As soon as I turned 30, my weight became a problem. It didn’t happen overnight. It was a gradual climb to a weight where I no longer recognized myself and didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin.
I know a lot of people can relate to that. As we age, it just gets harder to keep our weight down and doing what we always used to do doesn’t work anymore.
As is typically the case, shortly after I turned 30, my metabolism seemed to come to a screeching halt.
From the age of 30 to 40, I gained over 70 pounds. And it wasn’t for lack of trying. In fact, at age 33, I ran my first marathon. I was doing everything “right”, but my body wasn’t following suit.
It started to become very difficult to regulate my weight and I eventually felt like it was a losing battle.
I think I’ve tried just about every method of weight loss there is. I cut my calories, I worked out extra hard every day, I tried a high-protein diet, I went to the doctor for help.
Nothing seemed to work. In spite of my efforts, I continued to gain weight.
I Tried Exercise
When I first noticed my weight creeping up, I started working out more. I was working from home, so I carved out an hour at lunch time for a home workout routine.
Then I added jogging to burn more calories. I was running 3-5 miles daily, and sometimes up to 15 miles on the weekends, to train for my marathon.
Not only did I not lose weight, over the course of the year-long marathon training, I gained 5 pounds.
I Changed My Diet
Since running didn’t really work for me, I revamped my diet and started avoiding certain things I thought were causing digestion issues.
I’ve never had a sweet tooth, so sugar wasn’t a problem, but I did eat out quite often, and I was drinking quite a bit of wine.
I started shopping only on the outer shelves of the grocery store, and cooked my own meals. I made a rule for myself that I could only have a glass of wine on Saturdays.
I Cut My Calories
I’d always believed that weight was tied to calories. The more you eat, the more you weight. So the less you eat, the less you should weight.
I cut my calories intially to 1500 a day. Since the daily recommended intake for women is 2,000 calories, and it takes a 3,500 calorie deficit to lose one pound, cutting down to 1,500 should enable me to lose 1 pound per week.
When that didn’t work, I cut down to 1,200 calories a week. Still no weight loss.
I Saw Doctors
Once I realized that exercise and diet weren’t going to work for me, I started seeing doctors to determine if there was a medical reason why I couldn’t lose weight.
I was diagnosed with all kinds of ailments over the years – from IBS, to endometriosis, to chronic lyme disease – and with those diagnoses came a treatment plan and renewed hope that this would be the thing that would help me.
My medicine cabinet was full of probiotics and supplements. I started making fermented foods at home, and brewed my own kombucha, to improve my gut flora.
The weight was beginning to take its toll healthy wise. I had brain fog, achy joints, anxiety, inflammation, trouble sleeping, constant nagging heart burn. The list went on.
Genetics or Metabolism?
Weight was a family struggle. Hereditarily, I got the bad end of the stick. So I always knew my weight was going to be a problem, but I had no idea it would be so hard.
I am not a person who is lacking in willpower or motivation. When I put my mind to something, I do it full on. I don’t give up easily.
But after so many years of trying so hard, depriving myself, cutting foods I love from my diet, and obsessing over what I ate, I was done.
I was going to have to find a way to live with the weight and resign myself to the fact that I would never be thin again.
That’s why I decided to try keto, after trying everything – literally everything – else to stop my weight from creeping up. It was a diet of last resort for me, though now, in hindsight, I wish it had been the first thing I’d tried.
Why? Because keto quickly became my saving grace. Within just 2 weeks of starting the diet, my life – not just my weight – began to turn around.
That sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s true. Here’s my story.
My Weight Before Keto
I’ve spent years battling weight, eating next to nothing, going on strict low-calorie diets, working out like crazy, seeing doctors to find the medical reason why it’s nearly impossible to lose anything, taking supplements that might help, etc. I’ve pretty much tried it all.
But I didn’t try a keto diet.
After all the excitement and energy in the press about the keto diet, why didn’t I not try it?
One day, I decided that this would be my hail Mary. I would give keto a try and see if it would work for me. I prepared my meals and read everything I could about the diet. I calculated my macros and knew exactly how much I was going to eat and what it would be.
I had a few of the initial symptoms of the diet – fatigue and keto flu – but they didn’t last long. Within a few days, I had lost a few pounds, nothing incredible. But it did seem to be working.
I doubled down and started creating my own meals that I knew were perfect macros. I followed the diet to a T.
It actually worked.
Within a month, I had lost 10 pounds. Within 2 months, I was down 18 pounds.
I kept on with the diet for about 8 months. By the end of that 8 months, I had lost 52 pounds. All thanks to keto. I know it’s all because of the diet because this was all happening during COVID when we couldn’t go outside, even to exercise, so I was very sedentary. The only thing that changed was my diet.
I started to feel amazing, pretty much right away. My horrible heartburn was the first to go. Then I started to notice I was sleeping better and not snoring as much anymore. My joints weren’t aching. My stomach issues were almost non-existent.
And best of all, my clothes were fitting again. I even got out that box of old clothes that I always kept thinking maybe someday I’d fit back into them again. Some of them were too big!
After having such great success with the keto diet, I realized that I had to share this with others. If it was the one thing that worked for me, perhaps it could be the one thing that works for someone else to, and then I would have done a great thing, that I wish someone had done for me.
I now eat a healthy, low-carb diet. No longer do I need to do the strict keto macros that I once had to do. I’m able to maintain my healthier weight by eating low-carb. I do add in some carbs to my diet. You need to eat carbs to be healthy. But it doesn’t create the problem it used to, I believe because I’ve gotten that chronic inflammation under control.
I wouldn’t say that keto is a diet you can stick to forever or even a healthy way to live, but it is definitely a tool you can use to get to where you can maintain on a healthier low-carb diet.
I know this because I’ve done it. And it worked for me.
Laura is dedicated to a low-carb lifestyle after losing 52 pounds on the keto diet. As many of us do, she struggles with her weight and has found that one of the only diet lifestyles that allows her to maintain a healthy weight is a low-carb diet. She shares her favorite low-carb recipes here that are both easy to make and full of flavor, so you don’t even miss the carbs.