Today’s ‘ViSalus Transformation Tuesday’ is a miraculous story of a brave woman who had to battle through many obstacles to achieve a healthier life. Sherri Fowler’s incredible story goes well beyond losing weight, Sherri’s story is about a complete life transformation. A story about someone who suffered from numerous heart problems, type 2 diabetes, back problems, degenerative disk and facet disease, RLS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, severe asthma and severe depression, amongst other illnesses- and got their life back by fully utilizing the Body by Vi Challenge.
While The Challenge did not cure Sherri of her diseases, The Challenge did provide her with proper nutrition, healthy eating habits, a dedicated support system, enabled her to lose over 200 pounds and acted as the vehicle that completely changed Sherri’s life. Below is Sherri’s miraculous story, in her own words:
“I lost most of my weight on my first 90-Day Challenge- I had to overcome numerous obstacles just to make it to that first Challenge. My goal at the time was to essentially do as much as I could. While that may seem like too general of a goal, it was the best I could do considering I was dealing with multiple health issues including horrible heart issues such as skipping heartbeats, heartbeats fading out, double beating and racing. While weight loss was what I wanted, initially it didn’t seem like it was even a possibility.
I literally prayed every single night that I would wake up in the morning just so that my hubby and 3 boys would not find me dead. I couldn’t let them go through that…even though everyone was thinking that very well could happen. My health was in such poor condition that I was going to weekly cardiologist appointments and occasional emergency room visits.
I went to see a heart rhythm specialist who suggested to ‘kill off’ the parts of my heart that were causing problems that weren’t essential to living. Thankfully my primary cardiologist was against it- ‘killing off’ part of your heart doesn’t seem like much of a solution.
At this point I had two damaged valves, an enlarged right atrium chamber, damaged lungs and thyroid issues all because I took the diet drug Fen-Phen. When I was taking this ‘miracle weight loss drug’ I did lose weight, around 50 pounds in eight months, but at what cost to my body? The sad part was my health issues didn’t end there.
In addition to my heart problems, damaged lungs and thyroid issues, I was a type 2 diabetic, had bulging disks in my back, degenerative disk and facet disease, RLS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, severe asthma and severe depression. To put it simply, my health was a major issue- in fact, there were so many issues it was difficult to know where to start.
In the past I was usually hospitalized twice each winter because I had difficulty breathing the low-quality air. I am very happy to say that in the last year I have not been to the hospital at all- ZERO times!!!
Because of all my illnesses, I was prescribed a wide-range of medicines, 15 different medications to be exact. I was taking five hour naps daily in addition to sleeping ten hours each night, my feet were so swollen that they would frequently turn purple and I couldn’t walk across a room without being soaked in sweat and out of breath. I was rarely, if ever, able to leave my own home.
My damaged lungs were causing me to get about 70%-80% of the air that I needed on a daily basis, which meant I needed an oxygen mask. Each night I had to sleep hooked up to five liters of oxygen and a CPAP machine to combat my sleep apnea. There was no doubt that I need to get healthy. I had so many physical issues I began losing hope.
Growing up I was never ‘tiny’ but I was actually quite attractive. I took the state championship in shot put, placed in the top three in discus and javelin and even participated in the Junior Olympics in the 1980’s! I played a multitude of other sports as well when I was younger- that all seemed like a different life considering how bad things had gotten.
So how did I become an extremely overweight person that essentially hated themself? I honestly can’t tell you where I went wrong. Being an emotional eater caused a lot of problems- if I had a bunch of junk food in my house and was upset I would eat it all, but I didn’t have many unhealthy foods at my house.
I knew I needed to do something but had reached the point where I was so scared of what I ate I didn’t know what to do. So when I was told about The Challenge, that the Vi-Shape Shake Mix tasted amazing and that I could mix in all sorts of flavors and foods my only response was…. Sign me up!!
I still wasn’t convinced that the Body by Vi Challenge would work for me. Boy was I wrong. On my first 90-Day Challenge I lost 122 pounds, 18.5 inches and because I had improved my overall health, was able to cut back on certain medications. To say I was thrilled with the results would be the understatement of a lifetime. I truly believe that ViSalus saved my life.
After 3+ Challenges (I’m currently on my fourth) I am down 229 pounds, have lost 65+ inches and now, after consulting with my doctor, no longer need to take the majority of the medication I did previously. While ViSalus did not cure me of any of my disorders or diseases, I am now living such a healthier life that I cannot even compare it to just a few years ago. The shakes have really been the key to my success- they seem to give me energy and I find that I am no longer much of an emotional eater. Instead of craving junk food, I now crave Vi-Shakes!!
My diet now consists of Vi-Shakes, salmon, chicken, steamed veggies, tons of ice water and almonds amongst other healthy foods. I also make sure to take my time when eating- it may take me ten times longer to eat than a ‘normal’ person, but that is okay.
One of the greatest results that came from the Body by Vi 90-Day Challenge is that I have learned to love me, all of me. Thinner me, fatter me, happy me, sad me… I love all of me. I have learned that you need to be your own number one fan because if you don’t love yourself, how is the world going to love you?
Don’t get down on yourself when you haven’t had a perfect day, just try and make tomorrow a better one. Most importantly, remember this is not a diet, you are improving your life and making choices that will positively affect you and those around you. Make sure to be positive and learn how to laugh and smile… even if it’s you you’re laughing at!”
It’s people like Sherri who inspire all of us to continue this fight against obesity- it may not be easy, but seeing people’s lives change like this makes all the hard work worth it and then some. Congratulations Sherri, you are an incredible person and an exemplary role model! Thank you for sharing your story!