Written by Suzanne Cole
Keto..... 20 months on
Firstly, I'm just a normal everyday girl who has struggled with her weight since leaving high school. I'm not special in any particular way, I've not found the answer to eternal youth, I've not found the magic pill or the secret to happiness, however I have discovered Keto and found that by living a Keto lifestyle I have changed dramatically, mentally and physically.
I started my journey to a new me on the 1st of June 2020, I was a tight size 20, very overweight (BMI 33), tired and my world seemed sluggish, I did very little exercise.
My health was ok, now by ok, I'm not really telling the truth. I've spent my life saying I'm ok. when really, I wasn't. I think it's a very British way of coping, when in reality we aren’t.
Health wise, I suffered a back injury when I was about 18, I then had a bad car accident in my mid 20's which caused more damage. Then in my late 30's I ended up in hospital as I couldn't use my right leg, it would collapse and not weight bear, a very frightening experience, I was on heavy pain meds. I couldn't lift my young daughter, push her on a swing, walk her to school, I felt terrible. After many referrals and seeing several specialists, I had back surgery.
The surgery left me with nerve damage, my brain thinks that I am constantly in pain, there is no cure for this, just a lifetime of pain medication. Therefore, after the surgery I was left frightened and scared, I thought my back was too weak to ever recover, I would always be lethargic from the medication and reliant on them.... I was wrong, very wrong.
What’s happened since starting Keto? The main thing that has changed is that my life is unrecognisable. I have lost 4 stone & 12lbs (30.9kgs), gone from that snug size 20 to a comfortable size 12, my BMI is now 23. My attitude to life has changed, I'm now positive, feel clearer in my thought, I'm so much more confident and I believe in me, the new me.
My body has changed so much, it’s not perfect, I've still got bits I don’t like but I now know that they are part of me and my story of life so far. I'm not ashamed of them, I've embraced them.
The new me has found a love for exercise, the old me would have choked on her Pringles at the thought of exercise. After losing about 2 stone, I decided this was a good time to try running.
I started by downloading the couch to 5 k app, I went bravely into my garage (my husband’s gym), it took me a while to figure out how to use the treadmill, then I started. However, I told nobody and hid from the world, I didn’t want anyone to know or see me running. It took Andy coming home early from a bike ride one day to find me running. He was so proud of me, but also sad that I hadn't told him. I now regret not telling him, but I wasn't ready to share my new confidence, the old me was screaming, you will fail, why are you even trying? Just give up.
Luckily, the new confident me learnt to squish those voices and I became a runner, I also became very addicted to Mark and Lisa's Zoom sessions. I found them so inspiring, I felt part of something, and my confidence continued to grow.
I was then invited to go to a boxing gym, I said yes.... I love my weekly sessions with Amir, he pushes me past my comfort zone, he challenges me to push myself. I do hate the 100 sit ups with a medicine ball though.
Then I started swimming in the summer of 2021 at a lake near my home, several people I know also swim there who are sporty types. They hadn't seen me because of Covid, they all couldn't believe how much weight I had lost and how good I was looking. My confidence grew as people noticed the new me. This led to an invite to do an Aquaton at the lake, 1 lap swim (800mtrs) then a 5-k run. I was shocked to hear these words coming out of my mouth...."why not? I'll give it a go" I actually did two of these last summer. I loved these events and the buzz I felt afterwards. Turns out I'm competitive, who knew?
I then signed up with a friend to do a sportive, just 55miles across the Lincolnshire Wolds, that will be fun.....I soon learnt to use my gears properly and that hills are horrid but then going down hills is so much fun, even when it's scary as you go way too fast.
Then I was hooked, I now run, swim and bike.... naturally triathlons sounded fun, I did my first Sprint Triathlon (400mtr swim/22km bike/5k run) in September 2021. I loved it, my head still had wobbles, I hear the old me saying you can’t do this, but I've learnt to ignore her.
I'm now part of a triathlon team, planning my 2022 calendar, I've another Sportive booked, a run series and several sprint triathlons lined up, I'm also taking swimming improvement lessons; who am I?
As I said, life is unrecognisable, how can eating Keto change someone so much? I'm no Doctor or Scientist, however I truly believe that I am stronger in mind and body through eating this way. My body has become stronger, I take half my pain medication now, I plan to reduce this even more. I feel like my life is starting at 47 I've started to believe in me and I am proud of my achievements.
None of this would have happened if I hadn't found the Keto Fitness Club Facebook group, the support, help, encouragement, inspiration and recipes that I had access to make my journey so much more fun and easier, the friends I've made have enrich my life. I truly couldn't have asked for any better way to learn about Keto, how to exercise safely and build my confidence. I thank you for all your support fellow members and the Keto Fitness Club team.
The phrase that stays with me is "trust in the process" I echo this to everyone.