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the adventures of a MAD mom

The following was written by Modifieddad (Casey’s dad, of course):

Willpower and the Modified Atkins Diet for Seizures

As an adult who has struggled with weight for most of my life, the idea of willpower and discipline is not lost on me. Sometimes I have it and sometimes I don’t. From this perspective I view the MAD plan that Casey has embraced as a diet. I have never been on a diet that I did not cheat on, and for that matter, the idea of being restricted altogether from some foods would be a real struggle. Philosophically I understand there are foods Casey cannot have on the MAD due to sugar, carb content or some other additive that would disrupt ketosis. I support completely his efforts to stay on the Diet, and remind him why he needs to stick to it. But, it is one thing to be the patriarchal elder dictating what he should and should not do, and a completely different story to accompany him and his friends to an event, and to witness the difficulties of being around peers when they are eating anything and everything they want.

Imagine you are 11, on the MAD and attending a sporting event at a local arena. There are no good low/no carb choices in this facility, so you bring your own food and beverage (except your favorite stevia sweetened beverage which is verboten due to that fact it is in a glass bottle). Your friends buy nachos, pretzels, candy, cotton candy, pop corn and caramel corn, passing them back and forth right under your nose. Mouthwatering smells permeate the area. Parent chaperones offer you Gatorade, snack bars and popsicles after an hour long basketball clinic, but you stay the course and drink your water, then eat your macadamia nuts.

Casey goes about this without batting an eye. The MAD is now a part of his life that he accepts without exception. He does not think twice about “cheating”. He does not whine about being deprived. Of course we have spent many hours discussing just what the consequences of  “cheating” would be, so Casey does not want to fail or start over. But it is more than that.

Shadowing Casey at this after school outing gave me a whole new perspective on the temptations surrounding him at every turn. Yet every morning he wakes up and starts the day without questioning why he needs to endure this. I am truly in awe of his willpower – I know I do not possess that strength. Casey never fails to amaze me.


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