Since adopting a raw, vegan diet in 2012, Andrew Scott is now 130 pounds and Ashley Renee Chong is 119 pounds.

When Andrew Scott lost a bunch of weight off his 5-foot-8, 230-pound body in two months in late 2012, the rumors and speculation swirled.

Was he sick? Was he taking drugs? What’s wrong with him?

But it was none of the above.

Earlier in the year, his girlfriend, Ashley Renee Chong, had researched ways to lose weight before her sister got married and pinpointed her approach: a raw vegan cleanse diet, which then led to a plant-based vegan diet.

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“In all my research on health and nutrition, I kept hearing the same things over and over and it clicked. I knew I needed to try eating vegan,” says Chong, the American-born daughter of Jamaicans, her father being half Chinese and half African-American.

“At the time, the change was about losing weight, not being healthy.”

And it worked. The West Ashley High School graduate, who is now 23, has shed 130 pounds off her 5-foot-2 frame, going from 252 pounds to 119.

More than weight loss

But she noticed even more significant benefits. She felt energized. Her skin cleared up and was more radiant. Her thinking seemed sharper and more focused.

Now a convert, she began “preaching” to the man she loved and with whom she is now engaged to be married.

At first, Andrew would have nothing of it.

The couple had enjoyed eating “the standard American diet” and their favorite place to go on a date was Wild Wings Cafe, where Andrew usually ordered “Drew’s Devilishly Delicious Fried Chicken Sandwich” that comes with a side of “big, fat fries.”

At one point before adopting a vegan diet, Ashley Renee Chong’s 5-foot-2 frame weighed 252 pounds and Andrew Scott’s 5-foot-8 frame was 230 pounds.