Cyndee from Washington State is 40 years old and 5′ 3″ tall. Cyndee began following Protein Power plan weighing 260 pounds, and currently weighs 134 pounds. She is just seven pounds from her goal weight of 127. Cyndee has dropped from a size 28W to her goal size of 10, even though she has not yet quite reached her goal weight!
Cyndee has followed the Protein Power program on and off for several years. I was considered morbidly obese and suffered from diabetes, sleep apnea, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and lots of food allergies. The diabetes and sleep apnea were resolved after I lost the first 30 pounds. The fibromyalgia, food allergies and arthritis symptoms have all been greatly reduced by my reduction in carbohydrate consumption,” Cyndee told me.
“I was always told that since I was short I should weigh just 115 pounds. That is was a totally unrealistic weight for my body type, and I truly believe that if I had felt better about myself I would never have gained all the excess weight that I did.
I have battled with being overweight most of my life. I first became noticeably overweight when I was about six years old. When I was about 10, I was put on some sort of diet pill that helped me lose 10 pounds or so. It was basically medically approved speed! (What were they thinking?!)”
I had my thin moments during my junior high and high school days. I got into the calorie counting/veggie and fruit low fat dieting. This got me thin, but I looked anorexic. I went from 155 pounds to 105 pounds in six months. I also got deathly ill from pneumonia. Someone at church commented that I looked so…….thin, then added, Oh, that’s right, you were very sick, weren’t you? I thought ‘What? I worked HARD to get that bone-thin!’ But I gained some of it back.
“I was never happy with my weight even when I was thin,” Cyndee sighed.
In my early twenties, I was diagnosed with severe food allergies. (I had gained 80 pounds at that point.) I was told that I am allergic to wheat, corn, rice, and soy. I had had them all my life, but back then no one had told my mom I needed to avoid them. I went on an allergy-free diet (which is basically a form of low carbing) and lost a lot of weight in a short time. I’ve read that people are addicted to the foods they are allergic to and I truly believe that. Once again, I went back to eating ‘normally’ I gained the weight back.”
During my young adult years I was always dieting, and my weight fluctuated a lot. When I got married 12 years ago, I realized my husband loved me no matter what I weighed and I ended up blossoming up to 260 pounds. He just wanted me to be happy, but I wasn’t.
Next I tried all-you-can-eat low fat/high carbohydrate dieting, and I was able to lose 30 pounds. But eating that way really caused my allergies to flare up, and it irritated my eczema. I also binged a lot on the low fat foods. I just couldn’t stop the carbohydrates! This was not helpful to my self esteem at all.
When my mother died in 1997, I had decided to get on track by starting a low carbohydrate program. It was just like my allergy diet, and I wanted to get my allergies under control as well as lose weight. I lost 75 pounds in a year and I was feeling really good. But then the first anniversary of my mother’s death came around, and I just started eating carbohydrates again. I felt like such a failure! I gained all the weight I had lost.
For the next few years I tried several times to get back on track with low carbing. I knew I needed help, so I decided to have gastric bypass surgery. I had my open RNY on June 4, 2001. The surgery divided my stomach with staples so that the food only goes into a little pouch before being digested. I am able to eat no more than three ounces per meal. I lost 85% of my excess weight in six months.
The nutritional advantage of bariatric surgery is that it requires me to abstain from sugar and fatty foods. I get very ill if I don’t follow that rule. The protocol also recommends a diet rich in protein and low carbohydrate vegetables. Since dense protein is very filling with a three ounce pouch, I get full quickly. I have noticed I am able to eat way more food when I avoid the protein and go with carbohydrates, though. That really scares me, as it is possible to out-eat the surgery, thus defeating its purpose. So I prefer the low carbohydrate lifestyle, since it helps me to keep my addictions under control.
We’re not perfect, and sometimes the urge to cheat really is hard to ignore. I know I used to feel that once I took my first bit of forbidden food, I was a failure. Think of yourself as a child. Would you feed your child junky starches and sugars all day long, everyday? I do think we need to reward ourselves once in a while. But the critical trick is to limit our ‘rewards’ to just a little bit, and then get back on track before it gets out of hand.
As far as stalling, I would suggest, drinking lots of water – even more than you usually do. Increase your exercise and stick to eating dense proteins. I also used the fat fast for stalls, since it felt like I was cheating!
I feel the most important thing to remember is that this is a way of life. I hate calling it a diet. We are reeducating ourselves and hopefully the rest of the world!!
Even though I lost my weight with the help of gastric bypass surgery, it wasn’t the surgery alone that gave me success. I have to be careful to make sure I get enough protein every meal. It’s not the easy way out. I look at my surgery as being the vehicle that helped me to choose a low carbohydrate lifestyle and stick to it. Low Carbing has made it possible for me to achieve the results that I wanted to.”
“I am a strong advocate for this way of life. I even had a low carbohydrate tasting party with my surgery support group so they could try lots of the products that are available. It was very successful, Cyndee grinned.