So how did I get here?
I wasn’t a fat child or teenager and after 3 kids I weighed between 6-7 st (38-44kg) (84-98lb). So not what you would call overweight for someone just under 5 foot.
My weight problem began in my 40’s. I had a mastectomy in 1988 and a year later I had a reconstruction done using my abdominal muscle and and gastric artery to feed the muscle. The op was a success although I got an staph infection and nearly died, a couple of times.
After being told that having the op could add 5 years to my life, I took that to mean I had 5 years to live. Doctor’s really should be more careful about how they phrase things.
So I started drinking. I had never been a big drinker only the occasional glass at a wedding or other function, but the drinks went from one or two on a Friday night to a few more on a Saturday night and before I knew it I was drinking every night. Some nights I would just drink and not eat. My husband and daughter just let me be, thinking I had to get this darkness out of my system.
After spending one too many nights sitting on the lounge floor drinking and singing along to Johnny Ray (the little white cloud that cried)and Tracy Chapman (sorry), and feeling sorry for myself while quite ignoring the effect that this morose being that was now me, was having on my family, I gave up drinking. I just got up one day and said to myself, “Self, this is ridiculous is this how you want to spend your limited time”, and I stopped. It was a Saturday morning and I woke up and said to my husband, its over, no more drinking for me. And I didn’t touch a drop for over 23 years.
I think I had it in the back of my mind that if I touched one drop I would start down the path of being a drunk again. But that didn’t happen and now I can have a couple of drinks on a special occasion if I wish, but I can take it or leave it.
Once I had stopped drinking I decided to become a volunteer for the cancer society. And I began to visit women in hospital who were waiting to have a mastectomy or had just had one.
Then one day I went to a seminar and one of the ladies in charge of the volunteers gave a speech to groups of doctors, nurses, volunteers and other interested parties. I listened on with interest as the various speakers went through their spiel, and then this woman said that each time a volunteer went to visit a woman in hospital, she was facing her own mortality. That was it for me, I resigned from volunteering. I had never thought of myself as vulnerable, as I was only interested in helping the women I was visiting. It might seem like a shallow reaction, but now that thought was implanted in my mind.
I was also working full time and had to fit my visits around my work time and into my family time. so it was actually a little bit of a relief when I finally gave it up.
Then I started gaining weight.
I didn’t notice it at first, and then, bang, there it was. I weighed 75kgs, I had never been that heavy in my life. So I started the diet treadmill. There was Weight Watchers, Atkins, a palm syrup and salt water diet (which was disgusting), the cabbage diet, the grapefruit diet and so on – I’ve tried them all. I would lose about 5-7 kgs and I’d reach a plateau, become disheartened and the weight would all come back again.
Then I thought ‘to hell with it’ and I started to binge out on chocolate. I took the easy way out and decided I didn’t care how fat I was, and everyone and their opinions could go to hell.
Then in September 2017, I got on the scales and I had reached 85 kgs. I knew then it was time to do something. But did I? Hell no. I just thought about it now and then and kept thinking just one more chocolate won’t hurt. I was addicted to Whittaker’s bars and Aldi Hazelnut chocolate. And as the weight went on even more I just bought the next size up in clothes. Keep everything loose fitting and I wouldn’t have to deal with it.
Finally I reached 90 kgs and my health started to effect me. I had a pain in my side and a lump, so I waited till both the pain and the lump went down and finally went to the doctor. Tests showed that I had a fatty liver and extremely high blood pressure – 180/120.
The doctor acted as if I was going to have a stroke and die right there in the surgery. A bit over dramatic if you ask me. Well she wanted to put me on a plan and pills for high blood pressure and the fatty liver. I don’t hold with pharmaceutical drugs so I refused and told her I would deal with it. And now I had a real reason to take stock of what I was doing to myself.
I immediately went on the Dr Sandra Cabot Liver Cleansing Diet. I lost about 3kgs, and I felt a bit better. Then I slipped back to having bread and rice and started once more to feel blah.
So in June 2018 I went onto a Paleo diet. I liked the Paleo diet, but I wasn’t losing much weight. I would come down a little and go up again. Then my friend Paula mentioned Keto to me. We had looked at it once before but I was a bit concerned because it is a high fat diet. And of course we have all been fed the bullshit about low fat for years, even though I knew that it wasn’t right as I had been raised on a high fat diet of fatty meat, butter, eggs and bacon and had never been fat.
My husband once remarked how he had never been overweight (which was true) until we moved to Australia and started eating pasta and rice in abundance.
Anyway, I watched a number of videos by Dr Eric Berg, Dr Axe and a number of other people. And decided to go full Keto with intermittent fasting.
It took a few days to transition from Paleo to Keto as I had things like carrots and parsnips in the fridge to use up. And I figured, compared to chocolate and bread, onions and parsnips weren’t going to hurt for a short time. Once all the non-keto food was done with I hit the floor running with my Keto plan.
After a few days I felt so good that I decided to go straight into two meals a day. So no breakfast. I began fasting from around 6:30pm through to at least 1:30pm the next day. On a number of days I even managed with having just dinner, but for the most part I was happy to have two meals a day.
I downloaded a Keto macro app so I could track what I was eating. I decided to do this for maybe a month or two, until I get a handle on the quantities and fat content of the food I’m eating.
I weighed 87.3 kgs at the start. After 5 days I had lost 1kg, but what gave me the incentive to absolutely do this is that I had lost 1 inch off my bust and 1 3/4 inches off my waist. Now that is a huge loss as far as I am concerned.
The second week I lost another kg.
On Saturday although we had strawberries and cream to finish up, I had also made a green drink which for the first time ever, made me feel sick in the stomach. Then next day I still didn’t feel right so I don’t know if it was the drink or not but I do know I didn’t have enough fat and although I had my water with apple cider vinegar in the morning and another water with lemon juice, I was feeling a bit peckish. I do have fat bombs in the freezer but I really wanted to go the whole day until dinner. In the end around 3pm I weakened and had a hard boiled egg. It was enough to get me through until dinner when we had roast lamb with brussel sprouts and cauliflower.
And then, I wasn’t feeling quite so great anymore, I thought it might be the Keto flu that often happens in the 2nd or 3rd week of Keto. And I felt really miserable. Still I was determined to keep at it.
I was also finding that keeping track of the macros became a bit of an annoyance, but I was still willing to keep on with the Keto. And then Paula and I watched Jordan Peterson on Joe Rogan’s podcast where he discussed the Carnivore diet.
Well I was skeptical at first but after listening to his daughters story about how she overcame her auto-immune problems by just eating meat and fat, we decided to give it a go. I love meat so that wasn’t going to be a hardship and I thought I would miss veggies, especially spinach, roast potatoes and roast kumera, but you know what, 3 weeks in and I don’t even think about veggies at all. And chocolate never crosses my mind, although I had given that up back in the Paleo days.
Now one of the first things I noticed was that after a couple of days the pain in my joints went. I started waking up in the morning without any pain in my shoulders, hands or ankles. Something that I have been experiencing for some time now, and I would often wake up during the night with joint pain. By the end of week one, it was gone, all of it. And another thing, is that I have more clarity of thought, I don’t have those foggy moments anymore.
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