I’ve been keto for 22 months and am down 90+ pounds

December 15, 2020

Erika Ward Before and After

It’s hard for me to believe the difference in my appearance. I don’t have a lot of before pictures, as I always hid from the camera. I don’t have many after either, as old habits die hard.

I’ve been keto for 22 months and am down 90+ pounds. I don’t know exactly how many “+” is, because once I made it to “One”derland, I quit weighing. The scale is a psychological deterrent to me. My motto is to stay off the scale and on the meter. The Keto-Mojo blood glucose and ketone meter has been my most treasured diet aid from day one. It validates and ensures that I am eating foods that keep me in ketosis. I look forward to measuring on my meter instead of dreading stepping on the scale. Weight loss was just an amazing side effect to living keto.

I truly am a recovering carbaholic. I’m so thankful to be free of the clutches of my addiction. I call it a sugar addiction, but I was actually a savory carbohydrate addict. What does that mean?

Our bodies break carbohydrates (aka carbs) into glucose (sugar) almost instantly, so ingesting any form of carbs causes spikes in your blood sugar. It just so happens, I was not a “sweets person”, I wanted all the bread, deep dish pizza, pasta, and potato chips I could fit in my mouth. It is not an exaggeration to say I lived from deep dish pizza to deep dish pizza. I would eat a whole one at lunch and 4 hours later, I’d order another. I couldn’t stop thinking about food and had no control to stop the vicious cycle of bingeing on this awful drug that had its claws in me. It’s amazing how now, fully fat-adapted and deep in ketosis daily, I am able to easily go days on extended fasts and intermittent fast every day. I’m mostly a one-meal-a-day (OMAD) faster. My longest extended fast to date is 122 hours, that’s just over 5 days. My goal for 2021 is to fast a whole week.

The journey to sugar sobriety was not easy, but the acceptance that I am a literal sugar/carb addict and that there is no moderation in addiction is what finally clicked for me. Can you imagine being a meth addict or an alcoholic and saying, “I’m only going to take meth one day a week, or only drink on holidays or celebrations?” Well, that was my strategy the first half of my life, with food, and is ultimately what lead to failure after failure after failure.

I ballooned up to 289 pounds and was morbidly obese, depressed, chronically fatigued, and sick & tired of being sick & tired. I spent $1000s of dollars on doctors and therapists and NOBODY could figure out what was wrong with me. I was told it might be hormones, my thyroid, auto-immune, and many other useless answers. I seriously thought that this was just what growing older felt like and to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t looking forward to living a long life. I had resigned myself to being fat, tired, achy, depressed, and lethargic. I gave up my 22 year old business, withdrew from most friendships, & hibernated in what I like to call “my cocoon”.

I started my journey back to life by reaching out to Katrina Harris, a keto coach I had been following for a few months on Facebook. Her keto journey is so inspirational and I always admired her transparency.

I was looking for a PROGRAM. I wanted meals planned and everything spelled out for me so I didn’t have to think, but just follow directions. Katrina said it doesn’t work like that. She said I had to be an active participant in my lifestyle change and convinced me that I had a true sugar/carb addiction and that I had to quit sugar for life, not for weight loss. Katrina’s the one who said there is no moderation in addiction. That saying stuck. I took every item in my house that had sugar (or any form of it) in the ingredients and got rid of it. I quit cold turkey and have been sugar sober for 642 days today. Not one cheat.

I am very aware that I am not cured, but in remission. I have to stay consciously aware that I could easily slip and fall back into my old addictions. Every nook and cranny of my life is sugar-free and keto-friendly. I have learned to read labels, ask questions at restaurants, and most importantly, prepare real, easy, delicious foods.

Instead of feeling deprived by saying “I can’t eat that,” I have changed my mindset to one of empowerment by saying, “I choose not to eat that.” Such a simple switch, but mentally — it was monumental for me.

I feel powerful and in control of my health. I’m excited to have learned to listen closely to what my body needs and to literally feel it healing and getting stronger every single day.  I am a proud Ketonian for life and will shout the Keto life’s praises from the rooftops for all to hear. The benefits of this amazing way of life are non-disputable for me. I am a walking talking testament to them.

Source: Erika Ward

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