02 Jan MY WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY
After having success with weight loss, I have been asked by friends, patients, and family how I was able to finally lose the 50 extra pounds I had been carrying for several years.
I come from a fat family. Many of my relatives share the medical issues related to obesity. On August 1, 2013 I weighed 258 pounds. Of course, I heard the usual comments like, “you didn’t look that big”, or “you are tall and carried it well”, but that didn’t make me feel better about wearing a snug 42 inch waist size or the fact I had been placed on a stronger blood pressure medication. It also didn’t keep my knees and hips from hurting.
As I listened to and believed the advice from “experts” on nutrition over many years, I saw my weight creep higher and higher. I have tried most every diet ever conceived, from Atkins to LA Weight loss, Weight Watches to Jenny Craig, Nutri-System to this and to that and the weight has always increased after each diet was stopped.
It is very easy to stay in denial about obesity and its real causes. I was in denial for years. Finally, I realized that losing the extra weight was more mental than physical. First, I admitted to myself what made and kept me fat. It was not survival or hunger, but rather eating those foods that made me gain and keep fat tissue. The next step was deciding what the requirements would be for any diet to be successful for me. Here are a few of those requirements:
(1) It has to work with a busy, working life.
(2) No shakes or pre-prepared diet foods
(3) No diet pills
(4) Ability to eat at most restaurants
(5) Never count calories
(6) Never calculate portions
(7) Never hungry
(8) Never feel guilty about an occasional slip
(9) Don’t weigh regularly
(10)Exercise is good, but not required
That is when I decided to go on a “Modified Low-Carbohydrate Diet.” There is abundant information on line about the Low-Carbohydrate diet and why it works. I felt it could work for me and fulfill all of my diet requirements if I modified it a bit to make it realistic. My “Modified Low-carbohydrate Diet” is actually very simple. I eat all I want of the allowed foods and rarely/never eat the non-allowed foods.
(1) Meat and seafood- all
(2) Vegetables – most
(3) Fruits – all
(4) Nuts – (peanuts are not really nuts but legumes and are not allowed)
FOODS TO AVOID:
(1) Grains – (all – wheat, corn, soy, all rice, rye, etc)
(2) Legumes – beans, peanuts, etc
(3) Dairy – all (take a calcium supplement daily)
(4) Sugar – obvious
(5) White potatoes (eat sweet potatoes instead)
MODIFICATIONS (to make it livable for me)
(1) Don’t worry about breading on fried meat and seafood, just don’t eat them too frequently
(2) Don’t worry about some cheese on salads you order in restaurants
(3) Don’t worry about dairy in salad dressings
(4) Drink grain-based liquors in moderation (avoid beer and wine). Mix liquor with sugar-free colas, diet tonic or water.
(5) Don’t worry about artificial sweeteners. Most stuff you hear about them is bologna.
In the 1-1/2 years since I started this, I have not been hungry one time. My previously high cholesterol and triglycerides are on the low end of normal, my blood sugar is perfect, my blood pressure became normal and I stopped my Lisinopril and reduced my Lipitor. I lost 6 inches in the waist, my knees and hips no longer hurt, and I have more energy than I have had in many years.
I now realize that there are some bottom lines to my weight loss. Most of what I have heard and read about low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets is pure crap and has led to a pandemic of obesity all around us. The obesity rates and subsequent rates of diabetes are at an all-time high. Also, the real factor for success with weight loss is mental/intellectual. Anyone can lose weight, it just requires a mind shift away from long-held beliefs and habits. Good Luck.