“I wasn’t living before, I was surviving, now I live”
Darren was featured in an earlier success story at Diet Doctor, having lost 75 kg (165 lbs). Apparently, the transformation has continued. Here he shares his whole low-carb journey and insights:
Here is my story so far, can I say thanks, and I often do, on my social media for what you have done for me and many others. I wasn’t living before, I was surviving, now I live.
Also my daughter thanks you for her dad.
A few things came together and I knew I had to change. It was December 2015 and I hit 185 kg (408 lbs) which for my height of 183 cm (6 feet) was heavy no matter how you look at it. My blood pressure was 180/110 compared to the normal reading of 117/74 now. I struggled to walk 200 m (200 yards).
I was on five different medications (Mobic, Sulfasalazine 15 mg weekly methotrexate 200 mg tramadol a day plus 40 mg blood pressure meds daily).
My dermatologist wanted me to go for bariatric surgery (this is where weight loss is achieved by reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band or through the removal of a portion of the stomach) and I thought why would I operate on a healthy organ and make it unhealthy. I also had 85% coverage of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
It all started with a friend Paul Cade advising me on low carb high fat (LCHF) and then I looked at dietdoctor.com. They had some great articles to explain the science and the human body.
I got recipes from the Ditch the Carbs website that helped with cooking the family meals and my wife & daughter have been supporting me through this change.
I stopped eating all bread, cakes, pasta, soft drinks and all grains. Also, no veggies that are grown underground and no fruit. I threw out all the low-fat products in the house and I also stopped drinking milk and alcohol.
The weight started to fall off pretty easily. Of course, in the beginning, the differences were noticeable as the clothes were no longer tight to eventually you have to buy a new collection of clothes. In the first three months, I lost 23 kg (51 lbs) and started to see the difference immediately losing on average 6 kg (13 lbs) per month for the next 8 months.I am still transforming and have lost about 80 kg (176 lbs) in 20 months. What I have noticed is that my weight can stay the same but my body changes so now the weight is not my main indicator of health. I have to look at where I have come from and be happy, not look at what I still need to lose.
The initial breakthrough was great! Understanding how your body works and having the power and understanding to change what had been a life-long habit has activated a passion in me. I have read and learned a lot so far and continue to seek more knowledge. How I felt then has changed to how I feel now. As my goals change so too has my feeling toward this journey. I am excited to have done it.
Surprisingly, I have had no setbacks. I have not craved anything after the first two weeks of making the change. I used to drink a fair bit of alcohol when going to the football with mates and on holidays in Thailand. Now I don’t drink. I can drink if I want to but I just don’t crave it anymore.
My main challenge was not relying on the scale as a guide for success. I stayed the same weight for six weeks but went down two sizes in my clothes. I adjusted my mindset to focus on how I felt, not how much I weighed. The scales lie! Your weight can change by 2 kg (4 lbs) in a day so why bother?
Here are some important things to understand before you get started:
- Fitness is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.
- I exercise because I lost weight I don’t exercise to lose weight.
- You first have to fix what’s above the mouth to control what goes in the mouth.
- We eat to fuel our body not to fuel our emotional state.
- Why are you where you are?
- This is a lifestyle, not a diet.
- This change is all about the rest of my life. How do you want to live it?
Now the only medication I am on is Humira injection fortnightly to control my active immune system. I take no other medication. My blood pressure is 117/74 resting heart rate is 52.
I do about 5 hours of light exercise a week. I have never been to a gym or had pills, meal replacement shakes, I just eat real food. I hope to do a half marathon in October.
I also have helped a few along the way and I pay it forward as my good friend did for me.
Darren Graham (48) a competitor analyst at Webjet Travel (desk job). I have lost 80 kg (176 lbs) in 20 months by following an LCHF and keto lifestyle with intermittent fasting.
I used to umpire Australian Rules Football in Queensland (boundary & Goal) at senior levels. Married 11 years with 1 daughter, 10 years old
Facebook, Twitter, E-mail – email@example.com and Instagram.
Thank you for sharing your story, Darren, and I wish you continued luck on your low-carb journey!
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