A few months ago I tried to run an IG ad about how important the keto diet has been for my health and well-being. The ad had pictures of me by the decade from my teens to now. My weight has pretty much been the same outside of those post-pregnancy months when I was desperately trying to return to “normal.” My ad got declined because IG believes it may make people who struggle with weight feel bad. They accused me of “shaming” — not directly but that’s how I felt. With all the before/after pics on social media, I decided that I’d do my own #transformationtuesday post because transformation is not just physical.
The ketogenic diet — going Keto— has changed my life. The journey started eight years ago when I decided to try a low-carb, sugar-free diet. At that time, the Atkins diet was all the rage. So, on the Atkins plan I jumped. Then in January 2019 I went aboard the keto train.
Instagram was right. I haven’t had much of a weight struggle in my life and my body weight at seventeen was not drastically different than my body weight today. I said bodyweight, not composition. Back then I was a dancer with almost zero body fat. I shopped at Victoria’s Secret because my bras didn’t have to work as hard as they do today. I popped out of bed in the morning without an ache or pain and I gave absolutely no thought to what I ate. Little Debby was a dear friend. Cap’n Crunch was my hero.
As life moved forward I started to gain a few pounds but easily lose them if necessary. Then as I got closer to 40, the number on the scale was the same but the package was starting to look different. I saw a twitter post that said, “Skinny girls look good in clothes. Healthy girls look good naked.” I wanted to be healthy. Since exercise had always been a struggle for me, closely managing what I eat was the path of least resistance. I have been maniacal about my weight since high school. If there was a diet gimmick out there, I tried it. Fastin. Slim Fast. Burn Slow. Point Counting. All of it. It all worked but it was painful.
While fighting to keep my “skinny party girl” alive, my emotional health was deteriorating. I carried a high level of stress in my career. I had moved beyond my past but not really dealt with it so it loomed like a cloud threatening to bring the storm. I felt like a martyr to life and it all started to close in on me. I couldn’t do it anymore. I had enough. My diet kept me thin but flabby. Reading my Bible was like listening to the teacher on Charlie Brown. My prayers hit the ceiling. My close friends were clueless. My family needed me. I QUIT!!! I went on one of the most unhealthy, godless, drunken, self-destructive binges ever. I’m talking “Hophi, Phinehas, and Jezebel enter a bar….” bad joke kind of binges.
One of my favorite scriptures is John 6:39. “And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day.” I am grateful that God understood my despair and that he didn’t hold my faithless behavior against me. Once the light broke, I started studying the New Testament again. This time for wisdom and clarity, not as a religious obligation. I realized that my body is a temple, one that houses God for other people to see. So, I went low-carb, sugar-free in 2012 and miraculous things happened.
My Whole Life Changed
I had been to multiple doctors in my late 30s begging them to tell me I was crazy. Nobody agreed. In each of their professional opinions I was “exceptional” considering the life I’d led. Seriously, five independent doctors in three different states used the word “exceptional” in reference to my resilience. Not the answer I wanted. They also agreed that because my 3-year-old brain suffered serious trauma that I had lived most of life in flight or fight. Cortisol levels on gazillion and neurotransmitters bouncing around looking for a place to land. (Pharmacist humor) This was my normal. It was all I had ever unknown until…
Kicking sugar took away my anxiety and mood swings.
Most of what I thought was wrong with me was quickly corrected by changing my diet. Once I calmed the flight or flight I could see clearly. The relentless need to perform and the pursuit of perfection diminished. I saw my relationships more clearly and started making swift changes. The more I leaned into God to truly understand Christian living and the longer I cut carbs and sugar, the better my life got…on the inside. After two years, I was healthy inside and out. There was just one problem…
I was hungry.
Enter Keto. Low-Carb/Sugar-Free was a tremendous help to me. Not only did it give me a more balanced emotional state it also helped me fight against the genetic predisposition for diabetes. I was living and laughing….and hungry. When I discovered the ketogenic diet and the additional benefits, I was sold. Pain and inflammation gone. Increased focus and clarity abound. Not to mention…a little butter. Adding healthy fats to my diet gave me more energy which allowed me to….wait for it….
I started exercising.
With the increased energy I gained from going keto, I was able to work out regularly. I started swimming for fitness, joined a gym, and fell in love with Barre class and spin. Who knew?!? Exercise is still not my favorite thing. But, I now have the emotional and physical fortitude to do things that are good for me, even when they’re hard. Before going low-carb the misery inside of me rebelled against anything that was unpleasant in life. I refused to be uncomfortable for any reason. I chased the “feel good” moments in life because I had already overdosed on the “feel bad” ones. All of that changed once I embraced a new way to eat and care for my body.
The Other Stuff
Changing my diet #becauseJESUS set off a chain of healthy living decisions that have been beneficial to my mind, body, and soul. I sleep at least 8 hours on most nights. I hydrate, drinking 64 ounces of water (or seltzer) a day. I diffuse my office with essential oils to keep me balanced and refreshed. I ensure I get 25g of fiber every day by eating green leafy vegetables. I pay attention to what my body is telling me…because God lives there. All of this is tied to my faith. It’s Shine TYC living! And…
I Built a New Business
Okay, it’s not really new. Now that I’m committed to keto living, I’ve become a brand “influencer” and partner for lifestyle brands, independent consults and artists. Shine TYC has always shown our love by promoting brands we love, brands that line up with our philosophy to let your light shine. I serve those brands and businesses with the love of God in my heart, sowing seeds into their growth and success just as God has truly blessed mine.
So, my Transformation Tuesday before/after pics might not look much different but I promise you that low-carb living and the keto diet have transformed me into a new person— my favorite “me” yet.