Name: Woody W.
Location: Norfolk, East Anglia, England
Reboot: Several short juice-fasts, rest of time juicing & eating
How did you learn about Reboot with Joe?
By watching FS&ND and studying the Reboot with Joe website. After seeing the film on TV, I then bought a copy of the DVD and Joe’s recipe book.
What inspired you to do a Reboot?
Watching FS&ND. I just stumbled across it by chance while flicking through the channels one night when my husband was away on business. I assumed it’d be a programme showcasing people even fatter and sicker than me, which I thought might make me feel slightly less awful about myself. To my surprise (and my ongoing gratitude) it was something much more inspirational than that!
Watching how Joe & Phil transformed themselves and their health really inspired me, as I was suffering from a variety of medical conditions which were all worsening:
I have Cauda Equina Syndrome – a neurological condition caused by irreversible nerve damage following a spinal cord injury in 1999. The syndrome causes fluctuating mobility problems due to muscle weakness, changed or lost sensation in areas such as my legs & feet, bladder & bowel problems, sluggish circulation, excruciating nerve pain and acute muscle spasms/cramps.
I have had Asthma for decades, and Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (which makes stomach acid travel up into my throat – and also aggravates my asthma) since being rushed into the hospital with obstructive jaundice three months after my spinal op and having to have a cholecystectomy.
I’d also been suffering from Opthalmoplegic Migraines (a rare form of migraine which causes no headache but wreaks havoc with my vision) for about a year and a half (probably a side-effect of medication for other conditions).
To top it all, I was suffering from Depression and Anxiety (caused by trying to cope with all the other symptoms). I’ve been an insomniac since I was a teenager and that had worsened owing to all my other symptoms and my worries about what the future held for my health.
I’ve had the asthma since I was a child, and the Cauda Equina Syndrome since tripping over my own feet in 1999 and paralyzing myself from the waist down (I was able to walk again following major spinal surgery and a long period of rehab) but it seemed that every so often a new condition would appear and I would be put on medication for that and then everything else would get worse. Most recently I also discovered that my heart beats erratically (Ventricular Ectopic Beats which are extra heart beats between the normal ones – and Tachycardia which is an extra-fast heart beat).
I was also concerned about the likelihood that I’d get Type 2 Diabetes, which my father has. I had to give up work a couple of years ago owing to my worsening health problems.
My husband Iain also suffered a major health scare earlier this year, and I thought I was going to lose him at one stage. His gall bladder had gone into spasm trying to eject a stone the size of a hazelnut, and the stone had got stuck. It turned out that Iain’s gall bladder, liver, pancreas and bile duct had all fused/grown together so the whole lot went into spasm causing excruciating pain, and the surgeons had a difficult job trying to separate all his organs and remove his gall bladder.
When I watched FS&ND, Iain and I decided I had to try Rebooting ourselves in the hope of remedying some of my medical conditions and trying to come off some of my medication, and making sure that he didn’t suffer any further health problems.
How did the experience go for you?
It’s gone unbelievably well…
I started off just doing a week of juicing (15th July 2013 onwards), as I didn’t want to overdo things considering the amount of health problems I had and the medication I was on.
That was easy and I felt a lot better immediately. Since that first week I’ve done a few more short periods of juice-fasting but mainly I’ve been juicing through the day and eating a clean & healthy meal in the evening – all prepared from scratch as I love cooking. Every so often I venture into “the fun part of town” (to quote Joe!) and eat what I like and have a glass or three of wine, but the way I am eating for the majority of the time is making a radical difference to my health, my figure, my self-confidence and my belief that I can turn the clock back and regain a healthy, slim body once again.
How much weight did you lose (even if that wasn’t your goal!)?
So far I’ve lost about 30 lbs/14 kg. I had already lost about 35 lbs/16 kg before I started juicing, but that had taken many months and I wasn’t doing it very healthily – mainly I was skipping meals. I wasn’t looking much different for having lost that amount. But I look radically different since I started juicing, and the changes to my body have been swift and very noticeable.
The great thing is that although I’ve lost a lot of weight now (about 65 lbs/30 kg in all) I don’t have any spare flesh hanging around, everything seems to be shrinking away and pinging back to where it ought to be.
Iain’s lost about 15 lbs/7 kg (he didn’t have anywhere near as much to lose as me!) and is now confident he can maintain his health for the future through juicing and healthy eating.
Did you have any notable health or physical improvements?
Loads! My asthma has improved, and my gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and opthalmoplegic migraines are now history. My bowel symptoms from the Cauda Equina Syndrome (much like IBS symptoms) have reduced, even though I no longer take medication for them.
I’ve been able to come off lots of prescription drugs already: I was on nine regular meds that I had to take at least once every day, plus another couple I could take on an ad-hoc basis as needed, if my symptoms were particularly bad. I’m now only on 3 regular meds (of which I’ve reduced the dose of one to a third of what it was before, and reduced another by a third) and I don’t need the ad-hoc meds any more.
I’ve been ejected from a local medical research project aimed at finding the best ways to work with people at risk of Type 2 Diabetes – because I have now been tested as being at no risk of it!
My skin looks clear and my crows-feet have softened. My hair is less greasy than it used to be, and my nails are stronger and longer. I am sleeping a lot better. An unsightly cyst I had for several years under my left eye (which I’d been debating having surgically removed earlier this year as it was growing) completely disappeared within a few weeks of starting juicing.
Friends and family are amazed by my physical transformation.
My doctor is very supportive – he’s absolutely over the moon at the positive changes in my health, and is really cheering me on.
What was the toughest part about the Reboot experience?
Staying motivated and on track consistently from day to day can be challenging, but to be honest, I think the toughest thing of all has been the sheer horror of realizing how much harm my body had suffered through decades of eating and drinking the wrong things, and taking medications that had just treated my symptoms and not actually remedied my health problems. I’m gutted that I spent so long looking and feeling so unfit and unhealthy – and that Iain developed serious health problems – when we could so easily have taken our health in our own hands if only we’d known about juicing years ago.
What habits have you maintained and kept a part of your everyday life?
Iain and I have always been foodies and keen cooks, so the habit of preparing everything from scratch has not been difficult for us. We shop frequently and try to look for new ingredients and recipes to try every week.
I’ve bought a swimming pass for my local pool and take some swimming lessons to improve my technique, as I intend to make swimming a regular part of my life.
I joined a Facebook-based juicing group (”Thirst for Nature”) which was set up following the screening of FS&ND in the UK. Logging onto the group’s site every day keeps me motivated and I’ve made lots of new friends through the group. It helps to know there are plenty of other people out there following the same path as me, and it’s a great forum for discussing ideas and tips for making this a sustainable lifestyle.
What is your lasting impression of the Reboot experience?
It’s been life-changing and 100% positive. I am so thrilled at how much progress I’ve made with my health and my figure in just two and a half months. A friend who saw me the other day said she wouldn’t have recognized me. I feel like a different person.
I’ve had a renewed sense of hope for the future and also I’ve made some great new friends.
I’ve always found the personal testimonials on the Reboot With Joe website to be really motivational and inspirational, so I’m delighted to add my story to the others already on the site.
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