Oh my God, Lee!!! What a transformation! I interacted with you a lot in that ADV thread and I knew a little about your struggles, but not in this level of detail. Thanks so much for being open.
The crazy thing is your story is not so unusual in the lives of our family. My son-in-law is a family physician and sees all day every day the struggles Americans have with weight and health, 75% or more of which is resolvable by lifestyle, mainly diet. You now know how powerful it is and how simple it turns out to be (eat whole plants, not refined or animal foods), but most people have been raised to think it's extreme or you can't get enough protein or whatever.
Some of our best friends in life are people who had heart disease, type II diabetes, Crohn's Disease, IBS—all of them so easily curable through diet. It doesn't even take a ton of research. If you have Type II diabetes, just eat this way for 30 days and see how it goes away and your blood pressure and cholesterol normalize too. It sounds way too good to be true, like so much hype, but as you've seen, it is true.
My son-in-law reports that only 2% of his patients do it, but the ones who do are transformed and never go back. Congratulations to you for being one of the 2%. Who knew a side effect would be less depression and better mood, self-esteem, and the ability to empathize because now you feel better about your own self.