This feels almost like I’m coming out. I am not, for the record, but I do have some news that I want to share with fellow friends and family that don’t know about my new lifestyle. This sounds so bad already, but I swear it’s not, just keep reading.
So, when people hear the word Keto, what comes to mind? “Ketones = Keto acidosis = bad” or “low carb crash diet”, maybe even “unsustainable diet, you need carbs to live.” In arrogance and pure ignorance, I said these things, too. Just another reason that jumping to conclusions is a really bad habit. Let me tell you what this mysterious, unsustainable, crash-diet did to me.
Weighing in at a whopping 176 pounds on my tiny 5 foot 2 inch frame, I was feeling like a failure in every sense of the word. I was lethargic, moody, depressed, anxious and self-loathing often times got the best of me and caused me to binge endlessly on Ben and Jerry’s. I know how pathetic this sounds, I lived through it, but when everything that you think you know about nutrition no longer works for you, it’s hard not to be a pathetic pile of sadness.
I tried so many things to get the weight off, and I wasn’t doing very well. I did a tremendous job at gaining weight, though! If I could enter in the Guinness Book of World Records for “girl who can gain the most amount of weight in the shortest amount of time”, that title would likely be mine.
I was “eating clean” (whatever that meant at the time) by day and bingeing on ice cream and sugary snacks by night. I kid you not, I would do this while watching “My 600-pound life” on TLC. I also decided I needed to punish myself with strenuous exercise five days a week. So I was eating “healthy”, working out five days a week and gaining weight rapidly. So, you can see where this can get a little frustrating. I finally got sick of my bingeing, so I stopped the nightly snacks and continued eating the way I was with the same amount of exercise. Now, here’s the kicker, I lost an AMAZING 3 pounds that month! You can probably imagine what I felt at that time. I was distraught. All this hard work, eating right and only 3 pounds in a month?
Not only did I NOT lose a substantial amount of weight, but I felt like shit. My hair was falling out in clumps, I was still lethargic and exhausted all of the time, I had some serious digestive issues, breaking out in a rash every couple of months was becoming “normal”, my periods hurt like a major bitch, my mood swings were getting worse, my anxiety levels were becoming just short of unbearable…I was literally about to throw myself off a bridge.
While all this was happening, I was newly engaged and stressing myself out to the core about how I’m going to look in a wedding gown in front of all my friends and family who haven’t seen me since I was “skinny”. Something had to change, and drastic measures had to take place. I needed a complete over haul of my lifestyle, starting with my diet. I couldn’t figure out what was making me so fat, but as I looked into my old food journals, I noticed that this girl really likes her carbs. I barely consumed any fat, not even any healthy fat, and I was eating the hell out of some whole wheat bread!
On the YouTube I went, and I saw some people doing this thing called Keto. Now, my interpretation of Keto was that it was directly related to the other Keto word and it was bad. Then, I saw the high fat component of the diet, and that shook me to my core. High fat? But, fat makes you fat and clogs your arteries, right? I’m so embarrassed for even assuming that fat and being “fat” or “artery-clogging” were directly correlated. You live and learn, people! So, like any other person that’s desperate to lose weight and feel better, I google searched Keto and found a ton of great information about how and why a low carb, high fat diet works. Not only were people losing weight, but they were curing and managing illnesses like Type 2 Diabetes, PCOS and even cancer!
I know all of this sounds too good to be true, but the hype is real. I started doing Keto on August 7th, 2016 (the day after my wedding shower, where I felt like a baby whale and looked uncomfortable to say the least). In the first month I dropped about 12 pounds and I felt amazing (with NO exercise). I had energy! I didn’t even remember what it felt like to harness that feeling, but it was unbelievable. My skin was looking so much brighter, my hair started growing back, my period wasn’t as miserable as before (but let’s be real, a period is always miserable no matter what), I no longer had issues with digestion and I felt—good! My depression and anxiety were completely diminished in the first month and I just kept going. I was so inspired! After all my efforts to lose weight the last few years, this was the best method yet! It soon became more than a diet to me, but a new lifestyle that I could not give up. I can’t even imagine living any other way, now that I have experienced how wonderful it is to live like this.
Now, I’ve been on Keto for almost 5 months, I have dropped 30 pounds and a bunch of inches off of my body. The weight loss has been great, but the emotional changes have been my favorite. I am more patient, I’m more kind, I’m genuinely happy and energetic, I am reverting back to the person I was before all the self-sabotage.
I’m writing this because I feel like there are a lot of people out there that have experienced the things I have. I wish I had the help, I wish I had the knowledge, but I do believe I had to get to that shitty point in my life to be appreciative of my life now. I have lost all of this weight without feeling like I’m missing out, or being deprived. I haven’t exercised during all of this (which is nothing to be proud of), but it just proves that diet is the key to weight loss and even fat loss. Exercise is amazing and is a great tool to continue fat loss, and keep your muscles healthy including your heart. My next journey will include repairing my relationship with exercise, as using it for punishment in the past has made me hesitant. This lifestyle may not be for everyone, but coming from the queen of excuses and the biggest sugar addict that I know, it’s possible. If you’re looking for a sign, this is it.
I have been secretly (kinda) documenting my journey with this lifestyle since the beginning. I have started a YouTube channel called “Kayla Does Keto” and have an Instagram account documenting my day-to-day life on the Keto lifestyle (also Kayla does Keto). I suggest you check it out if you are interested in learning more about this lifestyle. I am extremely hesitant to post this to my personal Facebook page, but I know that there is someone somewhere who can benefit from this information. I want to spread the wealth, if you will, because keeping this a secret doesn’t help anyone! If you read this blog post all the way through without falling asleep, I appreciate it. It just takes one story to change someones life.