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Avoiding Gastric Bypass Surgery and Still Losing Weight

Sep 16, 2008
This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's Renegade Roundtable, which can be found at http://www.RenegadeRoundtable.com. In this excerpt, Phillip McClusky shares on being 400 lbs. and what saved him from gastric bypass surgery.

Renegade Water Secrets with Phillip McClusky, who lost 200 lbs. and found health and happiness in a raw food lifestyle. He is the host of www.lovingraw.com.

Phillip: Thank you very much Kevin. I appreciate the opportunity to be on the phone with you and for all of your listeners as well. I'm really excited for tonight's show.

Kevin: Awesome. Well, let's start very simply. Why don't you just start by talking a little bit about what you went through, in your past, before you started to realize that maybe you needed to change.

Phillip: Well, I had been overweight my entire life, so like you had mentioned I grew up being the "cute chubby kid" which everybody liked to pinch my cheeks and such. And then somewhere along elementary school I started to get to be fairly heavy and then junior high school I think it worked into being rather obese. And then high school and after high school I became morbidly obese until finally I reached a point of 400 pounds.

So many people ask me, "How do you get that big?" And the funny thing was is my mom never really had salt or sugar in the house growing up and we didn't have that much junk food to speak of. But a lot of it tended to be really heavy amounts of food, just large, large portions, eating two and three times the amount that everybody else at the table had, going back for seconds and thirds and just really trying to fill some sort of emotional void that was there instead of dealing with it in other ways. It resulted in emotional eating. So that's kind of the start of this and really where it brought me up to was an amazing place. It was
very difficult growing up that way.

Many times I didn't even know there was an option. There were times I just resigned to the fact of thinking that I was never going to be in shape and just actually be happy, and just tried to be happy some how, some way, in shape, form, with being overweight. And I actually tried to do that for a couple of months until I really got to the place where I was like, "That's just such a terrible attitude. There's got to be some way..." And I had given up hope. I was researching and just like you mentioned I had tried literally every type of diet known to man. You can mention it and I've tried it, I'm sure. Thirty different diets over the course of the time, even some of the other types of things like hypnotism and guided imagery and water fasting and even tried vegetarian and vegan. And for some reason those things just didn't click in for me, until later on I found raw foods. That discovery really was to be the catalyst to change the rest of my life.

Kevin: So you said that you were about to consider, or you maybe even met with the doctor about bypass surgery. Is that correct?

Phillip: Yeah, what happened is I didn't have any...basically after all these different diets I didn't have any other choice, any other option, I felt, and so I kind of just did what the media was really pushing at the time. And they were really pushing gastric bypass surgery being the only sort of answer for somebody with this type of situation. So literally living and going through all these diets and just feeling hopeless, I thought that that was the only thing for me.

So I went to the hospital and was welcomed in. The surgery was widely accepted and went through literally a month of tests to satisfy my insurance company. Probably eight or nine different tests, sleep apnea, staying in the hospital overnight, heart tests, breathing tests, everything you can think of, to sort of get this approval from my insurance company. And they finally approved it and they said, "Okay, you can have this. We'll pay for it. You can do it anytime you want."

I had been going to some of the support groups and had seen people that had already gotten the surgery and found that some people were having complications and there was a chance that people were dying on the table and were dying later on from complications. Even people that were totally healthy, per say, and stuck on the plan very well were still having some complications. And then I had heard about some people who had literally had the surgery and lost 150-200 pounds and then somehow stretched their stomach and gained it all back, which I didn't even know was possible. Then I actually met a friend's mother who had lost all the weight, gained it back, somehow convinced another doctor to do the surgery a second time, which I hadn't even heard of, lost all the weight and gained it back again. So I kind of felt like this wasn't the answer, but it was the only thing.

As I was about to actually have it done at the very last moment just a still voice inside me said, "Don't do it." And I knew at that moment that there had to be some other option. So that's when I really decided to bypass gastric bypass surgery.

Kevin: Wow. So take me through the thought process here. You tried all these other things, literally a Rolodex of different things that you've done. They haven't worked. So you're faced with bypass surgery, not bypass surgery, oh my gosh...You're faced with this surgery. How did you make a decision to do what you did? And did you know it was going to work?

Phillip: You know, I didn't know raw was going to work per say, but I had to try something. The last thing I was doing was reading some books about water fasting and somebody in the book had mentioned raw foods. I did a seven-day water fast. It was a very nice experience. It was quite successful. But I heard this word "raw food" and I didn't know what that meant. So I googled it online and just did a little bit of research and ran across this book called "Raw Family" by the Boutenkos. Each one of the four people in the family had a different disease and they all overcame them with raw food. For some reason when I read this, I mean I literally read the book in an hour, and something just resonated in me. I just felt that somehow, some way, this was the ticket for me. This was what was really going to work this time.

I had no reservations. I literally switched overnight from eating heavy amounts of fast food, basically fast food almost every meal, probably anywhere from two to three times the amount of food the average person eats, switched overnight to 100 percent raw foods. I kind of just knew that it would work and I just made the switch, made a commitment. But more than anything I really made a switch in my mindset, I think, which was the thing that really helped me to make this switch. Because it really wasn't so much of a struggle this time around, as so many of the other diets were, it was literally like my mind was like, "Okay, you don't eat this type of food anymore, now you eat this." And so the process and making the choice was quite simple and I really felt deep down inside that this was going to be the answer for me. Basically I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and I had reached my low.

So many people don't make change in their life until they're actually standing in front of their doctor and their doctor says, "Okay, you're dying. You have a year to live. You have to make a choice about your health." Then all of a sudden everybody gets excited and wants to make a change in their life. But for me the day that I stepped on the scale and the needle went to 400, that was kind of like my death sentence. So I knew I had to find something and nothing really felt right, it was just what I was doing with the time.

But when I found out and heard and started reading about this raw food thing it just made sense. There was nobody out to make money off of it. There wasn't any packaged foods I had to make or any cards that I had to move from slot to slot, or any programs or any monthly fees that I had to pay. There was not big mastermind behind this. It was just fruits and vegetables. You could even grow it in your backyard. It seemed simple and it just felt right. And that's when I went for it Kevin.
About the Author
To read the rest of this transcript as well as access The Renegade Roundtable experts just like Phillip McClusky please click here! Kevin Gianni is an internationally recognized health advocate, author & film consultant. He has helped thousands of people take control of their own health naturally. For more information visit raw food diets and holistic nutrition.
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