It all began when I was 18 years old.
But, first, lets rewind a bit… I was always an animal fanatic, even when I was a kid, I acted like a dog and even sometimes, a horse. I was a major horse fanatic and got my 1st one when I turned 11 years old and rode and helped train them with a friend for about 14 years. I sold my last horse(pictured) a few years ago and got into fitness and nutrition. I was inspired by my mom when she lost a lot of weight. That’s when I popped in a Jillian Michael’s DVD and the official journey began. But, even when I rode horses, that’s the only real activity I did. I got fast food on my way to the horse barn and sometimes on the way back. Even when I got home, I’d enjoy a Lean Cuisine or Smart One’s meal. I had a bowl of ice cream almost every night and even once, finished half of a serving size for 4-6 people, cake from Food City. Even when I was little, I ate all my brother’s candy from his stocking when they were gone on vacation, indeed, I got in trouble for it. I remember one evening, perhaps maybe even more than once, I’d go back and forth to the kitchen, eating and eating and felt like a bottomless pit. I couldn’t stop, it was crazy. I wasn’t full blown lazy, but I definitely needed to be more active than I was and especially eat a lot better. The most I have ever gotten up to was 135lbs BUT, I’m 5’3 and small boned which means, you can see every little bit of weight you gain.
I was later, after numerous major panic attacks, including once while working as a waitress at a restaurant, was diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder and had to be prescribed medication along with depression later on(story is on blog about that). I then started working at my dad’s office/business, a staffing company, as a receptionist. I despise desk work, DE-SPISE IT. But, it was good pay and the workers were fabulous. During the few months while I was there, I snacked on candy, sometimes doughnuts in the break room, and other junk food. One day, I decided to challenge myself, did some research on becoming a vegetarian, and wallah, challenge accepted. The last thing, after a little while, that I cut out, was fish. I’m a born and raised Seventh-Day Adventist and so most of Adventists are vegetarians. But, even at pot lucks, as a kid, I noticed when I did eat vegetarian foods, I always felt heavy and nasty. Well, now I know, it’s because of all the oil, some processed fake meats, and dairy. Blach!
I then, still a vegetarian, became a waitress at a little café in my town. I loved it, but still didn’t eat the greatest. All of a sudden, a new challenge was coming over me. I started becoming obsessed with calories and weighing myself constantly along with avoiding carbs and once, a few times, trying a 500 calorie a day. I remember, going to bed, more than once, starving and literally, dreaming about food and even once, I dreamed of swimming in Jell-O. One of the waitresses was super little to, so when I looked at her, I started wanting that. I remember eating a dessert once and a friend/dishwasher made a remark about me and sweets. In the past, I’ve even been bugged about it a few times because of my major sweet tooth. I also remember, once, going to the doctor, I had a good size breakfast, they weighed me with clothes and all on and I said to my mom, when the scale said 116lbs, “I just had a big breakfast too though”. I even would sometimes go to Walgreens, buy laxatives, and hide them in my room and other times, make myself puke. I was working out to and obsessed with fruit, so much that it put me in the bathroom. The doctor, finally said, one day, when I was 109lbs, that I’m close to being underweight. My mom, dad, and coworkers, I could tell, were getting concerned. I was heading straight down to an eating disorder. I even remember once, at Thanksgiving dinner, all I had was a salad, and I could tell my mom was concerned. I mixed hummus with my homemade salad all the time, yeah, it took me a while to find a love for hummus again.
But, nonetheless, something had to change.
I went from a meat/dairy junkie to a weight/skinny obsession girl.
Then, a little over a year after being a waitress, I went back to working at my dad’s business.
I don’t know how it happened, I wish I did, but I came across happyherbivore.com. I was never much into cooking, but more baking in my younger days. But, I do remember, getting the Seventeen Magazine subscription for my 16th birthday and was subscribed for a few years and every time I got the magazine in the mail, I flipped straight to the nutrition/fitness page. I was a bit more fascinated by the nutrition than the fitness though. Even through high school(I was homeschooled) I was fascinated by the human body and how it worked.
Then, one night, my church showed, “Forks Over Knives” documentary, my dad even became vegetarian and can tell a big difference. But, I dove in and became vegan. I read the success stories from other people on the Happy Herbivore website, did some more research, read some books, and went for it. My hardest thing to give up, was my love, ice cream.
I still remember, to this day, 3 years later, what fast food tastes like and dairy as well. But, I also remember how I feel when I eat it, crappy.
I then, signed up, almost a year ago, for the Happy Herbivore meal plans and love them.
My goal, is to become 100% plant based and I’m SO much closer than I have ever have been before.
Plant based = no meat, no egg, no dairy, no processed foods, and no oil.
My energy level as a vegetarian was great, but, when I became a vegan and then plant based, my energy shot through the roof.
I don’t recall the last migraine I had, nor the last pimple on my face, and the cramping during PMS never shows nor does my period last as long. My hair grows more quickly than it used to and is so much thicker. I even have had some people shocked by my “Glow” and how great my complexion looks. I’m way more energized than I’ve ever been, I hardly tire out easily, unless it’s that time of month but even then, push through. As long as I stay on top of my meals, I very rarely crave sweets and my meals keep me full for hours.
I gained back my weight I was before until I really stuck with the HH meal plans. Then, when I stuck to the meal plans better, I lost 10-12 lbs and I am finally at a healthier weight than I ever have been.
I feel so much more healthier than I have before and plus, I was taken off of my anxiety medicine and depression medicine a few years ago.
I still tend to have a major sweet tooth but when I go and get frozen yogurt, I make sure to get sorbet only. I still have slip ups from time to time but I’m getting back.
I couldn’t have done it without God, Happy Herbivore, and the Herbivore community.
I still tend to have remarks made towards me, but, the more research I do, the more confident I get to know what’s right and what’s not right. I don’t like to push people, ever, but, I believe everyone should give the plant based lifestyle a shot.
It’s a lifestyle NOT a diet. I’m proud to be a herbivore! 🙂
Note: Even though I do not use Happy Herbivore near as much as I used too, I would recommend the business. I’ve just broke away from it, you can find out the reason, in the link below.