Interviews / August 16, 2012

Jimmy Moore

By Charles Platkin, PhD

Name: Jimmy Moore

Birthday: December 27, 1971

Location: Spartanburg, SC

Blog:  www.LivinLaVidaLowCarb.com

Diet Detective: What made you finally decide to lose all the weight?

Jimmy: That’s the question to ask anyone who has ever lost weight, isn’t it? People have asked me, “what clicked for you this time?” or “why were you so successful at weight loss after failing so many times before?”. The answer is simple. I decided before I started losing weight that I was going to be successful. No ifs, ands, or buts about it — I was going to do it and make it work this time around! I’ve never been more motivated to do something and see it through to the end than I was with my 180–pound weight–loss. I’m so glad I did something about it before it was too late.

Diet Detective: Was there a defining moment in your life when you made a decision that changed the course of the rest of your life forever?

Jimmy: There sure was. Her name is Christine. She is not only the love of my life who I asked to be my wife on August 5, 1995, but she is truly my encourager in everything that I do. When I tried and failed at weight loss during the first few years of our marriage, she lovingly stood by me, praying for me, and hoping that somehow, someway I could do something about my weight. She loved me just as much when I weighed 410 pounds as she does today, now that I weigh 230 pounds. This is something you can never take for granted or underestimate the importance of in your life. I don’t know if I could have ever lost weight and kept it off without her support. So, I suppose you could say that my utterance of the words “I do” to Christine over a decade ago was my “defining moment” and I’ll never be the same again.

Diet Detective: What’s the most bodacious chance you’ve ever taken?

Jimmy: I would have to say when I decided to begin the Atkins diet on January 1, 2004 in the midst of all the negative attention it was receiving in the media and from the health “experts.” Even my own doctor said he was concerned about me going on a low–carb program, but he knew I needed to lose weight. One year later, I felt vindicated by my decision when I was a new man who had overcome a lifetime of weight problems by following a way of eating that kept my weight under control while affording me the opportunity to enjoy delicious and healthy foods. Who would have thought a miracle like this could happen to me? But it did. And it was the best chance I’ve ever taken.

Diet Detective: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about yourself? What’s the biggest lesson you haven’t learned?

Jimmy: The biggest lesson I’ve learned about myself is that I have the power to make my own choices about what is healthy for me and what is not. Too many times in my life I have allowed other people and their opinions to dictate for me what I should think on certain issues, especially ones regarding health, diet and nutrition. The low–carb lifestyle has given me freedom from those unwritten mandates about health while getting me to educate myself even further about what healthy living really means for Jimmy Moore.

On the other hand, the biggest lesson I haven’t learned yet is the fact that people need to make up their own minds about what is healthy for themselves. As bad as I want to share with them what has happened to me so they can enjoy the success that I have seen, I still need to learn to temper my enthusiasm somewhat with the reality that we are all different when it comes to weight loss and eating right. For me, eating less carbs is my secret to success. But others may need to count calories or restrict their fat and portion sizes. Understanding this truth has been a struggle, but I’m working on it.

Diet Detective: What keeps you going?

Jimmy: It’s a lot of things really. First, I want to prove those who think I’m going to gain my weight back wrong. This is now the longest I’ve ever kept my weight off in my entire life and it feels so good. Of course, I have a book and a blog that talk about my weight loss success, so it’s hard to gain back the weight when you have such accountability. My friends and family have been instructed by me to let me know if they see my weight creeping back on or if I slip up and eat something I shouldn’t have. So far, so good. Finally, I’ve developed new habits that have now become the norm for me. It’s as if all those old ways of eating and being slothful are just a fading memory and the way I live now is how I’ve always done it. Eating healthier and exercising regularly is virtually automatic for me now.

Diet Detective: How do you stick to your diet (weight control goals) on days when you really don’t want to? What are techniques you use to stay on track?

Jimmy: I do it anyway. My motto is “No Excuses, No regrets!”. Nothing, absolutely nothing, will stand in the way of my success. I will do this and it can be done. Sure, there are days when you don’t feel like staying on track with your plan. But that is when the challenge of controlling your weight gets interesting because you see just how sincere you are in wanting to make this a permanent lifestyle change. No more complacency with the way things are. It’s time to implement change and do it for the rest of your life. Knowing that the temptation to quit is going to come will help you when those times in your life actually do come. Never give up!

Diet Detective: If you could eat one forbidden food whenever you wanted without gaining weight, what would it be?

Jimmy: No food that I truly desire now is considered a “forbidden food.” The foods that I eat as part of my healthy low–carb lifestyle are the only ones I want to eat for the rest of my life. This is my lifestyle change and not just a fly–by–night diet.

Diet Detective: What dessert do you dream about?

Jimmy: My days of dreaming about food are long gone. While I used to be addicted to sugar and literally consumed it by the pound, I no longer crave desserts like I once did. Although I don’t eat sugar anymore, I am still able to eat some excellent sugar–free alternatives that satisfy my need for something sweet without the associated weight gain and problems that come from eating too much sugar

Diet Detective: If there were one healthy food item (something you love) that you had to eat every day, what would it be?

Jimmy: Blueberries. I love this naturally low–carb, nutrient–dense fruit that puts my tastebuds on overdrive! They are sweet and refreshing and can be eaten as a snack or dessert. You have to try frozen blueberries at least once to experience one of the most unique tastes and textures you’ll ever put inside your mouth. Can you tell I like blueberries? Their antioxidant powers make them a food worth popping in your mouth every single day. Plus, they taste so good, you’ll want to do that!

Diet Detective: What do you think is the most important thing that makes or breaks a diet for someone?

Jimmy: Mindset. If someone is not committed 100% to losing weight and keeping it off forever, then they will fail. You can’t go back to “normal” eating after you have lost weight (if that worked so well for you, then how do you think you got fat to begin with?!). What I recommend for people who want to lose weight is three things: find a proven plan that works for you, implement that plan exactly as prescribed, and then do it for the rest of your life. You cannot help but be successful at losing weight if you do all three of these things.

Diet Detective: How did you come to your conclusions about weight loss and dieting?

Jimmy: Trial and error. When you’ve done every diet known to mankind throughout the years, you pretty much become an expert about what works and what doesn’t work — at least from your perspective. For me, I had to fail time and time again until I found the plan that worked for me. While the low–carb lifestyle has been my saving grace regarding my weight, it may not be for everyone. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it as a healthy option if everything else has failed you. My philosophy is, if one eating method doesn’t work for you, then try something else. I wholeheartedly believe that everyone who is overweight or obese has the ability to lose weight and keep it off. It’s just a matter of finding what works for you.

Diet Detective: How have past struggles ultimately helped you to find a system that works for you?

Jimmy: Failing at weight loss was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. In 1999, I lost 170 pounds on a low–fat diet. For all intents and purposes, I was a success at weight loss. But deep down inside I felt miserable, I was hungry, I missed so many of the foods I once craved and enjoyed. I was an emotional wreck although my physical body was much better off. As you can imagine, I gained back all of that weight and then some in just four months! I rebelled against feeling that way and vowed I would never allow myself to feel that way if I ever decided to lose weight again. When I made the decision to lose weight this time, it was after a lot of soul–searching and research. I ultimately chose the low–carb approach, and knowing the failures of my past gave me that much more incentive to see this one succeed. I was a success this time in a way I have never experienced before!

Diet Detective: What is the biggest change you noticed once you lost weight?

Jimmy: I have energy like a firecracker just waiting to explode! In fact, I didn’t even realize how physically fit I had become until my wife left her purse in the car one day in early 2005. We were at church and she needed me to go get her purse for her because she needed something out of it. The car was about a quarter mile away and yet I took off like Superman running in my Sunday morning suit and dress shoes, gliding through the wind at what seemed like astronomical speed, and I was barely breaking a sweat. I had never felt that way before in my entire life and reached the car without any trouble whatsoever. I felt so good that I immediately sprinted back to where my wife was several minutes later, watching my wife’s jaw hanging wide open as if she had just seen something miraculous happen. She did! Her husband’s alive and living well for the first time ever! Man, that feels good!

Diet Detective: What’s the best book about health that you’ve read?

Jimmy: I would have to say without a doubt, the best book about health I have ever read is Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution. Dr. Robert C. Atkins was a man who went against the flow of nutritional science and made no apologies for it either. He single–handedly brought to our culture an awareness of the negative effects of carbohydrates on the body, and set out to help people struggling with weight loss, diabetes, and other obesity–related diseases. Although much of what appears in the Atkins book goes against what is considered conventional health wisdom, I have implemented the information I read about in that book into my own life, and it has altered the course of my life for the better. If it wasn’t for that little book I bought at my local drug store in late 2004, I would still weigh over 400 pounds and would very likely be on my way to digging myself an early grave. But not anymore thanks to the principles I learned by reading Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution.

Diet Detective: What are your two favorite health magazines?

Jimmy:  Diet & Fitness magazine from Coincide Publishing is my favorite health magazine because they are the only one who still respect people who live a low–carb lifestyle. They include articles and recipes from people who actually care about those of us who make low–carb a way of life. There are no other health magazines out there that even pay homage to low–carb living and that’s just a crying shame. I’m thinking of starting a new health magazine called “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb.” Do you think it might fly?

Diet Detective: What do you consider the world’s most perfect food?

Jimmy: Eggs are the most perfect food ever created for humans to eat. They are loaded with hunger–fighting protein and will keep you satisfied for hours after eating them for breakfast. I often eat a 3 or 4–egg breakfast with melted cheese on top to get my day started off right. I usually have plenty of energy to make it until lunchtime. When they use the slogan “the incredible edible egg,” they aren’t kidding!

Diet Detective: What physical activity do you do to keep yourself in shape?

Jimmy: In addition to living a fairly active life (e.g., I park my car far away from the store that I shop at, I take the stairs at work, etc.), I also like to play basketball and volleyball at my church as well as daily workouts at my local YMCA on the elliptical machine. I can usually get in a good 45–60 minute workout while enjoying all the natural, stress–relieving endorphins that get released from doing so. If I knew exercising could be this pleasurable, then I would have been doing it a long time ago! Better late than never!

Diet Detective: Do you have a favorite Low–Carb healthy recipe or cooking tip? If so would you share it?

Jimmy: I often post recipes on my blog, but the main thing I urge people to do regarding recipes and cooking is to read ingredients like a hawk. If a recipe purports to be healthy, don’t assume it is. Does it have sugar? Then it’s probably not healthy. Does it contain white flour? Again, it’s probably not healthy. What about the use of processed foods? Do I need to say it? Not healthy! Be creative in the kitchen, but also be smart. Low–carb cooking isn’t impossible with a little imagination. If you need inspiration about how to cook low–carb, you might want to read any of Dana Carpender, Jan McCracken, or Fran McCullough’s cookbooks. They are all outstanding!

Diet Detective: Do you have a Food Bargain? What food did it replace? Was that an important food in your diet, since you ate it so often?

Jimmy: Growing up and into my adult life, my favorite food was macaroni and cheese. I could literally eat a plateful of the stuff and go back for seconds, thirds, fourths…I think you get the picture. Once I started livin’ la vida low–carb, macaroni and cheese became history because it is way too high in carbohydrates and calories. What did I replace it with? Grated cauliflower and cheese. Cauliflower mixed with cheese was a much healthier, low–carb option for the noodles I used to eat and gave me the consistency and taste I enjoyed so much with macaroni and cheese. That food bargain has saved me a lot of empty calories and carbs while helping me keep my weight under control since I probably ate macaroni and cheese five times a week before my weight loss.

Diet Detective: Define and discuss failure.

Jimmy: Failure is an opportunity to try again until you succeed. There’s really no such thing as failure unless you stop trying to fail. Failing simply opens the door for you to run straight towards becoming successful. I think about how Abraham Lincoln lost every single political race he ever campaigned for until he was elected the President of the United States. Had he given up after failing a time or two, then America would have missed out on one of the greatest Presidents in the history of this country. The same can be said for people who fail and fail and fail on their weight loss efforts. If you give up before you even have a chance to succeed, then you will be robbing yourself of one of the most important events in your entire life. Just as Lincoln finally got his chance to be elected and changed the course of history forever, you too should get your chance to succeed and alter your own history!

Diet Detective: Tell us how you got to where you are now.

Jimmy: Well, it all started when my mom and dad wanted to have a second child…oh, you didn’t mean that far back, did you? Just kidding! The man I am today is a direct result of hard work, dedication, commitment, and a deep–seeded passion and desire to become the man I was destined to be. I wasted the first 32 years of my life pursuing things that I thought would make me happy and fulfilled. I was wrong. Now I have a new lease on life and a newfound purpose to help others who struggle with their weight and think there is no way they can ever find hope again. I’m here to not just tell them, but also show them that there is someone who understands their plight and sincerely wants them to know what being healthy and thin is all about. The road that got me here wasn’t an easy one, but it was necessary for me to make a lasting influence on people.

Diet Detective: Is there anything about yourself that you’ve changed your mind about in the last 20 years?

Jimmy: Let’s see, since I was 14 years old, what have I changed my mind about? Can I saw everything? The biggest thing I have changed my mind about is the inevitability of being overweight or obese. I used to buy into the lie that I was fat because of genetics. Hogwash! I was fat because I ate supersized French fries at McDonald’s and guzzled down a dozen and a half Coca-Colas every single day! My obesity was the direct result of my actions and my actions alone. It wasn’t until I intervened to stop those reckless actions that I was able to get my life back. Unfortunately, my brother is not in the same situation. At the age of 38, he has already had four heart attacks, been hospitalized over 100 times, weighs an incredible 600 pounds, and has been given one year to live unless he makes certain lifestyle changes for himself. Can he blame his situation on genetics? Sure, he could. But that doesn’t negate the fact that he needs to eat healthier and exercise as much as he can. I made my choice and got healthy, but not everyone, even in my own family, has done the same.

Diet Detective: Define individual responsibility and how you react to adverse situations.

Jimmy: Grabbing the bull by the horns and doing it for yourself is how I define individual responsibility. You can’t expect others to get the job done for you. Only the individual has the power to effect change on their own circumstance, especially when it comes to weight loss. Adverse situations are an annoyance, but I think they can make us stronger. Once you’ve been through something unexpected or devastating in life, you learn from those situations. Adversity is one of the ways God shapes and molds us into the men and women he would have us to be. I used to dread adverse situations, but now I see them as the God–given opportunities that they are.

Diet Detective: What is your most influential story, fiction or nonfiction, from a film, book, magazine, newspaper or parable? Explain its impact on your life. What’s you’re favorite saying?

Jimmy: It’s not really a story, but rather a Scripture verse from the Bible found in Phillipians 4:13. It simply states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” With that knowledge, I am confident that I can be successful at anything I put my mind to because the source of my strength is Jesus Christ. Without Him, I would literally be nothing and would never be able to find the success I have already enjoyed through my incredible weight loss. But with Him, the sky is literally the limit and I fully expect many more great things to come to me for honoring Him in all things.

My favorite saying is, “Keep on livin’ la vida low–carb!” Regardless of how you want to lose weight, that phrase reminds people that this is a lifetime commitment to healthy living.

Diet Detective What’s the next major item on your “to–do” list?

Jimmy: Well, that really remains to be seen. I will continue to do things to help keep me accountable in my weight loss, including writing articles for a national health magazine, and continuing to write my blog. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have a listening ear and a heartfelt concern for others who are where I was not too long ago.






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As a 410-pound morbidly obese man with breathing problems, skyrocketing blood pressure, soaring cholesterol levels, and other obesity-related health conditions that were leading him to an early grave, Jimmy decided enough was enough.

He put himself on the Atkins diet after reading Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution book and even started exercising for the first time in his life. Although it was a difficult struggle at times, Jimmy was able to lose nearly 200 pounds that year and has kept it off ever since with low-carb living.

In April 2005 he created a blog to help encourage and educate others about his miraculous health and weight-loss journey. He also wrote a book called Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb: My Journey From Flabby Fat to Sensationally Skinny In One Year to share his story of hope with others.

Jimmy believes it is his mission in life to help anyone who is overweight or obese to begin dealing with his or her weight problem and rise triumphantly over it just like he did. Feel free to e-mail him anytime at livinlowcarbman@charter.net if you need a word of encouragement or some useful advice from someone who has been there.
 





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