by Elana Titanium Priesman
I want to share my story with you. I spent my entire life battling obesity. From a young age I was put on calorie restrictive diets and suffered from the hurtful abuse of bullies. It wasn’t my parent’s fault; I guess they just weren’t exposed to the world of veganism. This is why I feel so passionate and speaking out so I can educate more people about the fantastic benefits. If I only knew about it sooner, if I only knew all the beautiful aspects combined, I may have not landed myself in a position of gambling with my life in my thirties. You see, all those years of not knowing what I was putting into my body caught up with me. All the sugar, excess salt, no nutrient processed foods messed up my insulin levels. In addition to all the heavy saturated fats from the meat and dairy I was taught was a necessary part of breakfast, lunch and dinner. That affected my heart. I “thought” I needed it, because that is what the food pyramid said so, and it was the main staple in every restaurant. I didn’t know I had choices! I didn’t know that I could survive without those major protein sources and how they could be replaced with plant sources! What really blew my mind was that I never in a million years knew I could gain muscles without those protein sources! Until… there came “that day”…the one you think you are invincible from. The one when all the blood work you knew was already in the not so good zone, becomes dangerously threatening to your existence on earth. The day where the doctor looks you dead in the eyes and tells you your heart is a ticking time bomb. The day where you are prescribed all the medication you thought was just a normal part of life to treat disease. Maybe I took it more seriously after having a child, and realizing that I might not be there to take care of them. It is really scary. It makes you feel trapped, and like you don’t have any control over your life. The first day I took one of the prescribed medications I thought I was going to die right then and there. Lucky me got the side effect. This one medication turned my entire body sunburn red while simultaneously giving me a burning on fire prickly rash one minute and then shivering chills. It was brutally uncomfortable. It was terrifying. It was enough to motivate me to do my own research. It was bad enough being uncomfortable in my own body, and this was just added torture to all the medications and invasive medical examinations from struggling with infertility while trying to conceive another child. In my research to be healthy, I discovered that there was this potluck going on in my hometown. I had never heard about being plant strong, and I had no idea what to even make. The day of the potluck, I spent the afternoon on the phone with the healthy eating specialist at Whole Foods Market attempting to create an appropriate dish to bring. I was extremely lucky to have attended that potluck and met some very important mentors in my journey. Founder of the Engine 2 Diet, Rip Esselstyn, Founder of Vegan Bodybuilding.com, and vegan bodybuilder Robert Cheeke and Vegan bodybuilder, Chad Byers. I heard several inspiring success stories, I heard Robert speak about health and fitness, and then I was quite surprised for what happened next- the audience encouraged Chad to remove his shirt. He then gave a brief talk on the power of fruits and vegetables. That was surely an attention getter! That night, the stereotype I had of what vegans “look like” was RE-DEFINED.
My mind was open, and I was willing to make a change, and for once be accountable to what I was putting in my body. Even though I doubted myself, and thought I could “try it” but couldn’t give up fish or cheese. I didn’t have the luxury of messing around, so I dove in head first and haven’t turned back! I LOVE the way I feel, I love how my body recovers efficiently, I love how I’m not contributing to the environmental impact and how I’m not hurting another living being just to satisfy a pre-conceived taste when I eat things that taste even better! I only WISH I knew about this awesome and amazing lifestyle before! This is WHY I am sharing my story with you. I want to shout it from the rooftops! I am in LOVE with everything about this lifestyle!!! Please do what you can to help support this team- imagine how many lives we can save by just showing people how amazing life can be!
by Elana Titanium Priesman