Our member spotlight at this week’s meeting was Suzy Demeester. Suzy never liked to be in family photos — her weight caused her deep shame, and when her son graduated college she was reluctant to step in front of the camera. A year in a half later when her daughter graduated college, it was a different story. At that point she was down 60 pounds, reversed quite a few medical issues and after a lifetime of dealing with weight issues, was proud to step into those pictures.

Discussion:

  • Suzy first heard about a low carb diet through one of her co-workers who had lost a lot of weight with fasting and low carb. After a conversation with him, she went home, did her research and came across a documentary called The Real Skinny on Fat
  • That documentary led her to look into Dr. Jason Fung, which led her to the discovery that she had insulin resistance, high blood pressure, nonalcoholic fatty liver.
  • Despite many attempts, Suzy could not lose weight no matter how hard she tried — until discovering low carb. When she decided to start, the first month she just worked on cutting carbs. She did not focus on exercise or fasting. She also forgave herself when things weren’t perfect, knowing this was a long process and mistakes would happen.
  • When Suzy had her hunger under control she began fasting in an attempt to reverse fatty liver disease. She was successful in accomplishing that after doing three 42-hour fasts per week. This also corrected her high blood pressure. As she lost weight, she noticed that the longer fasts were more difficult.
  • At her annual medical check-ups, despite all of these positive health markers, her doctor was only worried about her cholesterol and wanted to put her on statins. He failed to ask anything about her positive changes and was more focused on the cholesterol and a sore knee than the amazing things she accomplished.
  • Once Suzy got her weight down and her other medical issues corrected, she began exercise. She set a goal for herself to run a mile, something she had never done before in her life. She is now up to 4 miles, and is looking forward to running a 5K in the near future.
  • Suzy recently had a bout with diverticulitis and her weight bumped up a little bit from the inflammation. She decided to be patient and give it some time, not make any major changes. She has simply cut back on diet soda, nuts, and heavy whipping cream.
  • Dr. Tro mentioned how Suzy’s body composition looked like she lost more than 60 pounds, something he notices often when people lose weight on a ketogenic diet. He explained that the scale is a loose indicator — especially if doing all the right things. In these cases, there can be a lag between scale number and actual results — go by how your clothes fit and how you’re feeling.
  • Suzy reads labels constantly — she finds the food companies are very tricky at adding ingredients into their products. She is careful with sweeteners because they can cause her cravings and stall her progress.
  • Her wise advice: “We all get caught up in the business of life and taking care of others’ needs before our own, but at some point you have to put yourself first to get healthy so you can be there for the people you love.”

Article by Brian Wiley

Brian Wiley is a Certified Health Coach who struggled to lose weight for most of his life. He attempted most of the mainstream approaches, along with the standard advice to “eat, less move more.” This advice resulted in minimal short-term success, or no success at all. Brian then adopted a low-carb lifestyle in 2009, and succeeded in losing 100 pounds. He has maintained that weight loss ever since using a low-carb ketogenic IF lifestyle. "I see people every day, both in real life and on social media, struggling, going through the same cycles of unsuccessful dieting like I did. I want to serve as an example that this approach can be successful, is not a fad, and is a healthy long-term lifestyle solution." Brian is also an ACE certified personal trainer.