21st October was my 1-year anniversary with Keto Fitness Club. Well, what an amazing year it has been with changes to my health and wellbeing I never dreamed possible!
Fed up with the years on the hamster-wheel of yo-yo dieting and approaching more long months of lock-down I was spiralling out of control and piling on weight. I knew from the increasing dress sizes I was the heaviest I’d ever been! The first flush of using enforced COVID-induced spare time to improve my fitness had long faded. I’d had two hips replaced a couple of years earlier increasingly groaning under the strain of excess pounds – with my knees and back giving up too! But more worryingly for me, the self-loathing from what I saw in the mirror and the hopeless feelings meant I recognised the warning signs of the ‘Black Dog’ of depression taking up residence. I’d toyed with a high protein/low carb many years earlier – just after Atkins became all the rage and (unsurprisingly) it worked well for me. I became distracted and confused by the so-called healthy eating advice and unable to silence the nay sayers with their fears about eating eggs or too much protein causing kidney failure! So I ended up mixing a bit of calorie counting, a bit of ‘eat as much pasta and potatoes as you want’ and a bit of low carb. Unsurprisingly it didn’t work for long - I’d lose a stone or two and then pile back more! Now I understand more, no wonder it didn’t, but in those days I hadn’t a clue about the science behind what was happening with my body and why it couldn’t possibly work! I didn’t know that starch turned into sugar in the body and once my body had used the sugary fuel it needed the excess got stored as fat! Fortunately, my good friend and neighbour Suzanne Cole had already seen the light and was following a low carb way of eating with incredible results. In September 2020, we met for coffee and cake (a favourite pastime) and I was all ears to learn more about what she was doing. She looked fantastic – not just due to weight loss – but in how amazing and vibrant she looked and how much better mentally she was!
She told me about the low carb/high protein ‘dirty’ keto lifestyle she was following – it sounded just up my street as you didn’t have to count, track, measure or give up anything if you didn’t want to – just follow some key principles. Luckily she’d already waded through many Keto Facebook groups and sent me straight to the best UK Keto group - Keto Fitness Club – steering me well clear of the Keto police! I understood that I needed to reduce carbs – but I hadn’t a clue how many I was eating. I thought my diet was relatively healthy if you ignored the significant number of cakes baked and consumed!
Breakfast: cereals and fruit, lunch: soup or sandwiches followed by fruit, evening meal potato or rice or pasta based. Oh, and snacks ‘little and often’ was my mantra! Well isn’t that broadly what’s on the so-called eat-well’ plate? Following Suzanne’s advice for a couple of weeks I just cut out the obvious
carbs in my diet – and that’s where my life changed!
I honestly would not have believed that in 12 months I’d be where I am now. I know I have some way to go to get to what is considered a ‘healthy’ weight’, but it took me years to put it all on so I’m in no hurry. I’m incredibly happy with the way I feel, the clarity of mind I have and the amount of energy I now bring to everything. I’ve even started a bit of jogging at Park Run – I haven’t run for the best part of 30 years!
I’m 4 stone down and I’ve lost just under 40 inches! The photos show my progress – on the left 21st October 2021 and on the right August 2020.
I don’t stress with the scales and just trust the process – a phrase often said in Keto Fitness Club discussions. At the start I made a conscious decision that this needed to be a sustainable way of eating for me. Not one where I obsessed over what I could and couldn’t have, how much I ate, how many calories or ‘syns’ or fat I’d consumed. I don’t count macros, I just stick with food I know is low in carbs/high in protein and my absolute bibles the Keto Fitness Club recipes. I also decided I wouldn’t be side-tracked by the natural ups and downs on the scales and the stalls in weight loss, I’m aware we are hormonal creatures and weight fluctuates naturally. I started by joining the members' Zooms for cooking and discussions – and soon felt included as part of the Keto Fitness Club family. These were fantastic for me during lock down as they gave a fab social experience and there was so much to share and learn with like-minded people – who were so inspiring.
By March 2021 I’d lost 2.5 stone and about 20 inches. I was ready to do more and so decided I’d join in with the on-line exercise sessions. At first it was HIIT sessions – under Mark’s careful tutelage (punishment). Of course, my body wouldn’t allow me to do everything, and I was completely out of breath. I added in some of Lisa’s fun dance & Pilates sessions and my weekly exercise schedule was complete! 7 months on I’ve had some amazing ‘non-scale’ victories. Little things like being able to run up & down stairs consecutively rather than 1 stair at a time; doing burpees; and doing the whole warm up without breaking sweat! A few weeks ago, encouraged by other Keto Fitness Club members I started doing our local Park Run and in the last couple of weeks have even managed a bit of jogging - who knew after 2 hip replacements – I probably last ran 30 years ago!!
My leisurely progress is ok with me. I’m committed to this lifestyle and if anyone asks me how I’m looking so good I’m keen to share. There’s no food I really miss as thanks to the amazing team at Keto Fitness Club nearly everything can be ‘ketofied’! I still bake cakes & treats and even started taking along low carb/Keto bakes to events. Unsurprisingly most people love them and with many of the recipient’s diabetic they are delighted to be able to tuck into healthy guilt free treats. I’ve loved learning about the science; what I can do to lead a healthier and happier life and most of all I’ve met some amazing people who are now lifelong friends. Being a member of Keto Fitness Club is the best money I’ve ever invested in myself!