Banting Irish Style. October 6 2015.


So. On August 21st of this year I started out on a journey that I’d like to share with you.

All of my life I have been overweight. This summer came a moment when I finally contemplated whether it was in fact time to consider surgery. I hear people say – “she’s just too lazy to try” or “just walk away from the junk”, “don’t have it in the house”, “go to bed hungry”. For someone with a food addiction it’s not that simple. I never ate because I was hungry. I didn’t eat because I was unhappy. I wasn’t and am not in a bad relationship. I love my job. I just wasn’t in control of my eating.

It’s very hard when you come from a family of people who all manage their weight and who have never had the same issue as you. A BMI of 43 is not a good place to be. If your BMI teeters from 28-33 your issue is not the same as mine. I have tried twice as an adult to lose the weight and twice regained all of it and then some. I have done Scarsdale, the Mayo Clinic, the three day Irish Heart Foundation, the Weight Watchers plan, the Slimming World plan. I even did the dreaded Lipotrim shakes.

None of them worked. None of them was fun. None satisfied my constant craving for – I couldn’t name what I craved, but it was not fed. I felt deprived all the time and I always saw these plans as something to do until I got the weight down so I could go back to my real life. When I did the shakes I felt high – I was in ketosis after all which gives you a kick, but the problem was I couldn’t eat anything – three shakes a day and 600 calories. The weight fell off but as soon as I ate normal food again I piled the weight on. My sister – a paediatric endocrinologist told me that my body responded to starvation by hoarding every calorie I put into it once I increased my intake for fear I would starve it again. Oops! I found myself eating far more on the Weight Watchers and Slimming World plans than I normally ate because it was all no fat or low fat and so sure I had to make sure I ate enough. I still binged and craved but never felt that I had enough.

So as I say this August I decided I would go the surgery route. The scary thing was my sister – said doctor – did not argue with me – she actually agreed. That set me thinking. Three years ago I saw a sponsored ad on Facebook for a film called Cereal Killers. I had looked and wondered but never seen it. I decided I might as well have a quick look before ringing a surgeon to enquire about the gastric band or bypass.

To say I was blown away by the notion of disregarding everything I’d ever been told about losing weight was a revelation to me. I couldn’t believe what Donal O Neill was suggesting – eating loads of fat could help you to lose loads of weight. No way – not a hope. But I was intrigued enough to google Dr Tim Noakes and that is where my story begins……….