Hi Thanks for stopping by my page! My guess is you are looking at making a change in your life? Exploring the Ketogenic/intermittent fasting lifestyle and if it is a good fit for you? Well hopefully after you read this you will want to jump right in like I did!
HI! My name is Michelle, and I am a recovering carboholic!
Growing up I was blessed with generations of ladies that could cook! I was part of the “we would eat according to our feelings” family. Happy? Have some cake. Sad? eat the entire gallon of ice cream. Mad? That called for McDonalds or pizza. I would personally take it further and if I knew there was a pie in the fridge, I would obsess over it until I would eat the entire thing. Some would call this binge eating, I called it MINE!
Growing up when I would go visit my grandparents it was always a magical time. They lived on an island in Canada right on the ocean. Playing on the beach, spending time with grandma in the kitchen. Grandma was an amazing baker. Always fresh homemade bread, desserts, pastas, whole milk, rice pudding, apple pie, blackberry pie, peanut butter bars. Tea with sugar cubes and cookies for a snack. Their philosophy on an eating schedule was as soon as you woke up you had a snack of cereal with bananas and sugar with grandpa.
Around 9am grandma would fix breakfast. Eggs, bacon, toast, cinnamon rolls, fruit, juice.
Then at 11 was snack of cookies or toast with cinnamon and sugar, or peanut butter and jelly.
Then at 1 it was dinner usually a hot dish with meat, potatoes, vegetables.
Then it was supper around 5 again a hot dish of meats, potatoes, vegetable and then DESSERT. Pie and ice cream, cake etc.
THEN around 8pm it was snack. I will never forget fresh picked blackberries about 2 cups worth COVERED in sugar were talking covered to where you would crunch as you chewed from the sugar oh and don’t forget the whole milk. After a summer visiting them, I would come home 30lbs heavier. No ones fault. She was just doing what was taught to her. You eat. Food is fuel.
At home Mom was an amazing cook as well. She did work fulltime so there were the pizza nights, the drive through meals etc. I remember going to Pizza hut with the family and I ate an entire large pizza myself and I believe I was around 10. Popcorn, king sized Hershey bars with bottles of Pepsi and movie Sunday nights. Do not forget family gatherings/holidays. The amount of food that was prepared and eaten. You get the drift. Again, not anyone’s fault. It was an unconscious act. Just came naturally. And no one thought anything wrong.
So naturally growing up I was the fat girl. I was the picked-on kid. So self esteem took a dive down the drain. Always wanted to play softball and a gymnast/tap dancer. Two of my favorite things ever. I never got picked for the softball team. I could not even complete a forward roll due to being so overweight my body simply wouldn’t bend that way. I will never forget in school while in PE having to pass certain tests to pass the class. “RUN” a mile. I could not run without thinking I was going to die. I remember a 19 min mile once…
The worse was having to do a pull up. I did not have enough upper body strength to hold that weight up. Always failed.
When I hit middle school, I remember summer of 7th grade I had actually lost some of the chub. When I returned for the 8th grade, I had some confidence back, head was held semi high but as the year went on it all came back. I guess eating an entire pizza wasn’t helping.
In the 10th grade I ended up pregnant with my son. While I was pregnant, I didn’t know any better and ATE EVERYTHING! Donuts, bagels and cream cheese were my go-to. Within 5 months I gained 70 lbs!! Yes, the Doctors were trying to get it through my head I needed to make some changes for my health. I had the naive mentality that once I popped out that baby all the weight would magically melt off as well. I will never forget stepping on the scale before and after giving birth. I was devastated. So naturally being a young mom, scared, zero self esteem and not in the best relationship I turned to food for comfort. During the next several years the relationship turned marriage became toxic as a result the weight gained. I did not have the confidence, self-esteem or self-worth to try to get myself out of the situation for many years. I do not know my exact weight, but it was hovering around 300lbs. I am only 5’2” to give you a perspective.
All I heard was FASTING – Are you kidding me? I WILL DIE!!!
Fast forward to 1998 I was happily remarried and a mother to 5 children through a his hers and ours situation. I was having chronic, debilitating back and neck pain. Doctor diagnosed Fibromyalgia. There were days where the simple act of getting out of bed was almost impossible, but I had a family to take care of so I would push through masking my pain, depression and insecurities with food. I had hit over the 300lb mark at that point.
Throughout the years I had tried various “diets” I tried Atkins, Herbalife, slim fast, smoothies, counting this, counting that, pills, shakes, even took no doze pills as someone said they help with weight loss… pretty much everything out there I tried. I would lose then gain it all back sometimes adding more.
Fast forward to December of 2018. I went into a new doctor due to moving to a new area, as I was having problems with my knees as well as my fibromyalgia was affecting me. He wanted to run a blood test just because it had been YEARS since I had seen a doctor. While in the office we talked about my weight. It was at that time 246lbs. He mentioned weight loss surgery, handed me a flyer to read over and set me up for a consult. I got the call for the consult but never went to the appointment. Why? It was not for me. I knew it would not fix the root problem, My relationship with food! So, on January 8th I went back to my doctor to follow-up on my blood test result and knee issue. He dropped the pre diabetic bomb in my lap. He said the path I was going down I would be on insulin very soon. After some tears I talked to him about my decision to not have the surgery and asked if there were any other options. He said I should investigate Intermittent fasting. All I heard was FASTING – Are you kidding me? I WILL DIE!!!
I went out to my car after the appointment, I felt defeated, no hope or chance. After all, me, fast? Was he crazy? I cried…
Went home after getting my favorite comfort drink iced white chocolate mocha and inhaling it before I hit the driveway.
Stewed all night over it. Fasting-pffft he is stupid.
As I sat on the couch staring at something on the tv, eating pizza rolls if I remember correctly, I googled intermittent fasting. As I began reluctantly reading, I started seeing the words “ketogenic lifestyle” being repeated over and over again in connection with the intermittent fasting. So, I started researching it as well. After talking it over with my family and with their blessing we emptied the pantry of all carbs. Sugars, pastas, soups, sauces, condiments, mixes, flours, and even premade seasoning mixes. NO more bananas for me. Cleared the fridge and freezer as well. Donated it all to a local food bank and with list in hand went shopping. I started meal prepping and getting myself set up as I knew If I did not have my meals ready to go, I would easily stop at the local drive through out of convenience. I decided I would start with a 12 hr. fast then eat 2 meals. Some of you might think easy peasy but you need to understand I dream about food. So that was a challenge for sure. I am not a black coffee fan and part of fasting is no calories while fasting. So, I started with a “reward” system. If I made it to the 12-hr. mark, I would have that hot cup of coffee waiting for me. I learned heavy cream and stevia were my friend. I also vowed to never eat within 4 hrs. of going to bed. First week was hard not going to lie. But I needed to do this. I did not want to suffer anymore.
My Fibromyalgia is under control, depression is gone, no longer on medications.
After a few weeks I was up to a 20 hr. fast. I was counting my macros using a app on my phone. I had also started walking. Since I had a hour lunch break I used that time to get moving. That was the second hardest thing. Exercise! I started with a ¼ mile and I was sweating, I hurt I was out of breath I wanted to go home to bed! BUT I kept at it every day walking like the postman rain or shine, sleet or snow I walked. No excuses as I was tired of feeling that way. I did not want to end up on insulin! Through determination I was able to fast 24hr cycles. I would only eat OMAD, (one meal a day). I eat at lunch time and am satiated till the next day. I upped my walking to 2 miles on my lunch break and it would allow me time to eat as well. When I got home from work, I still had enough energy to warrant another walk. Due to the fibromyalgia cardio was not in the books for me at that time. But I figure any form of movement is better that none! I noticed the weight was coming off, bloat and water weight was going away. Joint pain was decreasing. Mental clarity was increasing as well as overall outlook on life was improving. Depression was improving as well.
After 12 months strict keto I had lost 98lbs! 98lbs and I never cheated once! Why would I want to sabotage all my hard work to taste a potato? 2 years later and I am down 108 total pounds. Have maintained that and have stayed strict keto to this day. ZERO CHEATS!! I participate in 5K races mix of walk and jog. My Fibromyalgia is under control, depression is gone, no longer on medications. I went from a size 3X men’s shirts to a women’s small. 24 jeans to a size 4.