Im a 40 year old mother of three, who was a super skinny teenager who ate rubbish (especially sweets) her whole life. I did eat well at home, but anytime out of the house I ate very badly. I had no health issues, except chronic bronchitus as a teenager. I weighed about 45kg my entire youth, and Im 173cm tall. So quite thin! (99lbs/5'8")An Australian size 8. (the smallest size you can buy here)
Fast forward to my adult life and I was about 80kg at my heaviest. (180lbs). I had three children, and my eating was bad. I loved Maccas (McDonalds) and would eat it often. I loved coke too, and lived on cereal and two minute noodles when I was a young mother.
As I got older, and remarried, I adopted an Asian diet, mainly due to the fact that we had an Asian student living with us, and I knew that they would not like our style of eating, so we began to eat chinese 6 nights a week. Pizza on Fridays was our junk food night. I typically ate rice at least 5 nights a week, and good healthy lean meat and lots of nice fresh veg to go with. A lot of bottled sauces though.
Over the years, I was unhappy being this weight, and aspired to be a size 8 again, or at least a 10 like I was in high school. I did Jenny Craig, weighwatchers (three times), Gloria Marshall, and as a last resort I attempted exercise. I went to the gym for 5 days a week for 2 years and became a little addicted to cardio. I managed to get down to the low 60kgs at this time, but I remember thinking that I didn't look much different to how I was when I was fat. I was very discouraged. I then got the Susan Powters book and began her exercise program, and instantly hurt my already sore back. I was also suffering the worst gall attacks and had to have my gall bladder removed, I had massive stones. I distinctly recall the Doctor commenting when I awoke, saying youre not fat forty and fairskinned so how come you have such huge stones lady? I had no idea. But during the time of my attacks I did stop eating any fat at all. Nothing. I also stopped eating greens as they gave me attacks too especially broccoli and similar vegetables. So I lived on bread. I got fatter which as I recall really confused me, I was not eating ANYthing with fat as I was so frightened of another attack which had me on the floor unable to dial 000 (911).
My back issue was so bad that I abandoned all and any exercise for a long time, I just said to myself ok that's not for you, it hurts a LOT and its too much money to keep going to the Dr. They put me on antidepressants which I hated, and gave me strong meds for the pain which further incapacitated me. I decided to go to the chiro for my back and throw out the drugs. I managed my pain as best I could over these 15 yrs or so.
So now to my current circumstances. I am single again! I decided to go to uni and get a degree. I enrolled in dietetics and nutrition as Ive alwasys been interested in food. I was sitting in my Biochemistry class totally engrossed. I loved my teacher, he was so great to learn from and the added benefit was he was gorgeous and had a fantastic body. Im being honest here, and I was impressed with his teaching and his obvious level of fitness and health. He was in his mid to late 40s and I sat there thinking I wish I could look that awesome. We were learning metabolic pathways, and he was explaining what we were going to be spending the next 16 weeks learning, and during the overview he showed a illustration of what happens when we eat protein, fats and CHO. My mouth fell open. Im sure my eyes bulged. The rage inside me started to boil up. I turned to my fat friend (she was in her 50s and us older students stick together at uni) and I said through gritted teeth, "do you know what that means?...... that means that when you eat CHO it turns into FAT woman." I was blown away. I was livid. I put my hand up In the lecture and said um excuse me, so why then do we eat so much grain and all that stuff on the food pyramid. He said well thats a very good question, perhaps you should look into that.
I did. I looked online, and I remembered a diet I went on about 15 yrs ago for two weeks and lost 10kg. the Atkins diet. I did it while my husband was out of town because he was a vegetarian (fat) and he was very anti me being on this diet. So although I had great success on it, I did not immediately recall that this was something I could do long term. I had it in my head that eating bacon and eggs and roast chook exclusively was unhealthy and not sustainable. I think that for the few weeks I was on it I lived on meat and eggs and I was bored, and it was not possible to do long term and from my memory his diet was not a long term thing. I know now of course that if I added good carbs until I maintained, that this would have been a great life style, but at that time in my life I didnt read the book or understand the science behind it and so I dismissed his diet as a life style choice.
So back to google, and I came across Marks Daily Apple. I was immediately hooked. I loved his sensible approach coupled with lots of sciencey backup, and even though the website was hard to navigate, I kept going back if only to read the success stories.
I basically just googled everything I wanted to stick in my mouth to make sure I was under 50g of CHO a day. I did not cheat at all in the first few weeks, except I ate half an apple each morning while I made the kids school lunches. I really enjoyed this which is odd for me as I hate fruit and always have. I also still drank a lot of diet softdrink, pepsi max mainly, and could not give up milk in my two to three cups of instant coffee a day.
Breakfast was bacon and eggs with cheese, butter, spinach, mushrooms. I ate so much in the mornings I felt ill. Sometimes 4 eggs! I hate eating breakfast so this was a BIG deal for me.
Lunch: I made a large bowl of carrot, zucchini with either chicken meat or tuna. Drowning in butter and garlic.
Dinner: steak and vegetables such as carrot, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans. Huge portion of meat. I love animal fat, always have so never bought the good cuts, always ate the big hunk of fat down the side. In fact as a kid Id eat my parents discarded fat strips much to their disgust. During weight watchers I used to weigh my meat 100g of raw meat. Now I double the meat or triple it and halve my veg portion.
Snacks: salami sticks not great nutrition but at least Im not getting fatter! Ham cubes, cheese cubes, macadamia nuts, boiled eggs. I don't feel hungry for snacks much to be honest. Treats: I have a square or two of 85% dark choc at night, sometimes with a red wine, sometimes not.
Other stuff I have started to cut back on soft drinks. I now drink a bit of soda water. Also added green tea. I sometimes fast. I hate and always have hated eating breakfast, so I mainly dont. I eat when Im hungry. Yesterday I had no breakfast, at lunch time at work, I had a cup of beef stock. I tried to buy beef broth but it appears that it doesnt exist in my local supermarket. I needed some salt (feeling a bit odd when I stand up fast) and I read somewhere that a cup or two of broth can fix that. I thought oh well this is obviously going to be salty, lets eat it and see what happens. I had it and immediately felt way better. I wasnt hungry at all. I drank green tea all day at work. I was surprised that my concentration was superb. I am supposed to get three sales a week. Yesterday whilst not eating I got 10. I usually get one a day. I am also really bad at counting the money (I work in a bank) and yesterday for the first time in ages, I balanced to the cent, and that hasnt happened for months. Im not saying that not eating did this, but I expected to be a bit vague and weary and I wasnt. I was sharp as a tack. As they say!
I do have a few cravings, esp when my teenage daughter is eating sweets. I miss that. But I do allow myself to eat crap when I feel its worth the health risk. If we eat out I made very good choices for the main meal and the beverages, and then I just have the sticky date pudding. I mean the world wont end just cause I ate that will it. I now let that happen and I dont worry about it at all. In the old weight watchers day I would eat it, and then sit there and calculate the amount of hours it would take to burn that off. I can still work it out to this day. (Its about 15 hours of flat out walking to burn that baby off). Thank god I dont have to do that anymore. Weight watchers (my fat mother was a leader for goodness sake) was the single most stupid weight loss thing I ever stuck at over and over and over. Obviously I didnt stick at it well. Its impossible to stick to long term, and I never had a lecturer that was proper thin. They were all medium fat, and did not have a body that I wanted. Even the chicks at the gym handing out advice to me when I did that for two years had bodies that I thought were not what I wanted to look like. Very uninspiring.
So Ive been eating primally (as mark calls it) for about 6 months. Ive lost nearly 20kgs, most of it in the first month. I feel fabulous, Im getting people asking me if I have cancer. I love that. Its bizarre that people think that Im sick. Im not anorexic looking, I still have plenty of body fat. The thing that amazes me is that my coworkers are beside themselves thinking Im doing irepairable damage to myself. They sit in the lunch room with the rice crackers and cottage cheese and say things like I dont eat much, I dont get why Im not losing weight. I try and tell them but Im afraid the old conventional wisdom is too ingrained. Im sitting beside them eating chicken wings by the plateful and getting disdainful looks. LOL I say swap that damn cracker for a piece of good quality ham, pop some proper real full cream cheese on top, and then eat about two dozen of them and see if youre still hungry. They look at me like Im a crazy woman!
I love that I discovered this on my own, That I did it on my own, and that I know my body so well now. My back has improved, the arthritis in my hands has gone, my reflux and bloating gone. My lack of energy is gone. I want to exercise. I hated that previously. Its a miracle.
The new Jane.
I found the food easy. I find that people are weird when you tell them.
Yes, don't tell people at all, Just do it, and when they ask what youre doing say - Im not eating anything processed. That covers nearly every carb.