Incdedable John. Congratulations.
Incredible story, John. All the congratulations and props to you!
Your first and second paragraphs man resonate with me so very strongly. The eternal yo-yo dieting and a childhood that only another “fat kid” can understand. My parents sought “professional” advice for me when I was around 9 or 10. I remember being told I could no longer have my morning weetbix with milk and sugar, but now just with warm water…have you ever tasted wet cardboard? Your story gave me happy tears.
Oh man, John!
That’s amazing progress. Way to go!
Oh, Sweet Valhalla, that’s just … ugh. Poor kid.
This is so inspiring! I wish more people could understand this and break free from diabetes! So happy for you!
This story, although it will continue, already has a happy ending. Congratulations, well done!
Great work!!! And it looks like way more than 50 tbh.
(Also your kids are adorable )
Great looking family, Justin.
I’m very happy for you!
How inspiring! Thank you for sharing! Can’t wait to do a before and after! Thank you for sharing, everyone!
I have to tell you something. And I don’t say this to everybody. You look marvelous!
What a beautiful family you have!! And nice work on the weight loss, you look great!
Huh? Confused. Explain please
I think this is a troll post. Cola, pasta and eating as many carbs as possible. Also this person just joined.
I have been following a ketogenic diet for 15 years (I’m 26). I didn’t know it was “keto” until after highschool. All that I knew was that I reacted (physically, emotionally, mentally) to certain foods and now reflecting, it seems I was always intuitively leaning towards being in ketosis, probably because it provided relief.I went through phases, like just plain not eating enough because everything was making me sick, and then only eating high veggies and fats, minimal protein. I went through a paleo stage where I was fueling really sweet runs and power yoga with poached eggs, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, edamame. That eventually crashed and burned with stomach issues, chronic pain, cystic acne, and alarming inflammation. I was diagnosed with degenerative disc and osteoporosis. Along with many other issues (ADHD, OCD, Failure to Thrive, Narcolepsy…) My Aunt (Kat James, award winning author of The Truth About Beauty) also allowed me to work with her at her transformation programs multiple times, coaching others with the ketogenic lifestyle. Even at her programs though, I ran into my issues. I would have insane cravings, get skin issues - her and I not knowing I was reacting to dairy and having autoimmune flare ups that were not uncovered until years later. I’ve always had a huge passion for holistic medicine and nutrition. I started my own cookbook which now ironically contains recipes that are almost identical to many popular ones in the keto community. It’s so awesome to me that I did it all intuitively, not knowing what it was called or WHY I was doing it besides it being what made me feel best/ what eating looked like when I cut out what was causing problems. Tuning out distraction is huge to me because our bodies will heal themselves if we only remove what is hindering.
On the flip side…
I went through 13 years of traditional medicine/ pharma chaos - never being provided a legitimate explanation OR fix. It started with asthma in 4th grade, osteoporosis in 6th grade, then allergies, a year of hives the size of grapefruits with no explanation except for “stress”, then chronic pain. First emergency room visit was diagnosed with degenerative disc and chostcocondrotis (inflammation of chest tissue). I had to stop running, and spent over a year in Physical Therapy and with chiropractor and massage therapy. I got super into yoga at this time because I have always been passionate about fitness, but felt even more limited. In 7th grade I was also diagnosed with ADHD, insomnia, narcolepsy, OCD, and depression. I was put on all the meds. I was kept on Adderall, clonazepam, and ambien for ober 12 years (they assured me there would be no harm in long term use and withdrawal was not difficult - I kid you not.) I was diagnosed to chronic fatigue at almost every single doctor checkup since 7th grade, as well as 3 different providers calling it “failure to thrive”, which was a really disheartening term to hear. Especially because their answer was medication. I felt stuck with my issues, did not regard them as important. My sister has had epilepsy my entire life, and Dad chronic pain. I am the youngest, and I have also always felt it best to keep my mouth shut and problems to myself because the fam already needed support and help. I deemed myself the brave and healthy one even though I was getting only worse and worse. This led to a lot of emotional baggage and issues. I dealt with an eating disorder in 7th grade, being uncomfortable with peer pressure, moving (fam travels a ton due to Dads job, was uprooted from childhood in 6th grade and lived in a hotel - multiple new schools, nothing consistent), puberty. I was pulled out of school and switched to homeschooling which was better.
I got counselling for the ED, and my church fam and better friends mainly helped the most.
At the end of highschool I went through a severe breakup, and had vicious rumors spread about me. I lost MOST of my friends due to these rumors and I was torn emotionally. Right before the breakup, I admit I had become extra tense and edgy. I felt wired all the time. I was on adderall, benzos, and pain meds - NO WONDER. I believe this was the onset of the chronic autoimmune issues I have now, as well as central nervous system disorder that has recently been identified (Central Sensitization Syndrome, Chronic Lyme, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and seizures.) I lost my period. I lost my appetite completely, stayed up literally until sunrise and never felt like I wanted to sleep. I was a robot. I lost an insane amount of weight without trying to. I felt sick all the time and all I wanted to eat was low carb tortillas sauteed in butter with a little xylitol and spices, fried into nachos and dipped in greek yogurt and salsa. I also had kashi cereal in almond milk. I would go to red robin and get bottomless fries dipped in ranch. I would also have frozen yogurt a lot. Basically, I could eat stuff that was devoid of nutrients and my body was burning at the speed of light. The next few years I put on some weight, struggled a lot and tried to work on nutrition. I didn’t ever search for more answers until I got insanely sick after my next dose of antibiotics after wisdom tooth removal, and chronic pain had me stuck in bed, asking for people to massage me, onset on TMJ, nerve pains, and losing all energy, focus, peace, rest. I got cystic acne and rashes again. IBS and IBD, slow transit colon, gastroparesis, acid reflux. I just felt broken in every way. Not only was this the most pain I’d ever experienced, but I did not feel like myself anymore. I FELT something eating me alive. I felt acute disease rearing it’s ugly head.
I called my Aunt Kat. I decided I would get off all meds. This is when the hardcore journey started. I did well, fell back, learned so much through it. I spent big money with integrative doctors because at least they would run the tests that mattered, and this is when I found out I had chronic lyme, Hashimotos, fibromyalgia, Raynauds, peripheral neuropathy - Chronic Epstein bar, HHV6, chronic bronchitis, and antinuclear antibodies out the wazoo.
Neurologist diagnosed with non-epileptic seizures. (They are generalized and tonic- like)
A year ago, I was in the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation (holistic doc wanted me in a multi specialist wing to be examined for the hypo thyroid, adrenal issues, whacko labs). I made a comment about autoimmune disease, and my body attacking itself - they took it as a threat of suicide and I ended up in the psych ward, then crisis center, then trauma center. I was really ticked. They wouldn’t let me leave. I asked my Mom to bring me my keto food - beef with butter and avocado. I openly shared with the nurse there that I ate a ketogenic diet and how it has helped so drastically with chronic pain and get off medications, actually be able to digest nutrient dense food (vs diarrhea and leaky gut)! Being underweight though, because of not being able to stomach anything from the recent visit with my Aunt eating tons of dairy and fats that I couldn’t digest, and having many autoimmune flareups - She petitioned to have me sent to an Eating Disorder unit. I was held there for a year. My parents were terrified and the docs there told them not to trust anything I said. I am still recovering from that, but I learned a lot and the treatment they have in those facilities blows my mind. They don’t believe in, or take into account autoimmune or any other issues. They do not account for food sensitivities or allergies. They have one belief system, that is regulated by a board of leaders who still refuse to change dietary standards even with data and research brought to them (the updated real stuff that we are all now learning and has been surfacing more as of lately) I checked in with my integrative doc when I was out. My labs were worse, autoimmune was reactivated and I went through insane detox for half a year after. I used the bathroom 2 times in 1 month, only with the help of entire bottles of mag citrate. They also put me on various meds and switched them from day to day. It was awful. But again, I learned a ton. I dealt with hypoglycemia for the first time in my life in there. They had to give me glucose tabs until I got so sick that they finally stopped and realized I would vomit if they didn’t start listening. They let me eat my yogurt and peanut butter instead. I started a trend of asking for two butters as my two condiments at every meal. There was NO FAT IN THE MEALS. I was just screaming for it. peanut butter, mustard, and butter. They made a rule that peanut butter and butter no longer counted as the 2 free condiments. I definitely fought out loud for my health in there. The other patients knew I didn’t have an eating disorder and that there was a deeper root; one of the nurses actually reached out to me in secret as well because she recognized this. At the end of the month, the doctors did say that I had exhibited no signs of an eating disorder. My familiy has been healing since. I went straight back to keto. even with my certified ED dieticians that were required when I got out. I told them what I enjoyed eating and followed their advice. I got the mysterious keto rash for the first time ever, and cystic acne, both of which finally cleared after about 5 months. I fine tuned the diet and kept learning more and more about my own sensitivities with foods and what caused flare ups. I learned to forgive myself for feeling sick around some food in the past. I always beat myself up before, not being able to eat like everyone else, questioning if it was all in my head. Nope, I was diagnosed with celiac and am allergic to dairy. I have genetic differences that effect whether or not I have/ can produce enzymes that digest certain types of fats and proteins, and the way that I methylate vitamins. We’re all so different! The bottom line though, is that keto reduces inflammation and actually gives me much more wiggle room and less restriction. I have a passion for others who struggle with food simply because they are mislead and not listened to or just labelled as paranoid. Hormones MATTER.
Earlier this Spring…
At Duke Rheumatology here in NC, I got in with amazing specialists after trial and error - never getting to the ROOT for 2 years.
They gave me a diagnosis that made sense… sort of. They said there were other people like me, who are best not to be labeled or put into any specific box, because the root is a disregulation of the central nervous system (epinephrine, norepinephrin, adrenalin). It is called Central Sensitization Syndrome. They said to continue holistic pain treatments, CBT therapy, work with PT, and that any drugs were more of a risk than a benefit at this point. This was the official “Hey, you are burnt out.”
They commended me for quitting the meds and encouraged me to never get into that cycle again.
My neurologist, doctors, and gastroenteroligist all recommend to stay on the ketogenic diet, as it has reversed hypothyroid, IBS and IBD, INSANE inflammation, and is the only thing that keeps these black out and dizzy spells under control. It is still not perfect and I continue to learn that flare ups are caused by so much more than just food. Nutrition IS necessary, but is not the fix all. It’s been really interesting learning how to rewire myself more and more every day, learning how to not push myself past my limit. I’m grateful to get out of bed every morning. Being sensitive has taugupplemented! ht me so much. I used to take a realm of supplements when needed but when on the up and up, whole foods and healthy lifestyle, I find less need for them. So here I am, with a great story to tell. I can say a lot for autoimmune, chronic pain, digestion of certain fats, adrenal and nervous system/ neurological/ brain and spine health, HPA axis disregulation and allergies. Sleep, simplicity, stress, grace, womens health, choosing the right doctors , being your own advocate even when being misdiagnosed, being true to yourself. I have a journal full of science, data, and journal entries. It is hard work to strip away years of misdiagnoses and detox mentally and physically. It takes courage and HONESTY and consistency to shut out the noise and pressure from others and do what is best for yourself even if it means spending extra money, being misjudged, whatever. But it was so worth it and now I have a story to share. I am working on getting certifications for either health coaching or holy yoga, or both. My family thought I was going to die a year ago. And now, my family is doing keto.
I have reversed muscle wasting. I have hope after being bedridden for so long. I want to spread hope and encourage others. I am still spending with out of pocket treatments, which are a lot for me to manage… but there is now hope and I have peace and joy now instead of fear. I am working with Doc Eric Westman here as well, and many holistic practitioners. Dr Westman is wonderful and I appreciate his no tracking technique. He also cautioned me on becoming too “booksmart” which was amazing advice for anyone who has been through so much, and is forced to process huge amounts of info that is relative to the struggles I’ve faced. The best way to get through something is to minimize what you know is a problem, and stay focused on the positive. It’s really important to not get caught up in a mess of worry. It can sometimes be hard not to, without a great support system. I love to share recipes and advice/ coaching for any who are interested and also have extra hurdles to balance. I enjoy sharing my story and continuing to trust God. I’m far from perfect, but my Faith and character, mental resilience, gratitude for life and appreciation for wellness has grown drastically - I would LOVE to share this to encourage others. I have a lot of recipe tips and hacks and advice on sweeteners, sensitivities, meditation and biohacking. There is a lot to say on self love and respect, and enjoying life, and that being true to yourself is not the EASY thing to do, but the right thing. For yourself, and for others. I can now help others because I have finally learned to accept and help and love myself. Life is beautiful.
Keto and holistic medicine communities are like family to me!
My favorite recipe is my recent homemade dairy free, extremely low carb MCT oil ice cream - Thin mint! with thin mint cookies added : ). It makes my brain and body work. It is carrying me, as I continue with doctors. Just need to watch amts to avoid disaster pants, which Dr Westman found quite comical! hahah.
Nothing is going to work though without also incorporating mindfulness, healthy exercise, SLEEP, cold showers, less blue light exposure, etc. Healthy lifestyle means much more than any single thing like a way of eating. That being said, there is a WRONG way to use a tool/ skill like the ketogenic diet, just like everything else. I am overall very grateful for the healthy relationship with food and hugely lowered inflammation it provides for me.
Not counting macros or calories. My labs and health continues to improve. I’ve grown 2 inches and thyroid is in full optimal functioning.
I am an overcomer of Lyme, anxiety, depression, crippling fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and seizures, autoimmune, systemic disease and infection. I am so grateful and inspired to continue to press on and grow.
Rebekah, that is indeed quite a story - WOW.
Thank you for reading I hope this was the right place to share the post… just signed up here