Disqus for Where Are My Knees

Guest Post - Lauren from LaurenFrench

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Today's guest blog was written by Lauren from LaurenFrench

I'll be straight up and say I've been big my whole life, I wasn't really that bothered about my size. I was popular, had confidence, lots of friends and lived a pretty care free and fun existence. The following novel (sorry, it's long!) is what changed me.

One day, just for a laugh and after a few glasses of wine, I applied for a BBC3 documentary about obesity. Then, I got an interview. Next thing I know I'm on a plane to Argentina with a camera shoved in my face living with a random family who spoke broken English in a slum. They also had weight problems, but the weight problem was not their fault.

I went into this experience without knowing if this would change my perspective on my weight, or if I was lying to myself about being happy with my appearance, and the producers knew this too. I wasn't your stereotypical obese person who comfort ate (although I did occasionally, but it was more boredom binging) and cried into my ice cream. I had a life and was genuinely content with everything. The doctors would say my weight was damaging my health and I'd just ignore them and head straight down the pub afterwards. It just wasn't an issue for me, I could walk, dance, run (hesitantly) and if anyone called me fat I'd just laugh, thank you captain obvious. Simple right?

When I was in Argentina, I had a Harajuku moment, a moment which tipped me over the metaphorical edge. I was talking to a woman who was obese, and her obese son. Her son was really overweight, but where the slums were filled with gangs, crime and violence, he couldn't go out and play. The house was around the size of my kitchen so he couldn't exactly run laps around the room. They couldn't afford healthy food, and the cheapest food to eat was fried, starchy and sugary foods. They had nothing but love, which usually satiates everyone's needs but accompanying love, to live a fulfilling life, you need your health.

I was obese through choice. Drinking beer, eating too much crap and massive portions and this poor little boy would end up growing up with poor health and a premature death because of circumstances beyond his control and I'm not going to lie, I felt selfish and a complete failure as a human. It was that little boy that touched my soul, and I made a personal promise that I would honour everything I had learnt with these people and better my life. I lost 4 stone in 7 months following the Cambridge Diet followed by a low carb diet.

My doctor said to me that low carb diets are particularly good, because you need to think of your body like a bank. Carbs are your current account, and fat is your savings. If you have money in your current account, you'll spend that first before your savings, and once there is no money left in your account, you use your savings. That's the same with your body, once there are little or no carbs in your system, your body will work on the fat. I no longer do The Cambridge Diet anymore (£200 a month!) but my diet consists of a lot of white fish and meat, green vegetables and salad. I try to stick below 30g of carbs a day and it does work, in two weeks I lost 12lbs.

MY interim aim is to a size 16. I'm going to Ibiza with my two girlfriends and whilst I'm not too bothered about being the biggest girl out of the three, it gives me something to aim for. Another 10 inches to go...

My diet secrets for low carbing are the following tips, and eating around 1000 calories a day:

Shiritaki Noodles. You can see my blog post here on them, but these noodles have 6 calories per 150g and no other nutritional value. For this reason you must eat wholesome food with them otherwise your body will not like you! I tend to have them with tuna and a small amount of melted feta cheese, and some salad.

Cauliflour Rice. The whole website is brilliant to be honest! It tastes amazing with a little bit of garlic mixed with a teaspoon of oil, chicken and spinach.

Another thing to try and take on board is to avoid foods that are beige! Crisps, cake, bread, rice, pasta etc.

Also try and sneak some fibre in there somewhere. You can use oats mixed in with fat free yoghurt for this, otherwise you er, get a big bunged up whilst on the low carb ride. Lovely. Remember to count those carbohydrates!


  1. This is really helpful!
    I'm really bad with eatinf carbs - i eat so much bread its crazy. Im definitely going to cut down now!

    Rosie xo

  2. Wow what a brilliant post and a touching story. I'm pretty sure i saw that programme.
    Good luck getting to a 16, you have done amazingly well


  3. What a great, inspiring and touching post, such a good read xxx

  4. The cauliflower rice thing is a brilliant idea! I need to get me a food processor!

    Well done on your acheivement, it's fantastic!

  5. Yes that cauliflower rice sounds like such a good idea! As I'm training for my race in 6 weeks I do need to eat carbs and protein to keep me going, but I try to eat complex carbs such as brown rice, quinoa or bulgar wheat. Much better than white rice or white bread or white pasta.

    It's so sad that some people are now becoming fat because fatty food are cheaper than healthy foods :( It makes you realise what a crazy world we live in. It is true though even here - I notice how cheap ready meals and fast food is and then how expensive fruit & veg can be and realise why people don't buy fruit & veg.

  6. Go you! It sounds like you are losing weight for the right reasons.

    Cutting down on carbs is kinda helpful in the short term, especially if your excess calories are largely in carb form. BUT low CHO diets lose more muscle mass than low fat diets, and it can stress your kidneys. If it works for you, that's fab, but it is not suitable for everyone, particularly as many Atkins-types go on a big carbs binge afterwards.

    (I'm not a doctor, but I am a med student trying to lose a few pounds :)

  7. This is such a great post Lauren, thanks for contributing! What an inspiring story, you really are losing weight for the right reasons too! I admire you. :)

  8. I really identify with your story Lauren. I am happy and I have a nice life. Would I be happier if I was healthier and slimmer? probably!
    I don't go out much because I am always the biggest person in the room which makes me uncomfortable and I can't wear what I want because not all shops sell clothes in my size.
    I'm going to try the Cauliflour rice and moodles.

  9. wow i can imagine how 'in your face' that moment you talked to that women and he son would have been...I'm happy for you tha you've decide to change your lifestyle.. It's hearbreaking to hear that ppl are fat because they don't have the money to afford a heathier lifestyle:(

  10. Losing 4 stone in 7 months is amazing. But I do think only eating 1000 calories a day is a little low. I tend to have around 1500 and I lost 5 stone in 11 months.

    I also eat A LOT of carbs. So low carb isn't the only way. But if it works for you, great!

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