Lynne Morrissey Sheds $300 of Monthly Medical Costs Along with 111 Pounds
Lynne Morrissey is a Facebook friend with an inspiring story of survival against heavy genetic odds. Lynne, who lives near St. Louis, Missouri, just turned 50 and has four adult children. She is sharing her achievements so she can show others to never give up. Health is just a forkful away.
Lynne has a frightening family history. She lost her Dad to a heart attack when he was only 33 and she was 3. Even as a normal-weight child, she had cholesterol levels over 200, as did both her brothers. The young siblings were put into a diet and cholesterol study. Her older brother was started on an experimental medication and told to eat margarine. Tragically, none of the medical interventions worked. He died of a massive heart attack at age 35. His cholesterol was over 600. Several other family members on her Dad’s side suffered severe heart disease.
Lynne was fatalistic. “I believed there was nothing I could do, that I was destined by genetics for premature death. I thought I might as well eat whatever I wanted because I was going to die young no matter what,” Lynne told me. She became a hospice nurse, so she was around people facing the end of their lives every day she worked.
When she did go to a cardiologist, Lynne got a demoralizing lecture that her cholesterol was 327. Amazingly, the cardiologist advised her to eat eggs! Lynne did not go back to this doctor, but did end up in the offices of her primary care physician and numerous specialists.
As her weight soared above 260 pounds (she is 5 feet, 11 inches tall), Lynne coped with a growing list of diagnoses. Among these were hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, low thyroid, fibroids, carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, anxiety, allergies, asthma, and disk disease. She needed a CPAP machine to
breathe while sleeping, and the copays for the meds for her illnesses were hundreds of dollars each month.
Disabling back pain, which threatened her ability to work, brought Lynne to a medical rock bottom. But going to physical therapy also brought new hope. “I noticed I felt better, and it clicked that if I went to a gym and lost weight, it would make a difference.”
Lynne decided that swimming was the exercise to start with and found a gym with a pool. At the gym she began working with Adam, who is still her personal trainer. She stopped eating fast food, upped her daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, and water, and exercised four to five hours a week. (She is now up to exercising eight to ten hours a week.) Her weight plummeted and she was off
her blood pressure medications in two months.
When she reached 174 pounds, Lynne completed a triathlon. But she stopped losing weight, and in fact began to regain it. “I still ate meat and cheese, and it was a struggle to keep the pounds off. I was on antidepressants and several other meds. Soon I was 195 again and thought I worked too hard to let this happen. So I began pushing the weight loss to get back to 184. I knew I had to do something that would help me.”
That’s when Lynne met Julie, a cycling instructor who was healthy and brimming with energy. Lynne wanted what Julie had! Upon getting to know Julie better, she found out that Julie was vegan and was a plant-based nutrition educator. Julie also worked with individuals who were interested in changing to plant-based diets. At first Lynne thought that would be too difficult a diet for her. “I decided to give it a try because I hit a wall on exercise. I was going to be vegan for only a month,” Lynne reflected.
Lynne and Julie teamed up together and the journey began! Julie’s first recommendation was for Lynne to read The China Study; and on March 29, 2011, Lynne plunged into a whole food, plant-based vegan eating plan. She weighed 184 pounds. “The weight just fell off after that. It was no longer a struggle. I no longer had weight fluctuations. I could exercise harder and better than I ever had. At first I was detoxing and felt odd. Then I began to feel better than I ever had, even as a kid. By the end of the first month I had so much more energy, and the diet was easy. Before I was eating tiny meals. Now I could fill up, and there were so many choices of what to eat that sometimes I could hardly decided what to have for dinner. I went from eating steak and cheese to a whole foods, plant-based diet overnight and the transition was surprisingly simple. I also got off all my meds except for one thyroid pill. I don’t need them anymore,” Lynne happily relates. She is now 149 pounds.
Lynne continues to enjoy her plant-based diet and eats heartily. “I can’t believe how much food I can eat and still lose weight.” Her breakfast is always a huge shake made with almond milk, flaxseed, many kinds of fresh and frozen fruit, and some leafy green vegetables. “I have to decide if it’s a one banana or two banana day. If I have a particularly packed schedule visiting patients, I put two bananas in the shake to hold me to lunch.”
Lynne is on the road all day, and usually picks up a vegetable sandwich or salad for lunch. She snacks on fruit and fat free pretzels. She exercises most nights before going home for a dinner that might include more leafy green vegetables, hummus, potatoes, and soup. Lynne cooks on weekends, but is too busy during the week for elaborate meals. With simple foods, she enjoys eating more than
she did before going plant-based.
“Animal foods repulse me when I smell them cooking now. But I was eating them less than a year ago,” Lynne observes. This repulsion is fed by her growing awareness of how animals suffer when they are raised for food. “The awful truth as moved me from focusing just on my own health to a wider motivation.”
Lynne and Julie are now close friends who have done presentations together on the power of whole foods, plant-based diets. Lynne is geared to reaching out to help others. “Every day I see people dying, often from what they eat. If I can touch even one person and keep this from happening, I would know I accomplished something important. And we have done that. I am looking for ways I can reach more and more people to help them,” Lynne shares.
With her determination and inspiring example, Lynne is sure to succeed in changing and saving lives. She has overcome her own genetic battle and now is poised to spread the news that genes are not destiny.
If you enjoyed this post, you might want to read successes of other formerly frustrated people who lost weight and gained health on a whole foods, plan-based diet. Here are stories of San’Dera Prude, Todd Rosenthal, Meridith Hayden, and Judi Menzel.
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Blog posting by Janice Stanger, Ph.D. Janice authored The Perfect Formula Diet: How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy Now With Six Kinds of Whole Foods. This easy-to-follow eating plan is built on whole foods, plant-based diet that can prevent, and even reverse, most chronic disease as well as get you to your perfect weight. Janice was overweight most of her adult life until finding this Perfect Formula Diet.