What is up, my friend? My name is Stephanie and I am your typical mom of four. I stay at home and take care of these beautiful and noisy 10, 9, 3, and 8mo children every day. In my most recent past, I was a Learning and Development Manager for a Nationwide Self Storage company. Boy, some days I miss it DEARLY. I mean, I love love love my little ones but I miss the interaction with other adults. You can only say “Stop that. Don’t pee on your sister. Go wash your hands. Don’t eat that booger…” so many times in a day before you want to cry. It’s cool, though. I was born to be a mom. I’m pretty dang patient and I thoroughly enjoy having a big family.
My entire life, I’ve been overweight. Dare I say it? Obese. (Ugh, it hurts to type that!) In October, I had baby number four and immediately decided that I was ready to get healthy. I couldn’t wait for the time to pass and to hear my doctor give the “go ahead” to start exercising. I had grand plans! The days turned in to weeks and the weeks into months, though. I found myself at my heaviest post pregnancy weight of 255lbs in March 2017. I was so tired and could barely make it out and about without feeling like I was going to die. I saw some adds on Facebook for a local “Women’s Only” gym and desperately wanted to give it a try. Eventually, I gave in and spent the absolutely ridiculous monthly fee ($155) to join.
On my first day, Alicia, the beautiful blonde personal trainer, asked me what my goal was? After a few minutes of thinking, I told her that I just wanted to show up. See, as I’m sure many of you can imagine, I have ZERO commitment when it comes to exercising and eating healthy. I’ve always wanted the Kim Kardashian body, but just wanted to eat tacos instead. So, I just needed one goal. I just needed to make it every day to the gym. And so I did. I didn’t change what I was eating. I just went, day in, and day out. I felt like a boss! Man, I was getting stronger and I could tell I wasn’t huffing and puffing as much. And the weight? You know what happened? Nothing. Abso-freaking-lutely NOTHING. I started at the gym at 255 lbs in March and up until May 4th, going 5 days a week, I was still 255 lbs. Imagine that?! Clearly, what you eat matters.
Prior to keto, I was consuming around 900g of carbs per day. 900! I would stop and get an Egg McMuffin and a large coke every morning after dropping my kids off at school. Sometimes, I’d also get a Sausage McMuffin with egg, too. My three year old and I would sit in our driveway, him with his yogurt and oatmeal, and me with my egg sandwiches and coke. Everyday. For lunch? We’d run to Taco Bell and I’d get a #3, no tomato with an XL Baja Blast and he would get cheesy roll ups. Maybe I’d add a bean burrito for fun. Not because I was hungry. Just… well, because. For dinner? I’d take the kids to Burger King and we’d all order burgers, onion rings, pop, chocolate chip cookies…. When my husband would be home, it wouldn’t be much different. Aside from the fact that I wouldn’t do breakfast at McDonald’s, but rather at a sit down breakfast joint. Man, to look back on it now is so disheartening. This was our daily routine for a very long time.
Fast forward to May 3rd, 2017. Our gym was holding a 28 day challenge, trying to get us to focus on our nutrition and weight loss. Like I said before, I was feeling like a boss in the workout department. I was at the gym 5 days a week and mentally, I was the healthiest I had been in a while. I was determined to win the challenge. I told my husband and my kids that I would need their help if I was going to win it and they all thankfully agreed. Because, let’s be honest. If you’re not obese, eating out every single meal isn’t exactly your cup of tea. My kids were starting to feel sick all of the time. My poor husband had heartburn nearly every night. It was bad. And the money we were burning through was ridiculous. I would spend AT LEAST $40 a day on fast food. Yikes!
I posted an update on my personal Facebook page, letting my friends know I was getting ready to start (yet another) accountability challenge. At that time, I had no idea what I was going to do, only that I needed to do something. An old friend of mine messaged me not moments after my post and started to fill me in about keto. At first, I was sure it was one of those direct marketing things. Like, buy this drink and you’ll lose weight! Granted, I probably would have considered anything at that point because I was feeling a little bit desperate. It sounded a little too good to be true at first. Then, my brother called. He was telling me about this keto thing, too. Two people in the same day telling me about something I’ve never heard before?! I was more than intrigued.
May 4th, 2017, I started my keto journey. Because I was (and still am) breastfeeding, I decided to stay under 50g of carbs. I figured that if I would be going from 900+ carbs a day, 50g a day would be a pretty big shock to my system. I was navigating in the dark just slightly at first because I didn’t do much research on the keto subject. I just knew that I needed to reduce my carbs to under 50g. (If you’re not breastfeeding, 20g of carbs is your goal)
My first few weeks of keto, I kept things really simple. I wasn’t trying to save the keto world by trying all these recipes and tossing anything in my pantry with added sugar and carageenan. I just wanted to survive and not show up at Taco Bell at 3am just to say, “hello, I’ll take a #3.” I cheated. I ate at Texas Roadhouse. I ate hot fudge and peanut butter sundaes multiple times a week at first. Let’s be real here. I was an addict. Cutting sugar and carbs and fast food nearly cold turkey was HARD for me. Really really hard. But every time I passed McDonald’s and didn’t pull in, I’d give myself a high five. Every time I ordered a burger without a bun, I’d mentally fist bump myself. And every single day, it got easier. The days that it wasn’t easy and I’d cheat, I’d forgive myself and then try harder the next day. That, my keto friends, is how I won.
As the days went on, I started to like Taco Bell less and less and less. It lost its grip on me. Fast Food didn’t own me anymore. Imagine that! After a month of keto, I was starting to gain control of my eating habits. Now it was time to bring the family along. The first month on keto, I’d make my family everything I was eating. I didn’t do anything special for them. My rule has always been, if I’m cooking, you’re eating what I give you. Period. Luckily, keto is super tasty so they didn’t mind; however, my hubby would still bring home his weekly donuts. The kids were still in the process of finishing off their candy stashes and gallons of milk. Eventually, it was all gone. And mommy, well, stopped buying that crap from the store! By month two of keto, our entire house had adapted to the new way of eating.
Now here we are, July 2017. We’re all keto and the kids are almost fat adapted, with my eldest son just having gone through the “keto flu.” (Yes, it’s real!) Since we’re all keto, and I cook A LOT, what better way to share our experiences than to write about it? Alas, the blog. I want to share with all of you what we experience every day. Our journey, so to speak. I want you to hear it from a real mom who has real addictions and real taste buds. Some keto foods are nasty. And there are people out there who forget that we all ended up here, to the same place, for some of the same reasons. I haven’t forgotten that and want to provide a different perspective on the topic. So please, ask me anything! I want to be that honest resource for you. Because you can do it. WE can do it! And we deserve it, too. Keto on, my friend. And welcome to Mommy Tries Keto.