Myrna From Pennsylvania’s Low-Carb Success Story
Myrna from Pennsylvania is 46 years old, 4 11″ tall, and follows the Atkins program. When Myrna wrote to me, she wanted to share with our readers not only her Low-Carb Success Story, but also how she fell from grace, and has rebounded after making her goal weight, then regaining from her first time around with low carbing. Myrna started her low carb journey in Sept. of 2001 at 165 pounds and a size 12. She achieved her goal of 125 pounds and a size 6 after only four months low carbing.
The women on my mother’s side of the family are tall and thin. On my dad’s side of the family, the women are short and overweight. I, unfortunately, take after Dad’s side of the family. I’ve had a weight problem since my oldest daughter was born, and she’s 27 now.
I’ve gone to a nutritionist for a diet plan, gotten a 1200-calorie diet from my doctor, and gone to a ‘diet doctor’ who gave me water pills (lasix), diet pills (phentermine), and potassium pills, along with orders to eat less than 800 calories a day. Of course, it helped if you bought their food supplements. I lost a large amount of weight quickly, right along with a large amount of hair.
I’ve done Weight Watchers, both the regular plan and the points system, used exercise in a bottle, chromium picolinate, the grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet, Richard Simmons, walking at the track and on the road with walking cassettes, Metabolife, Dexatrim, and Jenny Craig. (I hated Jenny Craig’s food!)
I bought a lifetime membership to a spa (just the gym type), and they promptly went out of business in just over a year. It didn’t matter much, though, because I didn’t go that often anyway! Then I started buying exercise equipment for my home. I now have a nearly complete gym here! All that equipment is great for creating extra closet space. It’s now where I hang my clothes and put those boxes of stuff that won’t fit in the closet! All those boxes of exercise videos are on there too! Myrna laughed.
I also sent for information on the ‘Body Challenge,’ but I didn’t end up buying it. I don’t want all those muscles, and I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on all those supplements.
I’ve also tried just about every diet pill that they sell over the counter. Now, I talk fast as it is, but when I am taking those things look out! Plus, I talk a lot with my hands, and I nearly killed my husband once while madly gesturing as I was talking 50 miles an hour! OK, I didn’t nearly kill him, but as I recall there were nasty fingernail cuts on him and on all three of my kids!
I don’t know that I was ever told to lose weight by a doctor, at least not that I can recall. But when you’re not even 5 feet tall and you’re overweight, it seems more noticeable than with someone who is taller and overweight, or maybe that’s just my sensitivity setting in.
I tried each and every weight loss program I came across because when I’m overweight I have absolutely no sense of self-esteem. (And, honestly, when I’m not overweight there’s not much there either, but it’s at least a little higher level.) I’ve used every guilt trip in the book. If I weighed less, my kids wouldn’t be ashamed of me. (That was sure a joke! They were teenagers at the time and ashamed of everything about their home life!) Or maybe my husband would love me more if I weighed less. Blah, blah, blah… It was just my self-esteem, or lack of it, talking. With each diet plan, I stuck with it until it got boring or it became too much work. Then I was right back to those old habits again. I always start with, ‘Well, just this once won’t hurt…’ ”
I began low carbing in September of 2001 after my daughter and my son-in-law’s family started following Atkins’ program and lost a lot of weight. It looked promising, so I tried it. I lost 40 pounds in 4 months!
The Atkins plan worked best for me. It was very helpful that my daughter was low carbing, too. She gave me lots of great tips and recipes. I also joined a lot of support lists online to get more ideas. I could feel the difference in my clothes before I even saw the difference on the scale.”
“It was not a lot of work. I could feed my family the same thing I was eating. I could usually make a bunch of food and freeze it for later use. I didn’t have to find any ingredients at specialty stores or markets.
My only problem with the plan is that I love fruits and vegetables. There are so many that I just couldn’t eat with the plan. Cheating is a part of my life when it comes to food, and I can’t completely give up my fruits. I cheat now and then, but it’s not hard to get back to the plan.
“I have irritable bowel syndrome. For some reason, every one of the symptoms disappeared while I was doing the Atkins plan. It was just gone! I was amazed. The only detrimental thing I noticed (other than the fact that I’m not really fond of meat) was that my cholesterol went up a little, and I’ve never had problems with that before. Then I realized it was from the fact that I had way too much cheese in my diet. I snacked on it all the time. I cut down on cheese and my cholesterol was fine.
Several people where I worked noticed the huge change. They asked what I was doing, and I was happy to tell them. A few of those people went began low carbing after talking to me.
But I gave up low carbing in January of 2002. I went off the program after a health scare (having nothing to do with the program or the weight). And yes, it didn’t take me very long – only a few months – to put every pound back on plus some more!
So here I was again, beginning again as of June 3, 2002. I want to lose the weight again and regain some of the self-esteem and self respect I had when I was low carbing. I also want to get back into some of those smaller jean sizes that I have tucked into those boxes on the exercise equipment! That was one of my first projects, to clean out that ‘stuff’ and remember how to use that equipment!
So, that was my success story, and also my failure story. I had something that worked for me with Atkins and low carbing, and I gave it up and lost everything I’d gained. (Or, gained everything I lost, if you look at it that way!)
As of today, July 31, 2002, my weight is only down a few pounds to 140. But my legs (especially my thighs) and calves are down to what I would consider normal for me, and not at the “Oh my God, I’ll never undress again!” stage. My butt, arms, waist, and hips are all down, and also (heavy sigh) my breasts. (That was the only good thing about being overweight.)
I’ve had more problems this time, which I attribute to ‘missing that golden shot’ because I didn’t do it right the first time. Plus, between my work schedule and the classes I’m taking, there is no time for exercise. Exercising would have made the weight drop off much more quickly. But I’m down to a size 7 again from a 12.”
“I’m not quite as concerned about the scale this time around because I can definitely see a difference in my body. My self-esteem has returned in a small way. This grandmother of almost 10 (number 10 is due in February) just bought a motorcycle! Must be a mid-life crisis kind of thing, although I’m only 46. But, maybe, just maybe, it’s the weight (and inch) loss!
We will check back in with Myrna in a few months and let you all know how she’s doing! Keep going Myrna, you can do this!