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.
There are many ways to define the word "success". When speaking of weight loss, "success" usually means the reaching of a goal weight or size. Today we will meet the exception to that particular definition. Her name is Cathy.
Cathy G. is known as "Koko" on the Talking Low Carb Forums, where she has become something of a folk hero to other members. She radiates warmth, intelligence, humor and she is clearly totally devoted to the low carb way of life.
Cathy has had food issues and has been overweight as far back as she can remember. "I don't imagine that I have to go into details to explain how painful it was to be an overweight child," she says, having survived the trials that cruel children put her through.
The pressure was so severe that Cathy dropped out of high school by her freshman year. She later received her GED and went off to college. Cathy says that looking back, she wasn't that big at all, yet the impact of the treatment she endured changed her life forever.
Cathy met her husband when they were in college. They started out as casual lunch friends until she finally got up the nerve to ask him out. They've been together ever since, and have been married for 19 years.
Cathy has gone from a size 18/20 to a snug 30/32. Though her husband has been very supportive all these years, she couldn't help but feel that he might have liked a slim wife to show off. There were times when he would attempt to become the "food police" and would comment on how much she ate, what she ate or why something was missing from the refrigerator or pantry.
To avoid having her binges detected, Cathy would go to great lengths to hide her eating. She would put empty candy bar wrappers in toilet paper and then flush them to get rid of the evidence. If there was a pie with a piece out of it, she would eat the rest and then buy another, eating one piece to replicate the pie she had devoured.
Cathy had tried "every diet known to man" and had never seen results with any of them. She decided that since she would never be thin, she should just live her life to the fullest. While this was a great resolution, she realized she would have trouble fulfilling it. Everything she contemplated doing was tainted when she considered her size. She was too big to go to the movies or sports events. She couldn't go horseback riding or parasailing. She couldn't take a tropical vacation because she was uncomfortable. Cathy feared she would not even be able to sit in the stadium for her own daughter's graduation in 2004.
She thought that unless she wanted to undergo gastric bypass surgery, she'd have to accept that her life would be severely limited.
In April, 2003 when Dr. Atkins passed away, Cathy took note of all the attention focused on the lifestyle that he had pioneered. She first read all she could on the Atkins Center web site, and was surprised to find that the diet made sense to her. After all the years of hearing how "unhealthy" this way of eating supposedly was, she read the science for herself and realized that this was something she could do. Cathy was elated. "I had hope for the first time in years!", she remembers.
Cathy bought Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution and started the Induction phase on April 24, 2003.
The beginning of her journey included a weigh in. For Cathy, this was no easy task, as she could not weigh herself on a conventional scale because of her size. So her first weigh in took place 20 miles away at a doctor's office. Cathy recalls, "The first visit to the doctor's office was nerve-wracking because I had spent so many years trying to deny and ignore my weight. But there it was. On this huge platform was an LCD display that read 420 pounds!".
Despite her shock, Cathy's determination to lose pushed her to continue to drive the 20 miles each way to the doctor's office, every two weeks, to weigh herself on their scale.
It didn't take long for Cathy to discover the benefits of eating a low carb diet. Not only was she losing weight, she had also discovered the key to ending her obsession with food. She no longer felt the need to binge. She wasn't hungry all the time. In fact, because of the appetite-suppressing effect of ketosis she practically had to force herself to eat at normal mealtimes! "I had spent so many years trying to keep my eating under control without success and now I felt like food was in a proper perspective. I had time and energy to think about other things. There was so much more to life than food," Cathy says.
She now forgives herself for getting to the point of weighing 420 pounds, and is proud of herself for finding the knowledge and means to change her life for the better. She thankfully says, "I am grateful that I have the best friend anyone could ever wish to have in a husband. He is supportive and is looking at me now with an admiration that I have never seen from him. After 40 years, I finally have a chance at living a full life!"
Since starting Atkins, Cathy has lost 59 pounds and has not eaten off plan a single time in the past 176 days! She no longer has to weigh in at the doctor's office, having reached a weight that can be measured on a scale at home. She wants to lose another 171 pounds to make it to her goal of 190. Those of us who have come to know her have no doubt that she will accomplish this goal. This is what makes her a true success story: her determination and her absolute dedication to making low carb a way of life. Cathy says, "I'm on my way — nothing in this world is going to stop me!".