How does one go from a high performing Marine to a morbidly obese Type II diabetic to being mistaken for a sumo wrestler by a young boy to losing 180 pounds, finding their life’s work as a Diabetes Lifestyle Coach & Food for Life Instructor? Dennis Jones has done this and more.
Dennis Jones believes we are motivated by one of two things; the desire to avoid pain or the goal of achieving pleasure. When Dennis’ health was spinning out of control, he knew the pain needed to stop.
Nearly dying more than once, Dennis knew it was time to get serious about his health.
“I continued to live as if I was a Marine without all the exercise. Somewhere along the way, I ballooned up to nearly three hundred and fifty pounds and started having health issues,” Dennis states.
His doctor told him he could live with physical limitations and lots of medication or make much needed dietary changes.
With no more than the stern warning, Dennis was left to figure out what to do.
Fast forward 10 years and nearly having a heart attack from training for the Marine Corps marathon, Dennis had another red flag warning. This is when he discovered Dr. Dean Ornish’s book.
Completely whole food plant based for three years, Dennis’ philosophy is simple; live the truth you profess to subscribe to.
His lifestyle choice has not been without some push back from family and friends. He doesn’t push his perspective on others, but if anyone asks for information, he willingly shares insights and recommendations.
In addition to the health benefits of his food choices, animal compassion is also important to him. Growing up farming, he learned at an early age how to slaughter animals.
His choice to not consume animals extends to what he wears and the clothing he buys.
Health Was His Destiny
Growing up in rural America, Dennis saw a concerning part of America that some people overlooked. When his family moved into the city and provided him with a private school education, he still saw the ravages of poor health across the economic and social spectrum.
He started his career as a Health & Life Insurance broker, working with individuals and organizations to develop health insurance solutions with cost containment strategies.
Over time, he realized that cost containment was more than just financial. Dennis is a disabled veteran who experienced a health decline after leaving the U.S. Marines Corp. His weight jumped to nearly 350 pounds, and he developed high blood pressure and cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes.
Despite becoming vegetarian and losing weight for about a year, the lack of structure and guidance led him back to his old ways.A few years later, he nearly suffered a heart attack and was told he needed a double stent or bypass surgery. Neither option was ideal, and Dennis faced taking medications and making a significant lifestyle change.
One day, while looking for a healthy plant-based restaurant, he discovered GreenFare, an educational restaurant offering organic, whole food, plant-based meals. There, he saw a flyer for the Barnard Medical Center and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), and on the spot, he signed up for the 21-day challenge to improve his health outcomes.
Life Changing Doctors
Having faced his own mortality, Dennis woke up to making drastic changes. Under the guidance of Dr. James Loomis and Nutritionist Susan Levin, his life changed. He explored lifestyle management strategies built on evidence-based medical research and studied as a Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN).
From there, he became a certified Food & Lifestyle Coach and Food for Life (FFL) Instructor through the PCRM, and he has not looked back since.He got his numbers in check and eliminated his diabetes medications. Today, he teaches, coaches, and speaks about food because of a deep desire to improve people’s health and quality of life.
As a FFL Instructor, he teaches whole food plant based cooking, and shows people how they can eat healthy for $50 per week. He provides both one-on-one and group coaching.
Focusing on Type II Diabetes
Although he coaches people with various health conditions, his sweet spot is working with clients who have Type II diabetes.
Because of his own health journey, his practice focus is on diabetes & heart disease food and lifestyle management. Working under the guidelines of the American Diabetes Association, he also moderates a diabetes peer support group for the Barnard Medical Center, and speaks about motivational and lifestyle changes.
Contact Dennis Jones