Welcome to the second 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.)
Raise your hand if you constantly looked around any room you were in to see if you were the fattest person there! C’mon, be honest. I did it ALL the time. How strange it is to me now to realize I had some satisfaction if I was not THE fattest. That’s kind of messed up.
Truth is, I was fat and what does it matter if she is 30 pounds thinner than me or if he is looking like a heart attack waiting to happen?
My fat was making ME sick and tired and miserable. I had to figure out for myself what to do about my fatness.
There has to be some secret, magical formula that will work for me. Right? I searched for this magic for three decades. Thirty long years of fatness.
I was never an obese child, but I did have some “chubby” years during my pre-puberty years. Oh yes, and I remember hearing about it. I used to be a little runt as a young child, but when I got “chubby” people noticed and made comments. What happened? Ehh, I don’t know – pre-puberty? Puberty? I can’t recall the exact age of my chubbiness. But it certainly was an indicator that I was prone to fatness.
I wasn’t fat in high school. Truly the only time of my life I can recall not being chubby or fat. I had a bad case of mononucleosis when I was 14. My weight went down into the 90s pounds, so I know that my early teen years hovered around 110 pounds. When I met my husband, I can recall telling him I weighed 119 pounds. That was the fall of my freshman year in college. Things were about to change drastically.
I won’t bore you with all the details of my thirty years of fatness. But I will tell you that I tried it all, starting with going to Weight Watchers with my college roommate. That’s when the weight really started piling on. For the next three decades it was a wild up and down ride. Mostly, up, up, up!
Over the years, I tried every trick in the book to cure my obesity. I am extremely adherent to every diet I have tried. I really do pride myself on my ability to say no and to not cheat. I am so stubborn and adherent that I once drank only liquid protein shakes for nine months. I never once cheated on that diet. I fully recognize and am thankful for this unique knack I have when it comes to making choices with food. I really don’t understand it completely myself so it’s hard to explain!
I lost the most weight I had ever lost on that liquid diet. If I recall, I lost a total of about 65 pounds – going from about 210 pounds to 145 pounds. Then I stopped drinking those shakes and reintroduced the carb filled “healthy” foods. Whole wheat bread and pasta. Potatoes. Fruit. I also learned and practiced “all things in moderation”. If I wanted something sweet, I would purchase Weight Watchers treats from the grocery freezer. If it was my birthday I would have the cake. I honestly was never one to eat an entire package of Oreos or an entire bag of potato chips. I never really struggled with binge eating. I always thought I was doing well on my calorie allotment for the day. I just couldn’t understand why year after year I kept packing on the pounds. Obesity was my life.
Fast forward through thirty years of this! As I wrote about earlier this week, I was constantly exhausted, and I really needed figure this out. Returning from my exhausting trip to Colorado sparked my interest in learning about my hormones and how they affected my sleep. It was a start. First thing, I started reading about how important sleep is and how lack of sleep will really mess with your hormones.
This was September 2015. I have no idea how much I weighed on that trip, but I do know that I tipped my scale at home at 230 pounds in June of 2015 when I was trying to lose weight to celebrate my daughter’s high school graduation. I was eating 5 small meals a day and constantly starving. Result? More weight gain. Sigh.
It was devastating that I weighed more then, than either of my pregnancies. What was the point of stepping on that scale every day – it was merely a vicious cycle? Down 10 pounds, up 12 pounds. And so on. I could lose 10 pounds like nobody’s business. I bet you can relate. Being only 5’1”, my body fat percentage was dangerously close to half my weight.
So, I started getting better sleep (as discussed in part one – Keto Heals: Exhaustion). I quit sugar and processed foods. I started feeling slightly better. But I was losing weight extremely slow – only two pounds a month for nine months. Oh, it was so slow! And I was still morbidly obese! The heavy weight of my body weighed constantly on my heavy heart.
What to do? I cried out to God for a path and He delivered the answer on January 13, 2017. I’ll never forget that day and that lunch I had with a friend. It was the last day that I ate bread and potatoes with my steak!
I was lamenting to my friend how slow my weight loss was – even though I was no longer addicted to white sugar and avoiding processed foods.
Here’s where my TRUE MAGIC moment happened! Our conversation moved to “hormones” and my friend asked me if I had ever heard of Jason Fung, MD, a nephrologist in Toronto, Canada. She also asked if I had ever heard of Intermittent Fasting. Well, no, no I have not heard of either him or this fasting thing! She explained that she was trying to fast and hoping it would help her. I asked a few questions and we finished our lunch.
When I was able to sit down later that evening with my laptop, I googled Jason Fung, MD and landed on what would become my favorite website for resources: Diet Doctor. It was here that I watched every single video and read every single article that Dr. Fung had available on that website. I signed up for my first 30 days free and I signed up for the two-week Keto getting started challenge.
I have never looked back or regretted the hours I spent that evening learning about the cause of my obesity and my potential cure. Dr. Fung even made me cry a bit when I heard him say that my obesity may not be my fault after everything I have tried without success. OBESITY IS A HORMONAL IMBALANCE, not a caloric imbalance! Based on my results, I know this statement to be true for me.
AGAIN, so you don’t miss it: OBESITY IS A HORMONAL IMBALANCE, not a caloric imbalance!
I immediately ordered his book “The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secret of Weight Loss”. This book, Dr. Fung’s lectures and videos, and his blog literally changed my life. His knowledge cracked the code to my obesity. It was the “secret” magic that changed my health completely.
Simply put, obesity is a result of my metabolism being unable to process the insulin load from the food I was eating. I had no idea that my daily rations of potato, bread, and/or pasta were quickly being stored as fat. Insulin is our fat storing hormone.
I’m going to let Dr. Fung explain the science for you a little better, here: Understanding Obesity. He’s the scientist. You can trust his opinion based on the wild success he is having treating all his patients in his clinic. By the way, his blog is free – you should spend hours there reading and learning the science! Learning the science is one of my TOP tips for anyone wanting to go on this journey.
As soon as I implemented Dr. Fung’s suggestions for my health, my weight started melting off. Within one year, I had reached my goal weight. I am still in awe that I could accomplish that by simply eliminating bread, potatoes, and pasta (remember, I had already given up sugar which didn’t result in any significant weight loss).
As a side note, too, I want to mention that I recently had a food sensitivities blood work test done. It was absolutely NO surprise to me that my test revealed sensitivities to POTATO and all kinds of grains. Who KNEW? Dr. Fung, that’s who!
My Keto diet and my practice of Intermittent Fasting (or time-restricted eating if that’s what you want to call it) completely healed my obesity. I am now maintaining a healthy weight by eating a diet that my body can metabolize to prevent ever being obese again. I reached my goal of losing 95 pounds on January 4, 2018. Since that time, I’ve lost a few more pounds. I am consistently 100 pounds under my dreadfully high weight of 230 pounds. I may lose a few more pounds and get into the 110s, but I’m really not focusing on scale weight now. My focus is reducing my body fat percentage – that is my “work in progress”!
When people ask me if I will ever eat “normal” food again – I simply ask them to define “normal”. The normal foods of the standard American diet do not work well for my body. I truly believe that God revealed this secret to me to change my life to help others. So, no, no, I will never eat that “normal” food again that I ate for almost 50 years of my life. My obesity is healed. Never. Ever. Going. Back.
There is hope for reversing your obesity! If you are carrying around extra weight – it’s time to examine your carbohydrate intake. It’s probably spiking your insulin all day long, giving your body no choice but to store the excess as fat. It’s science. Take the time to learn about the science of your insulin hormone. Your future healthy weight self will thank you as you begin to reverse your obesity and heal many other health markers on your joyful journey to the healthiest YOU!
I’d love to read your stories on how you are overcoming a life of obesity! Have you jumped on board the Keto or LCHF train? Is something holding you back? Leave a comment below.
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