“My strength comes from the Lord”

Sarah LovegroveBy: Sarah Lovegrove

I am 17 years old and live on a small island in Australia called Kangaroo Island. It is renowned for its unique natural country and produce. Food has always been part of my family and large extended family. We often gather together and have fatty meals based on meat, cheese, eggs, you name it. As a result, I learned to love and appreciate food.

In 2015, my uncle was suffering from thyroid problems and stumbled across the film Forks over Knives and decided to try the diet. The changes helped him and so he shared it with us.

Even before my uncle shared this diet with it, I had always felt that we were not living the Word of Wisdom to its fullness, but I continued to consume animal products. After I watched Forks Over Knives I turned to the Word of Wisdom and read it again. Reading the Word of Wisdom convinced me to change.

When I announced to my family the changes I was making, they were fine with it, but they were not willing to change, so I faced changing my diet alone, except I had the help of Heavenly Father and our Savior. So that’s how it began. I did (and still and do) a lot of research, finding books and helpful websites to teach myself.

Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island

Because I am the only one in my family eating the way I do, this diet has proven difficult, but not impossible. I try to prepare minimally refined foods. I eat a lot of fruit, bread, tempeh, and vegetables. I’m still working on meals with beans. My tastes have changed, and I am enjoying the pleasures of taste in ways I never thought were possible. I find I prefer wholesome and plant-based.

My appreciation for my body and this beautiful world have grown immensely. I have never been obese, but I’ve never skinny. Eating this way, I am definitely losing weight, and I feel lighter and better. My mind is clearer, and I can run unwearyingly.

Sometimes I am tempted to revert back to my old ways because of the divide between my family and me. But I remember I am trying to please God and not my family. When I’m tempted to turn back, I think of all the effects that I’ve felt from meat and dairy: I felt awful and sickly. When running, sometimes even just standing, I would almost “faint.” Not anymore!

My mum recently learned she has cancer, the early stages of melanoma. I know that the way I’m eating will help protect me against such harms. My strength comes from the support of the Lord and knowing that I must stick to what is right to the best of my understanding.

Kangaroos on Kangaroo Island

Kangaroos on Kangaroo Island

My grandparents have just recently adopted a similar diet and when I stay with them they share that food with me. I also have some support from another uncle and aunty who have adopted a similar diet. In our Church branch we also have a member who was already vegan. He consumes no animal products whatsoever.

Our bodies are a sacred gift from our Heavenly Father, and we should show him that we are grateful by taking care of them holistically. I am grateful that as a young woman in my late teens I have discovered these things to be true.

 

Sarah Lovegrove was born in South Australia. At age 17, she is currently studying as a year 12 student. She is one of three siblings and has an extended family of approximately 20 people on her father’s side and 40+ people on her mother’s. Sarah loves music, especially singing. The gospel means everything to her, and she loves to ponder the gospel principles.

Comments

  1. Sarah: You are setting a good example for your family! I know our Heavenly Father will continue to bless you as you try to do the things that are right. By taking care of the body He has given you, you’ll be blessed in many ways and enabled to do much good in your life. Thank you for your courage and generosity in sharing your story!

  2. So happy for you to have found this way of healthy living/eating so young..You will,and are being blessed..I commend you for your strength..

  3. Sarah, thank you for posting your conversion story to living a healthier life. It was inspiring, and so nice to hear that, not only ‘oldies’ like myself, but young people are also grasping the importance of good diet to better living.

    Jane, you recently did a Meridian article on seniors who have changed to a WFPB diet. Sounds like it would be a good idea to also do one on younger people who, early in life, grasp the importance of eating healthy. Imagine, having adopted a good diet so early in life, the advantages they will have once they become seniors. Your Dad, in one of the comments, mentioned that he feels like he’ll be part of the millennial generation. I, too, feel the same way. Now, imagine young people, like Sarah. Will death be a stranger in their time?

  4. Sarah, what an good example you are to your family. I know how hard this is to eat this way when no one else you associate with eats like this.
    I hear a lot of family and friends say to me,”are you still eating this way”? Why? It hasn’t helped me lose the last 10-15 pounds I’d like to lose, and I am constantly going through healing crises, but I do it because it is pleasing to the Lord. I’m really proud of you. I’m 68 and just getting around to this life style, where as you are 17. Way to go! You will be truly blessed and the destroying angel will pass you by.. Hang in there and remain strong.. What an example.

  5. Sarah, I was very touched by your story, and especially by “But I remember I am trying to please God and not my family”. That helped me a lot to remember where my focus should be. Bless you!

  6. Thanks for your article . It was very good . Sorry to here about your mum . I came across a very interesting video last week . It was called the truth about cancer . Would recommend you Google it . Good luck Charlie .

  7. Sarah, I admire you at your young age having made such an courageous change as you explained in what you submitted to my daughter, Jane above:

    “Sometimes I am tempted to revert back to my old ways because of the divide between my family and me. But I remember I am trying to please God and not my family. When I’m tempted to turn back, I think of all the effects that I’ve felt from meat and dairy: I felt awful and sickly. When running, sometimes even just standing, I would almost “faint.” Not anymore!”

    May the Lord continue to helping you to be such a great example to others as you now are.

  8. Sarah, like Jane’s father I admire you for finding the correct way of eating at your age. If you continue eating this way your whole life I have no doubt that you’ll live to a ripe old age and have a wonderful quality of life too. I was converted to the Church at age 17 myself but didn’t take the Word of Wisdom very seriously (at least not the food part of it) and began gaining weight at just about the same time until weighing nearly 400 lbs. at age 57. I had gastric bypass surgery in 2004 and lost a lot of weight, getting down to 236 lbs. but then stopped losing because I reverted back to the same old eating habits, eventually getting back up to around 300 lbs. (At 5’9″ I should weigh around 170.) I recently found Jane’s book and website and consider it a great miracle in having done so. Therefore I’m just now beginning my journey into truly keeping ALL of the Word of Wisdom. Thank you for your inspiring story.

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