My transformation began on August 1, 2010. As another birthday was approaching, I found myself a whopping 380 pounds, diabetic, hypertensive, and very depressed. I only had to look as far as my own bookshelf to a book that I always knew held my prescription to better health; it was Eat to Live . and it was signed: "To Susan, Ross, Abigail, Rachel, Emily, Daniel, Wishing you all good health & much happiness always, Joel Fuhrman"
I always remember my first meeting with this very passionate and sincere physician. In no uncertain terms, he let me know that my current lifestyle was most definitely going to lead to disease and an early grave. At that time I did not heed his advice and I continued to "live to eat." Through the years I tried many different weight loss programs and found temporary success. In 2005, I had bariatric surgery. At 350 pounds, I had the LapBand installed; probably one of the worst decisions I have ever made. The restrictive band made it almost impossible to eat a healthy well balanced diet and instead made it most comfortable to eat foods that were literally sugar-coated. Eventually, I had the band opened to it's fullest extent and continued trying new fads.
My last commercial effort was Nutri-System. I had tried this many years before so I thought I would give it another go. When the huge box arrived, I sat down and started reading the nutrition information and the ingredients. I was horrified to say the least; I would never have allowed anyone I cared for put that "food" in their body. Then, I finally got the call; you know THE WAKE-UP CALL!
At this time, I have lost 210 pounds, but it is what I have gained that weighs more. Since losing this weight, I have been hiking. On my 50th birthday, I climbed a mountain in Woodstock, NY and then enjoyed a meal of kale, roasted beets, and beans! I ride my bicycle with my son; our last trek was 14 miles, much of it uphill. In November, my husband and I travelled to Paris to visit our daughter. This was something that would have been unheard of in all the years prior; the expense of buying two seats for one super obese person would have been too humiliating.
I am often asked how I did this, and I love to tell my story. I have sent Dr. Furhman's book to my friends and family. This program is easy to follow. I rarely weigh or measure any food. I do not feel like I am on a diet and if I am hungry, I can eat.
The key for me is to be somewhat prepared. I have yet to encounter a situation where I cannot make a good choice even when travelling, I always find out if there are any local farmers' markets as well as the nearest grocery store. Processed food is not an option.
This is not a burden, but being morbidly obese and side-lined from your own life is the burden!