Meet our Herbie of the Week: Heather!
Over the summer I received a short, but sweet email from Heather. She wrote:
"In February I changed to a 100% plant-based diet. So far I have lost almost 90 lbs. Reversed my diabetes, been able to cut my blood pressure & cholesterol meds in 1/2."
I was AMAZED! Knowing her plant-based journey would inspire so many, I immediately asked Heather to share her story today.
I'll let Heather take it away!
My name is Heather, and I would like to share my story with you of how I became a "Happy Herbie”. On January 1, 2014, I was 45 years old when a friend snapped this picture of me playing with her cat. (above, left)
I didn't know how much I weighed. I always kept in my mind, if I was under 300lbs I was doing ok. But I sure didn’t like the way I looked in that picture.
I have lived my life with a host of medical issues. For my 40th birthday I was diagnosed with diabetes and had to start wearing bifocals. I have had debilitating arthritis since my early adulthood. I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
In January 2014, after getting insurance, I went to see my primary care physician. I already knew I was 5ft 5in tall, then I stepped on the scale and saw a life changing number...316lbs!!!!! How did that happen?? Well, it didn't take much to figure that out! I didn't eat well and I did not exercise.
That day I decided something needed to change. So, January 7th, 2014, I started making some changes by tracking my food/nutrition with an app. First, I had to begin my day by eating breakfast which I hadn’t done in years. Second, instead of eating a whole salami, cheese and mayo sandwich and a huge handful of chips for lunch, I would eat 1/2 a salami, cheese and mustard sandwich with a counted out serving of chips and a bunch of veggies for lunch. Dinner would be a small amount of meat and starch with a large serving of vegetables. Snacks would be nothing but fruit. One thing at a time, I would add exercise later.
About a week later, I had my first appointment with my new orthopedist about my knees and hips. That was the day that Rishi Gupta, MD said something that changed my life forever. He told me the things I expected. Both of my knees and both of my hips need to be replaced, but I was not in good enough shape to have surgery. I was too obese; the risk of failure in joint replacement at 316 lbs is much too high.
Then he said, "I really think you could benefit from some medical nutrition therapy". I've heard ...