Introduction: It’s been almost three years since I started working with my client Karen D. in February of 2018 and in that time she has lost over 200 pounds. Yes, two hundred pounds!
When she came to see me the first time, I was only one year into my own weight-loss and health-recovery “journey”, and was still very much overweight and metabolically unwell, but had come to understand from the scientific literature that a well-designed low carbohydrate diet was both safe and effective for weight loss, as well as for helping put some metabolic conditions into remission.
In April 2019, Karen private messaged me on social media and sent me a photo of herself, after she had lost 150 pounds. It was both delightful and very rewarding to receive this from a client and to see that she had continued to apply what she had learned, and was doing exactly what she set out to do. She gave me permission to share it on social media with only her first name and initial of her last name, which I did. All people knew is that this was what one client had accomplished in a year.
Last week instead of private messaging me an update, Karen decided to post a compilation photo of herself under one I had posted of myself on Facebook. Even though I had not spoken to her in over a year, there was her picture for everyone, including me, to see! Wow!! Karen had lost more than 200 pounds, and had every reason to be proud of her accomplishment!
In response to her initiative to share her progress publicly on Facebook, I ask Karen if she would be willing to tell her story in her own words from a client perspective and she agreed — and her reason for doing so is this;
“I don’t want others living the same life I was stuck in”.
So, if you think you can’t “do it” and that your weight loss goals are “impossible”, this post is for you.
This is one client story. This is Karen’s journey.
“I started keto on my own in January 2018, but it really stressed me out. There is so much information ‘out there’, and everything contradicted itself. It didn’t make sense to me. Macros, IF, fat bombs…..even in my coffee. Seriously, don’t mess with my coffee.
I needed help!
In one way I felt ‘lost’, but I did know that not eating lots of “complex carbohydrates” was right for me. I knew that keto was the right option, but this high fat thing scared me, largely because of my history of having had eating disorders since I was 12 years old.
There was something about this way of eating that made me feel like I had control over food for a change, instead of food having control over me but I didn’t feel like I grasped it enough to be successful.
I researched dietitians that specialized in low carb eating, as I’d seen dietitians before that just pulled out the Canadian Food Guide and told me to eat oatmeal for breakfast. I came across Joy. Boy did I get excited! You see, I have severe anxiety and always feel like I’m doing something wrong. When I tried to do keto on my own, it was hard to know if it was wrong, or I just felt it was. I needed clear answers and directions. And I was desperate. I had to loose weight.
I started at over 440lbs, last time a scale was able to weigh me. I’d been successful at loosing some weight on my own since January but I was on a mission. I was going to do it this time. For me, for my kids, for everything I had. The prospect of working with Joy meant clear answers to my questions, directions on how to really achieve my goals, and SUPPORT! I was going to have help, and not have to try to figure this out myself!
Leading up the appointment was nerve racking for me. As a morbidly obese person, you get used to being told how far gone you are and how your health is at jeopardy. Just asking for help sometimes is scary as you don’t know how judged you are going to be. I had so many questions that I wanted to ask, and was just hoping I’d really be “heard”.
My biggest question as a client was “why do I have to eat so much fat?” Is that really necessary?
And my second big question as a client was “do I really need to track my macros?” because that flares up my eating disorders. I end up punishing myself if I see how much I’ve actually eaten.
It was the day of my appointment and I arrived at Joy’s office. She greeted me so warmly. Off to a good start. Honestly, the first bit is a bit of a blur as my anxiety was pretty high. I remember us talking about my health, my back, my fibromyalgia, my families health diseases. But I also remember how encouraging Joy was about the success I had already accomplished on my own. She was excited for me. I was freely able to talk about my eating disorders and we were able to come up with solutions with my meal plan to help me, not freak out over the calories and macros! And we discussed ‘fat’. Enough fat for flavor, enjoy your food, have that piece of avocado, but I had enough fat on me that my body will take that for fuel. It was not necessary to eat high fat.
[more info about that here]
Joy put together a meal plan for me that made sense and that eased my fears as her client. She explained to me what my body needed, and I needed her explanation. It gave me ‘permission’ not to have to eat all that fat, and I was able to get my head to wrap around this way of eating. Now it made sense. I had the tools and I had the backup!
When I started seeing and feeling the results, it created the motivation to continue.
This is me after I lost the first 50 pounds.
And this is what I wrote on my Facebook:
Eating low carb is a very anti-inflammatory way of eating, so my body just started to feel so much better without all the sugar. I was starting to see huge changes in the way my body moved and looked. I was experiencing amazing non-scale victories that just kept me driven to keep going and wanting more.
It wasn’t always easy. Sure, there where set backs and temptations. It took a great mind-change to see things differently.
I didn’t make alternative foods. Didn’t try to find alternative to chips and rice and pasta. I just didn’t eat them anymore.
If I accidentally ate an ingredient that wasn’t keto friendly, that didn’t mean I ruined my whole day and should start over tomorrow. It just meant one bad thing went in my mouth.
Same as if I gave into temptation. “Give yourself a break“, I would say to myself. “We aren’t perfect, don’t make your success suffer because of one small stumble. Why start over tomorrow when you can continue today?”
This is me today.
I’m passionate about this because I’m working on my journey, and it has changed my life.
I went from being bed-bound for sometimes weeks at a time, to living a full life now.
I’m working hard to regain my life to the fullest and know that it is something that is possible for anyone who wants to do it.
I still have a bit to go before I’m at my ideal weight, but I can see the finish line. I’m going to be there soon.”
~ Karen D, January 3, 2021
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