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Thoughts on Losing 100 Pounds...

"Discover that the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are."      
— Louisa Cohoe        

Thoughts on Losing 100 Pounds So, I've gone and lost 100 pounds. Seems like a lot, doesn't it? If, at the beginning of my low carbohydrate odyssey, I had speculated about that magical-sounding number, I would have seen it as somewhere between miraculous and too-good-to-be-true. But in actuality, because it envelops you gradually, it's actually a quite comfortable and natural feeling — no trumpets blaring; no newspaper headlines.

Now, make no mistake about it — that doesn't mean that when you step on that scale and the number looking up at you screams "I did it!" that it's not a thrill. Believe me, it is!

To understand how 'point of view' affects this, let me take you back a bit to February of 1999 before I began this way of life. I was, as many of you will relate to, very uncomfortable in my own skin. It's like spending your days in a pair of very ill-fitting shoes. You can get around — you just can't get around well, nor can you do so without pain and difficulty.

It was during these times that my imagination would take flight. I would imagine what it would be like to go to sleep one night and wake up 50 or 60 lbs lighter (100 lbs was too unreal even for a dream!) I would think about what that would be like. I would fall asleep resolute in my decision that I would stop snacking, stop eating fatty or fried foods. That I would not give in to hunger. And for years, that had been the way this scenario played itself out. As long as I believed the necessary component for this dream to become reality was to embrace hunger and avoid fat, I was never destined to succeed.

I thought the fat that insulated my body was a product of dietary fat intake. That's what I'd been led to believe from the never-ending mantra, "fat makes you fat." But indeed, while catchy, the phrase is empty of truth. For in reality, my fat was made up of years of eating sugar and useless starches.

When I finally did embrace the low-carbohydrate nutrition life, I began to visualize those unwanted fat stores as bags and bags of white sugar. And indeed, that's what they were born of.

Each 5 pounds I lost was another 5-pound bag of life-draining sugar. I saw them leaving my body to be tossed into a wheelbarrow and carried away. And over this last 20 months, I have seen 20 of those bags carted off to oblivion.

Has it been an easy ride? Well, not always. While low-carbing may be the easiest and most luxurious way to diet (hence the name of this site), that doesn't mean it doesn't take commitment and hard work. Any life-changing endeavor is far from easy. The beginning is tough, of course since the biggest dietary changes happen all at once and there's sugar withdrawal to deal with.   But hands-down, the hardest part are the plateaus.

The first few times I encountered plateaus (any time you make no dietary changes yet weight loss stalls for weeks at a time), they were either easily kick-started with a lowering of carbs, a meat-fast, or more exercise, or they ended on their own. But the more weight I lost, the more frequent they became and the longer lasting. This last stall lasted 5 months. Don't think that wasn't a strong test to my resolve! And all the while, people were writing me saying, "I've been stalled for 8 days now, please help me!" I don't have to tell you how I felt when I got those letters.

Thankfully I also have received hundreds of letters of support telling me to hang in there, and of course reminding me of how far I've come. And of course, that was true. What was my alternative, afterall? To decide that the diet worked for the last 99 lbs, but since it wouldn't move to that 100-lb mark, it must no longer be the plan for me? I should give up and go off the diet?! Of course not. So I've hung in there. My doctor told me that when a person loses a great deal of weight, often times their bodies will just stop and not budge an inch for quite some time to allow it to acclamate to its new parameters. When it's ready to start the downward trend again, it will. I did not accept this at first (I'm so stubborn!) and I tried all the usual methods to break the stall. Not a tremor on the scale. Finally I decided that I was pretty happy at this weight and when my body was ready to go a little further, it would.

And now, here I am... having said goodbye to 100 pounds and being given a new life. And it is a new life. I feel and look years younger than when I started. There's no place I can't go or where I'd feel uncomfortable. I don't have to fret about where I can possibly find a dress to fit or worry I'll feel 'wedged' into a restaurant booth. I can move quickly and find I break into a run almost involuntarily. I bound up and down the flights of stairs in our multi-story home with no tiring or winding. I can feel all my bones. I am not "hot" everywhere I go and I sleep soundly and well through the night. I eat at appropriate times and when I am hungry, not when food and blood sugar rule me.

Now that I think about it, where are those newspaper headlines?


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