Why I Started This Blog (And a Little About Me)

Cartoon of an alligator folding its arms
Why I started this blog and a little about me.

In 2007 and 2008, I lost over 100 pounds using a tweaked version of the Atkins Diet that some people refer to as a Protein Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF). I also incorporated the original principles of the Kimkins Diet, along with some personal tweaks. Things went south after I tried doing Jimmy Moore's version of Nutritional Ketosis. Since then, I've moved to a mindful eating approach. Hence, the title of this blog: LIFE "After" Low Carb.


I have personally moved on from the Atkins Nutritional Approach to a gluten-free, moderate-carb, mindful lifestyle. I still post to the low-carb blog, Kickin' Carb Clutter, because I didn't feel it would be fair to those low-carb readers if I were to suddenly disappear from the weight-loss niche completely.

Instead of transforming that blog into something it was never intended to become, and leaving those readers without a good resource, I decided to start a new blog.

With only one in three overweight individuals actually insulin resistant, and more who don't have the genetics to easily burn fats for fuel, there is a strong need for a moderate-carb, mindful approach to living, as well as a low-carb one.

So, this will be the place where I freely share what I am learning and discovering about:
  • nutrition
  • intuitive and mindful eating
  • body image issues
  • eating disorders
  • general health
  • personal development
  • weight-loss diets I have experience with
In short: LIFE after low carb.


Why I Started This Blog


When I first wrote this post in April of 2010, I had no idea that most of what I believed about low-carb diets was just theory and hypothesis.

I honestly believed that low carb was based on science.

Over the years, after looking at the scientific studies myself, rather than swallowing what the low-carb elite wanted me to believe, I've come to my own conclusions and realizations about what's really going on.

There are many weight-loss blogs written by those following one of the many moderate-carb diets available, but there really isn't a useful resource that exclusively focuses on mindful eating.

Most of what I've run into in the diet space is day-to-day weight-loss experiences that include a useful insight or two backed by a personal story. Blogs that don't focus on personal dieting experiences are filled with food articles and recipes.

I love reading personal adventures because they help me understand the dieting mindset better. I also love food and recipes. However, taking charge of your health and your life includes more than just what you eat.

While physical needs like recipes and diet structure are important for some, so are the issues that affect your mind, emotions, and spiritual existence. This blog will seek to bring a more rounded attitude and viewpoint to all of the important aspects of life.


Low Carb Doesn't Work for Everyone


Braised Chicken Leg Quarters in a Skillet
I still believe low-carb diets are a good choice.
I understand how and why they work now.

I am not against low-carb diets, even though I was seriously questioning their value and safety in 2010.

I'm what Jimmy Moore, a popular low-carb blogger, has tagged "sympathetic to the low-carb cause." My research has given me a clearer understanding of why low-carb diets work, so I also understand who they work best for.

In 2010, I wasn't the only one struggling with the science and discovering that low carb doesn't work for everyone. There were quite a few of us that came to that realization. We are all individuals, with different genetics, so some of us will do better by returning carbs to the diet.

This sounds like a no-brainer idea, I know. But, you'd be surprised at just how few low-carb folks actually believe it's true. The low-carb community is able to mouth the words, but their attitude, arguments, and justifications for what they believe clearly indicate that they do not support individuality at all.

Their one-track mindset and belief that everyone should be eating low carb, including kids, is what fueled the decision to separate this blog into its own community.

There really wasn't a way to co-exist with a group of people whose purpose in life is to convert the entire world into eating low carb.

Granted, individuals within the low-carb community are accepting, or at least tolerant, of those eating a higher carb diet like I am, but the doctrine the low-carb community preaches is so contrary to science and reality that it's just not realistic to publish content over there that is focused on balanced living.

I've tried posting articles about the 60-carb level, but I get little interaction on those. Most people doing low carb diets are eating at 20 net carbs per day, or even less, so that's what they want to know.

Low-carb diets are deliberately unbalanced.

They were originally designed to curb hunger and assist those with metabolic problems who are having difficulty losing weight. When your hormones are not balanced, the body reacts by raising your stress hormones, which just creates further imbalance.

Physical stress can be relieved in insulin-resistant people through carbohydrate restriction.

The problem?

Not ALL overweight and obese individuals are insulin resistant.

Most are insulin sensitive, at a huge ratio of 2 to 1, which means you are more likely to do better on a moderate-carb diet than a low one. Only one-third of the overweight population actually needs a low-carb diet.


Double Cheeseburger and Large Pile of Fries
The average American diet is unbalanced
as well as unhealthy.

It's true that modern diets are excessive in carbohydrates and fat, making them unbalanced and unhealthy. However, neither extreme is correct in their ultimate approach to life. Thinking in extremes is one of the reasons why we're in the mess we're in.

And while swinging the other way (zero carb) might be an essential step for those who are severely insulin resistant or have Type 2 Diabetes, to get your cortisol levels under control, it's not necessary, nor optimal, for those who are not in that situation.

Nor is very low carb a good choice for those who have problems digesting fat or using fatty acids for fuel like I do.

My Dieting Background is Extensive


I have a lot of personal experience with a wide variety of diets. Over the years, I've tried:
And dozens of others. Even some of the crazy ones like eating a piece of nutrient-fortified candy 20 minutes before meals. These diets were obviously twisted in logic, a gimmic designed to sell diet books. Take the Grapefruit Diet, for instance. It was just a lower-carb diet that told you there was something magical about grapefruit's ability to burn body fat. Not true.

Pink Grapefruit: Many Believe it Has Powers to Burn Fat
Can grapefruit really burn body fat?

I also followed an all-vegetable, non-fat, 500 calorie diet for two weeks once, which required me to choke down a baked potato with absolutely nothing on it. This diet was advertised to completely change the way I looked at food. It did. But not in the way the diet promised.

All weight-loss diets work in exactly the same way!

But some diets use gimmicks and tricks to hide the fact that eating less is the secret ingredient to weight management. While new diets come forth each and every year, there is nothing really new about any of them. They just use a different trick to get you to eat less, and shovel the details around.

You can do exactly the same thing yourself by staying aware of what you're doing and creating a well-balanced diet that will supply all of the nutrients the body needs to function optimally.

I Have Several Medical Conditions


Along with an extensive dieting history, I have several medical conditions, such as:
  • asthma
  • multiple-chemical sensitivity
  • vestibular dysfunction (Meniere's Disease)
  • celiac disease
  • Graves disease
  • neuropathy
  • pre-diabetes
The pre-diabetes comes and goes with gluten exposure.

I probably also have Lymphocytic Colitis (an autoimmune sub-type of microscopic colitis, common in those with celiac disease). My youngest son was diagnosed with that, and its hereditary, but I have never been tested. I do have the symptoms, though.

Family history includes Behcet's disease, which is an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation of the blood vessels throughout the whole body. It's extremely difficult to diagnose. Tests are not reliable in Americans, but I did have an extremely high CPR marker value the last time it was checked. CPR measures bloodstream inflammation.

Both Lymphocytic colitis and Behcet's disease produce gluten intolerance. Lymphocytic colitis is not fatal like other inflammatory bowel diseases can be. However, I'm willing to entertain the notion that the celiac came first.

Another hereditary condition that runs in the family is Gilbert's syndrome. This syndrome affects the liver. For some odd reason, the liver can't process billirubin fast enough when you under stress, so it builds up in the bloodstream and causes jaundice.

My oldest son was diagnosed with this when he was in the service. The ONLY way you can get it passed onto you is through both parents. This means I either have it, or I'm a carrier. I most likely have it because I do have problems with jaundice when I'm under severe stress. Plus, I don't digest fats very well, which is a common symptom of Gilbert's.

Up until I started having severe asthma attacks, around age 40, I was in perfect health, but everything seemed to go downhill after that.

I've always been Vitamin K deficient, however, and since celiac disease tends to begin long before you reach the point where symptoms manifest, I'm also willing to accept the idea that I might not have been as healthy throughout my life as I thought.

In 2002, I was struck down in my prime by a vicious vertigo attack that left me bedridden for several years. I literally could not dress myself, shower, or go to the bathroom without assistance.

Since the vertigo was 24/7, rather than episodic, my Primary Care Physician refused to accept the diagnosis I was given by the Neurologist he sent me to, and told me I was not disabled until a specialist told him I was disabled.

The ENT he sent me to told me that the balance mechanism in my left ear was not working. However, the vertigo I was having wasn't fatal, so I needed to stop being lazy and go back to work.

"You need to learn how to live with the vertigo," he said.

I was not able to walk under my own power. The workshop for developmentally challenged adults I worked for told me, "This is not a sit down job. Please send us your resignation in writing."

The state disability doctor wanted to train me for a sit-down computer job, even though I couldn't stay focused or walk without assistance. State disability doctors won't concede that you are disabled if you have the ability to work online.

With no one willing to actually help me, eventually, my current hubby and I packed up and left Southern California.

We moved to Utah where a holistic chiropractor I was friends with online was able to get the body's energy flowing correctly, due to some physical problems I had that probably came from my prior abusive marriage. At that point, the mind began adapting to the vertigo problem.

Hubby carried me into the chiropractor's office, and once he adjusted the neck and upper back, I was able to walk out of his office under my own power. But that newfound freedom was short-lived.

The neck fell back out of place within a few minutes, on the ride home, but with chiropractic adjustments three times a week, training the neck to stay in place, I was finally in a position where I could begin to teach myself how to walk again.

Learning to walk for a second time was the biggest and most profound life experience I've had so far. There are no words to explain how I felt. People take so many things for granted. I know I did, until they weren't there anymore.

Today, I'm going bi-lateral.

I'm losing the balance mechanism in my other ear, so I have consistent vertigo again, but I have a better understanding of what's going on this time, and how to care for myself.

My Professional Background


A large part of my life was spent working for typing jobs and raising 4 sons, but my more recent post-kids professional background includes working with developmentally challenged adults in a group home, independent apartment living, and workshop settings.

After teaching myself to walk again, I worked as a culinary specialist for a couple of local boys homes. It was the perfect job for me, but when I discovered that I have celiac disease, I had to quit my job due to the gluten contamination problem. Flour stays in the air for up to three days and lands on everything, so I was sick all the time.

After discussing the problem with my current hubby, I quit my job and started writing online. At that time, I already had the low-carb blog up and running, so I was confident that I could be successful at writing.

Panda Bear Making a Mess
Panda Algorithm completely
changed writing online
I signed up with Suite 101, a content site, and worked my way up through the ranks to Feature Writer of their autism section and then Topic Editor for that section as well.

When the Panda algorithm struck, and the site and its ranking power went down the tubes, I wrote for Textbroker as a ghost blogger and copywriter. I still work there off and on, but I prefer blogging to copywriting.

I had a few private clients at that time, and I expanded my blogs from two to six.

I joined Infobarrel, another content site that had surprisingly survived the Panda explosion, and moved some of my Suite articles there, but they didn't do as well at Infobarrel as they did at Suite 101. I'm guessing that might have been because at Infobarrel, I was writing under a pen name -- Lavender Rose. Plus, Google doesn't really like content sites.

Today, I mostly work on my blogs. I do very little writing for outside sources. Partly, due to the vertigo and other health issues I have, and partly because I enjoy the freedom that blogging brings.

Textbroker is a nice content site for those wanting to learn what online writing is all about, but the strictness required to maintain your current rank there is difficult right now since the vertigo is acting up again.

Blogging doesn't have the same grammar demands that working for Textbroker has.

What's Next?


Hubby and I are currently in preparation for a major move. We are leaving Utah in the Spring and moving to Texas, so we can be closer to our 2-year granddaughter, and my oldest son and his wife. My youngest son also lives in Texas, but he's undecided if he's going to stay there or move to California.

When we were in Texas last summer, a lot of the symptoms I suffer with disappeared, so hubby wants to move as soon as possible. Since Texas is flatland and Utah is a mountain valley, the difference in air pressure and air quality had a dramatic affect on my health.

In addition, the people we rent from are putting the house up for sale come March, so it's just as well that we are already in preparation mode to move since we'll be homeless in just a few short months anyway. There doesn't seem to be any real reason to stay in Utah.

What's nice is that online writing can just seamlessly follow me wherever I'm at.

The move won't disrupt my writing at all. I'll be able to continue blogging as I always have, and hopefully, get better at keeping up with all six of my blogs.
  • My mind was clearer in Texas.
  • My balance worked better.
  • And I just all-around felt better.
So, I'm hoping to get my act together come Spring.

In the meantime, I'll be devoting a lot of my blogging efforts to getting this blog up and running the way it was originally intended. I want to turn this site into the best resource there is for moderate-carb diets, mindful eating, health, and nutrition.

With your help and support, I know we can make Life After Low Carb a growing, thriving, and supportive community.


Comments

  1. Hiya! I wonder if you're planning on writing more here? I found you because I was on low carb for two years and gained a lot of weight after I went off it, so I wanted to find others with similar issues. I was on low calorie diets for about 10 years and they worked at first, but worked less and less until I got to the point where I had to eat a very low calorie diet just to prevent myself from rapidly gaining. I slogged through the research and found this is a typical effect of low calorie diets.

    I thought low carb was the answer, but then I got the exact same problem again! The body seems to adjust to whatever diet you are on until it doesn't work anymore and you end up fatter than before. I was 5'7 and 145 lbs when I first started dieting and thought I was too fat, but over the past ten years I've dieted myself up to 250 lbs and I don't know what to do.

    So if you are planning on talking about this phenomenon, I would be very happy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My life has been in a major upheaval lately; but yes, I do intend on continuing this blog. Thanks for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete

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