Why Choose Keto
For me, it was simple; weight loss and feeling better. My joints ached, my body was beat up from years of football, soccer, rugby and just being stupid. Up all night in my early 20’s and partying like a Rockstar, eating like an idiot with anything and everything being available and NOTHING off limits. No regimen, no workout schedule. I simply felt bullet proof. I could drink all night long and then eat at 3am and then sleep for 6 hours and then do it again for 18 and thought I would never suffer. Boy was I wrong.
Fast forward to my 30’s and sitting behind a desk and not being as active as I was. Going to the gym was going from 5 days a week to 3 to maybe 3 times a month. Having kids was in the mix now was also cutting into “me” time and any spare time I had was spent on them. Nothing wrong with that, but they were another reason or “excuse” for me to miss working out, not signing up for a recreation league or doing anything besides work and family. I was finding myself sitting on the couch eating half a bag of Oreos at 10pm vs doing something constructive. Life was passing me by, and I didn’t even see it coming.
My son had played soccer for many years, starting out when he was 5-6 years old. Now he was a teen and me trying to coach and keep up with the kids wasn’t happening. Knee issues. Out of breath after one time up or down the field. Sore for days after. All these things were the signs that I needed to fix myself, but I was too ignorant to do anything about it still. Finally, the light came on and it was brighter than a million stars.
I went to the doctor for a checkup in late 2017 and as usual, I thought I’d get the “lose some weight and be more active” speech like usual. This time, not so much. He told me that I was weighing over 300lbs, pre diabetic and I was a mess. I just stared at him. Blankly. I heard everything he said to me as he went over lab work and tests he had done prior to my appointment but I wasn’t fully comprehending. Eat better, workout, change your life. If you don’t, you’ll have a heart attack or stroke before 50, guaranteed. I comprehended that. My doctor sat across from me, telling me, begging me almost to change. He said he would hate to see my daughter grow up with a dad to walk her down the aisle or miss out on grandchildren. I swear I looked like Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” and just wide eyed stared at him, saying nothing. Not being there for my children and rest of my family and friends made me realize I now had no choice but to change.
Over the next half hour, he started explaining to me what I could do. What diets would I most likely succeed in using and not fall off from. One was Keto. He broke down the diet to me and explained it wasn’t a fad diet as much as a way of living. He advised that many people who were a lot like me and living the life and daily routine I do, had been very successful in this diet. That is completely reset and made their bodies do a 180 degree turn from where they were. I was all ears. I wasn’t looking for a quick fix, but I wanted something that I felt would work best for me. If eating protein and fats was the route to go, then so be it. I didn’t quite understand how eating fat was going to make me lose weight, but I was down for learning and experimenting. Anything that had the potential to help me stay on this earth for my family was worthwhile.
On My Way
After leaving the doctor, I decided to do some research and see what the Keto diet was all about. I spent a few weeks learning how to eat and even was incorporating some of the habits of it while doing my investigative work. By the time I was roughly 3 weeks removed from my visit to the doctor, I was starting Keto. I will say, that i was shocked how I felt almost immediately. Maybe it was a placebo type effect, in that, by day 2, I had more energy than I had 10 years prior. Eating was easy for me as I kept it simple
· Breakfast- 5am
o Eggs and butter
· Snack-morning- 9am
o Greek Yogurt
· Lunch- 12pm
o Hard boiled eggs
o Salmon w/ Olive Oil and Lemon
· Snack-afternoon- 2pm
o Cauliflower “rice”
Moreover, I was going to gym in the late evening after the family was asleep. I’d hit the bike (bad knees) for half an hour and then some weights. I wasn’t trying to do anything like bulk up or anything like that. The movement was the key. Just moving and not being stationary. I’m a night owl but for some, they may prefer getting up early and getting the workout out the way. So, I was doing what worked for me. I was finding that I was beginning to balance work, family and “me”. I felt good and was finally seeing the results mentally as I was feeling happy for the first time in many years.
Progress and Results
About 6 months after the dreadful last doctor appointment, I went back in for a follow up to some new meds he had put me on. I was weighed before going back to the room, but I refused to look at the scale and asked the nurse to only write it down and not tell me. When the doctor came in to see me, I could see his eyes light up, like “WOW, what have you been doing?!?”. I told him that I had been on Keto for about 6 months. He said that he was told I didn’t want to see or hear my weight and I explained that I had not weighed myself since starting Keto. That I was 309lbs on day one of Keto. He told me I was 237lbs. I was blown away! My labs showed no signs of the prediabetes that it did 6 months prior. Bad cholesterol was way down and good was way up. Triglycerides were stable and in a happy place. Heart rate and blood pressure vastly improved and he didn’t feel I would have a heart attack in the office or stroke out tomorrow. I left there that day, smiling and had a pep in my step. I felt relieved and proud.
I continue to do some intermittent fasting and bounce back and forth from Keto to a diabetic diet which is basically little to no carbs. Sugars and sweets, I have no desire to have. I don’t miss things like bread or pasta and found ways to substitute that. I’ve discovered that I like vegetables and I don’t scoff at eating them. I still work out 5-6 days a week, for about 1 hour to 1.5 hours a day and I don’t dread going to the gym. I now incorporate that into my daily routine. My energy has dramatically increased, and I sleep soundly.
I owe a lot to the lifestyle change Keto has brought on. As I’m typing this, I am currently 2+ years removed from that horrible day in 2017 and weigh in at 193lbs. I graduated high school 25 years ago and weighed 180lbs and that was due to playing football and working in a lumber yard. Life should never be taken for granted. Enjoy what you have because some learn too late that it can all end in the blink of an eye. I know this piece is different from the eating and recipes side, but I felt that by sharing my story, I could wake up a few people who are currently just like I was in 2017. You have the ability; you just need to get up and move, one day at a time. You’ll be surprised as to how far you go.
Thank you for reading and good luck and much love to all!