Lately I've been getting a lot of email asking about MY story. How did I get involved with the Wigmore Program, why did I get involved, and what did it do for me? OK, I'll share.
For 23 years, I lived in Key West, Florida and built four computer companies on two continents. In 1997, I'd had enough, and sold off the businesses, apartment building, office buildings, houses, and almost all of the stuff I'd accumulated. By the second week of January 1999, I was 48 years old, free and financially liquid. I took a year off and toured the United States, traveling 60,000 miles of highways and byways, first with an Airstream trailer, later with a Bluebird motorcoach.
I also spent the year overcoming my addiction to cigarettes, something I'd been dependent on since I was 14 years old. Jim December of 2000 was Jim at 260 lbs.
By Spring of 2000 I was rested, collected, and tobacco-free. I'd relocated to rural Georgia, adopted a dog, and started building a house with my own hands. I also weighed 260 lbs. I'd been watching my weight creep up over the years, from my college weight of 165 to around 210 or 220 by 1999. I considered myself healthy because, at 45, I could still shinny up a 50 ft. sailboat mast and repair the masthead while holding on with my legs. But a year of sitting behind the steering wheel, and substituting junk food and rich meals for the cigarettes I was trying to give up really put the weight on me. Now I was 50, and single-handedly building a house. I considered myself to be in good shape. I was active and pain-free, but I sure was getting big.
So . . . in January 2001, I made a New Year's resolution - go on a diet. I read about health and nutrition and then put myself on a 1700 calorie-a-day Vegetarian diet, substituting soy products for meat. I walked at least three miles a day, five times a week. In four months, I lost 20 lbs, putting my weight at 240. I kept counting calories in my little notebook, I kept walking 15 miles or more a week, and by Summer, I was still 240 lbs!
I could not lose any more weight. Very frustrating. If I went off my diet for a special weekend in Savannah, I'd gain 5 lbs in two days, then take a week or more to get it back off.
Back to the Internet researching. I learned about toxicity, raw living foods, and various programs. I read web pages written by people that had been on one diet or another, sometimes for a decade, but after initial improvements their health deteriorated, and they were facing new health challenges because of the inadequacies of the dietary lifestyle they'd adopted.
The more I studied, the more one program stood out. The "Living Foods Lifestyle," created by Dr. Ann Wigmore. What impressed me most were:
1) There are testimonies by people that have lived the lifestyle for 20, 30 and 40 years and are thriving on it.
2) The Wigmore program combines the elements of Raw Living Foods, Internal Cleansing, and Bodily Detoxification. Three or more elements rolled into one.
3) There are hands-on training centers where one can go and experience the program for an extended period of time, and not just try to sort it out from a bunch of books or a weekend seminar.
4) Most of these hands-on centers are reasonably priced. I've paid as much for one night at a nice hotel for what they charge for a week-long training program.
5) What does the founder look like today, or how did she die? Dr. Ann died of smoke inhalation while fighting a fire, at 84. She was fit and healthy. I've never been impressed when someone tries to sell me a lifestyle that doesn't appear to work for them.
6) Other notable raw fooders have, over the years, died as a result of accidents in their 80's and 90's, not of disease or medications. All maintained an active lifestyle up until their passing over.
7) Wigmore is an Educational Program, not "do this because I say so." At the training centers, they teach why the body isn't healthy, and what you can do about it. As an engineer and scientist, I appreciate this.
I could go on, but suffice to say, the more I looked at it, the more the Wigmore Program stood out as being the program I needed. Synchronicity came into play at this time, and an old friend from Key West called. When I mentioned the Wigmore program she told me that she'd been through the program herself several years earlier and credited it with saving her gall bladder.
August of 2001 found me at Creative Health Institute (CHI) near Union City, Michigan. On a trip North to visit my family, I stopped in for a three-day visit. I was so impressed with the personal experiences of the guests that I went back to Georgia, closed up the farm and returned to Michigan. I still weighed 240 lbs.
In my first two weeks at CHI, I lost 20 lbs. I never went hungry. I never missed a meal. I never counted a calorie. Indeed, I often had a second helping at lunch or dinner. At the end of the first month, I was down to 210 lbs. When I headed back for Georgia just before Christmas, I weighed 200 lbs.
Why did the program work so dramatically for me?
I was toxic. Not only did the organic, unprocessed food that CHI served reduce or eliminate the toxins that I was putting into my body, but the program of drinking wheatgrass juice and doing daily enemas helped my body eliminate toxins that I'd been accumulating all of my life.
By eating processed foods, I'd been putting toxins into my body faster than my body could remove them. I learned that my body was storing these toxins in fat cells in order to protect me. Once I eliminated the toxins I was ingesting, my body was able to quickly process the backlogged accumulation. Jim in August 2005 was Jim at 180 lbs.
I also had a large amount of impacted fecal matter. Most people do, I learned. The enemas cleared out this backlog. That's probably why my initial weight loss was so dramatic. All of this I learned in the program.
Since 2001, I've spent three to six months of the year at CHI, helping out as a volunteer as I helped myself get healthier. I weigh 180 lbs now, and my weight is still slowly declining. I expect to stabilize around 165-170, what I weighed in college. I can stay pretty raw at home, but I can't come close to the yummy food they create and serve at CHI.
The other thing that keeps me going back to CHI is the feeling when I see others overcome their health challenges. I've seen people heal their diabetes, obesity, arthritis, colitis, after-effects of chemotherapy, breast cancer, hepatitis, heavy metal poisoning, asthma, wounds that won't heal, PMS, migraine headaches--all kinds of health challenges. I've even seen people stop smoking, painlessly, in just a few days. They didn't even notice that they'd quit. Wish I knew that back in 1999.
I try to help CHI in their mission. I've installed computers and a network, rewrote the website, taught various classes, mowed the lawn, started this newsletter, served as Program Director, done public speaking, fixed toilets, painted buildings, made some videos, answered the phones, stuffed envelopes, told my story on TV and radio, and created and marketed the home study program (chiDiet.com) for those who can't get away for a session at CHI.
Through all of this I've watched people perk up, heal and get happy. Like Chantel from Zimbabwe. She came to CHI with rheumatoid arthritis, which she'd had since she was 16. She was 26. At graduation, after completing the two-week program, Chantel said, "I stopped taking my medication after I was here three days. I've not had any pain in a week." With tears streaming down her cheeks, she said, "This is the best I have felt since I was 15 years old."
Last summer Chantel sent me an email. "While I am only 75% raw after these two years, I am not taking medication, and my pain has not returned. I am happy to tell you that I am now married and three months pregnant. Your program made this possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
What did raw living foods do for me? They helped me lose over 60 lbs, they gave me an energy level that's like being 25 again (I took up skydiving last year). Instead of sleeping 8-10 hours a night, I awaken totally refreshed after only 4-6 hours of sleep. My bowels are regular and move easily. I'm happier all the time. People say I "glow," and I smile all the time. I have a more positive outlook on life. My cravings for snacks, sweets. and caffeine have disappeared. Most of all, I find my life more satisfying and rewarding than it's ever been before.
Jim Carey January 6th, 2006
About the Author
Dr. James Carey is a retired engineer and international consultant now dedicated to the Raw Living Food Movement.