Hey everyone! My name is Lani and Im from small town Alabama now but I grew up near New Orleans and was raised to be very open minded. Ok, so I've been lurking for about a month now and I finally decided I should introduce myself after reading how supportive everyone is. This is my story in a nutshell.

I am 41 and have been a stay at home mom for over 17 years. I had never had weight or health problems other than emotional problems from my teen years (thats another story) until about 2 years after my second child was born in my early 30s. My husband was sent out of state to work and he was gone for the majority of the next 8 years, coming home on most weekends, which left me at home raising two kids practically as a single parent. At the same time, my mother, who also happened to be my best friend, began showing signs of dementia and her memory and health began to decline at a rapid rate. I ended up cutting myself off from the world, started drinking heavily on a daily basis and I'm not sure how I managed to raise my children, but somehow we all survived what I call "my great depression". For about 6 years I was in a major depressive state, I was suicidal and I was trying to self medicate with beer and whiskey. I thought this was going to be my life.

About 3 years ago, after reaching rock bottom and realizing that I had two options, either get help, or just end it all, I thought of my children and they saved my life as they have so many times. I sought help for my depression. At first it was trial and error with medication, but after over a year of that I saw a psychiatrist and got myself in therapy and have found peace inside myself finally. I still drink a little alcohol on occasion, but not because I feel I need it. Once I began to see the goodness in myself and started to love myself, there was no longer a desire to drink.

My husband has been back at home for over a year now and we have worked through a lot of the pain and trauma that him being gone had caused in our family. My mother now has been diagnosed with full fledged Alzheimer's and it is still very hard to deal with but I have come to terms with it and I realized that she needs me now and I need to be there for her. I can't live in denial anymore.

Ok, so as of a month ago, I am still on medication (several of them) to control my depression and anxiety, and I'm not sure I will be able to come off of them any time soon. But years of being depressed, drinking heavily, emotional binge eating and not moving much have packed on weight (110 lbs to be exact). I am also on medication for high BP and high cholesterol. I am tired of starving myself with calorie reduced diets and I cried out on facebook about a month ago because I was so stressed over my weight and health and my cousin sent me a link to Mark's daily apple. I began reading and I was immediately hooked. I read for 3 days straight learning the science behind the lifestyle. It all made sense to me and the very first day I immediately stopped eating grains and sugar. I had no problem doing so because I was desperate. Here I am, almost a month later and I've dropped 15 lbs. I had already begun an exercise routine months ago so it wasnt hard to incorporate the sprints and lifting heavy things. I took up hiking once a week also, which I love! I'm having fun, enjoying life, feeling happy and very grateful and I'm looking forward to recognizing myself in the mirror again. I have faith for the first time in years that I can be healthy again. What a wonderful gift! Thank you Mark and everyone else for being an inspiration to me and so many others.