The sound of silence

Sleeping David

The author’s husband

About six months after my husband and I starting a low-carb high-fat diet, I awoke to complete quiet. It was nearly 3:00 am, and I could only hear a clock ticking. My husband was lying beside of me, but there was no noise! The man who could wake a hibernating bear with his snoring wasn’t even breathing heavy. That’s when it occurred to me, “Was he breathing?”

I leaned over towards him but didn’t hear anything. Even though I didn’t want to wake him, worry began to rise up into fear, so I leaned closer. I felt his arm. It wasn’t cold, but it wasn’t as warm as my worry wanted it to be. I decided to feel near his face to see if warm air was coming from his nose or mouth. In the dark, as I propped up on my elbow with my right arm, I reached across to his face with my left hand, lost my balance, and accidentally popped him right in the face! He sat straight up in bed!

Now, when you wake your husband with a pop to the face at 3:00 am, he typically wants an explanation, so I exclaimed, “You’re alive!” He knew that already, so I had to explain that I woke to complete silence and had begun to panic. We had fallen into a pattern of me desperately trying to get to sleep before him because his snoring had gotten so bad that I could not fall asleep after him. Even when I did manage to fall asleep first, it was not unusual for his seismographic snorts and gasps to rouse me.

His snoring was worse when he slept on his back, so most nights I subtly tried to nudge him onto his side by pulling the covers or gently tugging or pushing. There were other nights when sleep deprivation left me less “understanding”, and I would utter a grumpy, “You’re snoring!” We even discussed sleeping in different beds at one point. After having lost about 40 pounds (18 kg) he was no longer snoring, and neither of us had even realized it until I awoke to silence.

A welcomed ‘side effect’ of low carb

When we were both obese, we had adapted to an unhealthy life. Snoring, high blood pressure, waking to aches and pains, poor lipid panels, and tiring easily had become a “normal” part of aging. We once joked that getting old was not fun, but better than the alternative. We were in our mid-40s at the time.

What we didn’t attribute to aging, we attributed to genetics. My father in law had high blood pressure, so we just figured it was inevitable. With a low carb high fat diet, my husband’s blood pressure is now low normal after years of being high enough to require medication.

We began a low-carb high-fat diet to lose weight, but along the way, we gained a unique perspective about weight and health. As our bodies changed, our lives changed. We came to realize that while the additional weight was unattractive, eating low carb high fat was giving us far more than just weight loss. Obesity was the symptom and not the underlying issue.

When we addressed the underlying issue — inflammation, insulin resistance, metabolic disorders — the weight went away as our bodies healed. The pounds melted away.

Our hunger was managed such that we didn’t feel as if we were starving. Morning aches and pains abated. Our lives opened to bike rides and hikes and kayaking and longer periods of working in the yard. His blood pressure normalized. His snoring stopped.

We marvel at the better health we enjoy simply because we no longer eat sugar, starch, grains, or rice. We eat the most delicious foods of our lives—bacon, butter, cheese, and fatty meats. Our vegetables are roasted in fat or smothered in rich sauces. Although our portions are halved, our bellies are not grumbling. And most of the time, we sleep quietly in our bed without fear of the silence.

Kristie Sullivan


Low carb for beginners

How to lose weight


How a pumpkin pie spice muffin can mean freedom

Low-carb basics

Weight loss

About Kristie

Obese for nearly all of her life, Kristie Sullivan, PhD, is passionate about helping others learn about all of the health benefits from eliminating sugar, grains, and starches. She focuses on eating whole, real foods that everyone in the family can enjoy.

You can learn more about her at her YouTube channel, Cooking Keto with Kristie. She also published a cookbook, Journey to Health: A Journey Worth Taking to help others discover how delicious and healthy a low carb lifestyle can be. Join her (and several thousand others) on the low carb journey at her closed Facebook group, “Low Carb Journey to Health (Cooking Keto with Kristie)”.

Older posts