Sunday, May 7, 2017

The KETO flu

Day 2 - I feel like crap!  I'm sluggish and tired.  Good thing it's Sunday.  I'm heavily dependent on the kids to let the dogs out and bring me another La Croix.  This sucks.  But I'm ready for it.  I'm not giving up.  This time, I'm toughing out the worst of it because I know it will get better.  My meals have been delish!

*skipped breakfast (intermittent fasting post to follow)
Lunch- 3 fried eggs (in butter), fried kale (in butter), cheddar cheese, salsa and 1/2 avocado
Snack- peanut butter smoothie with chia seeds, almond milk, PB, vanilla, and stevia
Dinner - sausages, fried cabbage and 1/2 avocado

Getting my fats in!  Need to be satiated.  I'm going to make this a permanent lifestyle change!

Let's go KETO!

In my journey to wellness, I have decided to finally go back to a keto (a.k.a. low carb) diet.  Why did I abandon it in the first place?  Good question!  Truthfully, I'm not really sure.  After my 2nd baby in 2009, I had my hands full with a newborn and a toddler.  I did manage to lose about 15-20 lbs of the baby weight. But then, I hit a major plateau.  No amount of dieting and exercise would break it.  It was breaking me, mentally and physically.  I even tried an egg fast for a week, but to no avail.  Obviously, I had some other issues going on (like dieting too soon after giving birth and probably some sort of adrenal fatigue due to not allowing my body to fully recuperate after 2 kids and just the stress of managing two kids under 3 years old).  I was tired, moody, and unmotivated.  At that time, I was reading Matt Stone's blog.  He recommended a full 180 degree flip of whatever strict dieting regime you are slaving yourself to.  He believed dieting made you fatter (and he is right, to some extent).  All this rang true with me.  I just needed a break (not just from dieting, but life in general).  So, I did.  And I gained all the baby weight back and stayed that way for 7 years!  The first few years were wonderful.  I didn't worry about what I ate or needing to plan my meals or worry about parties/get-togethers and all the goodies I was going to pass up.  Those were the golden years!  Every time I thought about going back to low-carb, I stuck out my tongue and wretched.  I even blamed it as the CAUSE to my inability to lose weight.  I was convinced it harmed my body, irreparably.  I thought it caused my hypothyroid symptoms (even though test results never showed hypothyroidism, not even close).  Most commonly, documented cases of thyroid issues and ketosis occur in those with diabetic ketoacidosis, which is NOT the same thing as diet-induced ketosis.
However, I DID test positive for high cortisol levels, the stress hormone, indicating adrenal imbalance. Hormones work in harmony with other hormones.  An imbalance of one hormone can disrupt them all.  High cortisol may have dampened my thyroid function, probably not the ketogenic diet.  Really, what I needed were ways to reduce and manage my stress.  Eating cake when a kid is screaming blood murder because he has an ear infection definitely helped soothe my stress.

I can't believe I'm here again!

Sometimes life gets in the way and BAM, you are right back where you started.  A couple major changes since my last post in 2008:  I had another baby!  That "baby" is now 7 years old and I still shouldn't be carrying around this excess baby weight, right?  This brings me to major change number 2: I have PCOS. For those who aren't familiar, that means: polycystic ovarian syndrome.  A very painful condition where cysts grow on your ovaries but also can be accompanied by insulin resistance, hormonal imbalance, abnormal hair growth, acne, infertility, and irregular menstrual cycles.  Fun, right!?!

While I wouldn't change my kids for the world, having babies can really throw a wrench in your body mechanics.

The biggest hurtle preventing weight loss with PCOS is the insulin resistance (and consequently, the resulting hormonal imbalance that follows, because after all, insulin IS a hormone).  So, what's the solution?  Possibly, a ketogenic diet.  A low-carb (or ketogenic) diet may significantly improve weight, testosterone, ovarian function, and fasting insulin levels in women with PCOS. I have been on a variation of a low-carb diet for my entire twenties and into my early thirties.  While PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility, I did not have any fertility issues with either of my children.  We were pleasantly surprised to find we conceived on our very first try, twice.  In both instances, I can attest that I was on some form of low-carb for many months prior to conception.  It's interesting that I develop PCOS symptoms when I have abandoned a low-carb lifestyle for many years.