Letting Go of the Low Carb Dream

Cartoon: Rainbow and Sun
Are you ready to let go of the low-carb dream?

Are you looking for a way to let go of Keto and move on with your life?

Have you discovered that Atkins or some other low-carb plan isn't the right choice for you?

Do you need to move from low carb to a more moderate-carb lifestyle?

If so, returning carbs to your diet is the easy part. Facing yourself and letting go of the low-carb fantasy is a more difficult chore.

I have been struggling with my weight for most of my adult life.

Some of those struggles have come from my imagination and choices, but most of the wrestle has been due to the scattered way I have been looking at life.

Rising above the challenges of vertigo and learning to walk again was only the beginning of my transformation.

It definitely wasn't the end.

Like most people, I was caught in the net of projecting everything that belonged to my inner world -- outwardly.

This projection left me with very little understanding of self and others, but with everyone else around me doing exactly the same thing, I didn’t realize there was another way of doing things – not until today.

Today, the reality of what I've been doing to myself and those around me hit me full force.

In 2007 and 2008, I was quite successful at losing weight the low-carb way. I actually lost over 100 pounds tweaking a low-carb diet, once I got my act together and went rogue, but it isn’t 2008 anymore.

It’s 2012.

I’ve wasted five years of my life running around searching for a low-carb dream that doesn’t exist.

Pinterest Image: Child Sleeping and Dreaming

I came to that realization this evening.

Yesterday's low-carb dream has come and gone. I can't go back and relive my life over again. I can't undo some of the choices I've made.
  • Yesterday is dead to me.
  • Tomorrow hasn't come into being yet.
  • So today is all I have.
How I am today is what I have to work with.

Wishing things were different won't change anything. Wishing is a waste of time. I can only pick myself up and go on. I can only rise up to the challenge life has given me.

The largest problem in my life is not my weight, even though I still weigh 180 pounds. (I'm five-feet tall, large-bone frame.) The biggest problem in my life is my fear of letting go of the low-carb dream.

I was afraid to turn around and face reality, to embrace the truth that I've suspected for a very long time now.

I've Spend Years Tweaking a Low-Carb Diet

When I first came to the realization that a low-carb diet tricked the mind into eating less, that didn’t really bother me. As long as eating low carb worked, I didn’t see why the real mechanism that drove weight loss even mattered.

If using the starvation and famine pathway got the job done, who cared?

As time went on and my food choices became more and more restricted, due to food sensitivities, celiac disease, and Graves' disease, it became harder to remain true to the Atkins Diet. I couldn't eat at very low-carb levels anymore, and I felt guilty about blogging low carb when I wasn't eating that way.

And yet, I was still reluctant to let go of the dream.

I wanted the science that Dr. Atkins shared in 1972 to be true so badly that I literally spent years chasing after various ways to tweak a low-carb diet. I felt like there had to be a way to make it work for everyone, and that everyone included me.

Ham Roast Nicely Glazed and Sliced
Eating at 20 to 50 net carbs per day
is no longer an option for me.

None of the tweaking I did worked long term because, eventually, no matter how strict I was and no matter how true I was to the diet, my response to carbohydrate restriction made LOW carb diets no longer an option.

When I eat very low carbs, less than 50 net carbs a day, my blood glucose control goes really wacky. The vertigo gets worse, my thyroid starts racing, I have trouble digesting all of that fat, and I can't sleep at night due to the elevated cortisol.

Deep down inside, I knew this.

I've been watching it happen, but I wasn’t ready to accept it as truth. It was easier to ignore what was happening, talk about my health challenges, and complain about my inability to stick to a low-carb diet for more than a few days.

I blamed food intolerance, my autoimmune conditions, the lack of self-discipline. Everything but the truth:

I HAVE to let go.

Moving On from Keto is Essential to Find Inner Peace

Moving on from a standard low-carb diet is mandatory for me if I want to bring my mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being back into balance.

I understand this now.

That lightning bolt struck me solidly in the mind and heart when I went to Big Daddy D’s Low Carb Blog earlier this evening. He was following a low-carb diet back in 2007, and we became Internet friends, but I hadn’t been to his blog in years and felt prompted to go back.

In 2011, he wrote a book that contained all of the recipes he had posted at his blog, but like me, he was struggling to make a low-carb diet work for him. Not only did his wife didn't do well on low-carb diets, but like so many of us, the whole being mindful thing tended to slip away before it could actually become a solid habit. 

In an attempt to overcome the problem, Big Daddy D started a new blog called Shaping Body, Mind, and Spirit. This blog wasn’t actually about starting over, even though he was switching from a low-carb diet to a low-calorie one.

Instead, it was more about bringing all of the scattered pieces of yourself back together again, working on improving them all at the same time, which really resonated with me. As I read his very first post at that blog, I realized what I’ve been doing wrong for so long.

Why Am I Holding On to Low Carb So Tightly?

I know that portion control is what makes a low-carb diet work best, but I also know that eating the Atkins way hurts my health.

I’m starving, tired, irritable, dizzy, and seriously lacking in cognitive function when I eat that way. Whether it's a fat enzyme problem, a Graves' disease problem, or something else -- doesn't matter.

My body doesn’t want to do low carb anymore. That's what it's telling me.

So, why am I fighting so hard to cling to the low-carb dream?

It seems rather silly to me right now, especially since I know that the energy equation is not a fairy tale like many low-carb dieters pretend it is. Calories matter. They always have. Even Dr. Atkins said that.

Low-carb diets work best if you eat just enough to not be uncomfortably hungry. And that advice that Dr. Atkins gave, and his nurse continues to give today, goes for all diets. Not just low carb.

Obesity is about the way you think coupled with the way you eat. It's not about eating too many carbs. It's about eating too much food -- period.  

I Have to Let Go -- NOW!

My plan is to let go of Keto for good and move to a moderate-carb diet.

Although this was my original intent when I started this blog, looking back over the months I've been blogging here, I can see that I have just continued to chase after various forms of a low-carb diet.

I never let go.

As a result, all I've succeeded in doing is lying to myself. I haven't accomplished anything different. I have made absolutely no progress.

A couple of months ago, I did start to let go, but I didn’t realize what my fear of moving to a low-calorie diet and eating carbs again was doing to me. I gained a few pounds, which put me back at where I was before doing the HCG diet.

Tonight, I realized that this had nothing to do with carbs.

I regained the weight because I eat haphazardly. Unmindfully. Unconsciously.

I have no plan.

Although, I don’t know exactly where I’m going at this point in time, even eating at my current maintenance level of calories would have been better for me over the years than embracing a total lack of awareness because not paying attention is what's causing the pounds to slip back on again.

Becoming aware will require me to learn how many calories are in the food I’m currently eating.

There's no way to get out of that chore.

Gluten-free foods tend to be higher in calories than their counterpart, but that’s okay. I’m up to the challenge, although I don’t know how my body is going to react to the change.

If I cut calories, but give my body the carbs it wants, will I still suffer similar consequences, or will my brain be happier because it won't have to wait for the liver to find alternative sources of glucose?

Will the mind still want to refill it's empty fat cells?

And does that even matter?