The Counting Game

In preparation for this article, I decided I better take a look at the other “stuff” I had written for CarbSmart in order to “stay honest.” The first article I wrote for CarbSmart has a footnote that says, “Denise is a 37-year-old educator from Texas. She and her husband have been following a low carbohydrate lifestyle for over two years.” WOW! That was some time ago! Now I sit here as a 40-year-old educator from Texas. Time sure does fly!

Let me catch you up on my weight loss… gain…. loss… gain… story.

In 1998, when I weighed 315+ pounds, my husband and I started following a low carbohydrate way of life. While attending a work related conference with fellow educators, I was reintroduced to the low carbohydrate “diet” plan. Upon returning home, my husband and I began the program. Later that week I went to our local bookstore to buy the latest Dr. Atkins book and read it. The first 80 pounds literally “flew” off in about 6 months. The rest of the pounds (135) came off in the next 6 to 8 months. I was at about 170 pounds or so at my lowest. A good weight for me would be about 140.

I don’t like the phrase “goal weight” because “goals” have a positive connotation whereas “weight” does not. This creates a phrase that becomes an oxymoron that for most people is not attainable. I prefer to think of weight loss success in the form of clothes fitting comfortably, feeling healthy and being energized, etc. I was able to maintain the 135 pound weight loss for about 3 years, going from a size 28 stretch jeans down to a size 12 regular jeans.

It’s now summer 2003 and I am 40 years old (scary), and have regained about 25 or so pounds (scarier). My size 14s are TIGHT (scariest). So this summer my “goal” – notice I said goal not goal weight – is to loose those 25 pounds and dust off those size 12 jeans! In order to be successful with the aforementioned goal, I need to answer the following question: Why, after being so successful for 3 years, has the weight crept on in the last 2 years? And the answer is… RIGHT! There is no ONE answer. There are several.

  • Laziness
  • Boredom
  • Stress
  • Age
  • Lack of exercise
  • Lack of motivation

I could go on, and on, and on. The key to being successful with weight loss is to know that just as quickly as you lost it, you can gain it back. In an effort to start anew, I joined the Weight Watchers counting points game with a friend to see if maybe low carbing wasn’t for me anymore. You can eat 23 “points” of food; no food is off limits. You can have burgers, fries, sandwiches, bagels, etc. The problem is once you’re out of points – well, you’re out of points! NO MORE FOOD! (OK, OK! You can have vegetables. Big deal.)

You must be thinking about now. “Oh my gosh! Denise has gone completely mad? “What was she thinking?!?” I’ll tell you what I was thinking. If I can count “points” for a week, eat whatever I want, and still loose weight, well… I’ll be sold on this “point’s thing.” I’m on day 5 of point counting… I’m hungry ALL the time… all the cravings are back. And shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone, but I think I’ve GAINED 5 pounds!

I committed to 7 days of “point counting,” so I still have a couple of days to go before I can really analyze this and make a fair comparison. I fully intend to be low carbing full force again on Monday – if I make it that long! I’ll keep you pointed… uuhhhh… posted.”


Denise Lopez is a 40-year-old educator from Texas. She and her husband have been following a low carbohydrate lifestyle for over five years.

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