Jennifer seriously knocked my socks off with her seriously sweet success when she shared that she had lost 200 pounds with friends at a low carb board. I immediately wrote to her and asked–nay, begged– her to tell us about how she managed to lose so much… and without exercise.
Two hundred pounds.
Ask yourself: If Jennifer can do that, what can you do to make healthier choices today?
Weight Lost: 203.5 lbs
Diet plan: Atkins
Reason for the change in lifestyle: I was 351 lbs and had to do something or I was going to be facing serious health consequences. I was basically a recluse who did nothing but sit home and binge, and that was not the life I wanted for myself. I wanted to have a life, have kids, and be healthy. I had had success with Atkins in 2000-2001 so knew it worked for me, as long as I worked it.
The journey and success: On 1/30/07 I decided to get serious again. We were about to move into a new house and it was a new year, so I had the “new beginnings” mindset. When I was successful on Atkins in 2000-2001, I didn’t cheat once in a year (then fell head first into a huge binge and eventually gained all my weight back +50 friends – 200 lbs), so I told myself that this time I would not deny myself when I wanted to eat off plan. Vacations, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, or just because, if I wanted it, I ate it.
I still managed to lose really well and by the summer of 2008 I was in the 195’ish range and thrilled to be there. My body loves that weight; it’s a set point for me. So that combined with starting fertility treatments and the hormones that went with that kept me at that weight for several months. Then I binged on 47 lbs when my mom died on 2/25/09, 13 days after I learned that my pregnancy didn’t stick (I was only a few weeks pregnant, but devastated).
I yoyo’d along for the next couple of years, then my endocrinologist told me to lose weight at an appointment in 4/2011. I remember weighing 186, and wasn’t unhappy about that weight (it’s all relative), but I didn’t want a lecture at my next appointment so I got serious again (after all of the Easter candy was gone, of course). I weighed 147.5 when I saw the doctor again on 10/21/11. He was thrilled, lowered the strength of my meds, and told me I only needed to lose 5 more pounds. As tempting as that sounds, I’m sticking with my goal of 135.
As you can see, after 5 years I’m not setting any weight loss speed records, but that’s OK. The whole “it’s the journey not the destination” saying is really true.
Biggest obstacle so far: Myself! I know it is so cliche’, but, in the words of Lit, I am my own worst enemy. I can talk myself into anything (most recently a Reeses’ pumpkin and M&M cookies. Several M&M cookies), or out of anything (getting up early to exercise). One part of me wants to reach goal once and for all, but then there’s that thought of I’ve gone from a size 30/32 to 8/10, isn’t that enough?
This has helped the most in my journey: The internet. I’ve gotten so many ideas, recipes, information, questions answered thanks to the www. As much as Dr Atkins is my hero, I don’t think I would have come this far reading his books alone.
Must-have kitchen staple or recipe: A husband who loves to grill! lol Seriously I’d have to say my microwave bacon tray. It gets used everyday.
Typical day’s menu and favorite LC dishes:
For breakfast I either have 4 slices of bacon, 3 eggs (scrambled in butter) with cheese, or 2 sausage patties; occasionally Greek yogurt. And a cup of coffee with 1T HWC and 2T DaVinci’s; I have at least a dozen flavors (my sister-in-law was a barrista in college and said my stash rivals a coffee shop’s…lol)
Lunch is usually dinner leftovers from the night before.
Dinneris almost always a hunk o’meat and salad. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are my favorite protein, but I also cook pork chops, burgers, chicken wings, pork tenderloin, turkey breast. Most Sundays my husband will grill steaks. I always cook in butter or olive oil and season well. My salads are 2-3 cups of lettuce usually with a couple of slices of chopped bacon, sometimes cheese &/or a handful of cherry tomatoes, and 2T of full fat dressing. I like the creamy dressings like ranch and blue cheese. I’m not a snacker but usually have extra sharp cheddar on hand in case I need a nosh. I try to drink 100 oz of water a day but don’t always succeed, and normally have a diet soft drink at night. I occasionally have an Atkins shake as a meal if I’m in a time crunch, but rarely the bars – they’re a trigger for me.
My favorite l/c dishes are ribeyes with lots of marbling, heroin wings (LCF recipe room), and Linda Sue’s truffle torte.
Advice for others:
Pick a plan that you can stay on, know it inside out, and stick with it. Accept that the way you eat to lose the weight is the way you’re going to have to eat to maintain your loss. It took me a while to get that through my hard head. Low carb was a means to an end for me, the end being to get skinny and get back to binging.
Be patient and don’t compare your loss with others’ – we’re all different.
Be reasonable and realistic about your goal weight; not everyone is going to weigh what they did in high school, before children, etc.
If you eat off plan, get right back on. Don’t kick yourself over it, what’s done is done, but learn from it.
Be diligent but not obsessive.
Any quotes that motivate you?
Being fat is hard, Losing weight is hard, Maintaining weight loss is hard. Choose your hard.