Be that before and after picture inspiration!
So I haven’t posted a #transformationtuesday picture in a while because I thought well I have hit my goal and at this point people are probably sick of seeing my before and afters(they don’t change much now that I am in maintenance). And while being down over 55lbs is fantastic it was not a downhill battle and it was not easy.
I remember last year around this time being very heavy(the heaviest I have every been). I was depressed because I was still wearing my maternity wants and shirts even though I was 2 months postpartum(partially for comfort but mostly because the elastic waist jeans helped hide my mom pouch). For me that was embarrassing in of itself. I was a thin girl most of my life, naturally tall and lean. College took a little toll on me but I still considered myself for the most part average weight. Then I had my first child and things just never went back the way they should(after all the shit we deal with while pregnant and the pain of birth we deserve to return to our former glory or better yet a free upgrade). I tried calorie restriction and running/exercise. I lost most of the weight but my body didn’t look the same. Then baby number two came and that’s when I hit my highest weight.
So this brings us to May of last year and I was getting ready for my trip to the UK for a month in June with my husband and children. I went to the mall to look for some clothing and it was one of the most depressing trips to the store I have ever had. While I was pregnant I was actually pretty confident in how I looked. I didn’t gain more then I should and I stayed active. Things looked toned(or at least swollen enough to appear toned lol). But today there was NO confidence. I chose the large shirts to start. Then I went up to the X-Large. I wasn’t even brave enough to try on pants. I think it was a mixture of “if I don’t know what size I really am then I can pretend I am a smaller size” and also possibly a survival mechanism because my self confidence was pretty damn low. But the shirts just didn’t help hide the weight like I wanted(I had high expectations for these tops, I expected miraculous liposuction results from a simple piece of cloth). So I gave up and decided to just grab the kids their clothes. This shopping trip was the first time I was asked when I was expecting, when i wasn’t actually pregnant. I was pushing a stroller through the mall on the way to the kids clothing store with my new born and 3 year old and a woman said, “Your children are so cute! I am sure this one will be as well(points to my mom belly)”. She didn’t mean anything by it I am sure. I said thank you and kept on strolling with the kids. I can tell you it took a lot not to start crying. After already going into three stores and striking out in the dressing room this was the icing on the cake and I called it a day. I went home and after the kids were in bed, grabbed my trusty bag of chips and googled “lose weight quick” and “celebrity diets”. I looked at all the before and after pictures and thought this will be me. I had a plan in my head to start on Monday. Well Monday came and went and nothing changed. I wanted to be that after picture but wasn’t quite ready to make the changes I needed to.
Now fast forward I am on the plane home from a fabulous vacation and looking through our photos. Out of the 5,000+ photos I am maybe in 50 of them. Out of those 50 I maybe 2 of them don’t have a strategically placed child or large object infant of my body(thank you Hollywood sitcoms for that little tip). It was in looking at all these pictures that it really hit me, I had let myself go. I was on a trip of a lifetime and there were almost no pictures of me enjoying it. I hated the way I looked and felt and wanted a change. I didn’t want a quick fix I wanted something that was sustainable and healthy. So I decided to start keto the next day. No need to wait for Monday, the start of a new month, or the stars to perfectly align. I wanted a change and was in the right mindset and took advantage of it.
You might wonder how I came to pick keto as my lifestyle change? Well I had known about keto for years and even was on the ketogenic diet for a bit in the past. My husband had done academic research on the clinical uses of the ketogenic diet in grad school so I was very familiar with how it worked and how to put it into practice. While it had worked for me in the past(more so for my husband) I wasn’t ready to commit to it and didn’t stick to it. This time was different. I calculated my macros, took my measurements, and started planning out my meals for the next day. I was all in and ready to get to my goal weight.
Day one went as expected. For me day one of anything is never an issue, its usually at the end of the week I start to waiver. But not this time. I kept it simple and inexpensive(I was a stay-at-home mom and my husband was just getting out of grad school starting his new job and our budget was tight). I focused on bullet proof tea for breakfast, a spinach salad for lunch(depending on the day I would add bacon/avocado/cheese/chicken thigh..), and a protein and sautéed spinach or broccoli for dinner. It was simple and tasted good(it wasn’t anything to write home about but it worked and I hit my macros). I hated it and wanted bread, chips, ice cream, really anything and everything carbs! I was moody and kept telling my husband f*ck it I will be fat and happy at least I need my carbs. But I stuck to it. At the end of the first week I weighed myself and had a considerable loss! I was excited, I was motivated, and I thought, “this is something I can keep up”. I wasn’t starving myself, I was eating plenty of veggies, and I was losing weight! So I kept it up. At the end of my first month I was down 20lbs(please don’t compare my loss to yours because everyone is different)! I was through the roof happy! I had more energy and was motivated to start getting creative with cooking. I started taking some of my favorite non-keto recipes and adjusting them to fit keto. I started baking and making fat bombs.
The weight kept coming off, but I started weighing more frequently. I would be excited on the days the scale would go down. It would motivate me to stick to my macros and my attitude would just be so positive. But on the days the scale would go up I would start doubting myself. I would look in the mirror and think well you don’t look much different or think is it even worth it? I knew full well that it was water weight and/or hormonal and I wasn’t gaining fat overnight. I won’t say that I didn’t give in once or twice to these feelings and have a cheat. But I quickly learned that not only was it noteworthy it, but that having that cheat didn’t get me any closer to my goal. So I stopped weighing everyday. I stopped looking in the mirror looking for things to improve. Instead i tried to focus on how far I had come. This seems to be where my followers have told me they struggle. When they are putting the work in and the scale just doesn’t budge. So you have a pity party and have a cheat. Then that cheat turns into a cheat day, then a cheat weekend, then next thing you know you have spiraled out of control and don’t know how to get back on track. This is what worked for me:
1. Throw your big girl panties on and tell yourself to cut the self sabotage bullcrap!
2. Jump right back on the keto wagon. You don’t need to wait until tomorrow or the start of the week. Start right away.
3. Don’t punish yourself. You had a cheat and fell off the wagon. It isn’t a big deal. It is nothing you can not undo. Do NOT starve yourself. Throw in a little cardio if you are physically able to. But other then that just go back to basics. Eat within your macros and make sure to track!
4. Do NOT weigh yourself daily. Heck I even skip weighing in on the week of my cycle. Its just counter productive and discouraging to see all the daily fluctuations.
So I told myself you give it your all and be 100% in and then once a month you can have a cheat meal. It will be a planned cheat meal that I way I can get in the right frame of mind. I know I will gain water weight after and thats ok. Having my cheat meal won’t make me gain all my weight back and won’t ruin all my hard work. I won’t set unrealistic expectations and weigh in the next day or test m ketones. I know they won’t be optimal. I will jump right back into my keto way of life and will not punish myself for the cheat. This was my thing that got my through the cravings when I saw others eating pizza and chips. I thought if I can hold out for __Days then I will get to have ___ on my terms. And that worked for me! SO much so that I eventually didn’t look forward to my cheat days as much anymore. I started loving the keto way of eating more and more. With every new recipe I tried and every goal I hit I became more and more motivated. This was a way of eating that I was able to have my desserts and meals that weren’t just satisfying but also delicious! I was losing weight, feelings great, and my confidence was growing.
I finally hit my goal weight/size in the Fall of last year and switched to maintenance macros.I went from 188lbs and a size 14/16 pants and large/x-large shirt to 133lbs and a size 2 and small shirt! Keto got me to where I wanted to be and I feel great on it. All it took was for me to finally get into the right frame of mind that I needed a change because what I was doing was not working and I was not happy. I have been asked by many people if I am going to switch to a different diet or increase my carbs now that I hit goal. But to be honest why would I mess with success? I eat more leafy greens and veggies now then ever, my labs are fantastic, I have loads of energy, and I am maintaining a healthy weight. For me it makes sense to stay keto. Weight loss was not a down hill battle. I didn’t lose weight every day. I didn’t wake up excited and motivated everyday. And I wasn’t perfect with my macros everyday. But I stuck with it-quitting won’t get you to your goal. I tried my best- my honest to goodness best. And I tracked everything I ate(even on cheat days). I held myself accountable and eventually it got easier. I was a true karboholic but I did it. I quit sugar and drastically reduced my carb intake. I lost the weight. I gained my confidence back. And I finally became the after picture I wanted to be. You can to, you don’t need to spend tons of money or starve yourself. You just need to commit, track your macros, make the best choices you can, and stay positive. It won’t happen overnight but it WILL happen if you stick to it.