Meet this week's Herbie of the Week, Christy!
Christy emailed me earlier this year about her amazing plant-based journey and I asked if she would be interested in sharing it for our Herbie of the Week series.
Luckily she said yes, and I'm glad she did, because her story is truly inspiring!
I've struggled with my cholesterol since high school. Most doctor's told me it was hereditary and since my father has heart disease, I believed that. During 2004, I received that dreaded phone call “Your dad has had a heart attack and they are going to do bypass surgery on him in the morning!” [Editorial note: her dad was 57 at the time.] At this point, I should have become more concerned about my own health, but I didn't. I figured I was young and invincible (Don't we all at 28?). As I've watched my father over these past few years, I am saddened. He is unable to walk from his bedroom to his backdoor without having to prop himself up to catch his breath. The simplest task for you and I take him hours to accomplish.
In January of this year, I was astonished to find that my cholesterol had reached an all time high of 277 (HDL/93 LDL/153) and my triglycerides were 156. When I told my neighbor Kim (a personal friend of Lindsay's who was also a nurse for many years), she nearly fainted. I think she ran inside to call Lindsay and her reaction was just the same! “We have to get those numbers down!”.
The following day, Kim asked me to read Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. I have to admit, I had no intentions of going plant-based nor did I plan to read this book, but I knew something had to change. With hesitation, I began reading. Little did I know, that the first chapter would remap the course of my life! As I read, the tears began to flow. This book WAS my life! On January 27, 2013 I watched Forks Over Knives and my journey began. I went cold turkey and never looked back!
At last check, in May, my cholesterol was down to 185 (HDL/71 LDL/79) and my triglycerides were 174). I was so excited that I ran over to Kim's house with it written on a white board, hiding it behind my back (tears streaming down my face). She came to the door with the look of obvious curiosity “Why are you on my doorstep crying?”. When I showed her the board, she understood my tears of joy. I must thank her for saving my life! Kim, you will always be my ROCKSTAR and the reason I'm around to play with my kids and to watch them grow old.
Currently, I am off of my cholesterol medications and I'm down 47 lbs. I have 10 lbs until goal. I just want to thank everyone who supports a plant-based diet and all that you do to keep us motivated!
UPDATE (December 2013)
I am holding steady with my weight and continuing with my journey. January 27, 2014 will be one year since I took the plunge into the Vegan lifestyle. I'm happier and healthier than I have ever been!