Confessions of a Personal Fitness Trainer

Last year I had several clients who stubbornly started the Atkins diet despite my warnings. I immediately saw almost profound results in her weight loss. I reminded them it was water weight loss and warned them about the stress on the kidneys and the risk of high cholesterol.

During this time, I was mastering my yoga practice as a full vegan, but found that my immune system had been deeply compromised and I was currently on my third cold of the fall season.

Atkins was again in the media due to the results of a new study indicating a reduction in cholesterol. I went to the Atkins book once again with a more open mind and decided to give the diet a try. I liked the view contrary to the AMA’s current position on the low-fat diet, which seemed to be producing a growing obesity society. Atkins’ take on sugar as the culprit for getting fat, not getting fat, made sense and the extra work of all protein for the kidneys…is benign. He wanted to use his diet as a tool to completely rid me of sugar.

I started with the high protein, low carb aspect of the diet. As I reintroduced animal proteins into my diet, I could feel myself getting stronger and the colds finally stopping. I also saw my abdominal muscles begin to open up and swell again. The winter cold was not as painful as it had been during my vegan diet.

So I mustered up the courage to start including fats in my diet, including bacon, egg yolks, cream cheese, heavy cream, whipping cream, even bacon rinds. I would marvel daily that I ate these “forbidden foods” only to wake up the next day lean, trim. I couldn’t believe this, result! I loved to eat all these foods so familiar but banished from… childhood

I was in full swing eating the high fat, high protein, low carb diet at the time the photos were taken on my website. I felt strong, but I had no energy!!! My walks on the beach were lethargic, I had to force myself to go the extra mile. I was skinny but felt like a beached whale. My love affair with Atkins continued for a few more months. I followed her prescriptions religiously from her.

Eventually I had to add more carbs, I needed more energy. By carbs I mean vegetables, salads, and whole grains. At this point I regained the full two pounds that I had lost on Atkins. Body fat went from 16% to 18%, my energy was better. After 7 months I decided it was time for a blood test and to my horror I found that my cholesterol, which had always been around 150, had shot up to 300! Fortunately, my HDL to LDL ratio was still at a healthy level. By forcing myself to exercise, I kept my HDL levels up.

I immediately started drinking hot lemon juice with cayenne pepper every morning to cleanse my blood. I have now cut out all high fat foods and am once again back to square one of moderation and balance. A balanced diet. It takes a little more discipline, but my energy is back and I can now eat the same meals as my husband, so dinner preparation is easier. My weight hasn’t changed since I gradually introduced carbs. I avoid at all costs “white foods” flour, sugar, milk. I drink unsweetened soy milk. I avoid food in packages, boxes and bags. I feel a thin layer of fat, but that’s okay, it’s winter, I need it, and in summer, the heat always melts it. I am completely off sugar and alcohol to keep my blood sugar down.

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