The last few months of 2017 have been a roller coaster of a ride from 3 job changes within a month to issues with my middle son. However one of the good things that happened was landing my current job in October of this year. I’m an administrative assistant for public health. Through this I was introduced to the keto low carb diet. I want to clarify that while the diet was highly recommended and there is a workplace wellness program for it; no employee is ever forced to do it. I researched it ,prepped my meals and started doing the diet since October 16, 2017 and have gained already a few benefits like 11 pounds lost,loads of energy, and becoming super aware of the harmful processed foods I have been eating all of my life. I hadn’t had my labs drawn when I first started the diet but decided to do so today to hold myself way more accountable. So I had my blood drawn for labs, was weighed, and had measurements done for the Workplace Wellness program to help monitor my progress on the diet. I started the diet with great enthusiasm and for the most part maintained myself below 20 grams of carbs a day but lately I’ve been slipping off track due to the holiday seasons and life stressors. I think taking full advantage of the Workplace Program will renew my motivation for a healthier lifestyle the low carb way. I have various reasons for beginning this journey and continuing it that I will only discuss a few now.
My biggest reason for doing the keto diet is my health-both physical and mental. You see, I’ve suffered half my life from anxiety and depression and while I’m on medication and have gotten better at managing it, it’s simply not enough. I’m constantly reading articles on studies about how I should exercise or practice mindfulness or eat specific foods to help my serotonin levels and be “happy” . While I understand that it all can help; for me personally, a drastic change such as changing my diet needed to be done. For me, food was one of those comforts I would seek out in order to help me “feel better” after a bad day. I felt like I needed the white rice, french bread, potato chips, and tacos to help me survive. Obviously,I had a very unhealthy relationship with food and it got so bad this summer that I was at my heaviest at 179 lbs which is pretty heavy considering I’m 5’4. Being this overweight made my depression worst, my energy was drained every single day so bad that it was a struggle to get out of bed and function. I also could not keep up with my very active boys ages 12 and 6.The extra weight also made my occasional hip pain worse to the point that some days I was limping around.
I knew that at this point I was at risk for other factors due to family history, my maternal grandmother has had diabetes with complications since she was in her 50’s, I remember watching her test her blood sure since I was little and it never looked like something I wanted to do. My paternal grandmother also had diabetes in her 50’s. My maternal grandfather had heart disease as he got older. My father himself has high blood pressure that’s not easy to control. If I didn’t do something fast; I was a ticking time bomb of soon to be obesity and diabetes among other diseases that would shorten my life.
My second biggest reason of course are my three sons ages 19,12 and 6. I want to live long enough to see them through major milestones in their adult lives. I also want to set a good example for them about is a healthy relationship with food. While all three of them have been super hesitant about trying out even certain foods on the diet, I hope that in the future they will consider it as all three of them could benefit from it in different ways. My oldest has social anxiety/major depressive mood disorder, my middle and youngest children are overweight and have a high BMI; I also want to add that my middle child has possible ADHD and emotional problems.
Today the nurse asked me what my goal was and I basically told her I wanted to be at a healthy BMI. My current BMI is 27 which puts me in the overweight category. While I go love myself and my body at 160 pounds, I know I can do better to feel better. I will be sharing different tools and resources I use that I find to be successful throughout my journey.