Before his transformation, Eric O'Grey weighed in at 280 pounds and had a 50-inch waist. He
was 51 at the time, and his doctor told him that unless he made immediate
changes, he would probably live less than five years because of his poor health,
which included type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. His
medications cost more than $1,000 per month.
Eric decided to take action when he saw President Clinton interviewed
on CNN and talking about The China Study
and the healing power of a plant-based diet. He bought the book and hired
a nutritionist who told him that he could cure all his medical problems by going
vegan and avoiding processed sugar. She taught him how to eat and cook using
organic whole foods. At the time, he'd never had a meatless meal, and most of
his meals were ordered through his car window or delivered to his home.
However, going a vegan was easy for Eric, who says he adjusted comfortably in
just a few short months. He was most surprised when he learned that being vegan
didn't mean just eating salads—he could eat satisfying comfort foods, including
rice, potatoes, pasta, lasagna, and other favorite foods
such as Chinese stir-fry and Mexican cuisine.
In addition to switching to a plant-based diet centered on
whole foods, he started to exercise. At first, he was unable to tie his shoes
without being out of breath. Then, by walking every day with his adopted
dog, Peety, his stamina began to improve. Now, in 2012, he is running an
average of 40 miles each week and plans to run five full marathons and between
15 and 20 half-marathons this year!
Today, he takes no medications, is down to 175 pounds, and has
a trim 32-inch waist. His type 2 diabetes is gone, his total cholesterol is
130, and his blood pressure is 96/60. At 53, he says he can compete
athletically with most 25-year-olds.
While his physical transformation is certainly admirable,
equally important are the other changes that he's experienced. Eric says
that is energy is through the roof, even though he sleeps about half as much as
he did before. He describes the difference in his mental clarity, saying, "It
feels like I am awake for the first time in my life." Plus, he feels great
knowing that his food choices are helping not only his own health but also the
environment and, of course, animals. But no matter what makes you decide to go
vegan, its positive impact is destined to ripple outward.
"It is my greatest wish that others will achieve the
happiness I've achieved, which is possible just by making this one dietary
change in their lives," says Eric. But you don't have to be a marathoner
to see great results. Many will see a drastic improvement just by switching to
a vegan diet and walking for a half-hour several times each week! And this is
why he joined the PETA Pack, because it combines everything he enjoys: healthy
plant-based nutrition, running, and a love for animals.
Want to jump-start your weight loss, improve your health, and help animals? Join the PETA Pack
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.