In June of 2016 I was 49 years old and weighed 223 lbs. After a year of looking at colleges with my son and trying to keep up on the campus tours, dealing with pain in my leg which I later found out was from disc issues in my back, I was done. I was depressed. I felt like I was at the end of my rope. I had tried Weight Watchers (with which I had success in the past), counting calories, etc. Nothing seemed to work. Thanks to the disc issue, exercise was painful. I was for the first time seriously considering bariatric surgery or going to the doctor and asking for drugs. My mother was permanently disabled due to complications from her weight and arthritis and I knew that was my future if I didn’t make a drastic change.
I had begun thinking about my life long struggle with weight and how, when I was a child, ages six and under I was perfectly thin and healthy. You could literally look at my Kindergarten picture and my second grade picture and see the two years where I suddenly became obese. Why? What changed? I began thinking about what life was like back then and how we ate in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
I also thought about how I’m not the only one. Our country as a whole is fatter and more people than ever struggle with weight issues. I thought about how our country is more sedentary than it ever was before that time. I also through about how back then, not much was processed and if you wanted a treat, it was just that, a treat and for the most part you expended energy to make that treat. You made a dozen cookies. You didn’t just buy a bunch and keep in your cupboard or on your counter.
But I knew that wasn’t the whole answer since I rarely ate cookies. I just didn’t buy them and having had a weight issue for over 40 years and I knew there were things I just didn’t eat on a regular basis like cookies, cake, pies, candy etc. There had to be something else.
Then one day I was covering a meeting and a friend who worked there really looked great and I told her so. She told me she had lost 30 lbs. just by not eating carbs. Now I had heard of people doing this and I thought to myself, that is absolutely nuts. I could never live without carbs.
I knew the science behind it because I had read The Schwarzbein Principal and had tried doing low carb very briefly in 2000 but I didn’t stick to it for one reason or another. So the idea of living without bread or pasta etc. just seemed like something I could never do.
My friend said “Just try it for a week. I promise you all of your cravings will be gone. I looked at her like she was nuts and said I would think about it. And I did. For three days I thought about it and decided one week without carbs. I’ll try it. Never thinking I would make it past day three. But like I said earlier, I was at the end of all hope and had nothing to loose but weight and everything to gain, especially getting my life back.
I started on a Friday and by Monday, I was amazed. Not only had all of my cravings disappeared but my appetite naturally cut itself in half! I wasn’t hungryall of the time! I didn’t have the feeling that I would be sick if I didn’t eat, a result of (what I assume) to be my blood sugars evening out. In fact I was never hungry and I ate a lot.
I eliminated all high carb foods, breads, pasta, grains, sugar, anything with sugar in the first 5 ingredients. I also eliminated anything with what I call ‘Fake Sugar,” Nutrasweet, Splenda, etc. I did still eat fresh fruit, two servings a day. You do still need carbs to live a healthy life.
And full disclosure, I did not give up my Captain Morgan, wine or beer. I’m not crazy! I did however have to get creative with how I drank my Captain as I used to mix it with Diet Pepsi. I also allow myself a treat once a month. I always make myself wait for it and it’s usually the Blizzard of the month. But it gives me something to look forward to and you’d be surprised how easy it is to say no once your brain gets off sugar. (but that’s another article)
I don’t count weigh or measure anything and I eat real, great tasting food, steak, chicken, pork, blue cheese dressing, cheeses of all kinds, peanut butter, nuts and lots of vegetables and so much more.
And it was easy! The easiest thing I have ever tried and believe my I’ve tried it all, from the shakes and smoothies to Weight Watchers (a great program which I know works for many people) to My Fitness Pal (a great app I do still use but no longer to count calories). And it was free! no classes or program to pay for, no food to buy!
I thought it would be hard for someone who ate bread and pasta or potatoes with every meal. Meal planning actually became easier and fun. As time went on I began to become more creative. Trying new things. Making-up new recipes. This from someone who really had never cooked much. My mother taught me to order a mean take-out.
Best of all the weight started melting away. I lost 6 lbs in the first 6 days!!
Eleven months later I had lost 50 lbs. with NO EXERCISE! That’s right ZERO EXERCISE!! I’m healthier. I’m happier and I’m more confident than I have been in a very long time.
Over the past year and a half I’ve been on this journey, many people have asked me what I’m doing and how I’m doing it and I’ve gladly told them. So I thought why not share my story with you and anyone who wants to read it and learn about Low Carb Living. For me, this is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle choice I am happy to make.
So if you want to give it a try, read my blog, ask me questions and as a certified coach I am available for one on one coaching for those who want extra support.
Disclaimer time: I am not a doctor or a medical expert of any kind. Just a woman that has struggled with her weight for 40+ years and has finally found something thatworks for me. I’m sharing my journey. I believe everyone must find what works for them and there are many good programs and tools out there but regardless of what you choose you should check with your physician before starting any diet plan, program or lifestyle change.