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! 

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Comments (17) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Elisa Rodriguez - March 18, 2010 7:55 AM

Wow! What an inspiring story. Thank you for sharing Scott and Emily.

Cindy - March 18, 2010 8:32 AM

Scott, thank you for sharing your story. It needs to be told to encourage others who feel trapped in similar situations. It is equally important for normal-weight people, to recognize unconscious prejudices. I hope you will continue to share your story (as Emily shares hers) so more obese people will realize that there is a solution other than bariatric surgery. I'm sure your family is thrilled and very proud of you, and your determination and strength has set a powerful example for your kids and others around you.

mike rubino - March 18, 2010 8:47 AM

Great story!

Sighle - March 18, 2010 9:47 AM

What an awesome testimony! Congratulations, Scott, on your fantastic weight loss.

Your words are so true, Scott. The scorn and ridicule against fat people is terrible. It is amazing how our society judges according to size.

Behind all the fat, there is a human being, usually hurting, with feelings and emotions.

Scott, the fact that you refused bariatric surgery and claimed your weight problem as your own problem to resolve is very insightful. I think business is capitalizing on the obesity problem in our country and profiting hugely!

isabel - March 18, 2010 9:54 AM

congratulations scott! what a fantastic journey. i appreciate your dedication and determination to get healthy when such a daunting goal was ahead of you.

Elijah Lynn - March 18, 2010 10:47 AM

Wow! That is truly amazing. What an inspiration Scott is. It is interesting to see the psychological comments he made during the interview. Many peole don't think about those things and I certainly wouldn't have thought about it.

Great job Scott!

earthchick - March 18, 2010 10:57 AM

I've been excitedly anticipating this interview. Scott, you are such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story.

Miriam - March 18, 2010 11:20 AM

I loved reading this amazing story! Scott's example could help so many obese people today. How many obese people are turning to surgery in this country today? This is a wonderful example of how to loose weight the right way! Thanks for the story and the tips that were shared!

Betty - March 18, 2010 1:04 PM

Great read!!
I am super excited for you to have your life back!! :)

I realize morbidly obese persons are hurting. I don't want
to hurt anyone. I do want to offer hope though, to those
I care about. I would love a comment on this.
My daughter-in-law's Mother is the person on my mind.
Her physical life is useless. Yet, is it my place to offer any advice? I know she is miserable. I know she has been badgered by her children to lose weight. She just gets hurt by this. I would love for her to have the ability to enjoy life again. So would her only daughter.

Your thoughts would be appreciated. I will highly respect what you have to say, as I know you know where she is coming from.

Again, congrats! :)

jo - March 18, 2010 4:54 PM

your story is amazing, it really brought tears to my eyes, its wonderful to know you got your life back and will have such happy times with your family.

Horsecrazy - March 18, 2010 7:06 PM

What a story Scott!! I am so thrilled for you - and for your family as well. I hope many others in your situation will read this and realize there is hope and it is possible to lose weight in a healthy way rather than surgery!

Kathy - March 18, 2010 7:36 PM

WOW!!! Congratulations Scott!! OMG!! Scott, have you met Rebecca? If my math is correct, do you realize yours and Rebecca's combined weight loss total is OVER a 1/4 of a ton!!! To think you both INDIVIDUALLY weighed a quarter of a ton to start with! ASTONISHING!!!! I sit in awe at such accomplishments. THANK YOU for sharing your story with us. Dr. Fuhrman must be so proud of you Scott (and Rebecca). You and Rebecca need to get on Oprah with Dr. Fuhrman before she goes off the air. You could easily make the word "nutritarian" world known! The lives you both could impact, change and save! AMAZING does not even start to describe such achievements! Again, THANK YOU!

Matt - March 18, 2010 7:37 PM

"Make a sacred pact to commit to this new lifestyle. Do it at any and all cost. This is the only way out." -- this is exactly what I needed to read, thank you. Very few people would be as credible as you in making giving that advice. Congratulations on transforming your life! Truly inspirational. Thanks again.

marci - March 18, 2010 8:37 PM

Scott, what a wonderful story - thanks for sharing it and all the insights about your life prior to ETL! I was struck by your comment about being a stay-at-home dad and how isolating and lonely it was. For decades, stay-at-home moms have suffered the reproach for gaining weight, and I saw myself in your statement! Thanks for the insight. Keep up the good work!

Lonnie S. - March 18, 2010 11:22 PM

Scott,

Thank you for sharing your story. I have an Uncle whose weight and health is very similar to your before pictures and story. He is considering surgery too. I want to share your story with him. I'm hoping that he will embrace ETL and the help and change it can bring.

I'm happy for you and your family. Lonnie S.

Steve - March 19, 2010 4:26 PM

Someone I work with looks like they could be 500 pounds too. I wish I could say or do something to help them but don't know how, without sounding unaccepting of the way they are... Is it possible for someone to weigh 400 or 500 pounds and be happy with that? She complains about pain in her knees and often walks with the aid of a shopping cart.

Roia - January 18, 2011 10:01 AM

Thank you for your honesty, Scott. I think anger is a very powerful part of overeating, and those of us who have made a commitment to lose excess weight truly struggle with that, and a whole host of other, emotion(s). The other issue you bring up is the difficulty, once we've lost weight, in (literally) seeing ourselves (and being seen) at the present weight. I think it is one of the many factors that keeps us overweight to begin with and that contributes to the challenge of keeping the weight we've lost off! It is, indeed, a sacred commitment. Again, thank you, and may you continue to heal and come to terms with your new body.

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