Do you all remember back before the holidays when the Instant Pot was like everywhere? Instant pot this, Instant pot that. Social media, emails, on sale on Amazon. Ack! It was everywhere or at least it felt like it was everywhere to me! Fast forward to now and its keto. Keto this, keto that. Keto cookbooks, Facebook groups and keto specific food for sale. I didn’t buy in to the Instant Pot thing last year so I had no contribution to its viral spread on Facebook but I am going to give keto a shot and share my experiences with you.
I researched it a bit and am now wondering, “What did I get myself in to?”.
Housekeeping: I am not a doctor. I have zero professional education when it comes to nutrition, weight loss or the like. I am not giving medical advice in this post nor am I expecting anyone reading this post to interpret anything that I say as being taken as medical advice. This is my personal weight loss lifestyle story and I am documenting this on my blog while following a “keto lifestyle” based on the research I have done on my own and the support systems I found along the way.
I have a work friend that shared that she was adapting to a keto lifestyle last year. At the time she shared her story I was on no diet, not watching what I ate and in a somewhat pretty miserable state. I would clock in to work ( I work from home so I literally could get out of bed, hop in to my work chair and start working), clock out, sit on the couch and veg out on some unhealthy snacks. I LOVE brownies and vanilla ice cream and potato chips. My activity level per the app I used to track it would describe me as “sedentary” which means little to no movement and I was OK with that.
On my lunch breaks I would take the dog out for a walk around the yard, play outside with the kids when they were home from school or occasionally go for a paddle in the kayak. I had zero consistency when it came to activity for myself.
Before my kids were born I really had no issues with weight or watching what I ate. Margaritas here, french fries there. No pounds gained and what a wonderful lifestyle it was! I was working a high stress call center job that did unfortunately leave me mentally exhausted by the time I got home and on my days off I wanted to sit in quiet with no reason to even talk on a phone.
After child #1 was born, I noticed a few changes in my body’s reaction to the food I was eating and my weight. I was starting to pick up the “mom bod” where I wore jeans, a baggy t-shirt and tennis shoes. Nothing really fit right because I was in this strange transition of still having weight from the pregnancy but loosing weight from it if that makes sense. The sleepless nights that came with being a new mom and the stress of my job had caused me to develop a mindset of not caring as much. I was too exhausted to care. As long as I could somewhat function to keep a job, the rest would have to fall by the waist-side until I could figure it out.
Child #2 came along with a few more challenges. My blood glucose test was a fail on the one hour and three-hour and I was given the diagnosis of having gestational diabetes. I was able to manage it with a very strict diet and avoided insulin but had to see a high risk OB/GYN every two weeks and monitored my sugar 3 or more times a day. I had a doctor to answer to and a tiny human relying on my dietary decisions so I had to be 100% accountable for the results. Baby was fine after delivery and my blood sugar levels went back to somewhat normal but some foods still triggered the yuck feeling when I ate.
Fast forward to 9 years later and here I was still eating like I was 20 something living in a 30 something year old’s body. More of my favorite foods became foods I had a reaction to. A muffin in the morning left me feeling gross. A hand full of candy would zap my energy. A carbohydrate heavy meal would leave me on the couch for the afternoon.
Something had to change.
So my friend sharing her keto lifestyle was in a small way a blessing to me. Something I needed to hear whether she knew that or not. Now, the things she shared scared the absolute hell out of me making me wonder why anyone in their right mind would voluntarily life this type of lifestyle.
Cut sugar. Reduce carbs. Meal Plan. Macros. Keto Flu. Fasting.
I said to her, ” Friend, why are you doing this to yourself because it sounds absolutely miserable?”.
Her response. Because it is working and I am loosing weight.
She continued to share her lifestyle with us and I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel somewhat sorry for her decisions. I even asked my doctor at one time to define ketosis and if I had any business trying to dabble in a keto lifestyle myself. My physicians response is what changed my mind about it. He told me that it is a lifestyle change that is sometimes adopted by folks with diabetes and has been used in weight loss management. He then told me that he would not recommend I try it on my own without the help of someone who could give guidance on nutrition and my blood sugar ups and downs.
Ok. So now I am confused. I am not diabetic but I am pre diabetic. I need to be managing my weight but you suggest I get help from someone who knows about nutrition? What is different from what I did when I was pregnant vs. what I would do for myself now? Can I not do this on my own?
I knew how to read food labels. I knew the feeling when I ate something that impacted my sugar levels.
I honestly came back to my friend at work after having visited my doctor and said I was not for “keto” because my physician said it was not good for me and that any diabetic going in to this lifestyle would need to really work with their doctor. Fast forward again to a few months later. I never stopped reading about a ketogenic diet and the ways it worked but I put aside any thought to living a keto lifestyle.
It wasn’t until one day that I was walking around Sam’s Club and my kids wanted to pick out a new book to read. While they were browsing for their books I checked out the cookbook section and came across a keto cookbook called “The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners“. Hmm, I am 100% for sure that I fit in to the “beginners” category having little to know knowledge of this lifestyle or how to get started.
I bought the book, took it home and started reading. Just after getting through the grocery list I asked myself…
What did I get myself in to?
If you are looking to adapt to a keto lifestyle, the beginning may be 100% overwhelming for you like it was for me. Too much counting, too many restrictions, too many new terms and where the heck did my ability to eat french fries go ?!? Perhaps keto is not right for you right now. You can still follow along to pick up some great information about the food you consume and how to make healthier choices.
The purpose of sharing my keto lifestyle is to share the links and resources I found along the way to help you make better decisions about the food you eat and the choices you make!
There are some amazing support communities out there and some that will not give you the most accurate information.
My goal of sharing my lifestyle is to help you avoid stumbles and confusion and instead find success with the best support system for your new lifestyle change! Learning how to stick to a ketogenic diet is not easy but it seems more and more resources are available by the day.
Check this out. Source: UCSF SugarScience: the unsweetened truth