My Life Hasn’t Always Been This Way…
I became a gymnast at the young age of 2. I basically lived at the gym growing up and couldn’t get enough of it. I ate the Standard American Diet including Burger King, Stouffer’s Lasagna, and Chinese takeout on a regular basis. I ate as much as I wanted whenever I wanted, and never thought twice.
When I was 13, I broke my foot and was told by doctors that I had to quit gymnastics or else I would run into serious health issues later in life. I was devastated, but I did what I was told. A few months after I quit, I began to pack on the pounds. Slowly, but surely, my weight crept up and all of a sudden I found myself in a vicious cycle of dieting, binge eating, and depression. I gained at least 50 pounds over the course of 3 years. I hated the way I looked and tried every single diet I could find. I tried counting calories, counting carbs, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, The Scarsdale Diet… the list goes on and on. I even tried the Cabbage Soup Diet! I would lose a few pounds here and there but then gained it all back (and then some) as soon as I went off of the diet. I was miserable. I did not feel like myself. I was horribly depressed and ashamed of who I had become. I was sick of dieting and was sure I would never lose weight.
Years down the road when I was in my second year of college, I first learned about the vegan lifestyle through the documentary Forks Over Knives. It resonated with me, so I decided to give it a chance – what did I have to lose? For the first time in my life, my focus shifted from the seemingly endless quest to lose weight to the desire to achieve true health. Since the moment I made this decision – to focus on my health and the way I felt on the inside rather than on what I saw in the mirror, my whole life changed. I became happier and felt bounds of energy. I felt vibrant and full of life! As a wonderful byproduct, I finally shed the weight I had been actively trying to lose for so many long, difficult years. The best part is – it has stayed off, and is never coming back. Instead of punishing myself by being on some restrictive diet, I now nourish and love my body by putting delicious, healthful, foods into it that I know my body will thank me for. I am no longer trapped by the burden of being on a diet or going “off” of my diet. Instead, I listen to my body and give it what it needs. It’s magical!!