Interview with a Nutritarian: Jessica

I first read Jessica’s story on the Member Center of DrFuhrman.com. I was thrilled to read it, because many of us wait until we are well into our middle age years or beyond to consider getting our health back. She sought the path early on as a young mother in her twenties, and is not only setting a great example for her family, but is now a role model for many others. Welcome to Disease Proof, Jessica.   

young mother who lost weight

Tell about yourself and the events that led up to getting your health back.

I am a 26-year-old mother of one, military wife and homemaker. Since childhood, I’ve always had an issue with my weight, self-image, nutrition, and energy levels. I was always fatigued, and regularly woke up more exhausted than when I went to bed the night before. Over time my allergies grew worse, and asthma induced by activity dominated my desire to exercise. I felt like a shell of a person.

In my early twenties I had a laundry list of prescription meds for everything: depression, migraine headaches, allergies (including 2 allergy shots/week and an inhaler); and a medication to wake me up in the morning and one to put me to sleep at night. I had the resume of a hypochondriac, only I wasn't one. Western medicine just kept throwing meds my way instead of looking at causes for the ailments. Doctors had me believing that, "These things just happen" for no apparent reason. They wanted me to take meds for the rest of my life.

After I had my son, the extra weight really hurt so I began seeking a different path. In my search, I thankfully discovered Eat to Live. The book was my inspiration, and helped guide me to lose 43 lbs in five months. [158 lbs to 115 lbs] I am now off all meds except for one allergy medication, which is being used less frequently. I have no migraines, acne, depression, and best of all the sleep disorder has completely vanished! 

 

How did you feel before starting ETL?

I felt empty. I was disgusted at myself for being so unhealthy at my young age. My life was out-of-control and I felt helpless. One minute I would have the strength to eat healthy, and the next minute I would cave in and eat junk food. The food addiction set me up for a ritualistic "try and fail" dance that chipped away at my self-worth.

 

How do you feel now? 

I’m jubilant now that I’m in control of my life! I’m in the driver’s seat instead of being the hijacked victim of food cravings. I can feel the difference immediately when I eat something that is full of nutrients, like romaine lettuce or a green smoothie. My skin even glows instead of being plagued with blemishes. I also go out more, because I don’t have to try on fifty different outfits; looking fat in all of them. 

Becoming a nutritarian has changed me from being sad, angry, and wishing I were somebody else to loving myself. I feel alive. I’m in tune with my body now, and I feel like I’ve been born into a whole new life that’s full of possibilities!

before and after portraits of female

Do you have any success tip(s) to share?

Yes, read Eat To Live, and then take the six-week challenge to see how much your toxic addictions have been running (and ruining) your life. In fact, keep learning and read all of Dr. Fuhrman’s books and articles. You will never regret it!

 

Congratulations Jessica! 

Interview with a Nutritarian: Scott

Can you imagine losing 333 lbs? Scott realized that bariatric surgery was not a solution for him, and after much research, embraced Dr. Fuhrman’s nutrient rich eating-style. He has an incredible story of hope; especially for anyone caught in the dark pit of morbid obesity. Welcome to Disease Proof, Scott.   

                              before and after picture of a male nutritarian

Tell about yourself and the events that led up to getting your health back.

Starting in puberty, I put on weight. Even though I was a competitive swimmer, rode my bike everywhere, and played pickup games of football and baseball, I still packed on the pounds.

Eventually I got married and became a stay-at-home Dad, which was a privilege, but also very isolating and lonely.  My weight increased dramatically, yet I denied the seriousness of the problem. However, one day I woke up and admitted that I had fallen directly into a huge, black pit. In November of 2005, I weighed 501 pounds.

I was unable to walk more than a few feet. My knees, lower back and feet suffered greatly, causing my independence of movement to be completely gone. My wife, who is a nurse, had to help me shower, dress, walk, etc., and consequently, I had no self-esteem. She also noticed that I had developed serious sleep apnea.

I went to three, different surgeons for consultations regarding the possibility of bariatric surgery, but couldn't and wouldn't commit to it.  The surgeries seemed like handing my problems over to someone else to fix. This was my problem and I had to solve it, or else live with the negative consequences. I chose to solve it.   

I read books and contemplated ways to get out of my precarious situation. In my quest, I discovered Eat to Live and decided to commit to it, because it’s not a diet to get to a certain goal weight, but about learning to take care of one’s health for life. Dr. Fuhrman’s teachings dovetailed perfectly into my plans to totally restructure my life. I found peace in doing simple things like cooking, biking, taking care of myself, and taking care of my family. By February of 2009, I had lost 333 lbs and got my health and life back. 

 

Before

After

Weight

501 lbs

168 lbs

Cholesterol

170

 65

Blood pressure

126/72

109/65

Resting heart rate

88

50

Body fat

62%

 8%

 

How did you feel before starting ETL?

A better question would be, “How did I possibly survive?"

Life was intolerable. Weighing as much as I did, I couldn’t move without a lot of pain and exhaustion. I stepped outside my house, at the most, four to six times a year; and only then at the begging of my wife and daughter. I would sit on the stoop for fifteen minutes, and then the stares would begin; whether real or imagined, it was deep, unending uncertainty and sadness.

 

How do you feel now?

I have a life. Physically I feel great. My wife even admits that she can’t keep up with me now.  

However, I also feel angry at times due to the scorn and ridicule against fat people, and the false hope and lack of understanding the dieting industry throws at them. When I was morbidly obese, I felt worthless, unclean, stupid, unacceptable, and rejected. I was judged according to my size; therefore, it produced a lot of resentment.   

Now, when I look in the mirror, I only recognize my eyes and teeth.  When I’m in public places, I am no longer noticed, because now I fit in and look “normal.” This prejudice still makes me mad. My mind seems unable to embrace the lack of stares now, because psychologically, I still feel like I weigh 501 lbs.

 

fit male with bikeTell us how you got involved in cycling and how much you ride now.

When I was a kid, I loved to ride my bike. Then it all came to an abrupt halt on my 16th birthday when driving became my “right of passage.” Consequently, my bike became a fading, dusty memory stored in back of the garage. 

To get my health back, I needed a way to exercise.  For me, biking made complete sense as it was a way to move around without further destroying what was left of my body. It also reconnected me with all the best parts of childhood; that sense of adventure and freedom.  It was, is, and always will be great for me. That first year I rode approximately 1,400 miles. Last year I rode 19,700 miles, and this year I’m shooting for 25,000.  Now, as a family, we do almost all errands via our bikes. Anywhere we used to go by car, we now take a bike. 

 

Do you have any success tip(s) that you’d like to share? 

  • First and foremost, find a way back to believing in your true and honest self. However, the path must work for you. Take and borrow suggestions from others, but until it becomes 101% yours, it's not going to stick.
  • Make a sacred pact to commit to this new lifestyle. Do it at any and all cost. This is the only way out.

 

 Congratulations Scott! We applaud you with a standing ovation! 

Excuses are Irrelevant

before and after pic of couple

Eating for health is a mindset. We make firm choices based upon correct information that’s been proven to restore health to the body.

However, if food choices are determined by our circumstances or fluctuating emotions, we will suffer the consequences of decisions that will never lead to optimal health.  

 

obese femaleWhen I first started the journey to get my health back, I was obese, unfit and didn’t feel well. It was an effort just to get out of bed in the mornings, let alone enthusiastically eat for health. I knew that if I was ever going to succeed, I had to have something simple and concrete to follow. 

After thoroughly studying Eat to Live, using a small font, I typed out the six week eating plan on page 179. I then printed off three copies, and laminated them at an office supply store. I kept one in my purse, one next to my bed, and one under a magnet on the refrigerator. The plan made all of my decisions. Period.

 

  • Those first couple of weeks I didn’t feel like eating romaine lettuce, collard greens or brussel sprouts. I followed the plan.
  • I was heavily addicted to salt, creamy cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, and crunchy peanut butter. I followed the plan. 
  • I craved diet cola and diet pudding. I followed the plan.
  • I was addicted to creamy ranch dressing. I followed the plan.
  • My bedtime snack was always a large bowl of cereal and milk. I followed the plan.
  • My son became seriously ill. I followed the plan.
  • Life suddenly became an out-of-control roller coaster. I followed the plan.  
  • He had to be transferred to another hospital in another state. I followed the plan.
  • I had to find my way around in a new city. I followed the plan.
  • I hit rock bottom with sadness and fear of the future. I followed the plan.  
  • The hospital cafeteria food looked comforting and inviting. I followed the plan.
  • The candy in the gift shop called out my name. I followed the plan. 

 

overweight femaleThree months later, back home, I got on the scales. Even though the picture on the left shows the strain of crisis on my face, I was forty pounds lighter; and more importantly, I was no longer addicted to toxic foods. I now craved fresh greens and fruits. Diet soda, diet desserts and salty foods tasted disgusting to me. I could walk for ½ hour every morning and evening, and feel great. My body was thoroughly refreshed after a good night’s sleep, and brain fog had completely disappeared.

The crisis eventually subsided. My body was well-nourished. I had newfound energy to try recipes. I had a bounce in my step to attempt challenging exercises. I knew I was well on the way to getting my health back. I was free.   

       

 

“Success or lack thereof is not based upon circumstances; therefore, excuses are irrelevant.”  Emily Boller