Today, on Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for cameras. When I was with my sister, I looked through a lot of old photos. I found the picture, above (holding a camera), of me before I ever started eating raw foods (the second picture was taken last month). It's hard to believe I ever looked like that, but I did. I showed the picture to Jim and he said it doesn't even look like me; he doesn't recall me ever looking like that. Yet, I have pictures that show what I used to be like, before I started to truly live.

In many ways it's painful to see my before and after pictures. It was such a sad time in my life, a time when I kept far too much stuffed inside. In every before picture, it's obvious to me that I was about to burst from keeping so much inside. My body was storing painful memories in my cells and surrounding them with fat, to buffer itself from the poison of keeping so much pain inside. That's not the only reason I was obese, of course. The way I was eating, coupled with my genetics, largely determined my health at that time.Even though I was always very health conscious, eating a cooked vegan diet didn't work for my body.

Eating a raw food diet is what has allowed my body to heal. The more I consumed living foods, the more I was able to fully hear my inner voice and truly get to know who I am. For most of my life I never thought about myself, my needs and desires. I wanted to please others, give to others, help others, love others. I neglected myself. I never realized I was worthy of my own attention and love, which I so freely gave to everyone else.

The cleaner my body has become on the raw food diet, the more alive I am. The more alive I am, the more I don't want to be constrained in any way. I want to be free to truly be all that I am, to fully live and love this life I have. As the months have gone by, I have chipped away at the layers of protection I have built up around myself. I have learned to express myself, to share how I am feeling and thinking about things. I have learned to release the old painful memories from my past. It's not an easy process to go through; it can be quite painful to release stored emotions and to glimpse your true self that you've kept hidden. But, it's worth it. I'm alive, alive, alive! I'm learning to give myself the attention and love that I've always deserved.

What about you ?When you look at old photos of yourself, what do you see? Do you see pain you keep/kept hidden inside? ?Do you see someone in the image who doesn't really look like who you truly are? If so, know that you aren't alone. You have a choice, however. You can begin to work on yourself---and it doesn't have to start with your diet if you think that's too difficult. Starting with my diet was easier for me than addressing the pain I kept inside, but everyone is different. I think if you start making changes in one area of your life (body, mind, spirit, emotions), the rest will begin to change, as well. We are complex beings, wonderfully complex and filled with the potential to truly vibrate with love and life.

Original Comments

Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On March 28, 2008, Yardsnacker wrote:

You've got that glow that they talk about. So amazing that it comes through in pictures. My before pictures from 8 months ago are startling. Very difficult indeed to see, but I love the person that I was because without him, I would be the me I am now. I'm planning on doing some before after pics at my one year to join the before after pic club. lol Great post Wendi!

On March 28, 2008, Wendi wrote:

:-) Thanks, Sam!! I'm looking forward to your before/after picture debut!

In the future, I'm going to try to collect all of the raw food before/after pictures and stories that exist and put them all up on our storiesofsuccess page (which will one day be its own site, I hope). It's so inspiring to see the transformations that people have gone through by simply consuming raw fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

Lots of love to you,

Wendi

XOXO