André was thin when he was young, but as his age increased, so did his weight. He also started having anxiety issues and high blood pressure.
After a visit to the doctor’s office where he got some bad news regarding where his health was heading, he started digging deeper into what he could do, and he found something:
Today I know what it really means to be healthy. When I was a kid, I did not refuse a plate of food. Rice, beans, and meat were the basic ingredients of my lunch meals. I also used to eat desserts, sweets, and cookies (sandwich cookies of all sorts and flavors). I didn’t use to drink soda (but I ended up adding it to my diet later in life). For many years, I snacked all day long and ate grilled cheese sandwich for supper. Despite those unhealthy habits, I always kept a lean shape, but, over time, I noticed some changes happening. A belly was coming in.
In my youth I was 6 ft. height (1.82 m) and my average weight was 176 lbs (80 kg) but, as time passed by, that average increased gradually. On my 30’s, I was addicted to pies, pizzas, lasagnas, fast food, and sodas. At that time, I was already weighing 198 lbs (90 kg) and my abdomen wouldn’t stop growing, even though I never drank alcoholic beverages.And the weight kept increasing as time passed by. By the time I was 40, I weighed almost 220 lbs (100 kg). In 2010, after consulting a cardiologist, who told me my blood pressure was high, I began to take medicine to control it. I was doomed to be taking this medicine for the rest of my life. It was a time I did not like to know my weigh, because I did not want to know the terrible truth, and the more they told me I was fat, the more I ate, with anxiety. I did not know what to do to slow down and maintain weight. I had already tried some diets, without much success – having gotten to lose weight only to recover it all again.
Over time, it was harder to buy clothes for me, because I had to look for extra big sizes. My pants and shirts were getting bigger and bigger. Difficulty to find clothes that would fit me, high blood pressure and anxiety were not my sole concerns at that time. My ankle was suffering the impact of my weight too: I had a hard time with a grade 3 sprain in my ankle that had taken more than two years to heal because of my weight. Right after that I had another sprain in the same ankle. Now this second sprain had turned into a fracture! If it got a bit more serious I would end up in the surgery room.
I needed to do something, but I did not know what. One day I went to a gastroenterologist, and after a 10-minute consultation he told me my stomach was inflamed. I could not imagine how this could have happened. I decided to search for some articles about health on the Internet. Among so many things, I found Dr. José Carlos Peixoto’s “Uma Outra Visão” website. I was amazed because what I read there made sense and overthrew a series of myths. I had found information of good quality! I read many articles on the site that made sense to me. I never thought it was normal for a person in their 40’s and 50’s to have to take medicines to control cholesterol and blood pressure levels. But I needed more information. At that point, I also discovered an interview with Dr. William Davis on the book Wheat Belly. This interview made me start putting together the pieces of a very important puzzle for me. Still looking for more information on health, I came across some videos of Dr. José Roberto Kater, who helped me to fit more pieces in that puzzle.
In 2015, when I was 47, I went to another cardiologist. I asked him not to tell me my weight because I did not want to know it. I was frightened to know my weight, but he insisted on telling me that. He said it was important I knew it. At the time his conduct made me angry, but today I thank him for that. I was weighing 264 lbs (119 kg). I was fat and had a very large belly. My exams were altered, but I had preferred to overlook it. Total cholesterol was on the limit, HDL was low, blood glucose was over the threshold, and triglycerides were near the limit. He told me if I continued like that, he would have to prescribe me a statin. He advised me to continue taking the medicine for blood pressure.
My tribulations related to my overweight were building up: fatigue, difficulties to tie my shoelaces, shortness of breath, and difficulties to climb stairs and walk quickly. I also had pain in my left knee on colder days and whenever I had to climb down the stairs.
Watching videos on YouTube, I found a reference to Dr. Souto. I searched for him in YouTube and watched a 2013 speech that changed my life. I visited his blog and started to read and study many articles. His vast material has various links to scientific studies. So, following those links, I discovered several other Brazilian sites, such as Paleodiário, Primal Brasil, Resistência à Insulina, Código Emagrecer de Vez, Tribo Forte; as well as foreign sites and blogs such as Andeas Eenfeldt’s, Chris Kresser’s, Jason Fung’s, Dr. Hyman’s, Marika Sboros’, David Ludwig’s, Robert Lustig’s and Mark Sisson’s. I also bought books, such as Grain Brain and Brain Maker, by David Perlmutter, and Wheat Belly, by William Davis. On YouTube I started to follow the videos broadcasted by Dr. Souto, Lara Nesteruk, Paty Ayres, Djulye Annie Marquato, Jason Fung, Andreas Eenfeldt, and Nanda Müller. I also got used to hear Tribo Forte’s Podcasts with Rodrigo Polesso and Dr. Souto, among many others.On 06/11/2015 I changed my eating habits after studying hard on websites, videos, and books. I did it at my own risk. I started to lose weight quickly in the beginning, since I was very overweight. In the first month, I lost almost 10 kg (22 lbs). The rhythm of weight loss gradually decreased until reaching an average of 1 kg (2 lbs) per week. I used to climb the scale about once a week, just after waking up. What is most impressive is that our disposition increases as the results start to show up.
People around me became startled with my weight loss. Many of them were afraid my eating habits could do me some harm, and began to try to control what I was eating. Those people were the ones who often take medicine, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Whenever I got ill, those people were eager to say to me the illness was caused by my diet.
From time to time, I reached a plateau, but I never got worried about it because, from all I had read, I knew there would come a point when I would begin to lose weight again. To deal with the occasional plateaus, I experimented to do some intermittent fasts: at first, 16-hour fasts, once a week. I felt good, and after a while, I started to do 24-hour fasts, always feeling good, and in an excellent mood.
I must say that, even committed to my new eating habits, I sometimes did not resist some temptations, and ate some things that were not part of my regular diet. Luckily, that did not bother me, as it happened very sporadically.My clothes often had to be changed for smaller numbers, because I kept losing weight. Today I am very happy: after 1 year, I eliminated 40 kg (88 lbs), my clothes are medium size, and my pants are 42 (they were 52 when I started my new diet!). When I look in the mirror, I see someone who has not been seen for 30 years. It feels a bit strange.
I achieved my first goal, which was losing weight. My health is much better now: my cholesterol, glucose and triglycerides levels are normal now. I got an appointment with a doctor who had not seen me for a while, and he told me I did not need to take medicine for blood pressure anymore. I had already stopped taking it since the beginning of my new diet, at my own risk. This was my personal decision.
Many people asked me if I would start eating “normally” again to be able to socialize “properly” (I do not think this should interfere) and to eat pleasant things. My answer is always the same: I am happy this way, my weight loss is the result of my body getting balanced after it started to get a real nourishment, and I will keep this healthy diet for as long as I live.
My next goal is to gain lean mass. There is no hurry, the important thing is to stay focused. I no longer feel hungry all the time, I do not take medicine and I am so radiant that I intend to study more about this lifestyle, as a real health enthusiast; and for that, I thank you all: Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, Dr. José Carlos Stumpf Souto, Paty Ayres, Rodrigo Polesso, Hilton Souza, José Netto, Vinícius Possebon, Lara Nesteruk, Nanda Müller, José Carlos Peixoto, José Roberto Kater, and Lissandra Bischoff. You all do a wonderful job by spreading what real science is and that helped me a lot!
Thank you very much!
Congratulations, André! Thank you for sharing your story.
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