Not every keto journey is the same, but they generally all start for the same reason, or with ONE goal in mind: weight loss.
That’s how my own journey started almost 9 years ago. I simply wanted to lose weight so I started Atkins.
It’s what happened next though that turned what I viewed as “a diet” … into a lifestyle.
One of the things I learned along the way is that weight loss is the easy part. If you eat and live healthier, you will have a healthier body. It’s as simple as that.
Easy? … no. ?
For me it was a real struggle and a huge process.
It was a journey of insight & awareness, changing habits, making improvements, growing as a person, changing my whole life… and changing from the inside out – instead of only on the outside, which was my original goal.
I had to overcome eating disorders (that was HARD!), break bad habits, find NEW habits to replace those with, etc. It was the most eye-opening insight into who I was as a person (and why!), then the process of dealing with all that (a serious emotional roller coaster). And ultimately: the best therapy ever. ?
I had NO idea what I was in for when I set out to lose weight, or how much it would change my life. Not just being leaner, but how much “being keto” would change my life – in SO many ways. ?
Keto Life : WAY More Than Weight Loss
There’s several years & 35 pounds difference between these 2 sets of pictures.
These are NOT “before and after weight loss” pictures, by the way. They represent about HALFWAY through my 8+ year keto journey and ~70 pounds lost. There’s only maybe 30-35 pounds difference between these two photos:
I had no idea how overweight or unhealthy I was then, or even before I started keto years before. I was oblivious and felt beautiful, and also felt very grateful and blessed in my life.
I was in chronic pain before I went keto, but I was even grateful for that – because I was paralyzed from an accident prior to that, and told I would never work again and may not ever get out of bed again… then I had a miraculous (and very unexpected!) recovery.
The chronic muscle & nerve pain, frequent bedrest, daily pain meds & weekly physical therapy were my norm. They were a norm I had embraced & accepted (happily!)… physical limitations and all.
I was grateful for those things because I was able to work, have a family, and live a semi-normal life after that near-fatal accident when I was just 20 years old.
Being told you will likely be paralyzed forever and never have the opportunity to live a normal life due to your head trauma at that age is a hard thing to accept. I felt (and still feel) incredibly fortunate to recover as well as I did.
THEN, I got in ketosis, and EVERYTHING changed! ❤
I got back up on a water ski for the first time in 23 years – with a head & back injury! That happened my first full year of eating a ketogenic low carb diet and being in ketosis, even while still at a heavier weight.
With less physical pain and more energy, I started walking daily. First just a mile, then two miles, then a fast-paced four miles with inclines.
I am now rock climbing, hiking up to 10 miles on rough terrain, enjoying BIG adventures, dancing for hours in 5″ heels, exploring the world… and LIVING my life!!!
I currently weigh 139.4 pounds…
That weight will look different on everyone, and every body type. I am short waisted with long legs, and 5’4.5″ tall. But body types vary SO much…
I’ve been this same weight and been much leaner and two sizes smaller, with way more muscle weight on my frame.
These two pictures were taken week before last while I was in Atlanta to see a couple shows at the Fox Theatre – and dance for HOURS two nights in a row. ?
It’s amazing how something as simple as changing which foods you eat can totally CHANGE YOUR LIFE. ❣
I’m still mostly deaf and have regressive memory loss from the accident and head trauma, but nobody really notices those things.
Every Story Is Unique
Not everyone has such a strong incentive to stay in ketosis, or to stay on track with their weight loss goals.
Personally, the weight I don’t mind so much. In both of the “heavier” pictures above, I was VERY happy in my life. HAPPY is my TOP priority!
In both of those phases of my life I was loved, and in love, and having LOTS of fun. I was also incredibly proud of the weight I’d already lost and feeling GREAT about myself.
It’s the unbearable nerve pain and the extreme muscle cramps and CRAZY amount of inflammation that I want to avoid more than anything.
I recently ate something off plan, I shared a piece of pie with a girl friend – knowing I would be home for a few days where the results wouldn’t matter so much (like if I was traveling or had to be on the go that week).
My fingers swelled to the point that they were almost too tight to bend, my feet and ankles swelled up uncomfortably too, I started feeling tension in my lower back (which results in severe sciatica), I was bloated and felt icky of course too – then I had to go back through keto flu again over the next few days.
It was NOT worth it to me, AT ALL.
What if it could NOT be about a size or a weight, and just about feeling healthy & happy? ?
Most people get so obsessed with the scales (myself included, I’ve been there!) that they forget the real goal: WHY they want to lose weight, or get healthy.
Today… I want to encourage you to let go of any number related goals (size/weight), and think about your WHY. What is it that motivates you to want to become a leaner and healthier person?
Focus on that! ?
The Key To My Keto Consistency
I know it can be hard to stay on track, and EASY to just eat whatever on a whim – whether you’re stressed, bored or it just happens to be right in front of you.
I’ve found tracking EVERY meal & macro, every day (no matter what I eat even) is the BEST form of personal accountability.
It has made me a more mindful eater, it has taught me about macros/portions – where before I was just guessing, and it has made me think twice about what I really want to put in my mouth.
My trick? I log EVERY food choice BEFORE I even make it or grab it or order it.
Usually that alone will make me think twice, and I’ll change my mind and choose something else instead. Win!
I currently have a 4-year streak of logging my daily meals & macros on MyFitnessPal, my own little personal accountability buddy! ?
Do I Still Have Cravings? YES ?♀️ Of Course!
I’m human after all, lol.
I’ve actually been struggling with cravings lately. Not even real cravings because I’m in ketosis consistently, it’s just a mental thing with me lately – like feeling rebellious or something (aka: self sabotage!).
The other day I went so far as to go out to get food, but I detoured myself and stopped at the store instead and grabbed cheese & eggs.
That’s my fallback meal: cheesy eggs!
It’s fast, easy, filling, real food… and always hits the spot. ?
The other night I was in the city and CRAVING ice cream. I actually turned around to go find some, but stopped at Starbucks instead and got this super sweet iced coffee – which TOTALLY hit the spot, and saved me from carb misery. ?
Powering through the moment is always a win!
What makes it easier for me is reminding myself how AWFUL it feels to eat carbs & sugar, and how long it takes me to get that out of my system. ? It’s SO not worth it, especially not when I have a full schedule and need to be at my best! ✔
How do YOU power through those moments?
The key for me is KNOWING whatever it is I think I want is NEVER as great as it looks, or seems in my head – and NOT worth feeling crappy, frustrated, or dealing with keto flu when I get right back on track. ?
Holiday food is not really an issue for me since I don’t really celebrate them. Not that I’m a grinch (lol), it’s that just I’m alone 24/7.
I had cheesy eggs on Thanksgiving, actually.
Like I said, for me it’s more a rebellious moment or self sabotage thing that just strikes out of nowhere. ?
Anyway… that’s my story, my motivation, and what keeps ME on track (most of the time, at least!).
What about you?
I’d love to hear YOUR story, and how you handle temptations and cravings. What helps YOU most to stay on track and be consistent toward your health & weight loss goals?
Or what tends to derail you most often, and how does that make you feel?
Leave a comment & let’s chat! ?
p.s. I attended a FUN keto meetup yesterday, then hopped on Facebook and had this quick video discussion about it – and also unboxed the December Keto Krate too:
Netrition – The Internet’s Premier Nutrition Superstore!