For nearly a month, I have struggled to write this post. Every time I would sit down to write, the emotions of my past experiences would start to overwhelm me. So, I decided to go back to basics. I sat down with a pen and a notepad and just wrote. No editing. No filters. Just getting my feelings out on paper. I took those pages and typed them out here.
My First Keto/Low Carb Journey
As I have mentioned previously, I’ve done the low carb diet once before–in 2015. At the time, I was at my highest weight and I felt completely miserable. I had random aches and pains, no energy, and getting through each day felt like a struggle. This is also around the same time I discovered I was gluten intolerant, which was also contributing to my misery.
I’ve been on and off diets for most of my life, though nothing ever seemed to stick or result in a significant amount of weight loss. I’d lose 20 or 30 pounds, then promptly gain it all back.
I counted calories, restricted fat, and tried to get a handle on my eating habits. I joined Weight Watchers and a gym. One thing I had never, tried, however was anything that even closely resembled carb restriction. (I was convinced I couldn’t live without pasta, cake, and bread.)
When I finally started low carb eating, I jumped in full force. The foods I had relied upon were no longer available to me. Gluten free products, at least in my area, were not widely available and they were tremendously expensive.
Why not go low carb?
After the initial shock to my system–and resulting keto flu–a whole new world opened up. My eating plan was set and I was sticking to it. I was exercising, and even participating in 5k races on the weekend.
I lost 65 pounds and dropped from a size 24 to a size 18 in jeans. Things were finally going my way.
Then the bottom dropped out.
I stopped exercising. I started eating bread and sugar, rationalizing that it was just an occasional indulgence. It would be fine. I continued to step on the scales, watched the number climb, and felt powerless to stop it. It was just 5 pounds. Then it was 10. Then it was 20. At one point, I simply stopped weighing myself. I couldn’t handle seeing the numbers I knew were going to be staring back at me. I didn’t even want to go to the doctor when I was sick because I knew they’d want to weigh me.
Over the course of the past two years, I have gained a significant amount of that 65 pounds back. How did I let this happen? Why did I sabotage all my progress?
There’s really no easy answer to those questions. A lifetime of struggles and insecurities doesn’t go away overnight. This time, I recognize that and am trying to be more cognizant of my overall well-being, not just my weight. There’s more to me than a number on a scale.
If I’m going to succeed, I have to learn to take care of all parts of me. It’s the only way I can truly live my best life.