Ketogenic Diet

Higher Love – Steve Winwood

Disclaimer – I am NOT a doctor and I am NOT promoting this diet to others.  I am simply sharing my thoughts and experiences going through this change.  If you decide to try a keto diet (especially if you are a diabetic or have high blood pressure or other complicated illnesses, be sure to consult your doctor as your medications will most likely change).  Consult your doctor, consult your doctor, consult your doctor!  I am a HUGE fan of making sure your doctor is on board with your diet!

Over the years, I’ve tried a few different diets with varying degrees of success.  Probably not much different from most of you.  I abhor dieting! 

About 5 years ago, I went all in for weight watchers, as it was one of the diets that I’d put off trying.  Mainly due to lack of time and a complete mind-block where counting points was concerned.  It wasn’t until a friend told me that there was an online calculator for points that would help keep track that I even seriously considered trying it. 

At first, I tried doing weight watchers on my own with a goodly amount of success.  Somehow, I thought that joining the local group would give me an extra push to get me losing a little more.  It didn’t do that.  I got tired of hearing “nothing tastes as great as skinny feels.”  [Are you freaking kidding me?  Pizza tastes good.  Sausage and gravy biscuits are the bomb.  And OMG, I have this chocolate gravy recipe that my best friend’s mother gave me.  That stuff is a-m-a-z-i-n-g.  As so it went in my head every single time that the woman who led my group said that stupid shit (which was literally every freaking time)].  Then I joined another group of women because walking/hiking was great fun and I did find that I enjoyed that a lot. At least, at first.

Here’s the thing though.  Team sports, I’m all in, but I am not a natural competitor.  (For the short time that I played video games, I preferred the quest games so I could work with a partner).  I’m not a natural power-walker and I don’t have any interest in being the one out front griping about how “this pace is just a daily stroll to me!”  Yeah, no.  It didn’t take long for that to ruin the experience for me.  I stopped going to the walking group and The Dane and I walked in the evenings at a natural pace.  Slowly, we got faster and faster and walked for longer and longer periods of time.  In no time, we were completing nine mile hikes in the mountains and enjoying it!  I joined a Zumba class (which I still go to and love).

About three years ago, I got a new job that took me out-of-town from early in the am until after dark.  It didn’t take long before we fell out of the habit of walking every night.  This job was way more sedentary than any I’d had previously.  Couple that with eating out almost every day for lunch and the pounds just found the way back to my waistline.  I knew it was beginning to be more than just a body image issue when I saw the look on my doctor’s face.  He didn’t even have to say the words.  I could see the lab numbers for myself, besides I already knew how I felt.

My joints were aching all the time, though worse in morning.  I started having issues with heartburn and constipation.   My left knee (which I injured playing softball in high school) starting giving me fits and from time to time my feet started swelling (oh yay).

My doctor put me on a diet pill.  I hated it.  Hated how it made me feel hyped up all the time.  Pretty soon, I was skipping doses and not long after that I just stopped taking them altogether. 

I thought maybe just stepping up the exercise a bit and eating out a little less would help.  That stopped the gain, but did nothing to help me lose.

After much discussion with my doctor and studying on my own, we decided that something a little different might be in order, low carb.  He did a fair amount of teaching about it and told me to be sure that I understood how it all worked and to ask questions before starting.  It has taken time for me to get my head around it.  At first, I sort of thought, oh, I’ll only have to give up all the white stuff (bread, rice, potatoes). After taking a good look at it, I realized that I’d be giving up a lot more – snacks, soda, desserts, bread, rice, potatoes, most fruit and SO much more.  It was a little overwhelming.  And to my surprise, soda seemed to be the thing I hated to give up the most.

It took me a while.  I looked all over the internet to see if there was something I could replace good ole’ coke with.  Truthfully, there just isn’t.  Once I told myself that it was going to be water, coffee and unsweetened tea, I was finally able to get my head around it.  And while that may sound like it took just a second, in real-time, it’s taken about a year.

Finally, after returning to my doctor and realizing that not only had I not been able to lose even the few pounds he’d requested (I’d gained) and my lab numbers had gone up.  My doctor didn’t have to say it, I knew he was thinking it – PJ, you’re not getting younger.  Somehow that thought was enough to finally get me off the fence and start me on the path.  Screw the damn soda!

Here are my thoughts on the diet after (almost) a month.

  1. I had to get my head in a good place to understand there wasn’t going to be the following:  Soda, Bread, Rice, Potatoes, Beans, Corn, most fruit and veggies or Sweets.  It felt like a VERY restrictive diet and I wasn’t sure I could stick to it. 
  2. The first week, I lost 7 pounds – a pound a day.
  3. Meal planning goes a long way that first week, because you really think about all the things you’re missing out on (mainly bread).
  4. Losing a pound a day is great motivation to keep you on the diet.
  5. I did cheat (hey, that cake called my name) that first week, but I didn’t feel all that guilty.
  6. It was difficult for me to get my calorie total up above 1,000 and I felt full all the time.
  7. I did have headaches and a wave of nausea once.  Headaches weren’t cured with pain relievers, but were by about 7 pieces of semi-sweet chocolate (these are the very small baking chocolate pieces and seven because that’s how many it took before the headache went away).
  8. I was mostly losing water weight, so I had to stay very hydrated and remember to use extra salt.
  9. I peed a lot (I mean a LOT).
  10. I didn’t feel the need to snack at night (my worst habit).

A month in and I’ve lost 15 pounds.  So far, aside from the birthday cake, I haven’t cheated and sometimes have to remind myself to make sure I do add carbs to my diet.  And, so far, it’s actually been sort of the easiest diet I’ve ever followed. 

Here’s the thing I want to be sure that I say.  Week One was water weight for the most part, but there were lots and lots of positive changes.  Enough that I wrote down the day by day changes, which I’ll share later.  I did have to make sure that I remembered to eat some carbs and in Week two, I didn’t lose weight as fast, though it was still coming off.  In week three, there was a stall and a couple of gains (small ones) and I’m guessing this is where I was gaining back some of the water weight.  However, there are changes happening even when the scale doesn’t change.  Week Four, I started seeing the scale go down again, though in much smaller increments which feels more natural.  I can remember on Weight Watchers being exuberant over losing the small amount of weight I now lose in a day. 

Overall, this isn’t the drop a pound a day diet forever, but it does seem to be working.

For now, I’m going to continue to get used to it as a life change.

Hope you having a great summer out there!

~PJ

Top & Skirt (old, current here, gingham dress here) – Old Navy; Belt – Torrid (old, similar here); Jewelry – Cato; Shoes – Steve Madden (similar here and here); Handbag – Forever 21

 

 

 

 

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