You asked, I am answering. (Long, so nap first)

I am was really incredibly surprised, giggly and blushing when I saw that Jimmy Moore gave me immense cred on his blog yesterday (Jamie VanEaton A New Low-Carb Superstar In The Making) (I think he forgot to add…of Oopsies) (*nods knowingly*).

I think it’s exciting, but I’m just me, all normal and with bad breath in the morning, so I am a little bit embarrassed about the attention, but appreciate my friends for their support.

This morning (d’oh! Now it is noon) I hope to dispel some concerns I’ve been receiving from friends concerning the future and what is taking place. The following are some general questions, and are in no way to pick on anyone. I want to make things clear from the start, so there’s no confusion.

I think it is very generous that people so care about the image of low-carb and about my well-being that they would be so gentle in criticism and with true concern as they are enthusiastic with the possibilities for the future. I think this is part and parcel what makes the low-carb community something so incredibly special (that’s you!).

1. You have gained, lost, gained and are now losing. Are you really someone with credibility?

A writer called into question my regaining, but might not have known that originally I used Atkins as a crash diet in 2004. I’ve very publicly stated that crash diets don’t work, and I was living proof of that. I gained the weight back, and rightfully so. I preached the word to others to not do it. Frankly, I’m just glad to have the chance to start over and do this the right way. I believe, with this, God has blessed me, and now I have readers, friends, and confidantes I never had before. I don’t think this is coincidence. I think that in my choices to make the right decisions and to do this for my kids and not for myself, I am also being given a very important and precious gift with the amazing things that have been happening. You don’t squander a gift. Maybe I was finally ready to bear this burden. I do know that had I hit my goal in 2004 I would have been a sorry, adult onset anorexic at only 500 calories a day leading people into the same abyss. I would have been that Kimmer, running a crash diet and taking people down with me into the abyss (and no I’m not being melodramatic. My swooning couch is at the cleaners).

2. To some, you might seem a little bit flighty and without direction.

The tough thing about losing weight while blogging (and not lying about it) is that when you are honest (which I am) and you’re talking to folks in a very conversational way (which I do) on a blog and on a message board, you’re going to let them know what you’re doing most steps of the journey (which I do do).

I do that. It is very informal in that way and in those formats. I try to keep this blog very conversational, kind of the Daily Diary of a Chunky Monkey as it were.

Now, some might say this a sign of weakness. I can see the viewpoint if I was to use this style in a column, but I don’t see this as a weakness on this blog. I’ll explain why. Much of America is ME. Fat and happy. We try, we wonder, we opine along the way. We eat out. We want pizza. We’re all a bunch of borgtwins. I opine verbally, and in so doing, show anyone that they can achieve success even with those doubts, desires to be comfortable, and lack of time. Sure, along the way, there was a month-long rough patch, but who doesn’t have those? I truly feel that my honesty is another thing which makes folks say, “WOW! I see she has trouble too. She’s not a perfect schmerfect high and mighty. She’s like me.”

To me, the humility along with the success and the honesty is what makes this blog (not the column) what it is (along with the tremendous people who have supported me in the endeavor to ‘keep it real’).

3. ‘Keeping it real’ is one thing, but come on. This is a national column we’re talking about.

Quite true! Some might be concerned that my extremely conversational style of my personal blog (this one) will bleed over to the ‘professional’ column and tarnish the view of low-carbers as folks who joke about nipples and declare that scales have foreign accents.

I understand the concern; after all, the Examiner column is still too new for anyone to anticipate what will be there. The column is informational, with humor thrown in. It is mostly pure resource. What does a body eat on induction? What ratios are people shooting for? What are the plans available to low-carbers, gluten-intolerant, etc? What restaurants cater to low-carbers? What recipes can help people in their quest for fitness?

4. Can we count on you to be a good example of what low-carb living can do?

As most of you know, I have lost 70 pounds healthfully since January and am going to do my best to healthfully hit goal next year (2009).

The recipes, the cooking, the exercise, the accountability through writing and providing information and paying it forward are all signs (to me, and of my maturity in this lifestyle) that I am doing this for the last time. My kids are also depending on me, and, to me, that’s very important.

Now, many folks lose the weight and then write the book, the column, etc. They’re not under scrutiny because they’re there. I have the dubious distinction of being a work in progress and have been alerted on more than one occasion that all eyes are on me. To be honest, at first I was surprised. I didn’t think people were even reading. Then it finally hit me that there are A LOT of people reading. I had a real wake-up moment. I also didn’t realize some people were emulating me. That was the second shocking epiphany. I’m unassuming and feel pretty average, so to think that anyone might be really paying attention is incredibly humbling. This has been very surreal, and I’ve been quickly adapting and changing as a result.

I have Kimkins folks watching me to see whether or not Atkins works as well while being safer and more tasty. Some are crossing over because some are saying I’m the anti-Kimmer. Now I’m trying not to let those folks down either, and am appreciative that they are paying me that compliment.

I am under a lot of watchful eyes these days, something I wasn’t under in the early days of my blogging and posting. I’m evolving and adapting in a positive way as a result.

5. You changed plans on us in April. This makes you seem a little bit flaky.

On to another point: A friend sees potential weakness in my plan-changing from Atkins to Dr. Thompson. I can see that to an extent, but have we all always followed Atkins (or any none plan)? Maybe, but the chances are, you followed Sugar Busters for awhile. Or you tried the South Beach Diet. Or Weight Watchers. I followed Glycemic Load for awhile. It’s what people do occasionally. We try other things.

I think, if anything, trying a new plan gives us a point of reference. You’re no less credible for having gone to one plan and come back. My two-week Thompson trial was really no different. As soon as I realized it wasn’t for me, I immediately switched back because I wasn’t going to waste any more time with something that wasn’t strict enough for me when I needed a rigid plan.

I feel blessed because I was able to explain a new, healthy, viable way of eating. It might have seemed flaky, but we’re all allowed one flake… if it’s low-carb. Again, I think this also lends to the realism of life. We
all try something else occasionally. To me, honest dialog helps others to have that similar dialog with themselves as well. “Is this working for me?” “Am I tweaking this plan for me?” “Am I being honest on this plan?”

The change was a life lesson for me, and I’d like to think I have helped others have this same self-survey. Those road checks along the way should be performed, regardless of plan. It is too easy to become complacent and even start to bathe in low-carb salad dressings.

And, as I’m not discussing my day to day anywhere but here with you, the column remains free from discussing diurnal changes in weight fluctuations with scales that speak like Quebecoise and have hairy nipples.

6. Your style is fine, but it is too informal and ADD for a column.

It is true that some see my personality on this blog and on the boards as too flighty, and others see it as entertaining, informative and empowering. It really is perspective (and no one person’s is right or wrong), but I knew that at some point I’d have to stop playing around and start giving information and producing some viable, concrete aid to people in the form of success and information.

The column is the column, and not this blog. If you’ve read my Denver blog, you’ll see that’s slightly more formal, as opposed to me picking my toe lint here. I have a different style, tone and discussion topic for every resource. When Parents Canada comes out with their Back to School Issue in late summer, you’ll see that style emerging as well.

All are very different, but hopefully informative in their own way and with their own merits.

7. Anything else, as you’re talking to yourself now?

I saw half of you yawn and possibly snack. The rest of you are playing Sudoku.

Keep the faith in me, keep me in your prayers, and know that I’m going to do right by you.

This is how I am paying it forward. I’m a mom. I’m a fat girl, and I’m America. And, shoot. I’m getting healthier in the process by following a healthful way of life in a positive way that others actually can emulate. It’s a win-win.

Yes, based on this blog (which is purely conversational and fun) and my posts on boards (which is just dialog back and forth) while it might seem I need to reign it in, I already have been, in spades, and where it matters. The column is a column, and is my ‘be serious and help people spot’. I treat it differently than this blog. Both will be informative and hopefully interesting to read, but I in no way confuse the two.

So subscribe to both and let’s send a message!

I know when it’s time to git r done. Long story short: I’m good to go.

BTW, there’s a guy who’s a weight loss examiner I adore in Denver who is using Weight Watchers. I plan to convert him with my future amazing losses and pictures of food. 😀 Bwahahaha! I’m coming for you, Bill!

(Sorry this is so long!)

To all of you with concerns, skepticism and trepidations, please know I appreciate so much that you care, both about me and the low-carb community: about me, enough to want me to succeed in both health and success on behalf of all of us, and about the low-carb community that you would ask that the gift of being in this position is one not squandered but steadfast and informational–and, above all, positive.

Doing well helps to a point. Being well helps to a point. But doing for others is the point of what I do and why I do it.

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  1. bfreema2 says

    I just want to say that absolutely love your blog jus the way it is. There is a reason why so many people read what you write. Obviously you are great with people and know how to keep them interested and know what they want. I think you are hilarious and I think that you shouldn’t change a thing. Keep on keepin’ on.

  2. Anonymous says

    Okay- WHAT??? You’re writing a column, not editing the bible for pete sake! And we’ve ALL lost and gained, etc.. from doing it wrong! The experience is what it is. I’d like to hearthe point of view of someone who is making it work and struggling along with me as much as someone who has “made it.” You’re quasi flaky on purpose for effect- flaky like a fox ; ) AND … OF COURSE your blog style is casual and conversational, but you have a DEGREE. As your column shows, you are perfectly capable of doing serious. MAN, people are full of themselves!!!!!!!!! I think you’re great, and I’m going home to make cauli lasagna in your honor!

    Deb3 – LCFBB

  3. Jimmy Moore says

    Cleo, you are who you are and people should just take it or leave it. I happen to think you are one very talented woman with a bright future in writing about the healthy low-carb lifestyle for many years to come. I am very proud of you and you deserve to be lauded for putting yourself out there warts and all (which you could duct tape to have them removed if you’d like!). 😛 Keep being YOU!

  4. Carol Bardelli says

    I think your writing style is charming, amusing and endearing. You’re a talented writer and a conversational style keeps people interested and coming back.

    As for weight regain, nobody, and I mean NOBODY, loses and never regains. That’s just inherent in our struggles with weight. If anything your gumption to get back on the diet “horse” is another reason you should being writing about diet and low carb.

    You deserve kudos girl!

  5. OhYeahBabe says


    (Bootie dance!)

  6. Anonymous says

    I am liking you a lot and feel you are somewhat like my diet buddy . You can make me laugh when I am all alone in the wee hours and everyone is snuggled in beds getting their zzzzs .

    I can relate to you as you live in the real world not admitting your perfect and may have a sink full of dishes but still cooking and trying to making interesting low carb and gluten free yummies for your family.

    You are my Diet Warrior that is aiding me in getting a better menu for my family and hopefully I will lose some weight in the process. I enjoy this site a lot thanks
    Sincerely Janeann

  7. Anonymous says

    Jamie, I have no doubt you are perfect for the Examiner column. We all love you and your down to earth way of writing, as well as your tongue in cheek comedy.
    You are real and you are GREAT!
    i think i have to be anonymous cuz it won’t let me sign in……..

  8. Former Donut Junkie says

    Miss Cleo…

    As you know I’m a big fan of your blog! And now have subscribed to your column as well. I love your down-to-earth, candidly and painfully honest, witty, zany, and sometimes wacky blogging style. Call it conversational, call it casual, call it whatever you like…it serves all us low-carbers well!

    Low-carb is a life style, not a fad diet; it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon; so, yes, we’re all going to hit some bumps in the road and even feel like quitting at times. That’s what I like about you is that you’re just writing what your experiencing and feeling, just like thousands of us who experience the same challenges. That’s what we need…not some embellished version of a Low-Carb Utopia-ville!

    I’m excited for ya! Keep up the good work!

    Your Low-Carb Buddy,

    Ron aka The Former Donut Junkie

  9. Anonymous says

    I just want to say that you ROCK! You are living your life, hitting bumps, snags, and hitting awesome milestones…. and you are human…. and extremely funny. There are not many of us can go day in or day out without hitting a wall, small or large, and it is nice to have someoen top relate to, or read something that helps us on our journey. You are honest in posting your weight losses, gains, or washes, and your generous with your recipes. And this is your Blog and you are writing about your experiences and sharing them with the rest of us out there struggling to lose weight. That takes courage and so I salute you….

  10. Anonymous says

    Oh, my, my.

    I think you’re a nasty person under all that humor, and that you enjoy getting a laugh at other people’s expense.

    And for heaven’s sake…TAKING CREDIT for inventing a variation on the Dr Atkins Revolution Roll that has been around for YEARS?

    Gaining and losing does not damage credibility. It shows that we all have issues with food, else we wouldn’t have gotten fat in the first place.

    Switching plans doesn’t damage credibility. It just shows we’re all looking for a solution we can live with.

    And as for being a good example of what low-carb living can do? Well, that remains to be seen, doesn’t it?

    Emulating you? Your posts on LC forums are, by and large, a reminder of everything I *don’t* want to say or be.

    Reading your blog? This was the first time I’ve visited, and the last, now that I see how highly you view yourself!

    What damages credibility is

    well, read the first 2 paragraphs again.

    I DARE you to publish this!

  11. cleochatra says

    Thank you for the comments, and the feedback!

    breema2– Thank you for seeing that things will keep on keeping on and for sticking with me.

    Deb– LOL! I am so not editing the Bible. I’d get lost in Numbers. LOL on ‘flaky like a fox’… that’s bumper sticker worthy.

    Jimmy– thank you so much for listening to me ramble this morning, and for your support and friendship. You’re a really nice Jimminator. 🙂

    Carol– look who’s talking. I admire the heck out of your knowledge regarding exercise and building muscle.

    OYB– OMG. I just shot tea from my nostrils.

    Janeann! Thank you! You are so sweet! I think of you as a diet buddy, too! Thank you so much for not noticing the sink (lol)… shhh

    7:16 anonymous– I hope I’ll be helpful. That’s what I’d like to be. That and set a good example for low-carb.

    Hey, Ron! You’re my buddy for sure. Who else would I make a donut for? I appreciate your confidence and look very much to your feedback to make it a valuable resource!

    anonymous at 8:24– Thank you for your support, and for being real, too. I never want to be a goody two shoes. I want to always be a little bit of a rebel. Like Fonzie. Minus telling people to sit on it.

    Tongue-clucking anon– I’m thinking you ARE going to be back to see that I responded to you.

    Have a great day!

  12. MargieAnne says

    I love your writing and have added a link to your Blog to my sidebar. I hope that is Ok with you

  13. Erratica says

    You know tongue-clucking anon will be back. Whoever it is won’t be able to resist seeing if you posted their silliness. Now we can all see what some people think that don’t love you. However, most of us reading your blog and posting comments DO love you, and all of your zaniness. That very zaniness is what keeps me coming back…I love your writing style and want to be you! (I can’t, but I love reading it nonetheless.)

    As a friend’s uncle used to say to her, while pointing, “Straight ahead, doll! Straight ahead!”


  14. If you get all stuffy and formal, I’ll be so disappointed. I love your humor, intelligence, and down-home fun. I love your interactions with your kids and with us. I love this blog. You remind me of Dana Carpender when she first started Hold the Toast. And see where that got her? Thanks for sharing you with us.

  15. Anonymous says

    You go, girl! Don’t let the naysayers hold you back!

    And keep this blog just the way it is. We love it.

  16. Dana Seilhan says

    What is it with people who don’t want to take us seriously unless we can pass ourselves off as upper-class, dignified, and with no biological orifices whatsoever?

    And it’s amazing how quickly they will judge you and how wrong they are–if not in their final assessment then in the criteria they use for that assessment. I was once criticized as being unstable because I have moved around in my adult life. Where the critic messed up was that you can’t judge someone’s mental stability (or whatever kind this person was getting at) by how often you change addresses–I mean, I moved around my entire childhood too. And some of the moves I made as an adult were because I was military, because I was a military wife, or out of necessity (i.e., I had just turned my husband in for felony crimes and couldn’t go home again, or I needed to find a job and the market where I was sucked). I didn’t just go, “Oh la, where shall I live this week?”

    I don’t think some people live on the same planet as the rest of us, and I’m not sure what causes it. Do they watch too much TV? I wonder sometimes; some of their criticisms arise from the person they’re attacking not being “entertaining” enough, not being slick and polished enough, just like on TV where they do take after take until it looks perfect, then add in special effects. IT’S NOT REAL, PEOPLE. God. Turn off the g-d babble box once in a while.

    I love your blog just the way it is. I love your kind of humor. It’s a shame that you had any reason at all to feel like you had to explain yourself.

  17. Cleo, we love you just the way you are. Don’t change a thing!!
    You always make me smile and I wish you well in your new endeavours.

  18. The Bionic Broad says

    I’m not sure how to make the sound in writing, so I’ll just say: To all your critics, rational and irrational, (insert sound of giant raspberry here). Some of those nay-sayers are absolute loons. You’re one of the people who inspired me to start my own blog. Stay true to you and to your writing talent. You rock, chick!

  19. Anonymous says

    Wow, that “anonymous” at 9:15 PM is one hateful b—h, in my opinion!

    Don’t listen to her…she’s just jealous because you are THE BEST and she knows it and wishes she could be more like you! (Somehow she reminds me of that woman (HD) who has been in trouble for her Internet diet scam, K—–s.)

    So what if your Oopsies are just a variation of the original Dr. Atkins rolls? I’ll bet more have now eaten Oopsies, in their various incarnations, than ever ate the Dr. Atkins rolls…and are all the healthier for it.

    Just keep on being who you are!

    Lowcarb Mama

  20. Thank you SO MUCH for mentioning my blog on your “favorites” list, you generous person you! 🙂 That made my day!

    You know, you are the perfect person to write about low-carb, for all the reasons you and others here mention and more.

    It’s easy enough to lose weight on paper, and when everything is just right. When I lost mine I was single, with no one else in the house to feed. It was easy enough for me to keep Atkins friendly food in the house. But so many are like you, with families and busy lives, which often makes it all the more challenging.

    I’d much rather read about low-carbing from someone like you. You’re funnier, for one, and you have great hair!

  21. Any one that doubts your abilities as a write, simply hasn’t read your articles. That or there funny bone is missing. I have the link to this blog on my home page and check it a couple times a day.

    I also, subscribed to your new column.

    I do feel bad for Anonoumous at 9:15 it must really be hard to function in the world with that attitude.

    Thank you for your oopsie, which btw well all know how it got it’s name and you only took credit for your mix up. Heaven for bid. If that’s taking credit for someone elses creation then nearly ever cookbook ever published would be guilty of the very same thing. Don’t they all have their own versions of the same dishes in them?
    Hugs, girl and have a wonderful weekend!

  22. YOU ARE MY HERO!@!!

    and as for the sucky ‘anonymous’…

    taking credit for a variation on an old recipe does not necessarily create or maintain credibility.

    changing the recipe, and using it (plus your creativity and mad kitchen skillz) to make crepes, donuts, and all manner of ridiculously delicious things DOES make you the Queen of the Low Carb Blogosphere.

  23. I have no doubt that you would rock a column published nation-wide. Your style is so entertaining and warm! 70 lbs, wow! That enough to gain my credibility, excluding your fabulous recipes. 🙂

  24. I realize this post was made some time ago and haven’t read past it yet, but I felt compelled to comment. I have been lurking, reading, laughing and gleaning info from your blog here for some time now. I have never commented or gotten involved because.. hey.. what can I say? I was looking for info and recipes, not friendship or conversation(I’m a bad friend indeed!) In reply to the comments that you’re too “informal” here, bah!! Be Gone Evil One!. Your sense of humor and how you incorporate it into your blog is wonderful. I have sent my mom (a professional author) here just to read your writing style and humor. She loves it and is in no way, no how, interested in any diet, low carb or otherwise (she’s a skinny, healthy, vibrant, elder who eats her dessert first). And…the fact that you’ve switched eating plans, lost weight, gained weight, have a good looking hubby ;-)…. makes you real and I believe that more folks can relate.
    Keep up the good work.

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