I am often asked about my story. How did I accomplish so much weight loss and do it without any surgery or medication?
This is how my miracle happened.
In the fall of 2005 I weighed somewhere in the range of 450+ pounds. For nearly two decades, I “yo-yo” dieted my way from a 230 pound athlete to an obese, unhealthy person. You might be wondering how this could have happened. I, too, wondered every time I looked into the mirror. And, I kept hoping that the reflection I saw was not me. Each and every time I started a diet, I would lose some weight, but, it always returned and carried an added penalty of ten or more pounds. It got to the point that I realized dieting was going to kill me. I knew that I didn’t want to be obese or even overweight any longer, and I prayed daily to God, asking him to deliver me from the prison of physical bondage.
A few years earlier my wife developed Fibromyalgia. It developed into a severe case and she was unable to work. It tortured me to see this normally energetic, hard working, life-loving person suffering so much, yet, there was nothing I could do to help her. I felt totally hopeless. She was seeing three different doctors, was taking seven different medications, and continued to grow more ill. I prayed relentlessly for a solution to her Fibromyalgia during the fall of 2006.
Miraculously, two things happened simultaneously. First, in early November of 2006, I was diagnosed with diabetes and prescribed medication. After reading the warning that included a disclaimer, “may cause death”, I was adamant that I was not going to take it.
Truthfully, I never thought I would get diabetes. Through the years, my doctor had warned me that at my weight, it was only a matter of when, not if. The diagnosis really scared me. I literally didn’t eat for three days. I already had high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and severe arthritis, skin conditions, lymphedema and rosacea. Adding diabetes to the list of illnesses was unbearable.
The Big Reveal
At the same time, I began seeing a guy on TV selling a colon cleanse. Ironically, every time I turned on the TV there he was. On Saturday mornings I would get in my truck or car and I would hear the same guy doing an infomercial on the radio. “OK God,” I thought, “I get the message loud and clear. My wife needs a colon cleanse”. I decided that if that is what she needed, I was going to get the very best product available. I did my research, talked with several providers and finally, I found a product that sounded just right. I called and spoke with a very sweet lady named Rena. After explaining the details of my wife’s ailments, Rena didn’t want to sell me the cleanse. She felt it might be too intense. Instead, Rena recommended a different product to boost my wife’s nutrition, and she explained it was not only a better option to begin with – the product was lower cost, as well. When’s the last time you had someone undersell you? It felt right, so I placed the order and was excited! I just knew this was going to help my wife feel better. I wanted to surprise my wife, and didn’t tell her about my research or the order.
When the package arrived on Friday, I explained the “surprise”. Oh, was she surprised… however, not in a good way. She was dead set against trying it. She had already determined that this was her life and she was tired of all of the previous failures. You see, we had tried many different treatments (all medical) and none had worked at all. She commented, “What makes you think something natural can help me when medicine and doctors can’t?” I didn’t see that coming, and my answer that I had prayed and God led me to this product, wasn’t sufficient. She didn’t “buy” my explanation one bit. However, all weekend a little voice kept telling me to take the new nutritional product. On Monday I started taking it as directed.
Signs of Progress!
By the end of the first week I noticed I felt better. By the end of the second week my cravings were going away. (I actually discovered this by accident. In my office I had a drawer that I kept my stash of snacks. On Friday, I had to get in the drawer for something else, and I was shocked that all of my honey buns and Snicker bars were still there. I honestly hadn’t realized I hadn’t eaten one snack all week!) That was a real revelation. I couldn’t help but wonder what was happening to me. The following week, my energy level really increased, so much so, that I just had to go for a walk. The first walk I had taken in years! Though only about one hundred yards, it was terribly painful and difficult. I had developed severe arthritis in my left knee and ankle. However, I was very determined to get my life back. I was beginning to see a ray of light and some hope, and I was not going to let hope slip away. Later that afternoon I walked again, and I repeated it every day, increasing the distance gradually, with each walk. Within two weeks I went from being able to walk only 100 yards to walking 1 mile!!! Within one month my diabetes dropped to almost normal levels.
During this time my taste began to change. My desire for the “bad foods” was diminishing. Additionally, I had an incredibly strong desire to learn all I could about nutrition and natural health, which I am certain God instilled within me. I began to read and study every book and article I could get my hands on. Within three months I was back at night school, studying and learning nutrition.
During the early days, my diet began to change to a more plant based diet with a lot less sugar, breads and fatty meats. I continued walking several times every day. Thankfully, I had a very understanding manager who encouraged me to walk while working, since I was always available by phone! I gradually worked my way up to walking six to eight miles daily. In fact, during the first 18 months, the only exercise I did was walking. The weight was melting off and my health was improving dramatically.
Overweight and Malnourished
What I now know, and what I want you to clearly know and understand through my experience, is that while I had been over-feeding myself, I was starving nutritionally. The combination of nutrition starvation and a high intake of refined sugars and breads caused the cravings that I could not control. The intake of a good nutritional supplement combined with a nutritious diet gave me the nutrition my body desperately required, and served as the catalyst that my body needed to change. I continued to take that product for a while and then began adding other supplements to it to boost my nutrition even more. My wife noticed the positive changes going on, and soon joined me on the quest for a healthier lifestyle. I’m delighted to tell you that within the next year she was 90% better. Nutrition works!
An Unhappy Doctor
You might believe that my doctor was very happy for my discovery, right? Not quite. For years he always pushed gastric bypass surgery. He never once recommended changing my diet or nutrition as an alternative approach. I was so excited about the changes in my health, and I couldn’t wait to tell him about my discovery. He was not impressed. His comment was, “Well, you are walking more so that’s why you are losing weight.” (While that was true, I couldn’t have walked before because of my aches and pains.) He added, “Your diabetes is better because of the medication.” I replied, “No, Doctor, I never took the medication.” My doctor continued, “Well, then it’s because you changed your diet.” I explained, “Yes, because the nutrition helped reduce my cravings.” Still a doubting Thomas, the doctor stated, “Nutrition isn’t going to help you, it won’t hurt you, but, it doesn’t help anything.” He couldn’t have been more wrong.
I explained to my doctor that I wasn’t going to change one aspect of my new lifestyle. He shrugged, and wrote me a prescription for blood pressure medication and another for my rosacea. Over the next year my need for blood pressure medications went away. I have a yearly physical to make sure I am staying healthy.
As of this writing, I have lost more than 220 pounds of fat and gained about 20 pounds of muscle. I exercise almost everyday. Exercise is a critical part of being healthy. My body is now able to perform just about any task I ask of it.
My Routine is Simple.
I eat healthy 80% to 90% of the time and I indulge 10% to 20% of the time, meaning, I can eat anything I want, in moderation. I have two healthy smoothies every day, a couple of healthy snacks and one or two healthy meals. I exercise daily either cycling, rowing or walking. I also do some strength training to stay strong and fit.
What a Turn Around in Health!!
Eat a nutritious diet, exercise, laugh often, get out side and drink plenty of water and you can be healthy too!
Think it! Do It! Become It!!
Wally Bishop I.N.H.C., C.N.C., C.I.C.P.
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
The contents of this blog is not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.