I have been on a journey to better health for the past 8 years and love being a vegan fitnut. But I have not always been this way. I used to be a McDonald’s nuggets & fries lover, a Pizza Hut stuffed crust admirer, Marsbar toting, skittle chewing, chip scarfing junk-a-holic. I also used to be constantly exhausted and moody with thin hair, bad skin and 25 pounds and a few sizes of extra “love” on me.
Growing up, I had a lot of health issues. I had hormone imbalances galore, autoimmune issues, terrible asthma and allergies. By the time I was 15 I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (a form of hypothyroidism, an under-active thyroid), had alopecia areata to the point of losing much of my hair and was trying to recover from particularly nasty case of mono. All of the stress lead to to have such bad acid reflux, I was told I would probably get an ulcer and had to take prescription meds to combat it. To gain control of so many thing I felt I could not control, I developed an unhealthy relationship with food and started restrictive eating.
University wasn’t much better as I struggled with my health, I became depressed and continued to hardly eat anything and when I did eat, it was only junk. My acid reflux got so bad it started interfering with sleeping and daily activities as I was always in pain and felt sick. Instead of changing my diet, I just took stronger medication. As my allergies worsened, I started meds for that as well.
After University I got a job that I didn’t like much and the stress and health problems continued. In 2005, my health hit an all time low as I had to have a complete thyroid removal due to thyroid cancer and promptly started taking hormone replacement therapy. This was not quite 2 months after having lost my father to cancer. The year after that is kind of a blur as I worked through grief at my sudden loss.
In 2006 I married my best friend who stood by me through all of the above. How lucky am I to have someone with me to trudge through all of this rough stuff? The following year, I finally realised I was incredibly fortunate and should act more like it. I started running and becoming more active. I just started by running up and down the block and doing aerobics in my apartment. But I also started eating healthier and realised how much better I felt. I took up some exercise classes and started ordering healthy options at restaurants.
In 2008 I joined a gym and loved it and started getting more into running. I watched SuperSize me and have never been to a McDonal’s since! In 2009 I met a nutritionist for the first time and took a healthy eating lecture and decided to go vegetarian. Later that year I read the China Study and absorbed all of the information that linked animal protein to cancer (especially those who have already had cancer) and went vegan about a week later. I’ve been vegan ever since.
I have since ditched all of my meds (except the Hormone Replacement Therapy – I kinda need that with the no thyroid problem haha), left my well-paying job in the financial industry to pursue studies as a nutritionist. I am a certified group Fitness Instructor and a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. I have lost weight, I have clear skin, no asthma, minimal allergies and have amazing energy.
I would love to tell you that I am at my absolute best right now and that everything in my life is perfect. I read all of these blogs with these amazing women who just seem to have everything together, they seem flawless. To be honest, that’s not me right now. I recently faced a major life change of moving to a new country and the stress has lead me to some emotional eating and weight gain. But I’m human and I still love being vegan and love fitness and know that this is an ongoing journey that I look forward to sharing with you.
This is a shorter version of my struggles with Anorexia and finding a way to love myself the way I am. I have shared my ED story with Gena Hamshaw’s Green Recovery series.