I Lost 180 Pounds After Going Vegan

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Posted December 18, 2014 by peta2 staff

Written by guest blogger, Anja Oberhammer, peta2 Tour Administrator. 

About three years ago, I got a phone call from a good friend of mine urging me to go vegan. I was 20 years old, working in an office, and volunteering at a local dog rescue at the time. My friend was blunt.”You save animals every day, yet you’re eating the body parts of cows, pigs, and chickens,” she said.

I couldn’t deny that she was right. And as I hung up the phone, I realized that I couldn’t be living my beliefs if I wasn’t vegan. I also weighed 342 pounds at that point—I definitely wasn’t the shining vision of health.

Anja before she went vegan

I never thought that going vegan could be the answer to my fluctuating weight and that in my quest to help my animal friends all over the globe, I would end up in the best shape of my life—but as I sit here typing this, I weigh about half of what I did then.

Anja before and afterFrom that night on, I wanted to be a reasonable, healthy model of what veganism could represent to other young people. And even though I’m not juicing every day (heck, on some days, I don’t eat nearly enough green veggies) and I probably eat pizza and burritos more than most people, every meal I do eat is completely guilt-free.

my #wcw. I'm passionate about pizza.

A photo posted by anja misenko (@literalstranger) on

I’m now 23, and I love animals much more than I ever thought possible. I’m stronger and have muscles that I’ve built with healthy beans, tofu, and lots of Beyond Meat “chicken” strips!

anja muscle

I started working out not long after going vegan. I found that I was suddenly full of energy, which I hadn’t had in years, and I just wanted to move. I was heavily inspired by the number of athletes who are vegan, women and men alike. I can’t claim that my results are the norm, but I can easily credit changing my body with plant-based eating.

peta2 How to Go Vegan infographic button

I saw how my vegan lifestyle was benefiting every aspect of my life, and I knew that I could never go back to eating animal products. I’m a voice for voiceless beings everywhere, and I can easily say that it’s the best feeling in the world. I went vegan for the animals, but I also lost and kept off more than 180 pounds—it’s easily the best thing I’ve ever done for both animals and myself.image2

Get inspired! I urge you to check out Earthlings, Forks Over Knives, and all the great video interviews and investigations on We all have the ability to change—sometimes you just have to take the leap!

To help you get started, click here to order peta2’s free Guide To Going Vegan!

peta2's "Guide to Going Vegan"

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  • Profile photo of xoSienna

    675 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]


    I remember meeting you at a BVB concert at the peta2 table! We had a good conversation and you were super cool! You are such an inspiration!

  • 675 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]


    Anja embodies what it means to give your life a positive purpose. If you´re one of the countless kids who met her during her tour ´cross the country you probably still remember the infinite energy she has when it comes to promoting animal rights and making people understand how wrong it is to exploit wonderful beings. Anja, Never give in. Never burn out. Never fade away. Always stay as strong as your are.

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