Before + After

469 comments

I hesitate to call this page my “Before and after” because I really don’t think there is an after. My journey to health is just that – a journey – and each year has its ups and downs and different challenges along the way. One thing I do know for sure is that I’m at a much better place than I used to be. From the age of 11 or 12, I struggled with an eating disorder until my mid-twenties. I would restrict my intake too low, over-exercise, and engage in binge eating. As a result, my weight – and mood – went up and down over the years. I had amenorrhea for a couple years because my body fat was too low to function. It’s a common misconception that you have to be deathly thin to have an eating disorder. If you saw me, you probably wouldn’t have thought that I was suffering as much as I was. Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes and much of the grief is mental.

After entering recovery and getting professional help, I’m now at a place where I don’t count calories or restrict my intake. I eat a plant-based diet that makes me feel amazing and I do activities that I enjoy, not to burn calories. I’ve experienced a huge shift in my perspective over the past 4 years and I finally love life again. Food used to be the enemy, but now’s it’s a huge source of pleasure in my life. I no longer feel the desire to binge eat like I used to because my body doesn’t feel deprived. I still struggle with a negative mindset at times, but I’m better at dismissing those thoughts and sticking on this healthy & happier path.

Here are some pictures that document my journey over the past 10+ years:

Last year of high school:

My weight was steady around 125 pounds. I met Eric, my highschool sweetheart, when I moved to Ontario from New Brunswick with my mom.

We started dating just a month after I began at my new school. It was puppy love that blossomed into a real, beautiful, can’t-be-without-each other- love. I always say the reason I moved to Ontario was to meet my soul-mate. :)

Scan0605072334 thumb   Before + After Scan0605072329 thumb   Before + After

2003 (2nd year university):

I had gained about 20-25 pounds since 1st year university. My highest weight was 148 pounds.

000 0001 thumb   Before + After

 

My eating disorder, something I had been struggling with since 12 years old, surfaced a lot in 1st and second year university. Exam stress, living in a dorm, and new social opportunities led to late-night binges, alcohol, and unhealthy cafeteria food.

megandange thumb   Before + After

I was trapped in a starve-binge cycle.

2004:

100 0003 thumb   Before + After

I lost a bit of weight, but I was still struggling and going up and down on the scale.

2005:

Picture009 thumb1   Before + After

 

2006:

Picture004 thumb   Before + After

I went through lots of hair changes! Eric’s did not. ;)

DSC05231 thumb   Before + After

I also graduated university with an undergrad degree in social psychology.

DSC03705 thumb   Before + After

We moved to Toronto because I got accepted into graduate school for psychology. I lost a lot of weight- but not in a healthy way- due to the stress of grad school and the demands that it brought.

DSC05803 thumb   Before + After

2007:

Picture018 thumb   Before + After

2007 was a tough year due to the pressures of grad school. I dropped more weight and was really struggling on the inside.

However, it ended on a great note- we got engaged in December 2007 in Mexico.

MEXICOPICTURES094 thumb   Before + After

MEXICOPICTURES1212 thumb   Before + After

2008:

2008 was a year of ups and downs like no other I have ever experienced. I was stressed to the max and my weight kept dropping. My lowest weight was around 114 pounds.  I was juggling being a full-time Master’s student, writing a thesis, part-time teaching assistant, working at a new FT research job, and planning my wedding. I defended my thesis at the end of July 2008 and we got married just one month later- all while working a stressful new position.

IMG 6747 thumb   Before + After

I looked happy on the outside, but was really struggling on the inside. Everyone told me I looked great, but they had no idea how I truly felt.

IMG 6631 thumb   Before + After

The summer of 2008 was when I first dabbled with running. However, I did it mostly to burn calories and did not appreciate fitness for fun.

IMG 6724 thumb   Before + After

Then I finally graduated, passed my oral defense, and got married. I had so much pressure lifted off my shoulders and we had such a great wedding and honeymoon.

080831 1264 thumb   Before + After

080831 0971   Before + After

080831 1303 thumb   Before + After

Capri thumb   Before + After

 

2009:

2009 was a monumental marker in my life. I finally got the courage to leave my job after being miserable for a year. We also moved out of the city to a town that was a better fit for our love of nature and peaceful surroundings. Things were starting to come together.

IMG 0640 thumb   Before + After

I learned to have FUN with food and I fell in love with cooking! This is when my mindset about food started to shift.

In 2009, I started up my own business and started being good to my body again. I stopped obsessing about my body and weight. I worked out for fun and not to burn calories. I decided to ditch the scale and to go by how my clothes fit instead. It was the best thing I have ever done. I did things that made me feel happy. I also switched to a vegan diet after many years of experimenting on and off with a vegetarian diet. I felt amazing eating plant-based foods.

After battling back from a pelvic injury from Jan- march, I ran my first race ever in June- a 10k- and got hooked on running! This time not to burn calories, but to enjoy it.

IMG 3378 thumb   Before + After

We also celebrated our first wedding anniversary! What a year it had been.

IMG 5705 thumb   Before + After IMG 5712 thumb   Before + After

2010:

IMG 9182 thumb   Before + After

IMG 9269 thumb   Before + After

2010 brought an even better year. I trained for my 3rd half marathon and my first try-a-triathlon (with Eric). These challenges keep me motivated to stay on a healthy path. I need lots of food for energy to keep up!

IMG 0628 thumb1   Before + After

I am learning to be good to myself a bit more each and every day.

IMG 0652 thumb   Before + After

Eric also experienced many healthy changes. He went from a highest weight in university of 210 pounds to 172 pounds (April 2010). He has cut down his meat and dairy consumption by about 75% and he has recently eliminated pop out of his diet for good in March 2010. You can read about his changes and see his progress pictures here.

IMG 12891 442x1024   Before + After

2011:

IMG 2804   Before + After

As the years go by, I find myself getting stronger and more confident in who I am. I appreciate my body (most of the time, I’m not perfect though) and what it does for me each day. I try my best not to take my life for granted and worry about things that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

December 2011:

IMG 0055   Before + After

2012:

20120609 1303221   Before + After

(Sorry for the poor picture quality, was taken on my phone!)

The saying “life is a journey not a destination” really rings true for me as I update this post in 2012. I’m trying to appreciate each day and live in the moment. Who knows how long we have while we’re here.

IMG 25571   Before + After

2014:

vscocam 1392313667.662577.IMG 2005   Before + After

Stay tuned for updates on my journey!

{ 469 comments… read them below or add one }

KateW March 23, 2012

I was looking at your wedding pictures and I think we had the same wedding dress! You are the only person I’ve ever seen wearing “my dress”. It looked beautiful on you!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) March 23, 2012

cute! I’m sure it looked amazing on you as well. I haven’t met anyone who had the dress either. The neckline isn’t very popular these days but I just loved the dress!

Reply

Tai Atkinson March 23, 2012

What an inspiration you are! I love your blog, especially the Recipage! Thanks for sharing your journey.

Reply

Jackie Toye March 24, 2012

Thanks for sharing your story. I’m working on my Last To Do -Me! I’m a DIYer and I tell myself, just like you change a room, you can change yourself. Thanks for the great recipes and inspiring story.

Reply

Kalyn March 26, 2012

Such an inspiration. Amazing that you did it all on your own – true strength! I hope to be like you one day and be at peace with my body!

Reply

Rebekah Buley March 26, 2012

Wow, Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I went through similar issues and in May of 2010 found out through my daughter being diagnosed as gluten intolerant that I was too. I now eat gluten and dairy free foods. I cannot believe the change this has made in my life. A haze was lifted and the negative self talk about my body was gone. It sure is wonderful to find that place of feeling and being healthy and happy! Way to go, you are just radiant! Keep sharing your journey the highs and lows it is inspirational.

Reply

Katrina March 30, 2012

You are beautiful and I love your story! I’m from Ontario as well, but currently traveling the world on an 11 month mission trip. I’ve started gaining weight for the first time in my life, but it’s hard to maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise on this trip. I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog and trying new recipes. Thank you for the inspiration!

Reply

Jay March 31, 2012

Hi! I was turned on to your site by a friend of mine. I’m transitioning to a vegan diet for health reasons and bookmarked your site for the recipes! I’m excited to feel a change in my life because of it. I look forward to tuning in. :)

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) April 1, 2012

Thanks for checking it out!

Reply

Cori Taratoot April 4, 2012

Inspiring – thank you for sharing!

Reply

ssanchez April 4, 2012

Hello Angela,

Congratulations in all of your achievements. Your story is truly inspirational and heart warming. I would like to ask you a few specific questions about how you started your business. Do you have another email address?
Thank you for sharing your experiences,
Sandra

Reply

Lina April 5, 2012

Hi…just came across your blog/website looking for a good kale recipe… :) Wow-what an inspiration you are!! Congratulations on your journey, and in finding your healthy happy self!! I’m just recuperating from my own journey of breast cancer this past year. I’ve always been very healthy and active, but trying to be even more good to my body after all it has had to endure with chemo, radiation, and surgeries. I’m not a vegan, but really trying to cut down protein from meat and only enjoy the very highest quality when I do go there… Now I know where to go for great vegan recipes! So happy I found you here on the almighty Internet!! xo

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) April 6, 2012

Thank you Lina, it’s a pleasure to meet you!

Reply

Genevieve April 11, 2012

You are absolutely GORGEOUS; It really does show both inside and out. Keep up the good work:)

Reply

Susanne April 15, 2012

Where to start? You are such a great inspiration and have started alot of thoughts in me after reading your story.
I don’t feel as happy as I think I should and I am tired of this feeling. Tired of my self-pittyness… In my research for finding motivation to kick start myself somehow I came across your site greenmonstermovement yesterday and today I came to this one. Yesterday I tried my first monster and thought I should die…. that color…. omg, I’m sure it will come back up the same way it came in……! But I liked it -not the color- and after having my second monster today I must say I am happy and proud of joining this movement of greenmonsters! I even didn’t mind the color today :) Just felt proud and healthy – and NOT hungry afterwards.
So a big thanks for sharing your story including pictures, which is a great importance for me as I see and remember in picture. I’m looking forward to see what it will do to my energy level and iron issues.
Keep up the good work.
Greetings from a Dane currently living in Switzerland

Reply

Marian April 19, 2012

I am so impressed with folks who can bare their souls like this, show where their lives got off track to help others heal, too. I don’t normally like to post links in comments, but an incredible woman I know has done something similar to document her battle with disordered eating https://www.createspace.com/3757607 I’m pretty sure all the proceeds are going to a non-profit to help others in her situation. Thank you for a wonderful and inspiring website!

Reply

London April 21, 2012

wheres the kids!!!!!!!??? Have kids dammit! You guys are too adorable, love it!!

Reply

Joanne Van Liefland April 25, 2012

Angela ~ I recently received an email from one of your followers who told me that she had heard about the wraps that I sell. So I had to go on to your website and check out. Your story and website is very inspirational and educational ~ way to go!! I was wondering where you found out about the Ultimate Organic Raw Wrap ?

Joanne

Reply

Jennifer April 26, 2012

You post a lot of desserts on here, which I love! But, I have a few questions, one is that I am afraid that I will just gain more weight eating all of these yummy foods. I struggle with my weight and have bounced around on many diets just to bounce back up again, and each time it seems I bounce higher. I am just now going from a mostly vegitarian diet to vegan and have to cook meals for my family too. Will your cookbook have more meals? Can you eat all of these yummy desserts and not get fat because you run? Do you have a recommendation for finding vegan yummy meals that don’t include a ton of fake soy based meats? Thanks! And Thanks for this blog which I love.

Reply

Cathlyn April 27, 2012

Thank you for sharing your story. Before and aftershock are never just that, usually there are several. You are and inspiration!

Reply

judith K April 27, 2012

You are awesome and you look good and am so inspired to be a vegan and also the daily things in life.

Reply

Angela May 4, 2012

Your story is very inspiring! I struggled with my eating in the past, and I’m currently in a Clinical Psychology program because of it! Looking forward to more updates on your journey.

Reply

Diane in Palos Verdes May 10, 2012

Thank you for sharing your story, it’s inspiring and honest and makes me feel like I’m not so alone on my own journey. Really appreciate it.

Reply

Liza May 11, 2012

I stumbled upon your blog after a search for a vegan alfredo sauce recipe. I’ve also spent most of my life struggling with an eating disorder and am planning on using veganism as part of a way to learn to love my body. Your blog has given me so much inspiration, and I cannot thank you enough. Thank you for all your honesty and openness so that we (*I) can understand that it’s possible to heal and move forward. So much love to you!! Thank you!!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) May 12, 2012

Thank you Liza, Im happy to hear that!

Reply

andrea k May 21, 2012

I just read your story – very inspiring. I honestly love reading your blog posts and have made more than a few of the recipes. I haven’t owned a scale for years and I love expanding my food horizons with your vegan offerings. It is fun following you and cooking/preparing new things. Thank you!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) May 21, 2012

Thank you Andrea! I appreciate it.

Reply

Natalie May 23, 2012

You are truly an inspiration. I am struggling with wanting to eat healthy but I have always been a workout nut. I am running the Chicago Marathon this October. Keep going girl!! You are awesome!

Reply

cindy May 26, 2012

YOu are beautiful in each and every picture. I can only imagine the stresses with all you were trying to accomplish. I guess we all have stress in diff. ways. Congrats on a great life, great site and btw love your hair blond! LOL

Reply

Kendall May 27, 2012

Your story is such an inspiration to me! I am 16 and recently began ED counceling, I feel my issues were similar to yours. Constant restricting, counting calories, and binging. I found your blog just as I began recovery, and I find it very helpful.

Reply

Amanda May 31, 2012

Thank you so much for this blog! I have a rare digestive disorder called Gastroparesis. I get sick often and it can only be monitored by diet. I am also 6 weeks away from my wedding so stress is not helping me health. I have been a life long animal lover, and my doctor just recommended I go vegan! I am very excited about it and although it has only been a few days I am already feeling so much better. How did you and your hubby compromise on the no meat issue? My fiance doesn’t believe something is a meal unless it has meat in it. And I want him to choose a lifestyle conducive to his needs, but I want to be able to cook and share meals with him after we get married.

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) June 1, 2012

Congrats on your wedding Amanda, you must be so excited!

As for the meat issue, Eric is not a vegan but he does enjoy many vegan recipes that I make. His approach to veggies and other foods I cook with has shifted over the years and he is much more into it now that he has gotten used to different flavour and foods. I think it’s important to have patience. Change takes time and really it’s up to the person what they want to eat. I always say a good recipe can win almost anyone over. Goodluck and have a great wedding!

Reply

Amanda June 1, 2012

Thank you so much! I by no means want to make Jon vegan, and I am more than willing to be patient with him. He just insists that it isn’t a meal unless it has meat in it…but he is also a foodie so I am going to try many of your recipes on him and win him over with taste :) I am happy for now that he supports my decision to go vegan and who knows, maybe the carnivore will change his ways ;)

Reply

Jane June 3, 2012

THANK YOU! You just inspired me so much. I have a very stressful job. I love my job but it’s not alway easy to eat healthy and at the right time. I am very knowledgeable with nutrition. But due to my stress level and chaotic work schedule, I either over eat or just make overall poor food choices at times. After reading what you have dealt with, I realize that I am not alone. And that with determination we can always change our lifestyle. It is never too late to bounce back and be stronger and better than ever before. I have been sitting here on my laptop debating about whether or not to go for a run. Then I read your blog (my mom sent me the link). After reading your story, I will go running. And I will enjoy beginning my journey back to the best me that I can be. Thank you. God bless :)

Reply

Catie June 4, 2012

You two look happy and great! And I love that kitty :)

Reply

Nohemi Romero June 11, 2012

Hi, I ran across your website as I was searching for a vegan ice cream recipe. I must say that I immediately noticed the difference in your skin! I compared your 1st picture to the last picture you posted and wow…what a difference! You look younger now!

Reply

Sherry June 20, 2012

You have touch moved and inspired us! Your life as is a reminder as I am learning to just be with what is and take action for what I’m committed to creating for myself and others.

Your power as I see it has come from you being authentic and vulnerable. This is where self love takes place.

Thank you for finding your voice.

Best,
Sherry

Reply

Natalie June 24, 2012

Congrats on your journey. Im Vegan as well and its hard on a budget. Nobody is working at the moment. My husband receives unemployment every 2 weeks and his Veterans BAH money once a month from being in the US ARMY 7 years. He is a meat eater and talks bad about the things i eat and believe in other then veganism. If i dont like a certain product that is vegan he says see i told you stick a chicken in your mouth! He drinks Coke, monsters, redbull, hamburgers and a bunch of nasty junk food and processed stuff. He tells me our grocery bills is a lot because of me but i am also a big eater and im breast feeding my son who is 2 years old still. So im obviously hungry all the time. I dont work out either. I will once he is weaned off but until then im stuck alone being vegan in a house hold of 3 kids and 1 other adult. He doesnt understand how good it is for your to be Vegan, he doesnt believe anything i say. He always has something negative to say about it and always asking questions but when you give a response he just stays quiet or says something Negative back. hes in denial i say!

Reply

Lynn Cyr June 27, 2012

It’s so funny how the universe works… I keep inadvertently coming back to your blog over and over again, usually through your awesome recipes I find on Pinterest! I’m a “semi-vegan” right now, just trying to limit my meat/dairy consumption. I didn’t grow up eating (or liking) many vegetables, but I’ve learned to really LOVE them, and even CRAVE them, in recent years!

So after some time on your blog, I figured I’d read a bit more about you and your background. And OMG, I’m from New Brunswick too (I’m from a really small town in the north-west of the province) although now I’m curious which town you’re from!) I also married my HS sweetheart, and we’re now going into our 17th year of marriage :D We moved to Boston after college/marriage, but have since returned “up home” about 6 years ago.

It’s so great seeing such an amazing success story from such a small town gal (at least I assume you’re from a small town, since there aren’t too many cities in NB!) Keep up the fantastic work!!!! I love everything about this blog! You’re such an inspiration!!! :)

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) June 27, 2012

Hey Lynn, such a pleasure to meet you!

Reply

Lili Milller June 27, 2012

Very inspirational and I must agree with everyone else who has posted; you are glowing in every single pic! My husband and I have decided to change our eating habits for good. After having a stroke last year at 25 years old my priorities have changed from beautifying my inside, rather than simply focusing on the outward expression of beauty. I have gained 20 pounds in this year and I am now at 143lbs-the heaviest I have ever been. I am also a Social Psychology doctoral student. Any feedback on either topic is always appreciated. I love your blog and I look forward to reading more. :)

Reply

Kristine June 28, 2012

I’ve really been struggling lately, struggling with my diet, finding the motivation to exercise, and to top it all off, major stress at work and school. I needed some encouragement! Thank you, Angela!

Reply

Ashley July 13, 2012

Great story! Loved all the pics. I am glad you did this. I have been fully vegan for a month a half. So many people have given me crap for going on a “diet” .. and Im not “fat”.. and so on.. I may not be fat.. but Im certainly not healthy. Great inspiration for EVERYONE to live a healthy lifestyle!

Reply

Cayla July 15, 2012

omg, you have no idea how much hope this gives me. I had to move out of home at the beginning of this year to finish my high school education in another town, in half a year I have managed to gain 20 lbs. I’ve been over stressed, and over eating. At the end of last year I was counting calories like mad – I was eating only 800 a day. This year I’ve gone the absolute opposite. Argh, I was in a really bad way at the end of the last semester. I’m hoping to start this next one better. I’ve gone through pretty bad depression but I think i’m through it. I’m trying counting calories again so obviously i’m still not doing too well. Just looking at the progress you’ve made however gives me hope! I really hope I manage to finally love myself like you obviously do. Thank you for showing me that time can heal.

Reply

Niria July 15, 2012

Thank you so much for your inspiration… you just don’t know how much your story has touched me.

Reply

Bec Eastment July 17, 2012

HI angela, I stumbled upon your beautiful blog looking for vegan date recipes (thx for the date squares – they are wonderful!). I live in Australia, have been totally vegan for 3 months (but like you dabbled in vegetarianism over the years), feel great for it, am a runner with 3 small children and am finding your recipes very appealing and very helpful. Thankyou for writing it so honestly. I appreciate it. bec

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) July 17, 2012

Hey Bec, Lovely to meet you. Thank you for your kind words….glad you are enjoying it! Love that you are from Australia too. Would love to go there someday. Best wishes.

Reply

Amy July 18, 2012

a little late on this post read, as i am just digging into the blogging world. what a journey- thanks for sharing it! it is so awesome to hear the story of other women when you are going through similar things! looking forward to following your blog!

Reply

jenn July 24, 2012

wow. i literally just stumbled onto this blog through pinterest and i feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude that i did! thanks for blogging & sharing your story in such a straightforward, honest way. seeing it chronicled this way, and watching your face get happier & beam more in these last few years, is a real inspiration. because you were willing/able to share your experience over the last 10 years, those of us lucky enough to read it are given a very concrete & moving reminder to listen to, and be more honest, kind and true to ourselves. what a lovely gift. thanks.

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) July 27, 2012

Thank you so much Jenn, you are so sweet!

Reply

Page 7 of 11« First...«56789»...Last »

Leave a Comment