Charlotte M. lost a staggering 133 pounds, no longer has diabetes or heart problems; cholesterol went from 219 to 130, triglycerides from 174 to 73 and LDL from 149 to 70.
I was heavy since childhood, so it would be easy to blame my problems on heredity. There is a history of obesity, heart disease and diabetes on both sides of my family. Over the years, I tried many diets with only minimal and never lasting success. I reached a top weight of 263 pounds on my 5ft. 4in. frame and had resigned myself to forever being a plus-sized woman. As much as possible, I avoided seeing doctors because, although they lectured me about my weight, the only solution they offered was a calorie restricted version of the standard American diet, on which I was always hungry and miserable.
But, on July 29, 2003, I began a new way of life. It started tragically when at age 56, I suffered a stroke. After almost a month in the hospital and a rehab center I returned home diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arteries about 65 percent blocked, and low thyroid. To control all these ills I was given prescribed medications which I was expected to take for life. About a year after the stroke, I was diagnosed with a serious form of tachycardia that required immediate medical attention. I ended up with two stents for a 95 percent blockage and more prescriptions. My husband Clarence searched the Internet for ways to help me become healthier and found Dr. Fuhrman and Eat To Live, which claimed dramatic results through dietary changes.
Before my stroke we had half-heartedly tried what we thought then was a low fat vegetarian, not vegan, diet and we both lost weight. For me, it was about 15 pounds, which seemed a lot at the time. I was skeptical about trying yet another diet, but since I could no longer be in denial about my weight and health, I agreed. Because I was still wheelchair bound and unable to resume kitchen duties yet, Clarence had to learn to cook and prepare meals for both of us. Although he had only a little to lose, he joined me on the diet, assured by Dr. Fuhrman's website that a high nutrient, vegetable-based diet would also be healthy for him. I quickly shed pounds and my lab tests improved. Although my diabetes was controlled to the satisfaction of my doctors, Dr. Fuhrman said the first priority was to get rid of it completely with nutritional excellence. No physician I had seen ever mentioned this as a possibility.
About a year and a half later, I was no longer diabetic and have had no further heart problems. My fasting blood sugar averages 79 without treatment. My total cholesterol dropped from 219 to 130, my triglycerides are down from 174 to 73 and my LDL cholesterol has lowered from 149 to 70.
My current weight is around 130, slightly less than half my maximum. I have gone from a plus-size 24W/26W to a misses 8/10, which is a smaller size than I have ever worn in my adult life. As hard as it is to imagine, the last time I was this weight I was under age 12.
Less measurable, but important, benefits are that I no longer snore and my energy and stamina have increased. Although I didn't fully recover from the stroke, maybe about 90 percent, there are things I can do easier now than before when I was just fat. Clarence and I both have more resistance. We used to catch every bug that came around but now we're rarely sick.
I owe all these positive changes to Dr. Fuhrman's Eat To Live program. I still have a hearty appetite, but my relationship to food is far less addictive. People may think I have lost weight through willpower but that's not true. If I'd had any willpower I would never have become so large in the first place. The Eat To Live program takes time and extra effort, but for me the results have been well worth it.
Updated Information as of Oct 26, 2012:
Since I submitted my original testimonial I have maintained my weight loss and have had no diet-related medical problems. Even though I take no medication for diabetes or statins for cholesterol, my most recent lab results from May 2011 show my fasting blood sugar as 75, total cholesterol 144, and triglycerides 61.