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One Year on Keto

I feel like I’ve been fat my whole life.

That’s not true, of course.  I was a healthy little kid.  I started putting on the pounds around puberty, and I felt fat all throughout high school.  The funny thing is now when I look back, I’m kind of envious of that body.  I mean, not really, because I was still kind of porky – but it’s better than where I ended up.  I was less than 200lbs then.

I gained weight in college, eating and socializing with my friends.  I was really active, fencing a lot, doing reenactment broadsword combat, and oh yeah – walking around campus constantly.

I really gained weight when I started dating a guy who was already obese.  He loved to eat out, and would in fact refuse to eat most things I prepared.  I blew up.  I don’t even know how much I weighed.

My senior year of college, I was tired of being fat.  I put my boyfriend and myself on The South Beach Diet, which was really popular at about that time.  I did manage to lose a fair amount of weight, and was happy to fit into a size 16 Ann Taylor dress at graduation.  I weighed about 220lbs.

Then I became a teacher, and we moved, and things got bad.  Any good eating habits flew out the window.  I started drinking more, because I was pretty depressed in my relationship and in my career.  I put on about 40 more lbs.  The only reason I know this is because when I booted up my Wii Fit a few months ago, I saw that weight recorded on it from years ago.

I kicked my ex to the curb, started cooking for myself again, and lost about 15lbs.  And then I met Canadian Bacon.  We fell into the unhealthy spiral that addicted gamers can easily get sucked into – we ate a lot of take out and we sat on our asses all day, killing things in a virtual world.  Don’t take this as me bashing our WoW career – it was a ton of fun.  But we neglected our bodies tremendously.

Last summer, we moved into my grandparent’s basement to help take care of them.  My grandfather is 82, and a Type II diabetic.  He is obese and mostly immobile.  Right now he is in a nursing home because a month ago, he fell and broke his pelvis.  My grandmother is 79, and also a Type II diabetic.  She is not overweight because she eats very small portions.  However, she eats all the wrong things – she lives on fast food.  I have a whole series called What Will Meemaw Eat? on here that records how she does things like demand McNuggets when I fix chicken, and ask for Taco Bell when I cook Mexican.  Last year she had a 90% blockage in her carotid artery that had to be cleaned out, or she was facing the potential of a stroke at any time.

To say my grandparents have inspired us to lose weight is an understatement.  CB and I are terrified of being in such poor health as we age.  We are both healthy right now, and we want to stay that way.  I most vehemently do not want to develop diabetes, and we want to stay mobile for as long as possible.

Shortly after moving in, we began working on losing weight.  But really, we knew next to nothing about nutrition, and we weren’t really going anywhere.  That all changed one day when I was browsing Imgur.  I saw a picture of a couple on the front page who were near our ages.  They had a before picture where they looked remarkably like us, and then an after picture where they had lost a ton of weight.  “Wow!” I said to myself, “How did they manage to do that in just a year?!”  This led me to the keto subreddit.

I showed the picture to CB, and we read about keto.  I was very intimidated by the large amounts of fat, having been corrupted by SAD (the Standard American Diet) and South Beach.  My ex and I tried a crash course in Atkins back in like 2004 that lasted for like maybe a week, and I disliked it.  So I had a lot of trepidation.  But CB was like “This sounds really good.  We should do it.”

(That’s how our relationship works a lot of the time, by the way.  I come up with crazy ideas.  He has the discipline to follow through.)

We have learned so much and come so far over this past year.

Our view of nutrition has changed.  We will probably never eat the SAD again.  We both have a hard time with moderation, which is why keto has been so great for us.  By eating high fat and filling up on protein, we’re getting satiated a lot faster and with a lot fewer calories than we would if we were eating SAD foods.  There have been very few times on this diet where I have just been hungry.

I have had fun developing a ton of keto-friendly recipes.

In November, I began going to hot yoga.  It was the first time I ever voluntarily worked out, other than normal conditioning for fencing and reenactment combat practices.  I quickly fell in love with yoga.  It has helped me in so many ways.  It’s given me more confidence – when you’re in the hot room, you either strip down to as little clothing as possible or you feel like you’re going to die.  I used to refuse to go out in public in anything other than jeans and a t-shirt.  Now I wear my yoga crops and a sports bra and a headband and I sweat my way through asanas like a pro.  I look like a hot mess and I fall occasionally.  But when I first started, I couldn’t even complete a whole session, and I couldn’t even balance on one foot.  I have come so, so far since then in my balance and flexibility!!  I am even standing on my head sometimes… wtf is that?!

In March, CB and I began working on C25K in earnest.  We did a 5k in June.  It was a miserable experience because we had not yet finished the program (week 7).  I am a horribly slow runner and I hate running, though I love how I feel after a run.  While we have not given up on running, we have put it on hold for now – running made me feel insatiable, and my weight loss stalled out significantly.

In August, we researched and purchased a membership at the YMCA.  We set up an appointment with a personal trainer and began working on the weight machines.  Then we met again, and “graduated” from the machines to the free weight floor.  CB and I are now following the ketogains plan and are lifting heavy 3x a week.  Since I began putting the pounds on the barbell, the pounds have started falling off of me!!

Speaking of which, weight loss is not linear.  It looks more like this:

1yearweight

It is a long and oftentimes frustrating journey.  As I wrote here, I feel inadequate a lot.  CB has lost much more weight than me, and more quickly.  I know it’s not a competition, but I can’t help but feel that way sometimes.  I get frustrated when my stomach gets in the way during certain yoga poses.  I hate my batwings because I would live in tank tops 24/7 if I could.  I see cute things in stores and I want to wear them, and I either can’t fit them yet, or I know it doesn’t make sense to spend the money when I’m just going to shrink out of them.

But that’s the thing.  I am going to shrink out of them.  Yesterday I told my bffe that this is the first time I have been confident in my diet.  I am losing this weight.  It is coming off.  It will continue to come off.  And keto is so damn sustainable, as long as I just keep calm and keto on, I will eventually win this thing.

I started keto at 300lbs.  Today I am 238.  I lost 62lbs in one year on this diet.  CB started at 280lbs and today he was 199.  Together, we have lost a combined 143lbs.  That is an entire person!!  Holy shit.

Oh, and I know BMI is mostly an arbitrary number, but mine’s dropped 9 points.  I’m still obese, but before long I’ll be merely “overweight.”

I don’t even know what my goal weight is.  I think around 170lbs sounds nice, because I am tall.  Mostly I want to get down to around 20% body fat.  I really want to have nicely muscular arms, legs, and back.  I can’t even imagine having abs but while I’m making my Christmas list, let’s throw those on there, too.  CB is working on cutting now, and wants to get below 15% body fat.

I have gone from 43.5 inch waist to a 37 inch waist.  That’s a plus size 22W to a regular 18.
My hip measurement has shrunk from 54.4 inches to 49.
Sure, I’ve also lost 5 inches on my overbust, but let’s face it – my boobs needed to shrink some.  And they still look quite proportional like this.
And somehow, my fastest loss was on my fingers – I went from a size 10 wedding ring to an 8.25 in a couple of months.  And this bitch needs to be resized again.

And now, before I go, I’d like to share some things we’ve learned on keto –

  • Water consumption is key.  We each drink a gallon or more of water a day.  We have mostly given up all other beverages in favor of water.  We keep Powerade Zero on hand, but we drink them rarely.  On keto, you must drink ALL THE WATER ALL THE TIME.  It makes for a miserable month or two until your bladder adapts, but it will adapt, ladies!
  • Low carb high fat does not mean all fat all the time.  You don’t have to cook everything in bacon grease or douse everything in butter.  It’s delicious but unnecessary.  Make sure you meet your protein goal, have whatever carbs you allow yourself, and satisfy the rest of your hunger with fat.  I am losing weight faster now that I make sure I meet my protein goal than I did when I ignored it in favor of pushing fat macros.
  • Buy stock in steamer bags of frozen broccoli.  I eat like one a day.  At $1.50 and 7 minutes in the microwave, it’s not a budget breaker and it’s definitely a time saver.
  • Artificial sweeteners and frankenfoods are okay in moderation.  We’d eventually like to eat more whole foods when we hit goal weight, but until that blissful day of fresh corn tortillas and honey comes to pass, we’re okay with Torani sugar free syrups and Mission Low Carb Tortillas.
  • Use LiteSalt for the electrolytes.
  • Set your activity level to “sedentary” on the keto calculator, and don’t eat back your exercise calories.  Making those mistakes is common, and also probably why I stalled out from Feb-July.
  • Don’t freak out if your period freaks out.  I use hormonal birth control, and my period has mostly been normal.  But there was one month when it came early and it stayed late and that sucked.  Just KCKO and things will return to normal.
  • Lifting fasted is excellent.  I feel much more energetic when I wake up, go lift, and eat something afterwards.  It’s the best!
  • Ignore that old advice to “eat six small meals a day.”  Intermittent fasting is great if you like to eat a lot of food at one time.  Ahem.  That’s me and CB.  So now days we often just skip a meal, and eat two larger ones (600-700cal each).  It’s more satisfying to us.
  • Start off super strict – 20g of carbs or less.  When you eventually loosen up some, don’t stress out about it.  Don’t cry over a french fry here or there.  Just keep on trucking.  It’s your overall habits that are important.

Here’s to another year on keto!  By my second ketoversary, I hope to be near my bodyfat % goal.  And I have promised myself that when I am 100lbs down, which should be next spring at this pace, I will post progress pictures on here.  I was debating posting some today, but I feel a little awkward sharing photos of me in my underwear with my friends and family (online strangers are perfectly acceptable, for some reason).  I also feel like my pictures aren’t very awe-inspiring yet, because I am so tall and have lost very evenly all over.  They’re not very dramatic, but I think once I hit that 100lb mark the differences will be jaw-dropping.  I feel so good right now, I can’t wait to see how I feel then!

 

25 comments

  1. I am super proud of your progress! You have had a great year,mimagine where you will be next year! The possibilities are endless!

    • Thank you, lady!! I hope you write a year reflection too when you reach your bacon day. Your progress has also been tremendous!

  2. Your journey is a lot like mine. Thank you for sharing this story, especially the chart showing how weight loss really looks. I needed to be reminded of this! Congratulations on all of your victories, I am sure Keto will get us both to our goals!

    • Damn right keto will get us to our goals!! KCKO!

      It’s hard to remember that weight loss isn’t linear. And here’s another nice saying – Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint. You’re in it for the long haul and it takes a lot of work!

  3. Thank you for sharing! It’s nice to see there are mess ups but it’s still a progress toward better health!

    • Definitely!! This is a lifestyle, not a crash diet, so you will stumble along the way. What is important is the downward trend!

  4. I started keto with my fiance ~2 months ago… and girl, i know that feel. he loses 2x as fast as i do. love your recipes.. have some chocolate pb fat bombs in the freezer. thank you! kcko! ;)

    • I know, right? What is with these guys and their lack of crazy weight-retaining hormones?! Lucky bastards :P

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting! KCKO!

  5. Thanks for the great posting, it really helped me a lot. I’m at my first week of LCHF diet, so I’m still learning. Do you think lifting weight helps to lose weight faster than cardio? I really don’t like lifting I’d rather do cardio I was wondering if lifting works better when it comes to LCHF diet…

  6. Thank you for your post! My husband and I started Keto three weeks ago. Your recipes look fantastic.

    • Thank you for stopping by and commenting! I hope keto is going well for you and your husband. Me and mine are still going strong a year and a half later!

  7. Fantastic!! You are amazing! I will definitely be checking out your recipes!

  8. Your blog is so motivating!! I started keto January 1. I had been frozen with the same weight “in spite of everything I try” and finally keto is moving it!!! (have you heard this before? *wink*) Stumbling along, reading lots, and generally positive about finally moving in the right direction! Looking forward to following your blog regularly :)

    • Welcome to keto! Buckle up, and prepare to tighten that belt often :)

      Let me know if you have any low carb questions or if there’s anything I can help you with. Good luck on your journey!!

  9. Wow! Congratulations on your weight loss! This is very motivating for me. I had been on keto before for three months, but I did it in a very unhealthy fashion. I’m back on the saddle and focused on being healthy and happy about my life, my health and about food! I just started again on the 7th of February. :)

    I have a serious question regarding these ratios because I am hearing such mixed things, though.

    I have been doing:

    1686kcal Daily Calorie Intake (Moderate activity)
    20g Carbohydrates (5%, 80 kcal)
    64g Protein (15%, 256 kcal)
    150g Fat (80%, 1350 kcal)

    The Keto-Calculator says: Moderate Deficit: Fast weight loss with moderate difficulty.

    BUT If I put in these macros:

    1326kcal Daily Calorie Intake (Moderate activity)
    20g Carbohydrates (6%, 80 kcal)
    64g Protein (19%, 256 kcal)
    110g Fat (75%, 990 kcal)

    They say this is a severe deficit and I would lose weight faster.

    Less fat, more weight loss?

    – – – –

    I see you say to put sedentary and work from there. So let’s see:

    1326kcal Daily Calorie Intake (Sedentary)
    20g Carbohydrates (6%, 80 kcal)
    64g Protein (19%, 256 kcal)
    110g Fat (75%, 990 kcal)

    Moderate Deficit: Fast weight loss with moderate difficulty.

    And then with more fat:

    1686kcal Daily Calorie Intake
    20g Carbohydrates (5%, 80 kcal)
    64g Protein (15%, 256 kcal)
    150g Fat (80%, 1350 kcal)

    Very little deficit, choose a higher deficit to lose faster.

    – – – –

    So . . . Less fat equals more weight loss?

    • Welcome to my little slice of the internet, and welcome to keto! I hope you have a fabulous experience on it this time around :)

      First, how did you figure out how many protein grams to eat? You should be eating between .8-1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. 64g seems to be pretty low. You definitely want to make sure you get adequate protein to stave off muscle loss. Remember that the more muscle you have, the more calories you are passively burning!

      Definitely set the keto calculator to sedentary. You can account for calories burned doing exercise separately (for instance, if you use a heart rate monitor that tracks that), but most people on keto don’t seem to feel the need to eat them back anyway.

      Fat is a filler. You should focus on meeting your protein goal daily, not overeating your carb limit, and then the rest of your intake should be fat to satiety. The ratio that I see you are inputting (75/15/5) isn’t necessary. Some days you may be at 50/45/10. What matters is that you’re eating enough protein, not eating too many carbs to knock yourself out of ketosis, and that you’re satiated. Keto works because it helps you maintain a calorie deficit, and in the end a calorie deficit is all that is required to lose weight. Keto basically just makes it easier (especially if you have metabolic syndrome, or are insulin-resistant, or prediabetic or anything like that, because it naturally controls your blood sugars and keeps cravings away). So yeah, in this case, less fat = more weight loss because it drops your total daily calories. But don’t worry about that – just set yourself to a small deficit (20-30%), don’t eat more than that, and eat up until that until you’re full. Most days I’m full before I reach my calorie limit :)

      Hope that helps!

      • That so totally takes a load off my mind. You have no idea. See, I am currently in recovery of an eating disorder and numbers of these things are my obsession. Keeping my carbs lower seems to be no problem and I like my protein.

        Thank you so much!

        • We Brittneys (spelled the exact same way, even!!) have to stick together!!

          • I am genuinely happy to hear that we have the same name spelling, haha! I was born in 1990 and that happened to be the year of the “Brittany-boom” and I was the only Brittney all this time. Seriously.

            I have seen Brittnee, Britany, Brittni, et cetera. People get creative with this name, haha!

            I will seriously be sticking around to chat and gaze in wonder at your achievements while hoping to pick up on your neato tricks of the trade. :)

  10. Hi Britt I have some questions regarding your experience living 2 yrs on keto. I was wondering if I could send you an email? I didn’t see a link anywhere on your blog for me to contact you. Thanks :) I look forward to hearing from you.

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