492 Dog Rescues Overweight, Unhealthy, Depressed Man – Eric O’Grey

What you will hear in our discussion with Eric O'Grey:

  • His doctor told him to buy a funeral plot
  • Dog saves overweight man
  • Avoiding bariatric surgery
  • Reversing disease with a plant-based diet
  • 150 lbs gone in 10 months
  • $1000/month on medication – How to break the cycle

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More about our featured guest Eric O'Grey

In 2010 at age 51, I was 330 pounds at 5’10”, my waist was 52 inches, and I wore 4XL shirts.  I had Type 2 diabetes, my total cholesterol was over 300, and my blood pressure was 160/100.  I had tried and failed with every diet plan, diet book, and diet gimmick ever marketed for weight loss in the U.S.  I was taking over $1000 in medications per month, including insulin, statins, and medications intended to mitigate the side effects of other medications.  My doctor told me to purchase a cemetery plot, because I would likely need one in the next five years.

As a last ditch effort to avoid bariatric surgery, I consulted with Dr. Preeti Kulkarni, a plant-based naturopathic doctor, who advised me to rescue a dog from a local shelter.  In addition to following my doctor’s advice and switching to a whole foods, plant-based diet, I called Humane Society Silicon Valleyand asked to adopt an obese, middle-aged dog so we would have something in common.  And that’s how I met Peety, the 7-year-old dog who rescued me.

Over the next year, my weight dropped to 180 pounds, my waist is now 33 inches, and I wear a size medium shirt.  My type 2 diabetes and all my other health problems were reversed, and I no longer take any medications.  Today I am 56, but feel like I’m 25, and I’ve sustained my results for 5 years.

When people ask how I turned my life around, I point to Peety. I would not have reversed my physical problems without first correcting the underlying causes of my obesity, which were caused by my standard American diet, my sedentary lifestyle, and because I became reclusive and stopped caring about myself and others.

I was unconscious until Peety came into my life, and I am now a better person in every aspect of my life because of what he taught me.  Peety’s love for me was absolute and unconditional, which taught me the meaning of true friendship and how to love myself and others.  Peety believed I was the greatest person on Earth, and so I decided to become the person he believed me to be.  I never knew the meaning of personal responsibility until Peety became responsible for me.  Because Peety was completely selfless towards me, he taught me to care about myself and to be more selfless toward others.  And because Peety helped me believe in myself and again, I was able to lose weight by sticking with my new healthy lifestyle and walking him for at least a half hour twice each day.

After Peety and I both achieved our optimal weight and overcame our health problems, every aspect of our lives improved, both personally and professionally. Peety and I made many new friends and went on many adventures together.  I developed an interest in long distance running, and Peety remained my best friend and biggest fan.

Peety got cancer and passed away in my arms on March 11, 2015, which was the saddest day of my life.  But then, in August 2015, after finishing a race, I felt the call of another dog looking for me, and I immediately drove to Seattle Humane.  Once there I met Jake, a 4-year-old Labrador retriever mix who had been found abandoned and just placed for adoption four minutes before I arrived.  Jake and I bonded immediately at first sight, and I adopted him on the spot.  Jake turned out to be the best running partner I could have hoped for, and like Peety, now accompanies me almost everywhere. 

Connect with Eric on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and his website.

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Joel Boggess

Keynote Speaker | Corporate Trainer | Award-winning podcaster I help teams ignite their courage, take bolder steps, and get greater results. Together, we create possibilities that bring empowerment, meaning, and financial impact.

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