No one expects to be homeless, but I was going through a really rough patch. I ended up losing my job, losing my place, and living in my car, then on the street. It was terrifying. I met someone, but he became my worst nightmare. He became abusive to me, mentally, physically.
By the time I got out of that relationship six years later, I was a shell of who I had been. I was super depressed. I hardly had the will to live.
My doctor told me about Food Is Medicine. The first class gave me hope. It literally saved my life. It gave me my spark back. I started to care about myself and about others.
The coaches show so much concern and love. My dietician helped me get the right medication for my depression and helped me get my therapist. I was then diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Now I’m learning, through therapy, ways to better myself.
It’s made a huge impact on my whole family. I moved in with my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, and what I’ve learned has rubbed off on them. The program gives us different vegetables to take home, and me and my daughter come up with ideas to use everything in the bag. My daughter is a vegetarian now. She’s very healthy. My son-in-law used to drink soda, but he doesn’t now.
Before, I was overweight and my blood pressure was sky high. I had stomach problems. All of that has cleared up. I’m walking. I’m doing the online Zumba classes. My blood pressure is within normal range, and I’m working to get off my medication. I’ve lost 77 pounds and am still going strong.
I love the program. I got excited when I would see new people coming in after I’d been there a while. I knew I was never leaving. So they made me a peer leader.
There is so much enthusiasm in the program, and you can’t help but catch it too and get excited. It’s the total package with your mind and your body. It’s just a wonderful program.