Last November, because of a change to my insurance, I had my first appointment with a new physician. I went into the appointment wanting to get myself off my blood pressure and cholesterol medication. When I asked the doctor about it, she said to lose 50 pounds and then we’d talk. At the time, I weighed 298 pounds, which was the heaviest I’d ever been in my life. I asked the doctor what she would recommend in order to lose 50 pounds other than the obvious. She said, “You don’t want to hear this, but convert to a whole food, plant-based diet.”
I said OK and went straight home and told my wife about it. My wife said that if I was changing my diet, she would join me. That weekend, we did some research and cleaned out our refrigerator. We bought a boatload of veggies, fruit, potatoes, beans, and grains and started our diet on Monday, December 6, 2017.
The Spring 2023 Issue
Our gorgeous “bookazine” features expert tips, inspiration, and 70 fresh and delicious recipes for Spring.
Before I made this change, I was the kind of guy who loved meat and potatoes, chicken wings, ribs, and bacon and eggs—and I put cheese on just about everything. I had prediabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, and I was very out of shape. I also drank a lot of beer, Captain Morgan, and Pepsi. In fact, I drank two 20-ounce bottles of soda every day. I coach high school football and travel a lot for work, so my lunches were always some kind of fast food. But I made the diet switch because my doctor suggested it, and I am so grateful to her!
Flipping the Switch
We quit our old diet cold turkey. Cheese was extremely difficult to give up. For a while, we tried non-dairy cheese, even though we knew it had oil in it. But we couldn’t get used to the taste so finally we just gave up cheese completely. I was surprised at how fast the weight came off just by changing what I ate. I have already lost 64 pounds, and I have so much more energy. My joint and hip pain pretty much disappeared after the first couple of weeks, and my constant heartburn went away completely.
It felt like I lost inches faster than pounds and I also noticed my skin looked better. I lost 4 inches in my waist and have gone from wearing 2XL or 3XL in shirts down to a L/XL. I haven’t started exercising yet, but I plan to because after losing so much weight, I want to tone up the flab.
These days, I enjoy eating veggies sautéed with liquid aminos, beans, quinoa, potatoes, lentils, zoodles, and veggie pasta. Even though I have not pushed my lifestyle on anyone, friends who have seen my social media posts have inquired about how I lost weight. I think about six of my social media friends have made the switch or are slowly transitioning to a whole-food, plant-based diet. I love sharing my story with people and am so happy when they inquire about what a WFPB lifestyle without oil is like and when they say they seriously want to give it a shot.
This has been a game changer for me and my wife, who is also delighted by her own results. So far, she has lost 30 pounds. We are getting healthier every day!