What a journey! Along the way I have met many interesting people and have listened to many wonderful stories of how they have shed pounds and pounds of weight and how participating in fitness shows such as these have helped them gain more confidence and motivated them to stay in shape. I may not have a story that is as impressive as shedding 100 pounds and getting on stage, but it has definitely motivated me to continue to stay in shape, continue my belief and love of the high raw diet and has even helped lessen my stage fright. When I embarked on this nutrition journey a couple of years ago, I thought I was the only person (at least in the fitness competitors' world) trying to dispel the myth that you cannot build muscle unless you are eating animal-based diet. I recently connected with other athletes who have embarked on the same journey who were trying to prove the same things as I was. They too were entering competitions on a raw food diet and were confirming that it is possible to succeed while eating a plant-based diet. The best part is that all these athletes are Canadian too! Let's wave that Canadian flag and be proud, Canada!
So let me tell you a bit about them.
The first athlete that I connected with was Sherif Kamal, Nature's Fitness Model. He competed in the Fitness Model category at the UFE (Ultimate Fitness Events) on May 8th in Montreal and placed 4th. Sherif's website is packed full of great raw information. You can read about his journey here. Yours truly is featured in his Natural Bodies section, you can read about my journey here as well.
Shortly after, I connected with Nathane Jackson - a Toronto-based Strength and Conditioning Coach turned raw. Nathane is a WBFF (World Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation) Pro. At the OPA show in May I saw his name advertised as a "raw vegan athlete" on a WBFF promotion card and knew I wanted to connect with this guy. You can read his interesting journey here or check out his blog.
Finally, a wonderful lady from Quebec named Joanne Gero. I connected with Joanne through Nathane. After she had a 6 year sabbatical from competition to have children she is back and is now training for the WBFF show this September on a 100% raw food diet. You can check out one of her YouTube videos .
So much for believing I was alone on this one. I am thrilled to have connected with these amazing people and also to be able to share stories with you about others who have embarked on a similar path. It is wonderful to been inspired by others on the same mission.
OPA show photos will be posted soon on my blog.