Cindy from Maine is 45 years old and 5’6 inches tall. In October, Cindy will have been following the Atkins program for four years. She has gone from 239 pounds and a size 24 to 147 pounds and a size 14. Cindy’s goal is to weigh 135 and wear size 10’s.
“I weighed 135 when I found out I was pregnant with my first child, Cindy began, that was twenty one years ago. I never saw that weight again. With each pregnancy I put on more weight and was unhappy with myself.
I tried every diet out there including Slimfast, the Grapefruit Diet, Richard Simmons, low calorie, low fat, and Dexitrim but nothing worked for me. I turned to food for comfort and had gotten to the point where I accepted that I was going to be a heavy person for the rest of my life.
Most of the diets I tried in the past I couldn’t stick with for more than a few months. I got bored with them. I stuck with Slimfast perhaps for six or seven months and only dropped twenty or so pounds. I took Dexitrim for a year and almost wound up in the hospital because I couldn’t eat much with it.
I probably lost the most with Dexitrim but I gained it all back and then more when I quit taking it. Dexitrim gave me jitters but I ignored the side effects because it controlled my appetite very well. It literally took my appetite away. The problem was I didn’t eat healthy because of it. With no appetite at all so I would go all day only eating when I would start to feel faint, and then only perhaps a piece of fruit. I ended up very sick and nearly in the hospital.
None of my other attempts at weight loss worked for me because they restricted too much and I was always hungry.
Then four years ago I overheard a conversation between co-workers about Atkins. It sounded like something I could live with. After all, how can you say no to a diet that lets you have bacon and eggs for breakfast? I borrowed the book from one of my co-workers and read it over the weekend. I decided to give it a shot. During the first two weeks I dropped 16 pounds. I knew then, this was the answer for my weight problem.
I wasn’t hungry all the time like I was with other diets. My acid reflux disappeared during the first week. This was something I had suffered with for years. I think I own stock in Mylanta now! Each month that passed resulted in more weight loss. I was losing steady and actually enjoying the food I was eating. I was dropping nearly a size every other month. I loved the results and actually started believing that I was going to be thin again.
I decided to try Atkins because what was allowed was appealing, especially being able to eat bacon and eggs for breakfast. The idea that I just had to sub a salad or veggie for potatoes with my main dishes was easy. I love meat and I could eat all the meat I wanted.
The only bad thing for me is that it’s more expensive than high-carb eating. Meat can be expensive as can ingredients for salads and fresh vegetables. It’s much cheaper to pick up a box of Hamburger Helper than to throw together a low carb meal.
Maintaining a low carb life is not hard at all. I’ve been doing it for almost four years now and see no reason why I would ever go back to my old style of eating. Low carbing has never left me feeling hungry, or bored with my food choices. I can eat until satisfied and still lose weight. I love being able to have full fat dressings and whole fat cheeses. Although other diets allow fresh fruits and veggies, I have never had the desire to eat as much fruit and veggies daily as I do with low carbing.
Prior to beginning Atkins I had problems with acid reflux and dizzy spells. Both of those problems went away after a couple weeks of changing to a low carb diet. Additionally, I found I had a lot more energy and was less lethargic. I didn’t feel like I needed to lie down and take a nap after eating a meal.
When I first began people were negative about it. They told me I was clogging my arteries with all “that fat” and it was going to kill me. One co-worker told me I was losing weight, but that just meant they’d have to bury me in a smaller coffin. Others simply doubted I’d stick with it. Once they started seeing the physical changes in me, as well as the attitude change that losing weight brought, their negativity went away. I have converted a lot of people to low carb after seeing the results I had.
I asked Cindy if she were speaking to a group of new and seasoned low carbers what tips or advice would she have for them regarding:
1) Cheating: Don’t do it! It can take an entire week to lose the pounds you’ll gain from one or two days of cheating. Eating things off plan always makes me feel sluggish, overfilled, and uncomfortable. Sometimes I’d even feel sick when I’d eat a carby meal.
2) Stalls? They happen. Someone once told me that a stall is just your body trying to decide if you’re serious about losing the weight. They won’t last forever … just stick with what you’ve been doing unless it goes on for months and you have no loss. Then you have to take a second look at what you’re eating. I experienced a three-month stall once. When I logged my foods in a journal to try and figure out the problem, I found I was barely getting 900 calories a day and only 10-15 grams carbs. I upped my calories to 1100-1200 and my carbs to 25-30 grams and I started losing again.
3) The most important point to remember? Read labels … just because something appears to be lowcarb, doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain sugar. Sugar can trigger cravings big time.
Cindy credits the support she received online from many friends especially help from friends Dottie and Kimmer, who were of big help to her when she asked “endless” questions.
Cindy has her own website set up at: http://www.dexmis.freeservers.com/