MollyGreen.com | Fall on the Homestead | Fall 2016
That sweet friend then said something magical, “It isn’t always
about the calories. There’s a book. It’s called Why We Get Fat
and What to Do About It by Gary Taubes. You should read it.”
Amazon Prime delivered in forty-eight hours, and I had read
nearly every word in an additional forty-eight hours.
Taubes presented the most strange and logical reasoning for
why I was obese, and backed it up with science. Reading the
examples and case studies he presented made it clear that I was
following bad advice from doctors and nutritionists that left me
feeling more hungry and more obese. The layers of shame started to peel away. Maybe I wasn’t a failure. In the appendix of
Taubes’s book was a diet plan called the “No Sugar, No Starch”
diet. I read it and declared to my husband, “I’m doing this!”
He scanned it long enough to see no potatoes, no pasta, no
starches, no Pepsi, and said, “No way!” What neither of us
knew is that it would be the easiest and most sustainable “diet”
that I had ever followed.
The first three days I simply counted carbs, keeping them
under 20 total grams per day. It wasn’t easy because just about
every food label had more carbs than I could eat. Each day of
those first two weeks, I wondered if I could sustain it, but I’d
vowed to follow the plan for two solid weeks to see if this was
as foolish as my husband thought. Eating lots of bacon, sausage
and various meats, salads, no fruit, few veggies, no bread, no
pasta, no starches, but adding butter, mayo, and avocado, kept
carbs under 20 total grams per day.
On day three I was standing over my desk shuffling papers
when I glanced at the clock. It was 2: 30 p.m. I hadn’t eaten
lunch. Breakfast had been at 7 a.m., and there had been no
mid-morning snack and no lunch. Never in my forty-five years
had I ever missed a meal unintentionally! Nearly all my life, I’d
gone to bed hungry, woken up hungry, and been hungry the
whole time in between.
And the scales? I saw weight loss nearly every single day. Did I
mention I wasn’t hungry either?
When carbs tempted with their sultry ways, I repeated, “Just for
today. I choose me.” I’d made a commitment to a two-week trial, and a deeper commitment to lose weight or die trying. Near
the end of those two weeks I’d had an especially difficult day
when the vision of a chocolate chip cookie appeared. Maybe I
even said it out loud, “I’ve got to have a chocolate chip cookie
or somebody is gonna get hurt.”
I considered driving to the grocery store and buying a package
of cookies. My resolve got me safely home, but those cookies
were still on my mind. Pinterest saved my life with a low-carb
cookie that used four basic ingredients. Peanut butter, egg,
sweetener, and baking powder made a simple and delicious
low-carb yumminess. Savoring the second cookie, I knew, “If
I can eat this and still lose weight, I can do this the rest of my
life.” The next day I weighed a pound and a half less! I was
eating cookies and losing weight. I wasn’t hungry or miserable,
and my back felt better.
At the end of the two-week trial, my husband said, “Tell me
what to eat.” What he didn’t tell me was that he, too, had lost
weight just by my changing the way I was cooking. He never
read a book, but he quizzed me about what to eat, ate mainly as
I ate, and then ate what he wanted when he didn’t like what I
had to say.
Six months later we were still following the plan. On Christmas
Eve 2013, I weighed 198 pounds. It was a gift of better health.
Besides the weight, I had dropped three different medications—three! I no longer came home from work and went