My name is Bianca Taylor, and I am a certified personal trainer, also certified in plant-based nutrition. I went vegan in 2014, after competing in back to back bikini bodybuilding competitions and struggling with anorexia.
Growing up I was a competitive dancer and often struggled with my body image. I’ve always had a curvy structure and would feel insecure about my body because of the constant push from the media to be thin. I wad self-conscious about my hips and thighs and lack of abdominal muscles.
When I was 19 I decided to start weightlifting and eating healthier. My first trainer put me on a basic “chicken and broccoli” style diet and showed me my way around the weight room. I still wasn’t getting the results I desired, so I decided to prep for a bikini competition. I thought the strict structure and timeline would push me to take my body to the next level. I ended up on a low-carb diet for months, all through my bikini competition prep. After weeks of low carb dieting, I would compete in my bikini competition with a super low body fat percentage. As soon as I would step off stage, I would binge on fast food, sweets, and everything that I had restricted myself from for weeks. The binge would physically make me sick and next day I would feel extremely guilty and go back to my very strict low-carb diet, that left me hungry, unhappy, and unenergized. This unhealthy cycle of starve and binge became routine for me and warped my concept of food more and more. My weight fluctuated throughout the bikini prep seasons, and I didn’t have any idea how to have a healthy and fit lifestyle that I could maintain year round.
I thought that the only way to be lean and fit was to eliminate carbs, since that is what the diet and fitness industry advertises.
After competing in my last bikini competition, I fell into a deep depression and struggled to have any type of normal relationship with food. I was down to nearly 100 lbs, where as my normal weight was around 125-130 lbs. I had lost a lot of muscle mass that I had worked so hard for. I was terrified of carbs and fats, and stuck to eating a minuscule amount of chicken and veggies.
One day while cooking chicken, I looked down at my puppy and had a realisation that changed my life. I suddenly lost my appetite and began researching a plant-based diet. I was shocked by all of the information I can across about the agriculture industry. I went vegan that day and decided to dive into learning about plant-based nutrition. I learned that carbs weren’t the enemy, and that you can have a delicious and flexible lifestyle while working towards your goals.
I studied plant-based nutrition via eCornell alongside personal training from ISSA, so that I could help other people who wanted to have a healthy, vegan lifestyle and get fit. Over the past few years, I had trained with and alongside Olympians and professional bodybuilders, professional mixed martial artists, and other specialists that have also taught various train methods.
Since going vegan, I have gained much muscle and healed my relationship with food. I no longer stress over carbs but rather utilise them to fuel workouts. I spend my energy helping others and promoting something I am so passionate about. I never thought that plant-based diet would allow me to overcome anorexia, but it did. It’s made me stronger and healthier than ever, and taught me REAL nutrition.
I did have to unlearn what I thought I knew about dieting for fitness, but 4 years later, I can gladly say it has been the best decision of my life.