My Keto Journey
A Journey to Health, Healing, and Weight Loss
Hello, my friend, my name is Viv. If you’re looking for inspiration about how you can lose weight and improve your health, I’m here to tell you it’s possible. After a myriad of health issues and a painful existence, I was able to regain my life and my love for food by following the keto diet which includes moderate exercise in my daily routine.
Get a cup of coffee and sit back for a long read about how I designed a life worth living. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to take massive action in your life to create similar results.
Here’s my story…
Since I was a child I experienced disordered eating. I had issues eating many types of foods due to texture, and battled digestive issues. My digestive issues included IBS, severe constipation and excessive bloating that was painful. These issue put me in the hospital a few times. The answer doctors gave me was that this was hereditary.
Then they told me I was gluten intolerant. It seemed I was a hot mess. I later learned that IBS is a problem where the brain and the gut don’t communicate(1). The pain and constipation were impacted by stress. So I tried decreasing stressors in my life. My life was miserable. Each morning I’d wake up trying to squeeze my bloated belly in a pair of pants and pray my button wouldn’t fly off while teaching.
Dysfunctional Eating Controlled My Life
Food was my enemy. I was sure it was the food I was eating. I didn’t want to chew. I started juicing, but the problem with that is all the fiber is removed from the food. It worked for a little while. Each time I fought the constipation, I damages the involuntary muscle more.
The more I avoided food the more weight I gained. A stranger may have thought I was expecting. My stomach protruded, my joints swollen, and simple life tasks became challenging. I was left breathless and exhausted.
While searching for answers, my battle got worse. I went to holistic doctors, chiropractors, nutritionists, and saw a team of medical doctors. I felt toxic all the time. It’s like I became narcoleptic. I was so tired I’d fall asleep at my desk at work. When I was bedridden an unable to walk, I went to the doctor. This was just before a family trip. The crazy part was, my dad was in a terminal state, dependent on oxygen and a wheelchair, and I was the one who was at risk of missing our ultimate family vacation due to illness.
The doctor took and x-ray and told me, “Look like your FOS.” I thought if there’s something identified, maybe it can be managed. She explained, “You’re Full of Shit”. She seriously said this to me! She gave me a pain killer, a stool softener, and an antibiotic because my white blood cell count was high and she didn’t know why. She had no idea what was happening and still prescribed me meds.
Eventually I lost weight. I dropped from 180 pounds to 122. It took years. At my thinnest, at 5’8”, I wore a size two. I thought I
was in control. Being a size 2 was an achievement! The problem was I was cold all the time and slept very little. The result of taking in so little nutrition was the eventual break down of my joints. Arthritis attacked in my feet. I was so hungry all the time, I could feel hunger in my bones.
But, I kept at it. All I knew is that if I was able to control the volume of food I take in I could maintain control over my constipation, which at times made me feel like I wanted to die, literally.
At my lowest point, I had horrific back pain and abdominal pain. I slept in 3-4 hour shifts. I had to take a break because everything hurt: the nerve pain in my neck and my lower back, along with the abdominal pain was debilitating. Bless my husband’s heart, he had to put on my shoes in the morning because I couldn’t.
Needless to say I was defeated. After seeing my back x-rays I was drawn to finding out how the spine is connected to overall health. I pushed myself to information over load. But, as I processed the information and tried to relieve my pain, I decided to take my fate into my own hands. I got access to a medical traction machine from a friend who had cervical neck issues. I planned out a therapy program for myself with the first goal being decrease pain. Then I would increase flexibility. At the time, I couldn’t touch my toes or reach my arms above my head. I couldn’t walk without significant pain, so I ‘exercised’ using a floor routine that allowed for more control.
I Finally Rediscovered the Keto Diet
Years ago I watch the movie, First Do No Harm, featuring Meryl Streep. Based on a true story, the main character, Charlie experienced worsening seizures from epilepsy. The movie depicts Charlie’s mother fighting for his life as she watched her son suffer from not the the disease and the treatments of the disease.
My google search sent me on a bunny trail to many different resources, and revisiting this move was one of them. I found the Charlie Foundation and learned everything I could about therapeutic keto. I continued to dig deep into medical research of the ketogenic diet. Testimonials for health, healing and weight loss were everywhere. Not just current media hype, but testimonials about healing a wide range of diseases from decades ago. I decided I had nothing to lose and I jumped in with both feet. What was going on in my body wasn’t just weight gain. I had deeper problems, and I was desperate for change.
The therapeutic ketogenic approach had evidence of healing for neurological disease, Parkinson’s, ALS, Alzheimer’s, and brain yours/cancer, traumatic brain injury, to name a few. (2) Based on the research and evidence gathered about its implementation, I decided I had nothing to lose. After significant amounts of self-education, I decided to jump into keto with both feet.
I incorporated the keto diet with what I was already doing and increased my physical activity beyond traction and stretching. Definitive action and wise nutrition helped me reach my first victory. I was able to walk for 20 minutes. Again I followed it with stretching. Flexibility increased, bloating decreased, joint pain was minimized, and I was no longer in survival mode. My results are more than weight loss. I gained mental clarity, reduced anxiety, improved sleep, and now I am nearly pain free. I started for health and healing, and the residual effect was weigh loss, a win-win as far as I’m concerned.
Intermittent Fasting Accelerated My Healing
Intermittent fasting is the process of refraining from eating for hours or days at a time. Close to my eating patterns of the past, it was great fit for my lifestyle. I began with 18 – 20 hours fasts, leaving my eating window open for about 4 hours a day.
Breakfast was never a priority in my life, and liquids were staples before beginning keto. I made the transition into ketosis quickly and experienced the keto flu within the first seven days. At the time I was unaware that this strange illness was really the result of my healing efforts. I was aware of the keto flu, but really never thought I would experience it.
I restored my electrolyte imbalance with a simple, homemade electrolyte balancing drink. After that the process of shedding water weight happened quickly. My energy levels stabilized and I was ready to conquer the world. The capacity to exercise was continually improving, my hunger was virtually non existent and my waistline get small each day. This is the power of healthy fats!
Eventually, I implement 3 day fasts into my routine. Intermittent fasting was the golden lining to keto. It made me feel great. My hormones balanced, my digestion seemed to be self-corrected, and sleep was actually a delight again. Getting a good nights sleep is important to healing.
My Keto Life Today
Fast forward to today. I maintain ahigh fat low carb lifestyle. Eating animal protein is now part of my diet. Not only have a lost a total of 20 pounds thus far, I am free of the chronic pain that consumed my body. I get 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, and my digestive tract is in fact responsive. This is the result of compiling all the feedback and input from every type of medical professional under the sun including a spine specialist and an osteopath while doing my own exhaustive research of alternative approaches to IBS and spine health, the two issues I was battling.
Disordered eating is no longer an issue. I have a healthy relationship with food. Rather than being an enemy, food is my ally for healthy and fulfillment. Anyone who knew me in my earlier years would understand the value of this keto transformation on it’s own. I find greater fulfillment in life’s little treasure and welcome the opportunity to share my personal experiences and research with others.
Here’s are some things I learned through my extensive, painful journey towards healing. You can’t depend on only medical professionals to solve your problems. They are specialist in their area if concentration. The osteopath was certain I would need surgery to fuse my cervical spine and that my arms would eventually atrophy to the point where I’d lose functionality. My MRI told the doctors I would need to begin cortisone injections and intensive therapy to decrease the pain. And, the gastrointestinal specialist believed I needed a pacemaker in my intestines in order to have proper intestinal function, or I would end up with a colostomy bag.
In my continue search for solutions, I came across a diet I dismissed in the past. It was all over the internet, and I thought this was just a fad. I thought a fad can’t possibly be a solution. I was wrong. Again, diving in deep to the research, and determined to find an answer, I learned about the science behind this wonder diet. I learned about physiology and metabolism, hormones and nutrition, and the liver and the gallbladder, and so much more.
I Am Filled With Gratitude and Appreciation
For years, my battle went unnoticed to others. My silent cries for help were only heard by my family and close friends. The feeling of isolation due to chronic pain impacted my social interaction and relationships. Without the keto diet, I would have never again have experienced joy in daily living.
I couldn’t be more grateful for the support of my husband and family members. Without them I may have just given up and allowed my physical decay to continue. My waistline is five inches smaller which is awesome! … but the best part is my chronic pain is gone and no longer steals my energy and attention. I am no longer in survival mode. I am now able to thrive each day and revel in the joys of life. The real success is designing a better life for myself, so I have more to give to others throughout my days.
If you had the power to redirect the trajectory of your health and improve the quality of daily living, would you be willing to dedicate yourself to educating yourself and developing some new habits? If you could accomplish your weight loss goals without deprivation and no added cost to your health care, would you be willing to dedicate yourself to gathering more information and changing behaviors to get the results you desire?
If you’re looking to make a change in the quality of your life, I encourage you to consider making a serious commitment to yourself because you are worth it! Learn about the keto diet. See if it’s for you. Of course, consult you medical professional before you choose to make a significant change in your lifestyle.
I want you to be healthier and happier in your life. No matter where you are now, you have the power to take yourself to the next level. Check out our Keto for Beginners Guide. Nothing to download. Just important information right at your finger tips!
Let’s Connect! I’d love to share the keto life with you! Any questions? Reach out and we can chat. 🙂
Join The Keto Gratitude Community
Join me and others who are transforming our health and lives with the LCHF way of life. You can join the Keto Gratitude Facebook group where you’ll get information, support, and inspiration to make positive change in your life. It’s a great opportunity connect with others on a similar mission.
Bless and be blessed!