Introducing Stephanie


 before portrait of obese female

Preface:  Over the next year or two, I'll be following the weight loss journey of Stephanie, age 39, who is 200% committed to getting her health back.  Her husband died recently and she’s currently raising four young children under the ages of nine, plus attending nursing school.  Stephanie has courageously volunteered to share her thoughts and medical stats with DiseaseProof readers as she undertakes the journey to optimal health.  Welcome Stephanie!


Why have you chosen to commit to nutritarian eating?  I currently weigh 398 lbs (5’10”) and I’m tired all the time.  I cry a lot and get easily irritated and aggravated.  My knees hurt, I have constant headaches and acid reflux.  My local doctor feels that I’m unable to lose weight on my own and is urging me to have gastric bypass surgery.  I want to play at the park, ride bikes and be a fit and healthy mother for my children.  Most importantly, I want to BE HERE for them.

What are some of the events in your life that have led you to this point?  I’ve been overweight my entire life, but have steadily added more pounds each year; especially after having babies.  Last year my husband died after a battle with congestive heart failure and a failed heart transplant.  In an instant, I became a 38-year-old widowed mother of four children ages eight to three, and the stress has been overwhelming.  During this past year I have been diagnosed with premature osteoarthritis in both knees, high blood pressure, ADHD, and major depression. 

Describe a typical day for you:  My alarm goes off at 6:45 am, but I hit the snooze button four times before I drag myself out of bed.  I struggle to pull myself together and prepare the kids’ breakfasts and get them off to school.  I plan my day by prioritizing how much energy and/or steps it will take to do an activity.  It’s difficult to do much with my children, because I’m unable to move fast due to my size. 

                                           I feel like I’m a prisoner in my own body. 

                                     front and side profile pic of obese female

  • Weight  398 lbs.
  • BMI  57.1
  • Blood pressure  140/100
  • Waist measurement  58”
  • Cholesterol  180
  • Triglycerides  98
  • HDL  48
  • LDL  112
  • Fasting blood sugar  87
  • currently taking anti-depressants, amphetamines for ADHD, and medication for urinary incontinence

Stephanie’s “official” starting date is November 1,  2009, and I’ll be posting her progress updates the first week of every month.  We are cheering for Stephanie and wish her all the best as she takes this courageous step to get her health and life back!    


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Comments (35) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Carol - November 1, 2009 7:33 AM

Oh, Stephanie...I'm praying for you and your situation...and for the great turn-around you're going to be experiencing!!!
I'm so proud of you for making this decision...for not letting the turmoil win!!
I've been a nutritarian since July...huge changes for the better have happened...constant pain, most of the incontinence and trouble being on my feet for more than an hour are more of having to, like you, plan my level of activity due to being "done in" for a day or two afterwards. I'm 5'9" and started this weighing 345 lbs w/a 55" waist...I now weigh 272 lbs and have a 48" waist...
I've been on Paxil CR for clinical depression for years...not sure when that will change...but I'm so thrilled to be at this point of my own journey...God bless you and your kids!!!

Karen Harris - November 1, 2009 7:42 AM

I am so sorry for all you have gone through up to this point. You can do this, Stephanie and will eventually feel so much better when you lovingly care for your body and feed your body the fuel it needs. Right now it will take effort to make the lifestyle changes you need, but we're cheering you on!

Sara - November 1, 2009 9:02 AM

We will be cheering you on Stephanie. It is definitely worth the effort. Emily- can you put Stephanie in touch with Becka. Becka would know exactly where Stephanie is coming from.

Stephanie - November 1, 2009 10:12 AM

Oh, this is a good idea!

Good luck, Stephanie!!!! You can do it; I promise!

Nancy - November 1, 2009 10:25 AM

Awesome Stephanie!

I'll be rooting for you! I know this is the best possible way for you to regain your health and life back. You can do this one day at a time.

Thank you Emily for introducing us to Stephanie and for posting her progress. She'll be an inspiration to so many as you have been with your success.

Hayley - November 1, 2009 10:38 AM

I am cheering for you Stephanie!

Vegan Epicurean - November 1, 2009 11:01 AM

Stephanie you can absolutely do this!

When we started following "Eat to Live" a few years ago it was initially difficult only due to the fact that it was such a big change. However, after a month it was easy and second nature. The best part is that my husband and I feel so much better, don't get colds and have tons more energy. Last month my husband's total cholesterol was 155 (unmedicated) and it had been 280 before "Eat to Live". Even my seasonal allergies went away. The benefits of this plan go way beyond weight loss.

Stop by my blog if you need any encouragement or recipe ideas. Most of what I cook would works on the plan and the remainder is still healthier than the Standard American Diet if you need some ideas for your family.

I will be pulling for you. You can do this!


Lynne (Horsecrazy) - November 1, 2009 11:05 AM

Emily - I know with your support Stephanie will be successful in her quest for better health and weight loss. You are such a great example for her.

Stephanie - this nutritarian lifestyle is, without a doubt, the best way to lose the weight you want and gain your health so you can enjoy life and be around a long time for your children. I am so sorry for you loss of your husband!

LaurieInOklahoma - November 1, 2009 11:12 AM

Wishing Stephanie all the best! I'm so sorry she lost her husband, and about the situation she faces---but I'm thrilled for her that she has found a wonderful answer to the health component of her problem. I applaud her for undertaking this journey, and sharing it with us. Thank you, Stephanie!

isabel - November 1, 2009 11:54 AM


Congratulations on taking this first big step! You've got a cheerleader right here for you. YOU CAN DO IT!

I'm so excited to see the journey unfold!

All the best and never give up


Libby - November 1, 2009 4:27 PM

Stephanie, I truly wish you well. As a mother, you are the most important role model for your children. You are already there for them; now they will see you making even better choices. You will all benefit so much, even just from the effort, even if you have set backs. They will learn that your health - and theirs - is worth it. I'm doing my best to teach my kids the same, and I appreciate you sharing your journey.

Take good care.

Stefania - November 1, 2009 6:26 PM

Looking forward to reading about your progress.

Choosing to take care of yourself is a wonderful journey. Your children will thank you for being around for them but your body will thank you even more.

Eco Mama - November 1, 2009 7:58 PM

You can do it Stephanie!
Eco Mama

Sharon Shaw - November 1, 2009 11:02 PM

You WILL do it! You already ARE an inspiration! It won't always be easy, but we are rooting you on all the way!!

CJ - November 2, 2009 2:15 AM


I will be following your progress closely knowing you will be so excited with the results.

Best to you and yours.


Katie - November 2, 2009 4:47 AM

We are rooting for you Stephanie! You are so brave to put yourself out there and I know you will do so well on this plan. You are dealing with so much and you deserve so much credit for opening up about what you are going through.

Lisa Clark - November 2, 2009 7:44 AM

Hi Stephanie, I'm so proud of you for taking this big step, but I know you can do it. You are a very special, strong woman. You are an inspiration to us all in many ways!

Linda - November 2, 2009 10:35 AM

Best wishes for you Stephanie. I will pray for you and your family that you will be able to turn your life around. May God bless you with health and happiness.

Barbara Whitney - November 2, 2009 12:13 PM

Way to go Stephanie. I'm so proud of you. You are a brave woman and all of us will be rooting for you!


Debbi - November 2, 2009 1:40 PM

Yea for you Stephanie!!! You've made the best decision for your children. Focus on the prize - lots of fun with your children and future grandchildren. You will have on healthy family. You go girl!

Laor - November 2, 2009 3:41 PM

YOU CAN DO THIS!! Dr. Fuhrman saved my life, although, I've never had the privelege to meet him. I follow him through his books. You listen and do as he says and your life will be like brand new. It is a wonderful change. You are brave and courageous. Life is about being there with your children, that, too, was my motivation. Good for you!!

aunt cia - November 2, 2009 3:48 PM

Stephanie, I am so proud of you for making this choice! I have recently begun my own ETL journey and am so excited to think of all the healthy changes that will unfold before our eyes when we walk this way!
I'm rooting for you! I'm being inspired by those who have done this before us and can turn around and tell us that this is a good way to walk!

Maryellen - November 2, 2009 7:33 PM

Hey Im here for you !!! Im starting today first!!

LauraC - November 2, 2009 9:29 PM

Welcome Stephanie! You've come to the right place. No doubt about it! ETL is definitely the way to go and you are going to be so pleased with how you feel in no time. The support here is fantastic. We'll be walking right beside you the entire way.

Joe Fitzpatrick - November 3, 2009 1:50 AM

Hey Stephanie. I would say good luck but luck has nothing to do with it. You will do it. You will be healthier.

Julie Glant - November 3, 2009 8:49 AM

Way to go, Stephanie! You can do this. And you will feel about 100% better.

Erin - November 3, 2009 9:44 AM

You go girl! I'm pulling for you!

Debra keilen - November 3, 2009 3:41 PM

There is no doubt in my mind Stephanie that you will succeed if you want to succeed. Dr. Fuhrman is the right man and medical professional to help you make it happen. You will be fascinated with how much better you will feel in a short amount of time. It took years of putting on the weight, and it will take time changing your past mind set. You are worth it and your family will be so healthy and happy asa result!

Rita - November 3, 2009 4:01 PM

Stephanie, wishing you much success in regaining your health and losing the weight you wish to lose.

You are definitely in good hands with Dr. Fuhrman.

The 'friend's on the E2L forum are tops!

Hanlie - November 4, 2009 5:18 AM

Good luck, Stephanie! I will be following your journey with interest!

Jamie - November 4, 2009 12:10 PM

I am a 35 year old Father of four who also started the six week program on November 1, 2009. I was at the start 364 lbs at 6'1". I am rooting for you and will keep you and your story as inspiration. You can keep in contact with me at if you think we could support each other in changing our lives for the better. I hope your journey is wonderful.

Deanna - November 8, 2009 3:02 PM

Stephanie, you have gone through so much and I am praying for you and your family. I just finished reading Eat to Live. I have always been heavy like my Mother, who had a heart attack and died at age 55. She was extremely over weight and smoked. I am approaching 40 and have her body type. Although I am very active I have used unhealthy food as a crutch and my feel good drug. I have started the Eat to Live plan and feel awesome! I have lost about 10 lbs so far! I am so excited when people walk up to me and ask how I am loosing weight or ask me how I am doing it! My clothes feel loose and I have been able to fit into clothes I haven't worn in 2 years! If I can do it so can you! Keep going girl! I saw this somewhere else and used it as my goal: My first goal was to see a 1 on the scale! This is the first time in in 13 years I have weighed under 200 lbs! I made it and keep going! Set small goals and keep moving forward! My next goal is to loose a pants size. You will have so much more energy and not feel deprived. I can't wait to see your progress! Good luck!

Christina - November 22, 2009 3:47 AM


Well done for committing to ETL! I have been following this lifestyle for 4 weeks now and love it. Occasionally I have set backs but find the long term rewards so immense that I cannot but help easily getting back on track. I sleep better, a wart on my hand has disappeared, I have so much energy - I live in hilly Lausanne, Switzerland and used to plan my shopping to avoid the hills, now I just go wherever I have to whether there is a hill or not with no effort, and my mood is 1000% improved. My 14 year old daughter is often Miss Angry girl - I know it is because she is toxic from stress and animal based eating habits, but I no longer let her wind me up but respond calmly. I am hoping to slowly improve her habits through example.

I send you all my new found extra energy to help you on your journey!
Good luck!

John K - October 8, 2010 9:02 PM

What is the latest on Stephanie? Did she continue the program?

Emily Boller - October 9, 2010 6:19 PM

Stephanie decided that she wasn't ready to commit to getting her health back at this time.

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