Carol from California is 42 years old, and has been on the Atkins program for 16 months. She has lost a total of 84 pounds, 51 inches, and has dropped from a size 26 pants to a size 16!
Carol told me she has had a weight problem her whole life, and currently takes thyroid medication and a heart medication for palpitations.
One of Carol’s past weight loss attempts was the Richard Simmons program. Carol knew she needed to lose weight, and she worked at it for six months. “I ate a lot of things I liked,” she told me, “like fruit and bread, but I never seemed to get full.” Carol felt like she spent all of her time thinking about what she could have for her next meal, and in addition felt tired all the time. “No side effects, she added. “It was easy to follow food wise, but never filling. I was always hungry,” Carol noted she would never try it again, but has recommended it to people that have had good luck with it. Carol lost a bit, but gained all the weight back, plus more.
Next Carol tried a low fat regime. “I knew someone that had good luck with it. I tried it for about a year. I had a very large selection of foods to choose from, but nothing tasted quite right. I had no energy. I gained what little I lost back very quickly, and it brought a lot of extra pounds with it.”
Carol next tried the grapefruit diet. “I got it sent to me over the Internet by a friend,” she said. “I only tried it for a month or so. It was very hard to stay on, and the food was awful. I hate grapefruit!!” The grapefruit diet caused Carol’s gallbladder to bother her all the time. “I would never recommend it to anyone, and I would never do it again,” she confessed. “I didn’t lose anything beyond seven pounds, and I think that loss was from being sick with my gall bladder and not feeling like eating! I gained the seven pounds back with in the first week after going off of it.”
Carol tried the cabbage soup diet, which she also found via the Internet. “I stayed on it for about three months,” she told me. “It doesn’t give you much food to choose from, but I loved the cabbage soup! But it didn’t work for me at all and I didn’t lose any weight on it.”
“I tried Dexatrim, too,” Carol continued. “I saw all the ads in the media and thought it might be a quick way to lose weight. I took Dexatrim for about a year or so. It made me feel like I was ‘racing’ all the time. I did not have a problem with my heart until I started taking it. I am not saying that it caused my heart problem, but I am saying that I was not aware of a heart problem until taking it. It did cut down my hunger, but I didn’t seem to shed much weight. I finally got tired of being out of breath and feeling like I was on speed. Now I just don’t think that pills are the safe way to become healthy.”
Carol tried spiraling pills for a long time. “Maybe for around two or two and a half years,” she told me. “They were cheap and made me feel full almost all of the time. The only draw back from them was that you had the taste in your mouth all the time – even on your breath. One reason I think that they helped was because you did not want to eat anything since it all tasted like the pills. I felt fine taking them. I don’t think they sell them anymore. I don’t know why I took them for so long, because I think I gained weight during the time I was taking them.”
Carol took Phen Phen for about six or seven months. “I had heard that you could lose a lot of weight on it,” she said. “I was full all of the time, I felt fine, full of energy, and was happy for the first time in along time. Then they banned it!! I didn’t have any problems from taking it, but I would not take it again because of the heart valve problems that can be caused by doing so. I lost about 45 pounds while taking it, but I gained all of them back plus another 19 on top of that!”
“I tried going to the gym and lifting weights,” Carol went on. “I wanted to try to look like something other than a ‘blob.’ I stuck with it for about six months. I did firm up quite a bit, and maybe lost a few inches of fat, and gained some muscle. But I could not afford to keep paying the monthly dues, plus they moved the gym clear across town, and it just wasn’t worth my time to mess with it after that – at least that was my way of thinking at the time. It was a lot of hard work making myself go and workout everyday. I didn’t have the extra money for the one-on-one help. I did feel good after my workouts, though, of course, I gained all the weight that I had lost back after a few short months.”
Carol then bought her own exercise equipment so she could work out at home. “What a waste of money!!” she exclaimed. “The machines did not work like the ones at the gym did, and I had to put more effort into using them. Always being out of breath and not having any energy was not an incentive to make me keep using them. I ended up selling them for less than I paid of them.”
“I think that I own almost every workout tape every made.” Carol admitted. “I never seem to have the desire to actually do them. They would probably do me some good if I could get the motivation to use them. I have an easy walking one that I really enjoy doing. I also have a breathing one that is easy. I think maybe I will try adding them into my day again, now that I have lost so much weight. Maybe they will be easier for me to stick with now. I know I felt good when I was using them, so I would recommend them to others. Because of their ease, they are not like those hard, fast impact tapes. I had knee surgery when I was younger, and have a very hard time with anything that results in a lot of impact to my knee. I don’t know if they will help me to lose or not, but they will probably help to firm me up a bit.”
Carol also tried just plain fasting. She found fasting very hard and it was impossible to do for long periods of time. She now feels most what people lose when fasting is water weight, and any weight she lost came right back when she stopped fasting.
When Carol first discovered low carbing, she thought that she had tried just about everything else and that doing the opposite of what was not working for her just might do the trick. She read Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, and it made sense to her.
“I now have no more trouble with heart burn, ulcer problems, gas, being out of breath, snoring, low energy, low self esteem, or generally feeling like a freak,” she proudly announced “I have no idea what the bad side of this way of eating is.”
There is nothing that Carol cannot eat that she hasn’t found a happy substitute for. From beans to potatoes to pastries and pies, she’s found wonderful recipes to keep her satisfied. Carol has found a whole new way of living. “The food tastes better, and there is more variety with low carbing than with any other diet I have ever tried,” she said, “because it is NOT a diet! Companies have come up with low carb alternatives for everything you could want, and almost any recipe can be converted to become lower carb.”
This is the only weight loss attempt that Carol has ever tried that has made her healthy, happy, and proud of herself. “I have confidence in my day-to-day living now, and it is due to this way of eating.”
“I have lost more weight then I ever have before, even if you add all the other losses together!” Carol announced proudly. “I don’t feel deprived of anything. I see daily results. It is the easiest thing that I have ever done to help myself. I will low carb for the rest of my life. I’ve added years to my life, and I no longer have the breathing and heart problems I had!”
Carol has a wonderful support system from the Atkins Support List that she belongs to via Yahoo Groups, her Fresno Atkins support group, her very supportive family, and her wonderful circle of friends. “I feel like a normal person now!” she exclaims. “I no longer feel like a side show freak. I can go out in public and feel good about myself. I have self confidence! I am proud of myself for the first time in my life! People are always asking me what secret I have found to weight loss, and because of this a lot of people I know are now following this way of eating. I get wonderful, positive statements made about me and to me.” In concluding, Carol added, “Anyone with a weight problem, from five to 500 pounds, should give low carbing a chance. Stop listening to the negative things people say about it and try it! After all, people talk highly of other diets and we all have tried them without question right?? Did they work? Well, not for me, not till now. If you have tried everything and still have a weight problem, this is the answer for you.”
Carol belongs to the Atkins Support List at Yahoo Groups. Click here: Yahoo! Groups : Atkins_Support_List.