Sunday, September 02, 2007

Eating Disorder Victim Felt 'Stuck' Until Low-Carb Stepped In To Save Her Life

The Jackie Parmly story is one of near tragedy to amazing triumph

Whenever I read about someone who has decided to start livin' la vida low-carb and the remarkable changes that take place in their life as a result, it just puts an extra spring in my step and a renewed joy and excitement in my heart that this way of eating is STILL impacting those who are overweight or obese and want desperately to lose weight and get healthy. For someone like Jackie Parmly, though, finding the low-carb lifestyle was a gift from God that perhaps saved her from self-destruction.

Her weight issues began after she got pregnant with her first child at the age of 18. Jackie ballooned up to 270 pounds during the pregnancy and her weight never came back down after her daughter was born. It was a full ten years later before she was able to lose any weight at all, but then she was doing it like most obese people think they have to do it.

"I managed to lose about 20 pounds by starving myself, eating only salads. Then I started with the diet pills, ephedrines, Slim-Fast," she recalled. "Anything that said 'lose weight fast' on the package, I was poppin' it."

Her diet was the typical low-fat, low-calorie ones that have long been promoted as the "healthy" way to eat, but then something horrible happened to Jackie--she developed an eating disorder "on purpose."

"I began a vicious cycle of binge and purge," she admitted. "I figured I could eat whatever I wanted as long as I didn't let it digest in my stomach."

Jackie would quite literally go to every fast food joint you can imagine, stuff her face with all that garbage, junk food, wash it down with a huge soft drink and then she would "purge."

"It got to where I was afraid someone would hear me 'getting sick' so I started to do it in the shower at home," she revealed. "I would pull the cover off the drain and wash it away as if nothing happened."

She even started smoking cigarettes because she heard it killed your appetite.

To make matters worse with this situation, Jackie was dealing with some rather tense and emotional issues in her life, including catching the father of her children with another woman after they were together for seven years and then being subjected to an abusive boyfriend for another four years followed by an alcoholic and a drug addict. This was rock bottom for Jackie and completely stripped her of any self-respect she may have had.

"I was looking for love, because I didn't love myself," Jackie exclaimed.

A few years later, in January 2005, the father of her children died suddenly from a stroke and she said "it hit us hard." That experience shook Jackie to the core and made her realize she needed to start taking better care of her body now for the sake of her health or she may face the same fate as her children's father.

"I decided it was time to start something, and stick with it," she stated.

So at the age of 30 in March 2005, Jackie started a regular exercise routine by simply walking on a regular basis. Her many years of smoking made it a little more difficult for her, but she persisted. She cut back on her soda consumption and replaced it with water as she averaged two miles a day with her walking routine.

It was working along with a diet plan she found at a diet support web site called In about five months, Jackie had lost 40 pounds and she was ecstatic at her newfound progress in this journey to a healthy weight.

But, pretty soon...

"I stopped walking and started slipping on my diet because I was hungry ALL the time eating salads and tiny little portions that were just not filling me up," Jackie noted. "Unfortunately, I ended up gaining it all back."

Like so many of us who have been morbidly obese over a long period of time, Jackie just felt like she was destined to be "stuck at over 250 pounds" forever. And that seemingly inevitable realization was eating on her self-esteem yet again.

"I hated myself and felt like a failure," she remarked.

But, as fate would have it, Jackie was in a bookstore one day just browsing around the diet books section when she saw a copy of Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution book. She was already familiar with the low-carb diet, although her impression of it was obviously tainted by the negative stories that had appeared in the media.

She read with great amazement at all the foods you could eat on this "diet" that she could hardly believe this was a weight loss plan.

"I just could not understand how eating so much eggs, bacon, and other delicious and filling foods including all the great vegetables and salads could help you LOSE weight!" Jackie wondered.

Despite her questions, she decided to give it a go and embarked on a quest for even more knowledge about the amazingly healthy low-carb lifestyle. Guess where she ended up when she Googled "low-carb?" Yep, right here at the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog!

"I could not believe the weight Jimmy lost in one year," she said. "I was astounded!"

Once she read about my low-carb weight loss success she found many more stories of changed lives from livin' la vida low-carb and was getting encouraged and inspired that this was the right path for her. She joined one of the fabulous low-carb support groups at and was thrilled!

"Sure enough, they had hundreds of members who were following low-carb!" Jackie said. "Right then, I decided to set a day to begin Induction because I was so excited! I just knew that this would work for me!"

Boy, did it ever work! She lost 13 pounds in that first two weeks and was ROLLING.


"I lost no more after that," Jackie commented.

After scratching her head and wondering what the heck just happened to her, Jackie found she had something called a candida yeast infection which needed to be treated with probiotics and other natural remedies so her weight loss could commence. After one month on this regimen, the candida treatments did the trick and her low-carb weight loss commenced.

"I broke my plateau!" Jackie cheered.

Today, Jackie has quit smoking (WOO HOO!) and is losing 2-3 pounds a week on her way to reaching her goal of 140 pounds. She's currently right at 200 pounds, but is confident livin' la vida low-carb is gonna get her to where she wants to be real soon. In fact, her energy level has gone up so much that she's regularly exercising again which helps her "keep from stalling."

"I am still walking two miles everyday and I do Pilates at least three times a week along with crunches and jumping rope. Plus, I do yoga twice a week," she said.

Life for Jackie Parmly in 2007 is a much happier and healthier one than those days purging in secret in her shower. Today, she is a beautiful woman who has so much to live for and for perhaps the first time in her life she radiates with confidence and the assurance that she is heading in the right direction.

"I love my new life, I love myself, and I am so grateful for all the people who have impacted me on this journey," Jackie shared. "I am a new person today because of it. Even though I still have a ways to go, I know I will get there with low-carb and the support of others like me who have been there so that I can accomplish anything!"

How's she living now? How else?

"I'm livin' la vida low-carb!" Jackie concluded.

Indeed you are, Jackie, indeed you are! I'm so very proud of you, girl! Keep it up and always know that you have a friend in me and a home here at my blog. God bless you, my friend, and don't ever lose that enthusiasm you have for life. It will take you places you never dreamed were possible.

Do you have a story of low-carb weight loss success you'd like to share with me? If so, then please send it to along with your pictures and it may be featured in a future post here at the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog. These stories motivate and inspire, so don't hesitate to write! :)

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Blogger Kevin said...

This is a great, if somewhat tragic, success story.

This might be a touchy subject, but would it be too radical to suggest that the low-fat, low-cal paradigms are partly, or wholly, the cause of these eating disorders? Because these plans simply do not work, they mislead dieters to yo-yo and binge/purge.

I do not recall this statement ever being clearly made by a health writer, but maybe it is time that someone does. We can make many psychological justifications for these "mystery" disorders, but there is no point in dancing around the plain physical truth of them.

9/03/2007 9:40 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Good point, Kevin, and I've thought that myself. Perhaps I should use this as the springboard for a blog post. GREAT IDEA!

9/03/2007 10:08 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Of course you are completely right here, Kevin. I don't think at all that it's too far fetched to put the blame squarely at the feet of these low-cal starvation diets. To the contrary, many researchers are of the same opinion. I recall that many years ago - actually more than a decade... how time flies!- when I myself started the Atkins diet, I bought one of these Atkins starter kits. It came with a little booklet that explained both the dangers and reasons for yo-yo dieting very well. Dr. Atkins' conclusions in that little booklet were very similar.

Other researchers are of the same opinion. Michel Montignac, the "French dr. Atkins", is of the same opinion. Extended low-cal dieting is one of the worst mistakes one can make. And, actually, it's a trap, and a very cruel one at that. A trap many people, especially women, a caught in. The number of women worldwide that are literally almost starving themselves to death in order to lose weight (or simply to maintain it!) must be staggering.

All thanks to the "experts", who, after several decades of complete and utter failure, still have the nerve to maintain that it's "just a matter of calories-in, calories-out".

9/04/2007 8:05 AM  
Blogger Jennifer B. said...

While it's not that far out of the realm of possibility that some people's eating disorders stem from their dietary habits pre-disorder, or a connection between excessive dieting and EDs, my EDs (bulimia, anorexia and over-exercising) had relatively nothing to do with food or weight-loss whatsoever--and this is the same for many other sufferers. I was lacking control over other aspects of my life, and sought comfort in the disorders.

I've always been fascinated by the different ways in which EDs manifest themselves in people's lives, and how the common denominator of food carries such varied weights with people.

9/09/2007 1:35 AM  

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