Brian's Story
March 2004 - 18st 8lbs
Sep 2005 - 14st 9lbs

As I child I always tended to be on the heavy side, though not excessively so. I had polio aged three and spent my childhood recovering from paralysis in the left leg. I was never any good at sport and consequently have no interest.

By the time I was fully grown at 6 ft 3in I was top of the range normal and weighed about 14 stone (196 lb) I will subsequently quote only in lbs, but they may not be round numbers. Obesity is an issue in the family. My sister struggled as a girl and is now size 24/26. By middle age my father was over 250lb but brought his weight under control. My mother is short and a size 20. My weight crept up to around 210 when I was an undergraduate reading Theology at Durham University. I managed to get down to 198 when I went, aged 27, to the Sandhurst Military Academy to train as a chaplain. When I married at the age of 32, I was 210 again. Over the years the weight crept up. Medical Officers grumbled a bit, but it was no serious medical or professional concern.

When I was 53 I was over 250 lb. After spraining my ankle my mobility was badly impaired for a few months and my weight climbed to 260 lb. Time for the routine medical. At 54 I got a serious talking to from the Senior Medical Officer!
Blood Pressure March 04 147/94. Cholesterol up a little but differential very very good.

"Do Atkins", he said, "It works." I was on the edge of this decision anyway, but his backing made it easier at home. My wife is a biology teacher and has also taught nutrition and domestic science. Low fat was the regime at home "Not too much meat, dear, "it's bad for you." I am a Viking and love meat, so for me Atkins was easy and natural. I have no intention of abandoning the low carb way of life. One of the nurses in the medical centre and my wife raise a caution from time to time about "stress on your kidneys." The Senior Medical Officer dismisses those concerns.

By the end of June 04 my weight was down to 225 and my blood pressure was121/74. By December 04 I weighed 208lb and my blood pressure was down to 119/72. My resting pulse is in the mid to high 50s. I don't have the results of the blood tests, but I do know they were impressively healthy.
On a 65% fat diet my cholesterol had fallen a little, though it was not an issue in the beginning.

What Atkins said about high glycimic index foods and the blood sugar roller-coaster was certainly true for me. If I feed on fat and protein I do not suffer from hunger or cravings and just feel generally more "steady." I may be a strange way to put it, but quite precise - I feel steady, stable and satisfied eating the Atkins way. I have no need to rush for the sweets or for apples and oranges as I did before. I was probably heading for type two diabetes before. I hope to avoid that now.

I eat lots of meat, foul and fish with mountains of salad and green vegetables, and yes, I drink litres of water a day. I have Greek Yogurt or Low Carb Home made Ice Cream with strawberries. I am not sure to what extent these dairy products contributed to my winter stall. I have taken to flax cooking - half and half with Whey Protein Isolate, olive oil and egg, and flavoured with lemon, cinnamon, Italian Herbs or sun-dried tomatoes. My treat is a square or two of high cocoa content dark chocolate, sometimes by itself, and sometimes microwaved into fudge with cream and butter.

There is still more to be done. I must exercise more and try harder to get those last few pounds off. The Base swimming pool has closed, which is a loss, but I have been enjoying cycling the country lanes. My ambition is to get below 14 stone (196 lb). I will have to work hard for these last few pound, but the 50lbs down from 260 to 210 was very easy.

Update 31st August 2006

It's a year since I submitted my photos and story. I was 14st 9lb last September. These days I am weighing in each morning at between 14st 8lb and 14st 6lb.

A modest loss - I cycle a lot these days but it makes me very hungry. I guess I have more muscle and less fat, otherwise my weight is much the same. It would be nice to get to 14 stone. It may happen. It may not.

Brian