Terry From Michigan’s Low Carb Success Story

Terry was born and raised in Kentucky, and now lives in northeastern Michigan. She is 45 years old, and has been following the Atkins program since March 16, l998. To date, Terry has lost a total of 132 pounds and she has dropped from a size 26 to a 12!

Terry told me she has been struggling with her weight since she was in the 4th grade. In high school, Terry lost 60 pounds with Weight Watchers. It took her about nine months, but then she gradually regained all the weight she had lost.

When she was in her mid twenties, Terry lost about 70 pounds in a year using Dexatrim and crash dieting along with severe calorie restriction……. and to slowly gain it all back. “You just can’t keep up that sort of life,” Terry said. “It was easy and very popular back in the early 80’s, but just wasn’t a healthy way to live. It gave me lots of energy and no appetite, but it just wasn’t how I wanted to live.”

In her late twenties, Terry lost about 30 pounds over a year’s time with Weight Watchers again, but again regained it all, and then gave up until after she got married in her mid-thirties. “By this time, Weight Watchers had been through several incarnations of its program. I have no respect for a weight loss plan that can’t decide what to be and just stick with it. Weight Watchers has become too complicated and too gimmicky,” Terry commented.

But Terry tried it again because, as she put it, “Weight Watchers, was of course, all the rage, since it was one of the most popular programs out there. They really hype themselves. I think the early Weight Watchers programs were probably not only better for you, but easier to do than the ones in these later days. They give good group support, but the diet itself is largely unsatisfying.”

Both attempts, upon returning to her old eating habits, succumbed to weight gain. “Anyone who thinks they can go back to doing it the old way is just downright delusional!” Terry said. “How in the world do we think we got fat in the first place?” Both times she regained all she had lost and then put on even more.

In 1993, Terry had gastric bypass surgery. “I weighed 291 pounds,” she said. “I lost 125 pounds over the course of the next 15 months, maintained it for about a year, and then gradually regained about 30 pounds. It helped me get control over my weight, but I soon learned that even with a tiny stomach, someone who is sensitive to carbohydrates will still gain weight and be fat, even with very few calories consumed! I vowed not to cross the 200-pound mark again and slammed on the brakes before hitting that. Fortunately, that coincided with finding Atkins.”

“The downside to my surgery,” Terry added, “was hair loss, but it soon grew back.”

Terry noted that she is fairly disciplined, so all of her weight loss attempts were easy for her to follow once she made up her mind and committed herself to the various plans, but she then added, “Temporary solutions never solve permanent problems. Diets are temporary, as were my Weight Watcher and Dexatrim attempts at losing weight. Only a total change in outlook made the difference between success and failure for me. My stomach stapling was a permanent change in my physical way of eating, but not in my intellectual way of eating.”

Terry says she would never recommend any of her past diet plans to anyone saying, “I would only recommend Atkins, and then only if a person was ready to commit to a permanent change of eating lifestyle.”

In March, 1998, Terry discovered Atkins. “I lost 40 pounds in nine months, and have kept it all off since then. It is the way I live now. I basically have been maintaining, but I wouldn’t mind losing another five to ten pounds. However, if I don’t, that’s OK too. I feel great, I look good, and clothes shopping is a pleasure for me again.”

Terry has been low carbing now for over 3 years. “I finally found what I needed to change in order to be healthy, lose weight, and be able to keep it off. Atkins is the best of all possible worlds. It has satisfying food, a variety of choices, rewarding weight loss, and permanent control if we incorporate it as a way of life and not just a diet.”

Once Terry began Atkins, she stayed strictly on plan for several months without straying at all. She was rewarded with the loss of all the weight she had regained, plus 10 additional pounds. She has been maintaining ever since.

“I always felt well and was upbeat about my weight loss, regardless of what plan I tried. Until Atkins, though, I did feel deprived of good food. The only lack I had was that I felt I need group support, so I just went out and created it for myself by starting my Atkins_Support_List at yahoo groups. Support is the key, and I rely on the support of the hundreds of members of my list. They are true inspirations and good friends.

“To me, it’s all good,” Terry explained. “At maintenance, I find I can have the occasional treat and then go right back to low carbing. Carbs for me are now the exception and not the rule. That alone was worth the lifestyle change. It has given me control for the first time in my life, and it has given me a plan that I can live by. It is easy, easy, easy! I will never go back to the way I lived before. I have better cholesterol, less aches and pains, and better resistance to cold and flu germs. My friends and family are great support. My physician is all for it, and I have the best Internet support group in the universe.”

As far as emotional benefits are concerned, Terry adds, “Hey, who doesn’t enjoy being told over and over how great they look? For a 45-year-old woman, this is fantastic validation.”

Terry spends many hours advising others on the ins and outs of the low carb way of life. In a recent discussion of diet boredom, Terry offered some tips to success and to avoid getting bored with low carbing.

“Well, for those who are bored,” she told her list, “all I can tell you is that there are some keys to success. And, they aren’t necessarily easy. It requires change. However, I’ve been living this way of life and maintaining my loss since March, 1998, so I know it can be done. And, I’m not all that special. If I can do it, anyone who wants to can do it.”

“So what have I learned about it that is helping me be successful? Well, to name a few things . . . Want it badly enough. When you want it badly enough, you will be willing to do whatever it takes to lose the weight and then maintain that loss.”

“Make up your mind that things are never going to be the way they used to be. You can’t go back to eating the way you did and keep your weight off. I don’t care what anyone says about this; they are wrong. If you could eat like that before, you wouldn’t have gotten fat, right? This perception applies to any weight loss program. It requires permanent change in eating habits in order to lose and keep the pounds off. Does that mean induction level eating for all eternity? No, not necessarily. But it does mean not going back to whatever habits caused you to become fat in the first place.”

“Commit to a plan and stick with it. Whatever you choose, commit yourself to doing it correctly, consistently, and faithfully, even though you are not seeing immediate results. Don’t make poor choices and then expect to see weight loss. As one of our members has said many times before . . . ‘weight loss is not a linear process.’ It doesn’t happen evenly and continuously, but in starts and stops, fits and bursts, whooshes up and down. But, it does happen. And it happens for everyone in a different way. Thus, the well-worn term YMMV (your mileage may vary).”

“Become a cook, learn some new things, and be creative. When you have control in the kitchen, you can create the most marvelous tasting foods that are 100% on plan. You don’t need to be a master chef. When you have mastered point number one in this list and want it badly enough, everything else will be easier. You’ll be willing to learn to cook if that’s what it takes to stave off boredom. I tend to think that if you are bored with what you are eating, then it’s your own fault. Bored with what you’re eating? Learn to cook something else. Don’t like certain foods? Learn to like them. You can learn to like them, you know. Just ask some of our notorious veggie haters out there. They’ve learned. Don’t know what to cook next? Hey, look in our files section, which is just brimming with recipe ideas, not to mention the wide variety of recipes that can be found on the Internet, as well as good old fashioned cookbooks. (Remember those?) If you find a recipe that isn’t low carb, adapt it. If you don’t think you are up to it, submit it to the list and ask for help in adapting it. That’s what we’re here for, you know. ”

“Lay off the legal sweet treats. I know this one isn’t going to be popular, but, hey, there it is! No one needs to have dessert with every meal, plus sweet snacks all day long. Look at naturally thin people. I don’t think they spend 24 hours a day obsessing over where that next taste of sweetness is going to come from. And I bet they don’t have dessert with every meal, either. Let’s make sweet treats what they are …. treats, which implies the rare, and not the usual.”

Terry, as you can tell, is a straight forward, tell it like it is gal. No holds barred, the makings of a great list owner, who has made a very special difference in many peoples lives. She is a gem, as her list members will attest to.


Please visit Terry’s low carb support list, the Atkins_Support_List, – it’s one of the best on the Internet!

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Karen Rysavy from Colorado Low Carb Success Story

Karen Rysavy from Colorado is 38 years old and 5'11 inches tall. Karen started low carbing in 2000 doing a combination of Atkins and Protein Power but since that time has studied most of the popular low carb plans out there and implemented parts of each (the parts that worked for her) into her own personal Way of Eating. She began at 271 pounds and wearing size 24/26 and is now 210 and wearing 14/18. Karen revised her goal of a size 12 and 185 pounds to "happy and healthy". A very important goal for Karen, one which she has REACHED!

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