Since I was a teenager, I’ve had a fluctuating relationship with my weight. After my father passed away unexpectedly when I was 16, I turned to eating more often as a coping mechanism. During my senior year of high school, I went to my very first weight-loss meeting and ended up losing more than 40 pounds. My unhealthy eating habit became much worse when I was attending cosmetology school. I continued to have an unhealthy connection with food despite meeting the man who is now my husband. Over the course of two years, I am now 85 pounds heavier. On my wedding day, I weighed 240 pounds.
At the age of 25, I made the decision that I wanted to reduce the amount of weight that I was carrying, but it was impossible. After making an appointment with my primary care physician at that point, I was given a diagnosis of hypothyroidism. Soon after that, I discovered I was pregnant with my son, and over the course of the subsequent year and a half following delivery, I shed fifty pounds. It turned out that I was pregnant with my second child. I gained back all of the weight that I had lost and then some. I was having a hard time getting out of bed when I was 29 years old. In the month of May 2019, when I was at my heaviest, I weighed about 284 pounds.
Around the same time, I started having consistent bouts of illness, including bronchitis and pneumonia. I started getting headaches, anxiety, and sadness, as well as discomfort in my joints, muscles, and nerves. After seeing a physician, I was informed that I had fibromyalgia. I received a very limited amount of assistance, and the state of my health was the impetus that led to my decision to seek assistance from inside myself.
It took me some time to start taking it seriously, and it wasn’t until April 2020 that I had an epiphany about it when we were in lockdown. I was aware that I did not want to be ill, depressed, or in pain any longer, and I was also aware that until I put in the effort, nothing was going to change. I was sick of making excuses for my lack of progress, and I was aware that I needed to stop making them and start sticking to the food and exercise routine I had set for myself.
Up until this point, I had tried almost every diet that was offered, but none of them seemed like they would be sustainable. The term “dirty keto” refers to a version of the ketogenic diet in which all store-bought snacks are allowed. However, I found that I couldn’t stop listening to podcasts and reading books on low-carb diets. As I learned more about the low-carb way of life, I got more fascinated by it. My eating plan gradually changed into a ketogenic (high-protein) one. Along with monitoring my macronutrient intake, I began integrating intermittent fasting into my routine. In addition, I stopped eating gluten after reading many pieces of advice about my gut and thyroid. These days, I try to eat enough of protein, good fats, and vegetables at each meal.
My approach to keto makes it such that I am never at a disadvantage or feel singled out in any way. Wherever I go, I can nearly always locate something edible that I can consume. However, the most essential thing, in my opinion, is to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for you. For example, I can’t get enough of French fries! Although they are not allowed on the ketogenic diet, I don’t believe I’ve ever gone more than a week without eating at least a couple of them. You have to allow yourself some happiness every once in a while. When it comes to dieting, I believe that many individuals fail because they adopt an all-or-nothing mentality. It’s all about moderation and finding the right balance; I realized that I shouldn’t give up delight for the sake of perfection.
This is what I consume on a typical day.
Coffee with a dash of heavy whipping cream and sugar-free syrup, or iced coffee combined with protein powder and served over ice. This is my go-to breakfast.
Lunch consisted of scrambled eggs topped with parmesan cheese and broccoli that had been sautéed.
Snacks consist of low-carb yogurt mixed with stevia and strawberries.
Dinner consisted of two huge tuna burgers, and a Cobb salad, with dressing on the side.
When it comes to dessert, ice cream is my go-to, but when I really need to satisfy my want for something sweet, I whip some heavy whipping cream with some stevia, vanilla, and chocolate powder. It’s delicious!
I didn’t waste any time and got straight to working out.
I was terrified as a result of the threatening situation. I can vividly recall thinking, “Wow, I’m the largest person in this gym!” and being really impressed by the fact that I was the biggest person there. It really opened my eyes.
I had almost little prior experience with physical activity, so I decided to take things slowly at first by walking and using a stationary bike. In the end, I included all of the machines that came with diagrams and step-by-step instructions. After that, we went on to watch instructional videos on YouTube.
No matter how slowly I moved, the primary objective of mine was to keep my heart rate up for at least thirty minutes as I worked out. At other times, the only thing I could do was walk. I did it three times a week for one to two hours each time, with the most of the time spent on cardio, until I built up my endurance. Now, I try to exercise three times each week. One of those days is spent with my fantastic trainer, who is guiding me through the process of becoming more self-assured when I’m lifting weights.
Weight lifting and strength training typically take up approximately an hour to an hour and a half of a normal day, with some aerobic activity thrown in for good measure. It has become a release for me, a secure haven where I can focus on taking care of myself and sorting through the stresses of the week. I’ve come to value the time I spend working out.
Because I made these three adjustments, my quest to lose weight has been successful.
I gave me the green light to be unsuccessful. I was well aware that it wasn’t a question of “if” I would fail or make a mistake, but rather “when.” I was aware that I need a strategy, and so I made the decision to provide compassion, kindness, and forgiveness to myself regardless of the situation. There is no error so significant that you cannot correct it by beginning over as soon as you possibly can. You will never really fall short of your goals if you have contingency plans for when you do.
I was able to identify my many triggers. I was able to make the mental connection between overeating and the circumstances that led to my need for solace in food. I began by inquiring into the nature of my essential requirements. I always make sure to give myself time to reflect and investigate the roots of my emotions. Quite frequently, instead of eating, all that I want is a relaxing soak in the tub, a stroll in the fresh air, or the company of a trusted friend.
I gave myself time. The mentality of “become skinny soon” has never been successful for me in the past. Because I was not the kind of person who could shed more than two pounds in a single week, I had to accept the fact that my weight loss would be gradual and that there would be numerous periods during which I would experience both a plateau and an increase in weight. I was aware that this was not a diet but rather a change in lifestyle, and that I would have to commit to it for the long haul in order to see results. Because I was used to a sluggish rate of weight reduction, I found that it was simpler for me to deal with challenges when they arose.
In the last 2.5 years, I’ve been able to successfully lose 95 pounds.
Even though I had lovely children and an incredible spouse, I wasn’t truly living until I lost weight. This may seem like a difficult topic to bring up, but losing weight pulled me back from the brink where I wasn’t really living. When I first started getting up, I’d immediately start counting down the hours until I could go back to sleep. My body hurt, and it robbed me of the pleasure I once knew. When I was at this phase of my life, I was under the impression that becoming a parent meant giving up as much of who I was as possible, but I couldn’t have been more incorrect! I am certain without a shadow of a doubt that if we as women—and particularly if we as parents—took the time to consciously care for ourselves, not only would the quality of our own lives improve, but so would the lives of those for whom we are responsible.
It’s kind of like when you’re on an airplane and the flight attendant instructs you to put your oxygen mask on before assisting a youngster. It is essential that you put your own requirements first. Spend some time each day complimenting and encouraging yourself. Spend some time doing things for yourself like painting your nails and styling your hair, joining a reading club, or going to a fitness class.
Stop waiting until you are “worthy” of taking care of yourself; this is the piece of advice that I would give to other women, if I could provide any advice at all based on what I’ve learned. You have already shown your value! You are deserving of the same level of attention and care that you would provide for your kid or closest companion.