Hey dear Ketoers,
Here is my very long story. Before I start, here’s a little disclaimer: I personally know many vegans that are slim and healthy. It is not my intention to trash the vegan nutrition or veganism in any way or nor to argue that it’s wrong.
So here we go: I decided to go vegan two years ago. I was a regular yo-yo dieting vegetarian woman in her late thirties, doing yoga regularly and walking her 10.000 steps every day. I was overweight but not yet officially “obese” according to BMI by that time. I have had struggled with excess weight since I was a teenager and was always looking for a “cure” fo fix it all. One day I stumbled across Dr. Fuhrman’s book “Eat to Live” which advocates vegan nutrition. I was fascinated by the philosophy and was completely convinced that this was THE right thing to do. I was going to get super healthy, do something great for the environment and naturally shed pounds while saving the world.
I was definitely happy to shred some pounds off when I first started. But that didn’t last long and I ended up eating rice, noodles, falafel and hummus regularly instead of fresh veggies. I also discovered the packaged vegan “junk” food. Yeah, there is such a thing. I currently live in Germany, and in urban areas veganism is becoming quite the alternative super-cool life style option. There are a few vegan groceries and a couple of restaurants that serve only vegetarian & vegan foods. You can see a whole industry developing around vegan lifestyle. I was pretty happy about this, and enjoyed buying vegan cheese, vegan hotdogs, vegan cookies and vegan chips without feeling the least concerned. I thought, they were safe stuff and good for me because they were all vegan.
One might argue that consuming packaged and processed foods would actually goes against the principles of being vegan. I completely agree with that but you end up consuming those anyways because 1- it’s convenient, 2- you become highly carb addicted and 3- you’re constantly tired and crave snacks and sweets.
After spending a year as a vegan, I realized that things were getting out of hand. I had to go shop for new outfits because I was getting bigger. Some of the yoga poses became impossible for me. In fact I didn’t even had the energy or desire to do yoga. I was feeling tired, depressed and even experienced a couple of binge eating episodes. I gained about 10-15 kilos in one year. When I went back home, I went to see my doctor for a check-up and told him about my fatigue. He wanted to run a blood test but without even looking at the results he pointed out that my big belly was an indicator that I would probably end up having diabetes in 8-10 years.
This was a wake-up call. My father had in fact type-2 diabetes and being almost a carbon copy of my dad, this did not sound good at all. The lab results were pretty bad. Most of my bio-markers were going crazy (except for cholesterol, which was lower than I’ve ever had). My fasting insulin was 47 u/mL (standard range should be 3-19 u/mL). My doctor said I had a very high insulin resistance. He prescribed some drugs and gave me one extremely (!) useful advice: he told me to exercise and eat less! (Don’t you love this?)
I said, sure, I’ll do it. The drug he described suppressed my hunger, yet it had so many side effects and I had to stop taking it. I was just feeling terrible and like a complete failure. I decided going back to being vegetarian again, right around the time a miracle happened. I met a friend of mine and could not believe how much weight he had lost. He told me all about Keto and how he lost 15 kilos. He was pretty enthusiastic and he encouraged me to give it a try. I decided to check it out. I took me a while to get started but I did it.
I’m doing keto for two months now. Here’s what happened:
- Survived a hard-core keto flu that completely knocked me over (I wasn’t listening to 2KetoDudes by then).
- I tried to maneuver my way around being a vegetarian and doing keto for a while. After two weeks, I was convinced that I should eat meet and bought myself some, guess what, bacon. I’m no longer a vegetarian.
- I’ve lost about 6 kilos, BUT my waist line is getting smaller although the number on the scale doesn’t change that quickly. Talk about non-scale victories!
- I don’t think about snacking and food like I used to.
- I cook more and I bring my own lunch to work.
- My 78 year old mom got so impressed that she started doing Keto! She’s full on board and doing great.
- My energy level is pretty good.
- I started listening to my body. Or, shall I say, my body started “communicating” with me. I’m totally aware of my hunger, craving, moods and satiety.
- Oh, and let me tell you about satiety! I don’t think I’ve ever felt it this intensely and clearly before. It’s my new best friend.
- I only eat when I’m hungry. Now… HOW COOL IS THAT?
- I am in control of food, not the other way round. I’m the boss.
- I do a 24 hour IF every week now, the rest of the week goes 18-6.
- I’ve had my first 36 hour fasting two days ago and couldn’t believe that I could do it.
- Did I say my waist is shrinking? Yeah, my waist is shrinking. yay! I can tie my shoe laces like everyone else now (if you don’t know what that means, just be glad.)
- My friends and coworkers are not stressed out about finding a vegan or vegetarian meal option when we go out anymore.
- I almost gave up alcohol, because I discovered that half a glass of wine on Keto equals two glasses of wine before Keto. Ask me how I know…
- I’m still not a great meat eater and have vegetarian days. I will try having a vegan/keto day at some point.
The results speak for themselves and people started noticing the changes. I’m getting questions, and answering them with great pleasure, telling them about Keto. I’m doing my share of paying it forward. I’ve already turned my mom, a friend and a coworker Keto. And I will go on sharing my knowledge with friends and family.
So, conclusion to this very long post:
This journey was almost like waking up from a bad dream for me. I might switch back to being a vegetarian maybe in the future once I get my blood insulin level under control and get fully fat adapted. If that happens though, I will make sure to check my bio markers, listen to my body AND not make the mistake of consuming high carbs, now that I know the science.
Listening to 2 Keto Dudes podcasts helped me really A LOT. I have learned a ton of new stuff.
Thank you Dudes, you rock!
And thank you Keto Community!