I mean, I wanted to believe I could do it, but whenever I’d set my mind to losing weight I’d struggle for six months and drop 20-30 pounds at the most; the only time I lost an egregious amount of weight was when I dropped 115 pounds in the eight months after my husband asked for a divorce. And I really didn’t want to go through that kind of stress again.
Spoiler alert: I did it. And I’m still doing it. Yesterday I hit the -50 mark from when I started in mid-August – but even more, 30 of those pounds have come off just since Jan. 2 – 10 weeks ago.
Here’s what’s happening:
I knew 2022 was going to be a big year: I was going to a California beach for 10 days with some family in the summer, and my son was getting married in the fall. I wanted – needed – to lose weight. I was the biggest I’d been since before the divorce and I wanted a change. Plus, the pain in my knees was excruciating during the coldest of the winter days – I didn’t want to spend another winter like that.
That January I made up my mind: I was going to lose 20 pounds by the time we went to the beach at the end of June, and another 20 pounds for my son’s November wedding. Small bites, easier to manage.
When it came time to go to the beach I had gained 15 pounds. I was devastated.
I finally decided I couldn’t do this on my own, I needed help. The academic medical center I work for has a weight management clinic, so I made an appointment. My first visit was Aug. 14, 2022 and lasted a little more than two hours. We talked about my lifestyle, what I thought some of the issues were (portion control and pasta – they go hand in hand). I agreed to and was prescribed an appetite suppressant.
When it came time for the wedding in mid-November, I’d lost 20 pounds. Then the holidays hit, and I gained five of them back.
A few weeks before the wedding I met a man who talked at length about the “carnivore diet” and its healing qualities. I was very interested in the man (still am 😉 ) but hesitant on this carnivore thing. According to this diet, you eat beef and eggs. That’s about it. He was trying to convince me it was the greatest thing ever while I was trying to convince him of the value of fruits and veggies. We had hit an impasse – at least on the diet front.
Then our conversations turned to “ketovore” – a diet that kind of “marries” the ketogenic and carnivore diets. Lots of animal protein and animal fats, but with a few veggies sprinkled here and there and a few other additions. The biggest thing was that it was the elimination of sugar and carbs. No creamer in my coffee, no pasta, no potatoes, no tortilla chips.
It sounded like something I could try so I agreed to do it after the first of the year. I gave it a month. I cleaned out my cupboards, my fridge, and my freezer. Processed sugars were gone.
My first week, I lost 14 pounds.
Yes, it was mostly water weight and I gained a few of them back, but week after week I continued to see losses of 5 pounds or better. By February I was seeing numbers on the scale I hadn’t seen in years. And They Keep Going Down.
One of my biggest hesitations about switching over to this lifestyle – because that’s what it is, it’s not a temporary “diet” – was that I didn’t want to stop enjoying the foods I loved. I couldn’t stand the thought of never again having nachos, or a cocktail, or a piece of cheesecake.
And here’s the fun part: I haven’t had to stop enjoying them. We’ve had “cheat weekends” where we’ll order a pizza or go out for Mexican, or get a sinful ice cream dessert at Culver’s or Dairy Queen. I’ve even had french fries – once. We went away for a long weekend and just threw caution to the wind. I gained nine pounds.
So here’s the other part of the diet: I do a 36-hour fast every week. Sounds awful, I know, but it’s really not: I eat a regular dinner Sunday night, and then no snacking. I fast on Monday, and by the time I get up and ready on Tuesday, my fast is over.
THAT is the difference. I did a fast after our long weekend and lost seven of those nine pounds. The other two came off through the week.
And the really weird part is I don’t feel deprived at all. We eat steak, roasts, ribs, shrimp – I’m far from starving, even on the fast days. Breakfast yesterday was steak and eggs. Not bad for a diet meal.
The proof is in the proverbial pudding – or the pictures. See for yourself. Or watch this video I shot in January to hear more: https://youtu.be/QKzK06LtAjw.
I’m not done – I still have a ways to go. But damn, this trip doesn’t seem so bad.