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Meet our Herbie of the Week, Carol F.! Carol made the switch to plant-based at age 75 and has a healthy relationship with food for the first time in her life. Carol no longer needs 3/4 of the medication she was previously on, and she has lost pounds and inches. Carol proves that it's never too late to change, and she's looking forward to her longer and healthier life!
HH: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I will start off by saying I was always chubby as a child or chunky as some would say. I struggled all my life with trying to control my weight. From Diet pills to every fad diet. I fasted 10 days at a time with nothing but water many times just so I could go back to eating. Food was my drug of choice. I call it boo boo food.
HH: Boo boo food! I love that term! How did that come about and how did it affect you?
You know that started back when as a child and went to the Dr's. after a shot he wold give me a lolly pop (boo boo food). I found comfort in a bag of chips. I tipped the scale at 175 lbs at my worst. My daughter even told me she was ashamed to walk down the street with me. After years of diet pills, my daughter told me I was a speed freak I had no idea of that — so I got off the pills.
I went to work for Diet Center after losing my weight on the program but still would binge eat and fast. I felt like a phony cause that is just what I was. I worked for them a total of 9 years. We had to weigh in once a week — I held 110 lb, but not by proper eating.
HH: So what changed? How did your transition to a plant-based lifestyle begin?
Then my daughter who has been my inspiration, started telling me about plant-based eating. I had been in and out of hospitals for the past 4 years. I had 2 stents placed in my renal arteries. My blood pressure was out of control. She gave me all the web sites to check out what I was doing to myself and how plant-based eating just could be a life saver for me. Food was controlling my life. It had nothing to do with willpower; the power was in the food I was consuming — it was controlling me.
So I took the first step — no meat or fish. Then no dairy. I loved my cheese, so that was a tough one at first. But my daughter kept after me, sending me these sites to view. So last August 2012, I could give my life totally over to plant-based eating as I was now craving kale. Who would have ever thought of that?! The weight started coming off — and the inches.
HH: Wonderful! What changes have you noticed?
Here at age 76, I take a size 0 or 2. I'm 4 ft 11 and since have cut my medication to 1/4 of what I was taking. I bought myself a Herbie necklace (love it) and when people tell me I'm too thin from eating plant-based, I show them Herbie. I say, 'look at Herbie! He eats plants and he sure is not skinny.' When we go out to eat, our friends say, as they are eating a fat-soaked burger, 'look what you're missing.' I tell them the only thing I'm missing is a heart attack, diabetes etc.
I thank God for my daughter and the Happy Herbivore cookbooks. I am looking forward to a much healthier, longer life.
UPDATE (July 11): So grateful that my eyes were opened to the truth . At 76, it just proves you're never to old to learn. I have received a lot of negative backlash from my meat-eating friends. I let it go, as they still are blind and praying one day they will see the health benefits of being a Herbie and learn to love the animals. I just tell them I'm eating the way God created me to eat. I then tell them to go to Genesis chapter 1, verse 28-31. Went to Outback Steakhouse last night as a guest and had no problem: side salad with no cheese in it and red wine vinegar, baked sweet potato with nothing on it, a large serving of broccoli, and water with a slice of lemon. I was recently in the hospital and I must brag my complete lab report was all normal!!!