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

LIVE IN THAT LIFESTYLE!

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Kimberly moffatt’s story 
what made you decide you needed to change your life?
I was very unhappy with the way my life was going and that mentality was overflowing in my interpersonal relationships. I needed a routine to feel normal and having a gym membership gave me that. I had something to look forward to each day that wasn’t dependent on someone else. This was “my thing”.
 
what steps did you take to improve your life?
 
I went to the gym everyday and gave every session 110%. I also decided to use my personal time and social media to inspire and help others. This forced my mentality to change even if I didn’t feel 100% positive or upbeat about my life. Helping others helped me. It’s the best feeling in the world to see someone change their life or their habits and are excited about it. Giving encouragement to others also assisted myself with giving -myself- encouragement.
 
what motivates you keep on this path?
 
A few things motivate me to keep on this path. The first is to show the majority that hurting animals is unnecessary to achieve the level of success you want with sports, your body, health and anything related. Another thing that motivates me is seeing people change their habits to live better lives. When we feel good and confident about ourselves, we are most likely to spread love and compassion towards one another as well as empower others since we aren’t seeking self esteem from tearing others down. The last thing that motivates me is the “selfish” reason. I love seeing my body change. It’s a temple and I can sculpt it anyway I want. My mental health has greatly improved as well.
 
what are you most proud of going thru this journey?
 
I am most proud with how strong I’ve become and how much passion and drive I have. I -knew- I was meant for something, but as the years went by I was starting to think otherwise.
 
what futures goals do you have ?
 
I want to compete in jujitsu as a vegan competitor. Weight lifting gives me a ton of confidence, however, martial arts brings me back to “Earth”. You must be a student even if you become a black belt and that in my opinion is so humbling and needed in this world. I also want to continue to inspire others with my fitness Instagram and my newly made Youtube Channel. If I can help as many people and save animals as I do it, that in itself is worth it.
 
 
if you could share any advice or words of encouragement what would they be?
 
The strongest advice I have besides making a decision to do so is to visualize yourself in that role. LIVE IN THAT LIFESTYLE. It’s so easy to diverge from what we want to do and we put our focus into the person we want to be IN that decision, I believe we are more likely to stick with it.
 
where can people get in touch with you?(contact info,social media sites)
 
Instagram: www.instagram.com/pumpkim – for motivation,inspiration and free workout plans
Website: www.fitnessonplants.com – for workout tips, plans, recipes and living vegan
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4nGZGfNQ0ddZNTQzSdRxiQ – workouts, food ideas, motivation about life and pushing through fear
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after 
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thank you for sharing your story kim .if you know of anyone that has a story to share.
have them email me  bigtymer32@gmail.com
instagram @bigtymer32

progress not perfection!

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janet lee beckman’s story 
what made you decide you needed to change your life?
I was diagnosed with Lupus when I was 12 so I had spent the majority of my life in survival mode. A few years ago I got the news from my rheumatologist-I was in remission and she expected I’d stay there. It was like I’d been given a second chance. I had never truly been healthy and didn’t know what I needed to do until I watched Forks over Knives and realized that going vegan, specifically plant based wasn’t so hard.
 
what steps did you take to improve your life?
 
After watching the movie, I started reading and watching everything I could so that I could make a plan. I gave myself a start date, May 1st, 2012. I committed to doing this a month to see what would happen. I cleaned out my pantry and my fridge. I stocked it with all of the things I needed. Then I planned the menu for the first 7 days. It has now been almost 3 years and I can’t imagine now why I thought this would be so hard.
 
what motivates you keep on this path?
 
I’m in my 40’s now and I wake up every day feeling good. I do not suffer from the aches and pains that most people suffer from. I just had a physical and they said my lab work is the best they’ve seen. Getting older isn’t something I need to be afraid of because I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
 
what are you most proud of going thru this journey?
 
That my son decided to join me on this journey and it is something we can share. Also, after sharing my success, I’ve had a few friends go plant based and they have gotten similar results.
I also found that I am a pretty good cook. I had been convinced that I was a terrible cook before. But after learning the basics, I’ve been challenged to try new things and have gotten really comfortable with plant based cooking.
what futures goals do you have ?
 
I want to run faster and get stronger. I have no goals to compete or anything like that. I’m just trying to be the best that I can and ensure that I build a strong foundation for a long, healthy, and productive life.
if you could share any advice or words of encourgement what would they be?
 
Don’t listen to anything other people say. Many people give advice and think they are experts. When getting started, just pick one thing you can change. Then pick another. Progress happens gradually, so be forgiving and don’t expect perfection. Progress not perfection. 🙂
Also, don’t compare yourself to others. We are individuals, not cookie cutter people. What works for one person, may not work for you. Don’t be afraid to mix it up if you get stuck.
where can people get in touch with you?(contact info,social media sites)
Feel free to email me at janetleeb1@gmail.com. I’m no expert, but I’m happy to help if I can.
before 
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after 
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thank you for sharing your story janet .if you know of anyone that has a story to share.have them email me at
instagram  @bigtymer32

eat your veggies & the leave animals alone!!!!

Cristina Myers Cuadrado’s story 

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what made you decide you needed to change your life?

Before going vegan I was walking around with 80lb of unnecessary weight. I had low self esteem, joint pains from the extra weight, unexplained migraines, etc. It was pretty embarrassing that at 25 years old I couldn’t even walk up a flight of stairs without sounding like I had just attempted to outrun a stampede of wild buffalo to save my life. I would have to explain to people who were congratulating me on my pregnancy that I wasn’t pregnant…I was just fat. After work I would hide at home, too embarrassed to go out with friends. I was lost and didn’t know how to fix myself. I would attempt diets that didn’t work or I just wouldn’t last with it. Going to the gym to walk on a treadmill was too daring for me. One night, after stuffing my face with a super deluxe spicy chicken sandwich from Chik-Fil-A trying to feel better and actually feeling the complete opposite, I was surfing through Netflix and saw a title to a documentary called (Forks Over Knives) I thought, “Hm…this might be another diet documentary that might motivate me to eat healthier for a couple weeks before I fall off the wagon again.”

5 minutes into the documentary and my jaw dropped. Here I was. 25 years old and already heading down a dangerous path of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and an early death because I was eating animals. This was Thanksgiving Eve. Over night I dived into a plant based diet and never looked back.

what steps did you take to improve your life?

One month into veganism and I already was 20lb lighter and I didn’t have to cut down on food. I was actually eating more food. There was a variety in my diet that I had never experienced before. Quinoa, beans, rice, agave nectar, in juice smoothies, hemp milk, rice milk, leafy greens, vegan burgers, etc. I was feeling better. My migraines had disappeared, which later I found out it was because of the dairy products that I was consuming. I encountered a lot of negativity on behalf of my (then) fiancée, friends, family coworkers. No one understood why I decided to change my eating habits so “drastically” and I didn’t understand why I didn’t have any support over something that clearly was improving my health, saving animals, and the environment. So the steps I took were always have cruelty free food in the house AND cutting out people from my life that were holding me back on something good. I found like-minded people through social media and I was surrounded by support and love from strangers who were fighting to create awareness about a plant based diet and animal cruelty in the food industry.

what motivates you keep on this path?

Animals motivate me when im lifting weights in the room. Whatever pain or exhaustion I feel in the gym is northing compared to what animals go through. I do this for them now.

what are you most proud of going thru this journey?

well my physical change is something im very proud of. Its not everyday someone changes their lifestyle over night and looses 80lb of fat and gains some back of plant based muscle. But veganism made me realize that I needed no ones approval or love to feel worthy.  I finally realized that I didn’t need constant love (the wrong kind and from the wrong people)… I WAS love. I loved who I had become and was perfectly content being by myself in my fight to spread the message of animal suffering and creating awareness about optimum health through a plant based lifestyle.

what futures goals do you have?

My goal now is opening up a company (Cruelty Free Muscle) a fitness apparel line for vegans, vegetarians and compassionate people in general starting their journey to fitness and help animals along the way. A portion of the profits will be donated to sanctuaries/shelters/ and towards the animal rights movement in any way that it can help.  I plan to continue my training and winning fitness competitions, proving to the typical “meat heads” that you don’t have to live on Whey protein, chicken, and brown rice. That you can still look like a shredded monster by eating plants, lifting heavy, and being kind to animals.

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

A quote that helped me at the beginning of my journey was “it is better to walk alone, than with a group heading in the wrong direction.” No one has the right to hold you back from anything…especially if your intentions are pure of heart. If you have something to say…say it even if you SOUND scared. If you have something you want to prove to people who say you can’t do it….prove them wrong no matter HOW long it takes. You want to save animals….save them. Surround yourself with people who want to help or see you succeed. The people who don’t do not deserve your time…walk away.

where can people get in touch with you?

If anyone needs food tips, recipes, fitness motivation, how to go about animal activism  …you can add me on facebook (Cristina Myers Cuadrado) or follow me on Instagram (@CrisVeganFit) I’m here to help you help the animals and even yourself.

before & after 

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thank you for sharing your story cristina .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

instagram : bigtymer32

from darkness to light

Julianne Rowland’s story !

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what made you decide you needed to change your life?

My big “life change” took place in August 2011, two months shy of my 45th birthday. That’s when I embarked on a fully plantbased diet and exercise program, and got serious about taking control of my physical and emotional health. In the years prior, I had become a mother in 2005 and again in 2008, and was juggling the stresses of motherhood and family life with a full-time job as a home-based freelance translator. I’ve always been the type of person who throws herself 110% into any endeavor, and as a result, all my efforts were directed at that time toward my family and work. Lacking clear boundaries and balance, I ran myself ragged caring for my young children and also accepted far too much work, frequently leading to sleepless nights and weekend work to meet my numerous deadlines. I lacked proper self-care routines and often turned to emotional eating to “get me through” the stressful times. These self-imposed stressors continued to build up until June 2011, when a dramatic event in our family catapulted me head-on into what I consider to be a full-on nervous breakdown. My mother-in-law suddenly passed away of a heart attack, and within 3 days, I began experiencing a host of symptoms, including nausea and an inability to eat, anxiety, and extremely strange tingling sensations in my limbs and face, which left me feeling weak and were exacerbated any time I moved or exerted myself physically. In my anxiety, I was convinced I was developing a neurological disease and would soon die. Due to weakness in my fingers and hands, I was unable to work. I have clear memories of lying on my office floor during work hours, unable to move, for days on end. And the mere thought of taking my children out into public filled me with fear and anxiety. I consulted a doctor, who suggested I take an antidepressant and have a nerve conduction study done to make sure everything checked out. My natural aversion to medication caused me to refuse the antidepressant – for a while at least – and the nerve conduction study results came back normal. The symptoms continued to get worse, however, and so I finally relented and began taking the antidepressant.

what steps did you take to improve your life?

After a month or so of agony and fear, I resolved to take control and do everything in my power to fix myself, or die in the process of trying. That’s when I sought treatment from an acupuncturist. My weekly visits were key in allowing me to relax and decompress, and I gradually began feeling better. At about the same time, I just happened to catch a show on PBS that ended up changing my life. It was a presentation on healthful eating by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Having always been interested in optimal nutrition and a firm believer in the healing power of diet, I was intrigued. I ordered his materials and launched myself head-on into his high-nutrient, plantbased style of eating. The transition was not difficult for me, as I had been a near-vegetarian for years. I also began exercising regularly, at first with walking – to the degree I could tolerate the exertion – and gradually leading up to working with a trainer at my local gym a couple of times a week. I also consulted a psychologist during that time and began implementing regular stress-relieving activities and relaxation techniques. Slowly but surely, I began to feel better. My physical symptoms were resolving, and my mental disposition was improving. I was still determined to stop using the antidepressant, but I do acknowledge that it was a key factor in evening out the emotional ups and downs, which in turn facilitated my healing and allowed me to progress on my journey to health. And for that, I am grateful. I continued to work with my acupuncturist, who administered some Chinese herbs to help me through the transition, continued eating high-nutrient plantbased foods and exercising, and was slowly able to wean myself off the antidepressant – no small feat, as my system had become adapted to the medication and I experienced withdrawal symptoms in the beginning. On the physical activity front, I fell in love with my workouts, as they became a regular part of my routine. I gained strength and muscle tone, and my energy levels increased greatly. I now lift 5 times per week and engage in as much physical activity as possible during my daily routine. This includes swimming, running, Crossfit, yoga, and cycling and hiking with my family – anything that keeps me moving! I also work at a standing workstation, which literally keeps me up and on my toes all day and have really worked on my stress management and time management skills. Finally, I have learned to draw appropriate boundaries between work and the rest of my life. It’s not always easy, and I do sometimes backslide, these days mostly into using food as a coping mechanism for life’s stressors, but I always get right back on track and strive to achieve a healthy balance overall.

what motivates you keep on this path?

I am now deeply committed to taking care of myself and will NEVER go back to my former ways. My current path is a holistic approach that addresses my spiritual, emotional and physical needs.

what are you most proud of going thru this journey?

I am extremely proud that I was able to lift myself out of a very dark place through sheer will and determination. I have realized that not only is it NOT selfish to prioritize myself, it’s a necessity – for my own sanity and for the sake of my family. At age 48, I feel healthier, more energetic and more vibrant that ever, thanks to my health-promoting lifestyle.

what future goals do you have ?

Right now, my focus is on enjoying the journey. I tend to be extremely driven, almost to a fault, so for me, the challenge lies in being present and living fully and with gratitude each and every day. I’m knocking on the door of my fifth decade (yikes!) and plan on continuing to enjoy vibrant health for many years to come.

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

It IS possible to take control of your health destiny – at any age. It’s not easy, and it’s not quick, but it can be done through daily hard work and dedication. And as hard as the process may seem, the rewards are immense, and once you’ve fully embraced a healthy lifestyle, you’ll never want to go back. I promise.

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

Instagram: @healthy_mindbody

Twitter: @healthymindbody

Pinterest: @FitNutriVegan

Facebook: Julianne Rowland

before 

Samuel and I October 2007Sammy and I baby pic 2007Sara and I May 2011

after 

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thank you for sharing your story Julianne .

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

gluten free cauliflower vegan wings!

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with the super bowl coming up it’s only right you have wings right??

since i’m vegan you wouldn’t think i could have wings do you?? 

you’re wrong!

you can make any recipe vegan.instead of chicken we use cauliflower and thus cauliflower wings are born.even gluten free! double win!

ingredients 

1 head of cauliflower cut into florets

1 cup  buckwheat flour

1 cup water

1/4 teaspoon red pepper

1/4 teaspoon trader joes 21 seasoning salute

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baking directions :

 

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine buckwheat flour, water, seasonings  and whisk until combined.
  3. Dip cauliflower in batter and place on two baking pans lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 15-18 minutes 
  5. Pull cauliflower out of the oven and lightly dip them into buffalo sauce to coat.
  6. Put them back into oven for another 5 minutes to crisp back up.
  7. Remove from oven and serve hot (or let cool)

There you have an awesome recipe that won’t keep you out of the fun of having wings.

from postnatal depression to plant based booty rock star!

jasmine George’s story 

what made you decide you needed to change your life?

My journey began in 2012 after the birth my son. I suffered postnatal depression and had major body issues. It wasn’t just the appearance side, it was also how tired I felt; my body ached and I felt weak. I just did not feel like a person of my age should be feeling.

what steps did you take to improve your life?

I turned to exercise to not only get me out of the house but to rebuild my body so that daily movements were not so challenging. I began to research and follow plantbased organic living . . . and that was the start of my healthy plant based eating and when I really noticed my body changing and I began to feel really happy.

what motivates you keep on this path?

My almost 3 year old son and how I feel better each day I continue to follow this path.

what are you most proud of going thru this journey?

That I have overcome a lot throughout my two year journey whilst being a solo mama and a fulltime student

what futures goals do you have ?

I plan to finish my Commerce degree, compete in a show with my fellow vegan team mates (this coming june) and to also always improve my body from the previous year(s) whilst raising my son to be a bad ass vegan!

if you could share any advice or words of encourgement what would they be?

At times it’s not easy; it is not all plain sailing. There will be ups and down along the way, however life’s unexpected hiccups help you grow and make you stronger. I want to share with people that this took two years of healing. I used to get caught up on not getting the results I wanted in a few months – and now I realise it really does take time. But it is worth it.

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

https://www.facebook.com/Plantbasedbooty

instagram : @plantbasedbooty

www.plantbasedbooty.com (Underconstruction)

Youtube: Plantbasedbooty (Undercontruction)

before & after pics :

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thank you for sharing your story jasmine .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