Meet Sue Boyles: “I’m Not Going to Be That Woman”by Howard Jacobson, PhD on November 06, 2015
Sue Boyles has generously agreeed to share her story with the Proteinaholic community. Here it is, in her own words:
I was 50 years old and at a crossroads in my life. I had a bulging disc and it was pressing on my sciatic nerve root. I was in extreme pain for 5 months. I found a neurosurgeon who was able to go in and shave the disc back to relieve the immediate pain, but he told me I would always have back issues due to degenerative disc disease.
So, after the surgery, I was in the hospital waiting to be discharged. It was 5am. There was a woman in the bed next to me who what being admitted from the emergency room. I never knew her name, or even why she was being admitted. But she will be forever be “the woman behind the curtain” to me.
The nurses were doing the hospital intake behind the curtian. They asked her date of birth. She gave the date and the year – 1967. That made her 45. Then they asked her medical history. She listed just about every disease with the exception of cancer. Heart problems, diabetes, mini strokes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol… I’m sure there were a couple of autoimmune issues in there, too, but I can’t swear to that.
I thought I got her year of birth wrong. She had to be more like 75. Not 45. Then they confirmed her date of birth again to continue the intake. Sure enough, she was 45. Then they asked her what medication she was on. She listed between 20-25 prescription medications she was taking EVERY DAY! I was shocked.
So, I was laying in bed, and I decided right then and there I was NOT going to be the woman behind the curtain. I was worried that if I became active again, I would risk another buldge, and I’d be in the horrific pain all over again. I was trying to choose between living a sedentary life, playing it safe, or getting back out there.
The decision was made.
I had a plan – I had 6 weeks to recover before I could be active again. This was my research window.
First step was to research my family health history. There was a lot of cancer, high cholestrol, high blood pressure,
alzheimers and diabetes.
Second step was to research diet. Here’s where it gets funny. I have heard all the reports on the news – “Eat two servings of fish a week to prevent (insert disease)”, “studies show 3 servings of dairy prevents (something else)”, “nuts has been show to reverse (fill in the blank)”. My plan was to create a spread sheet of the perfect diet – one that does it all – combines all the health claims of cancer preventions, diabetes prevention, reduction of cholestrol, blood pressure, etc.
At the same time, I was listening to Dr. Radio on Sirius radio. Dr. Davis was a guest and was speaking about a plant strong diet. He mentioned the work of T. Colin Campbell and the China Study. So, I started looking in that direction. I have to laugh now because I was going to spend all this time to figure out what was already out there!
1/4 of the way into this book, I was sold! I had a cruise vacation coming up, so I figured I would do this when I get back from my trip. I remember being in the airport getting ready to get on the flight home. It was May 5th, 2013. I was hungry, so I ran over to McDonalds and got my normal order: a cheeseburger and a small fries. And that was my last burger chain meal. And I knew it was when I ordered it. I’m not gonna lie – I enjoyed it.
It was definately baby steps for me. I also used veggie patties, etc, to transition. I went to dinner at one of those places that come around with tons of meat and they carve as much as you want on to your plate. I used to love lamb. Now, I only got the food bar – not the meat – but my daughter had the meat. She offered me a bite of the lamb, so I tried it – this was about 6 months in. I tasted it but it was not good. I was so happy that meat no longer did it for me!
But, I did want to add something – I was very excited when I discovered this way of eating! I couldn’t believe this was out there and doctors didn’t even talk about it. I was very eager to share my discovery with everyone.
Wow – I was met with a giant wall. Between, denial, misinformation, and just plain argumentative people telling me Paleo was the only way to go, I couldn’t believe it. It makes me sad.
Every time someone asks me for money to aid in Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease prevention, I just get a little angry thinking that people don’t what to hear the REAL prevention of these diseases. They just want researchers to give them a pill.
I have high hopes for this book. I’m hoping it will be the reference I can offer friends and family that is an easy, but informative read.
I also hope you find Proteinaholic a powerful tool to help others change their ways and avoid the fate of the 45 year old woman behind the curtain.