I think it's time to share my struggles and successes with the community that I love.
Almost a month ago, I decided to take control of my diet. There are a lot of factors that contributed, but something just snapped (as they say it always happens). At 34 years old, I am on the fast track to diabetes, as it runs strongly on both sides of my family, I am extremely overweight, and my lifestyle is entirely sedentary. I had a blood pressure scare earlier in the year, I suffer from sleep apnea, and I'm just generally miserable with my body.
I read a post on Reddit from a guy who was 800lbs, and lost 300. His thread was about his depression at still being extremely overweight even after the struggle that it took to lose that crazy amount of weight. To sum it up, "Yeah, I lost three hundred pounds. People look at me and I'm still 500 pounds."
I know I could never get to be that out of control, but I knew where this guy was, mentally; many of you will remember that a couple of years ago I went a bit nuts and started nightly walks and blogged about it every day to keep myself motivated. After months of that, I lost about 20 pounds, but I was highly discouraged because it didn't really look
like I lost 20 pounds. I lost it in my thighs and around my groin; areas that didn't show when I had clothing on. The amount of effort to lose those twenty pounds was incredible for me. Maybe it's the sleep apnea, maybe it's my thyroid disorder, whatever... I grew to loathe the walking so much that I would literally wake up in the morning and ALREADY have anxiety about the walk I would be taking that night. It was unsustainable, and I stopped. The weight came back.
At any rate, through Reddit I found the Keto subreddit
and started doing some research. The more I read, the more sense it made. I decided to try it. I was highly encouraged by how successful the community members were.
So it's been almost thirty days. I've lost a bit over twenty pounds already; needless to say, it works. Besides the dramatic weight loss in such a short time, I also feel much, much better; both mentally and physically. My freaking teeth
feel healthier. I'm sleeping a little better. My allergies which normally plague me heavily during autumn have entirely disappeared. It's almost like a miracle diet.
Keto is not a healthy lifestyle for the long-term. What it is is a short-term plan to lose weight; it can be rotated in and out with other smart food choices. I don't want anybody to be concerned about my liver or kidneys or brain or whatever; believe me, I've read (and heard) all the criticisms and "Oh, that's quack medicine" and whatnot.
For me, Keto hasn't been much other than eliminating grains and sugar entirely from my diet. It sounds simple, but it limits your food choices remarkably. Going to a grocery store, it's amazing to see it with Keto eyes; there's almost nothing in the entire store you can eat that's not fresh produce or meat. 85% of the store shelves are useless. The western diet is absolutely inundated with all kinds of sugars and wheat. It's no wonder we are the unhealthiest people in the world (and cultures that adopt our diet are finding out the same things. Diabetes. Obesity. Heart disease.)
At any rate, my "fat" pants are now starting to fall off of me. My belt is now at the tightest notch and I'll probably need to drill a new hole soon. Six months from now, I'll probably need a new wardrobe.
Keto is 65% fat, 30% protein, 5% carbs. I've been keeping extremely strict, under 20g carbs a day, and have been ensuring my ketosis with urinalysis. I have not had one single cheat day (as cheating would knock me out of ketosis and it may take 5-7 days to get back into it. Not worth it.) The only downsides so far have been remarkably smelly urine and occasional complaints of slightly off body odor (the body excretes acetone during ketosis).
I've been cooking a great deal more (I don't really have a choice). I've been planning meals ahead, and I've been eating MUCH better. I eat a lot of fresh meat and a ton of leafy greens, most notably spinach and kale. Eating keto is very difficult in certain situations (most sauces, etc, are loaded with carbs), but I'm used to it now and can eat correctly with little effort. It's becoming a habit.
For the long term, I am heavily considering moving into a paleo diet. I think I'll be able to cut wheat entirely from my diet for life; I really don't miss it. When I am transitioning away from keto I'll be adding healthier carbs to my diet; namely rice, potatoes, and carrots. Eating sugar-free is not as hard as I thought it would be.
At any rate, I hope my struggles and successes encourage others who are trying to lose weight. I truly gave up hope that I'd ever be able to lose weight, but this is actually working for me, and I'm reasonably certain I can make a lifestyle out of this.