My name is Mary Roberts, and I’m excited to be sharing my story with the community.

I’ve had a dysfunctional relationship with food since childhood. There were many reasons that I turned to food and allowed it to become my comfort, entertainment, and reward for the majority of my life. I went on my first diet during my freshman year of high school; it was a very calorie-restricted diet. By the time I reached my senior year, I completed a six-week stay at a women’s facility for the treatment of bulimia.

I learned a lot of many resources and methods in that program that I occasionally referenced and used throughout my life, but they simply weren’t enough. Between the ages of 18 and 42, I was constantly up-and-down with my weight, trying every diet and method to lose weight from counting calories, Weight Watchers, and even Richard Simmons Deal-A-Meal program… and dozens of others. All my life, I was battling my disordered thinking—that voice in my head named Ed (eating disorder)—that sabotaged me every time I attempted to get healthy.

At age 42, I found myself obese and topping out at 260 pounds. I had several health issues that had been brought on by my self-medicating usage of food for the entirety of my life. Not only did I have uncontrolled type 2 diabetes despite medication, but I also had high blood pressure, psoriasis, sleep apnea, asthma, allergies and was sick several times a year.

Between all those diets, I was a binge eater. Taking part in such extreme low-fat dieting caused me to feel the effects of nutritional deprivation. Consequently, I was always suffering from “hunger” and constantly primed to binge eat. The bingeing would go on until I was so disgusted with myself that I would move on to the next diet.

But one morning in early 2014 after a binge the night before on my husband’s birthday cake and ice cream, I woke up and finally realized I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. That was the day I started eating a low-carb/keto diet and began recovering from my eating disorder.

Keto has been the only thing to calm the storm of my food addiction. It didn’t fix my eating disorder, but it helped me get a grip because I did not have to fight a physical battle while trying to get my mind right. I was able to focus on changing my dysfunctional relationship with food because a ketogenic diet made it possible for me to stop craving and to overcome all my physical ailments. My type 2 diabetes is now reversed. I no longer have high blood pressure, psoriasis, nor sleep apnea, and I’ve only been sick one time in the nearly five years after following a ketogenic diet. Not having to battle all of those simultaneous ailments gave me the freedom to focus on getting my mind right about food and discovering how to overcome the disordered behavior and thoughts with which I was struggling.

Many people think of eating disorders as simply anorexia or bulimia, but these disorders also encompasses the disordered thinking that leads to extreme calorie restriction, obsession with tracking and weighing, binge eating, excessive exercise, abuse of diet pills and laxatives, and any obsessive behavior regarding food and diet.

I am happy to say that following a ketogenic way of eating has saved my life. I no longer have a daily battle with “Ed,” and I have evicted him from my mind. Ed attempts to show up now and then, but keto allows me to remain forever vigilant and aware. I now have nearly five years of food sobriety (no sugar, grains, or bingeing), and I’ll never look back. I am forever grateful to the keto community for being so vocal and spreading the word that keto heals.

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Mary is an inspiration to so many.