It wasn't until Dec 2008 that I stepped on a scale again and saw how much I had not cared and was at 340. 340!!! I thought for sure maybe 250-260 at the most. The holidays came and I took the boys to the snow, I could barely breathe up in the mountains, let alone hike up the hill to sled down with them. I hated that I could not play with them anymore. It depressed me and I ate even more. I had to be well over 340 at that point. I didn't know, I stopped looking at the scale.
The first week of January I got bronchitis, then pneumonia, by then double pneumonia. This happened more often every year as I got heavier. After that cleared up, I still could not breathe, they could not figure out what it was. Between emergency visits and hospital stays the next 2 months, I went to every specialist possible, trying every therapy they came up with, I could not even get out of bed to go to the bathroom without being out of breath and almost passing out...every time. I couldn't even talk. I had to write notes. I went to sleep not knowing if I was going to wake up, it was so horribly terrifyingly bad. For the first time in my life I was afraid I was going to die. Even one of the doctors asked me if I had my affairs in order, not knowing what I had or how to cure it. I scared my kids, they would look at me and just cry. It killed me when my sobbing son told me "please don't die mom". I hated doing that to them. I kept thinking that if I didn't weigh this much maybe I wouldn't be this bad. If I survived, I had to lose weight if I wanted to continue to live. I had to. That day in the hospital seeing and hearing my son was my epiphany moment.
Luckily one specialist called me every day and would not give up and did so much research trying to help me. With a trial medication, After 3 months of complete misery, pain and fear of the worse, I finally got better. I had a second lease on life. I had to make the most of it.
A friend of mine was doing low carb, another was doing Atkins, both with tremendous weight loss and continued success. I started reading about it online, found the community forum, was a lurker reading the posts at first. Bought the book Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution and the Atkins Essentials. I can do this I thought. I can really do this!
I started on Atkins and have not turned back. I want to live healthier...for the rest of my life. I know I'll incorporate exercise at some point a little at a time.
My cholesterol dropped dramatically, my blood pressure is perfect, my doctor is amazed at my progress and more importantly I can BREATHE again!.
I will never take another breath for granted, for as long as I live.
The biggest challenge was learning to say no to others so i didn't feel excluded or hurt their feelings. It was hard at first and I caved a few times but it got easier. the gain from going off was not worth it. They all KNOW now that I won't veer off and it makes it so much easier. hard to argue with great results.
What advice (if any) would you give to someone interested in trying a carbohydrate-restricted or paleo diet? Were there any obstacles that you overcame that could help future dieters?
Definitely find what works for you. Some foods might work for others and not for you. Definitely move through the phases and don't stay in Induction very long. Add in new food, add variety, try new recipes and have fun with it. It's not a diet but a lifestyle choice. Make a permanent change for the better.