I had posted this in my journal. Ken suggested that I post it here. I hope you enjoy.
I felt that this is a good spot to stop a bit and reflect about my journey. I'm 26 weeks in on this particular "jaunt"; that's 6 months, or half a year.
But my journey didn't start six months ago. It started a LONG time ago. In 2003, I did low carb for the first time. I had great results and lost about 75 pounds. But like is so common, I managed to gain it all back and more. I had seen the incredible power of Low Carb High Fat, but I certainly hadn't learned it in a way that I would retain it. I would return.
Add a few additional attempts, and suddenly it was 2009. I weighed an all-time high: 410 pounds I had just been to my doctor for routine bloodwork, when I noticed that my legs and feet were swelling tremendously. Hell, I couldn't help but notice because I was in a fair amount of pain! So I went back to my doctor. In addition to prescribing a diuretic, they mentioned one of my lab values, my blood glucose had been "a little high." So that day they wanted to do another blood test to rule out diabetes. An A1c the called it. "Yeah, sure whatever" was my attitude. But deep down I was a bit frightened.
I had read that other people had controlled diabetes with low carb, and I knew that I should do it. But I was still in denial. I was no longer in denial when my doctor's office called me to schedule me an appointment to see my doctor. Not just the typical "your results are normal." But "get in here. As soon as possible." It wasn't good news, but it still hadn't sunk in. I am not ashamed to say that I cried that day in the doctor's office when he told me I had diabetes. I knew this was not good. I wasn't sure how I would deal with it, but was hoping that LCHF would be part of it. The doctor prescribed Metformin and the diabetic education classes we all have grown to love. Not. I did both, but knew the real secret lay elsewhere.
I launched full force into LCHF in July 2009. Before I stopped, I had lost 96 lbs, down to 314. I didn't maintain this loss, as I went off plan for a variety of reasons that I still kick myself about. But I managed to get off all of my meds, and maintained a weight that would get no higher than about 360; and got as low as 330 during return attempts to LCHF.
Jump forward to January of this year. I had been to my doctor in December and my blood pressure was inching up. My A1c was around 6, which my doctor wasn't concerned about, but I knew even at that level, I could still be doing damage to myself. He changed up my BP meds, but I knew that I had to do something. And I knew mostly NOT because of my BP, and NOT because of my A1c, but instead because of this reason: I could eat three meals a day plus snacks, and also dessert, and then proceed to snack all evening, and even then, I never felt full.
I hated being a slave to food. But I was. And I knew that it would not end well.
On January 11, I relaunched LCHF with a bit of a soft launch. I weighted 353 pounds. I say "soft launch" because the first day or so, I had some food around that I felt that I needed to "eat up"
In addition, I still thought I could have a cheat meal once in awhile. My cheat meal at the end of the second week was a large pizza from my place of choice.
And I woke up feeling sick. And I woke up with weight that I hadn't had the day before. I also had found this forum by that time and had read some of Ken's journals, and read about "no cheats ever" and how they had helped him stay on plan despite "repeated attempts to stick with this plan in the past." I thought: could that be the answer?
Fast forward to today. Since that pizza-laden night, I have minimized the foods that I know aren't right for me. Occasionally at a mexican restaurant I would have a few chips or a tablespoon or two of refried beans. A few drinks on certain occasions were not really on how I wanted to do my plan, but I managed to jump back from them. I will sometimes eat more of my "coconut oil chocolate" than maybe I should; when we make the cauliflower crust pizza I will sometimes eat too much. Pork rinds can be a source of gluttony at times. All of these are "on plan" foods, but a sign that the Starvin' Marvin is still out there.
But...over the 6 month journey, I have lost about 78 pounds. My pants size has gone from 52 to 42. My shirts have gone from 4x in most cases, down to 2x. I can walk 5 miles at a time with minimal impact; a year ago, a 5 mile walk led me to rubbery legs. I get my bloodwork done this coming Friday. I hope that I have tremendous news to report here. I self-monitor my BP at home; I am sad to say that while my numbers are consistently good on medication, they are probably not low enough to justify stopping the medication. But I expect my A1c and my Triglycerides to be in safer levels.
But....most important of all, I am very much less a slave to food than I was. I can eat three meals a day made up most of meat, eggs, and occasionally vegetables, and I feel sated and happy. I never feel deprived. I do not feel that never having bread is a problem. In fact it's the opposite. I know that bread is one of those foods that will send me back to where I never want to go again.
In addition, I can often skip a meal. Or two. It's incredibly freeing to know that I don't have to worry about eating at a particular time. And that I won't go into low blood sugar "shakes" if I do so.
I don't worry when I go out to eat, or if I have to go to a meal that someone else is putting on. I find a way to eat some of what I can eat. And skip everything else. I know I won't die if all I eat is a bit of salad without the croutons.
I have an incredible amount of freedom and satisfaction in what I am doing. I have weight to lose yet. I know I have a minimum of 30 lbs, down to 245, but 225 should not be a problem at all.
So here....the picture on the left was Memorial Day Weekend in 2009. The middle picture was me during July 2015. And the far right...that was taken yesterday. Yes, I have a ways to go. But I have begun to boldly go where I haven't been in 40 years and I am incredibly impressed at the progress that I have made!