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Take the carb area where it says, "5-11 servings a day" ....WHOOOHOOOO, Wonder Bread, Oreos, PASTA (3 cups?), one gigantic baked potato, and, lookee here, I still have at least one more carb dish to go. And people wonder why so many are shunning carbs and doing Atkins? Carbohydrates are needed by the body--what's so healthy about shunning a whole food group? Losing weight isn't hard; what is hard, though, is educating yourself about food in general; learning what works for you not for the rest of the populace, and realizing that you can't have your cake and eat it, too

You are talking from YOUR stage in life,YOUR metabolism, YOUR ability to exercise, etc etc etc. And you speak with such a sanctimonious edge, holding up your healthy statistics as being something that anyone can easily achieve if only they weren't dietary/nutritional slackers or drifters or lazy bums or self-foolers or ignoramuses. Not all unsuccessful dieters blindly stuff themselves with Wonder Bread and huge portions, they are not all lazy, they are not all nutritionally ignorant. Let me tell you a little bit about me, as one individual example. I write this now at age 61, 5'5", 120 lbs, BP of 110/70, HDL of 90.

I used to wonder why so many menopausal women "let" themselves gain weight--as I used to see it. I wasn't a sanctimonious preacher, but I did feel they weren't making any effort to take care of themselves. I ate well in the nutritional sense, I exercised, I was slender and toned. So what was their problem? I was approaching menopause, I woke up one morning with a different body. It must have been a somewhat gradual change, but it sure didn't seem like it. Suddenly my shape was different, the distribution and amount of fat tissue had changed (more of it, especially in the middle), and I had put on weight despite no change in my eating habits. Exercise at that point was difficult because of a worsening old foot injury and the time required to help with aging parents and in-laws as well as raising kids, working, cooking and all of that--but that was nothing new. (And no, Nancy--I never used convenience as a rationalization to compromise what I ate or fed my family.) I was eventually able to get back to exercising--which helped modify these hormonally driven changes. But it doesn't reverse them. And now the limits that my foot has placed on the exercise I most enjoy have become much more stringent. For a while, just doing my grocery shopping--which, here in Manhattan, means we walk rather than jump in a car--was a major effort. For a good while, I have wanted to take off a few pounds that had crept on. My usual methods were not working. And my portions were already small, my breads whole grain, my fats healthy ones, I've never been a dessert eater, ate lots of fruits and vegetables....etc etc. I used to look down my nose at the whole Atkins movement. Then I began seeing people I've known, who had been overweight for years, trying it and losing substantial amounts of weight very comfortably. So I FINALLY tried a version of low-carb eating -- basically cutting out white carbs, and bread in general initially. I did not cut out all of the various fruits and vegetables Atkins nixes, I didn't measure my carb intake, and when I discovered how yucky Splenda tastes in my coffee and tea, I said the hell with that. But what happened is that I lost my few pounds. And I discovered that eating a protein breakfast plus fruit, instead of my multi-whole-grain bread with a touch of good honey plus fruit, gives me much more energy throughout the morning. For me personally, I don't like the degree of regimentation that Atkins asks for, and some of the no-no fruits and veggies have too many healthful compounds in them to cross off my list. But I've also come to realize, from looking at the yes/no lists in the Atkins program, that even with Atkins--low-carb does NOT mean no-carbs. It is not SHUNNING carbs, as you put it, but altering the balance and making sure that the carbs you do eat are good ones.

So.....done with my long-winded example of me.

And you may just discover one of these days that you do NOT really have all the answers.


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