Herbie of the Week: Kelli (She's Down 50lbs, Lowered Her Cholesterol & No Longer Feels Addicted to Food!)

Meet our Herbie of the Week: Kelli!

Feeling like she was living in her own food coma, Kelli's plant-based journey started when the last of her three children moved out of the house. With more time on her hands and a desire to eat healthy, she watched "Forks Over Knives" and it was exactly what she needed to hear!

Two years later, Kelli has lost 50lbs, lowered her cholesterol, no longer feels addicted to food, and most importantly: she's happy and healthy!

Read on for Kelli's story!

Like so many others, I’ve had lifelong issues with food.

From the moment I wake up in the morning my thoughts would begin – Why did I eat all that food last night? And so much of it! I am such a pig! I knew I shouldn’t have eaten it, but I didn’t care. I feel so bad for eating it. Why can’t I control myself? All that food makes me so tired; I just want to go to sleep! I’m so boring. I’m missing out on life ‘cause I’m living in my own food coma! Okay, what am I going to do about it today? I’ll try to eat better. What should I pack for lunch? I’ll eat smaller portions, and be sensible today. No chips, chocolate or cheese … man, I love that stuff! If I can just make it through today, tomorrow will be easier. Good luck to me!

I hated waking every morning with the same scenario going through my head. I was depressed before I even put my foot on the floor. Uggh!

I thought about food ALL day long! Once I got to work, there seemed to always be something unhealthy awaiting me in the kitchen: donuts, bagels and cream cheese, brownies, or bowls of candy (my ultimate favorite). I would scan the table and decide to be good and not have any, but of course, I thought about it and thought about it. I couldn’t get it off my mind! I would finally give in and go back to the kitchen and get whatever I wanted – oh, and more for later, of course!

The cycle would begin again.

I was tired, moody, my body ached (from doing nothing), I had no ambition, I was overweight, I lacked confidence, I didn’t care what I wore since everything was too tight, I had anxiety, and I was unhappy!

At my last physical before becoming plant-based, I was 50 pounds overweight with high blood pressure, my cholesterol was 205, and I needed Xanax for my anxiety. Not exactly a picture of health.

I finally got tired of being tired.

One day, I was scanning movies on the internet and ran across the "Forks Over Knives" documentary. I checked out the trailer and decided to watch it. That was the beginning of my new journey. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I think I replayed it 4 times!

I’ve always had an interest in eating healthy. I stopped eating red meat 35 years ago and still haven’t had any. Shortly after that I tried to stop all meats and dairy but I became pregnant and thought it would be too much for me to learn about becoming a vegetarian for myself and worrying about the nutrients needed for a baby. So I went back to eating like everyone else – Uggh!

Fast forward through a great marriage with 3 busy children to two years ago when the last child moved out on her own. I suddenly had more time on my hands and more room in my fridge.

After seeing FOK, I read more about Rip Esselstyn and his Engine 2 Diet and decided to start there. Shortly after, I found Lindsay Nixon and her Happy Herbivore cookbooks – the recipes called for normal ingredients and were fast and good. I was hooked!

The weight started dropping. I was still eating a lot of food, but now it was good food – food that my body needed. I started having more energy. I started back to spinning classes at 5am. I had a ton of energy at work. I wanted to do things. I was having new ideas. I was smiling. I was becoming alive!

I grew up on Oreos and milk for breakfast, sandwiches with chips and milk for lunch, dinners that couldn’t get over quick enough so we could get right to the important stuff….dessert!

For years, I volunteered at Hospice, and I sat with many people as they were dying. I thought about any regrets I might have when I’m dying, and it always came back to one thing – I would lie there regretting the foods that I ate that put me where I was. Deep down, I always believed that I would die of a heart attack, but I was too tired to figure out how to stop the madness – until now. If there is one thing I know – I do not want my chest sawed open – no, thank you!

At my recent doctor’s appointment, I was down 50 pounds, and my cholesterol was 133! I wanted to stop everyone that I saw and tell them, I was so excited! My LDL-Cholesterol was 57, and my doctor said, “Do you know what that means? You’re cleaning out your arteries!” Sweet music to my ears!

Finally, I am FREE! I don’t feel addicted to food anymore! I feel like I’m normal and eat when I’m hungry and thoroughly enjoy my meals. I am relaxed and happy.

Thank you, Lindsay, for being a large part of my new life!

Thank YOU Kelli for sharing your story with us!