Meet Susan W. , a 45-year-old Texas native who loves shopping, crafts, decorating, and traveling. A wife, mother, and grandmother, she has worked in the banking industry for the past 25 years. With a contagious smile and bubbly personality, it’s hard not to instantly love Susan. She’s a natural when it comes to inspiring hope and encouragement, and she’s working to make a difference in the lives of others.
The Last Straw
This success story starts with Susan arriving at her 40th birthday weighing 380 pounds . Like many of us who have struggled with weight, she didn’t like being in photos and avoided them when possible. So when she got her photos back from the celebration, she didn’t recognize herself. “I not only looked bad, I felt horrible” says Susan. Her health was suffering. Plagued with sleep apnea and the fatigue that comes with it, she had to talk on the phone while driving home from work just to be sure she stayed awake. Shortness of breath, high blood pressure, and joint pain were also unwelcome companions in Susan’s life.
Heavy most of her life, Susan had tried just about every diet imaginable – Weight Watchers, Nutri System, Herbalife, diet pills, low-fat, low-calorie – she even resorted to frozen meals and 100 calorie packs. Some would give her results, but she was eventually undone by that annoying little thing we call hunger. Does it get more dismal that? Gastric bypass surgery was also a consideration, but she learned her insurance wouldn’t cover it and had to drop the idea. Thankfully an article in Woman’s World magazine caught her eye. It outlined a low carbohydrate diet plan that claimed to be “better than gastric bypass”. She decided to give it a try, and has never looked back.
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Susan joined an online support group, feeling sure this would help her reach her goal to lose 200 pounds. Since losing that much weight seemed a goal as insurmountable as climbing Mt. Everest without the proper gear, Susan made smaller 10 pound goals to keep herself encouraged. Like many, she found the first couple of weeks to be the hardest. Sticking it out, Susan happily discovered one of the many benefits of the low carb lifestyle – decreased hunger and cravings. “I had lived with constant carb cravings and hunger for years and years, even while on the low-fat/SAD diet. When that went away, I knew this was the way my body was meant to eat.” Susan finds support and inspiration through TV, magazines, and the internet. “I’m always inspired by each and every one, no matter how they have lost weight.”
Kicking Butt and Taking Names
In the last 5 years, Susan has went on to lose an amazing 170 pounds! Following Atkins, she’s still losing and tweaking her food plan. Sticking with 20 grams of carbohydrates or less per day, Susan has recently worked to be sure she’s getting real nutrition. Her tweaks include cutting out processed foods, and adding more fats. She learned a lot about the paleo/primal movement on the recent Low-Carb Cruise, inspiring her to be sure she’s getting the most from her food choices. Boiled eggs and olives are among her favorite snack foods; she keeps them around to fight between-meal hunger pangs. She’s like a weight-loss prize-fighter – ready for whatever comes her way.
It is not enough to take steps which may some day lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Susan learned she could set goals and achieve them. “I’ve done things I never thought I would be able to do.” She wants to others learn that lesson too. And she wants you to eat well, so she’s agreed to share her favorite recipe.
Her simple, no fuss, recipe is dump and go:
- Roast of your choice
- salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
- 1 cup red wine
Put it all in a crock pot and cook on low all day.
Keep on Keepin’ On
Susan is closing in on her original goal, and will re-evaluate if the scale continues downward. She wants to use her success to “inspire and encourage others to lose weight and gain better health.” She’s wasting no time. Susan recently started a Facebook Group called “Low Carb Ladybug”, as well as a low carb support group for some of her co-workers. She tells them “everyone has to find what works for them and then keep doing it. Sometimes you have to just do it one day at time, and one hour at a time, to get through the tough times.” Never were truer words spoken.
© 2012 by Amy Dungan. Article and photograph used by kind permission of the author. Send Amy your comments to Amy Dungan.