Growing up, I remember my weight always being an issue. Not that I was consistently overweight, but my weight fluctuated from my teens well into my college years and beyond. I would go from super skinny to overweight through the years – without much understanding of why. I realized in my high school years that I did respond well to working out – so when I incorporated regular exercise into my routine, I typically was able to shed weight quickly. However even though I never really ate “badly” or overate at all, the second I paused a workout regimen, the pounds would just pile on.
This up and down fluctuation continued through college and in my young married life. During my pregnancy with my first son at the age of 28, I gained 75 pounds. SEVENTY FIVE POUNDS! I was shocked and after his birth, I only lost about half that weight…and then had my second son three years later when I didn’t gain as much, but I was still 40 pounds overweight to start. After that, it was a constant struggle to lose weight no matter how hard i worked out or how well I ate.
My up-and-down weight pattern continued for years, through divorce, starting anew after some serious life upsets and career shifts. Most recently, a couple of years ago, I was in a great place health wise – I had found my groove in working out and was at a weight I was happy with. I always wanted to lose a little bit more because I had a lot of belly fat, but I was overall pleased. And then I started to gain a lot more weight in my mid-section. Was it the wine I loved to indulge in? Was I working out too hard? Did I need to change my workout routine? Did I need to cut out gluten, or dairy, or meat? Was I peri-menopausal?
No matter what I tried and changed, my weight didn’t and my mid-section seemed to just grow.
So, as probably most of us did, over the last year I’d heard more and more buzz about the Keto diet and the Ketogenic Lifestyle. I couldn’t really wrap my head around eating a ton of bacon all day, but decided to do my own research and then give it a try.
A little background, I come from a family in the medical / health field and as a good Indian woman, I was originally groomed to follow in my father’s and family’s footsteps of becoming a doctor. While I was always a science nerd, it just wasn’t my calling. HOWEVER, doing all this research into how and why Ketosis works really got me excited. Especially as I started to draw correlations between my age (I’m 45), hormones and insulin.
So, on September 1, 2018, I officially started the Ketogenic lifestyle (I refuse to call it a diet anymore) without many expectations. I didn’t set any goals initially, didn’t put a timeframe on it and wasn’t planning to be hard on myself if I failed. Actually, I didn’t tell anyone I was starting it so I didn’t have any pressure at all. This was key for me – I didn’t have expectations – I had a pretty good idea I’d be successful after all my research, but I also know that i have “failed” many diets before.
While I know many people have serious struggles starting out, I have to say, Keto was for me from day one! I was very strict with myself – probably too strict – but I think that’s what I needed to get in the frame of mind I needed. And as the pounds literally melted off in the first few days (yes, I knew then and I know now it was a lot of water weight**), I was more encouraged. And I wasn’t really feeling deprived – I made sure I hit the 70% fat macros daily and felt satisfied.
**A brief interruption to talk about the criticism that early weight loss on Keto is all water weight – SO WHAT?! Our bodies hold on to excess water because of insulin / carbs / sugar and it’s like our body is breathing a sigh of relief when we stop and let it release all that water! If we needed it, then our bodies wouldn’t let it go.**
Ok, moving on. So each month, I stuck to a strict ketogenic lifestyle, worked out 3 – 4 times a week and have yet (4 months in, almost) to hit a plateau. I am consistently losing 1 – 3 pounds per week and feel AMAZING. As we hear all the time – Ketosis helps with focus, cognitive function, mood, the list goes on. After not only struggling with weight, hormonal changes at my age were wreaking havoc on my skin, hair and my family didn’t know who they would get when I woke up after a fitful night of sleep. My moods went from angry, to sad, to stressed, to happy from day to day.
Not fun for anyone.
Today, I’m officially 30 pounds down in 12 weeks, I feel amazing, my skin looks better than ever and my melasma (which appeared post pregnancy) is fading and my mood has completely stabilized without having to do any sort of hormone therapy (which my doctor had proposed as she thought I may be peri-menopausal) and I have more energy than EVER.
I have had an amazing experience on my Ketogenic journey and have encountered so many women who fail, that I decided to launch this resource for women like me! Maintaining a ketogenic lifestyle is possible, fulfilling and doesn’t have to feel like deprivation – in fact, I feel the opposite.
So yes, while it’s been a successful four months for me, I put in a longer time before starting this lifestyle to really understand it, because I never thought eating fat would be healthy so I made sure I understood this thing from a scientific level before getting started. I would love to share my journey with you, support you and hopefully we’ll support each other as we age gracefully and in great health.