Well, I decided to start this site after some bad customer support experiences with http://www.atkins.com in their "My Atkins" area. Their site is so slow and it's been impossible for me to upload my "before" photo to help me see my progress visually. I figure it's probably better to have my own weight loss journal so that I can get exactly what I want out of it. So, to tell about my situation... I'm 25 years old, and I've been trying to lose weight since May 2003. My highest weight ever was 400 pounds. I've lost 57 pounds so far and it's been quite a journey. I've had all sorts of eating habits.. for several months I was vegetarian because I got sick from fatty foods after having gallbladder surgery. My gallbladder was taken out in July 2003 after I'd lost about 30 pounds rather quickly from low calorie dieting. My doctor who did that surgery said that the pain might return because after physically looking at the stuff he took out of me he just didn't think that the stones were causing the kind of pain that I felt. I don't really regret having the surgery since those stones had to pass at some point. My dad had a stone pass once and it got stuck in a duct and he had to be hospitalized for a while, it was a really traumatic experience. I'm glad I'm not going to have to go through that. On July 12 2004 I started the Atkins Nutritional Approach because of course that pain returned along with a lot of bowel symptoms. I had read somewhere that eating low-carbohydrates can help ease the pain with some people who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Boy were they right. Every time I thought back to all the times I got sick while eating, it was always after eating a bowl of mashed potatoes or a bunch of bread. I talked this over with a gastroenterologist and he gave me the information that I needed to make a life-change to my eating habits that will make me not feel so sick anymore. He agrees that I most likely have Irritable Bowel Syndrome from discussing my history, dating all the way back to my childhood. During the last month I've already had just about every other medical condition ruled out. IBS can not be tested for.. it is a "functional" syndrome, meaning that there's no disease present, my body just works differently in a way that can be painful if I am not careful with the way that I eat. So, I've been doing a sort of modified Atkins plan for one week, and I already feel 95% better. I've lost 2 inches off my measurements already (wow!) although the scale is playing games with my head. That's probably due to all the water and that will come down with time as well. I feel a little bit better every day. Two weeks ago, I didn't want to get out of bed because of the excruciating abdominal pain. Now I am able to live my life again. Right now I'm doing a modified Atkins induction. This means less than net 20 carbs a day, except I'm eating extra fiber foods than induction allows, such as spinach and broccoli, and I'm taking metamucil up to the recommended 25-30 grams of fiber a day. First thing in the morning I have 36 ounces of water, split three ways, 2 doses of 17g Miralax (polyethylene glycol.. ewww!), and the third 12 oz glass of water is my first metamucil of the day. This morning routine is part of my bowel program given to me by my doctor last week. If I dont follow the program the way that I do, I will get really, really sick just like I was before. Besides, the vitamins from my fiber veggies are really good for me. Speaking of vitamins, I take a One a Day Carb Smart in the afternoon right before lunch time. The motivation not to eat some french fries or a piece of bread, is the constant knowledge that eliminating them from my diet is the only reason that I am not in pain anymore. I have also noticed that I no longer need to use eyebrow growth products to stimulate eyebrow growth anymore since my hair and nails are growing much stronger.
I track all of my food/exercise using Fitday PC which I bought at http://www.fitday.com . They have a free version that you can track your stuff through their website, but I like the PC version better because it has a lot more flexibility and options. Here are some links for articles about Atkins and IBS, explaining why I am feeling a lot better: http://atkins.com/Archive/2002/1/11-771731.html http://atkins.com/Archive/2002/2/12-234348.html