Starting Keto: A New Hope

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starting keto with avocadosI can’t believe we’re starting keto.

Seriously, what are we doing??

Ever since Halloween, there’s been a large container of candy hiding in the closet. I have to hide it because a large bucket of candy plus a toddler usually ends in lots of tears. From the both of us.

Bill and I avoid it through the week, eventually succumbing to the inevitable crash and burn of binging through the best choices while also binging on Doctor Who and Supernatural. Then, we’re subsequently faced with the crash and burn of our insulin levels.

It hurts, it’s full of shame, and it tastes delicious.

Rewind to about four years ago, before kids and before this house. Bill was deployed and I was still jobless. I also weighed in at about 190 pounds. Good times.

So while he was acquainting himself with a different country and his 3 a.m. siren drills, I decide to get to know my neighborhood gym.

It was small, sometimes it smelled, and occasionally the power went out.

But, I was okay with that. Because it gave me a chance to learn and develop. It gave me an opportunity to strive to become something I had never been before. I learned how to run on a treadmill, how to use a cable machine, and how to properly execute a straight-leg deadlift. I learned what not to do in a squat rack. I learned that re-racking your weights is something some people think is below them.

Mostly, I learned that I can do things outside of my comfort zone.

Nowadays, I enjoy challenges. I find them motivating and empowering, even when I fail. Which, to be honest, I usually do fail.

But who said failing was a bad thing?

Thomas Edison himself even said, ““I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”

I mean, he was improving the light bulb, not doing hammer curls. But still.

Adventures in keto

starting keto coffee and butter

A couple of days ago, Bill decided he wanted to try going keto. “Just to see what it’s all about,” apparently. After a few months of waking up early and hitting the gym, he decided keto would be a fun experiment.

A fun experiment, he says!

At first, I groaned internally while listening to him tell me all of the fun scientific things he learned about keto diets. But, I don’t want to do keto, I thought. It’s so much work. I don’t have time for this, and we don’t have the money for all that freaking meat.

Mostly, I really didn’t want to sit here and try to figure out how to make keto-friendly meals for him while also making dishes our toddler (AKA the carb-inator) would actually eat, AND something that wouldn’t drive me absolutely insane trying to manage.

I could feel the migraine setting in as he talked.

But eventually, the conversation turned to low-carb in general and how it can benefit with weight loss. Now, my husband isn’t overweight, but he’s not a skinny dude, either. He’s just full of muscle and strength. So weight loss isn’t his issue. It’s mine.

When benefits outweigh the risks

Like I said earlier, my heaviest was 190 pounds. For my smaller stature that pushes me comfortably into the low-end of the obese range on the BMI charts.

During Bill’s deployment, I knew I wanted to lose weight. Since it was just me, I spent most of my time eating chicken and grilled broccoli. I would cook a whole batch of it and eat it all week.

starting keto kaleAnd it worked! I loved it! I paired it with weight training and a little cardio, and it worked wonders. I lost 40 pounds by the end of deployment and he came home to see me at my skinniest.

He told me shortly after his homecoming that seeing me in person was shocking, and he couldn’t take his eyes off of me. That our Skype calls didn’t do me justice. Seriously? My amazingly attractive, loving husband – the man I threw my heart at every single day – couldn’t stop staring at me??

Talk about an ego boost!

During our conversation, these moments flashed in my head. I thought of all the times I went low-carb, even if temporary, and how refreshing it felt. How flatter my stomach felt. How more efficiently my body worked. How much sharper my mind became.

I always, always had more energy. I just felt alive.

After one kid, I became a runner, stroller and all. I upped my workout game and realigned my expectations of my mom tummy. I learned to accept and sometimes even appreciate my stretch marks and saggy skin.

I’ve managed to stay at around 170, which I’m generally happy with. Officially overweight, according to the charts, but I never put much stock in generalizations. Could I lose some belly fat? Absolutely, but it’s not a priority of mine. I mostly just stick to maintaining my health with a mostly-balanced diet and whatever activity I can fit in. Which these days, to be honest, isn’t much.

So weight loss just hasn’t been on the burner for me lately. But with the holidays literally NEXT WEEK (he has the worst timing, I swear), I’m not really into going low-carb.

Then I thought, maybe now would be a good time after all.

Here’s why…

Every holiday season, I give myself the excuse that it’s just the holidays, and after Christmas I’ll eat better.

I’m calling bullsh*t.

I do this constantly! I do it while baking up even more Christmas cookies. I do it in the summer during cookouts,

birthday parties, or whatever other reason I can think of.

Well, it’s already swimsuit season and I missed the cutoff for being bikini-ready.

I’ve always been like this. Why bother changing?

Well, at least I’m not in my fat jeans anymore.

These excuses pop up all the time. And frankly, I’m tired of it. And when you’re tired- like, really tired – of the excuses, that’s when change happens.

That’s when success happens.

That’s when the new break of dawn comes over the horizon of promise and integrity, washing over you with hope and motivation.

I know, it’s cheesy. But hey, cheese is keto-friendly!

Starting keto: The game plan

Our adventure is starting today. But where do we start? Well, at the beginning, of course.

Bill and I downloaded a macros tracker on our phones so we can kick off keto the right way. We calculated our daily calorie intake and began our research. How in the hell do we start keto?

starting keto bulletproof coffee

Honestly, I don’t know. As of writing this post, my mind is fresher than a newborn when it comes to keto diets. I know my macro balance and generally what I need to eat, but starting keto is going to be a lot of research and development. I’ll need to hire some assistants.

This morning I ate two tablespoons of homemade butter with my scrambled eggs. It was weird, to be completely honest. And delicious. After an entire life of shunning butter and mayo and oils and fats, I now have to re-train my brain to eat it regularly and avoid all of the other stuff that normally feeds my energy stores.

Also, no more apples. That one makes me cry a little.

But we’ll figure out how to start keto, and how to manage keto, and how to celebrate holidays with keto. We’ll do it all with a lot of focus and a little failure. I’ll write about all of it – what works and what doesn’t, what keto recipes we love and hate, and how we feel with everything. We’ll track the progress and see what comes of this new hope.

So, maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. But success is only achievable when you keep going.

Like Albert Einstein said, “You never fail until you stop trying.”

So, here’s to you, fat. Here’s to the butter and avocados and olive oil I’m going to happily ingest over the next couple of months. Here’s to the eggs and steak and cauliflower rice. Here’s to the bulletproof coffee and recipes I’m going to try and potentially not enjoy. Here’s to fat bombs and whatever other weird keto-y crap is floating around out there in digi-world.

Here’s to allowing myself to eat bacon instead of bread.

Here’s to learning how to make cloud bread (this’ll be interesting).

starting keto

Mostly, here’s to me. And here’s to my adventures. And here’s to wondering what the actual f*ck am I doing right now?! Because change is a little terrifying to me, and right now that’s okay. But life is full of failures and terrifying leaps and sometimes, breathtaking success.

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