My journey as a cover girl. Or, how I ended up staring you down from your local grocery store’s magazine rack.
Several weeks ago, the assistant editor of Woman’s World magazine emailed asking me to participate in an interview for an upcoming article on the topic of “How to find your carb-tolerance level.” I would be featured as the “zero” end of that spectrum, based on what she had read on my blog. It felt like an exciting opportunity and I immediately texted James to tell him the news.
I wrote back to the Woman’s World editor to ask how high I could fly my “freak flag” and she said to let it soar. According to her, the magazine had featured many “low carb” articles in the past, and they were ready to move on to discussing a more extreme Zero Carb diet. She said they were interested in doing something “REALLY DIFFERENT this time. Something unusual that people haven’t heard of yet.” (Well, you’ve come to the right place then. Pull up a chair.) She sent a list of questions.
Since she said I could be completely blunt, I broke the news that I’ve only eaten meat, eggs, and cheese for the past several years. I wrote how much better I felt when I removed all carbs from my diet. I explained how sensitive I am to carbohydrates and that even the small amounts of carbs found in vegetables cause my blood sugar to rise and cause me to have sugar-cravings and gain weight. And yes, I’d lost more than 100 pounds using my diet–and kept them off.
After sending all of that, I fully expected Woman’s World to thank me for my time and go with someone more…mainstream. So you can imagine my surprise–and excitement–when the editor wrote back with a glowing review of my interview.
A few nights later, they asked me to do a photo shoot. It would take place the very next evening and had oddly specific instructions on what colors and styles of clothing wear. The photo editor said to go shopping if I needed to and to text photos of some dress options, which I did from my dressing room in TJ Maxx.
It was surreal, but exciting–certainly not how this mom-of-three normally spends her evenings. I mean just to be shopping alone was a thrill!
After we settled on an outfit, the photographer showed up the next evening and took pictures for two hours. My children stayed with my parents while I did my best to remember all of the advice that Tyra Banks had given in those early seasons of America’s Next Top Model. Honestly, I mostly just tried to not sweat through my clothes or fall over while standing in awkward positions with heels on.
After a few days, I was at my son’s soccer game when the magazine’s photo editor emailed to say that he liked my photos and that one had been selected as the cover photo.
The photographer sent a picture from the back of her camera to show me which one they’d picked. (Not bad, I thought. A little sweaty and shiny, but I was totally okay with it. The cover! Crazy! My heart raced.)
Fast forward to this past week, when my advance copy of the magazine arrived in the mail.
I ripped open the large, manila envelope to see my dress on the cover. With the word “ATKINS” across it.
And…was that someone else’s face? What is happening? What did they do to my FACE? And why is there an avocado next to me?!
Upon closer examination, I’m pretty sure they photoshopped my smile, changed my eye color and jaw line, and removed all signs of a collarbone.
I showed it to my mom first who agreed that they had done…something. My children still aren’t convinced that the woman on the cover is actually their mother. In fact, my baby frowned at the picture. All great news, of course.
As if having my face digitally stretched wasn’t enough, the article itself took several liberties, too.
They wanted to use my weight loss image, but they didn’t want to use my weight loss story. While my direct quotes were all accurate, I was disappointed that the article included so much veggie-talk and focused very little on the zero part of my ZERO carb diet. It seemed like just more of the same low carb stuff that I’ve seen for years. It was annoying to see pictures of avocados and lemons and to read meal-plans that include mushrooms and peppers. This is NOT how I eat. This isn’t my diet. Not even close.
On the positive side, there was a nice quote or two from a couple of doctors who were supportive of lowering carbs as much as possible. And there was a great line from my friend Rachael Adams (who has lost well over 100 pounds on a zero carb diet) about how she feels her best eating this way.
The whole article was fluffier than I had hoped for, though. I really wanted people to know that a zero carb diet is not only possible, but that many of us are thriving while eating this way.
It’s true I found my way to a zero-carb diet by starting off with the Atkins version, though, and I’m hopeful that people will be able to also use that as a starting point. There is much truth in the article, even if the menu and pictures are misleading.
At the end of the day, I’m still glad I had the opportunity. My hope is that someone will read the Woman’s World article and truly consider the possibility of lowering carbs without ever feeling required to climb some imaginary Atkins “carb ladder.” I hope that people will be exposed to the idea of a zero-carb diet, which may send them searching to find amazing Facebook groups like “Zeroing In On Health” and “Zero Carb Health” to get more support. My hope is that someone will find this blog, and that someone who is struggling would be able to find freedom from obesity and carb-cravings. I also hope that those of you who read this blog will know that I tried my very best to spread the word about the beauty of a Zero Carb diet. Even if it did result in me getting the most bizarre photoshop job of all time.
Be sure to pick up your copy this week before they’re gone. And then, please write to Woman’s World (DearWW@WomansWorldMag.com) and let them know you’re interested in more articles about an actual ZERO carb diet. Let them know how your life has been changed by eliminating carbs without eating Atkins bars or plant matter.
Also, please ask them what was wrong with Kelly Hogan’s actual face. And when you find out, please let me know. Thanks. 🙂