The Big Reveal

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you are gearing up for a fun, happy, healthy, rejuvenating weekend.

Yesterday, I asked the folks on my facebook page (and also on twitter) if they would be interested in seeing a "before" photo of me. (As some of you know, I used to be 55 pounds overweight - quite a lot for this shorty pants.) Usually, when I tell people this, they say "What? I can't imagine you like that!" Well, it's true. I spent most of my twenties as an overweight vegan, and was actually obese for many of those years as well.

It's funny - many people think that just by being a vegan, you'll automatically be thin. However, this was obviously not the case for me! I've written about the underlying reasons why I became overweight in my first book, Radiant Health, Inner Wealth, but suffice it to say that it was a combination of things that led to my unhealthy state. Overeating, making poor choices, lack of exercise, and a lack of understanding of balanced eating was what did it for me. I remember one day eating Chinese takeout for lunch (cashew tofu with white rice, veggie wontons, and vegan egg rolls) and then getting more takeout for dinner - a white baguette sandwich slathered in vegan mayo, with french fries and onion rings on the side. Oh, and I'm sure chocolate was involved at some point in the evening as well. This is not healthy eating, my friends.

However, I am extremely grateful for those years now, as I look back. If I hadn't been so unhealthy, I would have never learned how to make things right. I look at all of my "mistakes" as gifts that have led me to the understanding I have now. It took me many years to figure out how to maintain a healthy weight (and do so whilst not feeling deprived of deliciousness!), but I got r done.

And now, through the struggles and shame of my obesity, I finally have the understanding and compassion that give me the ability to help others with the same thing. In my new book, I have a two-week program that works incredibly well to help people drop weight quickly and safely - all while enjoying yummy, satisfying foods. I am honestly so thankful to be able to share this now and help others, and I could have never done it without going through my own struggles!

So, moral of the story? Honor where you are and know that everything has its purpose. Oh, and other moral of the story? It is possible to transform yourself...and maintain that transformation for the long haul - all while enjoying your lifestyle and feeling satisfied, not deprived!

OK, so enough of the wanna see the picture I dug up? I was at my grandma's house this summer and finally came across one of the pictures from about 14 years ago when I was at my highest weight (about 170 lbs.). I was about 25 years old in this picture (and no, I'm not the one in the white shirt - that's me on the right in the red sweater):

Sorry that I don't have a full body shot for an "after" photo, but here's one at least that's not just my head! Here's me at age 39 doing a healthy food demonstration at Nature's Oasis in Durango, Colorado:
Well, thanks so much for joining me for the big reveal, friends! And please, please keep sending me your success stories - they make my day!!!


  1. I think you look great in both photos! Some people are heavier, even when they're healthy. I'm a fat vegan and I exercise and eat healthy foods. I respect your journey but pedaling veganism as a diet in any form isn't healthy for anyone. Women need to love their bodies at any size, feed it well and get good exercise. Sell your diet as one for health, not for weight loss. If you do, your actually helping people and not shaming or guilt tripping them.

  2. Becca, thanks for your comments.

    I certainly would never intend to shame or guilt trip anyone. If someone is content with their size and truly feels happy, that is wonderful. However, I know that I personally was not happy when I was at that weight. I do not "sell" veganism just for weight loss. My guidelines in both of my books & program are always about health, first and foremost. In my experience, weight loss comes along with it.

    Again, I am sorry if you took this as trying to shame anyone - that is the last thing I would ever want to do. I only wish health and happiness for everyone, and I agree that women especially should strive to love themselves always, just as they are. This is a very important point, so thank you for bringing it up.

  3. Wow, amazing. I will be buying your book soon:) I have one question though, what do you think about almond milk and what do you do for sweetener? Thanks.

  4. Thanks, Candi!

    Almond milk is great, and is especially delish & healthy when homemade. Personally, I don't like the packaged kinds (they taste like playdough to me!) and it's SO easy to make your own (there's a recipe for it in my 1st book, and I'm sure you could find one online too).

    I seem to use less & less sweeteners as the years go by - I think I'm losing my attachment to sweets (yay!), but I do use in moderation: maple syrup, raw organic agave nectar, brown rice syrup, and once in a while some organic sugar (although not much). The main thing w/ sweeteners is moderation. I also have developed a big love for stevia, but it only works in certain things.

    Just in case you're into it, I will mention that I'm doing a special now on my books - both for $35 + free shipping through my website. Just thought I should mention it as it's a better deal than right now!

    Thanks! :-)

  5. Wow Tess! You look younger now! That's amazing. I'm so glad you found a better diet and just 'way of being'. You know, I always tell people to go vegan if they want to lose weight. I always think 'healthful food with no hunger'. I suppose I am a part-time vegan that eats really healthfully, so I forget that one can be vegan and not so healthy! I mean, I know that but it does leave the mind sometimes!
    So sweet and open of you to share this, Tess!

  6. wow this is great! your an inspiration to all. there is still hope for those who have overweight problems. thanks for sharing. good luck!

  7. Thank you for sharing all of your story! You are definitely an inspiration for many :)

  8. You look amazing. Positively glowing!

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