It all started on June 18th of this year. My youngest sister, Alyssa, had already been raving to me about this low-carb living lifestyle for months at this point. The Keto diet has been all the craze for a lot of people. I finally mustered up the courage to say “Why the hell not?” The courage wasn’t for her. It wasn’t for the diet. It was for me. I had gained 60 lbs over the last six years and trying another “diet” would surely lead to more disappointment, right? That’s what I convinced myself at least. On June 18th I tried the Keto diet, and here’s why I’m never going back.
First, let me give you some back story. When I first started on the Keto journey, I truly thought it was going to be a temporary thing. Especially knowing how easily I would give up on things in the past. I have tried every “diet” you can imagine, never with any success.
Prior to this I was making small changes to my lifestyle: cooking more, less take-out, a proper sleep schedule…changes to have more of a routine in my life. During that time I lost eight pounds. Only eight pounds. Yes, losing weight is a victory in itself, but in the grand scheme of gaining 60 pounds, 8 seemed trivial. I knew that when it came to my eating habits, I wanted to focus on an actual lifestyle change, rather than “dieting.”
My new goal was to change and enhance many areas of my life, but I was going to do that by starting with how I ate.
My history with food hasn’t been the greatest. I started using food as an emotional support crutch. It became my greatest comfort in times I was sad or angry. In 2017, I was a year into my marriage and weighed 240 pounds. Yes, that’s a scary number for a woman just 5 feet 4 inches tall. My body had gained a total of 60 pounds over the course of the years. I had no energy, I was always out of breath, no motivation…there wasn’t a part of me that I truly was happy being anymore. Misery really loved it’s company in my head, let me tell you.
This week I hit the 25 week mark on this diet, I have officially been living on a low-carb lifestyle for 6 months now. The time has flown! I am down 49 pounds, and I don’t plan on stopping. While the weight loss itself has been a huge motivator to continue this lifestyle, there are several other benefits to this lifestyle that I refuse to give up.
I started off slow and as simple as I could.
From the research that I had done prior to starting, everyone talked about the Keto Flu. I was worried about getting it, but not enough to stop me from at least giving it a try. I told myself the Keto Flu couldn’t be any worse than what I had felt at my heaviest living unhealthily. I reminded myself that I needed to stay hydrated, eat foods that would really fuel my body like higher protein and fiber, and just focus on making the change as best I could. I wasn’t going in with a lot of expectations for myself.
Much to my surprise, I feel like I was one of the lucky ones that never had any symptoms.
Maybe that’s how badly my body needed this change. The rest of the benefits I started seeing are the reason I continue on this journey today.
The first change that I noticed was how well I was actually sleeping. I have struggled with anxiety for years. At one point I was taking anxiety/depression medication specifically to help me sleep. Sleeping well was something that had always been a struggle for me. I was super exhausted some nights. My brain wouldn’t turn off and I would toss and turn for what felt like hours. Sometimes I would fall asleep okay, but then wake up every hour. Staying asleep sometimes grew just as difficult as trying to fall asleep.
This all changed after starting Keto. A week into the journey, I was sleeping like I hadn’t slept in years. I was staying asleep through the night and not having as hard of a time falling asleep. Being able to not stress about sleep was a concept that I wasn’t familiar with before this. What started to happen was the better I was sleeping, the less frequently my anxiety was surfacing. More so, this was only the beginning of great changes for me.
No More Cravings
Yep. You heard that right. I no longer craved carb-loaded foods such as potato chips, bread, pasta….even sweets! Sometimes overcoming cravings can be the hardest part when changing how you eat. What I learned is that when you don’t supply your body with these carbs, it begins to not even be a thought. It was not bothering me to not be able to eat a baked potato with a steak dinner anymore. I ate pizza without feeling upset about not eating the crust. I already knew what all these foods tasted like. Did I really need them? I realized I didn’t. With less cravings came less appetite. I began eating less throughout the day and had really hearty meals for lunch and dinner.
I was finally fueling my body the way it had craved for years.
The greatest benefit that has changed my life the most on this journey is the amount of energy I have. Truthfully speaking…all I can say is holy crap. I wake up almost every morning ready for my day. When my alarm goes off, I don’t feel sick, super tired, or anxiety-ridden. I used to have to get a coffee or two throughout my afternoons just because I needed a solid pick-me-up. Around 2pm I would regularly get super sleepy. That’s no longer a thing for me. In fact, when I do have coffee in the afternoon now, it’s decaf.
Having more energy keeps me so much more motivated.
My days have become so much more productive than I ever thought possible, and it’s all attributed to getting better sleep and having more energy. Crazy how it all ties back to one another full circle, isn’t it?
The Weight Loss
There is no doubt that this is by far one of the most rewarding benefits to any lifestyle change. The Keto diet is practically known for how much weight people lose. In the beginning the weight came off fairly quickly. Week one I was down six pounds, maybe even seven.
I would say after the first few weeks, the weight started falling off at a slower rate. However, it was always consistent. I never had a battle of up one pound one week, down three pounds the next. It has been a steady decrease in weight from the beginning.
Here I am, six months living a low-carb lifestyle and down 49 pounds and counting. Some people would say losing that much in such a short amount of time is huge and harder to keep off. But from my experience, the longer I am on this journey the easier it is to keep it off and continue losing. I feel more confident now, than I ever have in my entire life, and I haven’t even lost all the weight that I plan on yet.
This is a journey I will never turn back from.
While trying a Ketogenic diet is not for everyone, it has been a wonderful experience for me. The sleep, the energy, the weight loss, all of these things are reasons why I will never go back to eating the way that I was. If you need a really yummy Keto-friendly recipe, you should check out my blueberry muffin recipe, you won’t even know that it’s low carb. It’s THAT delicious.
Wherever you are at in your journey of life, whether it’s losing weight, find your purpose, following your passion…just know that every step you take is one step in the right direction. No matter how many times you fall, as long as you get back up you can accomplish anything. I believe in YOU!
Adios for now,