#fat2fab: Week 19 – Challenging Beliefs

f2fminichallengeI’ve been banting for 19 weeks today, just short of 5 months. As of this weekend, I have lost 18kg’s. That doesn’t sound like a huge amount, not until you see it like this:



That works out to an average of a little under a KG per week. When I saw it like that I realized the magnitude of what I’ve achieved so far. It is pretty incredible, even if I say so myself!

But I’ve been thinking a lot about what has been the toughest part of this journey for me and I’d have to say, I probably speak for all banters when I say, it’s challenging our beliefs. Learning to retrain your brain to stop thinking that fat is bad, that low fat is good. It is the single hardest part of the lchf journey for me, untraining my brain, unlearning all all that we’ve been indoctrinated into believing about fat and low fat and cholesterol etc. I think it’s the part of this lifestyle change that most banters struggle with the most and that most nay sayers of the lchf way struggle with. I’ve personally come under fire for my beliefs, in spite of my results, which speak volumes of how this lifestyle has improved not just my weight but my quality of life.

The other biggest thing and I’ve touched on this before, is what it’s done for my self belief. Fat people, whether we admit it or not are seen as lazy and lacking in self control. I’ve learned that this is in fact, NOT the case, certainly not for me. My weight and health issues were not just because of my poor self control but because of the diet guidelines prescribed by almost all healthcare professionals, based on a hypothesis and not on any kind of medical facts. I was always doomed to fail following a low fat, carb diet. It was simply never going to work for me and as a result I constantly re-enforced the message that I was a lazy guts, in capable of self control. Then I stopped following the prescribed dietary guidelines of a low fat diet and guess what? I discovered I was in fact not a fat, lazy, guts in capable of self control, I’d just been buying into the wrong information. When I stopped following conventional dietary guidelines guess what? I stopped being a fat, lazy, guts. So was my weight/heath issues always because of me or because I was buying into the wrong information?

I couple of years ago, I was under the care of a dietitian… she prescribed a low fat, carb diet for me, I stuck to it for about 6 months, never had any significant health improvements and never lost more than 5kg’s and she herself told me to avoid low fat products (?) because it is a well documented and known fact that when products have their fats removed, it is replaced with sugar to maintain stability. Really? So I must follow a low fat, carb diet but I shouldn’t eat low fat foods? WHAT?



I also bought into the hypothesis that eating carbs would control my insulin because I am/was insulin resistant. What a load of @#$%! I no longer take glucophage and don’t struggle with any spikes in my blood sugar, can go for longer between meals and feel consistently good. Carbs don’t in fact, control blood sugar, they cause peaks and troughs in your insulin levels. I came across this amazing Podcast from about the Science Behind Low Carb High Fat diet presented at the Central Coast Nutrition Conference on March 1, 2014 by Eric C. Westman, M.D., M.H.S. of Duke University, Durham, NC. It’s long but if you have the time, I cannot recommend it enough, especially if you have Type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance!

It really is hard to retrain your brain and to challenge “conventional” beliefs. It’s been the toughest part of my journey. It’s impossible to believe each day as I eat such delicious, tasty. visually interesting & satisfying foods that I could possibly be losing weight, but each morning, I get on the scale and the evidence is there.

I’d say to anyone who is considering lchf or struggling with the concept, do your research before you automatically slam it, question your own beliefs, research what you’ve been indoctrinated into believing and then make an informed decision based on what you have learned and NOT on what is automatically prescribed.

This week, I’m on target to break through a massive weight barrier, I am so excited and never felt better! I also ran my second Parkrun this weekend and shaved 4 minutes off my previous time and came in 14th in my age group. Not bad for someone who only started running 4 weeks ago eh? I also did the run by only drinking a coffee and water prior to running and using my body’s fat stores for fuel.

Later this week I’ll share a couple of incredible recipes I tried this past weekend and also my own experience with bone broth!


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  • Reply Sian Seward (@SianSeward)

    I agree with you, the banting way does challenge all of our previous beliefs on weight loss and food. I really had to get used to it in the beginning. During my cheat month of April I realised how much more I enjoy the high fat food. I mean imagine not eating a salad without olive oil and no avo!!!

    May 19, 2014 at 11:25 am
    • Reply Sharon

      And I bet you never felt well when you cheated? I know I feel sick each time I cheat, I instantly get stomach problems again!

      May 19, 2014 at 1:24 pm
  • Reply Jenny

    I think the problem is that most people just hear the soundbites and don’t actually read much more. The bit about cholesterol not killing people is a case in point – it doesn’t. Some genetically disposed people can live very long lives with high cholesterol counts as long as they don’t take the drugs that lower it – those are the things that kill. Also we hear high fat and assume heart attack and make no distinction between good fat and bad fat. We hear high protein and immediately think we need to eat a whole cow in one go. I am NOT on this diet (I am saying this because I still believe in it even though I haven’t done it myself) I believe it works and it’s amazing if it suits you. I don’t believe one size fits all and I don’t think it will necessarily work for everyone. I have a friend who is on it whose cholesterol has risen – BUT his doctor said stay on it and see how it goes believing that it may even out at a higher rate but not be dangerous. Everyone talks about fad diets blah blah blah but if you do a diet that works for you until you get to that place where you are energetic enough to engage in exercise then do the fad by all means. If you adopt a diet as a way of life – even better. I believe your success Sharon lies in the fact that you have done exhaustive research on this diet and so are confident of your food choices and trust in your body’s ability to do the right thing. You went further than the sound bites which is where I think the naysayers fall down. If you don’t know enough about something you should just shoesh about it. I see you have inspired so many (previously really dismissive and rude about your diet) to try something new, you should be proud of yourself for that. Now can you bloody inspire me cos I am still stuck in the vending machine of life!

    May 19, 2014 at 12:43 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      I think the biggest mistake that people make is that they think this is a TIm Noakes diet, which it is not. Banting has been used since the early 20th century to treat diabetes and obesity, very successfully until the invention of insulin medication where it seems to have all gone to shit from there.
      Research is absolutely key!

      May 19, 2014 at 1:24 pm
  • Reply Nicky Davis

    Well done Sharon! I am loosely following Tim Noakes and also trying to get my head around not buying low fat foods! I really battle to find full fat yoghurt in the shops! My weight coming off slowly, but that is my fault as I still have my beer and wine!! But, this is a lifestyle not a diet, so if it takes another year of so to lose the other 30kgs, so be it!

    May 19, 2014 at 12:50 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      I eat Woolies Greek Yoghurt, it’s the only unsweetened full fat youghurt I’ve been able to find.

      May 19, 2014 at 1:26 pm
    • Reply Sharon


      May 19, 2014 at 7:12 pm
  • Reply amberdaddyandmummy

    Pick n pay does a double cream greek style unsweetened yoghurt in 1kg tubs I think.

    May 21, 2014 at 7:49 am
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