Monday, December 25, 2006

Heart Failure To Heart Healthy With Low-Carb

I came across this Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter story about a retired man who literally saved his life from where it was on Christmas Day 2005 after he finally woke up and realized he needed an attitude change about his diet and health.

His name is Bob Carriveau, 65, who had actually reached the point in his life when he was thinking about giving away all of his belongings to friends and family last Christmas. That's how bad it had gotten for him because life had become extremely miserable rolling around tanks of oxygen with him everywhere he went never knowing if today was the day he would die. Who can live like that?

Because of congestive heart failure, which needed surgery to help him survive, Carriveau was hanging on by a thread and simply unable to do even the simplest of tasks like walking short distances which would make him lose his breath. That was the miserable life he endured at that point.

Deep down inside, though, Bob Carriveau knew he needed to do SOMETHING about his ailing health or his thoughts about an early death would become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And so he did and the results have been amazing.

Following surgery on his heart and a change in his medications, Carriveau also decided to make major changes in his diet and started exercising which helped him lose 50 pounds mostly in his belly, which has shrunk six inches in the past year.

Although the article mentions that he "counts calories, avoids fat," that's not exactly true according to a quote from Carriveau himself.

"Now, I look at nutrition labels," he said. "I'm limited on calories and carbohydrates."

Sounds to me like he's watching his calories and CARBS, not the fat like this columnist contends. People who are livin' la vida low-carb have gotten used to this kind of bias against our way of eating by now. But it's still annoying when reporters do this.

Sure, Carriveau bemoans eating, as the writer of the story puts it, "fat-laden sausages" and his "favorite dinner entree" of a well-done steak tenderloin. But he was probably told these were unhealthy choices for him by his heart doctor. They clearly are not.

Fat is not the enemy, it's the sugar, refined carbs, and processed foods that are. People should stop fearing fat because they NEED fat in their bodies for various functions, not the least of which is to burn as fuel. At the same time, people should begin shunnning sugar and excess carbs if they ever hope to lose weight, stabilize their blood sugar to stave off diabetes, and give themselves a fighting chance. We need to give carbohydrates the fat treatment, but where are people going to hear this message?

Yet, I'm quite intrigued where Carriveau heard about watching his carbohydrate intake. Did his heart doctor tell him about this? Keep in mind he didn't say he was watching his calories and fat, but rather his calories and carbs! This is mind-blowing stuff for a man who one year ago didn't know if he'd be alive to talk about it. Perhaps there is a slow turning of the tide going on beneath the surface that nobody is willing to admit? We can only hope.

"We used to eat a lot of hamburger helper meals, but no more," Carriveau's wife Shirley chimed in.

I'm sure many families can relate to eating these kind of high-carb meals because they are cheap, quick and easy to make. My family and I ate these like they were going out of style when I was growing up because you could get two boxes for a dollar back then. It's still less expensive than eating healthy today, something Shirley readily admits.

"It is more work and more money to eat healthy," she added.

This is true, but what price can you put on health and the length of life for Bob? The arguments against healthy eating are easily shot down when you look at how much money you actually save on healthcare costs and the fact that you get to live longer. Plus, can you REALLY put a price on having your loved one with you for 5, 10, or 20 years longer? There no debating it.

This heartwarming story just goes to show you that it's NEVER too late to do something about your health and weight if you are not satisfied with where you are. Whether you are 20, 40, 60, or 80 years old, YOU hold the power to alter your habits and improve your life. This story should prove that to anyone struggling with their weight and health.

The healthy lifestyle change that Bob Carriveau has made in the past year has also spread to Shirley who dropped 20 pounds while supporting her husband's new diet program. They are set to celebrate 45 years of marriage in September 2007 and both are committed to living out the rest of their days happily and healthily.

He's been given 20 years to live out the rest of his life and Carriveau intends to make the most of it to spend lots of quality time with his children, grandchildren, and even a few great grandchildren that he hopes to see graduate from high school!

As long as he remains committed to livin' la vida low-carb and watching his calories like he has been doing, there's no reason why Carriveau shouldn't be able to enjoy these special moments with his family. He and Shirley were able to spend Christmas Eve together and hopes to have many more in the coming years.

This man has now changed his life for the better and the low-carb lifestyle is one of the reasons why he has radically changed for the better.

"My quality of life is twice as good as it was last year at this time...and, hopefully, it will get a lot better," Carriveau exclaimed.

It will, my friend, and CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so proud of you for making the tough decision to begin a new path in your life that will pay big dividends for you in the years to come. What an inspiring story of hope on this Christmas Day 2006 knowing that a life has been saved because of livin' la vida low-carb!

Now that's a Merry Christmas indeed!

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