She was sweet, smart, fascinating, funny, gorgeous and charming.
There was something about her I had never seen or felt in anyone before.
I was enamored by her for several months, and the day I asked her out, April 16, 2010, set in motion the greatest love I’ve ever known.
This is a love that’s full of unrelenting passion.
This is a love that spellbinds me.
This is a love that energizes me.
“I can’t …”, she said.
Her rejection walloped me but helped propel me like a thick rubber band snapping all the way back to climb the absolute summit of health while getting my whole life on track in a way it’s never been.
All along the way, I found the greatest and deepest love.
This love has filled me with sublime joy every moment of every single day.
This love is the love!
This love is the love I grew to embrace for myself.
This self-love has powered me over the past decade to push myself to places I never thought possible.
And this self-love is the secret for anyone anywhere wanting to make a health transformation happen in his or her life—and for anyone anywhere wishing for a new and exciting life!
A Rejection Helps Inspire My Complete Life Makeover
The rejection I faced forced me to have a long-delayed gut-check moment.
I was 32, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and eating animal, cooked and processed foods. I had long wanted to leave behind the self-sabotaging smokes and drinks for good, but little did I know that the secret to doing so was hidden in diet.
Problem was, my diet—full of chicken tacos, white chicken chili, chicken wings, bacon cheeseburgers, cheesesteaks, hoagies, pizza, pasta and other standard American diet foods—was the wrong kind.
“What was I thinking?” my younger self wondered. “This woman is a health-conscious vegetarian, so what on earth would she want with a smoker and drinker eating a plate of animal flesh across a table?”
I was tired of who I was and knew I had to become a whole new person. I wanted to put myself in position to be with anyone out there.
I knew I had to leave behind all the things that held me back from the life I was beginning to see for myself, thanks to spending time with this woman on a platonic basis.
A Clairvoyant Thought Got Me Visualizing and Seeing a Better Self
One day over lunch about two months before she turned me down, this woman dreamed aloud her big life plans and asked what I wanted in life. After doing very well at Penn State University, completing six internships and graduating as one of the country’s top young journalism prospects, I felt lost in my career, with newspapers and magazines struggling in the internet age. I fled for the public relations world, but my fire was fading.
More importantly, I felt lost in my life, living for the magic and energy of weeks-long wanderlust-quenching trips and high-vibe Pearl Jam shows along with the weekends but was not excited about life and my direction in it. The working world had been draining me, and I had been suffering from vicious chronic pain every day for 10 years. For five years, my energy had been in decline.
In my reply to her question, I had reached far and wide but came up with no good answer. I just didn’t know anymore after feeling so sure about my life and future as a 22-year-old.
She looked deep into my eyes, as if peering at a message written in my soul, and said, “I’ve got a good feeling that you’re going to do something really special.”
As it’s turned out, she was right, I’m fortunate to say.
My Reinvention Came with Making Diet and Exercise the Cornerstones of My Life
When this sensational woman told me about this feeling she had, I began visualizing a better me and better life for myself. I became excited about the idea of potential, for me and my life, again.
The day after I felt her line about being too busy for a relationship crush my spirit, I set out to reinvent myself.
First, I would gain guidance in posture exercises and launch a practically daily routine, and nine days later, I would unwittingly embark on my journey to a low-fat raw food diet with a single green smoothie.
It may be hard to believe, especially considering most are challenged to make headway with even a single lifestyle change, but I was ready to welcome these massive lifestyle changes more than I’ve ever been ready for anything else in my whole life.
These twin passions of mine, posture exercises and a fruitarian diet, fueled by ever-growing self-love, have enabled me to do something really special for myself and with my life to help others around the world.
This is a story about what I did to elevate my life starting 10 years ago and how self-love has played a major role in my health transformation.
If you want to elevate your life and feel like a rocket taking off—with seemingly no limits—you can do these things, too! If you are hurting, unhappy or sabotaging your life—if you have little to virtually no nourishing self-love—you can turn around your life starting with one day that will stand out for years to come.
If you’ve been living vicariously through others and/or wanting to be someone else to escape who you are, you will also come to own yourself in such a way that you’d not ever want to trade who you are again. You’ll discover so many blessings you’ll come to savor—and others will be grateful for to experience.
To Feel Fantastic, You Have to Identify and Eliminate the Causes of Your Pain
We all can look back on life and see a collection of definitive moments that captured us and carried us in new directions. My April 2010 was full of these moments and marked not a new chapter in life but a whole new book for me. There is a reason I titled my lifestyle book Alive!
I walked into my first session to learn posture exercises on April 17, 2010, with a scrawny body. It had been 18 years since I engaged in a regular muscle-building program, and it had been 15 years since I left behind my wildly active, sports-playing life for the static cultures of college and a desk job in the journalism and public relations fields.
I was hurting—badly.
I suffered from an evolving combination of carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome. My right hand, relegated to computer mouse use, was in pain, and my thumb and some fingers twitched involuntarily. I had to switch to using a computer mouse with my left hand when my right hand collapsed in 2006 and then again in 2008 after short periods of highly intense and repetitive computer use with not enough rest. Come 2009, I could barely handwrite anymore—and began suffering from vertigo. I felt as if I might fall when simply standing in place and, especially, when walking.
I also suffered from chronic back pain and neck pain. Every time I sat in a chair, pain would creep in after about 30 seconds.
To stop this chronic pain from dragging me down and getting in the way of the life I wanted to live, I had to eliminate the causes of my pain. My new posture exercises coach laid it all out for me. I was hurting because my pelvis was tilted backward, my hip joints were uneven, my femurs were rotated, my legs were bowed, my shoulders were rounded and uneven, and my back and neck were rounded forward.
After doctors and specialists in the early 2000s couldn’t deliver a proper diagnosis (thankfully, sparing me from cortisone injections and surgery) and after spending thousands of dollars on chiropractic and massage treatments over the back half of the 2000s—and getting absolutely nowhere in terms of improvement—I was grateful for this moment of absolute clarity, understanding and hope.
It all made sense on instinctive and practical levels. Our major joints should line up across and up and down the body like a tic-tac-toe board.
I committed then and there to a multisession package to learn dozens of posture exercises and got to work on unrolling all the deviations in my posture that affected my posture and played out as pain symptoms.
Learning Posture Exercises Routines Helped Me Eliminate Chronic Pain
Imagine what it must feel like to work in a seated position for 40 hours a week when you’re suffering from back and neck pain the whole time.
It’s brutal. Life can be brutal when you’re affected by chronic pain.
You might feel this way as well, suffering from acute or chronic pain, and would give anything to have a body that feels good to live in. If this is your state, I sympathize with you—and can help you.
All my physical ailments were the result of a body whose eight load-bearing joints—my shoulders, hips, knees and ankles—were out of their natural, or design, position. Because my joints did not line up evenly, my posture suffered, and, resultingly, I experienced compensation, limitation, functional loss and chronic pain in my body.
I wasn’t giving myself and my body the self-love they deserved.
I was in the right place at the right time on April 17, 2010, however. I finally was receiving expert guidance in identifying and eliminating the causes of my chronic pain.
Throughout my session, I felt these posture exercises, one after another, instantly put my body into a better position. With one pose, I stood up straight as can be for the first time in years—or, perhaps, my whole life! I was blown away by how extraordinary this felt and knew, in this moment, that posture exercises were my express ticket to a pain-free life!
Day by day, week by week and month by month, I rolled back all the joint deviations that forced my body into a suboptimal posture. As all the pain washed away for good like an ocean gone eerily dry and silent, I grew into a body whose posture was improving and that was getting stronger in every way. I added more physical activity into my life, settling into an evolving and limited calisthenics practice to supplement my posture exercises routines.
I was growing into a new person as well, dutifully making time for my posture exercises practically daily. To make this commitment to myself and to follow through with it has felt extremely rewarding, showing me what’s possible in life when we suit up for ourselves like a superhero or superstar athlete and deliver, day by day, in our epic health transformation. As of this writing, I haven’t missed a day of practicing my posture exercises since September 2016—1,284 consecutive days. Even better, I’ve committed to never missing a day again!
Consuming Green Smoothies Electrified My Life
I was feeling so good with my posture exercises as part of my quickly changing life that I was finally open to trying a green smoothie after a few friends had talked them up. Come April 26, 2010, nine days after launching my posture exercises routine, I consumed my first green smoothie.
I used kale in it (a big no-no, I later learned)—and way too much!
This was also the first day I ever ate kale.
But I stuck with having green smoothies, determined to see what they’d do for me. I improved my green smoothie recipes, and by my fifth day, I felt an electrifying positive surge throughout my entire being. Two days later, I smoked my last cigarettes, and quitting was never so easy as it was with this attempt.
I began reading Green for Life and felt waves of possibilities arrive to greet me like the golden sun coming up from a deep slumber in an inky sky and stretching its magnificent rays all around with gleeful abandon.
It was on in a whole new way!
I’m talking about life!
Everything felt fresh and alive and new and exciting!
My Path to a Raw Vegan Diet Opened Naturally But Involved a Lot of Work and Time to Do Things Right
The more I read about a raw vegan diet, the more enthusiastic I became. I took a 24-day vacation to Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia in July 2010, packing a cheap blender in my only duffel bag. I didn’t want to miss a day of having a green smoothie, and from the first day on, I began having a green smoothie in the middle of each afternoon in addition to my breakfast green smoothie.
I drank beer and ate at the country’s best barbecue joints, and 10 weeks after returning to my Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, home, on October 1, 2010, I became a vegan. My body made the choice for me, telling me it no longer wanted the meat, dairy, eggs and honey I had consumed most of my life.
I gave up alcohol basically by the end of 2010, with drinks on a few occasions early in the first half of 2011 teaching me that I was done with this drug for good. Here’s what I’ve learned about alcohol from my own experiences and those of other raw vegans: Not one person in the world craves the alcohol in so-called alcoholic drinks. What they truly crave is the sugar, and when you feed your body sugar in the form nature intended, fruit, your body is satisfied.
Come January 1, 2011, I joined a friend in going wholly raw vegan for the whole month. I stumbled lots over the next year, suffering from undereating and then brain fog while having cooked food for dinner about three nights a week. But with a lot of research and trial and error, I put myself in position to be able to go wholly raw for good starting February 25, 2012.
I’ve never looked back.
Talk about self-love and health transformation! Going raw vegan maximizes your ability to get the most out of your body, mind, emotions, spirituality and entire life.
Many bounce back and forth between periods of wholly raw and mostly raw, but I’ve found it easier to remain all raw. Quite simply, I feel my best this way and don’t have to waste energy planning when I need to eat “X” foods or face being sick from eating too much cooked food, as I’ve heard many mostly raw vegans say over the years.
I don’t think about diet much, always enjoy what I eat and am free to explore other areas in which I wish to grow such as personal development. Ultimately, the foods I eat are my fuel and light me up like an arcade game. Bring the color and bring the sugar—it’s fruit!
Your Self-Love Is Your Ticket to Taking a Grand Health Transformation Journey and Making It Last
Without self-love, your health transformation journey isn’t going to last long. There are only so many days you can spoonfeed yourself like a robot or force yourself to lift weights even though you can’t stand this exercise form, following some idea about what health is supposed to look like.
You need to challenge yourself in a healthful way, and chances are, you’re going to fail again and again. Just like Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan missed half the shots he took during his storied NBA career, you’ll come up empty lots of times.
With self-love, however, you’ll forgive yourself and find the patience and persistence you’ll need to succeed. You’ll also be able to bring passion to your health transformation, carrying you with the kind of energy that can put you on the happy side of a make-it-or-break-it lifestyle approach. To truly achieve success in making major lifestyle changes, after all, you have to put your heart and soul into it.
The education I received from experts in posture exercises and a low-fat raw food diet counts as the best investment I’ve ever made in my life. The time and money I invested in these resources—from working with coaches to watching videos and reading scores of books and articles—have paid themselves off over and over. I have come to value every day so much more as a person living in a body that feels fantastic, works beautifully and is pain free and primed for peak performance in all I do.
Are you ready to love yourself? Are you ready to bring self-love into your health transformation and life transformation?
I say love yourself so much you create your own incredible health transformation story!
A decade from now, you might have a blast and shed some joyful tears in looking back and seeing how far you’ve come, feeling a fondness for especially definitive moments along the way that made you own who you were in a moment, that made you stronger and wiser and that gave you drive. And you might understand how some painful moments—even getting turned down by a gem of a person you’d fallen for—gave you purpose when you needed it most on your way to finding passions and missions for yourself and to share with others to help them.
Let’s get started in working together on your epic health transformation!
With love and light, your able guide,