‘I am the absolute happiest I have ever been. Ever.’
For as long as Candace can remember, she struggled with her weight.
Prior to trying keto and finding Diet Doctor, Candace couldn’t lose “a single pound,” even when following the advice of medical professionals. Even worse, both her doctors and family members accused her of not being honest about what she was eating.
Fortunately for Candace, who lives in in Loveland, Colorado, her low-carb lifestyle helped her to realize that it wasn’t her who needed fixing, but rather, it was the foods she was eating.
Here, Candace shares her inspiring story — and explains how living low carb has made her the “happiest she’s ever been. Ever.” This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
I had always been obese. I began gaining large amounts of weight starting when I was just 9 years old. My doctors said I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and from then on, I was told to eat 1,200 calories a day to lose weight.And so, when I was just 9, I went on an “apple diet.” I consumed just four apples a day and drank only water. As crazy as it sounds, I never lost a single pound.
Over the years, I tried almost every known diet, but nothing worked. In college, I hit almost 315 pounds (143 kilos). Even though I was severely obese, I was not an individual who stuffed myself with food. However, the “experts” I went to year after year labeled me as a closet eater.
One doctor, who I’d told about my apple diet, even went so far as to compare me to a patient of his, who would stop at five fast-food restaurants in a day — only to then tell him that all she ate were apples and crackers with peanut butter, he explained.
I was embarrassed and hurt. I left the doctor’s office feeling defeated and felt viewed as a liar.The truth is, most people viewed me as a liar and closet eater. My family always said it was impossible to be as large as I was without consuming copious amounts of food. I would later learn it was not the amount of food, but the types of food I was eating.
At 24, I found out I was pregnant. By this time, I was married and on my own, so it was joyous news. During my pregnancy, I lost almost 40 pounds (18 kilos) and after my son was born, I weighed 278 pounds (126 kilos).
This was a turning point. I will never forget how great I felt to be under 300 pounds (136 kilos) again. I wanted to keep losing weight and, at the time (15 years ago), the Atkins diet was popular. I stayed in “phase 1″of Atkins, which is the ketosis phase, until I got to about 180 pounds (82 kilos).
I had “cheat days” after I hit 180 pounds (82 kilos), but was happy with my weight. At least I wasn’t 315 pounds (143 kilos)!
My ex-husband hated the fact that I lost weight. He wanted me to be 315 pounds (143 kilos) or larger. He wasn’t supportive at all. He would bring home foods that would tempt me and make rude comments. I chose to stay true to myself and to prioritize my health — and ultimately decided to divorce him.
Years past, life moved on, and I had remarried. When I was 37, my current husband and I wanted children together. He had older kids from a previous relationship and I had my child, who was now a teenager. I got pregnant back to back and had two beautiful baby girls by age 39. I was now at 278 pounds (126 kilos) again.
At this point, I knew keto and low carb worked for my body. And so, I immediately went back to this lifestyle after having my girls. However, this time around, I looked online for a support group or website and found Diet Doctor.
How Diet Doctor helped Candace
By reading the success stories of other Diet Doctor members, and through watching helpful online lectures and videos about low carb, I realized that I was someone who should not introduce sugar into my body.
Before, I would have “cheat days,” where I would eat a high-carb, high-sugar meal or treat. Every time I had a cheat day, it was a miserable uphill battle to get back on low carb — and my weight stalled at 180 pounds (82 kilos) while living with those “cheat days.”
I could not do the high-carb, sugar rollercoaster again — and ultimately, I knew one day my sugar cravings would win if I continued this battle of wills with sugar and my low-carb lifestyle.Even though I was miserable for years getting on and off the sugar train, it was still extremely hard for me to make the decision to go “food sober” (aka, no more refined carbohydrates or sugar).
It was a huge mental shift knowing that I would have to give up my favorite foods. However, after years of fighting the sugar beast, I knew I had to go food sober.
Candace’s newfound freedom
Now, I am the absolute happiest I have ever been. Ever. And not having sugar or refined carbohydrates in my life has been amazing, to say the least.
I don’t have any cravings or hunger issues. I don’t focus on food nonstop. I don’t worry about when to eat, what I will eat, and if I’m going to be hungry. I simply live my life.
Now that I’m living my best low-carb life, it is like a cloud has lifted. My skin is clear, I look younger, I am happier. The support I receive from the Diet Doctor website, as well as from other low-carb Facebook groups, has helped tremendously.
How Candace maintains her low-carb lifestyle
If I’m ever tempted to go back to my old ways of fighting off the sugar demon, support groups keep me in line.
When I first went low carb, I wish I would have known how much low-carb and keto individuals need support. Life is full of temptations, naysayers, and friends or family members, who will try to persuade you to go off course. “Just-this-time” people and “it-won’t-hurt-you” people are EVERYWHERE.Hearing tips, reading success stories, and seeing before and after pictures revive my “willpower bucket.” Refilling my willpower bucket daily or weekly keeps me excited about this lifestyle.
We are our own little community and being a part of this community is special. Support groups and websites, like Diet Doctor, are a major key to my success.
Additionally, I have been a fitness instructor, personal trainer, and health coach for years. Recently, I changed the focus of my health coaching business to hone in on low-carb and keto. And, I just joined Instagram (@lowcarbcandace.oaa) to help share my story with others.
When trying to succeed at living low-carb, it’s important to find your “whys” and stay dedicated to you and your life. We are worth being healthy and happy. I hope my story helps others.
More with Candace
Congrats on you success, Candace! And thanks for being proactive and using your knowledge and experience to help others. Hopefully you will help many others transform their lives as you did.
/ Dr. Bret Scher
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