Eric O’Grey co-stars in a 6-minute video that’s been viewed over 50 million times. He’s been on NPR, Rachael Ray, Oprah.com, and Today.com. He runs multiple marathons a year, advocates for animal rescue and plant-based diets, and is in the process of inking a book deal.
All because of a scruffy, obese, middle-aged rescue dog.
In 2010, Eric was himself an obese recluse, chowing down on two Domino’s Meat Lovers’ pizzas for dinner, and avoiding as much social contact as possible. He hadn’t been on a date in 15 years, because he felt so damn unattractive.
He was spending a grand a month on prescription meds (and that was just a fraction of what his insurance company was ponying up), and the most relevant medical advice he’d been given was, “Invest in a cemetery plot. You’re gonna need it sometime in the next five years.”
(Side rant: Don’t you love it that doctors can be that blunt, but are afraid to tell their patients to stop eating bacon?)
The bottom fell out one day when Eric delayed a plane by 30 minutes because they couldn’t find him a seatbelt extender. The man in the next seat turned on him and complained, “I’m gonna miss my connection because you’re too fat?” That night, Eric prayed for God to kill him.
The next day, Eric caught Bill Clinton’s interview with Wolf Blitzer, where Clinton revealed his vegan diet to the world. Eric noticed that Clinton looked healthy for the first time ever.
That gave Eric hope that he too could change. Despite decades and dozens of failed diets, Eric made an appointment with a local vegan naturopath. She changed his diet, and told him to adopt a dog.
And the rest is history.
Eric and I spoke on all manner of things, including:
- “I was a snowball rolling downhill” – the vicious cycle of obesity and social withdrawal
- why he decided to forgo bariatric surgery
- the difference between MDs and NDs – keep mopping the floor, or turn off the spigot
- the importance of support systems in making a big change
- Eric’s allotted lifeline to his past: 6 cans of tuna fish
- coming face to face with Peety, the rescue dog: “‘Really?’ we both said.”
- losing 5 pounds a week without effort (from 340 to 180 in 10 months)
- the root cause of his obesity -“I was a loner from a broken home”
- how Peety was Eric’s bridge of absolute and unconditional love and friendship
- “I wanted to become the person Peety thought I already was”
- the tragedy of The Biggest Loser and the scientific misinterpretation of its failure
- the American diet as a deadly collection of addictions
- going pre-med to understand the link between food and health
- eating as much as we want, if we do it right (vs portion control)
- why Eric describes himself as plant-based, even though he’s “every kind of vegan”
- the three films and three books he recommends to everyone (sadly, I didn’t write any of them, although I do appear in the background of one of the movies for about 3 seconds)
- why Eric took up running after he lost all his excess weight
- eating up to 5000 calories a day while training for long distances
- the Shmulik podcast
- becoming a spokesperson for Mutual Rescue™
- and much more…
Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.
EricandPeety.com (go there for links to pretty much everything else)
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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.
It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.
You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.
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