Something hugely important just dawned on me today! I have been MAINTAINING my weight loss and health for six months now. This is absolutely crazy for me given my history with the dreaded D word – DIET!
If you’re reading my blog and have been doing Keto or LCHF for any period of time now, I’ll think you’ll agree with me that we have stumbled on the holy grail of diets! If you are just considering Keto or LCHF and haven’t jumped in yet – WHAT, dear reader, are you waiting for? I’m talking the holy grail of weight loss success! I say that a bit tongue in cheek because if you’ve read any of my other posts – you know that I truly believe this way of eating is a total gift from God. He made real food for me that I can 1) use for the express purpose of fuel for my body and 2) actually enjoy my food choices when I share food and fellowship with my friends and family. Hello, bacon?!?
But anyhow back to the topic at hand. Diet. UGH. I have tried it all! Let’s see if I can access the recesses of my mind for a complete list. This goes back to my college days with my first adventure with my college roommate! A few decades…here goes!
- First up – Weight Watchers. Yep, my roommate and I drove 40 miles each way to attend weekly meetings. Hello, freshman 15. Plus, it was more like Freshman 40 for me!
- Aerobics classes wearing that 1980s/1990s gear.Very stylish.
- Weight Watchers again.
- Susan Powter Fitness Gym and Classes – more 1990s style.
- Weight Watchers again.
- Medical Weight Loss Centers – very calorie restricted and I was starving.
- Weight Watchers again (see a pattern?).
- Curves – circuit training.
- Hospital Weight Loss program – HMR protein shakes/liquid diet for 9 months!
- Contours Express for Women – circuit training.
- Weight Watchers On-Line (I was sick of those meetings!).
- LoseIt! phone app.
- Planet Fitness – circuit training room, mostly.
- And So. On…
Now this is a span of almost three decades of doing basically the same thing over and over again with one exception. The HMR protein shake/liquid diet was the only thing that I was able to lose a drastic amount of weight. I lost about 60 pounds and got to my lowest weight since I went away to college. That diet was strictly protein shakes, five times a day, 800 calories daily. To say I was hangry for 9 months is an understatement. I never did reach my goal weight with this because I just couldn’t choke down any more shakes.
I was pretty happy to have lost 60 pounds, but guess what? I really didn’t feel any better health wise. I was still tired all the time. Probably because I had been starving myself. I was under doctor’s supervision, too! Makes me so angry to think about it.
To add insult to injury, I didn’t learn how to eat properly for MY metabolism. They told me I had metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, yada-yada-yada, and they said “HERE! Drink these shakes that are loaded with sugar!” GAHHHH. Madness!
I bet you can guess what happened next?!? You got it. I gained back those 60 pounds, plus why not another 25ish to boot?!? Go big or go home. HA! My highest weight before I discovered my magic Keto was higher than either of my pregnancies. Face. Palm.
But seriously, dear readers, learn from my mistakes. Three decades of counting calories and various exercise routines left me fat and out of shape. I pinky promise swear it wasn’t for lack of trying. I wish I could have all that money back, too! That’s another irritant. Argh.
How has every changed for me today? Well, for starters, I can’t emphasize enough that Keto and LCHF eating has been a huge game changer for my health. It took almost thirty years to find the proper diet for my metabolic function. THIRTY. YEARS! If you’re a young person reading this – I can’t tell you how much I am “cheering you on” to better health at an early age. It makes me so, so very sad to think about all those years I wasn’t active in the growing up years for my kids. Seriously sad!
Why does Keto work so well for me? It has been so fascinating working with my functional medicine doctor getting to the bottom of how my metabolism, gut, and digestion works. I’m basically a genetic mess of malabsorption and fructose intolerance. I have an appointment this coming week to find out the results of my gut biome. I’ve seen the test results and read up a bit myself, and yeah, I’ve got some issues. I’m not sure to what extent – so I’m very excited to visit with her and hear her thoughts.
Surprisingly, though, I literally stumbled on this lifestyle myself through a random web search for Dr. Jason Fung. That first hit led me toDiet Doctor and the rest is the story of my “diet” success. By “diet” here I am referring to the food that my body needs for fuel and to switch the internal fuel source to fat. My days of being a sugar-burner are way behind me.
Today I want to encourage you to embrace this lifestyle, step by step, day by day. I love the picture above of my daughter crossing the Carreck-A-Rede Rope bridge in Ireland. I was taking pictures of her and cheering her on. Personally, I would have been frozen in fear to cross a bridge like that (fear of heights!), but she did it – taking one step at a time and stopping to wave at us all (ha!). It’s a great picture of our weight loss and health journey – bridges take us from point A to the other side and sometimes the crossing can be scary. And it’s okay to pause and catch your breath when you’re over an 80 foot cliff! Our lives are like that sometimes. Put your head up, take a deep breath and keep moving forward.
The lifestyle I now choose, and I hope you do, too – is one that completely eliminates sugar, grains, wheat, starches, processed oils, and processed foods. By avoiding these items, I am allowing my messed up body to heal itself. This lifestyle will be permanent for me, because I know that if I return to eating a high carb, low fat, and calorie restricted diet that I’ll just screw up my metabolism again.
So here I am, 6 months maintaining a “healthy” goal weight. So long to the days of getting to a “goal” and eating the same old, same old standard American diet. The SAD diet was going to kill me. This lifestyle is so natural for me now – it’s just part of who I am and will always be!
Emotionally, I’d like to think I have worked through the food issues like missing some of my former favorite foods and restaurants. You know, like the places that you and your friends enjoyed gathering at to catch up because their hot fudge cream puffs were just the bomb. Instead, I focus on the socializing and that’s what fills my heart, mind, and soul!
In fact, right after I wrote this – I hopped in my Jeep Wrangler with the top off to spend time with my dearest friends. It was an awesome “Girl’s Night Out”! I ate my Keto dinner before we left – and then we enjoyed a “Pure Michigan” summer evening with the wind in our hair.
I FLIPPIN’ LOVE THIS LIFESTYLE – and I wish the same for you!
(Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional. I am writing about my personal experiences to encourage others to research a low-carb lifestyle. You should always work closely with a health care professional to manage your health. I work with three MDs to manage my health: functional medicine, cardiology, and sleep/pulmonology. They treat my metabolic dysfunctions along with monitoring my important blood markers routinely. Keto or LCHF may not be an appropriate way of eating for your metabolic health or other health needs. Please check with your personal health care professional before making any changes in your diet.)