Back to the Low-Cal Life

Then one day a funny thing happened on my way to the diet doctor. I got fat, overnight and inexplicably. Without changing one element of my diet. I was more than just horrified, I was frightened. And panicked. And furious.
Stepping on the scales for my daily weight-watching, I had gained seven yes, seven pounds in my sleep. How could it- be possible? I don’t have to tell you, I’m sure, that I rushed to Dr. Atkins’ office screaming with outraged indignation. And was told it was only water retention, all over again this time probably caused by an attack of nerves. You can bet I was nervous all right. And I was surprised to learn that nerves can be responsible for a certain amount of that water-holding that’s every dieter’s hete noire. I was told to go off to a movie and that it would all be gone in another forty-eight hours. It wasn’t. On the contrary. Within forty-eight hours, I had gained five more pounds, putting me almost back to my starting poundage three years previously. Think how discouraging that was for me, a super-aware, super-sincere dieter. And those pounds just wouldn’t budge to anywhere.

I shouted, shrieked, and temper-tantrumed while I kept the hotlines going between my office and Atkins’. My diet was cut back to the first week no-carbohydrates version. Nothing. No loss of weight, but a lot more loss of temper.
I was given more urine tests, which proved that I was not cheating. According to those urine tests, my body was burning what should have been body fat. (Later on, I found out just what it was burning and what that was was me.)
My thyroid was tested once more and found to be at its same old 4.0 level. Low, but still normal. Atkins, however, elected to try the thyroid route one more time. I balked, remembering my pimply face from the last thyroid fool-around. But I tried, and still no weight-off. Just more frazzled nerves and less and less patience with the whole idea.

I was asked to list every single food that went into my mouth for a period of three weeks. And I did. And, try as he would, the doctor couldn’t find a single point on which I’d gone awry. Of course I hadn’t. I was the one who was furious. I was the one demanding to lose. Why, after all those years of low-carb eating, would I start to cheat on myself?

I remained on this no-carbohydrate routine for close to three months, and now I believe that strenuous dieting like that can be dangerous indeed. For right at that moment my nails began to go. Right to the quick. And, while they have never been particularly long, thanks to my quick-draw-on-the-typewriter kind of job, they’d never in my life been in such condition. They peeled and they became infected and I was miserable.


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