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 chit-chat...you 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!!!