Given how intrinsically correlated obesity is to early mortality, it is not overstating it that Keto literally saved my life.
In December of 2016, I clocked in at 276lbs. I was depressed, lethargic, irritable, and in my rare moments of quiet and solitude my brain would wander into some of the darkest recesses of possibilities in how to cope. It was a dead end situation.
I have dieted before, CICO, Atkins, etc, and while I would experience moderate losses, nothing would stick, and within a short time I would rebound back to the starting weight, and be even more depressed than I was at the starting line. But I have two young kiddos and a very supporting wife, and the thought of keeling over at 40 because I was overweight and them having to be the kids at school who’s dad died because he couldn’t say no to Cool Ranch doritos wrecked me.
Every experience when you are fat is miserable. Meeting new people (they are going to immediately think I’m huge), trying on clothes (god everything is too small, they hardly have anything that fits me, that means 99% of the people who come here are in better shape than I am), going out to eat (everyone is noticing how much I, the fat guy is eating), etc etc. Every day is a slog until you put your head on the pillow and rinse and repeat.
As is tradition, I started with a resolution at the start of the New Year. Actually, I decided to start a couple days before New Years, because, to me, this wasn’t just a resolution, some passing fad for a month before I petered out and went right back to it. This was go-time.
I went full bore, 25g a day or less, became obsessed (in a good way), putting everything into MyFitnessPal, completely eschewing the idea of moderation of carb-y foods. If we ate at a Mexican place (often, I live in TX), there was no “lemme have a couple chips”, it was NO chips. Get fajitas, don’t use the tortilla or eat the rice.
If I’ve been granted one superpower, its the ability to not tire of the same foods. I’m a pretty big bow hunter, so I often have enough deer meat on hand to sink a ship, plus I love to grill steaks, chicken, fish, you name it. Bulletproof coffee became a staple of my mornings. My hunger is kept at bay in ways I never dreamt possible.
Morning: Bulletproof Coffee
Lunch: Microwave heated leftovers (steak, deer meat, Quick Eat hamburgers, sausages)
Dinner: Chicken/steak/fish/dark veggies (broccoli, asparagus, spinach)
Snacks: Cheese sticks
Every day for 10 months (so far).
My calorie counts would generally hover around 1800-2200 a day, and I would rarely if ever go above 10g of carbs. I realize I have a lot more wiggle room, but frankly, I am now so conditioned to not touching sugar, that I don’t even get tempted anymore. Even during Halloween, when my kids trick-or-treating has resulted in a mountain of Reese’s peanut butter cups, which previously would have been my kryptonite. Now, meh.
Halfway through the experience, I started intermittant fasting. And while I can’t attest to whether the “fasted state” has made a difference in my ability to burn fat better, I can say from a practical perspective, it has been a tremendous help in giving me clear boundaries on when to eat. I don’t eat before 10am, and I don’t eat after 6pm. I was a criminally neglegant grazer/snacker. “I only grabbed 3 M&Ms!”, but then would only grab 3 M&M’s 10 times in a day. Whoops.
I realize I’m getting long winded, its a lot to process, just how far I’ve come. And now everything is different. I can play with my kids and not get tired. Clothes shopping is a blast! Seeing all my old sizes just stay on the shelf, while I grab a pair of 32W pants, breezing right past the 44’s that previously kept me in chains.
And just walking into a room and being able to say to myself, “Hey, I look like a regular person now”. My identity isn’t, “hey, that’s the fat guy”. Its a remarkable feeling when you haven’t felt it in 15 years. You take it for granted. I weigh myself daily because I refuse to ever go back to it. I do obsess about it, but given the stakes, knowing how easy it would be to relapse, it’s worth the mental energy I give it.
Keto is a life saver. I am alive now, and very much plan to live for my kids and being a role model to them on healthy living and never taking your own body for granted.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading and taking part in a small slice of my experience. This community has been invaluable, and to see so many great stories and pictures and recipes has let me know that I am not going through this journey alone, and that my goals CAN be achieved. And so can yours too.