#1 – Background and The First 3 Weeks

I began actually EATING low-carb in early January 2011. I had spent a couple weeks catching up with podcasts from Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb podcast. It’s an excellent resource, and highly-recommended…especially because he doesn’t just interview people who agree with him or his eating choices.

A word about me. I’m a 53-yr-old caucasian male who SOMEHOW had allowed himself to balloon to over 420 lbs. I’ve had a lot of drama in my life, and the weight just got past me. So I woke up one day and realized that it was only by the grace of God that I had survived this long…much less survived without diabetes. Standing at about 6 ft, I had started putting on weight after adopting sloppy eating habits (especially Mountain Dew) after my mother’s death in my mid-teens…and I had ballooned to 220 by the time I was 20. I switched jobs and was on my feet a lot…and without really noticed it, dropped back to 190 over about a 3-month period. I was also eating the same thing every day, and at about the same time…I’m fairly sure that helped. I think that was probably the last time I dropped any weight.

Fast-forward 33 years and I topped out at about 422 (a number that would never pass my lips in any public setting…how embarrassing!). I joined a gym last year and went some…but just wasn’t mobile enough to do more than resistance exercises. So I dropped that and bought a treadmill for home. It’s not EASY to find a treadmill that will hold a 420-lb man. It cost me the better part of $1500 to have a used one installed in my home office.

That’s enough background. What lessons have I learned in the last 3 weeks?

1. Meal replacement, high protein, low-carb bars CAN be good. I’m eating QuestBars for most meals as the thing that satisfies my hunger. I have had many so-called meal-replacement bars in the past. The BEST I ever got (KIND Bars) tasted good, but only held me for about 2 hours. I am still not hungry FIVE HOURS after eating a QuestBar. Highly recommended! The Vanilla Almond Crunch is slightly sweet, chewy and quite tasty (though hardly a thing of beauty!). They are about 2 bucks apiece and can only be ordered online.

2. Smart Carb bread from Julian Bakery. Only 1 or 2 “net carbs” per slice. Great with real butter. About 7 bucks per loaf…but you can save a lot on shipping from California by signing up for the newsletter and waiting to order when they tell you. Fairly tasty (both the standard Smart Carb and the Smart Carb Cinnamon and Raisin)…and QUITE good when toasted. That’s the only way I’ve tried it.

3. Sobe Lifewater. Just discovered this yesterday. Kroger was selling them for 75 cents apiece (reg. $1.59) when you bought 10 or more. I bought 5 yesterday and drank them all. So far, my favorite flavor is Fiji Apple Pear. Slightly sweet and very mild. Goes down really easy. I fill a glass with ice cubes and then pour it over. It’s best cold…plus I’m probably drinking more water than I am the Sobe. You need to try this stuff.

4. Mashed potatoes. Make them with cauliflower. It’s a Jimmy Moore recipe (or at least, that’s where I saw it). My wife made it last week. Roughly the same consistency as mashed potatoes when whipped. Goes GREAT with meats of all kinds!

5. Stop buying low-fat. I look for regular sour cream, butter, cottage cheese, cheese, etc. I promise…I’ll get into more “net carbs” stuff later. It seems to vary from person to person…but here’s a link for now: http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/trading-barbs-about-the-impact-of-net-carbs/1322

I have become convinced that my body is almost allergic to refined carbohydrates. Whether naturally or whether it developed because of my Mountain Dew addiction, I don’t know. But my body seemed to become almost “inflamed” when I eat sugar-added foods. So I’ve stopped doing that and was rewarded with quick, painless weight loss.

And HERE’s the FREAKY part. I did it without hunger. My CRAVINGS for candy and breads have completely DISAPPEARED. This happened within about a week of stopping eating them. And I guess there is some controversy between mainstream medicine and holistic practitioners…but I discovered that I seemed to have something called Candida Overgrowth. Among the symptoms: “foggy brain” (I was definitely experiencing this 2 months ago) and “insatiable cravings for carbohydrates”. All I can tell you is my head is clearer than it’s been in a year. I’ve been taking a probiotic supplement twice a day (Probiotic by Finest Natural).

This has already gone on longer than I expected for a first post. I’ll be back soon to share more. Thanks for finding this interesting enough to keep reading!