Low Carb Zen is essentially a Low Carb notebook maintained by me: Dixie Vogel, former owner of the pioneering “Low Carb Eating” community and “Shrinking Goddess,” sites dedicated to educating, encouraging and inspiring those following a low carb lifestyle.
For the record: I am NOT a doctor or nurse or dietitian, nor medical professional of any ilk. I’m also just a so-so cook, sad to say. Which makes me about the world’s unlikeliest food bloggers. But whaddya gonna do?
My main qualification for this job is being a formerly fat chick who found a better way to live; that, coupled with over a decade of observing and supporting folks undertaking a low carb lifestyle has taught me a trick or two. My experiences are worthwhile for sure, but ultimately please don’t take what anybody says–including me–as gospel. Take responsibility for your own well-being. That power belongs to you!
I could give you a ton of reasons why I decided to go Low Carb in earnest on November 15, 2003. The doctor was telling me I was fast headed toward Diabetes and with a family history, I knew she was right. I was sick of being fat–and the aches, pains and various complications of my weight. I was tired of being uncomfortable and embarrassed about my appearance, much as I managed to keep the fact to myself. When I asked myself what advice I would give a friend or one of my kids in the same position, I realized I’d tell ’em to suck it up and make some changes. No more excuses!
I’d been fat all my life, so it wasn’t exactly my first try at weight loss. By this point, I had tried low cal, low fat, the Rice diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Grapefruit diet, Phen/fen, living at the gym, fasting, Slimfast, Dexatrim, and a few other approaches I’ve no doubt forgot. I knew people who were doing well on low carb, so I went searching for before/after pictures. That made an impression.
Here are mine.
I cannot tell you exactly what I weighed in the first picture, because I had tossed out my scale by that point. All it did was make me cry, literally. In the second picture, I am also not entirely sure. I had a new scale by then, but cared a whole lot less what it said.
What I can tell you is that Low Carb was the only weight loss plan I’d ever found that I could LIVE with–eating when hungry, finding substitutes for all my old favorites, and not feeling guilty every time I sat down to a meal. Once I worked on changing my habits a bit and got past the initial discomfort of sugar withdrawals, it flowed with shocking ease. I knew I’d never go back and while I’ve done sometimes better and sometimes worse with my choices, I never have left this way of eating behind completely.
Zen refers to the “screw-what-the-scale-says-and-just-be-kind-to-your-body” approach to the LC lifestyle. It’s when you stop struggling so much with being good enough at doing and start to just do, a little every day. It’s moving from “I’m on a diet” to “this is just the way I eat.”
Zen is being present in the moment, not living in disgust over the past or longing for the future validation of the scale (that never seems like enough anyway).
Low Carb Zen is all about moving from destination to journey, from ends to means, from dieting to living! Zen means you are a low-carber whether or not your decisions are perfect, whether or not you stray for a minute. You can find “Zen” independent of pants size or scale tyranny. Zen is the sweet spot, the magic zone where you find CAN do it, because little by little, day by day, you realize you just ARE doing it. Probably while asking yourself why you didn’t do it sooner.
Wishing you true Low Carb Zen, with love (and a touch of Swerve on top)!