For as long as I can remember, my life has been ruled by my stomach. Riddled with a constant stream of major stomach and digestive problems beginning as a child, I’ve had issues keeping down my food, and finding foods that wouldn’t send me running to the toilet. By evening, I often couldn’t pull my pants up over my swollen belly, or even stand up straight. I would crawl to my bedroom and try to sleep the pain away. I took numerous trips to the doctor, all in vain. I was told I was everything from lactose-intolerant to suffering from IBS or IBD, maybe Crohn’s disease, or maybe just an emotional stomach. Every kid loves to hear that. All the pain you are experiencing is just in your head. Over the years, I tried so many different diets to no avail. I tried dairy-free for years, the FODMAPs diet strict to the guidelines, the AIP diet, as well as vegan in which I was so low energy, all I did was sleep and nap. Not the answer, especially during grad school.
I was beginning to accept that this was my life. Missing night's out with friends because I was too swollen and in pain to wear pants, throwing up at work to quietly and quickly brush my teeth before my next meeting, or an unexpected sneeze that soiled my pants. I had normalized these situations and accepted that this was my life. Eating, as routinely as possible, in small portions to stabilize my blood sugar while not upsetting my stomach was my daily chore. Trying endlessly to figure out what was wrong with me and why I was having such a hard time digesting food even with probiotic supplements and digestive enzymes. I eat well. I eat organic. Or so I thought…
So, when my husband mentioned to me that he wanted to try a new diet that was very different than anything I had tried, I jumped on board. Anything is worth a try, right? I was desperate for a true solution to my problems and not some mystery diagnosis or random medication. And I am so glad that I did!
Keto is so different from any other diet that I have tried. This is the only diet that actually fundamentally changes your metabolism and your body’s relationship to food and energy. After my quick "Keto flu" spell in my first week of transition, I have hardly been sick at all! As someone who was pretty much sick every day and swollen with cramping pains every night, this alone has changed my life. The last six months of my life have felt incredible. I can’t believe I spent years following traditional dietary advice of high grains, low fat, and low red meat. It just blows my mind to realize how much I have learned and what I have discovered about health and wellness through my personal experience.
On top of that, my energy levels are amazing. For the first time I can remember, I wake up in the mornings with energy. I have sustained energy throughout the day without the routine afternoon crash. I don't have to stick to a strict eating timeline throughout the day, and can miss several hours without eating and without getting hungry or the “hangries” which I used to be famous for. This may sound over exaggerated, but for the first time in my life, I feel in control of my body and liberated, not stifled, by my eating.
It is so easy to place the blame on something or someone else. It so easy to just accept that this is my fate, and I will always be sick, tired, and in pain. It isn’t my fault, it is just that my stomach is weak. It is so frustrating to try every diet under the sun, just to have nothing work and feel forced to give up. It is so disappointing to have doctors tell you there is nothing wrong and you just need to get over it. I’m sure there are many more people just like me, who have seen countless doctors, just to be given advice that doesn't alleviate the problem or makes it worse. The exact opposite of what we want to happen! Have you felt this way too?
I know we’ve all experienced some kind of health issue in our life, and it is so easy to blame anything and everyone for our failure. From the poor advice we receive to the food we eat and the habits we have made. Oh, I just don’t have time, I’m just so busy. The truth is, our health and happiness is totally in our own hands. And stomachs, so to speak.
There have definitely been roadblocks and slip-ups on my way to healing my gut. The fact is, our culture promotes the very foods and habits that make us so sick in the first place! Fast food, soda, low fat, breads, pastries, desserts, oh my! I can totally relate to how hard it is to look past the media and see the truth behind all the advertising and advice we have at our fingertips.
What I have learned from living the Keto lifestyle has literally changed everything for me. I have my life back; I have energy, I have confidence, I can focus on my life instead of my upset stomach. My career is going better. My husband has even told me that I am a new person, full of energy after a long work day and excited to interact with my husband and play with my puppies. My husband and I even did our first Half-Century bike ride on a tandem bicycle. I could never have done that before my Keto lifestyle. I now have control over my future, my health, my energy, and everything that’s important to me.
So, if you are truly ready to make a change, and you want to take control of your life and your health, it is never too late to change things. It will be hard work and you have to be committed. But anything is possible, with the right mindset. If you are interested in the ketogenic diet and want to give it a try, please use Nic and I as a resource, and join the bandwagon to gastrointestinal greatness. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have and help you through the transition. We have learned so much along the way and can help you skip all the pitfalls and mistakes. When you have questions about what to eat, or when, we have answers. If you are worried because you slipped up, we can help. Not sure what to cook tonight? Don’t worry, we have you covered. It is true that the Keto journey can be hard to implement and stick to, but armed with the right tools, it can change your life. It is never too late to take control of your health!