Be a product of what you preach.
For years I always talked a big game about how I KNEW what to do to be healthy. But was I practicing it? Nope.
I knew I was my own worst enemy here, yet I was not ready to make any changes! I began keto back in 2017 as a "quick fix". I was overweight and miserable with myself. I remember needing to go buy some pants for a work dinner of my husbands and I had to go to a size 16 in womens. I literally wanted to roll over and cry.
I was struggling with a thyroid autoimmune (hashimotos) and the excess weight was definetly contributed to from this but overall it was how I was treating my body. I was having milkshakes as a "stress" treat, enjoying a little too many french fries, and don't get me started on how much I used to LOVE an ice cold Dr. Pepper!
I knew I had to make the change! I remember I went to work, came home and could not even get thru dinner with my family. It was only 6pm and I went to bed. Totally exhausted and worn out. This had been going on for the longest!
I had begun autoimmune paleo back in 2015 to help me heal, but that way of eating was a slippery slope for me since sugars were permitted. I found myself indulging a bit much on dates and also using coconut sugar. I had not yet made the connection of how truly addicted to sugar I was! Eventually, I had fallen off track with AIP and felt it wasn't a sustainable way of eating.
Enter the Keto diet! I had heard so much about this diet and decided to give it a try. Now, this was only going to be temporary for me- or so I thought. I was ready to jump in headfirst and get the party started, thinking I could just eat tons of bacon and cheese and loose weight. I did not plan to stick with it forever because well, I was totally addicted to unhealthy foods.
I went full forced into it, giving it my all and eliminating any "trigger" foods in the house. I downloaded an app called "My Fitness Pal" and kept track of my macros religiously and kept tabs on my water. After my first month I had lost 12 pounds and was down two pants sizes- so I was doing SOMETHING right! This just kept me motivated to keep going.
I kept at it and every now and then I would allow alcohol on the weekends (keto friendly drinks of course) however I did seem to notice stalls would happen when this would occur.
By April 2018 I had lost 45 pounds and was down to a size 10 in pants and was feeling incredible! But then... I found out I was pregnant!
I began to dig about doing keto while pregnant- with very little results. I got really discouraged because I was thinking in my head all of my hard work was now going to be undone. I had never had a comfortable pregnancy, and I always gained a bunch of weight during, and also after while breastfeeding. I assumed my body just did that because well, PREGNANCY.
I realized how much I had reduced my inflammation while following a ketogenic lifestyle, so I thought well surely it would be beneficial to follow while pregnant. After all I was eating so clean- protein, veggies, low carb fruits, and zero sugars.
I carefully brought up the idea to my OB/GYN who immediately told me carbs are necessary for baby development. I told her I do consume carbs, thru nuts, lettuce, and other green veggies. I described a typical day of eating and all she could say was "well those foods sound really healthy, but I wouldn't say keto is the way to go while pregnant"
I of course- had decided I was going to follow it anyways. Weeks 4-6 went nice and smooth and I felt fine, absolutely no changes. And my additional doctor visit came back with all of my blood test labs being perfect, with the exception of high ketones which was to be expected because after all, I was in ketosis. My OB/GYN did not see any issues with this and sent me on my way.
Enter week 7-13 FULL BLOWN FOOD AVERSIONS AND ALL DAY SICKNESS
I had NEVER dealt with such drastic feelings of sickness! I would wake up feeling semi ok and then quickly spiral down into a day of nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. I ended up in the hospital and the doctors quickly diagnosed me with dehydration.
I was given a nasty look becaues of the evelvated ketones my body was producing again. The doctor on call told me this was something silly I was doing by following this way of eating and I should just "go home and eat some cake".
I had reversed so much by eating so clean! And I knew CAKE was not going to solve anything. I couldn't stand the ignorance.
It just so happens a nurse was overhearing this conversation and came to speak to me after the doctor left.
She explained to me she has seen this happen a lot of times in the beginning for women who follow low carb diets,etc. Naturally when you start keto, it can cause dehydration if you're not careful. This is what some people may call "the keto flu". When your body burns fat instead of carbs, it produces ketones, which must be passed via frequent and increased urination. This can deplete all of your reserved electrolytes and drain the Each gram of glycogen (stored glucose) in your body is stored with 3 grams of water. When you eat a low-carb diet, and thereby use up your glycogen stores, all that water that was storing it also gets flushed out.
Add pregnancy into the mix and the body is flushing thru your water and mineral reserves at an alarming rate in the beginning due to all of the work it's doing behind the scenes. You're building another human being, not to mention a whole other organ (the placenta) at this time!
I told her I drank water like it was going out of style- how could I be getting so dehydrated??
She gave me some advice that from that day forward and even to today that was a total game changer- "triple your current electrolye intake and drink High PH water"
From that day forward I did just that, and I never had another bought of sickness!
My pregnancy went very smoothly (more to come on that later) and I overall I gained total of 6 pounds, which later fluctuated to only a 2 pound gain.
I delivered a healthy baby girl at exactly 40 weeks and 2 days of pregnancy with one of the most smooth and painless labors I've ever had!
I immediately went into breastfeeding while staying keto. My supply was not affected, and I decided to ditch dairy starting February 2019 for a month to experiment with how my body reacted since I had kind of plateaued on my weightloss. It was a game changer, where I managed to drop 6 pounds that month and 8 inches overall.
To this day I do try to maintain being dairy free as possible as it is amazing at keeping the inflammation at bay for me personally!
In July 2019 I began to cycle in workouts in my health journey. I began with just two sessions a week with a personal trainer so I could learn proper form and also understand the best methods of exercise for my body type. I eventually worked up to working out 5-7 days a week. Turns out I love to exercise and I had no idea! I trimmed off an additional 20 pounds since I began to add in workouts on the daily, but hte most noticeable has been how my body composition has changed.
I no longer have back pain either, and I have such a clearer headspace once I have completed my daily workout. I used to dread heading into my workouts- now I look forward to them! I know how much better I feel afterwards, and I look forward to the physical changes that I know are happening.
Yes- it takes time, effort, and true dedication. It's not EASY, and you are not always going to be motivated. But you have to set goals in place to be the best version of you.
I can 100% tell you face to face that this way of eating and living has totally made a 180 in who I am as a mother and wife. I can be present for my family without shrinking off in pain. I can take my kids to the park and be active with them! I don't feel ashamed of myself when I have to dress up to be present with my husband for a formal work event. I feel happy with who I am, and I know that I am always facing every day with dedication and committment to be the best version of myself.
Original Pic- 4/2017
Secondary Pic- 5/2020
90 pounds lost