My story is a LONG one! I’m someone who has always struggled with my weight, depression, emotional-eating, and self-love. Over a decade ago, my 5’3’’ frame tipped the scale at 250lbs! Miserable and desperate, I decided to do something drastic since everything (diets/exercises) had failed. I opted for weight loss surgery to physically force myself to reduce the amount of food I could consume! After losing 80lbs, one would think that the surgery was a success and that I could write my “happily ever after” ending but spoiler alert, the story was just getting started! I regained nearly all that I had lost and found myself, once again, in a very unhealthy state physically, mentally and spiritually as well. But I now have the wisdom to understand that the surgery “didn’t work” because I didn’t work! Having a positive relationship with food and your body has less to do with what you eat, and everything to do with how you think! The person you see today is a result of a person who changed from within first. The weight was just a physical symptom of my weaknesses and struggles from within!
My decision to go plant-based started a little over three years ago. I was hovering around 200lbs, hated exercising and returned to my normal yo-yo dieting efforts. I had gone in for my yearly physical to discover that my cholesterol was high. It wasn’t “dangerously” high, however it was high enough to scare me as this was the first time that my health had been affected by my lifestyle. I had two options: take medications or lose weight. I was 28 at this time and decided against the meds since I was young, didn’t want to be dependent on them forever, and had no idea what side effects I’d experience by taking them. Additionally, with a family history of obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and even death, I decided on the latter. I saw medication as putting a band aid over the symptom instead of treating the cause! Initially, I opted for another extreme diet but soon discovered a more holistic approach: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine by thy food”. While I am no doctor, I first adopted the whole food plant-based lifestyle as a way to naturally lower my cholesterol, which is only found in animal products, and this catapulted my transformation beyond the physical realm! Not only did I notice how much better I felt (and looked), knowing that I was doing less harm to our planet and animals from this lifestyle felt amazing too! I started to develop more compassion for others as a result, which eventually allowed me to feel more compassion towards myself too. From this newfound self-love, I was finally able to heal internally and physically let go of the “extra baggage” I held onto for nearly all of my life, with ease and for good!
Previously, all of my weight loss attempts came from superficial desires of looking thin and thus “being beautiful”. However, I now know that if you don’t like yourself now, you aren’t going to like yourself when you’re thin. If you don’t resolve your internal issues, they are only going to follow you; you can’t run from them! Now, I don’t work out because I want to lose weight; I only weigh myself during my yearly physical! I exercise because it’s good for me and any daily activity, no matter how small, will do. This allowed me to not get discouraged, by stepping on the scale and not seeing the results I wanted fast enough, then quitting! Instead, I actually started to fall in love with how good movement makes me feel and can’t ever imagine going back! It’s a form of self-love, respect, “me-time” and therapy! I even practice self-love in the form of styling my food before I eat it, as if I’m making the best dish to impress a guy I’m dating, simply because it makes me happy and I deserve the same amount of love and care. I closely monitor the thoughts and emotions in my head and try my best to correct them if I find that they are not empowering me. Today I live a life of freedom, no longer struggle with weight, and am so grateful for this breakthrough! I share my lifestyle here on this blog, and daily on Instagram to show others what’s possible.