Amy From Kentucky’s Low Carb Success Story

Amy From Kentucky's Low Carb Success Story

Amy From Kentucky’s Low Carb Success Story

Amy from Kentucky is 29 years old and 5 foot 3 inches tall. Amy has been following the Atkins program since November 11 of 2001. She has lost 37 pounds. going from 177 pounds to 140 pounds, and has dropped from a size 14 to an 8. Her goals are to weigh 130 pounds and wear a size 6.

“I never had much problem with weight until I was about 16,” Amy said. “My doctor put me on birth control pills for my awful periods, and I gradually started gaining weight. It wasn’t much at first so I didn’t worry about it, but by the time I graduated from high school I had risen from 125 to 145 pounds.”

“I got married right after my high school graduation and went to work with my husband at his business. My weight stayed in the 145-pound range for a year or two, then it slowly started creeping up. I’d lose some, only to gain it back.”

“In 1995 we found out we were expecting our first child. I weighed 155 pounds. I gained 40 pounds, shooting up to 195 pounds just before my son was born. I lost 30 pounds, dropping back to 165 pounds after my son was born. But the weight loss just stopped, and I didn’t lose that last ten pounds. I stayed at 165 pounds for 2 1/2 years until we found out I was expecting for the second time.”

“During my second pregnancy I gained 30 pounds, and I again went up to 195 pounds. After my daughter was born I lost to just 12 pounds, dropping to 183 pounds. I started struggling, trying to get the rest of the weight off. I eventually got to down to 144 pounds, but then gained it all back and I’ve weighed 177 pounds for the last 2 or 3 years. (I’m not sure exactly how long because I got depressed and quit weighing myself.)”

“Before my son was born my husband and I would work out in a gym together. I would ride the exercise bike and then lift weights. We weren’t on a regular schedule but did it when we had the time. I wasn’t watching what I ate so it didn’t do much. I liked food and didn’t want to give anything up at the time. I think we did this for about six months. I enjoyed the way I felt after a workout, but I never noticed much on the scales.”

“I also tried Nutri-System. I lost 15 pounds, but couldn’t really afford to buy their specialty foods and feed my husband, too. Nutri-System was really a joke; you don’t learn anything from it. I was only on it about 3 months, and I gained back the whole 15 pounds I lost!”

“Later I tried Weight Watchers. It worked very well for me, although it seemed I was just waiting for the day I could eat “normal” again. I hated watching my selections. Weight Watchers just seemed like a pain in the neck to me. I did drop from around 155 pounds to 133 pounds, and I felt very good about myself. Physically I didn’t feel as good as I thought I should have, though. I did occasionally walk for exercise or do an aerobics video at home. (Exercise never has been my strong point.)”

“I was only 3 pounds from my goal weight, and just couldn’t seem to get there. I got frustrated and quit. I couldn’t see myself eating that way for the rest of my life. I think I was only on the program for about 6 months. Do you see a pattern here?”Amy laughed.

“After my son was born I tried it again, but couldn’t seem to get any of the weight to budge. I have no idea why it wouldn’t work the second time. The only thing I liked about Weight Watchers was that there were so many convenience foods. You could find just about anything you wanted with the Weight Watchers name on it. I still have the Weight Watchers cookbook. I gave up on losing for a while and just tried to be happy where I was. I told myself that weighing 163 pounds wasn’t too bad, although my doctor certainly didn’t agree
with me!”

“When I found out I was expecting my daughter, my ob/gyn told me that he didn’t want me gaining too much weight. He wanted to limit my pregnancy weight gain to only about 25 pounds, which is actually pretty close to what happened. Instead of eating “as much” as two people, I tried to control my portions and just ate ‘for’ two.”

“A couple of months after my daughter was born I still weighed in at 183 pounds, and I was very depressed. A friend of mine had some pills called Thermolift. They were supposed to be ‘all natural.’ (They contained ephedra and caffeine.) Supposedly, they would boost your energy, suppress your appetite, and you’d magically lose weight! I got a sample pack and tried them. I lost 4 pounds in 4 days, and I was hooked! I couldn’t believe how great I felt even after being up all night with the baby. In nine months I lost 40 pounds! Then something funny happened. They quit working. I was stuck at 143 and my energy was all gone. The pills were also getting pretty expensive, so I quit taking them. (I couldn’t take them the rest of my life, could I?)”

“My energy levels got worse. I started gaining weight back and started having pain in various places. (I won’t go into detail but the doctor later suspected I had Fibromyalgia. I can’t say for sure if the Thermolift pills were a cause or not, but I do suspect them. I ballooned back up to 177 pounds (or more!), where I stayed until I tried Atkins.”

“A friend told me about a diet he was on called Atkins. He ate lots of meat and cheese and salads. He said he lost 15 pounds and felt great. I bought the Atkins book and halfheartedly tried it for 2 weeks, although I was very skeptical and didn’t believe it would work. The low fat mantra had gotten to me! I lost 6 pounds, but then nothing for a while and gave up. I couldn’t see how I could live without my bread!!!”

“We later moved to another state and I started homeschooling our son, who was then 5. While learning the alphabet sounds we had to do some actions. I was so tired that I just couldn’t keep up! I felt awful! For several years I couldn’t eat without my stomach being upset. I’d get awful cramps and gas, then I would need to find a bathroom quick because of diarrhea I would have. My energy level was so low. I just wanted to sleep. (I was depressed, too.) I had acid reflux.”

“I have two aunts with diabetes and another that is on the verge of it. I knew I had to do something! I wanted to be healthy and see my children grow. I wanted to grow old with my husband. After being worn out doing the alphabet songs, I knew it was time to get serious. I dug out my Atkins book and read it a couple of times.”

“This time everything was making sense. I strongly believed I was addicted to carbs. I made a firm decision to give low carbing a real try and see what happened. I lost six pounds the first week and then stalled for a few weeks. But I felt so much better that I didn’t care that I had stalled. After just a few short weeks, my energy level was way up, my stomach problems were all gone, I felt great, and I felt like I was finally in control of my eating! I used to feel like I was controlled by food. I just couldn’t help myself, but not anymore!” Amy exclaimed.

“On my 1-year anniversary of low carbing I had my blood checked. Here were my results:

  • Total Cholesterol: 148
  • Ratio: 2.8
  • Triglycerides: 47
  • Glucose: 75

(I’m remembering these off the top of my head; I am not exact.) The nurse told me she has never seen numbers this good! She said I should be very proud of the way I am taking care of myself.”

“The hardest part of this way of eating (besides the initial withdrawals) is the bad publicity. Eating right and taking care of yourself is hard enough without others butting in making it more difficult. I have had some people who think it’s great and others who keep telling me how dangerous it is. The tide is changing, though. My father-in-law, husband, and parents are all low carbing now!” Amy smiled.

“It’s also difficult at times because of the lack of ‘convenience’ foods,” Amy continued. You have to do a lot of ‘real’ cooking, but it really is worth it. And once low carbing becomes more accepted we will start seeing a better selection of ‘convenience’ items for us.”

“I feel like I am truly healthy for the first time in years! This is truly my way of life now.”

“The few times I have indulged in a high carb meal I have ended up getting sick! Its just not worth it to feel that way again! My appetite is under control and I feel and look great! I’ve also noticed that my immune system is better than it’s been in years! We have had a round of the flu and several other bugs in our home. I used to ALWAYS get sick because I was a momma and I took care of everyone. But this past year I’ve only had the sniffles once, and they didn’t stay around very long!”

“I guess if I was addressing a group of low carbers I would give the following advice:

  • Don’t give up! You have to work at any weight loss program. This one is no different.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you cheat or have a setback. We’ve all done it and it will pass. Get back up and climb back aboard. The only thing that can stop you is you! Remember that you are doing this for your health as well as weight loss. This is not something you do and then quit. It has to be a way of life, not a diet!
  • Look at long-term goals, not where you are at, but where you are heading!
  • Don’t compare yourself to others…everyone is different and will have different experiences. Do the best YOU can do!
  • Drink your water!
  • Take your vitamins and supplements. I only take a multivitamin, calcium and chromium.
  • Exercise will speed your loss. I lost most of mine without much exercise, but I don’t recommend doing it that way. You have to firm it all up somehow!! I now walk a mile a day when the weather permits. I load my three-year-old in a stroller and get going. My son walks or rides his bike beside me. I also try to do lightweight lifting when I can.
  • Don’t let the stalls drag you down. They happen and if you persevere you will succeed! Look your menu over; it could be something very simple that you have overlooked that causes it. If not. just keep on going.
  • MEASURE!!! The scale is not the best sign of success!
  • Be sure you understand how low carb works. It really helps to know why things are happening the way they are.
  • Find a support group. I am a member of Low Carb Friends. You can find great support and wonderful recipes to try. I also am a member of the CarbSmart Recipe Exchange list on Yahoo Groups as well as their newsletter, and Dana Carpender’s ‘Hold the Toast’ newsletter.”

“Another book that has really helped me was the The Secret to Low Carb Success by Laura Richards. It is a great help to newbies and seasoned veterans alike. She also has a
vast amount of research promoting this way of eating on her website. If you are having any doubts about its safety, look at the all studies she has listed!” Amy concluded.

We’ll do an update on Amy when she reaches her goal, which will be in the very near future! Thanks, Amy, for doing such a great job!

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Karen Rysavy from Colorado Low Carb Success Story

Karen Rysavy from Colorado is 38 years old and 5'11 inches tall. Karen started low carbing in 2000 doing a combination of Atkins and Protein Power but since that time has studied most of the popular low carb plans out there and implemented parts of each (the parts that worked for her) into her own personal Way of Eating. She began at 271 pounds and wearing size 24/26 and is now 210 and wearing 14/18. Karen revised her goal of a size 12 and 185 pounds to "happy and healthy". A very important goal for Karen, one which she has REACHED!

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