Before discovering the keto diet, I struggled with binge eating, especially when it came to fast food. My days revolved around trips to the drive-thru and ordering large portions. I was stopping at McDonald's and Taco Bell two times a day, at the minimum. I hid this habit from everyone, and the weight slowly packed on.
I blamed my weight gain on the fact that I had two babies 14 months apart. I would eat meals at home with my family, then find ways to have a reason to get fast food or coffee drinks at a local coffee shop. I was drinking half my day's calories in one drink, on top of my multiple fast food trips.
I never realized I had a problem until I started to find ways to make extra money to be able to fund my fast food habits. I would look for change and sell old clothes or household items just to be able to feed my addiction.
On top of this, my physical health was struggling. I was newly diagnosed with Crohn's disease, and I also had high blood pressure and prediabetes. I was 100 percent sedentary, aside from helping my toddlers with daily tasks.
I hit my rock bottom when my husband and I were on a road trip along the Oregon coastline.
We were headed into California, which is a long trip that we did in just one day. I was 23 years old and 300 pounds. The car ride was torturous. The swelling, shooting pains, and constant need to eat just got to be too much. I barely fit into my car's seat, and the seatbelt was digging into my skin.
The next day, when we tried to walk through an amusement park, I couldn't do it. I was struggling. Struggling to catch my breath and to have the energy to keep going. I saw photos of myself that my husband had taken that day and was just in awe that the person in the pictures was truly me.
I had heard of the keto diet, and I researched it during the entire drive home.
When we got home from our road trip, I immediately went to the grocery store and stocked up on keto foods.
I chose the ketogenic diet because it allowed me to incorporate things that worked for my lifestyle, like bunless burgers. I love to eat filling, fattier meals versus things like salads, so it was sustainable for me. I love that the diet allows me to easily find something to eat wherever I go. Anywhere and everywhere can accommodate keto for you, if you just ask.
I also never knew what a carbohydrate really was or even meant until I started tracking my calories and macros. I love the Carb Manager app to track everything from my meals to my water intake to my weight. When I am truly on my tracking game, I lose the most weight.
Here’s what I eat in a day now:
- Breakfast: Two eggs and bacon or sausage with coffee and heavy cream
- Lunch: A bunless burger, chicken and veggies, lettuce-wrapped sandwiches, or dinner leftovers
- Snacks: Pickles, olives, Built bars, cheeses, deli meats, Cheese Whisps, or Two Good yogurt
- Dinner: I love to find new ideas on Pinterest. A favorite is low-carb tortilla enchiladas, keto zuppa toscana, and homemade alfredo sauce with chicken and broccoli
- Dessert: Enlightened ice cream or Lily's chocolate
I started exercising after I hit the 50-pound weight loss mark.
I joined Planet Fitness and started by walking on the treadmill for about 30 to 40 minutes a day. Eventually, I started trying out machines and watching others do lifting exercises and gave it a shot. I also followed fitness accounts on Instagram that offered free routines.
I started slowly using free weights and incorporated running. Both of these types of exercise truly gave me the confidence that I have now when it comes to working out. I completed my first 5K last November, and that fueled me to keep going and push for a marathon eventually.
These three changes have made the biggest impact on my overall weight loss.
- Change one: I started drinking water. Water helps in so many ways! For me it helps me stay hydrated, feel fuller longer, and have clearer skin. It promotes steady, healthy weight loss because I am not holding in any inflammation and it keeps the scale moving.
- Change two: I tracked what I was eating. It was easy to assume I was doing everything right, but little bites here and there added up! Tracking also helps me realize what I'm eating, and when I'm eating. It helps me notice any unhelpful habits I may form when it comes to eating out, snacking, or portion sizes.
- Change three: I trusted the process. I couldn't just give up when the scale stopped moving. You can have a perfect month of eating and workouts, but the scale may not reflect that. The scale does not define you. Your body changes in so many ways before the scale moves. I like to take a look at my energy level, my workout intensity, how my clothes fit, and my mood. The non-scale victories mean so much more.
I have lost 114 pounds in two years. My weight loss has changed my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined.
The part that sticks out to me the most is confidence. I truly had no idea how much my weight was holding me back. When I think back about when I first started my journey, I walked around embarrassed, shy, and worried. I always felt judged, and that just led to me eating more. The feeling of freedom that comes from gaining confidence in yourself is worth more than words can describe.
I have grown mentally (not to mention financially!) and changed physically for the better just by deciding to change my eating habits. Putting myself first and taking control of my health has opened so many new doors in my life, and given me a true purpose for not only myself, but also my daughters. I hope that I can be the best example for them. I am proud to say I have taken my health back.