Meg’s Low Carb Success Story – UPDATED!!

Low Carb Success Story From Meg From Ohio

Meg from Ohio is 40 years old. She follows the Atkins plan, slightly modified by Protein Power, from which she uses carb count lists for fruits and vegetables.

Meg has been a diabetic since the mid 1980s, and has had fibromyalgia since the early 1990s, although it was not accurately diagnosed and documented until 1997. “I also had high blood pressure, which is no longer an issue. I am not currently taking any medications!”

“I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t overweight,” Meg told me. “I weighed 150 pounds at the age of 11 when I graduated from the 6th grade! At my annual physical, when I was 14, I weighed 204 pounds. I weighed about 260-270 when I graduated from high school in 1978, and my highest weight was in the spring of 1999: approximately 475 pounds.”

“I have been on most of the diets and weight loss plans known to humankind with the exception of those that use prepackaged foods, such as Jenny Craig,” Meg continues. “My parents had me on Weight Watchers when I was eight or nine years old. I dieted unsuccessfully all through my teens and into my 20s before I finally gave up on dieting. The most I ever lost on any of these diet attempts was about 30 pounds. That was when I was in my late 20’s and weighed about pounds. I would always hit a plateau after three or four weeks, and wouldn’t lose anything for month or more, all the while starving myself until I couldn’t take it any more and gave up.”

“I was always hungry and always miserable. I was usually made to feel like a failure by the doctors and/or group leaders. I was always the fattest person in any dieting group, and when I would hit that inevitable plateau the group leaders would ‘gently admonish’ me about not sticking to the plan. I was sticking to the plan! This contributed greatly to my sense of failure and my giving up. There were some years when my weight only went up 10 pounds, and there were some years when it went up 50 pounds, but I couldn’t lose weight and keep it off no matter what I tried!”

“In May of 1999, I was mostly wheelchair bound, constantly ill, and tired of being sick all the time. I finally begged and bullied my primary care physician into letting me see an endocrinologist recommended by my OB/GYN who specializes in treatment of morbidly obese diabetics. At this time, I was taking 10 mg of glyburdine twice a day, plus Rezulin for my diabetes. I was also taking Maxzide for hypertension, and Flexeril and Relafen (high-powered prescriptions) for my fibromyalgia. At this new doctor’s office they were unable to weigh me because I was over 450 pounds; they estimated my weight at 475.”

“The endocrinologist took a look at all my medications, picked up the glyburdine and said, “This medication is putting weight on you!” I had been taking it for almost 10 years in ever increasing doses! He changed my medications and said that the new drug, Prandin, would make it easier for me to follow a diet plan, but that if I wanted to lose weight and keep it off I really needed gastric bypass surgery. He wrote me a referral to a surgeon, and meanwhile set me up with an appointment with a nutritionist. I saw the nutritionist two days later. She recommended a protein-sparing fast (i.e., a very low carb diet). I wasn’t ready to take that step just yet, so with my help she tailored a diabetic diet to my needs and lifestyle. (It took over three months to get an appointment with the surgeon.)”

The new medication did make it easier for Meg to stick to a diet plan, although “I admit I wasn’t ‘perfect’ at it by any means. By the time I saw the surgeon in August of 1999, I was down to 406 pounds. My surgery date was set for April of 2000, and the surgeon wanted me to lose more weight in the meantime. At my pre-op testing in December, l999, I weighted 387 pounds.”

After gastric bypass surgery, Meg lost about 55 pounds fairly quickly, but by mid-May of 2000 she had pretty much stopped losing. “After trying several different approaches, I kind of slipped into low carbing (without any real ‘induction period) in the middle of June of 2000.”

“I have been low carbing since June 15, 2000, but not always very diligently,” Meg says. “I had heard about low carbing but didn’t really know a lot about it until I read Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution in June of 2000. I absolutely believe I am addicted to carbs! I was craving and eating too many carbs and had stopped losing weight, even with my reduced stomach size and some degree of mal-absorbtion from my surgery.”

Meg says the good things about low carbing are that she feels more energetic and doesn’t crave carbs. “I am losing weight again, slowly but steadily.” The bad part is that with her very busy lifestyle it can sometimes be difficult to find appropriate and satisfying things to eat when she is in a rush.

“I have gotten past a couple really sticky plateaus without feeling like I’m depriving myself of good food. If I had discovered this way of eating 20 years ago, I might have never gotten to the point of needing surgery to turn my life around. I think for the most part low carbing is easier than any of the other diets. I don’t feel deprived.”

Meg told me she has managed her diabetes with no medications, her blood pressure is lower than it was even post-surgery/pre-low carb. It is down to around 120/60 now with no medication. She has increased energy.

Meg has a good friend who has been low carbing since November of 1999, although her friend has had many relapses into the netherworld of junk food. Recently, Meg got her started on low carb treats, and tells me her friend feels much less inclination to binge on carbs now.

Emotionally, Meg has noticed she has experienced somewhat fewer PMS symptoms lately.

Meg gets a lot of criticism about how “unhealthy” low carbing is from people who don’t understand that she eats lots of green vegetables and just avoids starches and sugars. “Most of them don’t understand how well a low carb diet can control Type II diabetes. However, the endocrinologist and nutritionist are aware of my low carbing and think it’s a good thing. They want me to eat more fruit, but I know my own tolerances and have to stop short of the point where the carbs from fruit just make me crave more carbs. However, I do try to have a serving of lower carb fruit two or three times a week.”

“I have eaten better on low carb than ever before. Just a week and a half ago, I convinced my husband to try this with me. He has already lost a few pounds, and says the only problem is he’s tired of pork rinds. So I taught him to make pepperoni chips,” Meg grins.

“Here are some pictures,” Meg continued. “I’ve actually been low carbing since last June, but thought you’d like to see the whole thing. I was really amazed at the difference between October and January! I didn’t feel like I’d lost much (10-15 pounds), but boy, does it show!”

The second picture was taken last November. “It was taken with a wide-angle lens as a joke, but you can see that the shirt (my very favorite, which used to be snug on me) now hangs like a dress!”

Meg’s approximate weight at the time the pictures were taken are

  • 1999 April – 475 pounds
  • 2000 May – 310 pounds
  • 2000 October/November – 285 pounds
  • 2001 January – 275 pounds

“I weigh approximately 270 pounds now,” says Meg, “and I figure I still have about 85 pounds to go, including the approximately 30 pounds of excess skin and tissue that will be surgically removed from my lower abdomen in May of this year.

Wonderful story Meg, we look forward to an update soon!

Meg gets low carbohydrate recipes from the CarbSmart Recipe Exchange (
Yahoo! Groups : CarbSmartRecipeExchange
) and Celebrate Low Carb (Yahoo! Groups : CelebrateLowCarb).

February, 2002 – Update on Meg

“I’m currently hovering around 240 pounds,” says Meg, “and still hope to lose another 50 to 60. My panniculectomy surgery (removal of the abdominal “apron” of skin) only took off 17 pounds, not the 30 that the surgeon estimated, but I’m okay with that, and I’ve lost a bit more on my own, though the scale isn’t moving as much as I’d like due to the fact that I’m building muscle. I do have some hernias from previous surgeries which will have to be repaired at some point, so with luck my insurance will pay for a tummy tuck.”
“I know a lot of people still see me as FAT,” she continued with a chuckle, “but to me, the difference is tremendous. This year I’m figure skating, and participating in adult skating competitions. Who woulda thunk, at the age of 41 I’d be a competitive figure skater!”
Her husband is also doing well on low carb. In the past year, he has lost two sizes, from a snug 46 waist to a loose 42, and gone from a 2XL to size L in shirts. All that in spite of taking a “reward day” a couple times a month!
“Even with the occasional indulgences and off-plan days, we know that low carbing is definitely the lifestyle for us. We’re both very proud of our success so far and expect to continue living a low carb lifestyle.”

Check Also

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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