SugarBane's Story (How I lost 70 pounds living Low Carb)
Low Carb For Life
Nothing Tastes as Good as Thin Feels

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  My Story

Most of my life has been an unrelenting struggle against obesity.  I know many of you out there can relate to this battle of the bulge, but for a growing number of Americans, it's more than a battle, it's a war.  Sometimes even a life and death struggle since obesity is also linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and other life threatening conditions.  I started my first diet when I was 12 years old.  Puberty had only made my propensity for holding excess pounds worse and thus began my life-long struggle against obesity.  I think of all the things one can combat, the fight against obesity is the hardest.  I say this because your own body becomes the enemy.  And in such a case, the self-esteem is bound to be the first casualty.

All through my adolescence, I was constantly on one diet or another, but never more than 15 pounds overweight.  After I got married I started taking the birth control pill.  Within 8 months of starting the Pill  I'd picked up over 60 extra pounds of weight.  I went to the doctor to find out why I'd gained so much weight and he put me on a low fat, calorie restricted diet.  I lost the weight and it came back 6 months later with an additional 15 pounds.  I kept dieting and losing the weight but each time it was harder and took longer than the time before.  Then after a year I would regain it all.  So in the end, I was worse off than I had been at the beginning.  By the time I was 30 years old, I'd picked up an extra 130 pounds of weight!  It was at this time that one of my doctors finally had the idea to test my thyroid.  That's the year I was diagnosed as Hypothyroid.  I started taking Synthroid, a synthetic T4 only thyroid replacement medication.  However it didn't make me lose the weight I'd already gained.  It only served to slow down the rate at which I regained it.

By the time I reached age 34, I had lost a total of 240 pounds and regained a total of 380 pounds, leaving me 140 pounds heavier than I had started out at 20 years before.  It had now become quite obvious to me that low fat, calorie restricted diets were not the permanent solution for me. They were in fact only making my condition worse!  For those of you who have been there yourselves, you know the emotional devastation of finding yourself back where you started or worse.  I've been through that particular kind of hell a grand total of eleven times so I wasn't very interested in shooting for number 12. Every time it happened, I swore it would be the last time, but somewhere inside I knew it wouldn't last or get me where I needed to be. A recent letter I received from a low carb dieter put very well. She said "Getting fat was like slowly becoming invisible to the world one pound at a time." She was so right. Nothing hurts more than being treated like you are invisible. Unfortunately this society treats obese people like the invisible second class.

The diets I lived on (if you can even call that "living") left me hungry, miserable and incessantly tired.  I had no energy, and I was constantly ravenous.  I thought about food 100 percent of the time and every second of every day was an anticipation of my next "food allotment".

Early in 1999, I started spending some time with an old friend of mine who also had a history of chronic obesity.  She told me that her doctor had put her on a special "diet" because he believed she was "Insulin Resistant".  I had never heard of this condition before and was curious if I too might have this.  We shared so many symptoms that people often mistook us for sisters.  I decided to find out more about her "treatment" which consisted of a low-carbohydrate diet.  She had lost almost 100 pounds so far and was very happy following this diet so after a few months of watching her "treatment" I started to try this low-carb diet for myself. 

I was totally unprepared for this way of eating.  It was 100 percent the opposite of everything I had ever been taught or told about dieting and I physically CRINGED at some of the ideas it put forth.  I came to realize that I (like many other Americans) had been completely brainwashed by the so called health and diet "experts" and a self-serving food industry.  I spent a whole day getting rid of food.  I just cried as I went through my pantry and refrigerator.  I said goodbye to my Pasta, Beans, Rice,  Bread, Sugar and Fruit.  By the time I was finished all that remained were Meats, Eggs, Nuts, Seeds, Green Vegetables, Salad ingredients and Cheese.  I eliminated anything that had a substantial number of carbohydrates in it.  The very first week on low-carb I felt like I'd been hit by a truck.  I knew it would be rough and thought I was prepared for carb withdrawal but I was wrong!  If not for my family's support and my indomitable will to succeed, I would have caved in and given up. I later found out that most of the nasty effects of carb withdrawal could have been minimized considerably if I had only taken a potassium supplement during the first few weeks.

Once my body had burned off all my stored glycogen I began burning stored fat instead of carbohydrates. From there on it was pretty painless. After a few weeks on the Low Carb wagon, I was AMAZED.  My hunger was dramatically decreased and I felt considerably more energetic. I no longer suffered from the late afternoon hypoglycemic attacks that had been my constant companion for the last 5 years.  I knew then that I had made a personal breakthrough.  This was finally a DIET I could actually LIVE with.  To help boost my weight loss I further suppressed my appetite by adding a daily dose of 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) to my diet. Even though ketosis had diminished my appetite, the 5-HTP killed what little was left and as an added bonus made me feel much better by stabilizing my moods.

I began losing weight almost immediately. First in a big WHOOSH (about 6 pounds the first week) and then more slowly. (See my weight journal for more details)  Never in my life had I been able to go all day without thinking of food. I felt DELIVERED.  I realized then that I had been a slave to carbohydrates and that as long as I never again let them predominate my diet, that I would be able to live free from hunger and FAT. 

It's been over 4 years now since that fateful day in June of '99. The first two years I lived the low carb life quite happily.  I lost 69 pounds and got within 20 pounds of my goal weight when I discovered that I was expecting a baby. 9 months later I gave birth to my son and gained 29 pounds that I would have to lose again. It was however well worth the sacrifice. 8 weeks after this I then discovered I was expecting another baby. 9 months later I gave birth my daughter and gained another 37 pounds that I would have to lose again. So here I am with two wonderful babies and 66 baby-pounds. I'm not impatient about it though because I've done it once before and know that it can be done again. It has been frustrating for me to start all over from scratch but the important thing is that my children are healthy and I am once again on the road to happiness. Check back here regularly for updates to my new weight loss journal.

If you would like to learn more about a Low-Carbohydrate way of eating then please write me. I will gladly answer all mail I get and do my best to help anyone who would like advice on how to adopt this way of eating as a lifestyle. Please consult your doctor before starting any weight loss program but be an INFORMED patient. Study and read all you can about carbohydrates and insulin, then find a doctor who will work WITH you to ensure you get the best possible treatment and nutrition.

If you are just starting out and are unsure what to eat consult my Low Carb Foods Page and Resource Directory.

 

 

 

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The material posted here on Low Carb for Life should NOT be considered medical advice and is NOT intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional. Please consult a medical doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications.

LowCarb4Life 2004