I’ll start with a little bit of backstory about myself, then jump to where I am currently. Warning: this is going to be long!
I have been heavy just about my entire life. My childhood was rocky. I was always the biggest kid in school and of course, received all the teasing and jokes that come along with that. Dating was hard and crushed what little self-esteem I still had. (I did eventually find my amazing husband, who loves me for me!) Food was always there to comfort me and keep me company.
But it was also what kept me from improving my depression, anxiety, and poor self-esteem because it was obviously just making me fatter. I was an absolute addict to cheap, easy, fattening food and spent more money at Taco Bell and McDonald’s in a month than I did on actual groceries. I knew how to cook and bake and even enjoyed it, but the greasy, salty, convenience of fast food and take-out was just so much more appealing.
Fast forward to Winter of 2018. I was on my way to work after just getting promoted (to retail store manager) when someone turned in front of me as I was going straight through a green light. The impact was almost instantaneous; I barely had time to brake before we crashed. I wish I hadn’t had time to brake, because ultimately that’s what broke my ankle in three places and caused me to be out of work for almost four months while I recovered. That’s really the first time I felt absolutely hindered by my weight. It had been an inconvenience up until that point and one I had just accepted as part of life. I didn’t need to fly anywhere, or go to amusement parks, or go on pretty nature hikes. I had my books, my hobbies, my cats, my husband. It was fine.
That four-month time span was the worst of my life. Prior to the accident, I thought of myself as a generally strong person. Didn’t cry over every little thing, dealt with things as they came along, and tried to make the best of situations despite my depression and anxiety. That accident broke me. It shattered me into a million little pieces. And my weight made it so much worse. Healing took longer because I couldn’t put any of my enormous weight onto my ankle. Showering became a nightmare due to the constant worry that I would slip and fall and re-break it. After the cast was taken off, I couldn’t even look at the swollen mess that used to be a foot and ankle without crying.
But I made it through. Went back to work and quickly realized how impossible it was to do my job the way I had been doing it. So I plunked down money for a personal trainer and got to work building up the muscle that I had lost and losing the weight that made everything so much harder. It took me about three months to gradually get back to a “new normal” at work (which was nowhere near what my previous normal was) and in that time I lost just over 40 lbs by sheer force, willpower, and practical starvation. Spoiler alert: it didn’t last more than 6 months. Add on an extra few pounds gained over lockdown and quarantining, and we have arrived to the present timeline.
After having a nice long talk about our goals for the future and things we would love to be able to do (including the previously mentioned things that I was “fine” not doing!), my husband and I realized we needed to lose a major amount of weight. On August 1st, we decided to go onto the Keto diet in order to lose that weight. (He’s also heavier, but not nearly as big as me.) The first week was awful due to Keto flu (google it if you don’t know what it is), but once that was over it got easier. It was a fun and interesting challenge figuring out food to eat that stayed low-carb enough to stay in ketosis and we tried lots of new recipes. And learned a lot about just how much sugar is in everything! After a month I was down 20 lbs. (I’ll update my current weight once I get to the three-month mark.)
Aside from a cheat weekend on our 10-year wedding anniversary, we have stuck to eating a low carb, high fat diet. And while it is working, I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, any weight loss is great and I usually give up on diets after just a few weeks. It’s been just over 10 weeks and I’m still plugging away. That in itself is a major accomplishment and I need to keep reminding myself of that fact. I no longer binge eat or want massive quantities of food at every meal, and have even dropped to just 1-2 meals a day.
The speed at which I’m losing, however, is a bit disappointing. I’m not losing any faster eating this way than I have on any other diet I’ve tried previously. It’s actually a little slower. And at my weight, the pounds should be practically melting off with how keto is supposed to work. And I’m getting tired of eating the same foods all the time. The food is satisfying at least – bacon, eggs, avocados, hearty salads, burgers, cheese, nuts, etc. – but there’s only so many combinations you can do with the same rotation of ingredients. I miss the things I can’t have, and not even the things I thought I would miss. I don’t miss the chips/fast food/junk but I crave apples and oatmeal and sweet potatoes like you can’t even imagine. And trying to eat out or with friends/family is difficult. You don’t realize how many breads and potatoes and starchy foods are the base of so many typical American meals until you can’t have them anymore.
It won’t always be like this. We don’t plan on being on a keto-type diet forever. We want to lose the weight and then slowly transition to something like a Paleo diet which at least incorporates more fruits and veggies along with complex carbohydrates. But that’s way down the line. My ultimate goal is to lose at least 200 lbs, and at the rate I’m going, it’ll take about two years for me to accomplish that.
That’s where this blog comes in. I know myself and I know I’m going to lose motivation at some point and want to give up. Losing such a massive amount of weight isn’t easy, and it takes more time than I have the patience for. I’m going to have bad days. My depression will make me want to self-sabotage. By putting all of this out there for the world to see, I’m hoping it will keep me more accountable and inspired. Maybe it will even help someone else.
Sorry that was so long, but condensing 35 years of life into a blog post isn’t exactly easy, lol. If you actually read the entire thing, I sincerely thank you and hope you’ll stick with me as I figure out how to become a new me.