In today’s moving episode, Adam Sud tells us how he overcame his addiction of prescription drugs and junk food, lost 100 pounds, regained his self esteem and turned his life around with a whole food, plant based vegan diet.
Prescription drug misuse kills over 300,000 Americans every year. Adam Sud very nearly became part of that statistic, but he managed to turn his life around. He shares his inspirational story with us today.
Adam comes from a home where healthy living was encouraged. When his grandfather passed away from cancer, his father, founder of Whole Foods Market, became focused on health and wellness, running marathons and encouraging his family to eat nutritious food. Consequently, Adam wondered whether there was something wrong with him for liking junk foods, and by the time he was in high school, he’d rebelled and begun to reject the healthy lifestyle promoted at home. In middle school he was prescribed the ADHD medication Adderall, which he began to overuse, enjoying the feeling of focused attention and the fact the drug helped him manage his weight. But Adderall is one molecule away from being street meth, and soon Adam found himself increasingly craving the drug. By the time he was in college, his metabolism was seriously damaged and he began gaining weight.
It wasn’t until Adam left college than things really took a turn for the worse. He was taking six times the recommended amount of Adderall each day, and when he couldn’t get hold of it he would self-sooth with junk food. His self image was at an all time low, he had no self esteem. Nothing mattered except the drug. He lost his job, his life retreated into his apartment, he didn’t go out with his friends and his relationship with his family was strained. But his father kept reaching out to him and one day Adam realized he had to do something.
He started rehab in September 2012. “The physical exam was dehumanizing”, Adam remembers as he thinks back to being 300 pounds and seriously overweight. The test results were frightening: he had high blood pressure, and his blood sugar levels were through the roof. It was the diabetes diagnosis that hit Adam the hardest, and what propelled him to making the lifestyle changes needed to fully recover. He started working with the personal trainer immediately. “If I’m the cause of my problems, I get to be the solution,” and, 37 days later, he moved into Sober Living.
This was another challenge, as the food on offer was “worse than hospital food”, frosted flakes and microwaveable pizzas—indeed most people gain weight in Sober Living. But that wasn’t the case for Adam. He started a diet consisting of oatmeal and egg whites, and as many steamed vegetables as he could handle — this was an act of self love and care, and the diet helped reaffirm his sobriety. After two months, he’d lost 30 pounds, and with the therapy he was receiving, was able to start liking the person he saw in the mirror. Adam also reversed his diabetes. He moved out of Sober Living eight months later, weighing nearly 100 pounds less.
Now, Adam has been a vegan for around two years, and is planning to run the New York Marathon with his father. He’s certified as a Holistic Health Coach, and has gone from hating himself to being the healthiest and happiest he’s ever been — and if that’s not a story worth listening to, nothing is! Tune in now for part 1 of this extraordinary two-part interview.