When I was younger I was taught to clear my plate before I left the dinner table, so I learned how to eat a lot of food — by the time I was in my thirties, I was over 300 pounds. It got worse and worse until, in 2005, I was being measured for my wedding tuxedo. I was 447 pounds.
My family was pretty worried about me. I never really listened to them, yet I was getting symptoms of diabetes: chronic dry mouth, frequent urination, high blood pressure, sleep apnea. I was really fatigued all the time and had trouble sleeping.
My Brush with Death
In mid-2006, shortly after my wife and I moved from the San Francisco Bay area to Medford, Oregon, I ended up in the hospital with extreme chest pain. It had acute pancreatitis. They told my wife that I wasn’t going to make it, and to gather my family together to say good-bye. My pancreas was completely shut down. My triglycerides were over 6,000, and the doctors couldn’t even register my sugars because they were over 600. My A1-C (a test that measures average blood glucose level over several months) was 13.5; normal range is between four and seven.
Luckily for me, the infection in the pancreas went away with antibiotics; but the doctors were surprised that I didn’t have a heart attack because, when blood sugar is that high, the blood is like thick syrup and stresses the heart as it tries to pump.
After I was released from the hospital I was told I had type-2 diabetes and that, if I didn’t eat better, I would be dead in less than four years.
I went into a panic to find a way to lose weight. I tried to follow an FDA exercise program, but I was so depressed about my condition that I continued to gain weight. I finally bought a treadmill in an attempt to exercise on a regular basis.
The Day My Life Changed
One day while using the treadmill, I fell off and pinched my sciatic nerve. I was referred to a physical therapist and chiropractor named Dr. Miven Donato, a Hallelujah Diet Health Minister.
Dr. Donato told me about his “Get Healthy Boot Camp” based on something called The Hallelujah Diet. He was convinced that it would help my diabetes and help me lose a significant amount of weight —and keep it off! I enlisted in Dr. Donato’s 10-week ‘boot camp’ in January. I lost 49 pounds in seven weeks. By graduation, I had lost 52 pounds.
To celebrate this success, my wife and I decided to take an overdue honeymoon on a cruise ship in Hawaii — and got right back into my old habits. By the end of the two-week vacation, I had gained 10 pounds and caught a really bad cold.
I was embarrassed to go back to Dr. Donato; in fact, I waited until September 2007 to see him. By then I was back up over 400 pounds. I felt like I had let him and everyone else down, but he completely understood the situation. By January I was back on track.
Green Smoothies Curb Cravings
Shortly after I got back on track, Dr. Donato sent me an email about a 525-pound woman who had a lot of weight loss success with green smoothies (a mixture of greens and a little fruit). She lost 127 pounds in about six months. I thought, “if she can do it, I can do it!” I tried and sure enough, in 14 weeks I lost 100 pounds. I found that green smoothies were a great way to help me get past that craving for meat in the first eight weeks.
“As I’ve been losing weight, my skin has been shrinking along with it; I may not have any hanging skin at all, even after losing 200 pounds.”
I’ve also been using BarleyMax all along. When you combine BarleyMax with green smoothies — all that chlorophyll — I’m telling you, it really does make your skin shrink. I’m living proof.
Climbing Mt. Whitney
Once I was back on The Hallelujah Diet, I started hitting the gym to lift weights and build up muscle mass to prepare for a climb up Mt. Whitney as a testament to eating a primarily raw food diet.
When I told my doctors that I was preparing to climb a mountain and getting my protein through raw fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts, they were blown away. They weren’t convinced it was the right “kind” of protein. But obviously, from my blood work results, everything was in the right range. In fact, my albumin levels (protein in the blood) were all in the very high range of “normal”. Today, every single reading on my blood test is in the normal range, including cholesterol.
On September 2 we began the climb at Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States (14,497 ft.). At the 10,000 ft. mark, I started to get some elevation sickness. But after drinking some BarleyMax in water, my illness went away and my energy came back so I could go the rest of the distance. I made it to the summit in nine hours and three minutes.
Weight Loss Can Stress The Body
I still use The Hallelujah Diet every day; but I’m choosing not to have the “cooked food” portion. I lost 52 pounds the first time I went on the 85%raw / 15% cooked plan for seven weeks. But for me, because of the amount of weight I needed to lose, I decided to go 100% raw, and that’s when the weight really flew off. But when you lose that amount of fat, that fast, it’s really hard on your liver, because fat is stored up acid. So, when you lose the fat, all this acid is released into your bloodstream — I needed to take Digestive Enzymes to support my liver.
I’ve got so much energy now; I’m so happy. It’s just amazing.