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.

Autumn - A Low Carb Journey

My story starts at about 7 years old. That is the first time I can remember thinking I was FAT. Looking back of photos of myself as a kid, I know now that I wasnít. True I was more muscular than other girls my age, but not fat. From that point on I always thought of myself as being fat, and I didnít think it was ever going to change.

When I was 16 I was introduced to body building by my boyfriend and in 3 years I had lost about 30 pounds and was looking good. I knew I was looking better because of other peopleís reactions, but I looked the same to myself in the mirror.

At the age of 19 I gave birth to my darling daughter. During that pregnancy I had stopped all exercise, but thought I was eating a normal healthy diet. I ate plenty of vegetables, fruit, and lots of complex carbohydrates. I was a typical person who counted calories and limited my fat intake to hardly anything at all. I thought fat free products were a god send. None the less I gained 80 pounds in that pregnancy. I was very disappointed in myself and thought ďhow did this happen?Ē I followed all the nutritional advice I had been given and yet the pounds kept stacking on.

During the first 5 years of being a mother I managed to maintain my weight, give or take 10 pounds. I did this purely by starving myself. I bought into the idea that carb rich foods, such as pasta, bread, cereals, and the like were the healthiest options for me to have, yet I still gained weight. So I thought I must be eating too much in general, and limited myself to Ĺ cup of pasta with no meat or cream sauce and Ĺ cup of vegetables for dinner most nights. I was hungry all of the time. I thought about food constantly.

In 1999, my mother mentioned the Atkins diet to me. She was thinking about trying it herself. She only needed to lose about 20 pounds, but she has always struggled with being a yoyo dieter and found it quite difficult to lose a single pound, let along 20. A good friend of hers had been on Atkins and found great success. She claimed to have lost weight, gained more energy than sheís had in years, and she even claimed her hair was healthier and shinier! It was all thanks to the Atkins diet.

My mother went on to Atkins soon after our conversation and was feeling fantastic. I swear even her premenopausal symptoms had subsided. She didnít suffer from her usual mood swings or painful periods, after a short while on Atkins. I was pregnant at the time with my son, and thought it not the best time for me to try a new way of eating, if only I knew then what I know now. After the birth of my son I started in on induction. Unfortunately it had adverse effects on my milk supply, so I gave it up. To be honest I hadnít actually read the book at that point, I just ate what my mother had said what was allowable on induction. It would be another year (and a move to Australia) before I had read the book and began induction informed and in control.

In June 2000 I began the induction phase of Atkins. After years of restricting myself to only vegetables, fruit, pasta, and skinless chicken breasts, I was overwhelmed by the joy of eggs and bacon for breakfast! In the first 2 months I had lost 10 kilos and gained a freedom I hadnít ever known my entire adult life. I didnít worry about portions or fat grams. I adhered to all the principles of induction and had never felt better. In the following 3 months I had lost another 16 kilos and was a bit shocked by it all. I nearly passed out when, just out of curiosityís sake, I tried on a pair of 14s in Target and they fit. Not skin tight fit, but actually fit properly. I didnít have to suck my gut in or lie down to do the zip. They fit comfortably and I just couldnít believe it. I was that shocked I thought they may have been sized wrong. So I put them back and grabbed a different pair of jeans to try on. Yep, they fit as well. My husband was very proud of me. He actually said he hadnít seen me smile so big in a long time.

Now at this point in my journey things start to go a bit wrong. After losing 26 kilos my husband and I thought it was good time to start trying to conceive a third child, and then our family would be complete. Up until recently I had always thought it was unsafe to lose weight, or follow a low carbohydrate plan while pregnant or trying to conceive. So I went off Atkins. I was still conscious about what I ate, but, as in the past, it did not fair well. After 4 years of not low carbing, I had gained back all those 26 kilos, plus 5 more. Worse than that, I didnít have a third child to show for it either.

On August 16th, 2004, I began the induction phase of Atkins again. I couldnít afford to put on any more weight, and decided the risks of being so overweight and pregnant (should we get lucky) are far worse than following a low carb eating plan while pregnant. Since 2000 there has been more research available about low carbohydrate lifestyles, including pregnancy and TTC. All of which helped me to decide whether to try low carb again or not.

To date I have lost 5.7 kilos since going back to induction. My GP is convinced that I may have PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome) that has contributed to my weight gain over the years, and may have also kept me from getting pregnant (not ovulating) and has encouraged me to continue following a low carb plan as this is the best WOE for those with PCOS. She has given me hope in both my weight loss goals and that we may be able to add to our family, naturally, without any medical intervention, just by following Atkins.

This is my story so far. Thank you for reading it.