Have you ever stepped on the bathroom scale and found yourself feeling discouraged? Maybe you’ve tracked macros, counted calories, have gone to the gym 4x a week, or perhaps you starved yourself, only to discover that you gained two pounds.
- Story Time: A Depressing Sight
- My Solution: No Eating
- 9 Years Later: More Weight Loss
- My Fear of Eating Fat is Gone
- A List of Healthy Fats
- Conclusion: Growing and Learning
Don’t worry. You are not alone. I have been there more times than I care to say. However, I am here to tell you that 2 and a half years ago, I found hope!
Story Time: A Depressing Sight
It was the year 2009. My parents had pulled me out of public school because my attitude and disrespectfulness towards them, stunk worse than the smell of a skunk. I was a Freshman in high school, but instead of going to school in person, my first three years of high school were completed at home, online. I remember starting the semester and thinking to myself, “GOAL: Since I am going to be doing school online, it’s a good time to lose a lot of weight.”
Anyone who is aiming to lose weight starts off by weighing themselves. That day, before I began working on my classes, I walked to the bathroom, closed the door, and pulled out the scale. I was nervous because I hadn’t weighed myself in about a year, but knew that I had put on some weight because clothes that used to fit me, no longer fit.
I stepped onto the scale, looked down, and was shocked BEYOND words. I had gained 50 pounds. I could not believe it! I was already overweight before, but now I was considered obese. I was immediately punched in the face with a feeling of depression and sorrow. I closed down the toilet seat cover, and sat down in disbelief. I began to pray and cry silently.
I remember praying, “My God. Why? Can you please take my hunger away? I don’t want this anymore.” I looked caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror, and was disgusted with how I looked. I sat in the bathroom crying for 15 minutes. By the time I pulled myself together, I knew that I had to do something. I stood up, wiped my tears away, unpuffed my eyes as best as I could, and walked out of the bathroom determined to do something about my weight.
My Solution: No Eating
The Season of Lent was just around the corner! Any Christian who observes or has observed this season, knows that during these times people either give up something like gossiping, TV, and social media, or people choose to do more of something such as reading, praying, or spending more quality time with the family. However, many people often choose to give up certain types of foods or drinks such as chocolate, ice cream, chips, coffee, or soda.
Me? I decided to give up eating for 3 consecutive days every week of Lent. (This was before I knew that fasting was good for me.) From Wednesday through Friday every week, I fasted. Thankfully, my aunties joined me for the rest of the Lenten Season, which made it “easier” to stick to.
I Lost Weight
By the end of Lent, I had lost 20-30 pounds, and have kept it off ever since. During Lent, on the days I was eating, I paid little to no attention to my nutrition. I was still eating things like ice cream, donuts, french fries, pizza, and chips on the daily. On my fasting days, I allowed myself to drink water and 2 cups of coffee with sugar and cream. To be frank, my diet sucked big time!
9 Years Later: More Weight Loss
From 2009 to 2015, I had slowly lost another 30 pounds by experimenting with different diets that I personally found to be unsustainable for the long run. From 2015 through 2019, I was able to keep off the 60+ pounds of weight that I had lost throughout the years.
Which brings up another point. I realize now that even though I had lost and kept off those 60 lbs, that by no means meant that I was healthy on the inside. I was still consuming a lot of junky, processed, chemical filled, food and drinks.
In 2018, keto and fasting skipped into my line of vision, but I was not ready to make a full commitment to a LCHF + intermittent fasting lifestyle. I spent a lot of time learning about and experimenting with the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, and extended fasting (3 days was my maximum). I knew that this way of life would work for me, but I wasn’t ready to make a lifestyle change. I had one foot in and one foot out.
My experiments with keto + fasting were always successful. Cravings for sugar went away, my energy increased, my sleep improved, and the weight would come off naturally. What made it even more intriguing was that I was actually eating food I enjoyed eating such as bacon, eggs, steaks, coffee, butter, and cheese.
My Fear of Eating Fat is Gone
I admit that in the beginning of my LCHF and fasting journey, I ate too much dietary fat, but I’ve learned a lot since then. For example, I realized that you do not necessarily have to eat HIGH fat. For me, the biggest thing that I needed to get over was my fear of eating fat. Now that my fear of eating fat is gone, I don’t eat as much of it as I used to. I’ve learned that eating dietary fat in excess will keep me from burning the fat that is on my body.
The longer I eat a primarily low carb diet, the more balanced my diet is becoming for my body. For example, on Sunday (9/6/20) I broke my 36 hour fast with a ribeye steak, 2 cups of spinach, with my homemade low carb ranch.
A List of Healthy Fats
“We recommend eating fats that occur naturally in food and have been minimally processed.”
(She gives some examples of such foods below.)
Healthy Saturated Fats:
- cream, whipping cream, coconut cream
- coconut oil
- lard & tallow
Healthy Monosaturated Fats
- olives & olive oil
- avocados & avocado oil
- macadamias & avocado oil
- almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans
- lard & tallow
Healthy Polyunsaturated Fats
- Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies)
- Grass-fed animals (i.e. beef & lamb)
- Dairy from grass-fed animals
- Eggs from pastured chickens
- Algae, Chia seeds, Flaxseed, Hemp seed, Walnuts
- Found in almost every food, including meat, nuts and seeds.
- Vegetable and seed oils like safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil and cottonseed oil – as well as processed foods that contain them – are often a major source of omega-6 PUFAs in modern Western diets. (We recommend minimizing these oils because they are highly processed.)
SIDE NOTE: If you have a big family and cannot afford grass-fed meat or eggs from free range pastured chickens, (like me) it is 100% OKAY to eat the more affordable meats, eggs, cheeses, and the like, that you are already buying. Although, the “cleaner” meats and eggs are preferable because of their higher quality, but they are NOT necessary in order to achieve a “healthier you” right now.
* For more detailed information on healthy fats, and the role they play in our bodies, read Spritzer’s article titled,“Healthy Fats on a Keto or Low-Carb Diet”
(If you don’t feel like reading, Dr. Berg does a splendid job explaining this info in the video below.)
Conclusion: Growing and Learning
I am growing and learning, and learning and growing in more ways than one! I am grateful that the ketogenic diet has helped me get over my fear of fat, because it was something that I would miss dearly on those crazy low fat diets I went on in the past.
I was reminded through a DM exchange with a friend through Instagram, that all aspects of life require balance and simplicity. In relation to my physical health, the keto diet and intermittent fasting have helped me TREMENDOUSLY to find a balanced diet that works well for my body. I have much more energy, and feel so much better than I used to. I can’t imagine going back to the way I used to eat 3 years ago!
Now this way of eating may not help everyone, but for me, it has changed my life. I’m grateful that I no longer have to count calories or track macros. I am no longer weighing myself every second, but am more focused on lifestyle changes. I can feel my body changing the longer I stick to my current lifestyle.
In summary, I am so grateful…so blessed….and so determined to keep going.