Kitten Barbosa had “hit rock bottom” in 2011. She had been in an abusive relationship and as her self-esteem plummeted, her weight had skyrocketed leaving her unable to walk without crutches and unable to drive because of her size.
“I didn’t have a scale that went high enough to weigh myself and didn’t want to, but I’m pretty sure I weighed over 500 pounds at my heaviest.”
Kitten admits to being a cheese and dairy addict and that she ate lots of processed food, bacon, turkey, fast food, Dr. Pepper, and coffee. She was just 36 years old but feared she was close to death and unable to care for her three children as she would like to. She also suffered a myriad of obesity-related health issues:
“I had a lot of physical issues, including edema in my left leg, which was massively swollen and purple and so sensitive that even a blanket couldn’t touch it. I couldn’t breathe well, couldn’t sleep well, and I suffered from constant headaches and depression. I also had to have emergency gallbladder removal surgery.”
Determined for change, the courageous mother left the abusive relationship moving back in with her family in Colorado where together they would reclaim their health.
“My father was a hunter and had grown up a big meat eater. His mother had died from diabetic complications, and he was quite sick himself, having been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He was also obese and on multiple meds. We met a nutritionist who advised him that eliminating meat and dairy would improve his health significantly, whereas his meds weren’t helping much at all. Just as predicted, as soon as he cut out the meat and dairy, all his risk factors started dropping.”
Her mother was also obese. Together they followed her father’s lead starting with a juice fast. Kitten went vegetarian for the first year dropping 100 pounds naturally. She then went vegan cutting out dairy products and the weight continued to come off as she regained her energy and health.
Since beginning her journey to health Kitten has lost over 300 pounds, her father’s diabetes disappeared and he got off all medications, her mother lost 130 pounds, and her brother lost 100 pounds. The example she is setting has had ripple effects in her family.
“…recently, my younger brother went plant-based and lost 30 pounds in his first month. I am thrilled to watch the ripple effect, as my children, too, are now choosing health. Having witnessed the power of food and good nutrition firsthand, my 13-year-old wants to be a vegan athlete, and my 16-year-old wants to be a vegan chef!
Kitten says she feels the whole foods plant based diet has given her another chance at life and she can’t stop talking about it.
“I hope my story will inspire others that it’s possible to take control at any stage, and change the course of your life. As long as you are breathing and your heart is beating, it is never too late to restore your health, your life, and your hope!”You can find Kitten and follow her journey on Facebook, on her YouTube channel, and on Instagram where she inspires others to reclaim their health through a plant based diet. Read her full first person account of her journey to health at Forks Over Knives.