Hi, I’m Jim Anderson.
In March 2011, I read a book that changed my life.
As a college English teacher, I’ve always believed (or wanted to believe) that books possess that power, but I’ve rarely experienced it myself. Yes, books have inspired me, moved me, made me laugh, and maybe even kept me sane at the low points of my life, but only one has caused me to lose nearly 60 pounds and several inches around my middle. That book by Gary Taubes is Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It.
I won’t review the book here. It’s well known to those in the low-carb community, and if you are not yet part of that community, reading Why We Get Fat would be a good starting place for joining.
Upon reading that book and then several others, I started eating a low-carb diet and losing weight. I am still doing both. True, for a couple years, I stopped paying much attention to my eating, and my weight and girth slowly increased. I still ate many fewer carbs on average per day than most Americans. But I was probably eating a few too many for me. I stayed well under my starting points, and my annual physical exams remained positive. My doctor has told me more than once since 2011 that if all his patients made the changes I have, he would prescribe many fewer drugs. In fact, I take no prescription drugs. (I can’t attribute any of that to my genes. My father was taking medications for blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes by the time he was my age now. He ended up on insulin. He also underwent heart bypass surgery. He died at age 72 from a heart-attack. My mother, still going at age 88, has had prescriptions for those same conditions for many years.)
I was edging toward prescriptions and problems when I changed my way of eating in 2011. Since then, all of my conventional markers for cardiovascular health have improved. My doctor has called me a wonder. I’d just call myself lucky for having discovered the benefits of low-carb, high-fat eating when I did.
However, when I saw at my physical exam this year that I had gained back about half the pounds lost in 2011-2012, I knew I had to reboot — my diet and my blog.
I started writing about my experiences on my personal blog (now defunct), but the topic seemed to deserve its own site. In fact, it seemed to demand its own site! I started this blog in June 2011. I dropped out for a while, but I’m back now. I intend to stay for a good long time.
There are many good people already blogging about the low-carb lifestyle, and publishing books, articles and podcasts, too. Some are medical or dietary experts; others are concerned amateurs like me. I’m not sure what I have to add to the conversation that is unique, interesting or important. But as a writer and writing teacher, I know that is always the question. What can I say about X that hasn’t been said before, or hasn’t been said a particular way? How do I put in my oar?
One more voice can only help, and I will do my best to add something useful. I am a quick learner, an analytic thinker, a critical thinker, and a rhetorician with much training and experience in parsing texts, especially those that seek to persuade or convince. Or to trick. Indeed, I have taught that kind of critical reading, writing and thinking to adults for thirty years. So I’ll keep watch on the mass media’s reporting of dietary issues, and I’ll also examine the latest scientific reports in the field to see how well — from an intelligent lay-person’s perspective — their claims match their evidence.
Every now and then, I’ll go for the cheap laugh. And, of course, I’ll report on my own experience of living my life after carbs!
If you’re new to the low-carb way of eating, you should check out my resources page. (See the link list below.)
Thanks for visiting, please come back, and good luck to you all!