From the time I was a child, right through the glorious 20s (thankfully behind me no pun intended) and into the early 30s (before I had my son), maintaining my weight was never a problem. I always trusted to the fact that by watching what I ate, if my weight drifted upwards, a bit of non-stressful exercise would be all that I needed to get back to my ideal weight.
But Things Change
After the birth of my son (and gaining 60 pounds while pregnant), my thyroid – which was always rocky – decided to more or less give up the ghost. Actually when I was about 21 it was discovered that I had a hypothyroid problem (that’s the one where you gain weight more easily and other unpleasant symptoms). I’d been religiously doing the yearly blood tests and taking the little tiny pill each day. However, even that changed after giving birth. A normal thyroid hovers in the 0.4 to 0.6 range, mine was 10.0 – a sure indication that it had taken a dive and is no longer regulating my body effectively.
So Enter the Diet Loop
Even at the age of 16, obsessed with maintaining a trim figure, I’d “invent” diets of my own. I remember one was nothing but hardboiled eggs, toast, and something to drink. And I did lose 18 pounds in two weeks doing it (eggs are the secret).
Later in life, I went on The Scarsdale Diet. I can tell you that it really does work, but over time you begin to truly hate tomatoes. Meat is definitely on the menu with Scarsdale, along with lots of veggies and even fruit. It really is balanced. You just don’t get a lick of anything smacking of “sweet.” Oh, and I can’t stand black coffee.
Then it was on to the “diet in a box” variations. Sure they work, but after about a week, the smell of cardboard box along with your meal sort of lessens the appetite anyway… maybe that’s how come it works. And yes, combining the right amounts of carbs, protein, and fats is the real secret.
Which led me to… the Atkins Diet.
I did not just jump into Atkins. I read the book cover to cover and researched some of it on my own. Good, solid scientific facts – along with an eye-opening look at the lobbyist that tells us what’s good to eat and what’s not (read high-sugar cereal manufacturers threatening us that eggs aren’t good for us only their products are best).
Okay, research behind me and my sturdy The Atkins Diet in hand, I purged my kitchen of all the nasty (but wonderful) goodies and started on the 14-day portion of the diet.
Sure enough, the scale moved (and still does), but more importantly and almost immediately, my clothes start to “feel right” again.
You stay on the 14 day induction diet for (duh) 14 days. However, if you’re really overweight you can continue the less than 20 grams of carbs for longer. And yes, if seriously overweight, it is still healthy.
I’m not going to continue to go into details on the various stages of this “life time, change your eating habits” diet. It’s all in the book, and I do suggest you read it. So many people I meet tell me, “Oh, but that’s not a good diet. You eat too much of ___ or ____. And that’s not healthy.”
My very first question to people making their negative comments is, “Have you read the book?”
The answer, when something truly ridiculous is thrown at me, is a resounding… no. They do, however, maintain with an air of unreliable authority that they are right. I just smile and keep moving. I’m thin, more often then not (and I don’t mean this harshly), they are in need of some serious weight maintenance.
To give you a clue about Atkins, I started again (yes I know it’s suppose to be a lifetime way of eating but when have we, the American population, ever done anything fully committed?) late last year (around August 2005) I had an unfortunate 30 pounds sitting on my butt that needed removing before it became 50 or more. Pretzels and high carb snacks (where you just grab a quick handful) are my downfall.
By February of 2006, I had lost (and continue to keep it off) 33 pounds. That’s seven months of eating the right combinations of protein, fats, and carbs as outlined by the Atkins diet plan. Averaging just under 5 pounds a month or 1.25 pounds a week (give or take), this is a healthy approach to dropping your weight while being able to truly keep it off.
I even invented my own milkshake that works like a charm. Ice, Carb Hood Chocolate drink (of course chocolate), a bit of Splenda and/or Torani Sugar Free Hazelnut, and a can of Atkin’s Chocolate Royale. Fills you up, is loaded with vitamins and minerals, and best of all works like a charm as you lose the weight.
So now you know my story about weight loss and slimming down. But before I go, I’d also like to nudge your mind to this charming reality.
Why is it that suddenly there are tons of commercials sprouting up with the “order our diet in a box?” What’s the first thing they tell you? All about the glycemic ratio, of course, and, if done in the correct proportions for you, “the pounds just melt right off!”
Yes, they are right. But these same people, along with all the wonder pill manufacturers and the “health conscience” community, were until recently the self same shouting at you that The Atkins Diet was unhealthy!
Duh… Atkins wrote about, and implemented, the right carb combo diet decades ago. He at least has decades of research and true stories to back up what he had said all along.
Combine the right foods for any one individual and anyone can lose weight. Throw in some walking to get your butt up off the couch and moving, and you’ve got yourself a surefire recipe for losing weight, and keeping it off for the rest of your life.
Figure out what works for you, do it, stick to it, and you can be healthy and as trim and fit as is natural for YOU.
(c) Theresa Cahill 2006 – All Rights Reserved