In September 2017 I weighed 242 pounds, and I was very unhealthy, depressed, and emotionally miserable. I had tried and failed to lose weight many times – every attempt left me hungry and exhausted, so I always gave up. I stumbled across the ketogenic diet and decided that I could either stay miserable or give it a try and even if it failed I was already as unhappy as I could possibly be.
To my absolute surprise, keto changed my life in every way possible. It was sustainable, energizing, and surprisingly simple to implement into my life. I drastically changed my eating habits and started exercise along with keto. I lost 80 pounds on keto by December 2018. My chronic depression was gone. My insomnia was gone. I felt strong for the first time in my life, both physically and mentally.
Keto has given me the mental clarity and stability no medication was ever able to in my treatment for depression. It’s given me the energy I’ve desired for so long and it’s given me hope. I now have hope that I can continue on my journey to health, hope that I can accomplish my goals in every aspect of my life. Keto gave me a chance to live a life that I didn’t think was possible!
1. What tactics did you employ to help you get to your goal? What did you find helped you get to your goals best?
Eating keto, drinking more water, exercising a few times a week, and tracking my food were the four big changes I made to my life when I got started. Tracking my food became a habit that helped me ensure I was on track to meet my goals. Exercise was empowering and made me feel stronger over time.
But the keto diet was the most helpful thing of all for me. It gave me the stamina I needed for spending more time in the kitchen cooking, the energy I needed to get through workouts, and it helped boost my mood to keep me motivated and hopeful about transforming myself inside and out.
2. What is the most impactful change you’ve made to your diet and why do you feel it’s been the most important?
Cutting out addictive junk foods and sugary foods were so important for me because they create a cycle of continuous cravings that cause me to continue to crave and eat them. They leave me feeling tired and sluggish and just aren’t worth the momentary satisfaction that taste could bring me. Keeping my insulin levels even has kept my energy higher and mood more stable.
3. What is the best single piece of advice you can give to someone that is just starting out?
Get started now, rather than later, and stick with it, even if it feels overwhelming and difficult to get started. You are absolutely worth every effort it will take and the rewards are beyond what you can imagine!
4. How do you feel your life is now that you’re at your goal?
My life is completely different than it was before I started keto. I no longer deal with many health issues I used to battle: chronic depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue, and pre-diabetes. I have stamina both physically and mentally that I’ve never had before. I have hope again, and I feel confident in who I am and what I’ve accomplished for the first time in my life. I truly feel like keto has given me a freedom that I never thought was possible, one that I want to help others find!
5. What do you consider the biggest change in your day-to-day life?
I don’t “wind down” at the end of a long day with junk food anymore. I am so much more driven and motivated to stay healthy and make choices in terms of food and fitness that will keep me feeling my best. It’s worth it to me to avoid things I once enjoyed because while certain foods may taste good they don’t leave me feeling happy and healthy like keto does.
6. What did you do to find support throughout your journey?
Following ketoers and others who are on weight loss journeys on Instagram has been incredibly helpful and inspiring to me. My mom started a weight loss journey around the same time that I did, so she also provided a ton of support every step of the way.
7. What do you currently do to manage your day-to-day diet?
I plan most of my meals for the week on the weekend, and even if things change I still have my plan to fall back on. I do my best to stick to my planned meals for simplicity and track my food in MyFitnessPal, just like I did when I started. I’ve been tracking my food for 889 days, but I’ve found that I now have a good feel for what I need to eat even without tracking…I’ve just kept it up because it’s become a habit.
8. What is your favorite keto recipe from www.ruled.me that’s become a staple?
I absolutely love the BBQ Bacon Wrapped Smokies I take them to work every time we have a potluck so I have a delicious keto option and everyone at work eats them up and asks me for the recipe!
9. If there is one thing that you could do differently during your journey, what would it be and why?
The only thing I would change if I could is I would have started sooner! If I had known sooner how much keto would free my mind and body, I would have started keto many years before I actually did.