“From shy wallflower to empowered sunflower”

Before and after

Before and after

Heidi finally stumbled onto what she needed when she googled and happened to find a specific YouTube video. Using that knowledge she’d soon lost 105 pounds (48 kilos) and went “from shy wallflower to empowered sunflower”.

Here’s how it happened:

The Email

My name is Heidi Marriott and I’m a 5’0″ (152 cm) English teacher from Ecuador (a South American paradise of delicious food where carbs are a mandatory diet staple). I’ve always lived my life in function of others to the point I convinced myself I didn’t matter as long as my family was happy and provided for. This behavior guided me through a downward spiral of – working two jobs, studying, eating in a rush or not at all, little sleep, repeat – that made me balloon to more than 240ish pounds (109 kg). I seriously stopped counting after a while.

The only thing I got going for me was my career as an English teacher, for which I got the opportunity of a lifetime by being accepted to a master’s program at Kansas State University back in 2014 on a full scholarship offered by my country for English teachers. Even with this opportunity, I couldn’t fully let myself enjoy all that was happening because in addition to getting top quality education all my friends were having these incredible experiences that my weight (or me) didn’t allow me to have. It didn’t help matters to be surrounded by all this vibrant youth in a college town really enjoying college life.

Then, Spring break happened and everyone left on trips while I was left alone. I remembered the first thing I did was eating all the food I could find in the house while watching TV and then crying for doing that. I believe in a higher power and I think God sent me the person I needed to help me go through that rough spot in my life, a friend who was also staying. She was the person that showed me I was neglecting myself and provided me with the tools to start my journey by learning about food, exercise, and my motivation to eat like I did. Thanks Elizabeth T.!

I started exercising at the Rec Center and eating healthy and dropped my first 10 lbs. (5 kg). I had it all under control, so I relaxed. As a result, I ended up gaining 15 lbs. (7 kg). I still hadn’t discovered LCHF, so I didn’t understand the anxiety spiral carbs cause or how they affected me. At the time, I got a physical done for insurance paperwork and was given the happy news I was borderline diabetic. Yay me!!!

I knew I needed to do something, so I went to the source of all knowledge, Google, and somehow I got to your video “The Food Revolution” [updated version], the David image really resonated with me, so I devoted myself to learning more about this. I was hungrier now, but for knowledge. Since I was an exchange student, I was on a meal plan with no money for food and low-carb at the moment seemed expensive, couldn’t really afford it.

Teachers are used to make do with the cards we are dealt, so I used my meal plan at Derby dining center to eat a low-carb diet. One of the things I am thankful for was that I learned to make better food choices, even while eating cafeteria food.

There was such a variety there that I could honestly say there was not a day when I couldn’t find something within plan to eat. I could eat low-carb veggies and dressings at the salad bar to my heart’s content, bunless patties with cheese and chicken breasts at the grilled section, fajita chicken, ground beef and sour cream at the Mexican aisle, even the steamed vegetables and meats at the chinese food aisle became my best friends. People often bemoan college food but it is all a matter of choice. I discovered that by getting rid of my freshman 15 and turning them into a Master’s -40 in four months.

When I got back to my country in 2015, I thought I would have a harder time adapting and refusing to eat my country’s food staples, but the things I had learned where so ingrained within me that it really was a non-issue. I had to adapt to a new routine but now taking better care of myself. I incorporated new tools to help me reach my goals like intermittent fasting, and I’ve recently started weight training. I have found an incredible source of knowledge and guidance with the free content on your website and a more awesome support system with the people in my facebook groups, these are really dedicated individuals who share their time and knowledge with us. They have helped me realize things I have been doing wrong like not keeping my electrolytes in check or that eyeballing is not tracking, or that weight grams are not the same as macro nutritional grams. Sometimes mistakes are the best teachers, and they can certainly help you find out what works for you!

So far, I have lost 105 lbs. (48 kg) and my journey is still not over, I am currently 138 lbs. (63 kg) to a 5’0″ (152 cm) frame. For the first time in my life I feel alive. I have gone from a shy wallflower to an empowered sunflower. I feel great since I got rid of digestion issues, walking problems, and the diabetes diagnosis is now gone. Even though my doctor has a fit every time he sees my cholesterol numbers, I kinda petty him for not knowing how many people could benefit from low-carb diets.

I am aiming to lose 20 more pounds (9 kg), with the help of IF and weight training. I have learned that this WOE is a lifetime change, so I keep on reading about it and trying to find out more about the science behind it. I am still human and I sometimes indulge with low-carb desserts when I want to (Hello, LC cheesecake!), but do not allow food to control my life anymore. This is worth it, because I AM worth it!

I will be more than happy to share my journey with other people, so please feel free to share my story, maybe that might encourage somebody to change their current situation and take measures to start a change in their lives. I know my only regret is that I wish I had found LCHF sooner!

Heidi Marriott
Guayaquil, Ecuador (Not in Africa)



Congratulations to you, Heidi! You’ve come a long way – thank you for sharing your inspiring story with us.

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