Marilyn, 57, is from Edmonton Alberta, Canada. She started out following Protein Power in October of 1999 and switched over to Atkins since January of 2000. She now tries to limit her carbohydrate intake to between 20 to 30 grams a day.
Marilyn is diagnosed as a Type II diabetic. She was formerly required to take 48 units of insulin twice a day but has been off insulin completely since July of 2000.
“I have had a weight problem ever since I was a small child”
“I have had a weight problem ever since I was a small child,” Marilyn told me. “I tried on and off for years to lose weight, but never was able to lose and keep the weight off.” About five years ago, she decided she was “OK” the way she was, and accepted that she might always be overweight. “I didn’t like the fact that I was so fat,” said Marilyn, “but I guess that I was not ready to do anything about my weight.” She often told herself that when the time was right, she would do something. “I was fine with that until October of 1999.”
“I have tried low-fat diets, diabetic diets, grapefruit diets, water fasts, amphetamines, and Phen-Fen.” Marilyn couldn’t even remember how many times she had tried each diet attempt through the years. “About 25 years ago I drank only water and saw an acupuncturist weekly for a month. I lost 30 pounds, but I regained it as soon as I went off the program.”
“I lost 40 pounds 24 years ago on a diabetic diet when I was pregnant with my daughter and was stuck in the hospital for 20 weeks, and I lost 50 pounds – the most I ever lost before low carbing – seven years ago on yet another diabetic diet.” Marilyn found that she was unable to stick with any of these plans, though, because she was constantly hungry and always craving food. Each time she tried any diet, she regained all that she had lost plus “a lot more.”
Marilyn started low carbing in October of 1999. “I heard about low carbing 10 years ago, but was afraid to try it, as it sounded so contrary to what I believed to be true, i.e., low fat was the way to lose weight,” Marilyn said.
I asked Marilyn if she thought she was addicted to carbs. “I don’t know about now,” she replied. “I haven’t cheated, so I probably am, but I am afraid to tempt myself with anything that is high in carbs……Well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!'”
Marilyn told me she lost total control of her eating in October of 1999.
“I bought bags of miniature chocolate bars for Halloween and decided that one wouldn’t hurt my diabetes. I started and ate a whole bag of 50 in about 2 days. My blood sugars skyrocketed, and it scared me.” That was when she decided to try low carbing.
When asked about the good and bad parts of low carbing, Marilyn said, “I am in control of my own behavior, and I have never felt better in my entire life. I can buy clothes without much problem and so much cheaper than what they charge for larger sizes. I have gone from a size 32 to a size 18/20. My shoe size has even gone from a 12 to an 11. My self-esteem is so much better! I feel better about the fact that I can teach others to take control of their own lives, without being hypocritical now. I have made a lot of new friends on the Internet. I can do so many things that I was unable to do because of my weight. For example, I can sit in a regular plane seat and buckle up the seat belt without asking for an extension!”
What about the bad parts? Marilyn had a hard time coming up with anything she considered to be a negative side effect of this lifestyle. “Difficulty when eating out in friends’ homes, as they sometimes don’t understand what I can eat. They tend to think that if I am on a diet that anything low fat is good for me,” Marilyn finally decided.
“I have been able to completely stick to this diet like no other weight loss attempt before,” Marilyn continued. “In the 16 months that I have been low carbing, I have only once eaten a meal that was not low carb. It was a “planned cheat,” where I was dining at a friend’s who cooks like Emeril Lagasse. I decided that I would eat whatever was served for that meal and go back to strict low carb the next morning, and I did. The only other time that I almost cheated was when I put a mince tart in my mouth before realizing what I had done. I immediately spit it out without even tasting it.”
“If I see something that looks good and it isn’t low carb, I tell myself I don’t eat that anymore,’ and that works for me. If I find myself wanting something I shouldn’t have, I either eat a low carb snack or get a drink of water. Sometimes I just get myself busy doing something around the house or go for a walk. As of today, I have lost 150 pounds, and I know that they will never return!”
“I find low carbing is really easy for me to follow and stick to. I am never hungry, and I love meats, seafood, and salads. I don’t ever see myself going off this way of life. When I reach my goal, I plan to add a few more carbs in the way of fruits, but not bread or potatoes, which I used to love but have no desire for any more.”
Marilyn’s diabetes is under control & no longer takes any medications.
“I used to be on an anti-inflammatory med for the arthritis in my knees, and have not had to take any for two months! I have a history of getting bronchitis at least twice a year, and I have not had any illnesses since starting the low carb lifestyle. I have energy and motivation now to exercise. I try to go to aqua-size classes for an hour three times a week.”
Marilyn’s family and friends are very supportive. “I belong to the Food Log Group and Texas Low Carb List on the Internet,” she says. My doctor, who is new, was very skeptical when I first told her that I was low carbing. She did a physical exam and blood work and said that she can’t argue with success. Everything was normal! My 23-year-old daughter has now decided to try and low carb, and has lost 17 pounds in the last five weeks!”
“Just a couple of days ago, my brother from out of town saw me for the first time in a couple of months and commented, “The diet is still working for you, I see!” All the feedback Marilyn has received has been very positive. People say things like “I didn’t recognize you!”, “You’re going to fade away to nothing!”, “You look wonderful!”, and “You don’t need to lose any more!”
“I have never felt better about myself.
“I have never felt better about myself. My self-esteem is good and I am under very little stress,” Marilyn smiled.
“I started out at 398 pounds, and now I am at 248! I am six feet tall, so I set my goal at 200 pounds for now. I don’t know what I will do when I reach that goal. I haven’t weighed 200 pounds since I was in the 7th or 8th grade! When I get to 200, I will see what I look like and then decide what my next goal will be.”
The pictures Marilyn included are “before” and “during” shots. Her “before” picture was taken on May 24, 1999, and shows her with her two grandchildren. The “during” picture was taken on December 31, 2000, when she weighed about 263. Marilyn has lost an additional 15 pounds since then and is still melting steadily away!!
What a true inspiration Marilyn is, and what a success story! I am looking forward to updating Marilyn’s progress, and know all of us will be waiting to read her update when she reaches her goal!
Great job, Marilyn!
More Low-Carb Success Stories.