Last night Esther called me with some great news. She was excited and said she had just published a book. Esther has been very active on FaceBook and has a very large following. Some of her followers have been suggesting that she write a book about her phenomenal story. Well she finally did.
From Donuts…To Potatoes: My 366 Day Journey on a Plant-Based Diet by Esther Loveridge
I met Esther after I had been on my Whole Food Plant Based Diet for about 18 months. We discovered that we both started around the same time, July 2016. For that and several other reasons we felt a bond. I rejoice in her success and encourage everyone not only to read her incredible journey, but support her and buy one (or more of her books), the profits of which will go to Dr. McDougall's programs. So here it is:
Esther: Her New Life
My decision to start “The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss” began July 13, 2016. I weighed 257 and was having considerable knee pain which hindered my ability to travel.
After looking at my X-rays, my doctor informed me that my knees were almost bone on bone but he could not even refer me to orthopedics for possible knee replacements until I lost 70 pounds! Losing that much weight seemed insurmountable!
Fortunately, a dear friend had given me a copy of Dr. McDougall’s book “The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss” at that time and I read it. I was desperate since I did not want to continue using pain medication and wanted to have a choice in having knee replacements, if necessary, so I could continue to travel.
I made the big decision to follow Dr. McDougall’s Program. My body was going to be my own laboratory and I’d put the book to the test. I believed that if I followed it completely, I would know that it was responsible for any improvements in my health.
It didn’t seem like it was any time at all before I started losing inches on my knees and after just a few weeks, I was off my pain medications.
Travel did not hinder me from keeping my commitment. We love to take cruises and I learned that I could have steel cut oatmeal (yes, I did have to ask for it) and fresh fruit for breakfast, a big salad with balsamic vinegar for lunch and discovered that the cruise line had a special menu for vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free guests which gave me some options. Most of the time I just asked for a salad, a sweet potato, a side of broccoli and a cup of fresh berries for dessert.
I proved to myself that under any circumstances, I could enjoy the benefits of eating this way. I have lost 96 pounds as of March, 2018 (size 24 to 14) and have lost 5 inches off each knee. I do not have any pain in my knees and do not need knee replacements. I no longer take medication for high cholesterol, pain or sleeping pills and have reduced my thyroid meds twice. I have lowered my blood sugar and am no longer pre-diabetic. I have not had a day of constipation since starting this program. My blood pressure is now normal. And as an added benefit, my vision has improved twice in the past year! My energy level is high and I want to spread the good news to everyone.
I have a new passion for telling anyone who will listen about the benefits of eating this way. On one of our cruises, I was invited to tell my story to some of the Tai Chi students. It was recorded and put on YouTube as “Esther Loveridge’s Drastic Weight Loss Secret”. The ladies in the pool at the gym even talked me into starting a Facebook group. This allows me to easily share stories of my journey and refer people to Dr. McDougall’s program.
My husband initially said “I could never eat like you” but he now follows a diet of no animal or dairy products. Life is good.
I am so thankful for Dr. McDougall for “saving my life” and the ripple effect it is having on my family and friends.
By the way, I am 74 years old and have learned that it is not too late to restore my body to good health.
Update On Esther’s Continued Success
Earlier in 2018, my success story was published as “Esther’s New Life” in Dr. McDougall’s Newsletter. I have continued following “The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss” and my weight is 141 (down from 257 when I started 26 months ago on July 13, 2016). I am now wearing size 10 pants–formerly a size 24. In order to increase my knowledge and credibility and as a way of thanking Dr. McDougall (since all of his education has been free), I took The Starch Solution Certification Course this summer and I was able to attend the McDougall 3-Day Intensive Weekend in Santa Rosa in September with my husband and two friends. I especially enjoyed getting to thank Dr. McDougall for what his program has done for me. The 3-day Program was very informative and jam-packed with good speakers who were available to answer questions and the food was abundant and delicious – even for those following the MWL program. People came from all over the country. I highly recommend it.
About a year ago, I created “Esther’s Nutritional Journey”, a group to support others on Facebook and continue communicating with other members on a daily basis. I have also posted some short videos on YouTube under “Esther Loveridge”. ‘I have recorded an hour-long podcast with Corinne Nijjer from Australia (When Life Gives You Lemons – Go Vegan, Episode 54) and was asked if I would speak to a group in Canada.’ Spreading the good news of how to be healthy continues to be my passion. In July, I was able to declare that I am officially off ALL medications. The last to go after 30 years was the levothyroxine for my low thyroid – an outcome I never expected. Life just keeps getting better. I just turned 75 in October and have never felt better. “It’s the Food”!
Although Esther does not mention it in the story above which appeared in Dr. McDougall's Newsletter, she has tried many diets as you'd expect from someone who was labeled "Morbidly Obese" but none of her weight loss was sustainable. While she was on Dr. Atkins Diet (high fat - high protein) she experienced gallbladder disease. Removal of her gall bladder was recommended but since she was not experiencing any symptoms at the time, she elected to put off surgery since an upcoming business trip had already been scheduled. The doctor said that the worst thing that could happen would be that she could be 2,000 miles away from home and need to have emergency surgery and that is exactly what happened. By the time she got to the emergency room in Cleveland, Ohio, she was very ill with not only a full blown gall bladder attack but also had pancreatitis so severe that surgery could not be performed for several days until that got under control.
Some time later - back on the Atkins' Diet again, she had another pancreatitis attack even without a gall bladder at which time, the doctor at Kaiser asked her if she had "called her children". She had no idea that she was that sick...nor did anyone ever advise her of the connection between a poor diet and her disease.
What is truly amazing about Esther's story is that since she has followed Dr. McDougall's Program for Maximum Weight Loss (since July, 2016), she is now off ALL of her medications (even levothyroxine for her thyroid) and at 75, her doctor told her that her eyesight had improved to the point where she no longer needs to wear glasses.
Here are two "before and after" photos of Esther and her husband Ben. Ben started eating a whole food, plant based diet without added oil some time after Esther started her journey - (actually, Ben said he wanted to use up all of the meat in the freezer first)! Both Esther and Ben are right where they should be on the BMI chart. For anyone concerned about weight, here are two examples of how eating a healthy diet results in a sustainable weight loss even while traveling around the world with no side effects They have maintained their new lifestyle (as have I).
Esther and Ben Before
Esther and Ben After
Here is a Video of Esther telling her story.