Eighty Pounds Healthier . . . . and Counting!

When I first interacted with Jenny she was close to delivering her second baby. She was miserable from carrying around excess weight, (and not just pregnancy weight either), and was becoming desperate to get her health back for the sake of her young family. Then eighteen months later, this past summer, she tipped the scales at 323 lbs and also had an emergency appendectomy. While in the hospital ER, Jenny realized that she was fortunate that she wasn’t there for a heart attack or stroke. Being a mother of two little boys, that time in the hospital was her wake-up call to get serious about her health. On July 1st she committed to follow Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional recommendations in Eat to Live, and has lost over eighty pounds since then! Welcome to Onlyourhealth, Jenny.

     

What was your life like before discovering Eat to Live? 

I was probably in 2nd grade when I was last at my "ideal weight.” Then I became chubby, and it only got worse in middle and high school.  I used to eat to calm myself and to numb negative feelings or stressful situations.  I literally would eat two Big Macs and a large fries, and drink five, large Diet Cokes; and then be considering a fish sandwich with extra tarter sauce, and then a Papa John's pizza.  I knew that I had a problem when I’d constantly be thinking about that large pizza. I could eat an entire one without batting an eye . . .  I knew something was terribly wrong.

 

What changes are you noticing?

I still have about 95 more pounds to lose, but I already feel so much better!!! I’m a high school music teacher and was a caffeine junkie to get through my long days at school and special show choir rehearsals until 9pm at night. Thankfully, I don't have caffeine or pop anymore.  

Also, for the last four years I had excessive thirst issues.  I once drank an entire 24 pack of water overnight on a trip.  I was drinking several glasses of water every hour during the night; therefore, always needing to go to the bathroom and wasn't getting a full night of sleep.  When out to eat with friends and family, in the time we were at the restaurant, I would drink 6-7 glasses of water and 6-7 glasses of diet pop.  It became a "running joke" on how much I could drink, but underneath the comments, I was absolutely miserable.  I'm convinced that I was on the path to diabetes, if not already there.  Since my diet has changed the thirst is completely gone!  

My hair is growing longer, and my skin is clearing up. I have a natural energy that I don't ever remember feeling and people around me, including my students at school, are starting to notice.  I'm a better teacher, wife and Mom because of it; and for the first time in a long time, I’m caring for myself. I’m allowing myself the time to exercise and plan my food so that each day is successful instead of rushing out the door to get somewhere, not pack a thing, and then have to eat six tacos at Taco Bell.  That guilt is gone and I LOVE IT!!!  

I’ve recently realized that I’m a recovering food addict.  Since I used food to self-medicate, and I'm not doing that this year, I’m forced to find a HEALTHY way to deal with negative feelings and process them, which has been extremely hard.  I've thought about those Big Macs again when feeling stressed, but I’m committed not to numb myself with food ever again.  

I know I will never go back to eating the way I did.  It disgusts me now.   I can't wait to lose my first 100 lbs….I’m going to have a party to celebrate!  The Lord, Dr. Fuhrman, and you [Emily] have literally overhauled my life.  I'm a totally different person in so many ways than what I was last year!

              

 

Do you have any success tip(s) to share from what you’ve learned so far?

 

  • Look at the bigger picture. When making food choices, it has also helped me to think about what the foods I choose will do to my body once it gets past my taste buds.  I now look at the bigger picture to see how the choices I make are either helping or hurting my body.

  • Focus on health and longevity. During my 20's I just focused on "losing weight" and it was only for cosmetic reasons with no regard to overall health and longevity.  Now in my 30's health and longevity are my main focus and the weight loss is a result of that focus.

  • Plan for success. If choosing unhealthy foods, ask yourself WHY. Is it because you're not allowing yourself time to plan for success and take care of yourself?  Are you TOO BUSY?  If so, then there's a problem. I know we're all busy; I’m there myself, but you can't take care of anyone else if you're unhealthy and sick.  Are you turning to food to calm yourself down to deal with a bad day? Are you numbing negative feelings and emotions that you don't want to deal with?   I would suggest getting real with yourself and get to the root problem of your situation.  

 

Congratulations Jenny! We are cheering for you and look forward to a future interview when you reach your ideal weight!   

Got color?

 

A while back I was looking through some old picture files and found these two images; both were taken on a hot, July day about a year a part. I really had no idea how pale my skin had become from years of stuffing my body with mashed potatoes, cereal, milk, pasta, dinner rolls, butter, cheese, chicken, beef 'n noodles, pizza, etc. . . . until I saw these pictures. 

About six months into consistently eating high-nutrient foods, I clearly remember the day that I looked “tan” in the dead of winter in Indiana. I was recovering from major surgery in a hospital room; in fact, it was two days post surgery, and I had managed to stand up long enough to capture a glimpse of myself in a mirror. My body felt like it had just been plowed under by a bulldozer, but my skin looked alive, refreshed and glowing! Instead of an expected paleness, it had color! Surprisingly, with each shift of new nurses that were caring for me, the first question was always, “Where did you get your tan?”  

For many of us who live in the northern states, winter can be sort of colorless. Blahh. Leafless trees silhouetted against bleak, gray skies. Dead branches. Dark mornings and evenings. Brown grass peaking through melted, dirty snow. Dreary blahh.  

However, our food and our skin can be beaming with bright color! Not only do those plates of colorful vegetables and fruits nourish our bodies to optimal health and longevity, they add visual beauty to our otherwise, potentially colorless environment. They brighten up our kitchens and dining tables, and our skin even reflects the beauty of those colors. 

 

 

How about you? Got color?   

    

 

Related post by Dr. Fuhrman: The human mind prefers a healthy carotenoid glow over a suntan

 

 

Image credit:  vegetables by Esther Boller