The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine  

    September 3, 2003    PAGE EIGHT      
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 News & Product of the Month
 Living An Apology
 Meet The Merchant
 Jo Cordi's  Lifestyle Series
 Brenda's Low Carb Good Life
 Texas Hill Country Dining
 The Attraction Myth
 Meeting The Challenge
 Defense Against the Dark Arts


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                  Meeting The Challenge

I'm very excited to be hosting the new Success Stories feature for Low Carb Luxury Magazine!   I look forward to sharing with all of you the stories of those who have embraced low carb and found victory in it! We believe you'll find them inspiring, encouraging, and even amusing.


I'd like you meet Chris Martino, known on the Talking Low Carb Forums as ChrisM. Chris loves low carbing... now that he's found it! You see, Chris was once (brace yourselves) a Slim Fast man!

Now, don't recoil in horror... I'm here to guide you through this tale of adventure and peril, self-discovery and, of course, victory!

In the beginning...

As our young hero tells it, he didn't always have a weight problem. Like so many of us, he was very active in high school and had little difficulty keeping his weight under control.

But then came college...

It wasn't long before Chris found he'd gained the "Freshman 15". Being an overachiever, he soon followed this up with the Sophomore 40, Junior 30 and Senior 25!

In the years that followed, Chris became a software programmer — something that naturally lends itself to a lot of "butt time." It's no surprise then that his weight only continued to climb upward.

Comfortable with himself, Chris did not yet see his "expansion" as a problem. And while turning a blind eye to the situation, the dreaded cycle was put in motion — the more he gained, the less active he became. It was during this time that Chris wed his longtime love, Beth.

Our hero first realized his weight had become an issue he couldn't ignore when he no longer liked how he looked in photographs. It wasn't long before he noted problems breathing and was becoming quite winded when climbing stairs.

Nonetheless, Chris did not pick up the weight loss gauntlet quite yet. In fact, it wasn't until the couple left their city apartment for a place in the suburbs that Chris had his "Aha Moment." He seized the opportunity to turn over a new leaf (and rake the yard, and clean the gutters... ah, the joys of home ownership!)


Turning the page...

Because both Chris and Beth wanted this to be the beginning of a new chapter in their lives, Chris came up with "the plan."

The plan included both exercise and diet. But what diet? Chris decided the easiest thing to do would be to go on Slim Fast.

Ah Slim Fast... the name says it all, right?   Who hasn't thought of trying it?   The name just screams "get skinny quick!"

Their new neighborhood was well suited to walking, and it allowed Chris to get past the shyness he'd felt at publicly walking in the city. In this new setting, Chris was able to start slowly with walking — eventually working up to light jogging — sometimes with weights.

A logical computer programmer, Chris was following "the plan" to the letter. He eventually became familiar enough with calorie and fat counts to begin straying from the shakes and bars and replacing them with pre-packaged meals from the freezer section!

As Chris perservered, he managed to lose a whopping 80 pounds. But his success began to waver. It seemed there was a catch. (Surely you've noticed there's always a catch, right?)

Cravings... Chris found himself falling victim to cravings he couldn't control. And it wasn't long before they led him from the straight and narrow path. In fact, they led him to the fire-breathing dragon Chris has dubbed "the stall that wouldn't end."

Now don't despair for the hero of this tale — this is a Success Story after all!

Chris' dragon slayer turned out to be a co-worker who was doing Atkins, and having great success with it!

Chris was never vehemently "against" low-carb plans, but he'd believed the myths. He'd seen low carb as fundamentally unhealthy... a belief many of us began with. Chris teased his colleague (he was still losing weight faster with his "plan".) But it slowly dawned on him that his friend was losing weight AND staying on plan AND was not having cravings. Chris had begun to stray from his low-fat, low-calorie diet. His dragon's fire was known as "Pizza."

After having lost only 5 pounds in 10 months, and having read the now famous New York Times article by Gary Taubes, Chris was convinced low carb was something he should try. And when his wife Beth agreed to low carb with him, the last piece of the puzzle fell into place.

He now knew he would be victorious in his quest.
And so he was...

As our hero and his bride reach their glorious victory, they can proudly claim a 30 pound loss for Beth and an additional 40 pound loss for Chris, bringing his total weight loss to 120 pounds!

Commenting on his weight loss tale, Chris shares that the low carb portion of his battle was easier than he had anticipated. He knew going into the first phase of Atkins — Induction — that withdrawal from sugar and carbs would be a challenge. He was ready for that challenge. The strong cravings for sugar began to dissipate after the first few days. He began to lose that foggy feeling and lack of clarity. By the fourth day, he was already feeling more energetic.

And now?

Chris and Beth channel their new-found energy into exercise! They are both members of a gym, and go 3 to 5 times each week. Chris recently took up Martial Arts — something he'd wanted to do but felt he couldn't when he was too heavy. He had never thought of himself as someone with a self-esteem problem. In retrospect, he sees there were many activities he wouldn't tackle and experiences he avoided... a far cry from the Chris we know today. The "new Chris" approaches all things with new-found zeal and energy!

Unlike most low carbers, Chris has not run into any nay-sayers. He says that people simply look at his success and ask him about the low carb way of eating. It seems they are so impressed by the results that they don't question the means.
The Two Questions I Always Ask:
His real challenge has come from inside, rather than outside himself. Chris continues to face occasional temptations. He does battle with these demons by being prepared for times when his food choices may be limited. In other situations, he draws on his resolve. He "powers through" to make the best choices he can.

I see Chris and Beth as wonderful examples who have truly woven low carb into the fabric of their lives. They have made a place for exercise in their schedules, but do what they like, not exercising merely because they feel they "have to."

They practice moderation in eating as well — slowly working up the Atkins food ladder. They experiment with new foods, sometimes having setbacks, always getting back up and on plan again.

In a time where there is so much "diet fiction," I'm glad I can share with you a true low carb Hero's Tale.

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