I’m happy to introduce Sandi Russell, our latest low carb success story. A 37-year-old stay-at-home mom of two boys, Sandi was a tall, healthy youth, standing 5′ 9” and wearing a size 7. She was one of those people who could eat just about anything she wanted without visible consequences. As the story goes, one day things changed.
Expanding More Than Horizons
Around her sophomore year in high school, Sandi starting to notice some weight gain. She went from her steady size 7, to a slightly fuller size 10. She still looked healthy, which is no surprise as a size 10 is hardly obese, but any weight gain can make you cautious. During her senior year, Sandi found out she was expecting her first child. As is common with pregnancy, the weight gain was rapid, and she soon found herself dealing with an extra 85 pounds, as well as some unstable blood sugar issues. After the birth of her son, she lost a good amount of weight, but was finding that loss difficult to maintain.
Six years later she found herself expecting once again, this time starting at a size 14/16. She felt out of control, and again experienced weight gain of an additional 70 lbs. Sandi told me,“My shoes wouldn’t even fit anymore. I was miserable!” After giving birth to her second son, she was a size 18 and recalls sweat suits being her best friend.
That “Uh-Oh” Moment
Besides the discouragement of being overweight, Sandi was noticing another alarming problem. She couldn’t walk uphill without panting. Being a smoker since she was 15 (although never while pregnant), she knew her bad habits and excess weight were doing her no favors. In January of 2003, she walked away from smoking forever. As many smokers will testify, dropping the cigarettes tends to lead to a crazy appetite and weight gain. She knew this wasn’t going to go well if she didn’t get it under control.
“The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” – Chinese Proverb
She Makes It Look Easy
In March 2003, Sandi and her husband embarked on that crazy low carb diet we all know as Atkins. “It was hard for the girl, who would eat a dozen donuts in a day, to go cold turkey, but I did it!” said Sandi. They began to buy meats and veggies, while utilizing their outdoor grill often. Dinner would be steak, a salad with ranch dressing, and broccoli in butter. Did she feel deprived? Not a bit.
Sugar was her most difficult vice to drop, but she managed to do so by finding suitable replacements, like cream cheese clouds or sugar-free gelatin snacks. In the first 3 months she dropped an amazing 30 pounds! Low carb was working! Her husband was just as successful. They were doing great and feeling energetic. She picked up the habit of walking and continued on the low carb way of life.
Who Are You Again?
In 6 months Sandi went from a size 18, to a slim size 8, with a total loss of 75 pounds. People who had only met her a couple of times would do double takes, trying to figure out how they knew her. “What a feeling of accomplishment!” Accomplishment indeed Sandi!
In It For The Long Haul
She mentioned that she’s had her ups and downs, as have most of us, but she has yet to stray from the low carb lifestyle she loves so much. This low carb success story is extra awesome, because not only has she kept the weight off for 10 years, but she’s now an even smaller size 6 and her loss totals 80 pounds. She hasn’t had a piece of cake, candy, or any other sugary item in all this time, and doesn’t miss it a bit.
“I feel fantastic and wouldn’t trade what I have worked on for a snack or treat of any kind. Most people have been trained that this food is the ‘bad’ food. Keep those Cheerios away and give this girl bacon, steak, cheese, chicken and butter! When it works, it works! ”
She admonishes others to give low carb a try, and says you only have to believe in yourself, backed by a good support system, to make it happen.
“They can because they think they can.” – Virgil