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Brooks Hollemans, Michigan

Age 30

* The average person can expect to lose 1-2 lbs. per week. Results may vary. Weight loss is influenced by exercise, food consumed and diet
80 lbs lost*
Brooks Hollemans
Brooks Hollemans

My Story: My wife and I attempted Atkins in 2003, and we were successful for the minimal time we were using the approach. Unfortunately, late that year, our family experienced a series of very traumatic events. My mother and my wife’s grandmother both passed away suddenly and my grandmother had two very serious strokes. On top of all that, I was involved in a near-fatal automobile accident, which resulted in my needing three surgical procedures on my head/brain. I was released from the hospital following a two-month stay. Although my memory is a bit spotty around the time of my accident, I do at one point remember being told that I weighed somewhere between 250 & 270 pounds. I was understandably immobile, and was being given a necessary 4000 calorie a day diet to help my body heal its multiple injuries. Needless to say, I had not been on Atkins for some time.

My Goals:
Shear determination to live a fit and healthy lifestyle following the accident, as well as my short-lived success with the Atkins approach in 2003 led me to try again. I began following the Atkins Diet approach as a New Year’s resolution beginning January 1, 2007 and continue to do so to this very day.

How Atkins Helped Get Me There: I most certainly am following the Atkins principals yet today. In my opinion, the very first phase of the Atkins Diet approach is the easiest and most helpful to follow. This phase is very black and white, straightforward and easy to understand. It most certainly lays the groundwork for a lifetime of healthy eating habits and inspires one to stick with the program because of the fast and fascinating results. During this first phase, which I actually stayed on for the better part of 6-8 weeks, I dropped between 40 and 45 pounds. I begrudgingly began to move on to the succeeding phases of the Atkins approach. At this time, I began adding more “good” carbohydrates to my diet, which included plenty of green vegetables such as broccoli and green beans. I also added sunflower seeds and a few other nuts for snacks to go along with the Atkins bars that I had not eaten during phase 1.

The Atkins bars are great products and I continue to use them regularly. A cranberry almond bar makes for a nice breakfast in the morning to go along with a couple of hard boiled eggs, and a tasty peanut fudge granola or chocolate chip granola bar make for a great snack between meals or a nice pick-me-up prior to or following my daily exercise routine. The Atkins bars are very tasty, and are in fact so good that they honestly do keep me from straying away from the Atkins approach when my sweet tooth starts bugging me or when I’m feeling drained and exhausted following a workout. Other than the Atkins bars and vegetables, I began to add certain fruits to my daily diet. It seems strange, but after being on phase 1 of the Atkins diet for an extended period of time, I feel that I benefited from this approach to the Atkins Diet by setting my mind and body up to think that getting fruit with a little dab of cool whip or whipped cream was just as good as eating a piece of high carb/sugar cake or ice cream. To this day, a small bowl of blueberries or dried cherries suffices as a nice dessert following a healthy and tasty protein rich meal such as a grilled chicken breast or salmon fillet, a burger patty without a bun and just a little bit of mustard, two cans of tuna with a sliced pickle mixed with some mayonnaise, or a personal favorite of mine, a simple grilled chicken Caesar salad without croutons. All together with the different fruits, vegetables and nuts that I added to my diet following phase 1, I ingest roughly 50-70 carbohydrates daily, and am able to maintain my goal weight using my version of the phase 4 Atkins lifetime maintenance plan along with daily exercise.

I have continued to maintain my goal weight of 170 for nearly one year, never straying 5 pounds above or below that weight. I continue to weigh myself regularly, and for the most part, I float between 168-172 pounds. Being at this weight now and being able to maintain it has greatly improved my outlook on life. During this summer of 2008, thanks to my diligent exercise program, which includes running and weight lifting/training and my commitment to Atkins, I have begun to compete in 5k races. Most recently, my time for a 5k race is 20:18, which without a doubt could not have ever happened had I not started the Atkins approach and began to lose some unneeded weight.

Temptation to stray from the Atkins approach confronts me on an almost daily basis. I am constantly tempted to eat a piece of pie or cake that a member of my family has made, as well as eat a pretzel or a chip that one of my adorable nephews puts in my face and says: “Here Uncle Brooks, have a chip! It will make you strong”. At this stage of my life and my approach to Atkins, I will occasionally stray and have that dessert or friendly offering from one of my nephews, but I do keep those instances to a minimum, and I cannot stress enough how important the exercise is to the whole Atkins approach. In a sense, a way to overcome the obstacles that have followed my success with Atkins is to occasionally give into them while diligently continuing to exercise.

As hard as it is to do it and say it, you have to be very determined and almost selfish to overcome the obstacles during phase 1 of the Atkins approach. Sometimes you have to flat out say no to some of that good family home cooking and stick to your “Atkins” guns. It has paid off for me, and I plan on having Atkins continue to pay off for me with an active, healthy, happy and energetic life for life!!