When did you notice that your health was becoming an issue?
I have always known my weight and health were an issue. I was a very big kid growing up. I remember weighing 240 pounds at age 14. But last year in June 2018, I was almost 300 pounds. I was suffering from my gluteal muscles and leg muscles collapsing and tightening around my sciatic nerve because I was working 50 hours a week at a desk job. I never worked out. I ate an unbalanced diet. My hormones were out of whack too. I had a lot of anxiety and I dealt with depression my entire life.
What was your light bulb or “that’s enough” moment?
The injury of my gluteal muscles lasted for months and the pain was traumatic. My lower body was very hard to rehabilitate because of being so overweight and so I decided it was time to try to lose weight. There was really no other option.
Which diet plans did you try before the ketogenic diet?
I tried Atkins at age 14. I also tried ideal protein, paleo diet, and many other weird diets in my 20s. With Atkins, I lost 20 pounds and then gained it back immediately. Now that I am more educated in carb vs. keto fueling and how the body works with introducing carbs and water retention, I understand how I gained it back so quickly, but back then I was devastated and gave up.
What makes the ketogenic diet different for you?
I had all the symptoms of sugar addiction. I thought I was the one with no self-control. Yes, there are eating behaviors I have and still continue to address, but since becoming keto I have never felt out of control. For example, before the keto diet, when my blood sugar was low and I needed to eat or I felt like I was going to die, I got into any fast food line and ordered way too much.
Fueling on ketones gives me an even line of energy all the time. I never crash and it doesn’t affect my mood like it used to if I am hungry. Yes, I can get a little wonky if it’s time to eat but NEVER how crazy and out of control like I used to be for years. I feel safe on a keto diet and in control.
You start to get so in tune with your body, how foods make you feel, and what foods you need. I have a sweet tooth still, but it is a lot more in control these days, especially with how easy and delicious keto desserts are. Keto food actually tastes good.
The science behind how nourishing eating a ketogenic diet is truly what has enabled my success. Doing the research behind it and realizing that our bodies need fat more than it needs sugar is what sparked my interest in the beginning. I am trying to heal my body from the inside out, not just look good and eat yummy food.
How has your health changed?
So far, I have lost 93 pounds in 13.5 months! I can do so much more in the gym than I could in the beginning. I feel like a child: mobile, free, and curious! Its insane. I haven’t weighed this amount since I was 13 years old. I still want to lose about 20% more of my body fat, but I have already been set free of so much physical pain in my neck and spine, legs and knees, and feet and ankles.
Did you have a moment where you wanted to quit? What kept you motivated to keep going?
I have never had a moment where I wanted to quit. I may have had moments where I wanted to just eat a bunch of fruit or some other keto snack, but that’s life! You cannot be perfect and track your macros every single day, but it’s all about balance and loving yourself.
Eating a keto diet is nourishing and will heal your body, so it’s a daily and moment-by-moment choice. If you slip up, it’s okay; no one’s perfect. Just get back on the ball, fast for a good 16 hours or tighten up your carbs the next day and move forward!
What did it feel like to accomplish your goal?
Well, technically I feel that I haven’t reached my goal just yet, I have always wanted to lose 100 pounds, and still need to lose a total of 35 or so pounds more, so I have not reach that goal yet, but I do feel I have reached a different goal: the goal of taking my health back.
I am very proud of myself for the 90-pound weight loss in a year. I also feel amazed with myself at my knowledge and understanding of fueling my body thanks to ketogenic research and Ryan Lowery‘s Instagram and podcast.
How has your life changed since you hit your goal?
It has all happened kind of fast and there are so many changes in so many areas. My self-worth awareness and self-kindness is very high. I don’t settle for anything that doesn’t bring a positive energy into my life. I quit a horrible job and am currently pursuing my own business.
I have grown a lot mentally and spiritually along with this physical transformation and so I am very intentional in everything I do and say these days. I have a grateful attitude towards life now as weighing less has decreased my physical pain. I am in the gym a lot more and even do planks and squats now, like every day, almost without even breaking a sweat!
I am able to get down and move around so quickly; I even joined my church’s softball team! I have never been on any sports team my entire life! I am allowing myself to do things I never have and be the person I truly am in my heart. No more missing out. I am allowing myself to be vulnerable and build relationships, make friends, and have fun!
I still deal with the ups and downs of life, but I am not consumed by food cravings or sugar addiction symptoms. I am not run by my emotions or drowning in depression and physical pain. I’m grateful! I feel good and in control and I’m ready to make life count! I am just SO GRATEFUL.
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