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Old 07-28-2004, 04:39 PM   #1
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Before and After.... My Low Carb Journey!

Before and After

by Cheri


Sometimes we get so caught up in our lives that we no longer see the self we're living in. We see ourselves every day, but we never SEE ourselves. I knew I was overweight, so I never thought myself as thin. I also never thought of myself as THAT big.

But recently, some before and after photos made me understand the story that the day-to-day me never saw. They brought a strong realization of how far I've come by following the Atkins Diet. They helped me take stock in the value of the work I've put into this and the progress I've made. Sometimes I still cringe to think that had I seen that "before" photo eighteen months before, it might of made an awful difference in the outcome of this story.

I first heard of the Atkins Diet from my friend Karen. She and her husband were on it and they were losing a lot of weight. So I decided to give it a try. Faithfully, I read the book, but found myself wanting for food choices. I used an online search page to look for lowcarb products and recipes. I found those, but I also found something far more valuable than lowcarb cookies and new ways to spice up a chicken breast.

Lowcarbfriends.com quickly became the center point of my lowcarb support. For four years, I've turned here for tips, recipes, advice, and friendship. In that first year I lost a whopping 80 pounds! Even when you imagine how proud I must have been, you cannot imagine how proud of myself I truly was. I maintained that 80-pound loss for months. But those months slowly turned into months of wondering when my weight loss journey might be complete. Eventually, it seemed like 80 pounds was all I was ever going to be able to lose.

It turned out that serious illness was the culprit. No, none of the urban legends about lowcarb dieting turned out to be true. Instead, bronchitis, pneumonia, gallbladder attacks, allergies and more were taking an ever-increasing toll on my health. Before I knew it, I was on so many medications that my weight started creeping back up. It didn't take long before I had gained most of the weight back. I fell into a deep depression. I turned into a hermit in my own home. I even stopped going to my support lifeline, Lowcarbfriends. Most of my friends never knew that thoughts of suicide even started to enter my mind.

My turnaround came late one chilly night, far past midnight; past the point of reason, when I was nearly as likely to have gone another direction. Sitting there in the living room, seeing myself, seeing my efforts that had gone so far but been crushed by something so out of my control. I had my eye on a bottle of Darvaset, thinking, "I will just drift off to sleep and the pain will go away."

The trance of that enticing escape was broken by the sleepy footsteps of my 9-year-old son, who wandered into the room looking for his mother. "Mommy, will you lay down with me? I can't sleep!" I realized right then that I could never think of what I had been thinking, ever again!

So I resolved that this would be the year that I will take care of ME. At first, I felt like it was selfish, but I soon came to understand that by taking care of myself, I WAS taking care of the people I love. I was not a happy person and it showed. My friends could sense it. My kids could sense it. It was time to turn that around.

I worked with my doctor to determine what I needed to do to get off my medications. I needed surgery to help me get off the pain medications. As I healed, I was able to discontinue the medications that had kept me from getting into ketosis and losing weight.

In November 2003, less than a month after my surgery, I eagerly returned to Lowcarbfriends.com, re-inducted, and started fresh. I was experiencing some weight loss success, but somehow the sense of accomplishment I felt the first time just wasn't there. Still, I wanted to support others on their weight loss journeys. So despite being rather shy and not very happy with my progress, I packed up and traveled to the annual Lowcarbfriends Pig Roast. There, amid the fun and friends, the laughter and the success stories, someone snapped one of the most important photographs of my life. I just didn't know it at the time.

I came home from seeing all those amazing successes, wondering why I wasn't one of them. All of that effort. All of that dedication. Yet still I felt down. I wanted to feel the elation I felt that first time, when my lowcarb efforts had been so richly rewarded. One of my good friends broke the spell. She told me to put some "before" pictures with one of the "after" pictures from the gathering. As circumstance would have it, I had discovered an old roll of film that contained some photos of me at my absolute heaviest. I had the roll developed and compared the old me to the new me.

I was flabbergasted.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our lives that we no longer see the self we're living in. We see ourselves every day, but we never SEE ourselves. I knew I was losing weight, but I never understood how far I had come. I cannot' describe the feeling of accomplishment I felt.

To date I have lost 150 pounds. And nearly at goal. The pictures I have put together will keep me going until I get there. I can SEE myself now. I'm proud of how far I've come, and of the dedication that got me here. To my friends who comprise the center point of my lowcarb support, I say, "Thank you." Your support and friendship mean the world to me!



2010

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Old 07-28-2004, 04:49 PM   #2
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Cheri, WOW!!!!! I can’t tell you how glad I am to see you finally post these pictures. I know it took a lot to do and I know everyone that sees these will be in complete awe of how well you have done.

Your story just goes to show if you want it bad enough you can overcome any situation. Life is hard sometimes but it is worth the struggle. You have done a great job and deserve to be proud.



one more thing...........atta girl!
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Old 07-28-2004, 04:50 PM   #3
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Wow Cheri! Thanks for sharing your story. It was something I was really needing to hear right now

Your look GREAT!!

Darci
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Old 07-28-2004, 04:53 PM   #4
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Ohmigosh Cheri!!!!!!!! What a transformation!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for posting your story and pictures. You are a true inspiration!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-28-2004, 04:55 PM   #5
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((Cheri))))
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOhHHHHHHHHHHHOOOOO!!!!!!!

What a big lift it is to see your pics..thankyou so much for showin them!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is so wonderful to see so many lives change......
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Old 07-28-2004, 04:56 PM   #6
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Cheri,

I'm so glad you finally found the strength to tell this story. I hope that sharing this has brought you some of the healing you need. And girl, you SHOULD be proud. You look fantastic.
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Old 07-28-2004, 05:08 PM   #7
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Wow Cheri! You have done a wonderful job. Congratulations to you!
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Old 07-28-2004, 05:13 PM   #8
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I read this and cried, so many things we're never alone on, but we keep inside!
Look at you and how far you have come!
Now out here supporting and helping a website to encourage thousands!
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Old 07-28-2004, 05:23 PM   #9
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Cheri thanks so much for sharing your heart with us. It brought tears to my eyes and such inspiration!!!

KUTGW
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Old 07-28-2004, 05:30 PM   #10
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Amazing and inspiring, Cheri
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Old 07-28-2004, 05:38 PM   #11
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Cheri....thanks so much for sharing and God Bless you for doing so.

You touched my heart.....thank you.
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Old 07-28-2004, 05:45 PM   #12
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Cheri,

Your story is the thing that keeps me coming back to this forum. Like you, my life has changed tremendously in the past 16 months. And it's because of stories and pictures like you have just posted. I can't tell you what it means to me.


Thank you for sharing this............I know how much your life has changed, but you're also helping others change their lives.
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Old 07-28-2004, 05:48 PM   #13
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I dont post too often but I read the board almost everyday and I just wanted to say WOW. Your story and pics are a great inspiraton.
I know none of you know "me" but reading your posts each day I feel like I know all of you. There are many many people here that are doing awesome! And a big thank you for sharing your daily/weekly lives with "everyone" it really touchs more people than you probably realize.
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Old 07-28-2004, 05:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
We see ourselves every day, but we never SEE ourselves. I knew I was overweight, so I never thought myself as thin. I also never thought of myself as THAT big.
That is me! I am 'tall' and 'big boned' and 'carry my weight well' and all of those kind of lies we tell ourselves in our own denial of how overweight we really are.

Your post touched me. More so than any in a long time. Keep on keeping on cheri! We are all in this together!
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Old 07-28-2004, 06:02 PM   #15
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oh cheri!! this brings tears to my eyes!! what an awesome step of strength for you!!

i love you!!!
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Old 07-28-2004, 06:03 PM   #16
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Cheri...you know how I feel, but I am sooo proud of you for finally sharing your story and your pictures with everybody else. You are a beautiful girl and have come a long way! A true inspiration! I am very proud of you girlie!






Now it's time to get Dottie to post hers!
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Old 07-28-2004, 06:11 PM   #17
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Aww Cheri!

Thank you for posting! Your story and your pictures are downright inspirational!

Beth
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Old 07-28-2004, 06:12 PM   #18
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Cheri thank you so much for sharing your story. We all love you on this board. Your story was an inspiration and you are doing great. What a difference in your pics. This story will touch so many of us including all of the lurkers.
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Old 07-28-2004, 06:26 PM   #19
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Cheri... thank you so much for sharing your story... it's about dang TIME!
You've done so well and have come so far... and it couldn't have happened to a better person.

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Old 07-28-2004, 06:33 PM   #20
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Thanks for sharing! I needed to hear that! You are an inspiration!

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Old 07-28-2004, 06:50 PM   #21
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Beautiful inside and out ! WTG!!!!
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Old 07-28-2004, 06:54 PM   #22
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Thanks for sharing!!!!!!!! You look GREAT!
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Old 07-28-2004, 07:19 PM   #23
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Well, good for you. Depression sure is the pits. Thank God you got out of that pit. And look how far you have come. I have been stuck at 55# loss and now have turned to the gym for workouts. Looking at myself in the mirror shows me how far I have come. Remember we're all in this together and we can do this! Betty
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Old 07-28-2004, 07:24 PM   #24
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Wow, thanks so much for sharing that. I really needed to read/hear that today.

Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves that we forget to look at the big picture.

And you truly look awesome!!
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Old 07-28-2004, 07:38 PM   #25
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You know how I love ya!! ((((((CHeri))))))
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Old 07-28-2004, 07:41 PM   #26
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Cheri honey I am sooooooooooo proud of you. After riding to Tennessee with you last month and spending 5 days together non-stop I learned a great deal about you and I am proud to call you my friend and my sister. I'm confident that NOONE has the slightest idea how truely difficult it was for you to post these pics. I learned how shy and insecure you are and how pure of heart you are.....I can honestly say I have never heard you say anything negative about anyone. I'm proud of you for finding the courage to post those pics and more importantly utterly amazed at the growth emotionally that it represents......that is sooooo much more important than if you lost a ton of weight.....Honey be proud of who you are.......there is noone like you and you are the most wonderful person I know.....God Bless you and I love you!! By the way.........
YOU FRIGGIN ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!
Love ya;
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Old 07-28-2004, 07:42 PM   #27
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Cheri, you are a true inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story, the dedication that you have shown is truly amazing!!!
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Old 07-28-2004, 08:04 PM   #28
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((((((((((((((Cheri))))))))))))
You look so awesome!!!! Not just thinner, but healthier and happier too. You have come so far, and I am so happy for you, proud of you, and inspired by you.
I am dealing with the whole medication, stalls, and chronic illness thing, but luckily I only gained back 15 pounds of my original loss so far, so I am not so worried about it. I cant imagine going through all these health problems and having to deal with losing weight too. You are truly an inspiration, and I feel if you can do it, so can I!!
Thanks for always being there for me. Love ya!!!
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Old 07-28-2004, 08:34 PM   #29
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[COLOR=blue] Thank you Cheri! I just started to come back to the CC. I read your post the other night about posting your pics "someday". I am soooooo glad you decided to do it so soon.

You are amazing! [/COLOR]
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Old 07-28-2004, 08:42 PM   #30
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Thanks Cheri,

You have been a source of stability to me, thanks for sharing your story. I have been hanging out here over 2 and a 1/2 years and am facing health, hormone, thyroid related problems...having stalls and other setbacks...but I won't give up !!!

You are my hero !!

Blessings,

Patty Ann
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