This is the story of an outwardly healthy, physically active, 50 year old woman who is 5' 3" and 129 lbs.
I grew up very poor and my meals mostly consisted of macaroni and cheese, pasta with sauce and our meat product was Underwood Deviled Ham in a can. Who knows what they put in that stuff??? Meat was a luxury and only served on holidays. So as I grew up, meat became a status symbol. I ate meat as often as possible and it became what I knew to be my way of life. Meat was my friend and if I gained 5 lbs, I just ate more meat and reduced the carbs. If it was white I didn't eat it. Nor did I eat any fruit or sweet vegetables. To me that equated to extra pounds. As for beans and lentils... they were non-existent in my Standard American Diet. I believed what I was told and I thought what I was eating very healthy. The Atkins and South Beach diets where my dietary complete nutritional bible.
Once I turned 50 the reality of my genetics was just around the corner. Everyone in my family by the age of 60 was on at least 6 medications, had at least one disease and was chronically obese. I didn't want that for my future. I wasn't sure how I was going to be different. All I knew was medical visits and medications in my opinion were wasted money and time. Money that I worked so hard for and missed work means more lost money. I have worked so hard in my career to allow illness to jeopardize that. But where do I go for answers? I started hearing a lot about the CHIP program through my husband who was introducing it to the hospital in which he works. I would hear about all the illness and disease that he was hopeful would be remedied by the new lifestyle this program incorporated. He had my attention. I had the opportunity to meet the first group that was going through the CHIP program. I got to hear why they felt it was necessary for them to make this dramatic change. I also was fortunate enough to see them eight weeks later at their commencement ceremony. The changes in their internal health and their outward appearance was incredible! I also had the opportunity to eat a lot of the plant based foods they had all prepared for their commencement celebration. This was my only hold out. I couldn't imagine that the food would be palatable at all. Knowing that it was low sodium, low fat and all plant based still had me skeptical. As it turned out, IT WAS DELICIOUS! One food after another I found to be extremely enjoyable. At this point I was in. Eyes wide open and both feet in the game. All I had to do was pay my fee and get my blood lab work done and I could get in at the next enrollment session. I was really excited about the opportunity to go into the next chapter of my life without all of what I knew to be my destiny... cancer, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity among other diseases all my senior family members where plagued with. Most importantly, I dreaded the thought of being a burden to my husband and children. Especially since I had a choice. My induction in the CHIP Program to my surprise was an eye opening wakeup call. Even though I thought I felt perfectly fine, my blood work showed that my cholesterol level was 229! My bad cholesterol was at the level that traditionally I would have been put on a statin medication. I was already heading down the path that I had so much feared. Since I was now starting the program we decided to wait and see what the program would do for me. I was otherwise healthy with a BP of 98/60 I felt it was worth the gamble. The gambling paid off!!! Just 7 week into CHIP and my blood work being retested, here was what I got:
I AM NOW TRULY HEALTHY. INSIDE AND OUT! I feel better then I ever had before. Thank you so much to the pioneers of The CHIP Program who have given so much to me, the thousands of others before me and anyone else who wants to change their lives by CHIPPEN IT OFF! You are all my heroes. Sincerely, Gina Lacagnina
- I Lost 5 lbs
- Cholesterol drop of 68 points (now 161)
- BP 86/49