Shannon from Virginia is 31 years old and 5′ 3″ inches tall. Shannon has been following the Atkins program since January 7, 2002. When she began, Shannon weighed 305 pounds and wore size 28 pants and size 3X tops. Shannon currently weighs 220 pounds and is wearing a size 20 pants and size 18/20 tops. Her goal is to weight 135 pounds and wear size 10’s.
“I have been overweight since I was about 6 years old,” Shannon told me. “I have literally struggled with my weight all my life! I’ve lived through rude comments in school and people not wanting to be my friends because they thought they were going to get fat, too! I just stayed in my shell and ate!”
“All I’ve ever really tried for weight loss is the typical low fat diet. I thought that was all there was available. I knew nothing about Atkins back then. I kept up the low fat thing for about six months. I lost a little weight, but I was HUNGRY all the time!”
“The continual hunger made me feel stressed out, and between being invariably hungry and constantly stressed out, I ended up bingeing all the time. Low fat dieting is NOT easy, plain and simple – because of all the carbs! It certainly didn’t work for me at all, and I really haven’t seen it work for anyone else, either. I’m not saying it ‘couldn’t’ work for someone, but with all the weight I had to lose, it was just undoable for me. At one point, I even considered by-pass surgery!”
“Atkins is GREAT! It’s the only way of eating I have tried that actually works,” Shannon exclaimed. “I feel Atkins has worked for me because I know that when I am hungry I can eat! I no longer have to be stressed out about eating or not eating! There is always something low carb to eat anywhere I go.”
“When I eat, I know when I am satisfied. Low carbing has taught me to be in control of my food! I no longer binge, and I feel awesome! Low carbing definitely something I will be able to stick to the rest of my life. I feel the key for me is that I stopped telling myself that I was on a ‘diet,’ and made it a new way of life.”
“The worst part about low carbing – for me – was at first when I was on Induction,” Shannon said. “It’s a total life style change, and it was not easy! But I found if I just stuck to it, I very quickly started to feel so much better! There’s nothing really ‘bad’ about doing Atkins, you just have to learn a whole new way of cooking.”
In addition to her weight loss, Shannon has experienced some wonder health benefits from low carbing, too. “After I had my second child I had postpartum congestive heart failure. As of a few months ago (since I have lost weight) I have been able to get off my heart medicine.”
“About the only feedback I have gotten that is negative of sorts is occasionally I will hear ‘Shannon, I am so sorry you can’t eat that!’ I firmly say, ‘NO, you are confusing the words CAN’T and WON’T!’ ”
I asked Shannon if she had any advice for fellow low carbers. “Don’t get upset if you cheat,” she said. “What’s done is done! Once you stay on the plan and eat like you should, all the cravings for other foods will be gone!”
“Yes,” Shannon continued, “you will go to a few places where all they have is a lot of carby foods, but come prepared! Yes, the holidays are hard, but you can stick to it! I have gotten to the point that I don’t mind bringing my own food anywhere I go. I am more important and what goes in my mouth is more important then people looking at me funny!”
In conclusion, Shannon added, “I am happier than ever, and food no longer has to be my source of comfort. I have figured out that the love of my friends and my family should be my source of comfort, and, of course, knowing that God loves me and is always there for me.”
“I have many groups I belong to on Yahoo. The atkinsdietersclub and agram4ourfriends are two. But the group that got me started, and that I owe all of my success to is the Goalie Girls. We are a bunch of girls who email each other everyday for support! (I love you ALL ! )”
We will do an update on Shannon and her fantastic progress in a few months so that you can keep up with her continued success. Great job Shannon!