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Many individuals who follow the Nutritarian diet write to Dr. Fuhrman about their success. Keep in mind that results vary from person to person. As always, consult your physician if you have a medical history and/or condition that may warrant individual recommendations.

Charles's Story


Charles picture

Results may vary.

Being embarrassed by his obesity motivated Charles to change his diet; now he lost 88 pounds, feels better than ever, runs races and takes long bicycling trips   

Growing up I was a very healthy and athletic kid, even into my late twenties. During my thirties I put on weight to about 230 pounds. I was in and out of exercising and fad diets, and ended up yoyoing my weight between 210 and 230. In my forties I put on more weight and weighed 250 pounds and was feeling adverse effects. I started to feel chronic pain in my feet, knees, and back. I was also pre-diabetic. In the fall of 2017, I experienced a series of accidents and injuries. First was a car accident. I was hit from behind by a car that hadn't realized that traffic had stopped. This resulted in a pinched nerve like pain in my neck and shoulder. A month later, I fell off a truck and landed with my left arm out to break my six- foot fall. After that, my left shoulder was in pain, and I had pain shooting down my left arm and numbness in the fingers of my left hand. For months I went to the doctor to diagnose and treat the source of the pain. I did several courses of steroids, as well as muscle relaxers, but nothing worked. Eventually, I was put on Gabapentin (prescription drug) which helped me to cope with the pain and sleep a little better at night, but it would fool me into thinking I was better.

 After six months of taking Gabapentin, I started to wean off so I could see how I felt, and a week later all of the pain was back. I started taking it again, and was resigned to the idea that this was just the new normal me. I was approaching fifty years old, and I was going to exist with chronic pain. During the year that I was taking Gabapentin, I put on an additional 20 pounds and weighed 270. I would have to pause and brace myself to get out of a car. It would require me to get enough rocking motion to allow the momentum to carry me out and up. Pain would shoot through my knee. When I walked, I could feel pain shooting through my hips and lower back. I was depressed and medicating with booze. I was drinking wine or hard alcohol every night, and it was generally enough to get drunk. If I opened a bottle of wine, I would almost never have to recork it. I would finish a bottle of wine and then still feel like drinking, so I'd pour a glass of bourbon. All the while, the neck, shoulder, and arm pain from my accident was still there, numbed from the Gabapentin, but I was constantly aware that it existed.

 A friend suggested I go to a chiropractor, and after a few months of procrastinating, I finally went. During my initial visit, I had to fill out a health evaluation. It was more like a healthy living inventory that I was failing. It was so thorough in illustrating to me how destructive I was being to myself that I decided that I needed to do something about it. My chiropractor seemed very confident that he could eliminate the pain, but he was very clear that I was going to need to put some work in on my own. For about two months, I went three times a week, but after the first month, I was almost completely pain free. During that time, I felt like I should probably not be drinking so I stopped drinking, attempted to improve what I ate, lost a few pounds, and was feeling a lot better. Late in January of 2018, my wife and I went to Costa Rica with some friends and I was constantly aware of my weight. I felt very self- conscious. We went on a zipline tour, which was a blast, but I had an embarrassing moment that made me decide that I was going to change, once and for all. At the start of the tour, and before we boarded the truck that took us up into the canopy, we were fitted with our zipline harnesses. Like everyone else, I got mine on, and we boarded for the ride up. When we got to the first platform, the guides pulled me aside from the group to tell me that I would need a second harness for my back due to my extreme weight. I was very embarrassed, and felt ashamed.

 I ate my last cheeseburger on January 31st 2018 in the Liberia airport. On February 1st, I started my Nutritarian journey. I had been given Eat to Live a few years earlier so when I got home from Costa Rica, I began reading the book cover to cover. I cleaned out my cabinets and fridge, and my wife and I committed to eating a whole -foods plant- based diet. The first month, I lost fifteen pounds, and had lost a total of twenty- five pounds by the end of March. During March, I saw an opportunity to attend a Dr. Fuhrman Immersion in May, so I thought that would be good incentive to keep pushing and achieving. By April, I was still rapidly losing weight, and I also began riding to work on my bike. I was putting about sixty to eighty miles a week on my bike, so I was growing stronger and stronger. By the time the Immersion came, I had lost forty pounds, and I was convinced I was going to finally undo all of the damage I had done over the years. The week of the Immersion was incredible. I learned so much more, and even lost an additional seven pounds.

I went home from the Immersion even more committed than before and continued dropping weight, finally dropping below the 200-pound mark during the summer and now have lost a total of 88 pounds. A that point, I was riding my bike so much, I entered some races, and I took a solo bike touring trip on the Great Allegheny Passage. I loaded camping equipment onto my bike and camped for a week, riding about sixty miles a day. It was so much fun, and I felt incredible energy. Later that fall, my wife suggested we sign up for a Turkey Trot 5k. I was not a runner, but thought I could try it out. Without training, I completed it with a 9'29" pace. I then ran a Jingle Bell Run in December and completed that in under nine minutes a mile. It was then that I decided that I would commit 2019 to fitness the way I had committed 2018 to my health. I have registered for cycling and or running races for every month of the year, often having multiple races in each month. I signed up for two half marathons in May which I'm currently training for. Through my experience with Dr. Fuhrman and the Nutritarian diet, I'm realizing that I can do so much more than I ever gave myself credit for. At one point I had resigned myself to my "new normal” - obese, chronically in pain, drunk and depressed. I couldn't be further from that now. I am in the best shape I've ever been in. This summer, my son and I are going to load up our touring bikes and ride to Montreal and back. I am living such a better life, and I am incredibly appreciative.     

 

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