In the summer of 2002, the Atkins Diet was making a big splash in the news.
It came along at the right time for me. I had been packing on the pounds for a few years, and my weight was spiralling out of control. I felt sick, with pain in the pit of my stomach all the time. I'd weighed 130 lb. when I got married in 1979, and by 2002 I was nudging 200 lb.
I'd tried what I'd been taught was a healthy diet, cutting back on meat and fats, eating whole grains and counting calories. I'd manage to drop a few pounds but no inches, and I was starving all the time.
Because of being frail and low energy from CFS, I had little muscle mass and foresaw the day when I would be a great ball of quivering jelly. Hard to accept.
Enter the new view on the low carb diet.
It was hard to wrap my head around, it seemed to be the opposite of everything I thought I knew. But I was desperate and I gave it a shot.
Within 48 hours, my IBS symptoms were gone, and the brain fog and body stone (neurological swirling sensations) diminished. And, for the first time in a very long time, I had ... energy! To top it off, I was losing weight.
I quit counting calories, and cut out sugar and starches. In the beginning months, I was eating two lbs or more of meat every day. I no longer had hunger pangs between meals, and after awhile my hair stopped falling out. My brain got sharper, and I was able to get some things done around the house.
I improved so much that summer, I began hoping that this would be the cure for what had been ailing me. By autumn, that hope was dashed when I had a full-fledged crash, but I held on to this dietary tool for dear life. And over the next two years, I lost 50 lbs. and eight inches of fat around my waist.
There is no one Silver Bullet for CFS, but at least in my case, a low carbohydrate diet is one of the many.