Tuesday, April 18, 2006

'Livin' La Vida Low-Carb' Anniversary Memories - August 2005-October 2005

This is the second in a four-part series looking back at the highlights of the first year of this blog. This post looks at the blog posts from August 2005-October 2005. Click here to read the post about April 2005-July 2005.

By the time August 2005 rolled around, my blog was already shouting the praises of low-carb living for all the world to see. But then "D-Day" happened in the world of low-carb on August 1, 2005. Or at least that's what the media was trying to make it out to be when Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. announced they were filing for bankruptcy protection.

You would have thought the gates of Hades had opened up and let all of the dirty rotten anti-Atkins scoundrels out when this happened. The chief of them all Jody Gorran came out the next day and said he was continuing on with his lawsuit despite the bankruptcy. And the media was just having a field day cursing the Atkins diet like it was the ultimate of all enemies.

Meanwhile, the traffic to my blog grew exponentially as people started looking for the facts about the fate of low-carb rather than relying on the obviously jaded point of view they were getting from the media and those self-proclaimed health "experts." Then a local radio talk show host in the Greenville, SC are asked me to come on his show to talk about what the Atkins bankruptcy means to people like me who had lost weight on low-carb. The feedback from the callers who heard me on the radio that day just confirmed for me that all the negative uproar in the media was not trickling down to real people. The truth is that low-carb was stronger than ever even as the media was stating just the opposite. What do they know anyways?! The lasting impact of the Atkins diet will be felt for many years to come.

Sugar also became a hot topic of discussion that month when this study came out explaining how I was able to overcome my addiction to sugar. I didn't know it when I was first beginning low-carb and losing weight, but it makes sense now. Of course, the great sugar debate continued on throughout 2005 and is still a hot topic of discussion in 2006. Sugar's role in obesity must be dealt with at some point. But it doesn't help matters when the head of the Sugar Association says that "sugar is not a part of obesity." Yikes! We've got a lot of work to do, don't we? Big sugar must have thought I was somebody they needed to worry about because I found their PR firm nosing around my blog several times a day for weeks after my columns. Got 'em running scared now!

I continued to take on the lies about low-carb defending against the same old tired arguments that people come up with for NOT following a low-carb lifestyle. You hear these negative comments so often that many people start to believe them after a while. But not if I can help it! We even took on low-fat lunatic Dr. Dean Ornish when he started badmouthing low-carb. My response quickly stirred up this low-fat supporter who needed to be put in his proper place as well. :)

Obesity was another issue I wrote about quite frequently in August 2005. I urged people to not cede defeat because we can still turn it around by educating people about what their options are for dealing with their weight. But even as our government and health officials continue to promote the low-fat diet as the only healthy nutritional approach, obesity rates keep going up and up.

Wanna know what happened when I confronted a woman who said she was okay being overweight and wanted people to respect her for that? Instead, to get her to think about what she was saying, I called her "fat" (OUCH!) and all you know what broke loose. LOL! She found my comments "frustrating" but I bet it made her rethink her position about settling on being fat forever. That's what I try to do at my blog -- get people to think about themselves just long enough to make good decisions regarding their weight and health. Lord knows I wish I had somebody that did that for me a long time before I did! The repercussions from the "fat" post went on for weeks and weeks, so I guess I hit a nerve. :-~

September rolled around and again Jody Gorran couldn't help taking advantage of the spotlight the media was putting on him after Atkins Nutritionals was going through bankruptcy. Despite these tactics by anti-Atkins idiots like Gorran, people like this beef market observer presented a more realistic view of what was happening in low-carb and provided evidence that it was still thriving.

Meanwhile, the media was desperately hoping for the heir to low-carb to come along and remove the Atkins diet from even existing. They just kept scratching their heads wondering why the next Atkins diet hadn't caught on yet.

Next came a column by Washington Post health columnist Sally Squires on weight loss blogs, none of which were enthusiastic about being labeled as such. Had they done even just a remote bit of research by doing a Google search for weight loss and blogs, then they would have found a better representation for the column. It didn't happen!

After I challenged a local newspaper reporter at The Spartanburg Herald-Journal to present both sides of the debate over low-carb when she wrote an anti-Atkins piece, she took me up on that challenge and wrote this excellent column about my weight loss success story. It was the first time the local media in the Spartanburg, SC area featured my story, but it wouldn't be the last. I had this story professionally framed and it hangs on my wall today.

Remember that I told you I joined the National Weight Control Registry? Well, it turns out they ain't so friendly to us low-carbers by showing some bias against low-carb living in the questions they ask their participants. Nevertheless, I am glad to be a part of that select group and hope to continue to carry on the banner of how low-carb produces low-term, permanent weight loss success.

One day I was doing some research online and came across a letter to the editor that was at an online newspaper that looked extremely familiar to me. I dug deeper into this by doing a keyword search in Google and found this EXACT SAME LETTER trashing the Atkins diet appeared in hundreds of newspapers across the United States. It turns out this "form letter to the editor" was distributed by many different people in different cities around the time of the Atkins bankruptcy. This opened my eyes to the fact that there is definitely an organized effort going on beneath the surface to destroy every last positive mention about the Atkins diet and low-carb living. What these enemies didn't realize is that I'm not going away anytime soon!

I finally puchased the domain name to help people who were looking for my blog find it. The release of my book was only a few weeks away at this point and I was excited to get my story out there for people to read.

One of the things I enjoy doing at my blog is exposing weight loss gimmicks for what they really are. Take the cookie diet for example. Who honestly believes in their heart of hearts that eating cookies will make you lose weight. I had some honest questions for the makers of the cookie diet, but they simply skirted the issue and swore their product worked. Even worse was when he mocked the Atkins diet while defending his product. What the heck was that all about? I'd say there were more issues there than Mr. Cookie Diet wanted to admit.

The e-mails I receive from people are overwhelmingly positive and appreciative of what I write about at my blog. But every once in a while I'll get an e-mail from someone who thinks they know the "real" reason why I write the way that I do. I admit my writing style is a bit forward, but it commands attention which is what I want when I'm trying to express my opinions about livin' la vida low-carb. This reader attempted to psychoanalyze me and made a lot of assumptions about me. As you can see from my comments, this person was about as off as off can get!

There are some strange diet books on the horizon out there, too. With "The Da Vinci Code" in theaters right now, it's worth noting that a guy is working on a diet based on that code. I'm not kidding! It's called "The Diet Code" and the author claims Leonardo da Vinci would oppose the low-carb lifestye if he were alive today. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried!

Another favorite enemy of low-carb was back in September spouting off his criticism of low-carb. "Diet Detective" Charles Platkin wrote a whole piece running low-carb through the mud and once again I had to correct all the assumptions he made about low-carb living. I'll give these anti-Atkins people credit -- THEY ARE TIRELESS! But so am I and I'll keep confronting them every time they get it wrong about low-carb (like this herbalist, for example!).

In October, I encountered a new diet that was all the rage in Australia called "The Total Wellbeing Diet." But I had my reservations about this "low-carb" plan at first glance. However, the more I have learned about it since and now that I have a copy of the book which is about to release in America, I will be sharing with you my thoughts in an upcoming review.

Wanting to share the good news about my health, I posted my blood work results and my body fat percentage from October 2005 and was very proud of how far I had come from that 410-pound slob I used to be.

What an incredibe privilege and honor it was to have the opportunity to interview one of the trainers from the hit NBC television show "The Biggest Loser." My interview with Bob Harper was a hit with my readers and for fans of the show looking for information about their favorite trainer. This post still commands a lot of traffic to this day.

Of all the journalists who write columns about low-carb, it seems the students are the ones more open to having their minds changed about what they wrote (Yo, media! You could learn a lot from these kids!). This student journalist got it all wrong in her column, but then graciously accepted my comments when I challenged what she wrote about. One at a time, we're making a difference!

I was so proud on the day I wrote this press release about my book "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb." It was out for all the world to see now! Would anybody buy it? Would all those months of writing and rewriting...and REWRITING (LOL!) be worth it? If it helped just ONE person, it was going to be worth all the time and energy I invested in it. I'd say that has happened based on all the feedback I have heard from so many of you about how my book has motivated and inspired you in your low-carb life. THANK YOU!!! It certainly didn't hurt that my local Fox television affiliate called me to do a story about my book and weight loss!

Imagine my surprise when a friend of mine tells me that my blog was noted in the popular low-carb magazine LowCarb Energy as one of the top three low-carb blogs on the Internet. Whoa! I didn't see that one coming and was grateful for the recognition. The magazine has since changed its name to SheKnows Low Carb and the story about my weight loss will be appearing in the Summer 2006 issue coming in mid-May. I can't wait to see it even though I wrote the story myself. I'll have a regular feature called, what else, "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb!"

Good news about low-carb came from Dr. Richard Feinman who conducted a study of people who genuinely did the low-carb lifestyle. What he found, among many things, was that vegetable consumption doubled when you went on low-carb. Have you heard this anywhere in the media? Anywhere besides this blog? That's another reason why I can't stop what I'm doing because the truth deserves to be heard by those who need to hear it.

Once the dust had settled from all the media hype about the Atkins diet, the gracious and eloquent widow of the late Dr. Robert C. Atkins decided to speak her mind about the way of eating her husband so boldly defended for decades. This blog post featuring comments from Vernonica Atkins showed you that she cares very deeply about the lasting legacy of her husband's work and is committed to doing what she can to take on obesity and diabetes.

After six months online, it was apparent my blog was gaining attention. By late October my readership had grown to about 12,000 pageviews per month, but the best was yet to come. Come back on Wednesday to read about what happened from November 2005-January 2006.

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Blogger Science4u1959 said...

All of this shows you how incredibly much has happened since, doesn't it? It also shows that you ARE making a huge difference and are considered, by proponents and enemies alike, an authority in the field.

Keep up the good work, my friend! Keep educating the thousands and thousands that read your work and love to hear about your experiences. And, incidentally, also love it when you rake the media over the coals when they start talking nonsense again.

I admire your stamina, writing style and honest, straight-forward, deliciously "politically incorrect" opinions. That's exactly what is needed - the plain and simple truth, backed up by copious scientific references, studies, and other valuable and credible information.

I am 100% certain of it: in the end, the truth will prevail. For a very large part, thanks to you, Jimmy!

Congratulations - and you can be proud of yourself!

4/19/2006 12:23 AM  

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