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How Adam Sud Lost 100 Pounds, Kicked Adderall, Reversed His Diabetes & Found A Life

By September 9, 2015January 19th, 202413 Comments

“The search for the authentic self is the essence of recovery.”

Adam Sud

I love the everyman stories.

Adam Sud isn’t famous. He’s not a world-class performer. And he’s not schilling a book.

He’s just an average dude living a pretty normal life.

But look deeper and you’ll find a rather extraordinary story. The story of a guy who completely lost himself in the bleak darkness of drug and food addiction. Hopelessly hooked since high school on the superman rush provided by Adderall, Adam spent most of his twenties isolating and high — up all night playing video games and binging on fast food.

The heavier he got, the more he isolated, until he stopped caring altogether. Life shrank to a cycle of getting high, finding more Adderall, and repressing his increased depression and anger with more and more fast food — a lifestyle that left him over 300lbs with Type-2 diabetes on a crash course with an early grave. Out of cash, unemployable and alienated from friends and family, Adam finally faced a choice:

live on the street or reach out for help.

After extended stays in rehab and sober living facilities Adam found sobriety, peace of mind and a new lease on life.

Oh yeah — he also lost over 100 pounds, reversed his diabetes and repaired his physical health wholesale. How?

By adopting an active, plant-based lifestyle.

Today, Adam lives a conscious, purpose-driven life devoted to helping others achieve and maintain a holistic, healthy lifestyle.

Not surprisingly, this is a conversation about drug addiction, sobriety and nutrition. But it’s also a conversation about cross-addiction, low self-esteem and an important issue rarely discussed — body dysmorphia and eating disorders in men.

I’m inspired by Adam’s tale of everyman redemption and I think you will be too.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.

Peace + Plants,


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Connect With Adam: Website | Instagram | Linkedin

Background, Context & Reference:

Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast:

Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:

Production, music & sound design by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson.

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  • Tommy F says:

    Forgiveness, redemption, atonement. Josh LaJaunie, David Clark, Rich Roll.. now Adam Sud. These are today’s transformational “heroes”. In the spirit of Joseph Campbell’s mythological hero, there is no greater triumph within the plot of our modern, abundant, temptative culture, than the everyday man who exhibits the bravery required to halt the elevator from crashing into ground zero. Then limps off with his fractured ego, to crawl back up the stairs of that uncertain, scary, long, righteous path of recovery.

    TV, movies, the internet, radio, sculptured recording artists, magazines, billboards.. all tempt us away from the best version of ourselves. Fully attuned to temptative pop-media, the deck is stacked against us. Slowing everything down just long enough, to begin expanding our awareness and re-cultivate a life that was never really presented to us. A way of conducting ourselves within a lifestyle platform that allows us to experience the best, most authentic version of our true selves.

    Beer, adderall, pizza, cheeseburgers, speed and crack are all prescriptions for the fleeting tip of pleasure, masquerading above the submerged iceberg of immense suffering. Our bodies, cells, emotions, thoughts and everything hovering just above the very core of our being, is influenced by temptation within our modern culture. Only when we meditate and settle into our core self, are we able to rebuild our outer self the sustainable, un-destructive, life enhancing way. And it takes mammoth heroic effort to turn the tide of our own making, admitting to ourselves that living up to culture’s version for us, instead of our own, is the WRONG WAY. Then settling into a placid state of connectedness. Another stellar podcast Rich!


  • Steve H. says:

    Rich, I felt duped by the title of this podcast for at least the first hour of the discussion. In my mind, Adam was not an “everyman” like your title suggested. He is a child born into privilege and Whole Foods royalty! Any one that can support his addiction with Whole Foods stock is not an “everyman.” I hope people listen to the entire podcast. As the second hour progressed, I began to see the true Adam. The story of his relationship with his father, in my mind, is the whole story. When he gave out his phone number, he had me convinced of his sincerity.

    Great show, thanks for introducing us to Adam.

  • Gail Allen says:

    OMG I totally agree with Steve H. the first half of the podcast kind of turned me off but now I’m listening to the second half and I’m seeing the man Adam has become. As an almost 60 year old woman I can’t relate to Adderall addiction but what I can relate to is feeling bad about your body, diabetes (I don’t have it but others in my family have it), and making major changes to my diet. Rich thanks for exposing us to Adam and his story.

  • Jennifer Charpentier says:

    I love how the universe works. Today in an early morning conversation with my sponsor I said the words, “I desire to get ‘comfortable with the feeling of being uncomfortable’.” Then I hear those very words echoed back to me in your discussion with Adam. Another RR podcast that resonates. As an addict in recovery I am very familiar with the sneaky urge that still stalks me, trying to tempt me to transfer one addition for another. It is one of the daily realities that keeps me going to meetings on a regular basis, keeps me close to my Higher Power, accepting of my powerlessness and willing to expend the energy to work with other addicts. I agree with Adam’s assertion that more emphasis needs to be placed on nutrition in the recovery world; how food plays into active addiction and how intentional, healthy diet can be a tool in recovery. I had to laugh the other day in a meeting when we were reading in approved literature about how some doctors even recommended the eating of sweets and chocolates for recovering alcoholics as a replacement for alcohol…that had the chocoholic in me perking her ears, thinking, “See! Even here in AA I can find justification for my ‘need’ for chocolate!” Laugh! This podcast continues to challenge my thinking and has become another tool in my recovery and discovery of my most authentic self. Thank you.

  • Jennifer Charpentier says:

    Hi Steve. Thanks for sharing your initial reactions to Adam as I confess to having some similar thoughts to push through in the beginning. I have learned as an addict, that addiction is no respecter of economic class, and if I truly want to stay sober I have to discount the “differences” in someone’s story and latch onto the similarities. In my addict mind I want to think I’m different, or he’s different, in order to justify my actions and I can’t afford that! Listening to Adam’s story was a good exercise for me in finding the similarities, marveling at the complexity of addiction, gratitude for my own torturous path of recovery and compassion for the human condition. I too was impressed with Adam’s sincerity, and a little amused at where his ego peeked out now and again in the conversation. Another good reminder for me to not discount the strength my own ego! Again, thanks for your forthright assessment.

  • Peter Cloutier says:

    Thank you Rich & Adam for illuminating the world of prescription drug addiction. Adderall was an extremely dark road I tread throughout my college years. It is nearly a ubiquitous facet of modern college culture. I really appreciate Adam’s willingness to engage with those struggling with similar issues.

    Would love to hear some more podcasts that really dive into the ethics of big pharma.

  • Maggie Stewart says:

    Hi, I love this podcast but am not a vegetarian. I feel like it’s a bit like religion, and there are healthy people that are not vegetarian, so maybe you could watch trying to convert us all. I feel like asking Whole Foods to stop selling meat is a little like Kim Davis making the judgement that she tried to make. I found Adam amazing and I get alot out of each show, but sometimes turn it off when it gets too preachy about not eating meat. You never know when you might switch sides, either way, so let’s work together to help people eat real food. That said, I will still listen and appreciate the point of view.

  • Maryann says:

    Adam is a great spokesperson for plant based eating. Many eating disorder treatment centers do not allow their clients to be vegan, and some do not accept vegetarians. This makes it very difficult for vegetarian/vegan clients, since their diet choices are viewed as another way to restrict food choices, not as a healthy alternative to an omnivorous diet.

  • Mary-Ellen Landry says:

    Maggie, there are no health benefits to eating meat, the evidence tells us this as well as all dairy. The totality, the depth, and the breadth of it. On top of which the planet can not sustain the abuse much longer and we are ALL apart of the solution not to mention the billions on animals that die soe that we can consume their flesh. We need MORE people like Rich and others to keep sharing.

  • David Barr says:

    Great podcast. Learned about Aderall addiction. Good to hear expressed the idea that people in addiction recovery programs should nourish their body with a plant-based whole food diet instead of living on coffee and junk food. This podcast resonated and moved me. Have gone 95% plant-based whole food since hearing it a week ago. Shooting for 100%.

  • sasha says:

    Agree with Mary-Ellen, Religion is a belief in something that’s faith basedie not proven, not eating meat has health benefits and also an ethical ( for some) stand point, ethics and Religion are not the same think at all

  • sasha says:

    Also just because Adam is not poor doesn’t make his story any different, we are all troubled!!!!! Ps I am not in the Whole foods family clan BTW!!!

  • Patrick T. says:

    I had a similar experience in a way. After a near fatal overdose in Jan 2011 > failed kidneys >pneumonia> rhabdomyolysis. I entered a treatment center and then went to a sober living facility. I lost 100 lbs in recovery and ran the NYC Marathon in 2014. I credit the 12 steps with much of of the credit in my case. It was great to hear this story!

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