I don't have a personal success story (yet) but would like to post the story of Eula Weaver, who came to the Pritikin program (very much like the McDougall program) at age 81, barely able to move. I first read about her years ago when I was very young and 81 years old seemed like the grave. If anyone ever inspired me to start moving (and I was a very fat and sedentary teenager), it was Eula Weaver, because I thought if she can exercise with all her problems, so can I.
This account of her story came from a website, soil and health
Age as a limiting factor in rehabilitation
Our study has indicated the promising rehabilitative potential of a diet and activity regimen for claudication patients. That age need not be a limiting factor in rehabilitation is demonstrated by the case of a woman, E.W.: She began, almost 6 years ago at age 81, using the same regimen described in this paper for the experimental group. Her symptoms, like those of the study patients, included other atherosclerotic manifestations besides claudication. Only 5'3 " tall and weighing 100 lbs for the last 40 years, she had developed cardiovascular disease and was treated for angina at age 67. At age 75 she was hospitalized with severe heart attack, and at age 81 had claudication, congestive heart failure, hypertension, angina and arthritis. When she began the regimen at age 81, her claudication limited her walking to 100 feet and even then the calf pain was so disabling she often had to be carried home; and the circulation to her hands was so impaired she wore gloves in the summertime.
Last year, at age 85, and after 4 years on the regimen, she was televised at the Senior Olympics in Irvine, California, where she won 2 gold medals in the half-mile and mile running events. This year, at age 86-1/2, she repeated the runs and now has 4 gold medals. Each morning she runs a mile and rides her stationary bicycle 10-15 miles; twice weekly she works out in a gym; and she follows her diet assiduously. Her systolic pressure is 70 mm.
This combined low-fat diet and exercise approach has proven to be significantly (p <.001) more effective in the treatment of severe peripheral atherosclerotic vascular disease than current therapies.
It is hoped that the results reported by the use of this regimen will encourage other investigators to repeat our studies.