So….I finally started lifting weights! This was something I wanted to do since trying unsuccessfully to lose weight last year. Usually I would do a session here and there. And since I would get sore afterwards because my body wasn’t used to it I would stop and not continue.
My goal now is to complete a session 2-3 times a week. I want to be consistent for at least 3 months and reevaluate my progress then. I think once I see that I am slimmer and stronger I will want to continue.
Also waiting on seeing a loss on the scale is hard. It feels so arbitrary when I am down .5 one day and back up .4 the next. It can be incredibly frustrating. But I can more readily see gains when weightlifting because I will be able to do more reps and go up in weight when I’m making progress. I think it will help me focus less on the scale and more on how my body is getting fitter.
So I have a tendency to write off all the work I did last year because in comparison I have been better able to adhere to the keto lifestyle this year. This year I am losing weight at a good pace and I see the difference in my body and how I feel.
Last year in comparison feels like a train wreck. Every month for a few weeks I would be able to be consistent with eating keto and walking. But then my hormones would shift and I would become depressed, anxious and I would give in to carb cravings and binge eating. I would undo any weight loss I had achieved. It was so frustrating.
But I put together the comparison photo below and I can definitely see progress from last year. I have to recognize that during my postpartum depression I gained 20 pounds and ballooned up to 298 lbs. I ended the year solidly at 275. That’s not bad. You have to consider I was seriously depressed for half the year and I was figuring out a medication regimen that was effective. Plus the last 4 months of the year I successfully dealt with my developmental trauma. I no longer feel empty inside. I have a life worth living. And that’s while still being morbidly obese. That time spent with therapists and reading self help books was priceless. I wasn’t able to prioritize weight loss and physical health until I managed my mental health.
I am going camping this week in the desert and we are keeping it keto. They will be more refeed days than calorie restricted. Mostly so I can enjoy my vacation without going off the rails. A confounding factor is that I am premenstrual and that time is always tricky for food cravings and overeating. I’mma do my best.
So I have now been on keto for a month. I have seen great results when it came to my weight loss. From Dec 27th to January 29th I lost 14 lbs!! I feel so much better and I fit better in my clothes. Biggest non-scale victory has been going from a size 3X in scrubs to a size 2X bottom, XL top. I actually had to order new pants because I had no size 2Xs in my closet.
I have decided to add a psychological goal to my year long challenge. I have bipolar disorder which is somewhat well managed on Latuda and Viibryd. I experience depression when I PMS. Symptoms of PMS including binging are usually worse than normal.
I have seen good results eating keto and balancing my moods and improving my hormones. I am for the most part consistently happy every day. So I would like to take the next year to taper off my already low doses of meds and see if I can control my condition with diet alone. The last time I was off medication was during the 3rd trimester of my pregnancy. My mood was being supported by hornones alone.. We have plans to get pregnant again next year and it would be great if I could be med free for the whole pregnancy.
This is just an experiment and it will be well supervised by my doctors. But I have to see if being med free on a keto diet is possible. There have been only a few studies done on using a keto diet to control bipolar disorder and the results are mixed. But anecdotally there is strong support in the keto community that this way of eating does wonders for mood stabilization.
Bipolar disorder and epilepsy have some connection. Very often antiepileptics are given to increase mood stabilization for people with bipolar disorder. And the keto diet is prescribed to treat certain kinds of epilepsy. So it stands to reason that they share some kind of similar disease pathway in the brain. When you regulate brain function either through meds or diet then these conditions improve.
I am hoping to that my mood will continue to be stable without my meds if I stay strictly keto. I understand that deviating from this and eating carbs will jeopardize all of this. But it would continue the huge progress I have made with my disorder. Years ago, in my twenties, I was effectively disabled. I couldn’t work or go to school because I was so chronically depressed. I ate and ate and ate to control and suppress my feelings. I ballooned up to over 320 lbs. I was miserable and had no control over my life.
But I slowly got control of my life through the proper meds, therapy and a solid effort at controlling my eating back in 2015. I got down to 235 lbs, got a stable job and a boyfriend who would become my husband.
Since then it’s just been a matter of fine tuning to achieve the results I want. I honestly believe that a ketogenic lifestyle will give me that. Happiness, stability and sustained weight loss. Is it a magic pill. No but it’s pretty damn close.