Low Carb Living Made Tasty

Inspiration Avenue is a place where you can read moving stories written by everyday Australians who have travelled the road many of us are now on.

Empower Foods would like to thank the authors of these stories. They have provided the low carb community with an inspirational and honest account on their journey not only to weight loss but to better health, increased self-confidence and awareness.

If you have achieved low carb success we would love to hear from you. Please click here to submit your story. By sharing your own personal journey you will help to empower countless others with the knowledge that a few small changes can have the most amazing life-changing benefits.

"The Hard Path" - Renee's Story.

In truth, my health journey began 8 years ago. My unhealthy journey began an eternity (or so it seems now) prior and would require another submission, quite possibly entitled “How to serve yourself poorly!!!”... But of course, those stories aren't the ones people are all that interested in, and sadly, in order to understand the flip side and begin ones' own path of health and fitness, it is essential to come to terms with all the wrong doings in order to appreciate and understand the better path.

And so...it began with a trip to the NHS (National Health Service) in London while I was living there for a year following university. In order to join the NHS, they do a medical, a somewhat feared system of tests that provides information regarding your overall health - and for my good self, the results weren't all that impressive. At 96kg, I was informed that if I didn't do something soon, I would be looking down the barrel of heart disease, and other cardio-vascular diseases (and by all accounts they were the least of it). At the time, as one does, I asked my friends and family why they hadn't bothered telling me I was fat! Their various replies weren't worth mentioning as love was involved and naturally, they didn't see through the same medical/clinical/judgmental eyes as someone who is overweight does.

I decided to do something drastic, and yes...in London of all places, (which is a generally unhealthy city if you ever have the horror of living there). I rented an apartment alongside the Thames and figured that diet and exercise were the two primary fields to take hold of. And so I jogged (which...I HATE!!!!) because I couldn't afford a gym and was too unhealthy/unfit to get involved and I did it with that certain fear and loathing that one has when they are fat (as naturally, being fat, makes jogging all the more harder).

In addition to the exercise, which began at 20 minutes a day - approximately 3 kms at that stage, I also realized that the food I was putting in my body was not only doing me a grand disservice, but it actually didn't 'feel' that good to eat. So, I cut back initially on bread, pasta, and dairy and began eating loads of fruit, vegies, yogurt, meat, low carb noodles, and brown rice. I wasn't that impressed with reports regarding the protein diets at the time - my brain didn't accept that eating tonnes of cheese, meat and eggs was a good nutritional option, and so each meal I would concentrate on vitamins, minerals, proteins and complex carbs - the good ones!!!

Being tall, 180cm, the weight I was losing wasn't noticed at all...in fact, and this goes to the heart of the matter, it wasn't until I lost 16kg that anyone even noticed, or bothered to take account of my efforts. I imagine for some, if not all people, the initial response is a motivating factor in continuing with the goals you set for yourself and if people don't notice then often it can be detrimental and set you back on the habitual path that you so desperately don't wish to be walking again.

After a holidaying abroad I consolidated the weight loss and even found that I was looking okay in a bikini. I returned home to Australia at 79kg and my parents barely recognized me...I no longer looked like I had been bitten by a wild, and possibly extinct 7 foot bee that I was allergic to.

And so upon returning, settling in my work I joined a gym and continued with my diet. I work out approx 8 hours a week (which in the grand scheme of things, really isn't that much if I am extending my life by years). One hour a day out of our busy lives is nothing compared to the years I have gained consequently.

I eat extremely low carb foods and those I do put into my body are based on energy output/vs./energy input. The simple maths equation goes something like this....If you want your body to burn fat and not carbs, do not consume simple ones - ones with high sugar in particular - eat complex ones as they will maintain your body's energy system whilst encouraging it to burn fat.

Low intensity work out done over a long period of time is the best for fat burning. High intensity work outs require carbs (Unfortunately) - and so you need to be selective with what you are eating and what you are doing. If you don't like bouncing around the aerobics room - jogging (did I mention I hate it!!!), or leaping like a maniac then ensure you have a seriously low carb diet that is based on protein. If you like bouncing, throwing, jumping, jogging then your body will need complex carbs - one decent serve a day 1 hour prior to working out is all in takes - and I am not talking a bowl of pasta with pasta sauce from woolies - I am talking an above grade low simple carb, high fibre cereal or steamed veges with brown rice - vegetable/rice pasta with vegetables and chicken.

Currently...I weigh 67kg - a perfect weight for my height - and between you and I, with my lifestyle I can afford the good things in life as well...I eat blocks of sugar free mint chocolate (70% cocoa, minimal carbs of course), and I enjoy the odd glass of red wine with dinner.

Being fit and healthy takes discipline initially and then the results themselves become motivation enough.

If you want to alter how you feel about yourself, how you respond to the world... then really, when it all boils down to it...the motivation MUST come from you...

And believe me when I say...I look and feel FANTASTIC!!!! And I truly believe that if I can do it, then EVERYONE can...