Early in 2012 I started reaching out to vegan friends on twitter to ask them to share their testimonials. My hope was that by getting vegans to share their stories we could educate and inspire others and give people first hand accounts to replace perceptions or stereotypes. I’m incredibly grateful to those that have participated. Their stories speak for themselves! If you enjoy the series please let us know!
I struggled with being overweight for most of my life. Most of my family was overweight and we led a pretty sedentary lifestyle.
When I was 14, I decided that I was going to be vegetarian. I had always loved animals and it just didn’t make much sense to me to eat them, so I stopped. At this point I hadn’t really learned how to cook and we didn’t really eat very many vegetables, so my diet mostly consisted of starch and cheese and ranch dressing.
By 21 years old, I was nearing the end of my bachelor’s degree, still eating a steady diet of starch and cheese, and was also a chain-smoker who probably drank a little bit more than was healthy. No wonder I was tipping the scale at 200 lbs.
This was a wake-up call. I knew I had to change my habits. I was sick of being overweight and unhealthy. I still didn’t know much about nutrition, but I started making some obvious healthy choices like eating more fruits and veggies and cutting down portion sizes. I bought a few exercise DVDs and would do them at home in my living room. Slowly but surely, I dropped about 30 lbs. I was still a bit overweight, but I was more or less happy with my body.
Several years later, I wanted to become healthier, so I started to incorporate running into my life. I competed in a 5K and eventually I even started triathlon training. For the first time EVER, I was actually having FUN being active. This was also the period of my life where I turned to veganism. I was becoming more and more educated about health and I started to realize just how unhealthy and cruel eggs and dairy were.
At the time when I became vegan, I was living in a small city with not many vegan options. This was going to require that I learn to cook. I started out with a few cookbooks and soon I found a whole new hobby that I loved: cooking! I had avoided it for most of my life, but here I was enjoying being in the kitchen and trying out new recipes and ingredients. Go figure. In order to fuel my new found love for running, I began to focus on nurturing myself with healthy ingredients and delicious food.
Feeling inspired? Do you have a story to tell? Please read this post and learn how you can be part of the Vegan Testimonials Project. There are also some interviews about the project that you may enjoy. Kasey Minnis (@veggiemightee) interviewed me for This Dish is Veg. Ashley Flitter also interviewed me about the project on The Unintentional Vegan. And I just finished an interview with Jamessina on Jamessina.com.