Follow what you know is right in your heart

Jillian Salomone’s story 


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)



IG: jillianleighfitness

FaceBook: Jillian Salomone







thank you for sharing your story Jillian.if you know of anyone that has a story to share.have them email me at or contact me on my facebook page




Try hard, it’ll probably feel good!

Lacy davis’s story 


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










thank you for sharing your story lacy.if you know of anyone that has a story to share.have them email me at or contact me on my facebook page

let’s connect

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twitter:   @bigtymer32

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never give up !

sandy rhew’s story 

What made you decide you needed to change your life?

“In 2007 I went from a size 7 to a size 13, I gained 40 lbs and felt and looked sick. I decided to start working out. I didn’t get really serious until 2011 when I lost 20 lbs and plateaued from there.

 In August of 2013 I was diagnosed with diverticulitis (A hole in my stomach) A specialist ordered that I go on a 2-week liquid diet. I never felt 100% better! I was still working out but I felt I was not improving, that’s when I cut out bread in February of 2014. A few nights later I decided to watch Food Inc. thinking it was just about bad food in general. I had no idea it would change my life and health. I went Vegan that night after crying my eyes out due to the animal suffering I saw!”

what steps did you take to improve your life?

“I cut out meat, dairy and wheat. I can lift twice as much weight at the gym since going Vegan, that is just an added plus!”

what motivates you keep on this path?

“I feel amazing now and I have alot of inspiring Vegans all around me! Knowing I am making a difference in this world to save as many animals as possible motivates me everyday!”

what are you most proud of going thru this journey?

“I am the most proud of all the animals that I am saving and all the amazing people I have met along the way!”

what futures goals do you have?

“To inspire people to become Vegan! I would love to be a Personal Trainer, I would love to help others reach their highest potential!”

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

“Never give up! It takes time to reach goals but it’s worth the wait and persistence. If you feel sick and unhealthy do something about it! Being Vegan is the best choice, for the animals, the planet and YOU!”

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





thank you for sharing your story sandy .if you know of anyone that has a story to share.have them email me at or contact me on my facebook page

instagram : @bigtymer32

twitter: @bigtymer32

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