Interview with a Nutritarian: Mike

Recently Mike posted a thread titled, “Down 10 pant sizes!” on the member center of DrFuhrman.com.  I asked him if he’d be willing to be interviewed on Disease Proof to inspire others to get their health back also, and he graciously obliged to share his story.  Not only did he drop pants sizes, but also his bottles of medications.  Welcome to Disease Proof, Mike!   

before after pics of male nutritarian

What was your life like before discovering Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian eating-style?

Due to unhealthy eating habits, including eating out too much, I had been getting heavier and slowing down with each passing birthday. At age forty I weighed 165 lbs; at fifty I weighed 195 lbs; and at sixty I weighed 215 lbs.  I’d always been active at playing golf, surf fishing and cycling.  However, the extra weight made a walk around the golf course an adventure, surf fish very tiring, and small hills on bike rides seemed like pedaling the Alps.  I was also getting tired at work and needed stimulants to make it through the second part of each day. I was a fixture at the local chocolate shop as I needed a shot of chocolate to get me through the afternoons.
 
I was scared because I started having chest pains while climbing stairs, hiking hills on the golf course, and in stressful situations. One day I encountered difficulty swallowing, followed by chest pains which landed me in the hospital. I ducked a heart attack, but tests revealed that my left descending lower artery was 50% blocked so they started me on aspirin, blood pressure meds and statins.


How did you find out about ETL?

I’d given up smoking in the mid 80’s and tried Pritkin, McDougall, and a few others to get healthy, but they required a lot of food preparation so I eventually quit following them.  When I got home from the hospital, I wanted to see if there was anything “new” on the market for healthy eating so I scoured the book section of the local health food store and discovered The China Study and Eat to LiveEat to Live was just what I was looking for: simple to shop for and prepare, with very little clean up.  This was perfect for me as I worked and wanted to be able to do most of the shopping, prep and cleaning myself. 

I visited Dr. Fuhrman for the first time in January 2009.  After I was weighed and measured (including my waist size and level of nutrients in my body), he clearly explained to me that I needed to follow the “straight and narrow” and lose a lot of weight pronto, or else suffer the consequences.  He told me that the extra fat on my mid section was probably as much responsible for my artery blockage as my cholesterol, because that fat produces plaque; an important reason not to be overweight!  I decided to listen to Dr. Fuhrman as he made a lot more sense to me than the cardiologist who was only interested in my cholesterol and blood pressure. 

 

How do you feel now?

ETL has given me 10 to 15 years of my life back!  I’m now off of all meds (statins and blood pressure lowering meds), and I feel better, look better, and think better than ever before; plus, I have the additional confidence that I’ll live a long and healthy life devoid of needing to see a cardiologist again!  I also don’t have to worry about developing diabetes (it runs in my family) or having a stroke, and eating lots of cruciferous vegetables, fruits and beans greatly reduces my risk of getting cancer. From a mental perspective this is huge as I’m a big believer that actively doing something is akin to moving forward under fire, and increases confidence and outlook on life. 

[At age 63, Mike recently finished a 102 mile bike ride in 6:10; and over Memorial Day weekend he completed a sixty mile ride with an “A” team of cyclists, and was able to hang with the group for the entire time.  He finds this to be unbelievable, because two years ago he was afraid to ride to with “C” cyclists, because he didn’t think that he could keep up with them.  Now he’s approached by some of the top riders and asked, “What’s the name of that book you told me about?”!]

 

 

before

now

Weight

216 lbs

158 lbs

Waist measurement

  43”

  33”

Blood pressure

145/90 (with meds)

115/70 (no meds)

Cholesterol

165 (105/35 ratio)

125 (60/45 ratio)

 

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

Nutritarian eating is a simple and healthful way to eat that combats all major and chronic diseases killing modern man . . . so go for it!  You won’t be sorry!
 
Also, when I first read Dr. Fuhrman’s claims, and even after I’d met him, I wasn’t so sure if I was being taken as it seemed too simple: Greens to the rescue? No meds? No fancy formulas?  All these things sounded too good to be true, but I found everything to be true! 

Don’t wait for fear of a heart attack to be motivated to change!

 

Congratulations Mike ~ we applaud you for getting your health back!

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!