Saturday, June 18, 2016

Why Am I So Obsessed with My Ketogenic Diet?

Okay.  I admit it.  I have been obsessed.  These many last months, maybe my "diet" related posts have seemed a bit over-the-top to some of my friends and family.  I don't know.  I do know this, if I didn't change I was going to die sooner rather than later.

You might think I am exaggerating but I am convinced I am not.  I have had diabetes issues these last few years.  My first pregnancy I was initially diagnosed as a gestational diabetic.  Then after a regular type II.  Things only got worse.  Both pregnancies I have had I had to take enormous amounts of insulin.  I had fatty liver (cat scan confirmed) and elevated liver enzymes.  I had terrible joint inflammation.  I had diabetic neuropathy in my hands.  While I didn't consider it related, I had frequent migraines.  I am also slightly hypothyroid.  My hormones were out of balances badly in several areas. I felt horrid on a level I can't explain.  Most people do not understand the pain of being 345 pounds.  Yes, I had ballooned that high for those who don't already know.

I had for a time been so dissatisfied with myself.  I admit, I was starting to hate myself.  I have always been of a positive natural disposition.  When thinking of myself I was so angry though.  I was angry at my apparent profound lack of self-discipline in many areas.  I often felt like a hideous homemaker.  It is mighty hard to be a decent one when you feel wretched all the time.  I felt like an awful wife and mother.  I know I was short changing my family by allowing myself to be in such poor health.  I know I was certainly falling short of the expectations I believe God had/has for my life.  I felt like I was destroying my life and my Christian witness one bite at a time.

I also know that in short order, if I didn't change, I would die.  I could feel my heart struggling to keep up with the most basic things.  I knew I was directly and solely responsible for "putting the knife to my throat" as the scripture says.  I know my gluttony is ultimately the root.  I know that while it wasn't every day, I also exhibited signs of having a clinical illness of "Binge Eating Disorder".  I would occasionally just privately binge to crazy levels.  I felt like I had no control and I couldn't stop.  I literally could recognize there seemed to be some sort of disconnect between my brain, my mouth, and my stomach.  I ate to enjoy food.  I ate my emotions.  I ate out of boredom.  I ate out of habit.  I ate until I looked like I ate the couch.

Last July (2015) I finally got fed up.  I watched my sweet big brother go outside and run and play with my young children.  He played in a way I could not.  He is a bit over 10 years older than I am.  However, he is one of the most self-disciplined individuals I have ever known.  He is so fit and healthy.  He gave my children such joy that day.  However, I pretty much felt like I was going to keel over just sitting nearby and watching it all.  I felt so sick and tired.  Every step, even to get a drink of water was pain.  In those moments, I was done.  I didn't have an epiphany.  It wasn't that I was shocked.  I didn't learn anything I didn't already know.  I was just done.  Plain pure done.  I decided it was my choice.  My own individual choice to act.  I could slowly eat myself into an early grave and leave my children motherless...or I could make better choices.  I am not all powerful, but God gives me each day, each meal, and each bite as a chance to make good decisions.  I knew I had to stop choosing my flesh and my pleasure.  I had to steel myself to try to live my life.  It was a choice to live.  A choice that no matter what I had to act.  My act was to say no to myself.  I had to stop saying "tomorrow" and say "NO!  You will do this NOW!"  Tomorrow was too late.  It HAD to be all choices from there out.

I choose my life.

Now as many of you know, I went with what works for me, especially as a person with diabetes history.  I studied about it until I was blue in the face.  I have had huge success with the ketogenic, very low carb, high fat diet.  It isn't recommended by the powers that be.  It is however, saving my life one bite at a time.  My diabetes is very well controlled, in remission, or resolved.  Whatever termonology you prefer.  I am not on medicine for that.  I am only on levothyroxin for my thyroid.  My blood numbers are all wonderful.  As of this writing, I have lost 92 pounds and counting.  Fatty liver is reversing, and my liver enzymes are normal.  Neuropathy is improved.  Migraines are oddly better.  Joing inflammation is about 80-90% less than preciously.

None of this would be so, if I had not made the decision to take control NOW.  Every moment, every bite!  Every choice, they all add up.  My life is worth it to me.  God gives us ONE precious life to use to His glory.

Yes it is hard some days!  Yes, I miss the pleasure of certain foods.  I can honestly say, never did any of the binges on food that I had make me feel better.  I always thought I would feel better.  I always, without fail, felt worse.  Physically and mentally.  The moments pleasure of the taste of food is not worth my life.  It is not worth robbing my family of a wife and mother.

A ketogenic diet can make things easier in a way.  It is an awesome tool.  However, like any tool, it doesn't work unless the person picks it up and uses it.  That part is, and always will be a choice.

I am not perfect.  I mess up in many things often.  I have made a lot of mistakes.  I can not pick up this tool I speak of without God the Father.  He helps and guides me though this long road daily.  I am excited about the changes I have had.  I am blessed greatly by them.  I also know that it is far too easy to stumble and stop making the right choices.

So, am I obsessed?.....yes.....I guess.  However, I am trying to think of it as learning a self-discipline that I desperately needed.  It is on my mind all of the time.  I am clawing, and fighting for health.  I am fighting to live.  I am fighting to be here as long as the Good Lord wills it.  Each bite, each day at a time.

Monday, March 28, 2016

A VERY Basic Low Carb Ketogenic / LCHF 101 .

So folks are asking me what I am doing to lose weight and reverse my diabetes.  As mentioned before I have been eating a very low carb, ketogenic diet.  It is also known as LCHF (low carb, high fat).

Before listening to me....I highly recommend researching ketogenic eating on google, and listening to various lectures on youtube about it.  Dr Jason Fung, Dr. Westman, Dr. Phinney, Dr. Sarah Hallberg, Dr. Michael Eades, and Jeff Volek are a some off of the top of my head.  Also Gary Taubes is worth hearing out.  Finally, for people to learn from.... I highly recommend searching for a video called Butter Makes Your Pants fall off by Bob Briggs.  Watch it, and everything else on that sweet mans channel.  It is worth your time as he explains things so well.  He has a website as well. 

These are some of people who have taught me and I am only passing along bits and pieces of what I have learned from them and others like them.  One day soon I will make a page of resources linking to things like the above.  For now, please take the time to learn from these excellent resources.

Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor and this article/blog is no substitute for medical advice.  Anything you do is at your own risk and I recommend doing your own research.  Research for yourself and see what you feel is safe to do.  Below is my personal opinion after my own research.

What is a "Ketogenic diet"? 

First let me say it is NOT a fad.  It has been around since the mid 1800's at least, technically a lot longer.  It is a diet or 'way of eating' that cause you to go into ketosis (NOT diabetic ketoacidosis).  Ketosis is simply when your body changes from burning sugars/carbs from your food, to making the little tiny bit of glucose it needs from it's stores of body fat.  Your body can actually survive without carbs.  However, if you can get your carb intake from your food low enough (20g or less usually) then your body will make this conversion.  God made our bodies in amazing ways!  The point of this is to get your body to start to burn it's own fat for energy.  It also does a HUGE thing and can reverse Type II diabetes, fatty liver, PCOS, etc. 

If you don't eat sugar/carbs/starchy foods, your body doesn't have to release ever increasing amounts insulin(which is a fat storage hormone).  Type II diabetes is a condition where you are insulin resistant.  Your body isn't using it's own insulin well.  It resists it literally.  It needs greater and greater quantities to battle the carbs you eat.  The only way to really pull the rug out from under diabetes and reverse it, is to lay off the carbs.  So it is NOT just about weight loss.  It is about stopping deadly diabetes and metabolic syndrome(and other issues too).

Now for my meager attempt at basic advice.  Each of these points I could say a lot more about, but I want to keep this as basic as possible.

Get over being afraid of fat
First before your start....forget fearing saturated fat.  A ketogenic diet is going to be high fat.  Fat is something that has been falsely feared for years.  Don't fear the fat unless it is hydrogenated trans fats.  Run from those!  Use butter, coconut oil, lard, tallow, olive oil, etc.  Fat is your friend.  Fat will help you feel satiated.  It may be more calorie dense, but it can help control your appetite with shocking power.  Higher fat, means better appetite control.  It is a tool that helps that elusive willpower most people struggle to find.

DO NOT skip the salt

Also forget fearing salt.  DO NOT try this way of eating and with intentions of going easy on salt.  You will just feel awful.  You will have terrible headaches, and even heart palpitations.  Embrace salt.

Keep a Food Journal
Track your food!!  You don't HAVE to, but I have personally found I can't do very well without doing this.  Use myfitnesspal or whatever website you like.  Use a notebook and pencil.  It doesn't matter.  Keeping track of your food intake helps so much.  If you do it with even a little accuracy, it stops you from lying to yourself about how much you are eating.  Believe me, you WILL lie to yourself if you don't track.  I guarantee it.  If you can not make yourself do a food journal, then you need to stick to a food list of safe very low carb foods.  Search Ketogenic Food List. 

Carbs are what you MUST watch

When tracking watch carbohydrates more than about anything else.  Yes, people get technical with 'macros' and getting percentages right. Typically it is be a high fat, moderate protein, very low carb diet.  Ultimately, whatever you do, keep those carbs down!!!  I recommend 20 or less.  Even if you start at 30-50, it is a place to start, but you might not hit ketosis and the benefits from it.  However going with 20 works for most people, and it will put you into ketosis in a reasonable amount of time.  I personally say, go cold turkey and do it.

Keep Electrolytes Balanced <--pretty much same point as not being afraid of salt, it is that important

As mentioned above you need salt.  The process of going into ketosis is likely to make you drop a lot of water weight fast initially.  When in ketosis your body doesn't hang on to as much water.  This can cause temporary and/or intermittent electrolyte imbalances.  You might feel sluggish and have headaches for a few days.  It is often termed 'keto flu'.  Hang in there!  Some of it is also plain pure 'carb withdrawal' too.  But you can help solve the keto flu by eating plenty of salt.  Many like to supplement Magnesium (magnesium malate is a good one that won't cause bathroom issues).  Also supplementing or making sure you eat foods with potassium is good.  You can certainly get these things in your foods, just be aware few people get enough of them.  Salt is the biggie.  You just plain need more salt when you eat this way.  Many find a bouillon cube or two for quick broth is adequate to get you the salt boost you need.  Lite salt is a great cheap source of extra potassium.  I don't care if my salt is lite of course, but I do use that in addition to regular salt for that potassium.  Works beautifully.  For salt, I am partial to pink salt crystals, but anything can work. 

Consider at least Light Exercise

You don't absolutely have to exercise, but it is surely helpful.  Exercises reduces inflammation and makes you more insulin sensitive, which in turn will also help you lose weight and have better blood sugar control.  (yes I am still working on this too)

Calories Do have a Limited Place

Calories do matter.  You can eat very low carb and still be off the charts on calories.  While calories don't matter as much as carbs do, they are still worth keeping an eye on especially when trying to lose weight. 

Summary of most important things
Track your food. 
Eat 20 carbs or less. 
Eat your salt. 
Don't be afraid of fat.

There are other points I could discuss like your ratios of fat/protein/carbs.  I could talk about killing processed foods.  I could go into artificial sweeteners.  A big one I didn't touch on is Intermittant Fasting.  I won't go into that now, but it is worth googling.

Above is the most basic things to get started, in my opinion.  Keep in mind, I am still learning and capable of mistakes too.  But this is where I am right now.

I hope that helps.


PS  I also can't emphasizes enough, you have to keep up with this.  It has to be a lifelong change in eating and habits.  Believe me, if you add back in the carb monsters....weight and diabetes(or other problems) will come back faster than the blink of an eye.  If you make these wonderful changes, KEEP THEM UP for the sake of your health. Health is precious, never give up on it!

My Personal Salvation Testimony

I have been questioned about my salvation a few times, one last week.  I thought it was probably overdue time to share this.  I know it long.  I know it is emotional.  Listen if you are led. 

Please do not message me to debate doctrine or semantics of words I may have chosen to use in this video.  I am not looking for debate, just want to share my experience and events of my faith.  Hopefully it can be of help or an encouragement to someone.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Weight Loss Journey Update

I truly had no idea it has been so long since I updated.  Wow.  How time gets away!!  I recently updated the weight loss journey on youtube, so I wanted to link to that for those who follow that subject.

I also created a new group for Christian Keto on Facebook.  I am in other facebook groups that involve a LCHF 'diet' or 'way of eating', but I wanted one that was a little safer for incorporating faith and prayer.
If you have trouble with the link just search Christian Keto ( LCHF ) on Facebook.

So if you are interested in or currently following a Ketogenic Diet feel free to join there.  It is not a place to debate the way of eating, but it is okay to join to learn about it.

Here is my most recent progress picture.  As it is marked, it is absolutely not for reproduction for any dietary product.  Please do not use or share without permission.  I know I still have a long way to go, but yet I realize I have come a long way too.  I admit I hate sharing my own pictures, but I do so in hopes to encourage those of you desperately trying to lose weight too.  With God all things are possible!

I have quite a few things I think I want to write along the dietary topic.  Hopefully that doesn't bore followers.  I know I probably have more blog followers for the topic of faith related, or sewing related reason.... not weight loss related probably.  But this blog is a mixed thing, just like life.   :-)

I do have some faith based things bubbling on my heart.  I might end up doing video, we will see as I have time.  For now, I figured I should link to these two new things.

Blessings in Christ!!