Donna And Mark’s Low Carb Success Story: Love And Low Carb

Mark and Donna are from Texas. Mark is 47 years old and Donna is 39. Both are following the Atkins’ program. Mark began low carbing in February of 2000, and Donna has been following Atkins since August of 1999.

Mark’s Story

When he began low carbing, Mark was pushing a 40-inch waist and weighed 217 pounds. Donna weighed 224 pounds when she started low carbing and wore a size 22. Today, Mark weighs 168 pounds and wears his goal size 33-waist pants. Donna currently weighs 154 pounds (9 pounds from her goal weight of 145!) and now wears her goal size: an 8!

Mark had been heavy all his life. He wore huskies in grade school, and his brother nicknamed him ‘the blimp.’

Mark was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in February of 2000, which was the primary motivating factor in his decision to begin low carbing. After only five weeks, of low carbing, his blood sugar was back to normal levels and it has remained so ever since! “I was kicked out of diabetes school (an eight week course),” Mark told me, “after three classes because although they said there was no problem, the nutritionist was not in agreement with the Atkins Diet. They certainly had nothing bad to say about my progress, though! My cholesterol level had been over 270, even with taking the maximum amount of Lipitor, and it went down to just above 200. I had also been taking the maximum amount of Lopid for high triglyceride levels without any results; my triglycerides remained over 250. I no longer have to take this medication anymore, though, because as my triglyceride numbers are now normal.”

Mark tried the Cambridge Diet and lost 30 pounds in 30 days, but gained it all back in the next 3 months. He also tried traditional low fat dieting, but was always hungry. As he put it, “Slim Fast, chicken breasts, tuna, no fat dressing….YUCK!!”

Mark had heard about low carbing about a year before he was diagnosed with diabetes, constrictive sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and high triglycerides. Mark tried this way of life because a friend mentioned low carbing to him as, “A diet that you can eat fat on and still lose weight.”

Mark no longer feels he is addicted to carbs, saying, ” Luckily, I can still enjoy a baked potato, ear of corn, sour dough bread or Mexican food on a very limited basis, but it doesn’t cause me to go into some kind of carb frenzy.”

Mark added, “There are no bad parts to this way of life. My sleep apnea is cured, my triglycerides are normal. I have maintained my weight loss for 16 months with relative ease and see no problem in being able to continue to easily do it for the rest of my life.”

“Since the beginning, I have been under the constant care of a doctor who ran blood panels at the start and has continued to run them every four to six months ever since. The statistics speak for themselves, and I made a believer out of my physician. He said I should be a case study for the Atkins Diet and does not give me any negative feedback based on what he has seen.”

Mark tells me his support system is, “My wife, my doctor, and atkinsfriends (where he and Donna met), as well as all the great people on the bulletin board that encouraged not only us, but everyone that participates on that board.”

Mark finds the emotional benefits of low carbing wonderful as well, stating, “The energy, and confidence are great! Last summer was the first time that I did not wear a T-shirt in the swimming pool! People say I look great. They even say I look ‘skinny’.”

Although Mark’s feedback was negative at first, as time went by and people saw his incredible results, he was questioned about the diet. “Most say, ‘Oh!! I just can’t give up my sweets’ ,” he told me. “Many of my coworkers tried this ‘diet,’ but they all failed. This way of life is so easy for me that I have a problem with even calling it a ‘diet’!” I prefer to call it a ‘way of life.’

Donna’s Story

Donna has also been heavy all her life. “I had an all-time high weight of 245,” she told me. “I never imagined I could be thin.”

Donna tried Weight Watchers, Weight Loss Center, Jenny Craig, hypnosis, Slim Fast, low fat diets, and ‘probably more’,” she said. “Each time, I would lose interest, get hungry, start craving, and eventually give up. On Jenny Craig, I actually lost almost 45 pounds, but then gave up and gained back 38 pounds of the weight I had lost! Then I lost 13 pounds doing the low fat thing before discovering Atkins.”

Donna had done the Atkins program with her mother when she was a teenager, but called that foray into the low carb world as “an uneducated attempt.” She believes she is addicted to carbs, but has not “caved and gone on a carb binge” since starting this way of life. “Every morning, I prepare carby breakfasts for my two skinny kids, without ever considering having some myself”

Donna began low carbing after talking with one of her clients. “A client had started Atkins with great success and it encouraged me to try it. Three people in my office started the diet, too, but I am the only one to have successfully continued.”

Donna feels the best parts to this way of life are the delicious food choices and the fact that she does not feel deprived. “The only bad part,” she added, “might be having to eat in situations out of your control where the only choices are clearly high carb; but it is usually manageable.”

“Yo-yo dieting no longer is a part of my future. After over two years of eating this way, it is just the way I eat – period. It is easy and low carbing is definitely something I can stick with for the rest of my life.”

Donna’s blood work and blood pressure have always been good, but she noted that they have gotten even better since she has lost weight.

Donna’s support system echoes Mark’s, although she has had little contact with her doctor since beginning low carbing. “I have more energy, more confidence, more mental focus, and I am sleeping better!” she said. “I even hear I have great legs, which is a terrific emotional benefit all by itself!

“From the beginning,” Donna added, “I got a lot of criticism and negative comments from family and friends, who were afraid that I was killing myself with ‘that crazy diet.’ As the weight continued to fall off, most were slowly converted. Many neighbors have actually begun the diet based on my success.”

“This way of life has totally changed both of our lives,” Donna concluded. “Not only did we get healthy, but we met each other because of this way of eating! Through our association with atkinsfriends and a low carb gathering they sponsored in Las Vegas in May 2000, we met and eventually got married. Neither of us could have imagined that taking steps towards a more healthy life would lead to all that it has led to for us! Our marriage is truly a low carb marriage!!! We spend one weekend every three to four weeks cooking lots of beef, chicken, pork, sausage, etc., and freezing it for our lunches and dinners in the upcoming weeks. We often spend weekends experimenting with new low carb recipes.”


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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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