CHANGING MY LIFESTYLE
Earlier this year, all it took was one book to completely change how I look at food, nutrition and exercise. It led me to seriously change the way I eat and has had many positive effects on my health and lifestyle. It’s had such an impact on my life, that I wanted to start sharing my experiences with others!
BEFORE THE BOOK
Through years of feeling unsatisfied with my weight and overall energy levels, I’ve experimented with many various diets and exercise regimes in the past. I’ve never been a very active person and always thought this was the cause of my troubles. All of my diet and exercise changes worked for a while, but after some time I always found myself reverting back to my usual habits. The approaches I took were not sustainable and often set me up for failure. I set targets for myself that were impossible to maintain. I’d end up hungry or exhausted and feeling unmotivated, would easily give in to cravings.
KETO & LOW-CARB
I discovered and adopted a way of eating that is low in carbohydrates and high in fat content. The lack of carbohydrates has helped stabilize my blood sugar levels and cravings, while the fat content helps me feel satiated for longer and stops me from overeating. This style of eating is known by many names including keto (short for ketosis), low-carb (or LCHF) and Atkins.
This approach is geared towards reducing carbohydrates and using fat as energy for your body. It has both it’s supporters and opponents, so if you’re curious please read more via the many resources online. I’m not a doctor or health professional, so I don’t plan to write about the science behind it. My goal is to simply write about my own personal experiences. We are all different and I’ve found it’s ideal for me.
The most obvious change in adopting this way of eating has been my weight loss. In my first five months I’ve shed kilograms and achieved my target weight, one I haven’t seen on the scales since I was in high school. I feel more confident, I enjoy shopping again and I’m slowly adjusting to the new options around me. Instead of choosing clothes that hide my body, I can choose the clothes I actually want to wear.
ENERGY & EXERCISE
I’ve always dreamed of being an early riser, someone who can wake early and face the day with motivation and energy. While before I would sit in the darkness on my computer well into the early hours, I now go to sleep early and wake up refreshed. I actually sleep better and find I have much more energy throughout the day. It’s caused me to start exercising by choice, not to lose weight, but to feel fantastic and spend more time in the outdoors. I’ve taken up hiking and love exploring new areas on my weekends.
I’ve also seen improvements in my digestive system (which has always been a significant problem for me), my skin is clearer (acne has plagued me for years) and I now rarely have headaches (nor a need to reach for the pain relievers). I’ve even been surprised to find changes in the sensitivity of my taste buds as they have adjusted, so many different foods have even begun to taste better.
I’ve found a love of cooking I’ve never had before and I take great pleasure in preparing foods myself. I’ve always been lazy in the kitchen, most especially when living in America and ordering home delivery daily. I had a full kitchen at my disposal that was rarely used and it showed. Embarking on this journey, I started learning about all kinds of ingredients I never knew existed and tools I never imagined I’d own. I’ve always considered myself a foodie and have found that the delicious options on a keto diet are broader than I ever imagined. I love knowing what goes into everything I eat.
It hasn’t all been easy of course, kicking a sugar addiction isn’t a piece of cake – especially when it’s hidden in most foods that surround us. Emotional eating, special occasions, constant temptations and alcohol are realities, and I’m always trying to learn new ways of dealing with these challenges. I’ve found that continually educating myself, exploring new recipes and eating together with my partner help keep me on track!
The most important change overall has been a shift in my attitude, that my new found way of eating isn’t a ‘diet’, which makes it sound like a temporary change with immediate results. It has simply become the way I eat. I now see food as nourishment and fuel for my body. I feel happier and healthier than ever.
I hope that this will become a place to share my recipes, experiences and to serve as further motivation to keep going – for both myself and for anyone else that might read along!