This person participated in a 22 Days Vegan Challenge, in this specific case, the program outlined in The 22-Day Revolution book. The 22-Day Revolution consists of 22 days of carefully planned meal plans and recipes along with 30 minutes of exercise each day. While this consumer actually experienced the results below, individual results may vary based on starting weight, diet and exercise implemented during the course of a 22 Days Vegan Challenge. This week’s 22 Days Vegan Success Story comes from Raymond Garcia, successful publisher at Celebra, a division of Penguin Group USA. You may recognize Raymond from the “Love more, judge less” video. He has become an inspiration to thousands of people and he’s graciously accepted our invitation to share the story of transformation with us. Here we hear from Raymond, in his own words, about his 22 Days Vegan journey.
I am blessed with two remarkable children, a wife who is my first and only love, a family that’s full of adoration, fun, and sheer support, and a rewarding and purpose-driven career. Yet, my eating and drinking habits were at best in a state of ups and downs and more recently in a downward spiral. I couldn’t explain why I kept mistreating myself over and over, but for some reason I couldn’t seem to stop. I felt powerless against my own irresponsible and destructive habits. I was restless almost every night with a rapid heart rate, chest pains, indigestion, and constant heartburn, among other issues, which consistently kept me awake. My weight climbed to 217 lbs. at 5.7’, and I did not weigh-in at my highest. My blood pressure rose to an alarming 151/105 (Hypertension 2). I was not only overweight and out of shape, but also seriously putting my health at risk. I grew accustomed to abusing and ignoring my body. What I could not accept was that as result I was affecting the people I love the most. I realized that if I didn’t take care of myself first, I couldn’t truly care for the well-being, future, and lives of my children and wife.
Need for a change
I remember one morning, after only two hours of sleep, I sat down at the computer and started learning about the potentially fatal effects of high blood pressure and other symptoms that I was feeling. The more I read, the more I understood how serious my problems were. Angry and frustrated, I agonized about how I could have done this to myself. I could not bear the thought of my children losing their dad at a young age, as I lost mine, and that it would be my own fault. As I reached for the blood pressure monitor, the computer went to sleep and I saw my reflection in the black screen. I didn’t look angry and motivated, which is how I felt. I looked absolutely defeated and hopeless. It was as if this was my fate. In that moment, I saw my son’s reflection appear next to me on the screen. He had walked into the room and as I turned to my right he looked up at me with some concern in his face and asked a very simple question, “Dad, are you alright?” That day, I said yes to him but for the first time I said no to myself. This was not okay and I was not okay. Embracing that reality was the first step in deciding to not only do what was right, but also to do what was best.
I did not want to do a crash diet, where I would put a Band-Aid on the problem – fit into an old suit and feel like I earned a good night out. I needed to address deep-seated issues and achieve long-term change. As I learned more about the causes of my conditions, I began to understand that it wasn’t just about over-consumption. It was about the bad cholesterol, fats, carbs, sugars, etc. that I was ingesting and the important nutrients that I was neglecting. Finally, the words of one of my dearest friends began to register: “If you get on a plant based program, I guarantee your health problems will go away. You will feel better than ever and become the person you truly are. Do it for you. Do it for your beautiful family.” And then, he said the six key words. “Just try it for 22 days.” Fortunately, that dear friend is also one of today’s most renowned health experts, one of the most motivating and good-hearted people I’ve ever known, and the brilliant and imaginative founder of the revolutionary nutritional and lifestyle brand – 22 Days Nutrition. When my resolution merged with proven health facts and Marco’s manifesto, I was fueled with the confidence that even the most defeated person can reverse their health problems and change their life. So, I did. I stopped drinking alcohol and started eating vegan, consuming 100 oz of water/day, and working out daily – mainly consisting of cardio and body weight resistance movements.
Experience and results
I won’t say that I turned on an easy switch and silenced all of my inner demons. Like with any lifestyle change, it was harder in the beginning. What kept me from wavering was the thought that I just needed to get past 22 days. I dreaded following through with social plans, knowing that I wouldn’t partake in the eating and drinking. I thought this was a punishment that I deserved. However, after the initial two weeks, my perspective became the exact opposite. Instead of viewing my new way of eating as a deprivation that would balloon until the pressure became so much that I would burst and splurge, it became a liberation that relieved me of my constant battle with myself. I was good with being good. It was probably the first time in my life that I felt this way. Ultimately, I made it through 22 days. The result: my blood pressure went down to 120/86 and I lost 22 pounds – how poetic! After 44 days, my blood pressure went down to 118/77 and I lost over 40 pounds. Today, I’ve lost over 70lbs. The most important accomplishment: deciding that there is no longer an end date. I’m not rushing towards a finish line. This isn’t about how long I can endure a demanding struggle. This is about gaining momentum and empowerment with every step forward that I take. This isn’t about enjoying myself less. This is about getting the most out of life. It’s not about repressing my true desires. It’s about unearthing my truest ambitions. Not only is there not an end date, I am just scratching the surface. I am learning things about myself that I had forgotten or never known. I have a greater appreciation for everything that I have. I am in the moment when spending time with my children, wife, family, and friends and have more focus and clarity of thought in my business and creative initiatives. What’s most inspiring is that I am just beginning to grasp that I am capable of so much more.
I could not have experienced this mental, physical and emotional transformation if it weren’t for 22 Days Nutrition and Marco Borges.
About 22 Days Nutrition
From the moment I tried 22-Days Nutrition Pineapple Chocolate Chip Wonder, I thought, “oh, this is cheating.” When I started my day with the incredibly satiating PB + Chocolate Chip Nirvana, I had to remind myself to have lunch. And, my most stressful early evening hours became a little calmer when having the flavorful Fruit Nut Karma with a green tea. To think that I haven’t even touched on the indulgent Nut Butter Buddha and the enriching Enlightened Pumpkinseed, really makes me think that I can do this forever. Exercise isn’t complete without the thick and filling Plant Protein Power Vanilla or Chocolate shake, which makes the workout feel as if it lasts all day. Also, I used to think that eating vegan meant consuming less protein. I was wrong. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that male adults from ages 19 – 70 consume 56 Grams of protein daily. With one PB + Chocolate Chip Nirvana and two Plant Protein Power shakes, you can have 64 Grams of protein in under 600 calories. As for the rest of my nutrition, I balance meals with a broad range of delicious foods, like cranberries with roasted brussels sprouts and quinoa, heirloom tomatoes with tabouli, sweet potato with braised kale and couscous, grilled vegetables and avocado salad, delicious fruits, an array of hearty soups, etc., etc. These are all foods that were foreign to me. However, within my first week, these and countless other options became obvious and I suddenly began to crave them. Initially, my friends and family looked at me cock-eyed. But now, they prepare or purchase these foods for themselves and send me new recipes. In fact, after my first 22 days, my sister and brother-in-law started a vegan diet – augmented with 22 Days Nutrition products, of course. They are now seeing the results and are hooked.
Take it from me
Because I am the very last person that I would think could ever be vegan and adopt this lifestyle, let me be the first (or second) to tell you that with 22 Days you’ve found the way!
Your Success Story
Now it’s your turn! Have you had success with a 22 Days Vegan Challenge? We’d love to feature your story on our blog. Send an email to email@example.com to get started.