Herbie of the Week: Eileen (Lost weight, stopped taking meds, improved overall health)

I miss the Herbie of the Week series too.

It also feels a little bit selfish to get to see and read success emails and then not share them with the class.

Shouldn't we all get to enjoy and be inspired by someone's journey? Shouldn't that person get community kudos?

Everyone can use a little more love and inspiration...

SO with that I've decided to share "Herbie of the Week" stories periodically (as they come in). It may be weeks or months between postings, but that's okay.

Meet Eileen!

Here's her awesome Herbie story in her own words...

It all started with sixth stomach bug that year. Only this time it was the worst bug I’ve ever had. I was so sick, I injured my ribs and couldn’t bear to swallow without miserable pain. It took me two weeks to finally eat, and meanwhile I lost almost 20 pounds and felt miserable. Then I found the documentary, “Forks over Knives.” Everything I knew about nutrition finally made sense.

I was overweight, depressed and had a compromised immune system. I was taking antidepressants, but after 4 months of eating a WFPB diet I could stop taking the meds. What a wonderful solution to an otherwise dreary problem. My immune system finally started to work properly for the first time in my life. Since eating better I have rarely been sick.

The eureka moment came to me 5 years ago this May. As soon as my journey began, I stumbled across Lindsay and her Happy Herbivore blog. Her words answered so many questions for me and helped guide me to a healthier life. I honestly couldn’t have stuck to this lifestyle without her words of encouragement, comparative confessions, and love. I read every blog post, bought every book, and started following the meal mentor meal plans. Sure, at first I ate more vegan junk food than I should have, but I was transitioning and it has brought me to where I am today. I have completely given up all oil, animal products, and am always trying decrease the processed foods in my life.

Giving up on the oil was the hardest thing for me to do. I made a million excuses as to why I should keep it and use it. It wasn’t until I tried to give it up for about three weeks that I realized how horrible it was for me. My acne has gone away, my mild eczema has vanished, more weight melted off, and I crave less unhealthy food. Oil is a trigger for me to eat more food than I need or want. If I eat out with friends and I end up eating something with a little bit of oil, I fight a battle for about 24 hours of what seems like never ending hunger.

This is why the meal plans are amazing: you always have a plan. I either have food batch cooked and ready to consume, or I know how easy food would be to quickly put together. The meals are so much faster than going out to a restaurant. Grocery shopping only ends up being once a week, I rarely buy more than we need, and waste is truly minimal. My husband and I use the family meal plan and I make 4-6 meals for the week. We use leftovers for lunch and fruit for breakfast.

My husband is a fantastic supporter. He does not consider himself plant based, because when we do go to a restaurant, he does not restrain himself from consuming what he would like. Usually, because we eat so healthy and fresh for the rest of the week, he orders the healthier options. He does eat everything I cook, and makes quite a few of the recipes himself.

Both of us have lost a large amount of weight at this point and feel amazing. My husband has lost approximately 35-45 pounds and I have lost about 30 pounds and counting. Currently I weigh less than I did when I graduated high school and fit in a smaller dress size. That is an amazing feeling and keeps me going.

Honestly, my life will never be the same since Lindsay, her crack team at Happy Herbivore, and all the supportive members who have influenced me to be a better human, and to use food to sustain my life and not as comfort. I will never forget the phrase Lindsay has bestowed upon all of us when we have needed it:

“Progress, Not Perfection.”

Thank you, Eileen, for sharing your wonderful story!