Disease Proof

Susan Lost 220 lbs. in Less Than Two Years!

I first met Susan in the lobby of The Dr. Oz Show studio.  I had absolutely no idea that in less than two years she’d dropped 220 lbs. simply by following Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional approach to get rid of unhealthy food cravings and restore optimal health. I felt honored to have met her, because I’d never met anyone in person who’d ever lost that much weight. Her radical, life changing story is so inspirational whether one has 10 or 200 pounds to lose! Welcome to Disease Proof, Susan.  



What was your life like before discovering Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian approach?

Weighing 380 lbs was miserable; there are no words to adequately describe it. I recently found a notebook journal in the trunk of my car from my morbidly obese days. Written in it were a series of good days followed by a series of bad days, depending upon if I was following dieting rules or not. I had started many journals, and then I’d stop writing in them when I stopped the diet so I had many unfinished journals. My life was never about my children or being involved in my community. My life’s focus was always starting a new diet, following the rules, and journaling about it. Dieting and journaling consistently consumed my mental focus.

I was constantly fatigued; looking back I don’t even know how I went to work every day and raised four children. It was hard for my three older kids to have a morbidly obese mother, and because I hated myself so much I also hated my husband. One cannot love someone else if he/she doesn’t love himself/herself. I work in the medical field, and I was embarrassed to be so unhealthy. I couldn’t even climb a flight of stairs without being exasperated. I lived in daily fear of going to work and someone finding my dead body in the parking garage. 

Needless to say I had to wear an extension seat belt when flying, and I couldn’t put the tray down when eating a snack on the plane.  I’d developed high blood pressure and was taking medication for it. I also had abnormal EKGs and heart arrhythmias, and I was too large for many of the medical diagnostic machines. In the summer of 2010 I was diagnosed with diabetes, (I was in my late 40s) and I knew it was time to get serious about my health and make the necessary changes. My father died at age 58. He was obese, angry, and diabetic, and I refused to follow in his footsteps.  

[Susan was always heavy as a child. Her life was filled with dieting attempts that led to perpetual yo-yo weight gains and losses. She’d tried every fad diet imaginable. She even went to a filthy and unsanitary doctor’s office to get a seed placed in her ear; a form of acupressure that was supposed to reduce food cravings. Susan also tried hypnosis, and even succumbed to lap band surgery which she says was the biggest mistake she’s ever made in her life, because there are no happy endings with lap band surgery. She had the procedure reversed four years later and thirty pounds heavier. It was a nightmare. Having a lap band was continually painful, and she couldn’t even eat a salad with it in place.]


 How did you find out about Dr. Fuhrman?

About 20 years ago I needed a life insurance exam, and Dr. Fuhrman was one of the physicians that I could choose from. (I live in New Jersey). I was in my 30s and mother to three babies. During the exam he said to me, “You are going to suffer from a heart attack and die.” And I knew he was right. 

Then in 2004 I went to his medical office again for another exam. He was so sincere and helpful, and I knew he really cared for my health and well-being. He gave me a copy of his book, Eat to Live, and I went home and put it on the bookshelf. I didn’t look at it again until 2010 when I was officially diagnosed with diabetes. 


How do you feel now?

I feel so grateful, in spite of myself that my life has been spared and I got my health back. I’m also in love with my husband again, because I love and take care of myself now. I have energy, and I feel strong with 220 lbs off my body. Eating to live has literally saved my life and marriage! And my days and thoughts are no longer consumed with dieting and journal writing; whether I’m having a good day or bad day depending on the food choices for that day. I have so much more mental time now that I’m able to focus on new parts of my life. It feels like I’ve woken up from a life-long coma.

[Susan’s blood pressure dropped from an average of 150/100 (with medication) to 115/70 (without medication). And she no longer has diabetes! By the way, she lost the first 120 lbs in six months, and had all 220 lbs off in less than two years!]


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


  • Be prepared. Don’t ever wait until you are hungry to think about what you are going to eat for the next meal. Be proactive. Plan ahead for the next meal and even the next day. Meals should always be a calm experience, because they’ve been well planned. One should never be in a panic at meal time because the food has not been bought and prepared ahead of time. 

  •  In the beginning when you are first starting out give nutritarian eating a chance to work. Trust those that have done it and been successful – it really does work, and taste buds will eventually change! Everything will taste better! And realize how much common sense this way of eating makes. It’s not a fad. It’s eating the way our bodies were designed to eat. 


Congratulations Susan for losing 220 lbs and getting your health and life back ~ you are truly an inspiration to many! 

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Comments (37) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
mike rubino - June 22, 2013 11:42 AM

This is a great story . Good for you Susan , you look absolutely fantastic !!!!

Joe - June 22, 2013 12:37 PM

what a great comment about being prepared. If I can do that I think I will become much more successful.

Pauli - June 22, 2013 1:28 PM

Susan, congratulations on achieving what I am trying to achieve!! I'm struck by how your feeling for your husband changed after you got healthy. What a welcome side affect! I am wondering though about the first 120 lbs you lost in 6 months - did you still have the lapband in at that time or was it just by following ETL wholeheartedly? Because that is my goal, to lose 100 in less than one year.

Tracie - June 22, 2013 2:12 PM

You are a real inspiration. I am 100 pounds overweight with severe arthritis and on day 12 of total commitment to a nutritarian lifestyle. I am doing this one day at at time. Thank you for sharing your story and tips!

Victoria - June 22, 2013 2:22 PM

I am so glad to see this story. THIS is my story. I just finished a 1-year health coach training program, and Dr. Fuhrman's program is the one that resonated as the one that is appropriate for me. Not only that, four of my clients have all tried the Fuhrman Eat to Live Nutritarian program, and the two who consistently follow the program have had significant improvements in their health, measured and confirmed by clinical blood work.

The problem is, I am not following it consistently. I have issues like Susan has. And I want to be inspired to stay consistent. I am so glad Susan provided helpful tips on being prepared. That is where I ALWAYS slip up. Even though I am retired, I am constantly on the go and forget to pre-package my meals. While I always have a huge tupperware tray of pre-made salad in the fridge, other meals for the day are ignored and I'm often not home to eat.

Becky - June 22, 2013 2:28 PM

Susan, I loved your story. I relate in MANY ways to you. I was born heavy and have never known being a normal weight. I now weigh 343 and am exhausted and in so much pain. I also worry about dying suddenly. I recently began ETL and am going to read The End of Diabetes since I am diabetic.

The planning ahead is really my weakness. I was visiting a friend the other day who is slender. She says she keeps baggies full of fresh veggies in the bottom of her fridge so she doesn't end up snacking on unhealthy foods. Also, she packs food almost any time she will be gone for a length of time. She is always prepared! I'm learning lots from just being around her.

Sending my best to you Susan! You give me hope.

Cheryl - June 22, 2013 3:17 PM

You are so very inspiring! I am currently on Dr Furhman's 3 steps to incredible health program and I think it is the same or similar to ETL. I'm headed your direction and stories like yours keep me inspired. You're awesome :)

To the comment re her lapband, it says at the time she had it removed she had gained 30 lbs, before she started ETL. Hope this helps.

Susan W - June 22, 2013 6:47 PM

WOW! What lovely and supportive comments from all of you I can't say it enough, Eat to Live works, it makes sense, if you were a car and the mechanic told you to do this and in return you would have the most efficient worry-free vehicle you would probably do it no questions asked. Well, your body is your vehicle for the rest of your life, good nutrition will reward you in countless ways. I do believe that following this nutritarion lifestyle could change the entire healthcare industry. I will no longer contribute to the business of obesity ever again. So come on now, you can all do this! Keep me posted :)

Marsha - June 22, 2013 10:38 PM

Thank you so much for sharing these inspiring stories. I'm finding it so challenging to follow this program with my 4 children. These success stories always nudge me to keep trying. Thank you and congratulations Susan! So happy for you! Way to go on taking care of yourself. I would love to know what you eat on a typical day/week.

Susan - June 22, 2013 10:38 PM

Hello: I lost 10 lbs on this life style since February. I stoped loosing any more. Any sugestion?
How to sign up for your coaching program?



Emily Boller - June 23, 2013 4:51 AM


The following is a link to Dr. Fuhrman's Motivational Outreach Program (MOP) that has helped many achieve great success in overcoming emotional eating and food addiction:

All the best to you!

Carrie @ Carrie on Vegan - June 23, 2013 10:57 AM

Wow, what an incredible story! Congratulations, Susan, and thank you for your honesty in sharing your story!

Dorothy - June 23, 2013 5:21 PM

Fabulous story - a great inspiration.

Pam - June 23, 2013 10:00 PM

Susan, yours is an amazing story, and you look incredible. I'd love to know more about your journey. Do you belong to the member forum? If you have chronicled your story there at all, I'll re-join and go read it!

Thanks! Pam

Christina - June 24, 2013 9:16 AM

Susan, WOW! 120 lbs in 6 months?? That's what I have to lose! Did you follow the 6 week plan that entire time? I'd love to hit that by Christmas, and I have already lost 26 lbs.

Kristy - June 24, 2013 1:02 PM

Wow! What an inspiring story and you look great! I see so many people lose weight and look older. Everyone I see that loses weight in the ETL stories always look younger! I feel the same way in that I feel like every thought I have is about losing weight and I cannot focus on anything else. I hope I am able to wake up from this weight coma one day too!

Shannon Woods - June 24, 2013 11:14 PM

Susan, you are amazing!!! Thank you for your wonderful and inspirational story. I love Dr Fuhrman too! My results were not as amazing as yours, but I lost 45 lbs and I've kept it off now for 15 months. That's always the biggest thing isn't it - keeping it off?

Ria - June 25, 2013 4:36 AM

Susan, it was so great to read your story today. My daughter and I bought Dr Fuhrman's books and started following his guidelines five weeks ago. I was 53 kg (116 lbs) overweight and she had to lose 68 kg (150 lbs).
We've both lost 14 kg (30 lb) so far and can't believe the difference. Stories like yours just motivates us to stick it out, no matter how long it takes!
Congratulations, you look stunning!

DiaaK - June 25, 2013 7:15 AM

I love great stories like this! The best part about Dr. Fuhrman's way is that you're not supposed to feel hungry! Portion control and counting, counting, counting can drive you NUTS! If you're hungry, you should eat something. Case closed. Great job!

Trish - June 25, 2013 7:57 AM

Susan, you are an inspiration and a cause for great hope! I started where you did and have dropped 80 lbs so far but am struggling. Do you have a blog or website that gives more specific info about your experience?

Tracey - June 25, 2013 9:43 AM

Congratulations on your wonderful accomplishment! I prefer my vegetables raw. Must I eat the 1 lb of cooked? or is it ok to have most of my veggies raw? Is it ok to eat raw broccoli? I think this one is listed under ones to eat cooked.

thanks for your help

Jeanne - June 26, 2013 8:21 AM

Wow! I have to say your "after" pic looks like you could be the daughter to the woman in the first pic! You look terrific!

Nice to hear about how you fell in love all over again....very sweet!


Jenny - June 27, 2013 1:13 PM

Wow! What an incredible story. I am truly amazed how you took ownership and created such success for yourself. My hat is off to you.

Helen - June 30, 2013 12:32 AM

Great story Susan, well done! What an achievement. I do have a question regarding large weight losses following ETL. Is there any need for skin surgery after such losses?
And second question is, can you lose a reasonable amount of weight (weekly) before you embark on an exercise program/regime?

Very inspiring - I love this blog !

Thank you

OceansideGirl - June 30, 2013 7:15 PM

You look amazing, and I'm sure feel even better! I would also like to know if you stayed on the 6-week plan the whole six months? If not, what modifications did you make? I did the program for about 4 weeks right before my family came for the holidays and stayed for weeks, expecting the old cooking. I have had a terrible time getting back on track. I like your idea of meal planning, which I will start today! Thanks for the inspiration!

Sandra - July 2, 2013 10:48 AM

Hi all. I started the furhman eating plan 1 week ago. I lost 9 lbs and no more .Ive been faithful, has anyone else had this problem and overcome it. All of you big losers did you run into this problem?

Lyla - July 3, 2013 2:00 PM

Congratulations Susan!

I can't tell you how powerful and inspirational your testimony is. Thank you so much for sharing! It gives those of us on the beginning of our journies solid hope. How wonderful to know that there IS a way to get our health back! I am so grateful as well to Dr. Fuhrman for making this information available to the public.

Kimberley - July 3, 2013 8:35 PM

This is an excellent story. I am about to embark on my own weight loss journey after putting on weight from having a baby and then subsequent health problems afterwards. This story has given me that little more motivation to succeed.

Holly Levine - July 3, 2013 9:51 PM

Susan, you are an inspiration. I need to plan ahead more to avoid the problem of trying to throw a meal together at the last minute. Any organizational tips are appreciated!

LoisWynn - July 4, 2013 12:05 AM

Susan, your story is totally amazing. I also want to stop contributing to the business of obesity. I try to eat foods that are going to nourish and bless me, not harm and destroy me. I lack consistency and also need to be prepared for every meal. As the saying goes: if you fail to plan then you are planning to fail. God bless you!

Coleen Johnson - July 4, 2013 9:14 PM

Love your story! You look wonderful. I saw the PBS show and got interested in reading ETL. I started reading ETL the week before I went on vacation. I wanted to eat less processed food and more nutrient rich foods. I did breakfast and lunch the ETL way on vacation. Pretty much at dinner too. Beig in Florida I did eat fish. I couldn't belive how much better I felt just after that one week! I have continued and feel great! I lost five pounds on vacation. All I wanted to do was eat more healthfully! I will coninute this way of eating!!!!!!

Neil Butterfield - July 10, 2013 4:49 AM

That's incredible Susan. Well done, your results should inspire many overweight people to follow your example, big ups to you for your strength and for sharing your results.

Kris - July 11, 2013 9:22 AM

WoW! I must congratulate you Susan. Your story is very inspiring and a lot of people will surely be motivated by your hard work and efforts. I love reading successful stories like yours and thank you for sharing. Keep up your good works!

Dr Alexandra Solano - July 16, 2013 9:42 PM

Congrats Susan ! What an inspiration to others ! Keep up the good work.

Vivien - July 17, 2013 3:49 PM

Thank you for sharing your story. It is very encouraging for me, I am struggling ATM to keep to DR F's program, your story has encouraged me a lot.

Dr. Fuhrman Fan - July 31, 2013 1:21 PM

Congrats to Susan. I just switched over to eating the way Dr. Fuhrham, Dr. Ornish, Dr. MCdougall, etc. recommends. I don't have a weight problem, but I do have other health challenges. Although I have only been eating like this for 1 month now, I am starting to realize some amazing benefits in the way I feel. This motivates me to continue eating this way. No more junk fast food, meat, sweet sugary drinks, or diary for this guy. I do use very tiny amounts of meat as a condiment and I mean tiny. Eating healthy is not expensive at all (actually cheaper). The bulk of my diet now comes from eating delicious salads that I have learned to make.

Terry - August 12, 2013 8:13 AM

Congrats, Susan. I have just read the Diabetes book, and I AM GOING TO REVERSE MY TYPE II DIABETES!! Not just manage it, but REVERSE IT. Yay!! I have about 85 pounds to lose, with a huge belly, continual pain, muscle spasms, depression and more.

I am looking forward to good health. Thank you, Dr Fuhrman

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