low-carbLess than six weeks ago, I decided to attempt the Atkins program, again. I had done it once before and lost about 30 pounds and it was when I was at my heaviest, it felt great to lose what I did, but it was not long before I fell off the wagon and put most of it back on. I understand that it’s not the diet for everyone, but including this latest effort, I know it is the best approach for me.

For the last 3 years, I have been bouncing around 245 lbs. At 5′ 7″, I can admit to being very overweight. Since I started the low carb diet again, I have lost 43 pounds! I am feeling great and while I miss OJ and pasta and would punch a nun in the face for a bagel, I am staying strong. My family, of course, is supportive, that was never the issue. I think the biggest difference between the last time and this is not trying to do too much. I have a few other bad habits beside not eating right and one of them has been smoking. All I know is in the past, I have tried to do all the right things at the same time. That has never worked. This time, I committed to eating right and quitting cigarettes later. It’s been about 6 weeks and I have a really good handle on what I can, what I can’t, and what I choose not to eat. Just the act of paying attention keeps me eating less than I used to (go figure right?). I found that the Atkins shakes (Wild Berry – think BooBerry cereal milk, Creamy Chocolate – think CountChocula cereal milk, Strawberry Banana – think strawberry Quik) and snack bars (Caramel Nut Chew – just like a Snickers), really helped me when I needed something sweet or fast. I also found Big Train pancake mix to be hands down the best low carb mix. Add in some Joseph’s sugar-free maple syrup (beware as the syrup contains maltitol), and you get a great breakfast. Sure beats eggs and bacon on occasion. However, the best food I have found is Mama Lupe’s Low Carb Tortillas. These have been a life saver for me. I bake and fry them for chips, I egg and cinnamon them for french toast alternatives, and of course for breakfast burritos and sandwich wraps. They are extremely delicious and versatile. I buy from Amazon or Netrition.com.

Now that I am ‘in practice’ with regard to eating right, I need to step up to the next stage.

While I know that smoking is counter productive to any exercise, I am leaning towards the anaerobic exercise first, smoking later. About 3 months ago, I bought a Bowflex Blaze. I used it a couple of times right after I bought it, but did not stick with it. I am picking it back up and will be staying with it. Something to note here is that carbs are important for weight training. I am going to continue with my low carb for as long as I can with the weight training to see what happens. I may switch around the diet, if I begin to feel I am not making progress. I am not interested in muscle mass as much as I am interested in toning. I need to do more research here. I figure, two months of dedicated working with the Blaze, in conjunction with eating right, and then I will hit the aerobic exercise in tandem.

Again, with every intention of making it happen, I purchased a SOLE F63 Treadmill over a year ago. While it is not a clothing rack, it is not used. Once I get the feeling like I am ‘in practice’ with the Bowflex, I can move to stage three. Stage three will be quitting smoking and aerobic exercise. I hope to quit smoking sooner, but I am giving myself that leisure in hopes of ensuring I do not fail at any of the other tasks.

I expect to drop below 200 lbs in a day or two, which will be a first in about 15 years! There are a lot of reasons to get healthy and no reasons not to. I hope to add to my progress here.

Update 8/15/2012: Day 8 with the Bowflex. I did drop below the 200 mark yesterday, but weighed in this morning at 201. I did not expect to stay below 200 right away, but I will soon. I am just happy to be at a weight I have not seen in over a decade. I am still avoiding carbs at all cost. If you know anything about the Atkins diet, there is a 2 week induction phase that requires no more than 20 net carbs a day. I have been on that for the full six weeks. Sure I have had my share of failures, like while on vacation or even 4th of July, I actually had some BBQ Ribs (oh yeah!). The truth is, I am nearly certain that I have averaged no more than 20 net carbs a day since I started.

Update 8/22/2012: Day 15 with the Bowflex. I am still hovering around 200 lbs. I think it’s time to do more. I think I will attempt quitting smoking and get on the treadmill/kayak/run regiment soon. Until I start really sweating and getting my heart rate up for an extended period of time, I am not going to move too much more on the weight. Time to shit or get off the pot.