Atkins Isn’t For The Weak

The following is a quote from Joe Frank:

When you see the faces of true zealots – people with complete faith in their particular point of view, what you see is a glow of energy that comes not from spiritual development, but from the fact that they experience a sense of certainty, free of confusion. They are like a man in a forest. He has no idea where he is, but he sets up a campsite in a little clearing, builds a fire, draws a map of the immediate area and feels better because he’s created the illusion of order, even though he should know he is absolutely lost…If you look throughout history, you see the same questions asked over and over again…but the answers are forever changing. You can be certain that today’s answers will be replaced by tomorrow’s, and so on until eternity. The only thing that doesn’t change is the questions. The questions will always be there. They’re the only thing you can count on. Answers are for people who don’t have the courage to live with questions. – In the Dark Part 2

OK – you got this far, and maybe you are asking yourself: what’s this got to do with a blog about low carb dieting? A lot, I think. You see, many of you are True Believers of some sort – or you want someone or something to believe in. The fact that you are reading this means that low carb living has some relevance to you. You might believe in it, you might want to believe in it, or you might believe in something else that is the polar opposite of what’s here and you read to find those errors, logical fallacies, or just some utterly stupid comment that is bound to be found on a blog.

For the latter, I’ll save you the time of have to read through my drivel just to post your comments to expose how stupid I am – and how dangerous Atkins – and low carb in general, can be:

  • Here, a registered dietitan from The Diet Channel makes a reasoned case that Atkins increases your cancer risk, can cause kidney stones, gall bladder disease, electrolyte imbalances so bad that you can drop dead – and the diet doesn’t even work. Read it here.
  • AtkinsExposed.org – an entire site devoted to the notion that the diet will kill you states: There seem to be two Atkins Diets: one that he describes in his books (particularly in later editions), and the one the public thinks he describes in his books. How many Atkins Dieters, for example, only eat free-range organic bacon? Excellent point. It seems to me most successful Atkins dieters modify the diet and have many of the things – lunch meats with nitrates, pork rinds, etc – that Atkins avoided mentioning.

  • The PCRM released a statement about Atkins’ own coronary health which states the man had heart disease and coronary blockages. You can read it here. Now many of you might make the point that the PCRM is a group associated with PETA – the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – who are pro-veganism and against the use of any animal products. That said, it doesn’t mean that you can dismiss anything they say. Do I believe this is true? Maybe. Read about it on Snopes.com – whom I respect in their effort to find the truth.

I could go on and on, and just scare the people here just starting to learn about Atkins and low carb, infuriate the people who are low carb boosters, and confuse the hell out of the anti-low carb faction (‘why is a low carb site posting this stuff?!?’) but it’s not the point of this.

The point I am trying to make is that you, dear reader, are alone in this. There will be only one person in your deathbed – you. Experts of all stripes and devotees of this and that will tell you the Only Way – but ultimately you have to make the choice – and live with the consequences.

This is a very adult thing to understand – and there are many groups out there that will allow you to avoid this completely and treat you like a child, tell you what to do – what to believe – and many of you will be happy with this.

The philosopher/psychologist Erich Fromm wrote a book called ‘Escape from Freedom‘ which postulated that people enjoyed being told what to believe and told what to do – essentially because making up your own mind is so darn scary.

I’m not. I don’t buy in to anything. I thought Atkins was stupid, went on the diet essentially prove a friend wrong, and lost weight and felt better. I asked my doctor if I’m hurting myself and he really couldn’t answer.

I have concluded personally:

  • Low carb works for me, though I really don’t know why.
  • Low carb might kill me, but so will being obese – so I’m willing to take the risk of staying thin low carb because the low fat diets just didn’t work for me.

That is all I know – the rest is just a guess.

There’s an old joke that goes something like this:

Patient: Doctor – how do I live to be 100?
Doctor: Give up smoking, chasing women, drinking, and rich foods.
Patient: Will I live to be 100 if I do that?
Doctor: No, but it will feel like it.

Atkins lived to 72 and even if he did die of a massive heart attack, that was after living a full, active, and productive life – and playing tennis a few times a week – right up to the end – while eating steaks, butter and cream.

I’ll take it.

Writing this blog people have asked me questions, and I have attempted to answer them but the strange thing is: you don’t have a clue to who I am. You can only infer by things like I use the word ‘infer’ in a sentence – which only tells you that I’m perhaps semi-literate.

So – who are you going to believe in?

So to quote again from Joe Frank:

It’s one thing to be doubter and assume that someday down the road you are going to achieve enlightenment, but if you are really committed to doubt, then you live a life without foundation. You say: ‘I will never know the answers to any of these questions – this search is going to be fruitless’, while the person living in certainty is living in a much more comfortable, though perhaps delusional, world. Never mind the answers: learn to live with the questions.


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5 thoughts on “Atkins Isn’t For The Weak

  1. “Atkins lived to 72 and even if he did die of a massive heart attack”

    In fact Dr A died due to a head injury sustained when he slipped and fell on ice.

    The weight gain seen on his autopsy was due to fluid overload during his treatment. It’s not unusual, people are given large amounts of fluids in attempts to raise the blood pressure.

    Dr A was never skinny, but he certainly wasn’t obese. He was on TV several times shortly before his accident, and it was obvious that he wasn’t overweight or obese!

  2. I believe what you believe, Cindy. Some people don’t. I won’t argue with them – not because I’m right and they’re wrong, but because they nor I were there – we didn’t see what happened – weren’t in the hospital, and there was no autopsy.
    My point – maybe poorly articulated – was that there’s very little *any* of us really KNOW when you really look at it closely.
    Maybe the anti-Atkins folks are right – did you read any of the links? – maybe we *are* damaging our health. I don’t think the anti-Atkins people are a bad lot – they probably are nice people and believe as earnestly in their world-view as I do – I’m ok with the fact that I’ve come to different conclusions without having to convince them.
    I’ve done a lot of research, considered the sources of this research, and concluded, for myself, that the answer to the question: are we damaging our health – is probably no.
    I maybe wrong – but I’ll be an adult about it. If I keel over from a heart attack, it might be my own damn fault – if I live to be 100, I can laugh at the folks long in their graves that thought I’d be dead in 5 years. I *believe* this but don’t *know* this – and since I can live with the uncertainty, I’m ok about it.
    But how many Atkins dieters would reconsider if it was found out that the man *did* die of a massive heart attack?
    A few, I think.

  3. Excellant post!I personally believe I would rather die at 70 skinny from low carb than fat.I really believe that what floats your boat is what you should choose but so many who make claims against Atkins, or the low carb life are Fat so what right do they have to say anything any way!

  4. Hi Tess,
    Glad you enjoyed to post. I appreciate comments – positive or negative. thanks for taking the time to comment.

  5. I found this site while looking for more on the Atkins Diet. Man, am I glad I found you! Thanks for both the insights and the research. I needed a real person to give me real experiences and here you are! It will take a while to read it all but so far it sounds like a friend. Thanks for the time and energy it takes to put this out there. Day 3.

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