The truth about my keto journey
I have been following the ketogenic diet since May 4th, 2017. As I quickly approach my 9 month keto-versary, I thought it was time to share a little “behind the scenes” look at what the keto life has been like for me. Be prepared, this is going to be long, maybe a little negative, and a whole lotta TMI. Please keep in mind, this is just my experience and absolutely my own opinion about this process. Some people may never experience any of the things I have, and some may be marching right along side me. Also, I may or may not be causing some of my own angst in a variety of the issues I’ve been having. So, keep that in mind, too. Ok, here we go!
I cook. A LOT.
There’s really no other way to say this. I cook ALL. THE. TIME. All the time. Like, all the time. When you get rid of basically all pre-packaged foods, you have no other choice but to make everything you and your family consumes from scratch. This means that the kids can’t just have a bowl of cereal for breakfast or a pop tart as we’re running out of the door. I’m making eggs, bacon, keto pancakes and syrup so they’ll be full during school. This also means that if I want a “sandwich”, I have to make my own mayo and my own low carb bread. By removing the convenience foods, this also means that if the people in my house don’t know how to cook, they will not know how to feed themselves without my assistance. Legit. Everyone walks around aimlessly in my kitchen now because they don’t know what they can and cannot eat or even how to make it.
As I said earlier, this is one of those times where it’s my fault. I am horrible at meal plan and prep. I’m on a very tight grocery budget and to buy things to make in bulk so there are leftovers and lunch options is a tad bit difficult. Plus, I’m still figuring out how to balance my low carb hubby and kids with my keto self. I’m hungry at odd hours because my body is a fat burning machine (h to the yeah!) so I don’t normally eat when they eat. I sometimes forget that they may actually need a meal, since they are consuming more carbs, and therefore are burning sugar for fuel (sad face).
Number 2 is an issue
Remember when I said TMI? Well, here you have it…. you’ve been warned! Going numero dose was never on my list of daily to-dos prior to keto. I’ve always been a tad bit irregular. Sadly, keto made that so much worse. When I first started restricting my carbs, there was a point pretty early on that I felt like something was missing. I got caught up in tracking my macros and weighing my food that I forgot about one major thing that I hadn’t done in a while. I was FULL. Now, I don’t mean full as in “I just ate at a Chinese buffet and now I need to loosen my belt” full. That kind of full I liked (and at that point in my keto experience, I dearly missed). This full was like “belly bloated, I need to go sit on the toilet and pray” kind of full. I remember thinking to myself, “how the heck do I make myself go?”
I quickly hopped on to the internets and found many a’ threads with information on constipation and keto. It’s actually a thing! Since a ketogenic diet is extremely low in carbs, there is not as much crap being dumped out of your body. Literally, ha ha. Carbs are faster moving and are replenished more often (because you’re hungrier more often) so your body is creating far more waste. When you reduce the carb intake, your food volume decreases and is processed in the body at a much slower pace. Thus, creating less doo doo. Hmm, interesting. Still, this didn’t help my problem because my doo doo was being created, it just wasn’t coming out.
That’s when I found a thread about magnesium. Turns out, people who suffer from constipation actually take magnesium to keep them regular. I remember how excited I was to read this and actually hopped in my car and drove to the nearest Natural Grocer to pick up some of the, soon to be referred to as, Heaven in a bottle. I purchased Natural Vitality – Calm Magnesium and came right home and immediately made me a glass of this raspberry lemonade poo pusher. Sadly, nothing happened. I read somewhere that if you’re not careful, too much could cause you to have the hershey squirts for an entire day. I wanted to go to the bathroom, but I was not about to test that theory. So I waited.
The next day came and went, but my bowel movement did not. I tried the magnesium drink again and still, nothing. By this point, my stomach just hurt. It felt like I had a rock in my gut. I was totally not happy. I went to bed early that night in hopes that it would take my mind off the difficult relationship the bathroom and I were experiencing. It didn’t. I tossed and turned all night and even woke before my alarm. When I sat up in bed, I felt a gurgle I hadn’t felt in several days. I knew that feeling. Could it be? I ran to the bathroom like my toddler. I may or may not have skipped a few times. It was pretty exciting!
After several days of an MIA number 2, I FINALLY received some relief. The magnesium just needed some time to work its magic and “push” things along. From that day forward, my hot totty (hot water and Calm) became my new nightly routine. Thank you magnesium. I owe you one. Or two 😉
Cravings are still a thing
You would think that by now, my cravings would be completely under control. I’ve been following this low carb life for nearly 9 months! Isn’t that long enough to kick the old habits? Well, for me, the answer is no. Not. At. All! I’m not “strict keto” all of the time so I know that has a lot to do with it. I wish I were but I’m just not. I’ve found that my addiction to junk food is deeply rooted in my sugar-ladened soul and it isn’t that easy to ignore.
Lately, I spend most days thinking twice about passing up the donut or the muffin at the office (I’m a real estate agent now, in case you don’t follow me on Facebook). And most days, I’m able to pass with no issues. Other days, I give in to the temptation and feel horrible about myself the days to follow. It’s a viscous cycle that has messed with me more times than I can even count. Sadly, it has created this hate for keto that comes in moments of weakness. I want so badly to maintain this lifestyle for years and year to come; however, I miss the old days sometimes. I miss the ease and convenience of pot pies and mac and cheese. I just do.
Now that I’m not as strict as I should be, I’ve stalled in both weight loss and inches lost. My weight seems to sit right around 215 lbs. To be honest, I’m actually ok with this stall. My pants fit good, I feel good, and I’m not gaining weight, which is not a normal part of my past life. Plus, I used to hover around 255 lbs for MONTHS. My body was comfortable at 255 lbs before keto. And my diet was full of enough crap that it maintained that weight. So, to be around 215 consistently tells me that, regardless of my daily struggles, I’m still doing. Would I lose more weight if I were strictly following keto? Yes, I have no doubt. Would I lose more weight if I were working out? Yes, I have no doubt! But for now, I just need to battle my demons and work on self control. I’ll get there, for sure. I just need to get through this stupid funk I’m in.
If it weren’t for you, I would have quit keto
In the beginning of my blogging journey, I wrote a blog about my Keto Tips. To this day, that post is still filled with my “go to” advice for anyone I run into that is just starting keto. In that blog, I talk about getting your own support system in order to have someone to lean on in times of despair. Thankfully, through God’s grace, I found all of you as my own support system. You continually give me advice, make me laugh, and push me to better myself and my journey. Without you in my life, I would have absolutely quit keto. It’s hard! There’s no doubt about it. I have 30+ years of HORRIBLE eating habits to fight with every day. Every day! And when I’m down and feeling like I need a piece of cake, you’re here. Thank you for your continued support and for constantly reminding me of how fortunate I am to have you, to have my journey, and to have my keto community. I have no intentions of quitting today. Or tomorrow. Just keep checking in on me and I’ll be good 🙂
Love to you all!