This is Where My Story Begins…

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I thought I was pretty healthy when I was a teenager. I, like most young women, was always trying to lose ten or fifteen pounds. I was active in school and I exercised quite often. Little did I know that the advised “healthy” diet advice at the time was to be the source of my future health problems.  I am 5’3″ tall and weighed 130 pounds throughout my teens. That weight was in the healthy range for my height albeit at the higher end of the spectrum. During my teen years I always felt like I just wasn’t thin enough. Any time I tried to follow a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet I was not successful. I even exercised obsessively. My weight still did. not. budge.

When I was 18 I began taking birth control pills because I was getting married that summer. (I know, I know. I was WAY too young, but that is a story for another day, and I did get two beautiful, wonderful daughters because of it.) I gained 15 pounds in three months. I continued with the birth control pills and gained even more weight even though I was still dieting and exercising. I chalked it up to the stresses of being newly married and in college. I now know it had more to do with hormones.

After two pregnancies, graduating college, and a very traumatic divorce, my weight ballooned up to about 190 pounds. After the divorce I began a new diet and began exercising on a stationary bicycle. I managed to get my weight down to about 165 pounds. I then began counting points on a very popular weight loss program and got my weight down to 152 pounds. I was 29 years old.

About that same time I met my soon-to-be second husband and we were married less than a year later. We were very happy and became very comfortable. I loved cooking for him and our children.

In my early 30’s I began to see my weight creep up again along with some other symptoms that disturbed me. I was still exercising and back to counting points again. I was feeling very tired and cold most of the time, and I was experiencing pain in the soles of my feet. I went to several doctors to see what was going on. It was decided that I had plantar fasciitis. As for the other symptoms I was given the same advice over and over. “Eat less and move more.” It was as if they did not believe me. How could I be gaining weight if I was actually dieting and exercising like I claimed to be? It was humiliating. Needless to say, I “fired” those doctors by never seeing them again. Eventually I found a primary care physician who believed me and ran a thyroid panel. I had hypothyroidism. I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia about two years later. I was only 33 years old.

Throughout my 30’s my weight continued to creep upward. I was also less able to exercise due to the pain and fatigue I experienced on a daily basis. I was engrossed in learning what I could do to treat my illnesses. At the age of 35 I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. The following 5 or so years I was treated with one toxic drug after another. None of them provided any relief. By the time I was 40 I weighed about 300 pounds.

My husband was wonderful and supported me throughout this ordeal. The fact that he loved me regardless of my weight was a blessing. However, tragedy struck on December 15, 2015. Less than a week after being diagnosed with congestive heart failure, he died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism in our home at the age of 48. I became a widow at the age of 40.

This event really scared me with the state of my own health. I had to be here for my children. I decided I had to lose weight, but I was determined to do so in a healthy manner. I tried the calorie-restricting, low-fat dieting again. No success.

In the spring of 2018 I was 325 pounds when I read about a “keto diet.” However, the more I researched the more I learned that this was not just a diet. It was meant to be a way of life. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of ways to do “keto” that are not healthy. Sometimes this is called “dirty keto” or “lazy keto.” I wanted to follow a REAL FOOD ketogenic way of eating. I wanted to heal my body from the inside out. The illnesses I had developed were a direct consequence of my low-fat diets. My health and weight would not change unless I could heal first.

Being the research nerd that I am, I read everything I could about the ketogenic diet. I was picky about the sources because I did not want to read anything that was not scientifically based.

On May 13, 2018, I began my journey back to health. In four months I had lost about 40 pounds, but the real success was in how I felt. I felt amazing. I had more energy than I had in years. My joint and muscle pain were lessened greatly.

Even with this success, I became a bit bored and experienced a bit of depression. I stopped following my ketogenic WOE from mid-September through early January 2019. I felt terrible. I was tired. I binged. I was hungry all the time. I regained about 25 pounds of the 40 I had lost.

In January 2019 I decided that I needed to go back to a ketogenic lifestyle. I liked how I felt while on keto, but I needed to figure out exactly what triggered me to stop. I learned that boredom and a lack of planning were the main saboteurs. Since January 13 I have lost 23 pounds. That’s 23 pounds in 4 weeks! I am back on track to success. I feel wonderful!

I have recently learned about the health benefits of intermittent fasting and have incorporated an IF routine into my lifestyle. The main purposes of IF for me are to lessen my body’s insulin resistance, induce autophagy, reduce inflammation, and increase weight loss. It is important to note that IF is much easier when you are keto-adapted and already burning ketones instead of glucose for energy.

I plan on adding to my other pages soon. I want to share what I have learned and am learning about Keto, IF, and how I cope with the various challenges that show up along the way. I’m also planning on taking the Nutritional Therapy Association’s Nutritional Consultant program in the next year or so.

*NOTE TO READERS*

I plan to track my personal progress in this blog. I want to share what I have learned along the way. This needs to be a positive space. If you do not agree with me, that is fine and is your right. However, please respect my right to share my story. I ask that no one leave negative comments. If you do not agree with or like what I am sharing, then don’t read my blog. Find another blog that fits your needs.

Also, I am not a medical professional. Anything I write about in my blog is from personal experience and research. I am not giving medical advice here. If you want to follow a ketogenic diet, then you need to do the research and speak with your medical doctor to see if it is right for you.

Much love and light to you all!

Shelley

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