Hi everyone! My name is Ashley, I'm 23 and an extremely new to being vegan. Back in 2010 I had my daughter. I was always skinny in high school and being a young mom I was determined to be back to high school skinny within 6 months of having my daughter. That did not happen. I was in an emotionally abusive marriage and all I wanted to do was sit on the couch, cry, eat nothing but junk food and feel sorry for myself. I was one of those people that didn't realize how big I was until years had passed and I finally started losing weight then saw pictures of myself. In January of 2012 I decided it was time to lose weight and start living a healthy lifestyle. 150 lbs on my 5'2 frame was not flattering. I decided I was divorcing my husband and moving on with my life to begin my journey of healthier living. I started by cutting out soda (I drank anywhere between 5-8 cokes a day!) and I dropped 20 lbs almost instantly. I didn't really work out because I was proud of my progress. I ended up meeting a really awesome guy who is now my boyfriend who was a personal trainer and body builder for 5 years. He hasn't done anything in quite some time due to several injuries he had from both bodybuilding as well as a car wreck and my weight went back up to 150 in march of 2012 because we were hanging out and eating whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. I began haring myself again and went about losing weight the wrong way- by only eating once a day. For the next few months after that my weight slowly dropped until I was at 130 and I hit a plateau. My boyfriend is a huge animal lover and made the decision to become vegetarian in October of 2012, I tried at the same time but wasn't really ready to commit so I caved on Thanksgiving. My boyfriend continued the vegetarian lifestyle and lost so much weight! ( he started at 180 and by march of 2013 was at 225!) So march came around and I made the decision to become vegetarian. We also joined a gym and began to workout. Now here we are and just 2 weeks ago we made the transition into veganism. It's been such a learning experience and I love this lifestyle. We haven't been to the gym since June due to some back problems my bf has been having and him not being able to work full time so money has been tighter than normal. I have an itch to get back in and recently (the past month or so) have been reading boards on here and researching on becoming a fitness model. My goal is to be competing in 2 years from now. I'm so new to this and that may seem like a lot of time, but I know that I'll have to start slow. The first step I've taken so far is to make sure I'm drinking at least a gallon of water a day. Then once I achieve that for at least two weeks and know I can do it continuously ill start on my workouts and dieting. I look forward to participating in this awesome community and having the help and support I'll need to start this new chapter of my life.