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  • Writer's picturecrmandry

After a year of Keto...

1/1/18 - 12/31/18

Last year, I was the heaviest I had ever been and I was quite miserable for a number of reasons, so I decided to change what I could control the easiest, my diet. I’ve always been shy and ashamed of my body, probably because I knew I was not my best self. I remember not going to pool parties in elementary school and being the last person in locker room to change because I really hated myself. That being said, there were very few times in my life that I actually put my foot down and worked to change my body in a positive way.

Love it or hate it, after hours and hours of podcasts with @dominic.dagostino.kt and @foundmyfitness and lots of reading, I decided to give the keto diet and intermittent fasting a try. I quit drinking for 4 months (except for vacation) and had very little to no cheat days during that time (except for vacation). When I did start having drinks, I switched to gin or vodka and soda, and only a couple times a week, if that. My diet consisted of: Coffee (with a tablespoon of grass-fed butter, a tablespoon of coconut oil, a tablespoon of MCT oil), lamb, steak, chicken, beef short ribs, ground beef, pork, lots of bacon, mozzarella cheese, homemade alfredo sauce, avocado, tons of kale with olive oil and red wine vinegar (every day), brussel sprouts, zucchini, kimchi, beef and bacon stews, macadamia nuts, almonds, pecans, and 100% cacao chocolate for a snack, water and soda water. I completely avoided carbs, sugar, and processed foods, so, no: bread, pasta, fruits, sweets, fruit drinks (like OJ), beer, sugary sauces and dressings, fried food, etc. Eventually, I started adding Shakeology after work outs, and fruit like strawberries every now and then, but mostly as an after-meal snack. I would also take a small amount Exogenous Ketone Base from @perfectketones in the mornings and a full scoop after eating questionable foods/was feeling exhausted, etc.

What made the diet easy for me is the metal alertness and no crash, and I also love meat and cheese… and a good tossed salad. It was definitely awkward in social or work situations to order burgers with no buns, not drink at social afterhours, turn down homemade cookies, turn down beers at a bar, etc, but it’s all good. I still let myself have about 1 cheat meal a week, depending on what was going on. Moderation in everything, including moderation.

Intermittent fasting was really interesting, too. The idea was to keep any calorie consumption in a 8 hour or less window. There were a handful of days that I fasted for a 24+ hour period, which was wild in terms of discipline and energy. It was usually difficult to sleep on those nights, but I had a ton of energy during the day. Again, this didn’t always work out, but I did my best to stay on it.

In terms of exercise, I felt like I did not do much. In fact, I chose the keto diet in part because I have a fairly sedentary lifestyle. One of the reasons I put on the weight that I did was because I was doing a work out program, Body Beast, and kept eating the meals even after I stopped the program (I started training for the Boilermaker 15k race, but kept eating like I was putting on muscle). It was difficult for me to consistently hit the gym, but easy to eat like a powerlifter. I also drank every night, not necessarily enough to get drunk, but consistently, and usually high carb/sugar type of drinks. For me, it came down to a balance of discipline and self-awareness. I went to the gym probably 4 times a week at first, where I’d run/walk just over 2 miles, or 30 minutes. Sometimes I would lift weights, I did 100 push ups and 25 pullups maybe 25 times throughout the year (in small sets), and I’d do 20 pushups and a few pullups before I went out. Eventually, this petered out to 2ish times a week, with random workouts and weight lifting in between, especially once I travelled out west. For this last month, I would try to hit pushups and pull ups to failure when I woke up (didn’t always happen) and I joined a hot yoga place, which is super intense and helpful.

I definitely could have made more progress this year, but I chose to take a consistent route that I enjoyed and that has worked for me, so far. To paraphrase @aubreymarcus, I’m happy with my progress, but I have a lot of work to do. I’ve given myself a timeline of 3 years to get into the shape/body that I want, but it will be a forever journey. This has been year one. I’ve dropped around 30 pounds, went down 3 pant sizes, and I feel really good. I went from barely 2 pullups and 13 pushups to 12 pullups and 35 pushups (mostly because I’m pushing and pulling less weight, I’m sure). This next year, I want to focus on flexibility/range of motion and putting on some muscle in a functional way. I’d love to get into kickboxing and/or Jiu Jitsu and do more game-like activities, like basketball, tennis, etc. It’s tough for me to just get up and run, but if I’m chasing a ball or participating in a class, it seems much easier for me to push myself.

Please note: I did not consult a doctor or nutritionist during any phase of this, but you probably should. Frankly, I’ve had a lot of questionable advice and experiences with local health care, so for me, in my situation and location, I felt it best to research, cross-reference, and listen to cutting edge experts who are known globally for their medical contributions. Big shout out to @joerogan for his super informative podcasts and introducing these thoughts, ideas, and concepts to me. Thank you, @davidgoggins, for helping me to get through the mental barriers of being lazy in the moment (still a work in progress). Pain is temporary.

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