After years of being overweight, at age 52 my health began to fail. In the first six months of 2012, I had several trips to the emergency room, followed by doctor visits and many tests. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and fibromyalgia. I underwent a heart catheterization and was placed on seven different prescriptions. My life began to be controlled by meds and doctor visits.

One day in July of 2012, I sat in the doctor’s office at my top weight of 317, very depressed and very sick. I noticed that everyone who came in to the office was my size or larger, and my age or older. As I sat listening to the people around me talk about the diseases that they suffered from and the helplessness of their situations, I realized this was my life and I had no way out. My doctor’s advice was the same as always: eat 1,500 calories per day and take my meds.

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I left the doctor’s office that day and pledged to find another answer. That night I started watching YouTube videos of Drs. Neal Barnard, T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn, John McDougall, and Michael Klaper. I could not get enough of these out-of-the-box doctors and their life-changing information! I watched Forks Over Knives, Food That Kills, King Corn and The Men Who Made Us Fat. And I watched Dr. Campbell describe the results of his China Study research. All the science was there — all the studies and proof I needed to make the changes that would heal my body.

So after 18 months on a whole-food, no-oil, plant-based diet, I have my health back. I am off all my medications and have lost 75 lbs. I have been released by my cardiologist, and my doctor is amazed by the changes I have made. I am back to working full time, keeping up with my grandchildren, and have more energy now than I have in years.

The most amazing thing is that I work in a grocery store surrounded all day by food, and I have no food cravings. I know now that giving my body the nutrition it needs is the key to being satisfied. I don’t count calories; I just eat as much fresh fruits and veggies as I want. This lifestyle works for me!

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