Wednesday, April 19, 2006

'Livin' La Vida Low-Carb' Anniversary Memories - November 2005-January 2006

This is the third 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 November 2005-January 2006. Click here to read the post about April 2005-July 2005 and click here to read the post about August 2005-October 2005.

With six months under my belt as a blogger with a growing audience up to 15,000 pageviews per month, November 2005 rolled around with unbelievable things to come.

I started off the month trying to help save "Blaine's Low-Carb Kitchen," a popular low-carb cooking television show featuring low-carb weight loss success chef Blaine Jelus. Unfortunately, Discovery bought into the mistaken notion that low-carb was dead and pulled the plug. I still think there's a real need for low-carb cooking shows and maybe the television execs will figure that out.

As I started out on my book tour, I was amazed by the simplicity of questions from people about my experience. Does low-carb really work is one question that made me laugh. Uh, no, I've been wearing a fat suit all these years making myself look like I weighed 400+ pounds. LOL! People's questions can be really funny.

Although my weight loss success has been an inspiration to a lot of people to start doing something about their weight issue, unfortunately the same could not be said about my brother Kevin. After suffering from several heart attacks in 1999 because of his morbid obesity and having a difibrilator put inside of him, he's been hardheaded and allowed himself to get big again -- the tune of 600 pounds! The doctors have given him one year to live and he's got a lot of work to do to survive to his 40th birthday. Pray for him to DO THIS for real this time or there may not be a next time. He's only 38 years old.

I was so thrilled in mid-November to fly out to California for the first time ever for a book signing at CarbSmart with Jan McCracken. That was a lot of fun for Christine and I and it was great getting to meet many of my West Coast fans. I'd love to head back out that direction again after I get finished with my next book! We also enjoyed going back "home" to the Hampton Roads area in Virginia for book signings at Heaven & Earth where I used to work when I lived in Virginia Beach. That was pretty surreal! But a little closer to my South Carolina home was my book signing at OK-Carbs in Columbia, SC.

Meanwhile, more and more studies continued to come out validating livin' la vida low-carb as a healthy option for people wanting to better their bodies. This study showed that eating more fat and less carbs resulted in a decreased risk of heart disease while another study confirmed that exercise can actually extend how long you live. Additionally, these researchers actually determined that low-carb solves many of the conditions of metabolic syndrome. WOW! Amazing stuff!

But, like rabid wolves looking for fresh meat to devour, the enemies of low-carb were still on the prowl. This study out of the UK claimed that the Atkins diet causes heart damage. Oi! These people never give up do they?!

There are a lot of "diet" books out there these days and some come up with the most crazy ideas. Remember the "intuitive eating" diet where you were supposed to just know when to stop eating. Oh yeah, that works! NOT! Or how about the "Astro Diet" for those people who believe in psychics. I knew you were going to be fat, but I can see a lighter future for you. Ha! Finally, Eric Oliver who wrote the book "Fat Politics" was smug in his response to my concerns about what he wrote. Fire 'em up!

As Season Two of NBC's hit television show "The Biggest Loser" was winding down, I thought it would be fun to feature the before and after pictures of the contestants from the show. Little did I know that post would become the #1 post in the history of! I also did a write-up on the Season One contestants with before and after pictures to see what they look like now as well.

You know how I like to have fun with these wacky weight loss gurus, right? Do you remember this hypnotist? Was he a nut case or what? If you haven't seen the way this guy reacted to my comments about the scam her perpetrates on people to allegedly help them lose weight, then you really must read it for yourself. It's a "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog classic!

I had the opporunity to be on the #1 radio show in the Dallas, TX area called "The New You Show," but I had not idea the hosts were going to mock me after my segment. Although my friend Jonny Bowden is a part of that show, he was not participating in the downright cruel comments being said about me. I'm sure they're embarrassed they forgot to hang up the phone with me after that interview as over. A little better experience was as a special guest on Connie Bennett's Fast-Track, Kick Sugar teleseminar call. I remember this night vividly because we had an ice storm that knocked the power out at my house, so I had to drive to a local restaurant and sit in a back room to do the interview. I'll never forget that either! I even shared my 7 tips for kicking sugar that night as well.

Professional golf legend Gary Player had said some pretty nasty comments about the Atkins diet previously and when confronted about those comments he refused to back away from them. We'll later find out that he's a part of the vegan movement, which caused quite a stir just a few months later.

When I read a newspaper story about a low-fat weight loss success story, I just had to respond with my own low-fat diet experience in 1999 when I lost 170 pounds, but then quickly gained it all back because I was unable to keep it up. My hats off to anyone who can eat that way forever, but I know I sure couldn't. Now that I'm low-carbin' it, I WOULDN'T either!

As the year 2005 was winding down, news stories were coming out confirming that the end of the low-carb "fad" has come. Oh really? Then explain my amazing ride in 2005 promoting the low-carb lifestyle and why that success still continues to this day? Hmmmm?

Now we move to January 2006, a new year full of uncertainty about the future of the low-carb movement. Somebody forgot to tell me it was dead because I urged people on January 1 (my two year anniversary starting low-carb) to start livin' la vida low-carb. Of course, the strong search engine action on "low-carb" terms validated my theory that low-carb is indeed alive and doing very well.

Although the media had long since declared low-carb a goner, you still had people like this Egyptian journalist out there saying the Atkins diet "make you kiss all carbs goodbye." Are these people really THIS ignorant? At the same time, unbelievably damaging data about the low-fat diet was coming out and the media pretty much ignored it. The hypocrisy is so very clear.

In early January 2006, I was thrilled to fly up to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a book signing there and several media appearances while I was there. Michael and Marilyn Kirtley from Low-Carb Central were excellent hosts and made me feel welcome my entire visit. I still have many fond memories from my weekend there and I REALLY hope to have the opportunity to go back again on my next book tour. :)

What an honor and privilege it was to have one of the low-carb celebrities recommend my blog to her readers! The one and only Dana Carpender did just that when she included a link to my blog in her newsletter. Many of you found my blog because of Dana and she says she is a big fan of what I do. WOW, the feeling is mutual, Dana!

Sometimes when an argument gets ridiculous, it pays to put things in their proper perspective. With all the negative comments about the Atkins diet floating around out there, I just asked the following question: Which is worse: the Atkins diet or obesity? There is no discussing which is healthier for you.

Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. survived their bankruptcy, but has decided to shift their focus away from the low-carb consumer. Who do they think their consumer is if it's not the people following a low-carb program? If they're smart, they'll not forget about all of us who still live this lifestyle. Of course, Jody Gorran came out of the woodwork to put his two cents worth in about Atkins Nutritionals coming out of bankruptcy.

For some reason, the calorie restriction people took an interest in my comments about low-calorie diets. My comments were also supported by a study that said the "calories in, calories out" message was unfounded. Nevertheless, one calorie restriction supporter said she thought my decision to commit myself to the low-carb life was okay. Smart lady!

Towards the end of January 2006, Christine and I were privileged to be a part of the Nutritional & Metabolic Aspects of Carbohydrate Restriction conference in Brooklyn, New York. Getting to meet the researchers and people who are working to further the science of low-carb was absolutely fascinating! The weekend was...interesting, at times. My concern at the time and still today is how we make that science translate to the average Joe. That's what I try to do at my blog every single day. My blogging buddy Regina Wilshire does the same thing at her blog, too.

Just when I think the criticism about low-carb starts to slow down, along comes a health instructor like this lady who says low-carb only results in loss of water weight. When I confronted her about it, she said her words were misquoted. HOW ABOUT A RETRACTION THEN?!?!?! Didn't happen.

Finally, we found out that "The Biggest Loser" was so popular in Australia that they decided to have their own show featuring Australian contestants. I introduced the contestants to my Australian readers and still would like to see these episodes at some point. I hear the show got pretty contentious, more so than the American version.

January 2006 saw my blog surpass 35,000 pageviews for the month, a new record. But that record would not last for long as you will find out when you come back tomorrow to read the fourth and final memories post about February 2006-April 2006.

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Blogger Nita Scoggan said...

Congratulations, Jimmy , on your anniversary! It is a great accomplishment.


4/20/2006 7:30 AM  

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