My favorite Low-Carb blogger, writing under the name of Low-Carb Confidential, told me he’d be interested in reading about that. He asked me if I could credit my success to an interior, or exterior force. I suppose I talk a lot about food and method, because I enjoy sharing that, but deep emotions have been more difficult for me to share. (see “On Helplessness”) But really, the weight loss and fitness success is not nearly as deeply emotionally wrought at some other successes; quitting smoking, say- or defeating depression, an ongoing endeavor.
Why have I been successful this time? I have tried many diets, even Atkin’s before. It has been the only method I could actually stick to. Why? Although I loved sweets to the point of obsession, I realize now that it was a combination of habit and addiction. Replacing those sweets with life-sustaining protein satisfied true hunger. The psychological war was the more challenging component between me and ultimate success, and the reason that I fell off the Atkin’s wagon in the first place, back in 2003-4.
The emotions that caused me to want to change my life included both positive and negative qualities of my make-up. I am driven to be the one in control of my life, and that includes my body. I am not obsessive about it, but I can have a steel will when I want something enough. So let’s call it determination. Dissatisfaction with my body image and functioning was the burr under my saddle that sparked that determination to do something different.
The tool that allowed me to channel that determination into success was low-carb eating. Other diets that focused on restriction, and calorie counting were torture for me. I am very sensitive to blood sugar levels. As a carb addict, simply eating smaller portions of what I really wanted simply allowed the monster just enough fuel to live, and to roar at me for more! The reason I can very carefully have a bit of dessert on rare occasions is that I have not upset the balance in my body of protein -to-carbs so much as to convert back to a glucose-sugar burning machine, instead of a fat/protein burning machine.
How do I stick with it, day after day? What keeps me from going on a binge when out with family, or just throwing my hands up and caving in at every opportunity? It’s because I am really not suffering on low-carb. I am not tired of my diet. I keep finding new ways to satisfy my sweet tooth or pasta cravings with foods that won’t sabotage me. I also believe in exercise to keep my bones and muscles strong. I am 44 years old, and it’s important for me to stay strong and healthy for as long as possible. In the end, we all die, but why not see just what I am capable of if I just set my mind to it and try? I have gone from not being able to run at all, to just crossing the threshold of my first 5k run today. I have disciplined myself to work out 3-5 days a week, every week. Will I never fail? Ha! Will I have a time where I simply say, “Screw this!” and chow down on a whole pizza? I hope not, but if I do, I also hope I will pick myself up, dust myself off, and start again the very next day. It’s a lifetime of HABITS that make us who we are, not the rare moments.
How I feel now: I feel physically good from my diet and exercise routine. I feel empowered, strong, and sexy. Those are my feelings, that lead to an overall feeling, or emotional state of contentment. I hope I can inspire even one person to make a positive change in their life; sharing laughter and fun along the way.