Success Story: Overcoming Osteoporosis

Fear mongering tactics have patients believing that if they don't take prescribed medications for osteoporosis (Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, Forteo, etc.), they will soon break their hips and end up on a wheel chair. However, there is a far better and more empowering message that people with osteoporosis need to hear in order to take back control of their lives.

After publishing my video lecture on osteoporosis, I began to receive lots of feedback from around the world. People were looking for a better alternative to bone medications. Their instincts and search for the truth had led them to my video, and they were ready to receive new information that could empower them to improve their condition. However, while responding to literally hundreds (if not more) of their emails and calls, it became alarmingly apparent that all of these individuals shared a common and very difficult obstacle to overcome: fear.

Getting Over The Fear Mongering

I don't know the specific wording their doctors had used when delivering news of their diagnosis, but the destructive message that resonated within all of these patients was quite clear: “My bones will break if I don’t take the proper medications, I am very fragile and there is not much more I can do”.

It was uncanny how individuals calling from different continents, with different lives and accents, were all sounding very much the same when expressing their fears over their recent diagnosis. It was almost as if they had all been flown in from around the world, put into the same room and told the exact same message about their health. I could hear and feel their anxiety through their voices and emails, and I knew this could block their path to success.

I had to begin by reassuring them that they did not suffer from a bone medication deficiency, but from a weight training and diet deficiency. It was important to remind them that in decades of scientific research on osteoporosis, nothing had ever shown to be as conclusive and important as the benefits of strength training and proper nutrition. Slowly they began to realize that there was no pill that could do for them what they could do for themselves, and that this was not the moment in their lives to be paralyzed by fear. In fact, I convinced some of them that their recent osteoporosis scare could be a moment of great opportunity, a turning point that could mark the beginning of greater health and a better life.

Now it was time to turn positive thinking into action. The first step was for them to become better educated about exercise and especially nutrition. Over the weeks and months that followed, I worked closely with each client as they began to exercise efficiently while also learning to transition to a healthy plant-based diet. As part of our agreement, they were required to send me short videos of themselves performing some of the exercises I had prescribed. This allowed me to evaluate their form and to make appropriate adjustments, but it also reminded me of the commitment and strength each of them possessed. I was witnessing the true meaning of courage, and it was coming in loud and clear from all over the world.

From Anxious Patient to Fitness Enthusiast

Soon enough, what I had promised they were capable of achieving was becoming a strong reality. Success stories began to pour in. One client even took a 600 mile drive with her husband to surprise me in person at our facility. Others kept me posted on their wonderful improvements via telephone and email. Below is an email I received from my client Marianne who gave me permission to share it with all of you:

Marianne’s email

Hi Marc,

Thank you for your reply and continued words of encouragement. As you well know, it was tough for me to get over the initial anxiety of an osteoporosis diagnosis, but once I became focused on a productive exercise program, along with some fairly significant changes to my diet, I started to feel in control of my health. In honesty, it really was your no nonsense approach, coupled with a big dose of reality, that got me thinking about a more proactive and positive approach to my own health.

I wanted to provide you with an update, as we have not connected for some time.  The good news is that I am doing well and have remained very committed to both my diet and exercise regime.  In all honesty, I can't believe the difference, especially when it comes to muscle development in my back, my legs, my arms and core.  While weight loss was not my primary focus, I have lost about 10 pounds in a healthy and productive way...and I feel great.

I am truly grateful for all of your guidance and encouragement, and I just can't thank you enough.  You were right! I can actually do 20 pushups, and to think I couldn't even do one six months ago.  With each passing day, I do try to improve both my diet and exercise regime.  I can't say that I have perfected either, but I am still very much committed to doing what it takes to lead a healthy life.

I can say, that I am most definitely feeling the rewards of all my efforts. On our recent mediterranean vacation, I felt incredibly strong and was able to easily climb the 326 narrow steps to the top of St. Peter's Basilica, and the Spanish steps in Rome were no problem at all. We walked several kilometers each day, up and down steps and hills, and I never really felt exhausted.

I will continue with my exercises with an aim to increasing the overall intensity of the program, but I do plan on reconnecting with you in the new year to solicit your continued advice and to discuss next steps in my exercise regime.

Thank you for helping me to gain the confidence that I needed to take full control of my health, and to examine and question the vast amounts of health/diet information that is out there, with a much more critical eye.

Wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy holiday season.

Best regards,


Turning anxiety into action and empowering people to take back control of their health is half the battle. The other half is all about guiding them with a step by step detailed approach. I’m always honest about the amount of work that is required, and the fact that they have to make significant changes to their lifestyle. There is no sugar coating, and I let each person know that it won’t be easy but it will surely be worth it. Most importantly, I remind them that it is their choice - whether to rise to the opportunity to improve their health, or to negotiate a way out of it.

Our health is still our responsibility, and we should never get scared into forgetting that we can achieve great results through proper exercise and nutrition. For Marianne it wasn’t just about overcoming her diagnosis, but about having the opportunity to continue living a wonderful and full life. 

My videos, including the one on osteoporosis, are all available here.

Marc Jaoudé
Naturopath, Health Educator
Nutrition & Exercise Specialist

17 Responses

  1. I’d love info on your diet and excersize,program I was diagnosed with osteoporosis two years ago next scan Monday. Don’t want to take the meds. I walk and and very active. Hike ect..

    1. Hi Theresa,

      Walking and hiking are great, but not enough. Proper intensity exercise is crucial for building strong bones, as is improving your overall quality of movement. For information regarding our nutrition and training coaching, please feel free to contact us directly through the website. Here are some links you may find useful:

      – Our contact page:

      – Online exercise coaching:

      – Information on our health/nutrition consults:

      Wishing you all the best. Stay active!

  2. I know this is a late reply for a super article on Osteoporosis, but I hope it is useful. Like many of you, I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis some three years ago and was prescribed medication to take. None of agreed with me and I thought there must be another way to heal my body. Marc’s videos have opened my eyes and his training is helping me to keep more active and I have changed my diet. 2018 will be a Great Year for Marc and I. PSSTTT!!!! Do we tell them now?

    1. Haha! Well hello Sushma! I intend on writing a whole new article highlighting your nutrition transformation- it deserves it’s own space. Your journey is a perfect example of going through the “I don’t think I can eat this way” phase, to the “Ok, I love it but I don’t think my family will” phase, to the “everybody loves it and asks me for it all the time” phase, and, finally, the “I’m putting out a recipe book” phase. Your ability to transform cultural Indian dishes into healthier formats is an important contribution, and the fact that you went through this transformation yourself is a wonderful testimonial that can encourage others to follow in your footsteps.

    2. Hi Sushma,

      My Mom’s T score is -5. I’m worried about her diet. I would be grateful If you can share your experience with the type of diet or lifestyle you are following for reversing your bone density.


      1. Hi Parag,

        As a general rule, I have a breakfast (at 6.30) consisting of sprouted buckwheat groats, with home made almond milk and small handful of blueberries or other berries in season, with a fresh ginger, spice and mint tea. If I feel a bit peckish at 11.30,I will have a pice of fruit. At lunch time, during the winter time, I have home made soup with two multi seeds crackers which are made from ancients grains and buckwheat and small amount of hummus (using sprouted chickpeas, garlic, raw tahini, lemon, fresh basil or smoked paprika himalayan salt and water- it tastes amazing). Throughout the day I drink 2 litres of hot filtered water (tea temperature). My dinner varies a lot, but generally lentil/ or sprouted beans with either red rice, millet chapati and plenty of either raw vegetables with spiced dressing or lightly steamed veg with a dressing. If I have pasta,it will be buckwheat or red lentil pasta with vegan pesto, mushrooms, sprouted lentils, fresh basil, raw peppers and a cooked onion base. I make a Asian style strifry (not quite fry) but find a way flavour my food with gluten free and vegan stuff, with sea weed and other delights. I mix up my meals a lot of the evening. For my lunches during the Summer time, will be full of very colourful salads with lots of flavours. I am writing a recipe book for Indian cooking without oil and I am experimenting it all as I adapt original recipes to my way of enjoying the food. Even my 87 year old Dad enjoys my Dhal now. ….
        I only take Vitamin B12 supplements . Vegan and totally plant based.
        With Marc’s regular workouts every morning or depending on the programme it will be every other day.
        My T-schore was measures at 6.8 and 7….. I refused to take any acids from day one. I was suffering from back pain and was unable to garden, my favourite pass time and hobby. BUT, once I started on Marc’s programs, within 7-8 months, I was out gardening again. I now walk 8 -10miles with no knee pain or any back pain. I hope that helps to encourage your mum to try out the change of life style.

        1. Wow. That’s an amazing diet you are following. So much variety in it. I’m sure my mum can replicate many things from your inspiring eating habits.

          I’m only concerned about organic produce availability in India & non-availability of some of the variety of foods available in the U.S. But I’m sure I will pass through this hurdle.

          How much has your T score improved till now? Are these test numbers really relevant.?

          I will definitely wait for your recipe book. Thanks a lot for giving such a detailed answer to my query. My mum is experiencing regular back, neck & shoulders pains since last 1 month and she is on weekly bisphosphonates for now. I will definitely encourage her to follow this lifestyle. 🙂

          Thanks & Lots of regards
          Parag Govil

          1. You are very welcomed. Try and get her off those poisonings….. look for locally grown small scale veg supplier in India. In the US, you should have access to certified organic produce like ourselves here in the UK. Ignore T-scores as long as you follow the way of life.
            All the best.

  3. Long time with out news abaut you.I liked your report very usefull to me I suffer osteoporosis since 16 years. Thank you. Best regards from Spain. Arling

    1. Thank you Arling, I appreciate your feedback. I’m glad that you found the article useful. Wishing you all the best.

  4. I had been diagnosed with osteoporosis and though am 51, was told I have bones of a 75 year old, spend some month staying back ,depressed and extremely careful of not falling down , but now I do yoga , walk and love a life complete. Only one thought everyone is to die one day , so let’s live to the fullest till then .

    1. Thanks for sharing Poonam. The reason we exercise, eat well and take care of our health is not necessarily to live longer, but to have the opportunity to enjoy life to the fullest. I hope others will follow your good example. Just make sure to add some resistance training as well. All the best.

  5. Great article, because it speaks to so many people in our culture, especially women. I too got a “diagnosis” that I had osteopenia (the early stages of osteoporosis, I was told). My doctor said if I didn’t take the bone medication she prescribed, I’d be in dire circumstances. I took it for 2 years, and then saw a bone specialist, who told me to throw away the medication, because I didn’t need it!
    I only wish I’d met Marc Jaoude earlier, and started the plant-based diet, and strength training I do now. I’m in better health and shape than I was 10 years ago, when I got that false diagnosis. Thank you, Marc, for spreading this important message and empowering people!

    1. Thank you Lynda, it’s a pleasure training you. It’s been almost 2 years and you have gotten so much stronger- well done!

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