Written By Marisa Marinelli
Andre was born and raise in Brazil. At the age of 25, he considered himself a happy young adult who liked to have fun with his friends. After being diagnosed with necrosis of the bone in his femur, he was inspired to try a macrobiotic lifestyle to see if it would help. Not only did he heal his bone, he lost 70 lbs in 70 days! Read his dramatic weight loss interview below:
What was your lifestyle like before you lost the weight?
I used to go out with my friends 3 or 4 times a week to bars where we would drink or eat out at restaurants. We’d stay out really late into evening and it happened a lot. Usually when we go out we would end up eating the food at the bar, a lot of fried things such as pork. A lot of pork is served in Brazil where I lived. Eating and drinking late at night was for sure.
Would you say you were happy with your life during that time?
Yes. Yes I was. Definitely happy.
When did you discover macrobiotics?
The first time I had contact with macrobiotics was in 2004 through a friend. He was giving it a try for a while. In one month (of eating this way) I saw a difference in him. His face looked like he was 2 years younger and he had lost some weight. When I first decided to try macrobiotics it was in 2009. I had a problem with my bone structure. I had necrosis of the bone which means it started to die due to a lack of oxygen. The doctors wanted to cut the femur and put in a metal piece. I did not want to have this procedure done at all. I thought it would be absurd if this was the only option they were offering me. I went to a few doctors to get second opinions but they all said I needed this surgery. The condition was so bad that I walked around with a cane at the age of 25. At this time, I recalled my friend’s experience with macrobiotics and decided to do it for myself. I found a counselor (where I lived) in Brazil and started to work with him.
What changes did you see after adopting macrobiotics into your life?
After that I started to feel very very very well. My happiness increased! I thought I was already happy but I feel so much happier now after macrobiotics.
I lost 70 lbs in 70 days. Since then I have maintained this weight for the last 5 years because I continued to practice macrobiotics. AND my bone healed! [Andre says this as he jumps up and down on one leg]. I did not have any surgery and have not been back to the doctors since. I feel great!
What was the hardest challenge that you had in changing your lifestyle?
Avoiding cravings for old food was my biggest challenge. I was very lucky to have the support of my family and girlfriend at the time. They were very supportive and that helped me a lot to continue what I was doing. I used to eat a lot of pizza and hamburgers before [my diet change]so there were a lot of cravings [for those heavy foods]. The alcohol was never a problem to let go. My friends were okay with me not drinking. I still when out to the bars with them and I would take my kukicha tea with me. When I went out to dinner with my girlfriend I would explain to the restaurant manager that I could not eat this food and they would not have a problem with me bringing my own food. Of course, this was in Brazil.
Do you eat out at restaurants now?
Not yet, not in 5 years. I cook for myself every day. Living here at the K.I. is the first time Im not cooking for myself, however I know Im being supported with good healthy food.
What brings you to Kushi Institute in Becket, MA?
I realized that I want to work with macrobiotics. I want it to be the main part of my life. When I discovered this opportunity to study and this was the best place to learn this material, I didn’t even think twice about it. I quit my job and came here to do the [Macrobiotic Leadership Training] Levels. I’m not sure exactly how yet, but I know this is my path.