If you’ve spent much time in survival or prepping-related communities on the Internet, I’m sure you’ve heard it. “If you’re fat, stop eating, get off the couch, and lose weight.” These folks make it sound so easy. It’s almost as if fat people are just supposed to “decide” to lose weight like they decide to buy supplies for long-term storage. If you’ve ever struggled with your weight though, you know that rarely is it that easy.
Getting healthy and losing weight aren’t glamorous. Hollywood isn’t going to make a survival thriller that shows how hard-won changes to our diets and lifestyles helped us to survive an apocalypse. I’m convinced, however, that getting healthy is a pivotal step in our preparedness, and rather than just spewing worthless comments like, “If you’re fat, lose weight!”, I’m determined to share useful information that can help folks decide how they’re going to start their own journey toward getting healthy.
If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I’m following a low-carb eating plan. When I first heard about the Atkins Nutritional Approach back in 1997, I was so skeptical. Having a strong interest in science though and being a logical thinker, I started to do research into low-carb eating. I learned the whys and what-fors, and I knew that a low-carb eating plan was right for me.
“It’s 2011, Sarah, and why haven’t you gotten to your goal if low-carb eating is so perfect?” some have asked. To that, I have a very honest answer. Until just recently, I hadn’t had an epiphany — that moment in an addict’s life where everything makes sense and you know how to move forward and make everything stick. I am, after all, a food addict. I’ve been medicating with food for as long as I can remember, so for me, “getting healthy” hasn’t just been a matter of addressing my eating. It’s been a matter of addressing my head as well.
I realize that it’ll take me some time to build some credibility, but I would like to say something to folks who’re trying to get healthy. Getting healthy, losing weight, getting off meds or addictions — these are crucial preparedness issues. Not only will it make things easier if times get hard, but it’ll greatly improve your life now when times are much easier.
Also, I’d like to remind you guys. Don’t give up! Keep plugging away until you’re successful. Keep an open mind, and your inspiration or epiphany may come in a most unexpected place. It’s quite possible that if I’d given up after one failure or even two that I wouldn’t be here to write this blog post now. Persevering because we’re worth it — that’s the way to do it!
Of course I can’t make a blog post about weight loss without sharing some information. Low-carb eating doesn’t make sense to a lot of people for reasons that I didn’t even fully understand until a couple years ago. I had no idea that the lipid hypothesis (eat fat, raise your cholesterol, have a heart attack and DIE) was based on bad science. And then the USDA’s nutritional guidelines were based on lawmakers’ refusal to wait for data that would prove fat is bad and loads of carbohydrates are good.
Some exceptionally funny and well-documented and researched resources are:
- Fat Head – A hysterical comedic documentary by Tom Naughton which is a rebuttal to Super Size Me. You can watch it for free on Hulu.
- Big Fat Fiasco – A five-part talk given by Tom Naughton. If you’ve watched Fat Head, you’ll still learn some stuff, and like Fat Head, it’s entertaining too!
- What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie? – This article was published in the New York Times by now-famous Gary Taubes back in July of 2002. While not as entertaining as Naughton’s work, it does an excellent job of driving the point home. As we’ve paid more attention to our fat intake, we’ve gotten fatter and sicker.
- Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet – This is the famous 2008 study which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine and showed that folks following a low-carb diet had the highest average weight loss and the most improvement in their lipid profiles. If fat’s so bad for you, how can this be? (Yes, I’m being sarcastic.)
I follow a low-carb eating plan because it’s repairing my metabolism and addressing my underlying health issues. I’m continuing to be so open about this part of my journey toward personal freedom because I think that a healthy Sarah is a free Sarah. For those of you who’re following from the beginning, I hope that I can be an encouragement and a source of good information, experience, and community. After all, isn’t that a lot more helpful than saying, “OK, get off your butt and lose some weight!”?