So what’s all the hype about keto? Bacon, butter, cheese… Need I say more? But really, what’s with the keto movement? Lately, I’ve had a lot people asking me why I chose the ketogenic (keto) diet… So I figured I’d turn to my trusty blog (sorry, been doing a terrible job of posting on here) to give y’all my thoughts! But first, here’s some quick background details.
Background: I have narcolepsy, which is a sleeping disorder. No, I am not in danger of falling asleep and drowning in my soup… But I do experience excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS–including vivid day dreams) and cataplexy (muscle collapse). Before being diagnosed I used food as an energy source, because it was all I knew how to do.
Basically: Tired = need for food/sugar
So, I relied on things like orange juice, power/energy bars, gatorade, etc. to give me the energy I needed to stay awake and “function” in the real word. After being diagnosed with Narcolepsy, I began medication that really helped me MANAGE my disorder and live a *normal* life without needing to freak out about bringing food with me everywhere. So, fast forward 8-10 years–pregnant, then breastfeeding…no
When I was sleepy, stressed, tired, and/or overwhelmed, my brain was wired to search for food. I FELT LIKE I WAS HUNGRY 24/7. No joke. Ate a snack –> Hungry. Ate a huge meal –> still hungry. And this led to an unhealthy view about food.
I started fantasizing about food, because it was my MAIN energy source. It became an addiction… Then the binge eating started, then the guilt, then the depression.
So, that’s where I found myself… Trying to “eat healthy”… But I had zero energy and all day I was thinking about food. Like, obsessive thinking. I had all my meals planed out. And even though I was “clean eating” and making good choices, I was EATING and consumed by food.
I was brainwashed into thinking that food would give me energy, and that would make me happy. Welp, I was wrong. So, in December I realized I needed to make a change. I needed to step away from carbs and sugar (a real trigger for me–I mean, if I buy a dozen donuts, I can (and will) eat the whole darn box… A 2 pound box of See’s candy, GONE–in 24 hours. Short term (15-45 minutes), my mind was happy… I had energy for an hour or two, then the CRASH. Not only a crash in my blood sugar, but my mood, my body image, the whole bit.
So, I knew I’d have to give up the sugar and the carbs… Even what people consider to be the “healthy” kind–like honey, pure maple syrup, oats, sprouted bread, pineapple, etc. So, I went off sugar and carbs cold turkey, and turned “keto.”
This was an adjustment. My body got the “keto flu” and was in shock (like an alcoholic cutting Jack Daniels out of his routine). The first week was hard, as my body adapted… But then, something else happened. I started to get more energy. I started to think more clearly. I was still thinking about food, but I was learning to recognize hunger and when I was just fantasizing about food. That led me to the doctor, then a therapist, and she helped me work through recognizing those FEELINGS. Being “present” in the moment and “in my body.”
Over the last 3 weeks almost everything has changed for me. I mean, I still struggle at
times, but now I feel like I am in control. You are probably all wondering, “How does Keto help with any of that?”
Well, watch THIS VIDEO (click here)
Elyse does a great job explaining it–much better than I am able to 🙂
If I tried to explain it, in my own words… I’d say that, with keto, instead of using sugar for energy, your body uses your fat (and the fat in your diet) for energy. Once you become “fat adapted” your body is able to burn without having those highs and lows in your blood sugar. Without those highs and lows, my energy levels are stable, my mood is stable, and I am not thinking about food 24/7.
Actually I also incorperate intermittent fasting (I usually eat my last bite of food by 7pm and then don’t eat again until 11:30am-12pm—16-17 hours later—or sometimes even until dinner). This is not something I force, but instead, I listen to my body. You see, your body learns how to utilize your fats for energy… So you will feel “full” longer and you will learn what real hunger pains are. And, again, when you eat, you will not have a spike, then a crash.
This has been HUGE for me. Imagine your life without the highs and lows. Imagine your life without constant mood shifts. That’s what the keto lifestyle has given me. I have more patience with my children, my students, my husband, my messy house, and MYSELF.
I am not saying that Keto was the answer to everything. My therapy has helped me learn to “be in my body,” feel what my body is REALLY telling me, and learn to love myself and give myself more grace. And I think going Keto has made it easier for me to do those things, too.
Keto is now my way of life… It’s not a diet for me, it’s a lifestyle.
And, for those of you scrolling to the bottom of this page to get to the 5 reasons why I went keto… here you go:
Top 5 Reasons I Love Keto:
- Reduced hunger, cravings, and the all-day-I-dream-about-food dilemma.
- No “highs” and “lows”–you’ll have a constant blood sugar, which means you won’t have that “2-o’clock” feeling or CRASH. Added bonus: no crash means stable moods, more patience (not the “I-haven’t-eaten-and-am-going-to-kill-you-for-smiling-at-me” feeling).
- Improved digestion–no more bloating and gas (whoop whoop!).
- I don’t have to play the guessing game–I know my macros, I know what percentages I need to eat each day, and I know how to give my body all the nutrients it needs.
- The keto community–join others in the journey! Find and try new recipes, follow others and see their success… Encourage, be encouraged, and FEEL YOUR BEST YOU!
Questions? I’d love to hear them. I have done soooo much research. But int he end, my body tells me the most. I can FEEL the difference and I love it.
Thanks for reading 🙂 And, again, I’d love to hear if you have any questions.