From the dirt to our plate; the trials and realities of first-time farm ownership

Keto Journal: Why I Started The Keto Diet

This is a story all about how my life got turned upside down (#freshprince) and why I decided to try the Ketogenic way of eating. If you follow my blog (www.dirtonmyplate.com) you know that my husband and I moved to our dream farm of 25 Acres in 2016. Along with this farm came a TON of hard work which during the first summer resulted in my losing 20+ pounds. Well, sadly, this weight-loss didn’t stay off for long and I gained it all back by spring 2018.

Not that I’m extremely overweight but at 160 pounds for a 5 foot, 6 inch frame, it does make my clothes fit a little too snug for my liking. Over this past winter, I really saw the increase in weight and I related it to a few things.

MY AGE

My age and the effects of inflammation on my body. If you are over the age of 35 you know what I’m talking about. Things change. Some things sag, some shrivel, some ache and some stiffen up.

At nearly 45, I was experiencing ever increasing inflammation and soreness all over my body. In parts and joints that seemed unusual as well as in those places that had been aching for years. My back, shoulders, hips, elbows and even my clavicle joints were now feeling the effects. During the summer my aches felt better, but I was still noticing a gradual decline.

MY DIET

My diet…this a big one. During the summers my diet has always been loaded with fresh fruit and vegetables from my garden. During the winter I tend to slack off because these items are not readily available. Unfortunately, the small local grocery isn’t able to carry a windfall of fresh, organic fruits and veggies during the winter. Everything on the store shelves remotely considered fresh is plastic wrapped and has been there for days, possibly weeks. As you can imagine, this is not too attractive if you are struggling to eat healthy.

I’m not using this as my sole excuse for my winter weight gain because other food choices were the largest contributor. Sugars being my most guilty habit. From childhood to adulthood and everywhere in between, I’ve loved carbs. If I made chocolate chip cookies, I couldn’t stop at just 1 or 2, I’d snack on them all day long. Candies, homemade breads, pasta and a certain weakness for Schwann’s Cappuccino Gelato packed on the pounds. All the while, my sorry butt was cooped up in the house over the long winter.

Alcoholic beverages were another factor in my weight gain. I didn’t drink a lot, but 1-2 drinks every other evening increased my caloric intake even more. I don’t even care to revisit how many carbs can be found in a fuzzy navel or in that can of ginger ale used as a mixer.

MY ACTIVITY LEVEL

My activity level during the winter was no longer burning off the types of foods I was choosing to consume for fuel. In this day and age, I think that’s the case for many of us.

Winter just made it more difficult to get outside, nor did I want to, it was so cold! I sat in my chair day after day, even though it hurt my back and hips. I went outside only to care for my chickens or remove snow with the tractor. My housework was literally my only form exercise.

MY DECISION

So there you have it, age, inflammation, diet and decreased activity had made me miserable. The last straw? My too tight jeans leading into spring meant all my summer clothes were going to be even tighter!

Around the time of this revelation I stared seeing lots of chatter about the Keto way of eating and what it has done for others. From weight-loss, better blood glucose numbers, blood cholesterol correction (HDL increase) to a reduction in body-wide inflammation. I researched, procrastinated, researched some more, procrastinated some more, prepared and finally made the decision to start. Life was not making me any younger or skinnier sitting on the couch and eating Easter candy. As much as I didn’t want to give up chocolate…it was time.

My journey stared on Monday, April 9th, 2018. My official start weight was 160.2 pounds and I plan on weighing in every Monday to see what progress I’m making.

For now, I really, really, really, don’t want to share those before pictures I took. Perhaps bravery will find me as my body changes? In any case, I have them to remind myself of where I was and what I wanted to change. Motivation at its finest!

MY GOAL

In the end, my goal is to reach my target weight zone of 130-140 pounds. I also want to shed my dependence and addiction to carbs. I’m too old to be consuming the same things, in the same quantities I did when I was in my 20’s. It’s time to face those facts head on.

Once my body fully adjusts to it’s new fuel, gardening season should be moving full steam ahead. My activity level will increase dramatically. Adding manual labor to my daily routine will give me even more of an edge to lose those last few pounds!

Will I stop the “diet” or the Keto “way of eating” once I reach my goal? It’s really hard to say. I do know that I plan on introducing better forms of carbohydrates into my diet as garden harvests come into play. That occasional piece of cake, pasta dish or a cookie will eventually happen but not to the same extent I had been consuming them previously.

Perhaps I’ll start researching a Cyclic Keto Program to prepare myself for that point in my journey. I believe the key to maintaining what we achieve is making a point to include better choices more often – daily, hourly, by the minute. Proper nutrition should be a lifestyle, not a pit stop.

#LifeOn25Acres

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