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Atkins & Me - How I Lost 85 lbs, Regained A Life Weight Loss Success Story

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

For years, motorcycle enthusiast George O. was a lean, mean bike-racing machine -- a man who literally and figuratively enjoyed life in the fast lane.

George overweight When he wasnt working, George divided his time between weights and motorcycles. But all that changed in 1996 when the Canadian shifted his focus from adrenaline-pumping activities to a more sedentary lifestyle where the only thing that remained fast was his food.

George supplemented his couch potato existence with pizza, beer, potato chips, and anything McDonald’s, Wendy’s or Burger King.

The pounds piled on fast and furious. It wasn’t long before George, a former bodybuilder, was pushing his all-time high of 275.

“I was headed down the road to destruction," he tells eDiets. "I was headed toward heart problems for sure. I had a lot of back pain, knee pain and heartburn.

Then one fateful day, nostalgia drove George back to the racetrack. There he ran into an old pal... a good buddy who was now half the man he used to be. George couldn’t believe his eyes. His friend, who had shrunk from a tubby 350 to a tight 220 pounds, encouraged George to get back into racing. George played along until he tried to squeeze into his old racing gear and discovered he could no longer wedge his legs into the pants.

George Lost 85 Pounds Instead of giving up, George, 37, asked his pal for some weight loss advice. The last diet George tried (following the Canadian government's food guidelines) had left the biker spinning his wheels. After struggling to lose just three pounds in six months, he had realized he was getting nowhere fast by feasting on five to six servings of bread per day.

When his slimmed-down pal told him about a weight loss approach where he could eat lots of normal foods and lose lots of weight, George was skeptical. The idea of eating bacon, eggs and steak to drop pounds seemed crazy. But more maddening was the thought of never racing again.

George could almost taste victory. Yes, he was ready to come out of retirement -- all he needed was the drive to lose weight.

His first step in the right direction: buying a copy of the best-selling Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution. Within four months, George was back on his bike. Thanks to the Atkins approach, he's dropped 85 pounds. George, a father of two, carries 190 pounds on his 5'10" frame. And he says he's never felt better.

“I love Atkins... I love steaks... I love ribs," he raves. "My mom lives with us and she’s also following the plan. We eat roast beef, steak, eggs and a lot of pork. I love the food. Plus, I eat a lot of the Atkins food as well. If I want bread, muffins and chocolate bars, I can eat the Atkins versions.”

In the first two weeks alone, George said good riddance to 28 pounds. There were mornings he would wake up 3 to 4 pounds lighter than the day before. The kicker: George didn’t hit the gym until a full year AFTER he lost the weight! These days he does 20 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes on the exercise bike and the rest of the time on free weights.

Using the Atkins plan was enjoyably easy, by George. He made Dr. Atkins' book his bible and followed it to the word. George never got bored with the food -- there were too many delicious and filling meals to choose from. He could dig into an omelet for breakfast, chicken Caesar salad for lunch and Cajun pork chops for dinner. Eating Atkins-style quickly became a way of life for George.

“I found it very easy. I love meat anyways," he notes. "I’m not a big fruit eater or anything. I never missed bread or other carbs. I didn’t do it as a diet -- it’s more of a lifestyle to me. I know I can’t go back to eating supersized McDonald’s. On any diet, when you go back to eating that type of food again you just gain weight.”

Initially, George faced opposition from friends and family members who viewed the Atkins approach as dangerous. They would tell him the low-carb lifestyle was unhealthy. Their words fell on deaf ears since the overweight George was already plagued by high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

George says the recent studies that showed the benefits of the Atkins approach (faster weight loss without raising your cholesterol) didn’t surprise him one bit. He realized early on that he had found a safe and effective way to lose weight.

Not only did he look better, but he also felt better. The successful slimmer has a new mission: to spread the word about the Atkins plan.

Eventually people are going to learn," he says. "At my gym, people work out hard month after month and they look no different than they did four months ago. They drop a pound or so, but theyre not seeing any real gains. They eventually get discouraged and leave. Ive put friends of mine on Atkins and theyve lost 20 to 30 pounds.

Having the support of girlfriend Katarina made a big difference in his attitude toward dieting. Katarina prepared all his meals and that made sticking to the program even easier.

Following the Atkins plan has been a win-lose situation for George. Not only did he lose 85 pounds, but he also won his first comeback race. He even landed a sponsor, Gentile Brothers Construction.

Thanks to the ultimate low-carb regimen, George remains on the fast track to a healthy, happy lifestyle.

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