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My Recovery Story: From Pills to Plants
My name is Adam Sud. A little over 4 years ago I weighed 310lbs, I was an undiagnosed type II diabetic, had undiagnosed high blood pressure, I was a drug addict, a fast food addict, and suffering from severe depression. At this point my life consisted of sitting in my filthy apartment, surrounded by fast food trash while either on massive amounts of Adderall or eating processed fast food. I was miserable all the time and blamed everyone and everything else for my situation in life. I was constantly self-conscious about my weight and I was never comfortable in any social situation without being on my drug. I was barely working and running out of money. I knew that I was heading towards the day when I would be living on the street and the reality was that day was very close. I had literally spent every cent I had on drugs and drug fueled compulsive shopping. I had hit my rock bottom. I finally picked up the phone and called my father for help. Two weeks later I checked into rehab.
It was during my first 24hrs in rehab that I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic with high blood pressure. I was put on 7 prescription medications, diabetes meds, blood pressure meds, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, adhd meds, and sleeping meds. I remember feeling utterly disgusted because I knew that I had done this myself. This was entirely my fault and for the first time I had to take responsibility for my lifestyle. But I had an amazing realization, if I am the problem, then I get to be the solution. Luckily, I had the good fortune of being able to attend the very first Engine 2 plant-strong immersion several years before this. At this immersion, Rip Esselstyn and his incredible team empower people by teaching them how to take charge of their health and their lives with a whole-foods, plant-based diet. While I was there I was still very much an addict and to be honest, I was using at the immersion. But, I attended every lecture and I learned that by adopting the principles of a plant-strong lifestyle I could prevent and even reverse most of the chronic western diseases and make myself heart attack proof. Because of the immersion, I knew what I needed to do. These were lifestyle diseases that are completely reversible through lifestyle change. I took it upon myself to reverse my type II diabetes and high blood pressure by implementing a plant-based nutrition plan into my recovery program of medication and therapy. What I didn't realize was that plant based nutrition would become the backbone of my entire recovery.
Now, I am a 7th generation Texan who was addicted to fast food. This was no easy switch. I read a book by Dr. Doug Lisle called “The Pleasure Trap: Mastering The Hidden Force That Undermines Health and Happiness.” What I learned from this book was what I have come to believe is the one invariable truth when it comes to lifestyle change and recovery. In order to successfully change my life I had to be comfortable being uncomfortable. That has become my motto for entire recovery. “Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable is the key to lifestyle change and recovery.” Within 4 months completely I reversed my type 2 diabetes and blood pressure, in 10 month I lost 100lbs, and within 1 year I was off of all 7 medications I was prescribed in rehab. Today I am over 4 years sober and weigh 165lbs. I realized that plant-based nutrition has an amazing power in regards to addiction recovery. I became a certified holistic lifestyle coach and developed a program using plant-based nutrition as a tool for addiction recovery and relapse prevention. I now run groups at sober-living houses and Intensive Out-Patient Therapy centers in LA. I had the honor of speaking at Rip Esselstyn's Engine 2 plant-based health immersion in Arizona in 2015 and 2016, the upcoming October 2016 immersion, and was a featured speaker at the 2Forks event, Plant-Stock in 2016. I have also had the honor of being a guest on the Rich Roll podcast, Running To Mental Health podcast, The Food Heals Podcast, Break The Stigma Podcast, Lean Green DAD podcast, and have been featured on Forks Over Knives. People always ask me about what I’ve lost and I enjoy telling them about the 140lbs, the diseases (Obesity, type2 diabetes, high blood pressure, depression) and the 7 medications. But what I enjoy more than all of that is what I have gained. Early morning runs on the lake with my dad, a real relationship with my Mom, Dad, and the rest of my family, my self-worth and self-confidence, my purpose in life, the ability to help others, most importantly my twin brother, Bobby. He has moved in to my place in LA to start his own plant strong journey. In 3 1/2 months he lost 50lbs, been taken off of his type 2 meds in a week, and dropped his blood pressure from 140/100 to 120/80 in 3 weeks.
Today, I can honestly say that I am the happiest I have ever been and the healthiest I have ever been in my life. Plant based nutrition didn't just save my life it has given me the ability to create an entirely new one. It's one that I look forward to living every single day. I firmly believe that the simplest change on your fork can be the most profound change of your life. I know it was for me.
I am on my own weight loss journey as well. My goal is to kick Diabetes and so far it is working... 45 lbs more to get to my goal!