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 lost 96 pounds as of March, 2018 (size 24 to 14) and had 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 for sleeping, 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
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 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, 2018, 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!”
Esther’s Ongoing Triumphs
Forward to July 6, 2020: Esther now weighs in at 127 pounds and wears a size 6. Esther’s husband, Ben, the man who said, “I could never eat like you,” gave up eating animals, dairy and oil over a 9 to 12 month period and dropped from 220 pounds down to 160 pounds!
Esther recently published the inspirational book From Donuts…To Potatoes. The book is a testament to Esther’s determination and resolution to help anyone be successful by offering words of encouragement for those who have “tried everything to lose weight and [have] almost given up hope.” The book is designed to be read as posts on a daily basis, allowing you to reflect and work on yourself while giving you the support you need to triumph over any hurdle. You may purchase Esther’s book on Amazon.