How the threat of horrible pain can make you skinny -- Part II

Mar. 08, 2014 @ 11:37 AM

Welcome back to Part II of “How The Threat of Horrible Pain Can Make You Skinny” -- or, how I have finally discovered the answer to fast, effective weight loss -- which I learned because I was in desperate need of avoiding the potentially horrendous pain of a knee replacement. I know you probably think I’m just a ridiculous, wussified weakling because this potentially horrendous pain scares me so much, and you think I just need to get over it and woman-up, grit my teeth and take it, and you know what? I don’t care.

Meanwhile, I’m attempting to avoid this pain by taking logical, common-sense steps like physical therapy (with the aforementioned Hannah at Athletic Advantage), which includes exercises that I must do at home -- and I absolutely, definitely do them, Hannah -- and which she says can at least give me a much better range of motion without surgery. And, “much better” is absolutely swell with me. I don’t need perfect. I have no Olympic aspirations -- I don’t even have YMCA aspirations. I’d just like to take the dogs for a good walk, which would involve going past the mailbox. 
And, I’d like to walk without a limp because if you limp, then people look at you like you’re really old instead of just a klutz (a label I’ve worn since age 3 and with which I am completely comfortable).
The second step I’ve taken is to begin losing weight because you know darn well that less weight on that leg would be greatly appreciated -- in fact, I’m expecting a thank-you note from my knee any day now -- and being in better shape would be a huge help if, God forbid, I have to have the surgery in the end.
Now, I’ve been on pretty much EVERY diet EVER invented, since Adam had the nerve to say to Eve, “Honey, those fig leaves don’t fit you anymore.” (You know, hand him one bad apple, and he gets so vindictive!) 
You name it -- I’ve tried it. And usually succeeded ... and then failed. (Or, just failed because it was stupid: three bananas and a gallon of water a day? I mean, come on!)  But seriously, I have tried them all over the past 30 years ... not continuously, I mean, it’s not like I’ve needed to diet every day for 30 years, or anything ... please.
Anyway, I did not have enough faith in almost any of them to give them another try right now, at this crucial point in my pain-avoidance quest. Except one. As I said, it may not be the answer for everyone, but I knew it would be the right one for me. Why? Because if you’re hungry, you can eat! And, because you can have as much as you want of the allowed food. And, because since the last time I tried it -- like 1984 -- there have been vast, and I mean mind-boggling, improvements in the program.
So, what was the final answer? No carbs, my friends. That’s right, I said no -- or extremely low -- carbs.  My name is Vicki Wentz, and I am a carboholic. (I believe I might have mentioned the 77 untouched caramel cakes awaiting me in my own personal heaven? I don’t give a rat’s rear if there’s ice cream or Hershey Bars or wine ... well, wine would be nice with caramel cake ... but, it’s the caramel cake that matters!)
In the old days, the Atkins diet was meat, fish, eggs, cheese and eight glasses of water a day. I’m dead serious. That’s it. You could eat all you want, but that was soon no consolation; your breath turned deathly, your visits to the ... uh ... “library,” as my father-in-law put it, became few and far between, and you had to measure your ketones every 15 minutes.
Today, that’s all changed. I did some simple research, and decided to limit myself to 30 grams of carbohydrates a day. I’d been a vegetarian since 1995 -- quit it cold turkey on Nov. 1. After bacon and scrambled eggs with cheese for breakfast and a steak that night, I never looked back.
One day my daughter told me about Atkins bars and gave me one of their “Treats,” which tasted exactly like a Mounds Bar and went perfectly with the cup of decaf tea that I have every night, especially when I dunked it ... my life is just wild.
And, peanut butter is a whole other avenue for low-carbers, as well as actual nuts. I can have olives and hollandaise sauce and avocados and dark chocolate and salads and real butter and, if I use diet Tonic, I can have a flippin’ gin and tonic! 
Now, I know many of you are wondering if this is working, and you have questions about cholesterol, and exercise, and whatever.  And, I have answers, I swear -- just not today. See you next week!

Vicki Wentz is a local writer, teacher and speaker.  Readers may contact her at, or by visiting her website at