Suzy from Indiana is 45 years old. Suzy’s top weight was 198. She is currently just below her goal weight of 138, weighing in at 137.5! Suzy wore a size 16 when she began low carbing and is now sporting size 8’s!
When Suzy began low carbing, she started what she called “part low fat and part low carb,” but actually began the Atkins program the day before Thanksgiving, 2000, weighing 182.
“I did the Stillman diet in the summer of 1975 to try to lose 10 or 15 pounds before college started. It worked great and I went into college with a great figure. That lasted until about the first month of eating dorm food! Through the years I was usually aware of all new diets that came out. I would sometimes need to lose 10 or 20 pounds, sometimes 40.”
Suzy believes she is addicted to carbs. “Not the complex carbs of fruit and vegetables,” she said, “but I believe I’m addicted to wheat, and maybe to sugar.”
Suzy knew low carbing would work for her. “It was hard to make the decision to give up bread and crackers. I eat a lot of food. People are amazed when they see what I can pack away at a restaurant or salad bar. If I choose carefully, then I can still eat a lot with this way of eating.”
“I looked into The Zone because I wasn’t losing any weight when I started to diet with low fat, but, the truth is, I couldn’t figure it out. There are so many rules and no way to do it without unbelievable preplanning, which isn’t my strong point. The meat was something like 3 ounces, 1/2-inch thick by the palm of your hand. I took a look at what you could eat and it looked just like a Weight Watchers menu. I’d starve to death! Plus I knew my problem was (is) too much starch. When I see ‘1/2 slice of bread/toast with butter,’ all I can think of is, yeah, sure, what happens to the other half?!”
Suzy feels low carbing has worked where other diets attempts have failed mainly because of the lack of hunger. “I eat so much more! I really don’t care if it’s macadamia nuts or Wheat Thins, sometimes I just need something to eat. Obviously, though, my metabolism cares about what I eat. So with low carbing I eat and I’m happy, and it’s not Wheat Thins, so my body is happy too!”
Suzy feels low carbing is very easy to do. “Plus, its something that can be tweaked. Giving up wheat was the bad part for me, but I have peanut butter cookies and cheesecake, so it’s not that big of a deal.” Her biggest obstacle, she feels, is that she hates cooking. “Guess that’s where CarbSmart comes in!” she laughed.
Suzy has a wonderful support system. “I am on the ‘Atkins A Way of Life’ support list on Yahoo Groups. It was such a huge help from the beginning. People would share the good news and the bad news, and I could relate to so much of it. I kept wanting to post ‘me, too!’ messages to a lot of what other people were saying. I thank God for Penny’s (AAWOL) list and the people on it. That is truly what kept me going when I had lost so little in such a long time after beginning low carb. My body wasn’t giving up even one pound. But because I really wasn’t hungry, I stayed on it. Eventually it came off, slow but sure.”
“My husband has been a huge support! You know the free shipping with CarbSmart orders of $100.00? He didn’t blink an eye when all the strange stuff came into the house. Or even when the MasterCard bill arrived! He wanted his ‘thin’ wife back, Suzy laughed. “Now everyone thinks I look great, but I am not thin-thin – just average or a little smaller. If I get any smaller, I start to lose bosom, and that won’t do at all!!! My body fat percentage continues to go down, slowly, but still going down. Several people I know think I had lost 8-10 pounds when actually it had only been two in the eight weeks it took me to get from 140 to 138!”
“I am a medium to large framed woman and have never been thin – at least not for long!” Suzy told me. “I’ve been ‘healthy, chubby, and muscular’ – just not thin! I want to go to the doctor and get my blood tests rerun, it’s been about a year, so I guess it’s time to go in. Last time I felt like an errant child with a bad report card.”
“I hated how people looked through me when I was overweight. Like I, my thoughts, and my opinions didn’t count. I would smile at someone and they would look straight through me like I wasn’t there; I felt invisible. No longer! I feel people, especially people you don’t even know, treat you better when you are thin, they smile back, and treat you like your someone they would like to get to know better. My new clothes are great! Stylish, form fitting. The form underneath looks really good in them! My body still has the flaws it had when I was heavy, the same flaws I hated when I was in high school; they’re just smaller now.”
Suzy’s main trick to maintenance is “not to eat out on Friday and Saturday nights,’ she chuckled, “which is a bummer, because I would rather eat out than cook.” Since reaching maintenance, Suzy has added more food choices back into her way of eating. “Mostly veggies,” she said, “but a few not so good for you low carb snacks and treats as well. Maintenance is fun!! Being sort of thin, (well, I am thin, for a 45-year-old woman who has had two children) is great! You get daily reinforcement from the people you love, strangers, and the mirror.”
“This is the easiest diet I have ever been on, I can make it a way of life with very little effort, and I hope everyone else can too. That’s why we call it ‘a way of life.’ For me and many others, there won’t be any going back to bread and butter with a meal or sugary desserts afterward. I found my problem – sugar and white flour – and I’ve found the solution – don’t eat it at all – so there isn’t a weight gain.”
“I figured out I can’t have my cake and eat it too. Dinners at the Olive Garden are a thing of the past because I know I can’t pass up both the bread and pasta. I’m just not that strong! I’m just taking it one day at a time and adding some of the fresh fruits and vegetables of the season to my plate to see if I can handle them or not. Who needs apple pie when you can have fresh raspberries and whipped cream?”
Two things Suzy warns low carbers against are planned cheats and low carb bars. “The bars made me stall. You should have seen me ranting and raving as I ate one for breakfast every day for three weeks, not knowing they were the reason I wasn’t losing. Then I had a planned cheat on Valentine’s Day and it took me nearly two weeks to lose any weight afterwards. It just wasn’t worth it!”
“Towards the end, it takes sooooooo long to get those final few pounds to goal off, I wish I could inspire everyone to keep going by just telling them how fabulous I feel and how fabulous I look, but it just sounds like I’m bragging. So let me leave you with this thought: keep on keeping on. It took time to put on the weight and it takes time to get it off. Every week that you lose, no matter how seemingly insignificant the amount, your weight is going down, down, down.”
The URL for Suzy’s low carb support list, Atkins, A Way Of Life, is: