Suzy, 51, is from Texas. She has had a weight problem her whole life. She also has Type II diabetes. Suzy has a picture of herself with her first-grade class. “I was the fattest child in the group,” she sighed. She also has a picture of herself at four, “a little fat girl,” Suzy comments.
When she was in elementary school, Suzy’s mother sent her to school with Slim Mint gum, which was supposed to suppress her appetite for her lunch. Suzy had to get special permission from the nuns to allow her to chew it. She really hated being the ‘different’ one, because of course, all the kids noticed and commented. Suzy noted, ” I wasn’t even one little bit less hungry and lost no weight.” What a humiliating and frustrating thing for a small child to endure!
Starvation Diets Didn’t Work
Suzy went on a starvation diet when she was in junior high and then again when she was in high school, using Ten-U-Ate medication. “Prescribed speed,” was how Suzy described it with a sigh. Both times the medication worked for a while, but Suzy always gained the weight back. It also turned her into a “horrible, mean, ugly tempered b**ch,” she adds.
When she was in her twenties, Suzy joined TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) and was president of her local chapter for two years. She lost about 60 pounds but gained it all back, plus the inevitable additional poundage. After her last meeting as president, she left and never went back, stating she was “too ashamed.”
Suzy lost weight yet again when she was in her thirties and managed to get down to her goal weight of 123. This time she did it completely on her own. She added that she got sick during the weight loss phase, stopped having periods, couldn’t tolerate her husband touching her, and was cold all the time. “I think I was dying, but I was so depressed, I didn’t care,” she said.
Suzy exercised and tried everything she could to keep the weight off permanently, but again she gained the lost weight back plus even more. “I just could not keep myself from eating foods that would put the weight back on, and everything seemed to put it back on!”
Low-Fat Diets Didn’t Work
In her forties, Suzy went on a low-fat diet. “But that time, I couldn’t get below 230 pounds,” she said. “And again, I gained it all back and more.”
Suzy has been low carbing since December 4, 1999, and has lost 60 pounds. She first decided to try low carbing because she was still desperate to lose weight. “It was something I hadn’t tried,” she said. “I was at the point where I didn’t care if it made me sick, just as long as I lost weight. ”
In addition, Suzy had gone to a meeting led by a bariatric surgeon. He discussed the weight loss surgery she was considering and the follow-up treatment, which was… (gasp!) a low carb diet! “I decided to skip the surgery, just go with the follow-up treatment, and save $35,000 in the process,” she said. The very next day Suzy started low carbing.
Now I’m in my fifties and it’s low carb!
“Now I’m in my fifties and it’s low carb,” Suzy continued. “What will happen in the long term? I think I know, but I won’t be sure until it happens.”
Suzy follows the Atkins Diet. She had known about low carbing since the early 1970s but didn’t believe it was anything more than a fad diet. (She still believed this when she started low carbing in 1999!)
Suzy firmly believes that she is definitely addicted to carbohydrates because she feels that carbohydrates cause her to have uncontrollable cravings and terrible hunger pangs. She would prefer to live without them. “If that is an addiction, then I am addicted!” Suzy exclaimed.
Suzy feels that the good things about a low carbohydrate way of eating are the weight loss, the steady blood sugar levels, the lack of intestinal distress, little or no hunger, being able to eat when she is hungry, and all the good foods she can enjoy.
She adds that the most difficult aspects of low carbing for her the high carbohydrate foods she misses and being ‘different’ from others, an echo from her childhood. “If I could have carby foods, I’d still enjoy eating them. So, to that degree, I miss them. And, once again, I dislike being ‘different’ and unable to eat the same things that ‘normal people eat,” she explained.
My Blood Sugar is Perfect
When asked how well low carbing has worked for her (when other diets have failed), Suzy replied, “It has worked well, but the weight loss was very slow for me after the first six months. The blood lipid panels have been excellent and my blood sugar is perfect. And I have a chance to live a long life, which was not true before!”
Suzy’s husband is on the program with her, and is her greatest source of support. She states that he is her best feedback mechanism. His steady love, support, and encouragement are her mainstay. Her other family members are also willing, for her sake, to support whatever she wants to do, and are very happy for her to be well again.
In closing, Suzy stated emotionally that she feels it helps her to know that all those years she was fat, it was because she didn’t understand what it would take for her to lose weight. Being overweight was not her fault anymore! But now…..
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