and misleading. Hmm...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,741 Posts
Like I said before vegan "propaganda" is not the issue here - it's the fact that his sister has an eating disorder and is most likely hiding it by being "vegan".
 

·
Beanitarian
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
Well only a dr can diagnose her, but it does sound as though she either lacks education about or has cognitive distortions about food.
Quote:
Another thing of concern is she believe she lost mostly fat!
The next step is for her to get properly evaluated and diagnosed. Nothing can proceed until she does that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
753 Posts
if she is doing it for health or perhaps just using "health" as a mask for deeper body issues then veganism isnt really the issue as she might just move onto another nutrient restrictive diet (as you said she was on one previous to veganism) of course I cant deny that the recent dietary changes haven't exacerbated the problem (though it need not be that way)

and as much as I hate referencing Andy Bellatti, he did write a piece making some valid criticism of the book. I wish the book wasnt so popular.
http://smallbites.andybellatti.com/y...-skinny-*****/
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top