They call keto the new diet fad.
Keto is short for Ketogenic. Ketosis is a natural metabolic process when the body turns from burning glucose, because of insufficient amounts of glucose in the body, and burns stored fats instead. In my opinion, labeling it a diet fad, or classifying it as a diet at all, couldn’t be further from the truth.
As I explained to my family, Keto is a lifestyle. A psychological choice. No different than deciding to wear a helmet when riding your bike. Popular, or not, your lifestyle includes safety, and/or good role modeling.
But… I’m not writing to try to gain support for Keto. There is plenty of research and studies out there should a person decide to go check it out. I’m writing in support of living a healthy lifestyle. For me, it just happens to be in the form of Keto.
Believe it or not, quitting junk food wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Just a few days into it, I had zero cravings for sugar, which is my number one nemesis, nor craving for breads or pasta. In fact, I quickly realized, it wasn’t the pasta I loved. It was the flavor on the pasta I enjoyed so much. Which I still eat – guilt free – on top of any veggie or meat of my choosing.
Finally, I was able to stop counting calories! I didn’t have to feel hungry all of the time. I ate foods that I truly loved, and had flavor (Nothing is blander than “diet” food. Case in Point, rice cakes). Bacon is no longer a sin? I’m in! Best of all, I was keeping my weight exactly where I wanted it, my workouts felt strong, my body lean and tone, mind clear. You know that hard to reach fat on the back of your legs? Yeah, I wore shorts, proudly – for the first time in my life! And I didn’t tie a sweatshirt around my waist. Don’t judge, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Even with all of this wonderfulness, it’s not easy to live a healthy lifestyle. And it’s not for the reason’s diets are usually difficult - yet for some of those exact reasons.
The people around you.
Family and friends, sad as it is, are some of the worst encouragers. Well-meaning as they are, I despise hearing: “You look fine”, “You don’t need to change”, “Your kids should eat this (sugar and soda), they’re kids”, “This one piece of cake won’t hurt you”, “You can cheat today”.
I hate to be the one who explains this, but cheating is not a good term. Not today, or tomorrow. Not in relationships, not in school, not at the job, and not in my health.
I consider myself an athlete in horseback riding. I like fast paced challenging events. For me to be a good partner for my horse, and to be at my personal best, I need to have a body (Unfortunately, I can’t do anything about the appearance of my face) that is strong, fit, and balanced. In addition to this, if there is a remote possibility – and the science behind Keto, and my personal experiences, says there is - I can ward off one or more of the scary diseases eating away at the lives of people around me. Deal me in, double.
However, didn’t I already mention, its not easy to live a healthy lifestyle? “No crap, Sherlock,” is what my niece would say in retort to something so obvious. Really, in all seriousness, it’s especially difficult when you’re on the wagon alone.
I fell off my wagon.
Actually, I leapt off, thinking it would be easy to just climb back on. It wasn’t. That dang wagon went right on along without me, leaving me sitting in my piles of cakes and pies. I have plenty of company now, but not encouraging company. Unless we’re referring to those telling me, “You look fine. You don’t need to change. Have a piece of cake. You can start being healthy tomorrow, or the day after that.”
So here I sit, amongst my cookies and M&Ms, angry that I fell – okay, okay, I leapt – off my wagon and that my weight is the only thing climbing back on. Even after I realized that my jeans don’t fit me for the first time in… I don’t even know… I kept grabbing those delicious cookies my husband makes. Mmmm, followed by a Grrrrr, why did I do that?
No number of workouts or hours riding my horses could undo the damage I inflicted on myself, daily. That’s when frustration hit the fan. It goes everywhere when it does that. I mean everywhere. I know many of you know what I’m talking about. You’ve felt it. We’ve all felt it.
The world as my witness, I’m setting my foot down. I’ll even set my butt down, since its more substantial. I’m not going to leave it there though. I’m getting back up. I can see that wagon in the distance, and I’m going to catch it. Come hell or high water. (You know, if those two things actually arrived at the same time, it seems nothing would actually happen. Wouldn’t the water would just put out the fire?)
Your wagon may look nothing like mine. And that’s okay. It may be eating less sugar, drinking less alcohol, practicing more compassion, not allowing anger access to your control panel. You know what is on your wagon. Can you hear the wheels turning? If you look, you can see it from here. Go ahead, look. Can you see the healthy lifestyle just sitting up there, waiting for you?
I’m not saying it’s easy. I find nothing in life of value is easy; not relationships, a job well done, a healthy lifestyle… But it’s worth it.
As for me, I’m getting back up. Again, and again, if necessary. But I’m catching that wagon.
Want to run next to me for a while?