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I’ll tell you guys a little secret about me. I’m fat. Not just a little fat, I’m a good 50 pounds overweight. Technically obese at *cough*…200 pounds. It’s been this way for years. When we moved back to Tennessee (after what we think of as the most difficult years of our life) we started brand new in our lives. Bankrupt and back home around family. When we moved I was a respectable 175 pounds (pretty good for my body type), but after that lots of stuff happened. I developed a heart condition and along with that, some anxiety issues. I had never had a panic attack in my life, but all of the sudden I was having them all of the time. I was terrified every day that I was going to have another attack and it scared the living shit out of me. On top of that, I went to work for my parents and put my babies in school. Within a year I had packed on 10 pounds (that 185 for those of you not keeping up).
Fast forward to a couple years ago and I had gotten the anxiety under control and was working on bringing my weight (which was now 190) back down. Then, our winery expanded by opening another tasting room in Nashville (60 miles away) which was my responsibility to design, staff and run and I had to do it in 3 months, plus close down my growing catering business, buy a house, move into that house, get my husband through an unexpected back surgery, oh yeah and raise a family. My anxiety came roaring back, and although initially my weight plummeted, my waistline eventually sky rocketed to an abysmal 200 pounds.
For a little perspective here, I was 200 pounds the day before I gave birth to my twins. I was a size 6 and 140 pounds when I got married at 22. 200 pounds is a lot and it was a weight I told myself I would never be, but here I was. FAT and unhappy about it. (Now look, I realize that there are people out there who may read this and be heavier than me. I’m not demeaning you at all. I’m simply stating that this is a weight that I myself was incredibly uncomfortable with. If you are 200 pounds or more and happy with your weight then know that I am also happy for you).
So, in January 2016, I got a trainer (Hi Joe!) and over the course of a year I dieted, counted calories went easy on my fat intake, and exercised 5 days a week. I also started taking Taekwondo with my kids. I tried Weight Watchers for a few months and I counted calories for many more months, always hungry and always feeling like a failure when I would struggle to lose 3 pounds in a month, cave in to temptation, and gain it all back plus another 2 pounds in less than a week. By the beginning of 2017, I had lost most of my motivation and continued failure put a big damper on my dwindling determination, too. Completely exhausted, I turned my workouts down from 5 days a week to 3 days a week (plus 1 for Taekwondo). My weight bounced back and forth between 198 and 207 (!). I would gain, freak out, struggle with food and workouts and get back to 200, then creep back up again. It was awful.
I was getting depressed about it, wondering if I should continue to torture myself with this endless struggle of dieting and working out or if I should just let go and live with the fact that I was just going to get fatter and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I felt defeated. I started eating more crap (fast food, chips, sodas), drinking a lot more, mentally checking out when I got home. I hated who I was becoming.
Then, sometime this Summer, after a sobering visit to the doctor and a brand new prescription for blood pressure, I downloaded The Obesity Code on Audible (side note: if you spend any amount of time in your car, get the Audible app. You will LOVE it.). The Obesity Code is written by Dr. Jason Fung, a nephrologist in Canada, that has his own clinic called The Intensive Dietary Management Center. He’s been treating obesity and diabetes for over 20 years with some revolutionary ideas. In his book, he explains why mainstream medical advice when it comes to nutrition is wrong, why the obesity epidemic has nothing to do with calories and everything to do with hormones and insulin, and how a new way of thinking (and eating) can fix it. I won’t spoil it for you. I want you to read/listen to it. If you are utterly confused, like I was, how someone can eat a low calorie, relatively “healthy” diet while working out 6 times a week and not lose an ounce of weight, then read this book. It will blow your mind. It absolutely blew my mind. For me, it made a ton of sense and gave me a new perspective on my eating, on my weight, and why I could not lose weight even though I was doing all of the “right” things.
The Obesity Code led me to find the LCHF diet, or the Ketogenic Diet (Keto for short). LCHF stands for Low Carb, High Fat. And when I say High Fat, I mean HIGH FAT – like 70-80% of your daily calories comes from natural dietary fat.
I thought it was a crazy diet. There was no way in hell I was going to go on this crazy nuts, obviously extreme, diet. Plus, no bread? No pasta? No rice? What the hell was I supposed to eat?!
Then my trainer, Joe (Hi Joe!), started it and 4 months later, this 350 pound man dropped 70 pounds.
70. Pounds. In. 4. months.
That was an eye opener for me. Here I was struggling to lose 5 pounds in 4 months and he shed 70 pounds in a quarter of a year.
So, on December 6th, 2017 I woke up and decided that this was it. My last effort to get back down to a size that made me happy. It’s the last big hurdle of the last 7 years that I have to overcome. We have risen from the ashes of bankruptcy and the Recession, I have overcome my struggle with panic attacks and anxiety, I am as fit as I could ever be at 200 pounds, I have beautiful children and a wonderful, loving husband, a supportive family, a great career…this is the one thing that I keep failing at and I am tired of being miserable about it.
That was the day I started my Keto Diet Journey.