Welcome to the first installment of my eight-part blog series – Keto Heals. This series highlights the top health markers improved, reversed, managed, or completely healed through my Keto and Intermittent Fasting lifestyle.
When I started out on my journey, I absolutely loved reading success stories. The stories, like mine, on Diet Doctor kept me going throughout my entire journey. I hope my story will inspire you on your journey to better health and wellness.
(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.)
I know you’re exhausted but try to stay alert for this story of healing. You CAN journey through life with amazing energy!
This where my journey to health begins! I pray it will inspire and motivate you to an energized life.
Someone recently asked me “what was your life changing moment that started your journey?”
That’s easy! Exhaustion. Bone-weary brain fog every single day of my life. My energy was completely zapped, and I had very little room for joy in my daily life.
This journey started with my trip to Colorado in September 2015. I’ve written about this a bit in my very first blog post. Returning from my trip in beautiful Colorado had me exhausted and humiliated because I was unable to keep up on my husband’s activity on mountain trails. I waited for him at the bottom of the trails. I was fully deflated once back in Michigan.
Fatigue, humiliation, depression, deflation – well, I think I’ve finally had my wakeup call! I was ready to start taking control of my health!
First, I had to deal with the constant fatigue. I slept horrible on this trip and kept my husband up all night with my voracious snoring, so I decided my first step would be a visit to the sleep doctor. My husband had been nagging me for years to do this (poor guy!).
I started reading about the importance of sleep on our overall well-being. I knew I had to get better sleep. Deep down I knew that I would end up needing a C-Pap machine, but I was desperate for better sleep.
Being compliant to using a face mask every night is a hard thing to do, I know. However, I was willing to try anything. I received my C-Pap in December of 2015. I used that machine faithfully every day until the summer of 2017 (stayed tuned for the future blog on my Obstructive Sleep Apnea healing).
As I began to feel a little rested, I was able to start tackling the next steps in my healthy journey. Over the next year I was able to commit to more in my journey because I was “feeling” slightly better, like I could actually function throughout the day.
I took the next step to quit refined sugar, read labels and quit processed foods with added sugar, and I actually started moving my body in a weekly class with friends. I could do all this because my brain fog had lifted a wee bit.
I did see some real benefits from these first few steps of better sleep and quitting sugar. I did feel better, but I definitely was still in an exhausted stupor daily.
My weight loss was crawling…oh, it was so painfully slow! I only lost 18 pounds in 9 months before I discovered Keto and Intermittent Fasting. I sure do wish I would’ve found the TRUE MAGIC of going full Keto or Low-Carb/Healthy Fats (LCHF) from the start of that journey.
Getting back to the point of this blog post. I was still exhausted. I still slumped after lunch at work. I still wanted to climb into my bed after work for a power nap. I still had zero energy to do anything fun with my family. I was still annoyed that I had to go up the stairs to get to my bedroom. I was still morbidly obese.
I took my daughter and her boyfriend (who I adore, so he gets to travel with us), on a trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that summer of 2016. The UP is “God’s country”. Loads of outdoor stuff to do. We were at Tahquamenon Falls and they wanted to do the eight-mile hike from the upper to lower falls. I would not have been able to do this. No way, no how, no ENERGY. So, I took a chair and a book and waited for them at the trail head. I was questioning why my “quitting sugar” efforts were not paying off like I had hoped.
As I reflect back on all the side effects of my decades of obesity and metabolic dysfunction caused, I can specifically identify a list of everything my constant fatigue caused:
- Unkept home
- Constant napping
- Career stagnation
- Poor sleep rhythm / sleep apnea
- Avoiding social situations / anxiety skyrocketed
- Poor planning for nutrition and feeding my family
- No physical activity with kids, hubby – through their sports careers, etc.
- Sitting out on fun activities – like hiking, exploring, even simple paths at parks
Besides the miserable trip to Colorado with my husband, I have so many regrets about not being active with my kids during their childhood.
If I can pass along anything to any younger readers, it is this. Please learn how the Keto, LCHF, and/or Intermittent Fasting can help you regain your life and energy. This is truly a passion of mine – leading the younger generation. Including my own kids. Don’t wait! You can find links to all my favorite resources on my Keto 101 page.
Keto has been the most wonderful anecdote for my exhausted life. When I ate the SAD diet (standard American diet), my “healthy lunches” were mostly carbs! Eat your whole wheat bread and fruit they said! They are full of nap inducing nutrients for someone with my metabolism. I was a round the clock sugar burner! Eat carbs, crash, need more carbs with those mid-day snacks, crash, pasta for dinner, CRASH. A vicious cycle for sure.
Now my body runs on fats for fuel. My insulin is controlled. I’m no longer in the vicious roller coaster cycle of crashing and burning and craving carbs. Running on ketones provides me with AH-mazing energy ALL. DAY. LONG! It’s true. People look at me like I’m crazy, but it’s one of the most amazing benefits of this fat-burning lifestyle.
I started feeling increased energy when my body slipped into ketosis! You will start feeling more energized in ketosis, I promise!
I’ll end this post with the story of my TRIUMPHANT MOMENT – hiking with my daughter in the Wicklow Mountains, Ireland. If you’ve read my blogs about my Ireland trip, you will recall that that three-week trip was a lifelong dream. I decided to do it as a reward for my successful journey to great health.
In June 2018, 100 pounds thinner, health restored – I planned a big hike for our very last day in Ireland. I CLIMBED my first mountain ever in the Glendalough National Park. Eleven miles round trip on the “White Trail”. Up steep inclines and down steep inclines.
I wasn’t sure how well I would tolerate this hike, so I didn’t pack too much weight in my backpack. I ended up doing this hike completely fasted, as I had so much energy I didn’t need food for that day long hike.
It is hard to articulate the sense of accomplishment when I reached the summit of that trail (as pictured in this blog header). I did my best to share with my daughter those feelings. I want her to never live the exhausted life like I did for three decades. I want her to stay healthy and fit. I am positive after the three weeks we spent together in Ireland on our mother daughter trip, that she has a good sense of the importance of living a healthy life to enjoy it to the fullest. I will always treasure that time of building our relationship and modeling healthy choices. Plus, if you twisted her arm, she would probably tell you that she had a hard time keeping up with her energetic mom. I do know she was exhausted at the end of that day! Ha!
So, as you can see, I can enthusiastically exclaim that Keto has completely healed my exhaustion. I can get up at 5:30am every day (even weekends) and have energy to go, go, go for 18 hours of the day. I generally average about 6 hours of good, solid sleep every night. I never need naps and I could hike eleven miles a day if I had to (take me back to Ireland and I will!).
Now I can update my list from above! All the negative repercussions of living the exhausted life can be turned around for the positive:
- Upkept home and enjoying being hospitable
- Never needing naps
- Excitement about my work and passion for this Joyful Keto Life journey
- Incredible sleep – appropriate ratio of deep, REM, and light sleep
- Participating in social events with much more frequency, anxiety disappeared
- Planning and cooking meals at home every day for my family – and enjoying it
- Being active with my family and friends – no more making excuses
- Never, ever sitting on the sidelines again!
I want to pass this energy on to you. If you’ve made your way through this very long post, congratulations! I hope that it will ignite something in you to really seek out how this Keto or LCHF lifestyle can work for you. Being a fat-burner provides so much more energy than that temporary rush from being a sugar burner. Get off the roller coaster of burning sugar and crashing and then needing more sugar. FAT BURNING is for the WIN!
I am living proof that there is a cure for constant fatigue! I have been restored and my joy in living has been recaptured. Joy is contagious and it’s my goal in my life to pass it on to you.
Do you feel you are in fat burning, high energy mode? Share your stories below. I love to hear them.
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