Raw Power Transformed My Life

By Angela Stokes

Susan notes: Angela's Stokes story of personal transformation is truly astonishing. It was one of the first pieces I posted on AWR when the site launched in 2008, a little over two years ago.

When I revisted it again today, I was reminded of how taking care of one's body and feeding it properly can have a huge impact on one's life and happiness. I'm not a raw foodie like Angela, but I've been mostly vegetarian for about five years.

I don't advocate raw food only, as Angela does, but I do think it's important to eat well and be aware of what works best for your body, whatever kinds of foods you ingest. Bon appetit!

I never expected to be running a website that helps thousands of people to transform their lives every day.

Sometimes it astounds me when I recall that seven years ago I weighed nearly 300 lbs, was always ill, lonely, and miserable, even though I pretended to be happy.

Today, I weigh less than half that (138lbs). I’m happy, healthy and feel so truly on my life path. It’s like I’m living a different life, and I am SO grateful.

I released the excess weight by adopting a raw food lifestyle of fresh raw fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and other healthy foods straight from the Earth. I stopped eating all processed and cooked foods, and saw the numbers on the scales plummet, my clothes get baggier by the day and my whole life transform, on every level - physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, romantically, spiritually, even financially.

My whole outlook and experience of life changed dramatically.

RawReform: An Online Resource

angela_before.jpgMy weight loss journey started in 2002. Two years into it, when I had released over 160lbs, my partner at the time suggested that I share my story on the Internet to inspire others.

I thought this was a strange idea at first– I barely used the Internet at all in those days. He was a web designer though, so I said ‘yes’ and my site – RawReform.com – was put up a few days later.

Almost IMMEDIATELY I began to get emails from people who were amazed to see my before and after pictures and wanted more details on healthier living. As my waistband shrank, my web presence expanded.

Since going raw six and half years ago, my name has become one of the most recognised in the raw foods movement, and I’ve won many awards for my work and my website.

RawReform.com has steadily grown since 2004 from a simple site with a few pages to a huge database of information on raw/healthy living. The site now has blogging, videos, picture galleries, articles, a forum, newsletters, a raw foods superstore, consultations and more. I can hardly believe how it has grown.

I’ve also written five e-books to help share my story, and give people guidance on how they could do what I had done.

Results Speak For Themselves

angela_after.jpgAnswering emails from people who want to lose weight and live more healthily is now a daily practice for me. I also organise regular talks on raw foods, and spread the message about healthier living as far and deep as I can through the world wide web.

I’ve been fortunate to get lots of great media coverage – it’s helped me to share my story and inspire others. Recently, for example, CNN News did a two-minute feature story and article on my weightloss. The feature had over 2 million views, making it the BIGGEST health story so far on CNN in 2008. (You can watch the clip at the end of this story.)

The response was absolutely phenomenal and it’s so exciting to see countless new inquisitive minds investigating this simple way of life.

As the saying goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and people seem to respond with great enthusiasm to my before/after pictures.

They can SEE how much healthier and happier I look now, and they want to know more about eating raw. In comparison, many people who lose large amounts of weight through ‘crash dieting’, gastric bypass surgery and so on, don’t tend to look as healthy. People get attracted to the fact that eating raw is simple. And when you see the incredible transformations that it can help generate, the results speak for themselves.

Sharing Stories Creates Ripple Effect

The raw food movement is expanding more every day, and I’m DELIGHTED to be part of the process – sharing what I can, encouraging others and watching the incredible results as people become more aligned with their TRUE selves.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my work now is to see the ‘ripple effect’ that repeatedly plays out through my work: I share MY story, then other people get inspired to make shifts in their lives and tell THEIR stories, which leads more people to make changes in THEIR lives and so on. Much like what Susan is trying to do with this website, amazingwomenrock.com

We never really know the full extent to which those ripples keep unfolding, and I find this so beautiful...and definitely worth all the late nights working on books, learning how to manage a website or answering emails...

And one thing I know for sure is that if I can make an amazing transformation like this, you can do it too.

Rawk on, Amazing Women!

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