When I started my plant-based journey almost two years ago, I did it to improve my health. The weight loss that everyone notices was just a happy side effect—it was never the original goal. However, I was overweight for most of my adult life. I was part of the population that wanted a quick fix and would try anything to lose a few pounds as quickly as possible. I fluctuated between fad diets, counting calories, and eating the Standard American diet.
After having two pregnancies with gestational diabetes, I was told by my doctors I was at a high risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. I managed to control my prediabetes for a while, but I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about four years ago. For a couple years, I went on various diabetes drugs like metformin and glyburide, but they made me sick on a daily basis. After feeling unwell for so long, I refused to take any more medication. I told my doctor I was going to try and cure my diabetes through diet. He laughed at me. I never went back to him again.
Almost two years ago, I began to eat a plant-based diet with an emphasis on raw fruits and vegetables. Through my research, I discovered Dr. McDougall, Dr. Campbell, and all the other amazing whole-food, plant-based doctors. I became obsessed with learning everything about this lifestyle I could find. I think I watched Forks Over Knives about six times! Since going plant-based, I have more energy than I ever had in my life. I even took up bike riding and cycled over 1500 kilometers (930+ miles) last summer! I dropped 15 pounds right away, but lost a lot more in inches as I started to get into shape. Last October, I switched to a more starch-based way of eating. Despite having hypothyroidism, I have since lost another 60 pounds.
Goodbye to Type 2 Diabetes!
My new doctor is very open-minded. Since changing my diet about two years ago, my A1C level has decreased every time I am tested. It has gone from 13 at the high end to 11, 8.9, and now 5 at my last visit! (A normal A1C level is below 5.7 percent and over 6.5 is considered diabetes level.) The doctor said that he has never seen readings drop as fast as mine have.
I am soon to be 52 years old and feel better than I did when I was 30. I am trying hard to spread the message about the whole-food, plant-based lifestyle because it has been so good to me. I hope to be a good example with my own progress because I know how hard it is for people to try and change the way they eat. I love the McDougall Friends Facebook group—the members are terrific, full of great recipes, and are very encouraging to each other. Thank you to Dr. McDougall, especially, for giving my life purpose and for making me a healthier and happier person.
“Goodbye to Type 2 Diabetes, Meds, and a Lifetime of Dieting”
BY SHELLY COOPER