Interview with a Nutritarian: Gary

On January 2, 2010, Gary was fed up with being an unhealthy artist and art professor so he attended a New Year’s Eat to Live Kick Off that I hosted in my hometown. Something “clicked” that day that permanently transformed Gary’s thinking about nutritarian eating, and he’s now on the path to long term, weight loss and health success. Welcome to Disease Proof, Gary!


obese "before" pictureWhat was your life like prior to discovering Eat to Live?

I was addicted to food, especially sweets and desserts. I would overeat and get seconds and thirds until I was absolutely miserable. I was also, at one point in my life, about 75 lbs overweight.


What motivated you to get your health back?

I’ve always been an unhealthy eater and packed on the pounds at an early age.  In my 20’s I took up bicycling which helped me lose about 40 lbs, but I didn’t have good eating habits established to maintain the weight loss. After a bike ride I would reward my efforts with junk food. 

Then I began working full time, going to college and taking care of my family.  Due to lack of time I quit riding my bike and put all the weight back on.  During my first teaching position as an art professor, I continued to gain weight so I joined Weight Watchers and lost 60 lbs.  Eventually I put most of the weight back on.  Then I met you [Emily] through some friends and was inspired by your weight loss story.  I read Eat to Live and was impressed with the health and nutrition facts in the book.  It gave me the necessary encouragement to lose weight again, because I was motivated to live a healthy and long life without medication.  I followed the six week plan in Eat to Live and experienced tremendous results in weight loss and well-being.  However, I began to get comfortable and lax, and gained a lot of the weight back.  Then on January 2 of this year, I attended the Eat to Live Kick-Off event that you hosted in Fort Wayne.  I heard real life testimonies from nutritarians, and was inspired to earn my health back once again.

One thing that you said that day that stuck in my mind was, "You can't do this with one foot in nutritarian eating and the other foot in the standard American diet.  You have to go all the way." I knew that I had to jump in with both feet in order to permanently succeed.  That was about four months ago, and I am happy to say that I’ve jumped in all the way for the rest of my life. I’ve continued to educate myself on healthy eating and getting the right nutrients, and I’m now at a weight that I have never seen in my life; at least since I began weighing myself years ago.


How did you feel before starting ETL?

I felt blasé’ and was self-conscious about my appearance.  I had absolutely no energy and had trouble staying focused.


How do you feel now?

I am energetic and feel great!  I am back to riding my bike almost everyday, and I’m even planning a long distance bike trip this summer.

In addition to bicycling, I’ve started doing push-ups every night. When I started I was lucky to accomplish two push-ups. Now I am up to doing two sets of 30. I hope to get to 100 without stopping by the end of summer.

                                         Before weight:  260 lbs                        

                                        Current weight: 173 lbs

 before and after pictures

Success tips that you’d like to share with others in the journey to health:

  • Don't go half way... go all the way. 
  • Get radical about it and lose the excuses!
  • Read, study and get educated on health and nutrition. Read Dr. Fuhrman's book, Eat to Live, and Dr. Campbell’s book, The China Study
  • Learn to cook. You can't succeed at this eating lifestyle with fast food and microwaveable processed crap.  You have to learn to control the food that goes into your mouth. I’ve learned to enjoy cooking and trying new, creative recipes.
  • Learn the value of regimen. We live in a culture that is flooded with choices. Learn to limit choices; by establishing healthy boundaries anyone can succeed!


If you could sum up what nutritarian eating has done for you, what would it be?

I want to live to be a hundred years old without medications or radical medical intervention, and I want to still be riding my bike at that age. I now believe I can do this; I now have the tools to make this a reality!


Congratulations Gary for taking the plunge and jumping in with both feet for life!

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Comments (7) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Ginger - May 12, 2010 11:12 AM

Hurrah for you. I think you're right. It's all about doing--action.

Michelle - May 13, 2010 6:37 AM

I read this story yesterday and just didn't get time to comment. Very impressive and inspiring Gary. Thanks so much for sharing your success. Would love to more about your general daily eating and exercise as you started. Are you still following the 6 week plan? Such a huge change in such a short time - I am amazed!

carfree - May 13, 2010 4:10 PM

You look so much healthier, Gary. I also love the way the picture is posed each time... blue cup and all!

LaurieInOklahoma - May 13, 2010 4:20 PM

Gary, many congratulations!

I, too, like that comment about one can't do this with one foot in nutritarian eating and one food in the standard American diet. I'm glad you had that statement to inspire you.

You will inspire many more people. Enjoy that healthy life of yours!


Gary - May 14, 2010 10:34 AM

About my general daily eating: I have basically just stuck with the 6 week plan. I only eat plant based foods: "greens and beans". I always eat the same thing for breakfast: old fashion oats, spoonful of flaxseed, some crushed walnuts, cinnamon, blueberries, banana, soy milk. The biggest change for me is in the area of cheese and sweets (I was addicted to these things)... since I am pretty much an all or nothing kind of guy I just cut them out completely. I have found great ways to satisfy my sweet tooth by eating more fruits. I also now allow myself some dried fruit: raisins, figs, dates (have you tried the Larabar? I make my own). At night I used to eat ice cream, now I just cut up some fruit and nuts and now that I am over the addiction of processed sweets my tastebuds love the fruits. As for exercise: I ride my bike whenever I can: I commute to work usually 2 to 3 times a week (about 12 miles each way). Also, I do body weight exercises in the evening: push-ups, lunges and some curls and shoulder press with a small dumbbell. Hope this helps.

Leanne - May 17, 2010 1:50 AM

Oh, Gary - your story is so familiar to me. But congratulations!

I'm on Eat To Live (the Six Week Challenge) again, after losing heaps of weight four years ago. Then I got slack too, and this last six months saw me put a lot of it back on suddenly (though, thankfully, nowhere near all!), when dairy became a feature of my diet.

Maybe I was just foolish, or maybe I needed the shock of seeing the wobbles on my stomach, but I've learned my lesson! I'm back on Eat To Live, and I'm there for good. You're so right - you can't be "half healthy".

I'm putting my health first - and I'm fully expecting to be back down to my perfect weight within a couple of months.

StephenMarkTurner - May 20, 2010 11:10 AM

I had to look up the Larabar. They seem to be actually made of real food (some tout the "benefits" of coconut oil), but they are mostly nuts/seeds and fruit. I think DrF has/had something like this as well.


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