Anne's Progress Pictures & A Little About Me

A little about me:

Hi, I'm Anne, I'm 41, I'm a writer with four dogs, two cats and a husband, and I'm a carbohydrate addict . . . 

I can't remember a time when I didn't think I was horribly fat. Sadly, looking back at my childhood and 
teenage pictures, I was a victim of a scale number obsession. I was much taller than my peers, more 
developed, and I have a large frame (that's not an excuse I generally can't wear women's shirts because I 
have quarterback shoulders), and consequently I weighed more than any of the girls around me, but I 
definitely wasn't fat. It wasn't until a few years after college that I began to pack on the pounds. The 
pounds came faster after I got married, and faster still after I published my first book and began working 
from home. Sitting on my butt at a computer all day didn't exactly promote weight loss, nor did the 
freedom to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Three herniated discs in my spine didn't exactly 
encourage exercise, either.

Ironically, this isn't my first experience with low-carbing. Around the time I went into college, my doctor 
diagnosed me with hypoglycemia and put me on a 60-carb-a-day regimen. I did fine on it, lost some 
weight and felt really good, but college eating habits overcame common sense, and a couple years later the 
low-fat party line was drummed into physicians' and the public's heads. There was no such thing as 
hypoglycemia. Carbs were good, fat was evil.

Like a lot of other people on the Atkins way of eating, I tried other diets along the way. I went on the 
NutraSystem plan for a while God, what a catastrophe. The food was horrible. I lost weight simply 
because I couldn't bear to eat the stuff. I also had an allergy to a couple of ingredients that were in about 
50% of their entrees. I remember one night I was sitting there eating the utterly tasteless paste they called 
beef taco pate, spread on melba toasts, when a dog food commercial came on TV. I watched this man 
pouring big chunks of meat and thick gravy into the dog's bowl and realized my mouth was watering over 
dog food. Well, enough was enough. Any diet that could make me drool over dog food was not for me.

A couple years ago my doctor put me on a low-fat diet, even had me visiting a nutritionist. I gave it a hell 
of a try and did lose some weight I'm a creative cook, I can work with just about anything but I was 
always hungry and felt awful, tired and run-down and headachy. I was constantly depressed, and even the 
best meals I could come up with never seemed to satisfy me. My stomach might be full, but I still wanted 
more. I missed cheese, my favorite food, horribly (and please do not even talk to me about low-fat cheese. 
It tastes like styrofoam). I never considered going back to the low-carb way of eating because I bought the 
conventional medical wisdom of the day all that fat isn't healthy, you'll kill your kidneys, blah blah blah.

No great epiphany started me on Atkins. I had reached 260 pounds but was resigned to being fat forever, 
simply because none of the alternatives seemed livable to me, and besides, I have zero willpower. I 
reasoned that, hey, I'd die young, but at least I could enjoy my food. However, in January of 2003, two 
close friends of ours started on Atkins. Since I wanted to support them, I needed to find out what I could 
cook when they visited not just provide something they could eat, but avoid presenting anything that 
might tempt them to stray. Conversations with Joel and Ginger had me reading the books and actually 
learning some of the science behind low carb eating. Coincidentally, studies began to appear refuting a lot 
of the myths I'd heard about low carbing. I talked a lot to Joel and Ginger, did the research, and decided 
what the hell, I had nothing to lose but 100 pounds of fat. To my surprise and delight, my husband Paul, 
who needed to lose about 50 pounds, said he'd go on the Atkins plan with me.

That was March 13th, 2003. To my amazement, I found the Atkins plan, even during Induction, very easy 
to follow. I never went through the withdrawal period a lot of people mention; I didn't crave sweets or 
starch at all, and I felt wonderful an incredible energy rush that has never subsided. The lack of bread, 
potatoes, rice and noodles was more an inconvenience okay, I've got this lovely rich Alfredo sauce, but 
what the heck am I going to put it on? But as I said, I'm a creative cook, I love to experiment in the 
kitchen. The big plus is that on Atkins I can cook with real food full-fat cheeses, real butter, cream. No 
trying to make sauces with thickened skim milk. No slimy-tasting margarine. No ghosting Parmesan over 
a dish as if it was gold dust. No lying to myself that Egg Beaters scrambled with skim milk in a Pam-
sprayed skillet taste anything like real, rich scrambled eggs in butter. I made myself a promise when I 
started the Atkins plan that every bite I put in my mouth was going to be wonderful, because I knew that 
was the only way I would stay on the plan. That I wasn't going to "make do" or "settle" for food that 
would leave me wistful and wanting. That I was going to feel spoiled at every meal. So far, I've had no 
difficulty keeping that promise. As of this writing, more than three months and 35 pounds into Atkins, I 
haven't cheated once haven't really even been tempted that much.

I borrowed a tip from the Hellers' Carbohydrate Addict books I do weigh every day, but I average my 
weights for the week. That lets me both see the general weight loss trend, and observe my daily 
fluctuations and relate them to what's going on in my life. As of now, I'm still more or less staying at 
Induction levels, but giving myself some slack occasionally. If I want another serving of vegetables, I have 
it. If I want some nuts, I have them either to snack on, or nut meal to bread a piece of meat, etc. If I want 
more cheese (and I often do<G>), I have it. I very rarely eat a piece of sugar-free chocolate; I simply don't 
crave sweets like I used to. More often, I'll take advantage of our wonderful local low-carb bread (nets at 1 
gram/slice) and have a sandwich or a piece of toast a couple times a week. I tend to lose between 2 and 2 
pounds a week, but I don't obsess with the numbers on the scale. I'm going to be on this way of eating 
for the rest of my life, so it doesn't really matter all that much how long it takes me to reach my goal 
weight. What's more important is for this program to be livable and comfortable for me long-term.

Click on Thumbnails For Larger Pictures.

Starting Out

Big ol' fat me, 260 pounds. 
Needless to say, I hate having my picture taken.

First Month Front
First Month Side

247 pounds.

Second Month Front
Second Month Side

233 pounds.  It's actually starting to show, a little.  
And my pants are WAY loose.

Third Month Front
Third Month Side
225 pounds.  Definitely had to buy some new pants. 
Lost less weight in the past month, I don't know why, but hey, at least it's starting to show.

Fourth Month Front

Fourth Month Side
221 pounds.  Slowed down more, but what the hey,
four pounds is four pounds!

Fifth Month Front

Fifth Month Side
217 pounds.  Still only losing about 4 pounds a
month, don't know why -- maybe because I've increased my exercise.  Finally got up the nerve to wear a tank top!

Sixth Month Front

Sixth Month Side

213.4 pounds.  Still losing about four pounds a month, but it's steady.

Seventh Month Front

Seventh Month Side


207.4, a six-pound drop!  Several milestones this time -- I've passed my halfway mark!  Also, I've gone from a size 24 to a size 16.  

Go me!!


Eighth Month Front

Eighth Month Side


205 pounds.  Really slowed down for some reason, although I've stayed on plan, but hey, losing is losing!


Ninth Month Front

Ninth Month Side


203 pounds.  Still slow, still losing!

Tenth Month Front

Tenth Month Side


198.6!!!  Broke 200 finally!!!  I'm so proud of myself.


Twelfth Month Front

Twelfth Month Side

3/15, 2004

197 pounds.  Not losing very fast for some reason, although I've stayed right on plan.  But I've now been on Atkins for one year!!!  I'm pretty proud.

Eighteenth Month Front

Eighteenth Month Side

July 15, 2004

194 pounds.  Boy, it's been a slow year as far as numbers on the scale, but I think it shows more!

Forty-One Months Front

Forty-One Months Side

August 10, 2006

Three years, five months, 185 pounds.  Still 25 pounds from goal, but heck, I've taken off 75 pounds and KEPT it off for three years, and that's nothing to sneer about.


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