Two years ago today I googled “Jason Fung intermittent fasting hormones” and stumbled on a life-changing website.
I clicked on the first link on my search – “Intermittent Fasting for Beginners”. I watched every single video on the Diet Doctor website by Dr. Fung – into the wee hours of the morning. It was TRULY fascinating information. No one in all my years of battling obesity had shared this with me.
As my health was rapidly deteriorating, I had much more to worry about than just being 100 lbs. overweight. I had obstructive sleep apnea, painful cramps and unpredictable cycles, ovarian cysts, fatty liver disease, and I was told I was on a fast track to Type 2 Diabetes (if you ask me, I was already there). Metabolic syndrome and Insulin Resistance had been my life for three decades – I just didn’t know it!
If you’re familiar with my story, you will know I have healed all my metabolic dysfunction and lost over 100 lbs. in the process. I have RESTORED my life – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. You can read about my healing here: Keto Heals.
What have I learned in this second year of my journey I can share with you, dear readers?
Well, first of all, after I achieved my goal weight right before my FIRST Ketoversary, I learned IT IS completely possible to sustain this way of life and live in “maintenance mode” for the rest of my life. I have never, ever been able to maintain my many weight loss attempts as carbs were re-introduced into my life. I had no idea potatoes, “healthy” pasta, and “healthy” whole grain breads were making me fat! Now I know. And I’ll tell you a secret – I do not miss those foods one bit. I realize how tired and horrible being on a steady diet of carbs made me feel and I never want to feel horrible again.
I learned to give myself some grace. As I was actively pursuing my weight loss goal and reversing my fatty liver disease, I was very focused on doing everything right day in and day out. I’m sorry, I’m such a classic Type A personality, being goal oriented and fixated is just in my blood – not saying it’s always such a good thing. Ha! So, in this past year, I learned even though I will always eat to maintain control over my health, I may decide to branch out and experiment with different options in my daily life. For example, in the past year:
Somedays I eat after 6pm.
I count net carbs sometimes.
I drink some red wine in the evening about once a week.
I experiment with upping my protein and downing fat intake.
I ate carnivore for three weeks. It’s not for me. I may try again someday.
I switched from heavy whipping cream in my coffee to organic half and half.
I went over 20 carbs for my day, occasionally (mostly for a tomato-based dish).
I went on a three-week vacation in Ireland and had ice cream with my daughter (their servings are so small – LOL! America could learn from them).
If asked, I would still say I follow the Keto diet. How do I know? I still feel great day in and day out and I am still testing positive for ketones (on the rare occasion that I use my ketone blood meter reader). Maybe I’m more somewhere in between strict Keto and LCHF now?!? I am positive I have some level of insulin sensitivity now which helps me handle the carbs I do ingest in a more efficient manner. Does it really matter? All I know is that I am and will always be a fat-burning machine.
I have to give myself some grace and realize these experiments and choices are all part of my lifestyle now – they’re not “right” and they’re not “wrong”. I do tell people ALL the time – you have to find what works for you! I just want you to QUIT SUGAR and figure out your tolerance to carbohydrates. When you figure that out, you, too, will be a fat-burning machine!
Maybe you are not so metabolically deranged (like I was), maybe you don’t have to eat strict Keto. You may prefer exploring the less strict LCHF (low-carb, healthy fats) lifestyle. Maybe you can’t fast for extended periods? It’s okay – any daily fasting hours will be beneficial. Strive for some. I guarantee you, you do not need to be eating all day long if you are eating whole, nutrient rich foods.
One more thing I learned, and I want to share today – I do still have to keep the “basics” of this lifestyle alive and well.
A funny thing happened this week. My daughter is eating LCHF now. She recently purchased some wraps marketed as Keto and Low Carb. I came home from a hair appointment at 6pm and was hungry! When I walked in the door, she told me what she had just eaten and told me to do the same. Sounded tasty, quick, and easy! I made the “Keto” wrap bread substitute with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese grilled in the skillet.
I didn’t read the ingredient label. I read the nutrition label, but I didn’t read the ingredients!Ahhhhhh! Those dang things have whole wheat flour in them. THOSE ARE NOT KETO FRIENDLY as advertised. Shaking my head! I joked with my daughter she was trying to kill me. It’s the first time I ate grains in almost two years. Sigh.
Lesson learned – I still have to read ingredient labels, and I normally do! I can’t tell you how much time I waste in the grocery store reading labels. Just today I was looking for full fat mozzarella cheese at Kroger. Do you think I could find any? NOPE!
I guess the one thing I want to emphasize with all of you is to never stop learning. This lifestyle is full of trial and error, twists and turns, success and failures. The ultimate prize is your restored health. I am so very grateful today and every day to be on this journey of physical, emotional, and spiritual healing – I have to just close this by sharing a song: “It Is Well”. I am well. Keto, LCHF, and Intermittent Fasting changed my life. Maybe it can change yours?
Thank you to Jason Fung MD, Andreas Eendfeldt MD, Amanda Akesson, Diet Doctor, and all the others I have encountered since January 13, 2017. You have all truly blessed my life and hopefully the lives of others reading this now!
I’ve created a free resource for you with my favorite five tips for your weight loss success. Grab it here:
5 Tips to Jumpstart Your Health and Wellness Journey