Today is my Mom’s birthday and she is 71! She almost didn’t make it to this day. I’m so thankful she did. As I think about her, and all that she’s been through to get here…I am also so thankful I found Keto!
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I have always (at least for the majority of my life) struggled with my weight. We can discuss my struggle another time… and of course, there’s the great weight/self-image debate we can discuss later, too. There’s so much to discuss. So many thoughts and ideas… that EVERYONE has. I get it and I understand it. And, I love it. So, that said, I’m not here to debate anyone on his or her own personal choices, thoughts, or experiences. These are simply my personal experiences, etc.
Love of Food
I LOVE FOOD. Always have. Always will.
I love eating and experiencing different cultures through food. The stories of each meal mean so much. I love how families can have a connection while in the kitchen or at the table. Feeding people is one of my passions. I enjoy seeing their delight in my creations. I, guess, I could be labeled a foodie. But, I feel there’s more to it. A lot more.
Truthfully, my relationship with food has been full of love and laced with hate. Yes, hate. I know that is a strong word, but… that’s all I got right now. (I reserve the right to change that word in the future.)
I’m being real with ya! That’s okay, right?
Before I got married, I was considered a healthy weight and size. Though, I had to work hard for it, by watching what I ate and walking 4 miles a day. I had put on a lot of weight after high school and did all the yo-yo diets you can think of to lose it. This is where the hate ensues… I hate that certain foods can have an ill effect on my body and negatively impact my life. I also hate feeling deprived or guilty for my food choices and not being able to fully LOVE food.
After my wedding, I put on some “happy” weight and stopped exercising. You know that (extended) honeymoon phase where, apparently, we felt like we were on perpetual vacation, eating all the things…all the time. There were no limits and we didn’t see the changes happening. Then, add 2 pregnancies and life into the mix and well, I got FAT, again! There. I said it. Publicly. Virtually out loud.
Overall, I was happily still in love; but I avoided a lot of things in life. Let’s just say there aren’t a whole lot of family photos or photos in general that include me. I wanted to be invisible and wanted to hide. I tried so hard to cover up my body for so long.
I’ve missed out on DECADES! And, I know there are friends out there who have lost the same or more… And, I hate that, too.
Fast forward to 2013 our lives were radically changed. My Mom was diagnosed with NASH Cirrhosis of the liver. (I will discuss more of that later.) She battled hard for 5 years and by 2018 she was dying, a horrible death, and needed a liver and kidney transplant for her survival. Thankfully, she was given the gift of life on February 23 and February 24, 2018 (two surgeries) Praise God!
Being my mother’s caregiver and helping her with recovery from her transplant surgeries…I was making poor uneducated food choices and was living on sugar. Beyond EXHAUSTED, I was “sugar high” exhausted! Living in a major carb high fog: I knew I needed to change. I wanted the change but, I didn’t know how. I didn’t have the energy for it. To say, my weight and eating habits were in my face, is an understatement. As painful as it was, I was forced to take a real hard look at my health. I actually had to put myself on the to-do list. I had to let myself be important again. A priority.
I had heard about Keto on social media. Though, I thought it was just another yo-yo and dismissed it. I shut the door. But, my addiction to sugar was getting out of control. I could literally feel the need for a sugar fix. It was my drug. I needed it all through the day. Highs and lows… is how I lived. The only reason I didn’t get over 200lbs is that I was walking the hospital every day, all day, and I had no real appetite… with all that was going on… except for sweets.
By March 2018 my Mom was out of the hospital and recovering from her successful transplant surgeries. A bit of the overloaded, responsibility-filled plate had cleared. But what I saw literally shook me to my core. During the time my mom was in and out of the hospital, and I was going up there with her for days on end, my kids were being taken care of by family members, whom I love, but have different eating habits. They had gained so much weight! In such a short span of time the weight just piled on…it was awful. I could tell my daughter was having self-image issues. She too didn’t like it but didn’t know how to change it. I was devastated, and that’s what did it. A change had to happen! And fast!
Then my sister started Keto
She was seeing and, most importantly, feeling such a huge difference with Keto. So, I decided to at least listen because her excitement and results were evident.
Sugar still had its grip on me; and, I did not… NO! I could not, let go of my sweet and creamy coffee every morning. I just could not stand the after taste of some sweeteners and didn’t want artificial chemicals in my body… My sister told me to try Swerve. She had heard of people swearing by it. So, I went to my local Sprouts and bought a bag. I took it home and put a little on my tongue. That’s when I said yes to Keto! Plus, I didn’t have to give up butter… That’s a big win in my book!
For the first several weeks, she coached me and calculated my macros, but 3 days in, I could already think clearly again…the fog was GONE!! Completely GONE!! I could not believe it. And as a side effect… I was losing weight and feeling so much better in my body. I felt alive again!!
I have been on Keto since April 21st and have lost 20lbs. Gone from an XL top to a Med/Small…. YES, A SMALL! I was astonished when it fit and fit loosely. I have learned so much and do not feel deprived in any way. I have embraced the differences in Keto meals and products vs. their carb-loaded alternatives. I have ketofied all my favorite foods. I am happy with this lifestyle.
My Husband and kids joined me in the early part of May. My husband has lost more weight than me, at 30lbs. (I still love him, though.) My daughter has lost 28lbs and my son 12lbs. My kids eat more carbs than he and I but, I do not bring junk into my home anymore. We are setting a different example for them now and teaching them to make healthy choices. They read nutrition labels and ingredients and, are fully aware of what is going into their bodies. No more free-for-all or mindless eating. Whatever they eat they have learned to count the cost. This is, by far, my greatest accomplishment in choosing Keto.
As for me, I am beginning to take more pictures and not dodge out of the way when I see someone else have a camera. Recently, I went to the beach with my family and my “trusty” size 14 swim shorts were too big… TOO BIG y’ all!! I threw them away! It was the first time; EVER… I was happy about going to the beach. I believe it’s because, even though others didn’t know…I know… I’m on the right path for positive change and results for my health. No, I am not where I want to be. I do have a goal weight in mind, but I’m not stressing about how fast I get there. I’ve wrecked my body with food for over 16 years… I am willing to invest some time to heal it with food.