“I can’t stop telling people about it”

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John was very reluctant to try LCHF, despite his friends trying to make him convert to a low-carb lifestyle. He had tried so many diets and none of them had worked. He had resigned to be overweight and have type 2 diabetes.

He also suffered from anxiety and panic attacks, something that has caused him pain throughout his life.

But after a blood work came back bad, he decided to try low carb anyways. That was the start of his new life.

The E-mail

Dear Dr. Andreas

I’m really excited to share my story, as the keto diet has had such a profound
effect on my life that I want everyone to experience it.

I’m a big man, so overweight that I’m quite ashamed really. I’ve suffered from
anxiety for most of my life, I can’t remember a time without it really.
Unsurprisingly I was also diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a few years ago to. So
I’m taking medication for anxiety and type 2 diabetes (Metformin)

I was pretty miserable, though I did not really know that at the time. Having
tried many diets over the years with poor results, I’d pretty much given up on
losing weight. As to controlling my diabetes with diet I just couldn’t see it
happening.

Most days I woke up anxious, which depending on what was happening in the
office, could last until mid-morning or on bad days right into late afternoon.
I’d calm down and relax in the evening, head for bed then wake up in the morning
and start all over again. I was withdrawn, stayed away from people on the whole,
they seemed to just add to the anxiety load.

To deal with life I just made myself as numb as I could to it. I felt that if I
didn’t care about anything I’d be less anxious, reducing the anxiety load on my
brain which would make life better. It worked to some extent, though I couldn’t
find a way to cut off my biggest triggers, so anxiety persisted.

Then I had a small health scare, a blood test that returned an abnormal reading.It frightened me, so much so I had a full on anxiety attack (I had managed to cut those down, from very regular to almost never). I tried a few CBT techniques
to get it under control, but it didn’t really work. Something in my mind was
fighting, it cut through the lies I’d been telling myself for so long. It wanted
to live and it was not going to let me mess that up.

I gave up trying to shut it up and decided to do something about it. Even if it
was too late for me and I’d ruined myself, I was going to go down fighting.

Two of my wonderful friends (to whom I’ll be forever grateful) had been telling
mo about keto diets and DietDoctor for months, over a year maybe. I’d always
dismissed it on the basis that all other diets had not worked, or I couldn’t
stick to them that I hadn’t even given it a thought. But I had to try something,
so I went over to diet doctors to see what I needed to do.

A day later and I knew that I’d never abuse carbs again. For the first time that
I can remember my mind was clear, I felt mentally and physically better. I did
not know if I’d loose weight but I did know I felt happy and I never want to
loose that.

It’s life changing, what I felt before was totally normal to me, just how things
were. I knew there were people out there that didn’t feel like me, but had no
real idea of how they felt or more importantly how to feel the same. It seems it
was carbs all along, not that I haven’t had my fair share of problems, looking
back though it seems that carb abuse magnified them. Putting me into a self
inflicted cycle or unhappiness and carb comfort eating.

Over the years I’ve had lots of therapy and treatment for binge eating disorder.
A day of no carbs has turned my life around. It’s unbelievable my unhealthy
relationship with food is over, and the breakup was easy. All I had to do was
try it and feel the benefits. All those foods I craved, all the chocolate,
take-away food, crisps, cakes and treats are gone. Now I can see what they were
doing to me I just don’t want them. All desire for that crazy food is gone, it
just doesn’t register on my brain. I see it like a weird drug now, giving me a
short term boost of pleasure in a difficult day. When it turns out my day was
mostly miserable because I was eating sugar.

Enough of the miserable talk, because that part of my life is over. I wake up every day happy, go through my days happy and finish them happy. It’s all great and I am loving it so much. I’m cooking again, talking more, feeling positive things and am all round one of those annoying happy people that I used to avoid.

But it doesn’t stop there. My friend saw the amazing change it had in me and has
gone low carb. He says to prove me wrong but after a day he has vowed never to
go back. He has told one of his buddies who has type 2 diabetes as well, he now
says it’s amazing and he’ll never go back. Another friend in the office is
trying it (with some scepticism) and I look forward to seeing how he gets on
with it. And yet another has started and convinced her husband to start as well.

I can’t stop telling people about it, in the hope that it improves there lives
too. Though I know some people have less to fix of course.

On to what has been my greatest challenge. It’s been such a change for the
better I don’t have any real challenges following the diet. I do have trouble
convincing people I’m not insane when I tell them my story though.

Back to the worrying blood test, a retest came back clear, so no problem. It was
an annual diabetic blood test and the results were not pleasing to the diabetes
nurse. But I told her I’d made a dramatic change to my diet and she arranged
another test for November to see whether it was effective or not.

I already know it is, I’ve been checking my blood sugar. My fasting reading
early on in the diet ranged from 6 mmol/l (108 mg/dl) up to 7.8 mmol/l (140 mg/dl), my post eating maxed out at 8.8 mmol/l (158 mg/dl). As time has progressed my reading have dropped as far as 5.2 mmol/l (94 mg/dl) for fasting up to a post eating has been a maximum of 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dl), but is normally below 7 mmol/l (126 mg/dl).

My energy levels are up and generally constant. If I get a dip I can normally identify something I’ve eaten that was a bit too carb rich, then not eat it
again (curse you sweetcorn).

What do I wish I had known starting? I’ve learned so much since starting that
it’s really tough to pick something out. I wish I’d seen My Big Fat Diet, I
think that would have got me started pretty quickly. Or maybe Cereal Killers,
frankly I think one or more of those documentaries should be shown to everyone.

Sorry I’ve gone on, I’m just so excited and passionate about low carb that I
don’t seem able to shut up.

Thank you and all involved for Diet Doctors, it’s an amazing resource. And
thanks to my friends to kept pushing me towards it, I’m eternally in your debt.

John

P.S. I forgot to mention I am losing weight. I started at 146.5 kg (324 lbs), I am now 137.1 kg (302 lbs).

Update

There are more comments from John about what he eats etc. in this Facebook thread.

Comments

Congratulations John, keep up with this great work!

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Videos

  • My success story with Kenneth Russell
  • Living low carb with Chris Hannaway
  • The perfect treatment for diabetes and weight loss
  • "We are not designed to be chronically ill"
  • How to formulate a low-carb keto diet
  • Therapeutic fasting

PS

Do you have a success story you want to share on this blog? Send it (photos appreciated) to andreas@dietdoctor.com. Let me know if it’s OK to publish your photo and name or if you’d rather remain anonymous.

4 comments

  1. 2 comments removed
  2. Joe clanton
    Around 10 years ago my blood sugar level was 1000, and I was taking insulin 3 times a day. Four years ago I read a book called "the blood sugar Solution". Within weeks I was no longer taking any medications and my blood sugar level was perfect. In the beginning I consumed less than 20- 30 grams of carbs Per day, and currently my carb consumption is around 80-100 grams per day which is Ok for me. I stay away from corn syrup and artificial sweets, and eat fruit everyday. I've discovered I can eat eggs everyday for breakfast as long as I mix it with a a large hot tamale which is around 15 carbs/ for Lunch low carb bread with cheese and bologna, ham Etc.../and for dinner, whatever I can concoct that's around 60 carbs, which allows me a little Indulgence. For snacks; sugar-free Jell-O mixed with strawberrys, BlackBerrys and half a banana with 2 tablespoons whipped cream, or occasionally, an Atkins shake ( there are many many wonderful options). I can also snack on a variation of nuts whenever I feel the urge. I never feel hungry, or guilty for having a full stomach.,.. the first several years I spent a lot of time walking up and down the aisles of grocery stores reading nutritional Facts on labels and now I can grab what I need, and zip in and out of the grocery store lickety split. A Friend once told me, "the low carb diet for type 2 diabeties is the biggest kept secret in the world". and I can testify to that because I suffered many years before I discovered how easily one could be rid of this Insidious disease.
  3. Jennifer
    Awesome story and so inspiring! Thank you for sharing. I tried and failed LCHF a bunch of times because I had that "low-carb flu" and no energy, but eventually I eased into it and now, eating LCHF, my energy level is so even and I have no cravings for sweets/bread and, like you, my anxiety is so much better. I'm sad for you that you went so long with that much anxiety but this is fantastic that you feel good now. I like that that one part of your brain insisted that you get healthy and start really living! Way to go, John!
  4. Ramona
    I suffer from fibromyalgia and anxiety which has gotten very much worse since menopause. I am just beginning on the low carb high fat diet (day 3), and am experiencing bad symptoms (dizziness, palps, bloating, muscle pain and weakness, spike in BP, and anxiety). I low-carbed before for 2 years straight, and know that this is just part of the transition to fat burning (I have a very difficult time making the transition for some reason - it often takes weeks). Yesterday gave me hope of how good it can be, that clear energy without anxiety. I have moments here and there of that beauty that a low-carb diet can bring. But, this morning, I have terrible anxiety again. Does anyone else experience anxiety and similar symptoms whilst giving up carbs? Is this normal? I know from experience that it is SO worth the difficulty, once I get through the initial trial, I remember how awesome it is to feel great and to not be hungry. I must admit, the symptoms can be daunting though. I try eating more salt, but then I feel bloated... In fact, I am one of those people who always gains weight in the beginning, but then the appetite suppression kicks in and I do fine. I remember having to do whatever I had to do to get through the first few weeks, and then I was fine. I drink a ton of water, so that's not the issue. All my blood tests are normal... I am sticking with it though - I have never felt better than when I strictly low-carbed. Any advice would be most helpful. Thank you in advance!
  5. gbl
    Walk. Somewhere quiet, use a cane or walking stick, without earbuds, a park with benches is best, sit as often as you need to, and get up and walk again. Walk until you feel calm. Do it again tomorrow. And tomorrow.

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