Jori Lynn from Corsica is 51 years old and 5′ 3″ tall. Jori Lynn’s high weight as a teen was 187+ pounds. She began low carbing following Dr. Marvin Anchell’s Steak Lover’s Diet at when she weighed 167 pounds, and reached her goal weight of 127 pounds. Jori Lynn then switched programs, and has been following the Atkins program since June of 2003. She began low carbing in a size 18 and now wears size 8!
“I remember being 11 and asking my mother if I needed to do exercises for my flabby body,” Jori Lynn told me. “By age 12 I had a constant image of myself as being as big as a house. The funny thing is, when I look back at pictures of me at those ages, I looked like a normal little girl. But by age 14, I was in full binge swing, sneaking food from the kitchen (I don’t think anyone was ever fooled, really) and eating as much as I could at dinner time.”
“My weight problem came from over eating, I have no doubt about that. It’s true that I’m built like my Mom and we both have a tendency to put it on if we’re not careful, but it’s nothing that couldn’t have been handled with some sensible eating on my part.”
“In high school, I was a real tubby. I hit 187 or possibly even higher. This was a nightmare for me. We were living in Hawaii, of all places, and the years I should have been spending at the beach were spent in anger and frustration in my bedroom, reading Seventeen magazine and wondering why I was a freak.”
“My poor parents knew how unhappy I was and tried everything to help me. I tried Weight Watchers, and you can imagine how lovely that was, a bewildered 16-year-old surrounded once a week by (and categorized with) flocks of huge housewives in muumuus. NOT good for the self-image! I regularly saw doctors who gave me legal speed in the form of diet pills. I even went into the hospital for two weeks on a controlled fast when I was 16.”
“I think I went down a bit after I left home and went to art school, but my weight always fluctuated between 145 pounds and 165 pounds. I could never seem to really bring it down.
My body image was always a huge obstacle to everything I wanted to do in my life, but only because I set it as one. I always felt less-than, uglier-than, a real failure, and always was plagued with compulsive overeating. It ruled my life. It was a shameful thing to me, like wetting the bed.”
“When I was in my thirties, I began studying meditation with my spiritual teacher, and over the years he took us as a group through so many different ways of eating that I lost a lot of my addiction to food, though not all of them. I was able to find a balance and only hated myself part-time instead of full-time. In fact, it was he who introduced me to low carbohydrate eating in 1999 when I was 47, and for the first time in my life I started to lose the extra weight – along with it the last of my compulsive eating!”
“For me, it was always a question of stopping the addiction to eating, so when I met my meditation teacher in the early 1980s and started learning with him, things began to change. I never got over the eating compulsion, and I still couldn’t find the right way for me to eat – the one that made me feel right with myself – but I found some kind of equilibrium and was able to function, and sometimes even to forget about it. But inside, it always brewed.”
“By the time I found low carbohydrate eating, I’d given up even trying. I was eating everything that wasn’t nailed down and thoroughly enjoying myself. I was then at 165 pounds. I had been given early retirement from my job because of two herniated discs, and from those I had developed fibromyalgia. Plus, I found out I needed reading glasses. I was feeling pretty old and fat and horrible. I was only 47!”
“At that time I was living in Switzerland, and on a trip to the United States my spiritual teacher gave me some books, including Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution (the 1999 edition), Protein Power, and The Steak Lovers Diet. I read for days and then finally settled on the steak lovers diet. I decided I needed something extreme, and it really is!” Jori Lynn laughed.
“I tried the Steak Lovers Diet for three days, and was so nauseous and panicky that I quit. I think I was scared. So I fiddled around with Atkins for a while, couldn’t make it work, drank too much cream, kept looking for ways around Induction… that sort of thing. I left the whole thing for a while, and went back to eating bowls of rice. It wasn’t until a year later that I finally woke up.”
“I suddenly said to myself, ‘I’m not about to get old, sick AND fat. Sick is quite enough, thank you very much!’ So I dove headfirst into the Steak Lovers Diet and I never looked back.”
The good part of this lifestyle change is the food and how I feel eating it. I don’t think I’ll ever get over loving food. I could eat all day. My boyfriend’s amazed at how much I can put away. On Steak Lovers, I ate meat at least three times a day, as much as I wanted, plus a small portion of potatoes or rice or a piece of fruit from the approved list.”
“The object with Steak Lovers is to keep the body from producing pyruvic acid. I’ve read the book a dozen times, and I still don’t understand how it works, but it does!” Jori Lynn exclaimed. “I was never hungry, I had all the dietary fat I wanted, and best of all, I had potatoes. I was eating 3500 caJories and 75 carbohydrate grams a day, and I lost 35 pounds over a period of about nine months. That period was extended by a very long stall over the holidays (big surprise), but otherwise, it went like clockwork.”
“Atkins, on the other hand, now that I’m ready to give up potatoes for a while, gives me so many more choices. I’m sometimes overwhelmed. The food is fabulous! I’ve noticed how awful overdoing carbs makes me feel. I much prefer the balance low carbing gives me.”
“Atkins allows me to eat socially, which is why I’ve chosen to do it now instead of Steak Lovers. Atkins fits my lifestyle better now, is all. But I know I can always go back to Steak Lovers for a longer period (not skipping back and forth!) if I get a longing for potatoes and rice. I like the choice and the flexibility.”
“The only bad thing I noticed is that with Steak Lovers, it was hard to keep emergency food with me. You can’t very well carry a roast beef around in your handbag all day. With Atkins, ’emergency’ food is a breeze.”
“Eating this way often sets me apart from the people I’m with, especially here in Europe, where low carbing is virtually unknown and bread is very often a whole meal. But I’m used to it now. I don’t care. The benefits are too great. Other than not being able to get a good breakfast in a European hotel, I can’t think of anything negative.”
I think it worked for me, primarily because I was ready to do it. Once I started Steak Lovers, the thing that worked the most was that I was never hungry. I never felt deprived. And I don’t feel deprived with Atkins, either, ever!”
This is absolutely a way of life I can do forever. I don’t miss bread at all. If some warm croissants ended up in front of my face with a big cup of coffee, I’m not sure I could guarantee my response, but otherwise I really don’t care about it. The benefits are just too awesome. I love wearing a size 8. It blows me away when I look in the mirror and realize that skinny person is me! I’m still dealing with distorted body image, and some days I let it dictate my behavior. I won’t leave the house, or I’ll wear something I don’t want to wear because it hides me better. I deal with this all the time. But I know what size I wear, I know how I feel, and I know what I can do that I never was able to before.”
“I just started lifting weights. They’re just 4-pound dumbbells, but who’s counting? I love it! Even after one week I could see a change in my endurance. I’m not sure I would have been able to do that at 187 pounds, or even at 165 pounds!”
“I want to be clear that it was not low carbing that cured my fibromyalgia, it was my spiritual teacher. Still, eating this way, maintaining my size, which I have now for a year and a half, supports my new health. My back is better at least in part because I’m not hauling around so much weight, and excessive carbohydrates aren’t adding extra fog to my brain.”
“I’d say that the greatest benefit to me has been a complete loss of my compulsive eating. Steak Lovers gave me that. Somewhere during that year, all my compulsion drained away.”
“I’m an extreme personality, always swinging from one side to the other, and I struggle with setting limits on a daily basis. In a way, low carbing does that for me, but so gently and by providing so much satisfaction that I don’t feel deprived, and I don’t rebel. All I really know is that I now have a life that revolves around living and not around eating.”
“People don’t seem to be as surprised that I’ve done this as they are that I did it eating so much fat! It doesn’t matter how many times you point out all the vegetables low carbers eat, either. Low carb is the healthiest way I’ve ever found to eat, and I’ve tried many. But there you go, people believe what they want to believe, even when the proof is right there in front of their noses.”
“I could talk all day about what a gift this way of eating has been for me, and what health it’s brought into my life. I always encourage people, if they’re interested, to look into the many articles and resources on the Internet concerning the decline in human health that came along with agriculture and processed grains. It’s the bigger picture again. We’re talking about longer life and more fulfilled life here, not just the frenzy to lose a few pounds for the summer, and sometimes life means opening your mind and setting aside ideas you hold dear. The best way, really, is to try it. How else will you know if it works for you?”
I asked Jori Lynn: If you were speaking to a group of new low carbers and seasoned veterans about low carbing what tips or advice would you give them regarding the following:
“I don’t think of it as cheating any more. That makes me feel like that little girl with her finger in her mother’s cheesecake. I decide what to eat, no one and nothing else, and that includes any eating regime I happen to be following. It is ALWAYS my decision, and I make it freely. I would tell people NEVER to feel guilty. Otherwise, why do it? If you want to do it, do it. Enjoy it thoroughly, luxuriate in it, be brazen about it, have fun and laugh while you do it. Do it right out in the open, or in front of a mirror. And never blame it on anyone or anything else. There’s nothing wrong with eating, it doesn’t matter what it is. Do it, and when you’re done, go back to eating the way you know is healthy for you. Accept the occasional goodie or splurge as part of the larger picture. Don’t let the diet industry put you on a trip, and don’t make things worse by feeling bad about what you do. Enjoy life – and food is part of life!”
“I’m the worst person in the world to give advice about stalls! I get frustrated after the first day. But the fact is they seem to break. Sometimes it takes a little tweaking, but they always seem to break. I think the most important thing is to trust the program you’re on. If you trust it, hang in there with it. If you don’t, find one you can trust. My Christmas stall lasted a good three months or more, but I stuck with it and it kicked in again. Everybody goes through them. Just don’t lose the bigger picture of your life. The numbers on the scale aren’t all there is. Go on with your life. Be interested in other things, and eat to plan.”
Most important points to remember?
“I’m still sorting some of this out myself, but the important thing, it seems to me, isn’t size but health. And health isn’t just a matter of a functioning body. Health radiates from the inside out. Be good to yourself. Give yourself fun things to do, and don’t stress any more than is absolutely necessary. Integrate your eating plan into your life, not the other way around. Look outside yourself. I think it’s very easy for those of us who are concerned with our weight to always be looking in (or down at the scale!). It can become a very introverted way of going through life. I found that I lost weight just as easily, and more happily, when I was going about my business, enjoying the things around me, and letting the plan take care of my body.”
“Oh,” Jori Lynn concluded, “there’s two more things: Take your supplements and drink your water. Absolutely!”