When I was introduced to Keto I rejected it passionately like a newly jaded lover impervious to the advances of an unwelcome overzealous flirt. I was walled up so high against the mere suggestion of another “diet” that an Olympic pole vaulter couldn’t get over all my well-placed reinforcements. When my friend Judy announced she was “going Keto” I remember thinking, where the hell is Keto? When she explained that it was a way of eating and not some nudist colony, I rolled my eyes harder than a seasoned teenager. I scoffed out loud in disgust and promptly discouraged her from jumping on the bandwagon.
Judy was diagnosed with Lymphoma and I wanted to find the person who suggested this Keto “fad” to her, look them in the eye and firmly tell them to piss off. The irony is, had I not been so concerned how my friend’s health would be impacted by her newfound diet, I would have never given Keto a second thought and that would have been a personal tragedy.
If there was the equivalent of the Golden Globe for most failed attempts at weight loss, I would have taken home that handsome gold statue in every category and received the Lifetime Achievement Award to boot. So that wall was there for good reason. I built that wall with the blood sweat and tears of every failure, every disappointment, and every self-deprecating label I was tricked into believing about myself. Only I couldn’t see it. I wasn’t remotely open to the possibility that I could live my healthiest, happiest life because all my past experiences and failed attempts proved to me it just wasn’t in the cards for me.
I was conditioned to expect and protect myself from disappointment with the commitment level of a triathlete training for a triathlon. I regularly hoped and prayed for positive results but in my heart of hearts felt it was an act of futility. I would try my hardest to visualize and experience my body healed but, when I looked in the mirror that healed ideal version of myself crumbled to dust.
I wouldn’t allow myself to believe there was a solution right under my nose the whole time because all those attempts were like Purple Hearts earned in battles strung together over decades of long war. I fought hard and devoted my whole heart, discipline, all my energy and years of my life in the conquest to improve my health and lose weight. I failed. Repeatedly. Consistently. How could Keto possibly be any different? I certainly wasn’t willing to sacrifice any more of my financial well-being to the weight loss marketing engine either. I was no longer buying what lies they were selling.
I had convinced myself time and time again I just needed to overcome my mental weaknesses to lose weight and feel better. That I was my own dragon. I was the reason I was failing, and if I just kept trying, eventually I might be strong enough to overcome. Even doctors told me most of my problems would go away if I just lost weight. Can you relate?
Eventually though, after trying so many times I became heartbroken and tired. I resolved to just eat organic and as clean as possible. If I never lost another pound I was going to try to make peace with it. I would live with the burden of my body mass knowing I was at least not loading my body with toxic foods- Or so I thought. I ate strictly organic, grass-fed, non-GMO for three years according to the American recommended food pyramid and to my surprise I gained an additional 85 pounds. My liver was in trouble, the inflammation was debilitating, and I couldn’t concentrate on day to day tasks. I started to get concerned I had early onset of Alzheimer’s.
So, it was easy to disbelieve the hype about Keto and reserve my faith for causes worthier. In my mind, I probably wouldn’t make it out of my 40s at the rate my health was declining so I’d be better served saving children and animals. I didn’t believe I was meant to be blessed. I believed I wasn’t one of the special chosen. I programmed myself as unworthy and ultimately, I allowed myself to believe I wasn’t lovable and my biology was defective. I became accustomed to comments from outsiders like “you are so driven, smart and pretty. If you could just lose the weight, you could find the man of your dreams”. Gee- thanks! Why didn’t I think of that?
To add insult to the emotional pain I was in I was also in a great deal of chronic physical pain from RA and had several regular uncomfortable concerning health related symptoms. I was taking a fist full of medications and felt like I imagine a 90-year-old would feel. I could barely walk. My vision was deteriorating at an alarming rate and, I was hospitalized and almost died from pneumonia.
Exactly two weeks before hearing the term “Keto” I had a personal meltdown before God and my two concerned Labradors. I proclaimed through ugly crying and fists clenched in the air that I was officially giving up- “UNLESS” (important choice of words), God himself, showed me a way with blinking lights, a billboard with my name on it, or at least a courier pigeon sent from heaven with very specific instructions. I yelled, I’m done several times and asked the Creator of all things why He didn’t love me enough to help me. I sobbed. I know- dramatic. Although, honest and raw. I poured my heart out. I didn’t want to feel unworthy anymore. I wanted to be loved. I wanted to be healed. I wanted to be able to do things, travel, tie my damn shoes without losing my balance.
So of course, when my friend walked in my door announcing she was going Keto what did I do? I resisted! Because God forbid if when we scream out to the Universe with our whole heart, that we would get a response. I missed it. Went right over my head. But, because I AM so loved, because I AM worthy I was given a seed of concern to investigate Keto out of love for my friend and a fear that a diet would harm her health. I had a duty to investigate Keto to the full extent. I had a mission to keep my sister, my friend safe.
In doing so, I soaked up every bit of knowledge I could get access to about Keto. I broke through the mind block and myth that “eating fat makes you fat” and that Keto is unhealthy. I surrounded and aligned myself with brilliant experts and the right support system to help guide me on my journey. I sorted through the healthiest options on Keto and resisted the urge to use Keto as an excuse to eat cheeseburgers all day, every day as some do. I didn’t seek out ways to outsmart Keto. I stuck to the abundant, delicious real food options that make up Keto. Instead of experiencing hunger and restriction, I experienced more. My world and options expanded.
I made science and nutrition the solid foundation of my new way of eating. I learned to ignore critics with the understanding that I was once them. I claimed victory over my health and once my mind was changed my heart began to open and I embarked on the important and valuable endeavor of deconstructing that wall I built so high. I quantum leaped armed with knowledge and an expectant heart. I took back control by making one of the most important decisions towards changing my life because it is within my power.
To the naysayers please be advised- sorry- NOT sorry! I am not afraid to now proclaim it from the rooftops how Keto saved my life. How this way of eating is not a diet, but rather a way of living and when followed healthily- an act of self-love. I might now be labeled a rebel and if I am so be it! I may just be a rebel. I’ll wear that label proudly if I must!
104+ pounds lost and still counting. $212 per month in medications saved. No more physical pain. No more inflammation. Healthy skin. Liver enzymes normal. No more anxiety. Best sleep of my life. Greater self-love. More present experiences. Overwhelming joy. Faith restored. Back in the big game. Eating real food. Lacking nothing. Strong. Rebellious. Free. Keto for Life!
#bodymindspiritketo #ketolab #ketolabcoach
Sarah Schwarz is the Founder of Keto Lab and respected Health & Wellness Advocate for those living a Ketogenic lifestyle. Sarah resides in the tight knit community of O'Fallon, Illinois, USA with her son and beloved Labradors. Sarah's own personal Keto journey resulted in 120+ lbs lost and freedom from chronic pain associated with her once failing health.Sarah shares her journey, insight, recipes and information regarding impending legislation that impacts quality of food in the United States.