By Success Stories
When Suanne and Donny started a family, she gained 60 pounds on her first pregnancy. Five kids and 20 years later, Suanne realized she had neglected her body and sacrificed her health for too long. She was dealing with diabetes, obesity, walking with a cane and facing back and hip replacement surgery.
Instead, she chose to start juicing and walking. Day by day, and mile by mile, she reclaimed her health, lost weight, and reduced her medications. At her 50th birthday party, she put on her first pair of blue jeans and heels in more than 27 years and rocked her new look. – Suanne Harris, Pensacola, FL
I married my blind date after only dating for 5 weeks 27 years ago. His name is Donny, and he is precious. When we got married, I was 130 pounds. The Lord blessed us with 5 children in the next 6 years, and that is the story of my weight loss journey.
I gained 60 pounds with my first child and have been overweight ever since. I have tried many diets, many fads, many work out machines and several videos. I would lose a few pounds and then it would come back.
Once I entered a weight loss contest. For the next 90 days, I went through workouts with a personal trainer, botox in my face, non-surgical liposuction where I had over 1,200 injections all over my body to lose fat. I did end up winning the contest, but then the health facility that sponsored it went out of business, the doctor went to jail, and none of the prizes were ever awarded to me.
For many years, I put my weight loss journey on the back burner. My house was always busy. My husband and I owned a convenience store that was open 24/7, and it was constantly busy.
I threw myself into raising my children and the Lord sent us 2 foster children to love on as well. The 20 years of raising my children went by so fast. Before I realized it, I was weighing more than ever—up to 265 lbs.
As my children began to grow up, I began to make “fat” jokes about myself. It became the way I coped by being the “fluffy” mom and no one seemed to mind. I looked back on all these memories and fun times that I let my weight overshadow, and it made me sad.
My husband loves me unconditionally, and while that is fantastic, I never felt the pressure to try harder to lose the weight.
When my youngest son graduated from boot camp, we drove 12 hours to see him. By now, because of two degenerative discs in my lower back, the orthopedist was telling me I needed a total right hip replacement. I showed up walking on a cane.
It was a depressing five days. I hated all the pictures that my son wanted to take with me. I tried to hide from them all, but unfortunately there are a few that he posted on Facebook. It was crushing to me to see using that cane.
I had been a ballet dancer in my younger years and now my life had taken such a sad turn. That was the moment that I decided to do something.
A dear friend named Chad shared the movie “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” with me on Facebook, and my husband and I watched it immediately. The next day, we went on a shopping trip and purchased all the veggies we needed to jump in.
I had diabetes, high blood pressure, severe arthritis, and insomnia. The orthopedic doctor wanted to do back surgery to fuse the two discs together and do a hip replacement surgery. I refused. Instead, I started juicing and walking.
I was 265 pounds when I started my first Reboot, and I was walking on a cane with so much pain that I could hardly move.
The first day, I couldn’t walk more than a quarter mile, and I thought mean green tasted like dirt and grass. But I kept going. My husband only did three days, but he loved it.
I found more support on Joe’s Facebook page. I made lots of friends from all over the country, and I started leaning on them for support. Every once in a while, I found myself giving them support, so it was a win-win situation for me.
I walked every night and juiced every day. I decided to Reboot for 60 days and then celebrate my 50th birthday, hoping to look better than when I turned 40 and even 30.
I found myself craving the Mean Green juice each day when I woke up. I also drank lots of water and unsweetened decaf tea. I drank Joe’s Mean Green Juice each day with no fruits because of my diabetes medications, staying away from any sugar.
I started noticing my shorts were getting bigger, but I didn’t weigh myself very often. The scale was not my friend because it didn’t show much improvement, so I put it in the closet and only weighed in once a week.
Week 4 and 5 were the hardest, showing no weight loss at all. And yet, I just kept going.
My family got together several times to go out to eat, but I just drank my tea. Everyone was so proud of me. My husband was so supportive and would meet me at the door after my walk with a cold water bottle.
My walk went from 3 miles to 4 miles per day, and I took a picture of myself and sent it to my son in the military. He sent me a thumbs up!
As my 50th birthday approached, I told my husband I wanted was to go shopping for a pair of blue jeans and high heels—the first I would wear in 27 years—so we did.
I showed up to my party rocking those jeans and high heels. It was the best day ever!
All of my children came to the party, and they “oohed and aahed” at my appearance.
On day 91, I weighed 191 pounds—down 74 pounds!* I am proud to say that I no longer take any diabetic meds, blood pressure meds or aspirin.*
I am also proudly wearing sexy jammies for my sweet husband. I missed almost 25 years of my life with him and now am going to be making up some lost time (wink wink).
I currently have two friends from Facebook doing my second reboot with me as newbies. It has been so fun to help them get started and am currently beginning a movement in my town about juicing and its health benefits.
I am beginning to see that ballet dancer body coming back and I couldn’t be happier. My new goal is to once again wear a pair of those pink toe shoes that I spent all my early years on. I will keep you posted on my success.
The most surprising thing about the whole process is how much I like that juice. In the beginning, I held my nose and just swallowed, but now I love it! It’s almost as if my body wants it, and my brain wants it as well.
I wish I had known earlier about this juice program because maybe I wouldn’t have lost so much of my life to body shaming and hating myself.
I would tell anyone else interested in the reboot to: just do it and jump in.
Thank you, Joe for all you have done for me. Sending all my love and thankfulness from Pensacola!