I’m Tracie J I’m 41 years old and live in Eastern NC with my husband of 21 years. I’m originally from upstate NY and have 3 younger sisters. They are MUCH younger, the baby was born when I was 18. Growing up I had a lot of responsibility, caring for my siblings, several house renovations, helping around the house while my parents owned and operated several auto body shops. I grew up very fast, seeing a lot of drugs and domestic violence at a young age.
Fast forward, I met my husband in December 1996 in NY. He’s from NC. I was ready to move on from the life we had in NY. I moved to NC with him in 1997 and really haven’t looked back since. I’m a manager in a large call center.
I’ve been overweight and let’s face it obese most of my adult life. I was lazy and just liked the food, the wrong food way too much. I had a lot of bad habits, many that involved biscuits, sweet tea, and seasoned fries on a daily basis.
I lost my mom to lung cancer after an 18 day battle in 2014. Hardest loss of my life. I still can’t understand why she went first but that’s a WHOLE other story.
So my weight…what made me change? I feel like one day things kinda clicked for me. I would check my BP from time to time and it was always in the yellow/red. I didn’t want to go on meds and knew I could control my BP if I lost weight. That’s where I started, April 2016 at 258 pounds. I’m 5 ft 9.
I started the same way I had a MILLION TIMES, calorie counting. I’ve never had such bland food in all my life. Calorie counting, for me, was not and is not a long term solution. I did it though because it’s all I knew.
THEN…I heard about a low carb challenge from Instagram. I joined a group – 90 day low carb challenge and told myself I could do anything to 90 days! I haven’t looked back from #lowcarb #keto since!
Today I weigh 130, I’m at my ultimate goal weight and have never been happier! My husband would love me to gain 10 lbs, I love him but like I tell him “I run this” meaning I’m in control of my body. I’m not perfect, mentally still struggle at times but I’m me, I’m happy and I put me first now.
If you are still reading, thank you!
Some things I’ve learned along the way:
- I wish I put myself first sooner BUT it’s never ever too late.
- My mom – I miss her so much and wish she was here to see me at my best.
- People-pleasing was exhausting – it’s okay to say “no”.
- Relationships changed – I changed – some of the change is and was painful. In the end I have to put me first.
- My marriage has never been better, not perfect but I’m right where I should be!
- I LOVE outdoors.
- I’m freezing – bring back 90 degree temps mother nature.
- Solo road trips are freeing!
- Sing in the car – I NEVER did before – now I’m a rock star every time.
- Try on clothes, buy them, shopping – I deserve it.
- Dresses – I love dresses! Before I would curse anyone who even mentioned a dress.
- Losing the weight doesn’t solve it all – mental struggles are just as real and I have a pretty strong opinion about weight loss surgery – because it doesn’t address the mental aspect. Not against it and not my business but if anyone has or has had consider the mental aspect PLEASE and how you will address it.
- Water – it’s a must – makes me feel so hydrated.
- Coke zero – I have never and will never give it up – I love soda and it’s usually how I start every day.
- Running – LOVE it – who the hell am I! I started with walking in place and moved up to running in place using the app Couch 25k. I still run in place, every day – no machines needed. My Samsung watch tracks my steps; usually run 30 minutes a day.
- I recently set a goal of 100 crunches a day and shoot for that every day.
- Starting some lifting, all at home with kettlebells and weighted bars.
The biggest food tip I have is KEEP IT SIMPLE. There are so many amazing recipes out there but even today I treat recipes more as special meals rather than an every day thing. In my opinion, again just my opinion calories still matter on keto to an extent. Yes, if/when you are fat satiated you won’t want to eat as much. That may be true for some people but I definitely have a binge problem sometimes.
Daily meals for me look like this:
- Breakfast – boiled eggs & protein bar (Aldi’s, Quest, ONE & Raw Rev)
- Lunch – leftovers from dinner
- Dinner – meat and veggie (chicken and squash, pork chops and avocado, cheeseburgers and pork rinds)
- Snacks – sugar free jello, halo top, pecans, protein bars and cookies, mug cakes
I’m @keto_tracie on IG.
1. What tactics did you employ to help you get to your goal? What did you find helped you get to your goals best?
What helped me reach my goals can be summed up in 2 words, self care. For nearly 40 years I put everyone before me. Deciding to make me a priority and truly focus on my health changed my life forever. I enjoyed and still enjoy challenging myself. This is everything from a gallon water challenged some days to intermittent fasting.
2. What is the most impactful change you’ve made to your diet and why do you feel it’s been the most important?
Tracking. Ive used the app lose it from day 1. Nothing fancy, I use the free version and track everything I eat. Having good macros is sooo important in my journey. High fat moderate protein low carb is the only way for me.
3. What is the best single piece of advice you can give to someone that is just starting out?
Do your best every day, this is YOUR life, OWN it!
4. How do you feel your life is now that you’re at your goal?
Wow, amazing! I’ve been with my husband for 21 years, our love is stronger than ever. Prior to keto, we were almost living separate lives. My work-life balance has also turned around 100%!
5. What do you consider the biggest change in your day-to-day life?
Work-life balance for sure. Before I worked all the time! Now I get my job done, work hard and LOVE my off time. During my off time I love the outdoors including State parks and running.
6. What did you do to find support throughout your journey?
IG and facebook low carb and keto groups have been so motivating. I also took soooo many progress pics to track my progress.
7. What do you currently do to manage your day-to-day diet?
I still track 100%, don’t have cheat meals. Don’t see a reason to cheat, I enjoy the challenge of finding a way to turn a high carb meal l keto. Google is my best friend..and all the groups I’m in and IG.
8. What is your favorite keto recipe from www.ruled.me that’s become a staple?
Lemon pound cake for sure!! I need to make one for the Superbowl!
9. If there is one thing that you could do differently during your journey, what would it be and why?
I would make videos. I tracked my journey very well in pics but videos on youtube to help others could have been a big benefit.
The last thing I wanted to share is many times I hear people say they dont have time to workout or money for a gym. I’m not a member of a gym and have a full-time job. I wear a Samsung gear fit 2 watch and on breaks, I was outside at work and even walk in place. Just move your body 😉