I Don’t Accommodate Uncontrolled Men

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It’s summer! Time for all the the ladies to start posting articles about why it’s not a woman’s responsibility to prevent a man from lusting and all the gentlemen to start posting comments about why it’s not a woman’s responsibility, but she sure can help.

I’ve been encouraged to see the pushback, by women, even women in more conservative circles, against the toxic idea that a woman’s clothing choices can cause men to stumble.

But this pushback gets halted when a guy stands up and comfortably announces that while this personal responsibility thing all sounds great, the reality is that normal, healthy guys like him struggle, so women should still cover up. And the ladies go a little silent, unable to argue with this universal battle against sexual temptation that women never face.

The pushback against purity culture dies right then and there, because no woman wants to challenge…

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Follow what you know is right in your heart

Jillian Salomone’s story 

FEATURE

HC : what made you decide you needed to change your life?

 

I was leading a very unhealthy lifestyle and became 25 lbs overweight. At the time, I was consuming a lot of animal products (meat, eggs, fish & dairy).  I was tired of not feeling good both physically and mentally; I knew a change needed to be made. In April 2013, I decided to put my unhealthy lifestyle behind me and do a 3-day juice cleanse. I completed the 3 days and felt amazing! After my 3 day juice cleanse, I felt so light and had such great energy that I decided to clean up my diet for good and never eat meat again! For the next 6 months I adopted a vegetarian lifestyle and  slowly transitioned into a vegan diet. By October 2013, I became 100% plant-based and never looked back!

 

 

HC: what steps did you take to improve your life?

 

My journey to becoming healthy and fit began in August 2012. At that time, I made a big decision to start living a sober life. After making the decision to live a sober life, my healthy decisions were like a domino effect. I quit smoking, I began running every day and doing yoga 4-5 times a week! I ditched the meat products, joined a gym to start lifting, and slowly started the transition to a vegan diet.  I wanted to challenge myself even further and I committed to enter a bodybuilding competition. I chose to compete in the bikini division and trained for it on a full plant-based diet! My decision to compete was completely out of my comfort zone, however I wanted to push myself to the next level.  As I researched bodybuilding coaches, nearly everyone I came across said that it was not possible to train for a competition without consuming meat, eggs, fish, whey protein, etc. For me, it was a frustrating uphill battle, however I refused to give in. I did not want to accept what society was telling me. Deep down I knew it was possible to compete as a fully plant-based athlete. Just in the nick of time, I found my coach, Dani Taylor! Led by Dani, I jumped right into the vegan lifestyle and started training for my first ever bikini competition in October 2013. I’ve been vegan ever since!

 

 

 

HC: what motivates you to keep on this path?

 

I am motivated to spread awareness. There are so many people sick and suffering from diseases, many of these diseases are directly related to their diets. As a society, the way we treat animals, and the suffering that it causes is horrible and unecessary. I want to prove to others that you can live a fit healthy life, and build muscle all while on a plant-based diet.

 

 

 

HC: what are you most proud of going thru this journey?

 

I am most proud of myself for not giving into everyone who told me it wasn’t possible. I’m proud that I stuck to it and made it happen. I’m proud that I no longer contribute to the horrible deaths of these poor animals. I’m proud of those close to me who have transitioned to a vegan lifestyle, and have since witnessed serious health benefits because of it. Lastly, I am proud to be part of my team, PlantBuilt, to have made so many friends, who can spread the word on such a bigger platform all over the world!

 

 

HC: what futures goals do you have ?

 

My future goals are to continue to compete in bodybuilding competitions. I am determined to continue to spread knowledge and shed light on vegan lifestyle. I plan on launching my personal training and plant-based nutrition business full time in 2016. The focus is to help people who are looking to make the transition to a plant-based lifestyle.

 

 

HC: if you could share any advice or words of encouragement what would they be?

 

Follow what you know is right in your heart.  Live a compassionate, healthy, & fit lifestyle.

 

HC: where can people get in touch with you? (contact info, social media sites)

email: jillianleighfitness@gmail.com

website: jillianleighfitness.com

IG: jillianleighfitness

FaceBook: Jillian Salomone

 

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thank you for sharing your story Jillian.if you know of anyone that has a story to share.have them email me at bigtymer32@gmail.com or contact me on my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/hotchocolatefitness

 

 

Try hard, it’ll probably feel good!

Lacy davis’s story 

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HC : what made you decide you needed to change your life?

I have changed my life in three really significant ways worth noting. 

1) At age 14, I decided to go vegan for the first time. 

2) In my mid twenties I got into recovery for an eating disorder, and 

3) At age 28, I got into lifting weights.

I will tell you about all of the above!

I went vegan at 14 for 100% ethical reasons. Although high school was rough for me (I dropped out after Sophomore year, due to general friendlessness) I did grow up in kind of an amazing time of life when veganism (and straight edge) were SUPER popular at my school. There were so many vegans, in fact, that there was a vegan window in the cafeteria that served pasta with marinara, salads, veggie soups, bagels, and vegan cookies. I was given a “why vegan?” pamphlet from my school’s animal rights club and long story short, those carnage shots were kind of it for me and eating animal products. I was depressed by the cruelty the meat, dairy, and egg industries take part in and also just disgusted. Who wants to eat something bred in such horrible conditions?!

In my early 20’s I went through a rough break up that prompted me to swiftly develop an eating disorder. (Not saying that my ED was this dude’s FAULT, of course it wasn’t, but it was just kind of the match that was lit under the disorder’s gas soaked paper pile.) I lost a lot of weight very quickly, and really struggled with the idea of needing to gain weight back to maintain health. I hating looking like a “sickly” vegan, and knowing that people likely equated my eating disorder with my veganism despite the fact that i was vegan for nearly a decade before I began to restrict my food. At age 24, I got into recovery because I felt that I needed to be a good representative for veganism, feminism, etc. I knew that restricting, purging, and compulsively exercising was the antithesis of everything I thought women deserved and the best way to fight the good fight would be to treat myself well.

Lifting weights was basically the thing I completely credit the success of my recovery to. I *tried* to recover for years, and even with all of my politics around veganism and feminism, nothing I did seemed to stick. Finally, in 2012, I joined a Crossfit gym, and picked up a barbell for the first time. From that day forward, I never purged again (which had grown to be the most active part of my ED). It was like suddenly there was a motivator to not puke. My body needed fuel, and I knew that if I threw up I wouldn’t be able to lift as heavy. Things started clicking into place as my muscles grew. I will forever love weight lifting, not only for what it has done for my body- but what it has done for my mind.

HC: what steps did you take to improve your life?

Lifting was number one of course! Eating to fuel came shortly thereafter. Regularly writing an affirmation and gratitude list completely changed my life, as well, because it got me to not only finally accept myself and my body, but to actually love, appreciate, and deeply respect what I had going on. 

HC: what motivates you keep on this path?

I am extremely motivated by my podcast listeners, blog readers, and clients. I am motivated by the sheer volume of people who say they want to lift but are scared. I am motivated by the fact that millions of animals are needlessly murdered each day, and that by living as an example of a positive, healthy, HAPPY, nourished woman I am offering a perspective to non-vegans anywhere. I am motivated by gains in the gym and feeling at peace with my appearance. I am motivated by little kids, and wishing to give them an adult example of someone who is empowered and embodied.

HC: what are you most proud of going thru this journey?

I am proud when I get messages and people in person telling me that I have helped them to recover from their eating disorders. I am proud that I like myself! Not just accept, but like. That was a pretty rough journey, really.

HC: what future goals do you have ?

I plan to snatch 100 lbs! Not a power snatch, but a SQUAT SNATCH, baby! (My mobility is behind my strength so its the squat that is the real challenge) I know that’s not a huge amount  of weight to some, but to me I know it would feel incredible. I also have a big goal of writing a book, which is very much in process. If all goes according to plan, my publisher should have it on the shelves in the fall of 2017. My last big goal is to open a body positive gym, but that one’s down the road 🙂

HC: if you could share any advice or words of encouragement what would they be?

You are just as worthy as love and respect as anyone else. There is strength in asking for assistance. Try hard, it’ll probably feel good.

HC: where can people get in touch with you?(contact info,social media sites)

Super Strength Health

Rise and Resist Podcast

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

lacyisripped@gmail.com

 

BEFORE :

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AFTER :

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thank you for sharing your story lacy.if you know of anyone that has a story to share.have them email me at bigtymer32@gmail.com or contact me on my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/hotchocolatefitness

let’s connect

instagram : @bigtymer32

twitter:   @bigtymer32

youtube : http://www.youtube.com/user/bigtymer32

YOU’RE WORTH IT!

amanda edelstein’s story

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HC: What made you decide you needed to change your life?

Honestly, I was exhausted and unhappy a majority of the time. I never had the energy or the desire to enjoy my life…instead I just sat on the couch, binged on Netflix, ate way too much junk food, and went out drinking with my friends. My relationship with my body was such an unhealthy one, that I knew I needed to do something to change/improve it, or else I would sink into an even more serious depression than I was already experiencing.

HC: What steps did you take to improve your life?

I started slow, by just going to the gym 5 days a week for 20 minutes of cardio. After I successfully completed that, I stopped eating out. It was a systematic change for me, logical steps towards empowering myself mentally and physically. Soon, I started making new friends who were into the healthy lifestyle and supported my decision to better my life. Eventually, after about 3 months, I had lost 40 pounds and started powerlifting again with a new coach, Jason Morris, who is helping me achieve my ultimate gains goal. Change is scary and hard, but when you take those smaller steps to remove the bad and add back in the good, it makes it seem much more manageable.

HC: What motivates you to keep on this path?

Powerlifting. That’s what it’s all about for me. I want to compete, crush PR’s, school all the women in my weight class, and show the world (and more importantly myself) what a strong and beautiful woman I am. This lifestyle isn’t just about being in shape physically for me, it’s a total emotional and mental thing as well. I feel better, all 

of the time (except when I’m forced to take a rest day haha?

HC: What are you most proud of going through this journey?

I am really proud of the work I’ve done on what’s inside of me. Self-love is a hard nut to crack, and most of us struggle with things like self-doubt, self-worth, and especially for me, taking care of myself. Now, I feed my body right, giving it the appropriate fuel to do the things that make me feel amazing, like powerlifting. It wasn’t always so easy for me, I struggled quite a bit with eating the nutrients needed just to get through the day in the beginning because I had developed such an unhealthy, emotional relationship with food. Thankfully, I’m getting over that and making huge strides towards my personal goals.

HC: What future goals do you have?

I would like to help people with the same issues I had. Folks reach out to me a lot on social media asking for advice in fitness, nutrition, weight loss, etc. but unfortunately, those things are out of my scope of practice, so I refer them to the professionals. Maybe one day, I’ll go back to school and earn the appropriate certifications to help those people who struggled with eating disorders or getting back into shape. I just want to help others feel as amazing as I do now.

Never give up. I know that sounds really simple, but it’s ridiculously hard. Know that when you first start this journey to a healthy, happy life, that it’s going to suck so badly that you’ll want to quit every day. But don’t. Suit up and show up, every day, because you know deep down inside, that YOU’RE WORTH IT. And also, never be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s from a friend, or a personal trainer, or just someone you admire from afar, we are all here to help one another.

HC: Where can people get in touch with you?

 

People can find me on Instagram @littlebirdvegan, my website www.plantbasedromance.com or through email, plantbasedromance@gmail.com

BEFORE/AFTER :

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thank you for sharing your story amanda.if you know of anyone that has a story to share.

have them email me at bigtymer32@gmail.com or contact me on my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/hotchocolatefitness

let’s connect 

instagram : @bigtymer32

twitter:   @bigtymer32

youtube : http://www.youtube.com/user/bigtymer32 

carbed up vegan muscle!

justin morgan’s story 

HC : what made you decide you needed to change your life?

A lot of people become vegans and vegetarians because they have a deep love and connection to animals.  This is not me.  I did not feel a connection to animals, but at the same time I didn’t want to kill them either.  After being a vegan for a couple years my wife and I took our kids to a petting zoo and I actually did feel like I had an emotional connection to the animals that I was petting.  Not that I would feel that way with every animal, because some animals are just jerks, but the cows especially at the petting zoo just loved me.  I loved them too.  For that one day I was known as the cow whisperer.

As a lifter I started out in my parents garage just a few years ago in May 2012.  I had brief stints of going to the gym before that, but never really seemed to stick with it.  For the first 9 months of lifting I just went and had a lower body day and an upper body day every week.  So I only lifted two times a week for most of that first year.  After I got a gym membership I really started to explore more progressive methods and concepts of lifting.

HC: what steps did you take to improve your life?

After becoming a vegan I had to consider what vegan eat.  I could have just quite easily traded out meats, cheeses, etc for vegan fake meats and cheeses which would have likely been healthier than what I was consuming previously, though I most certainly wouldn’t call that healthy.  Not every food I eat is a health food.  I don’t drink Dark chocolate almond milk for instance because it’s health, I drink it because it tastes good.  It isn’t a horrible food to eat, but I most certainly isn’t as healthy as it’s whole food counterpart almonds.  Having said all that the best change I’ve made to improve my quality of life is to rely primarily on whole foods.  So i eat fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts/seeds.  Whole grains currently  being my primary calorie source with legumes and fruit following closely behind.  Fruit has been a major calorie source for me in the past.

HC: what motivates you keep on this path?

I love being a vegan.  I am saddened and feel pity for people that devalue life to the extent that consuming animal flesh is just a matter of preference to them.  in terms of being a (competitive) lifter and strongman competitor I am motivated by all my haters…  Seriously, everyone that’s ever said, “imagine how strong you would be if you ate meat,” has ignited a fire in me to train smarter, and to never miss a planned training session.  I feel that being a vegan makes me stronger because I compete with the desire to inspire others to not think of meat as foods that make them strong, but instead to think of protecting the life of the innocent animals as what makes them strong.

As a lifter I have competitive goals and aspirations.  Some of those are just lifts that I want to accomplish.  For 2014 I wanted to deadlift 500 lbs, and I did.  I also have certain competitions that I would like to qualify for in the upcoming years.

HC: what are you most proud of going thru this journey?

Many of the people that are close to me have tried becoming a vegan or vegetarian at some point, even if only for a short time.  Some of my church family has attempted to at least go meatless.  My wife and I host church activities at our home, and even though I never asked anyone to not bring meat into my house, they make meatless dishes out of respect for me which I appreciate.

As a strongman I’ve loaded a 290 pound atlas stone many times to the platform in my strongman gym.  But the very first time I did it, I went to war with the stone.  I probably spent almost 30 seconds fighting that stone on to the platform, and i had other guys behind me yelling and getting excited.  That’s probably my proudest moment as a lifter.  Not that i completed the lift, but that I had my friends behind me.

HC : what futures goals do you have ?

As a lifter I’ll be competing with the Plantbuilt powerlifting team in Austin, TX in June this year (2015), and of course I have goals to make good lifts and compete at my very best for that.  But beyond that I would like to win my counties strongman competition in 2016, and qualify and compete in the Arnold classic as a powerlifter in 2017.

HC: if you could share any advice or words of encouragement what would they be?

Set goals for yourself, and hold yourself to the highest caliber.  I never compare myself to the guy down the street, or the people at a local competition.  I compare myself to the top lifters in the world.  I’m too old, have too many kids, too many responsibilities, etc…   but I still hold myself in all those area’s to the high caliber that I can in each area.
And hopefully I’ll find way’s to do things that nobody else has done before.

HC: where can people get in touch with you?(contact info,social media sites)

I’m on youtube and instagram at “CarbedUpVeganMuscle”.  And I have personal facebook account, Justin Morgan

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after 

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thank you for sharing your story justin .if you know of anyone that has a story to share.have them email me at bigtymer32@gmail.com or contact me on my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/hotchocolatefitness

let’s connect 

instagram : @bigtymer32

twitter:   @bigtymer32

youtube : http://www.youtube.com/user/bigtymer32 

Impact change the way crystal did!

crystal collins story’s
HC: what made you decide you needed to change your life?
CC: Several years ago I was unhealthy and unhappy at a size 16. I felt like I couldn’t function well, lacked energy, and was dealing with depression on a regular basis. I’d deal with getting sick frequently, and I simply wasn’t happy with what I saw when I looked in the mirror.

HC : what steps did you take to improve your life?
CC: Initially I began getting more active, and started eating healthy/whole foods. I eliminated almost all processed foods, and reduced my meat consumption. I quickly dropped down to about a size 8, and began juicing pretty regularly. I’d do 2 juice cleanses a year, and drink juice a couple times a week. Through this, I dropped down to a size 4. I was still fairly active, but I noticed that I still wasn’t feeling like I was operating at peak efficiency. I felt sluggish at times, and the only time I ever felt amazing was when I did juice cleansing. 
 
So after my most recent cleanse, I decided that I wanted to go full on vegan. I had toyed with being a vegan/vegetarian for these past several years, and had always told family and friends that I was the “wannabe vegan.” But something changed in me this past January, and I was finally ready to make the plunge. It wasn’t something I feared I would fail anymore, but knew without a doubt that I was ready for it and could succeed. 

HC: what motivates you keep on this path?
CC: Since going on the high carb low fat vegan lifestyle, I’ve dropped from that 4, down to a 2. If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is. I had previously stayed on a plateau for the longest time, going back and forth between a 4 and a 6. To finally get past that after a month and a half of veganism, is truly motivating. 
 
But this isn’t the only factor. I feel amazing! My energy levels are better than they have ever been. I have clear focus. I can see and sense things I never could before. It’s amazing how feeding yourself living food (fruits & vegetables) actually makes you feel more alive than ever. I don’t want to lose this aliveness. 
 
Another motivator for me now, is the animals. When I started, I was definitely concerned for animal welfare, but not as much as I am now. A couple months in has really made me more aware than ever of our farming system practices, and how cruel it is to other living beings. And frankly, I have no desire to ever put the flesh of a decomposing being in my mouth again. The cruelty of it is appalling to me now. 

HC: what are you most proud of going thru this journey?
CC: I’m most proud that I’m able to impact change, and help other people by sharing my journey with them. Already I’ve had multiple people make healthier choices and begin to see better lives because of the impact of my story. I know no greater purpose in life than to make a difference like this. 

HC: what futures goals do you have ?
CC: My future goals personally for myself are to get more toned/fit, and to soon transition my children into this lifestyle. They currently do mostly vegetarian, but as I gain in knowledge and confidence I want to transition them into veganism. 
 
And my big goal? Change the world. I know it’s probably altruistic of me, but I sincerely believe that I have no other purpose on this planet other than to affect positive change. 

if you could share any advice or words of encouragement what would they be?
Small changes make a difference. Too many people get discouraged and fail at lifestyle changes because they try to take on too much at once. Would I love to see everyone go vegan tomorrow? Absolutely! But I know that they’d probably all fail, because it’s a journey and a process that we will have more success with if we take baby steps. I didn’t become vegan and healthy overnight. It was a process of several years. So start making simple, positive choices on a regular basis and overtime they will add up. 

HC: where can people get in touch with you?(contact info,social media sites)
 
CC: I’d love for everyone to join me on YouTube. I believe everyone deserves to live well, eat well, and thrive, and I hope to encourage them to do so through my daily videos. Also, I share complete and utter ridiculousness over there, too, so don’t drink and watch or you might spray your computer screen. 😉
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thank you for sharing your story crystal .if you know of anyone that has a story to share.have them email me at bigtymer32@gmail.com or contact me on my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/hotchocolatefitness

let’s connect 

instagram : @bigtymer32

twitter:   @bigtymer32

youtube : http://www.youtube.com/user/bigtymer32