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Juice Feast by Angela Stokes

 

Raw food author and lifestyle consultant Angela Stokes lost an incredible 160lbs with a raw lifestyle, reversing morbid obesity. 28-year-old Angela started eating raw in May 2002 and has spent the last five years exploring and promoting raw foods and natural healthcare for weight loss. Her website, www.rawreform.com shares her own incredible story of recovery, along with guidance and inspiration for others. It includes videos, before/after pictures and she also blogs her raw adventures almost daily. Angela offers e-books, retreats, consultations and lectures internationally on raw foods. She can be contacted at [email protected].

My health began to edge into issues when, at the age of 11, my thyroid gland went under active and I began to gain weight. Two years passed before this condition was diagnosed, during which time I began to pile on pounds. Even after starting medication, food became the centre of my world and by the age of 21, I was 295 lbs.

The imbalance in health was reflected in every part of my body and being. I was always ill – literally going from one illness to another, as my body struggled to cope with the endless flow of junk foods. There were times when I took up to 15 different pills a day to try to suppress all the bodily symptoms.

At an emotional level, I was operating from a place of great pain, fear and insecurity, but was completely unaware at the time. I maintained an impenetrable façade of happiness. I filled classic roles like the ‘jolly fat lass’/‘people pleaser.’

All through University years, I found it very hard to connect with others. I tried very little, however, to lose any weight. I just wanted to eat. I was addicted to foods as my primary source of comfort and ‘joy’ in life. I was on a slow track to self-destruction.

The Turning Point

The real turning point came in May 2002, while living in Iceland, when a friend lent me ‘The Raw Family’ book by The Boutenkos. I read it in one night and knew this was the answer. It just made total sense to me, so I went 100% raw vegan the next day.

This was a huge shift for my body and my initial detox was enormous. After a week, I felt that being 100% raw was too much for this very toxic system to handle straight out. I cut back to around 70% raw and that’s more or less where I stayed for the first couple of years.

That first year, I released 105 lbs and by the end of year two, I was around 160 lbs lighter. I gradually phased out the non-raw things until by May 2005, I was back to 100% raw and this time it felt completely manageable. I have continued to eat entirely raw since then.

It was a phenomenal weight loss journey. In the beginning, it was almost like I could see the fat burning off, it was so fast. Suddenly I could see my collar bone, feel my ribs down my side, my acne was clearing, and my clothes were all too large.

Walking became a completely new experience. I had walked with only the bottom half of my legs, as my thighs were so large they were rammed together. Now it was like my legs doubled in length. Every day felt like an adventure further into the unknown and I loved it.

I see raw foods as the key that began the unfolding of my recovery – it started at the physical level, with the simple desire to lose weight and went on to unravel love, truth and simplicity through every part of my being.

Emotionally I could feel myself slowly softening and opening up more towards others, as I regained confidence and self-esteem. Socially, however, my entire world turned upside-down. Suddenly I was no longer a ‘harmless fat friend’ – women seemed to be seeing me as competition. Men were starting to look at me and at first I felt quite startled by this new attention. It seemed like everywhere I went, people were more willing to co-operate with me and assist me. I was not really sure how to handle these different dynamics and felt quite vulnerable. Gradually I let go and adjusted into new social patterns, but it took some time to feel comfortable.

Physically I have never felt better than I do now. I have been through layer upon layer of detoxing and clearing and I don’t get ill anymore, which is a complete revelation for me. I came off the thyroid medication I’d been on for around 13 years when I went raw (switching instead to homeopathic remedies and seaweed) and now my thyroid is completely balanced naturally, with daily kelp supplements.

Feasting, Not Fasting

In November 2006 I decided to take my internal cleansing to the next level and embarked on a 92-Day Juice Feast - not a juice fast. The difference is that a juice feast is all about abundance – by having at least a gallon a day of fresh, raw fruit and veggie juices, along with coconut water and a few choice supplements.

Powerful life shifts tend to unfold during cleanses of this length and intensity, and that was definitely the case for me. I lost around another 18 lbs, my eyes became much brighter and clearer, my clarity intensified and my intuition seemed to deepen. I felt the removal of layers more of emotional baggage and my energy was strong, clear and focused. The ‘veils of reality’ seemed to get thinner and my manifesting ability sharper, until things were coming into physical form almost instantaneously - a new bag, an ideal plane ticket, a trip to the countryside – whatever it was that I turned my attention towards. Juice Feasting was a phenomenal experience for me and truly facilitated my shift to another layer of healing.

Three years ago I launched the RawReform website to share my journey and help others to help themselves towards better health and well-being. It is my passion in life now to help people realize there is a natural way to weight loss.

Most people seem to look towards solutions for this issue that are not really sustainable, e.g. bariatric surgery, ‘magic pills’ or ‘miracle’ diets that don’t last. In contrast, going raw can be the ultimate in sustainable living…growing your own food and buying organic, freeing yourself from dependency on doctors and drugs, reducing the amount of landfill, processing, cooking and so on. There’s no big pharmaceutical company sitting at the top of this feeding chain.

These days I feel genuinely happy and rejoice in life. I feel very open and I learn, experience and enjoy so much. Speaking my truth has become an absolute corner stone, and I seek sincerity and integrity in all my relationships. I have re-developed my self-love/care to a point where I now try to make the best choices I can to support and nurture myself. This became especially clear for me during and after my Juice Feasting experience. I went through some powerful shifts for example in terms of making new choices around housing and foods in particular – two of the most basic requirements in life, but two areas that had long felt ‘messy’ for me. This whole transformation has been like an exploration into stronger self-love and awareness. I feel connected to all other beings and this journey has deeply impacted and expanded my spiritual life.

If I can do this, then I truly believe anyone can. It is all just a matter of choice. May your own choices fulfill and sustain you on every level of your being.

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