The first time I heard about the keto lifestyle, I was at lunch with a friend of mine. She ordered her sandwich without a bun and picked apart the rest of the food on her plate eating only certain vegetables, while not shying away from the salad dressing. It made no sense to me. This was not a “diet” plan that I had ever seen before.
My friend did not push it on me at all, which was also new about a diet plan. Most people I encounter try to draw you into their new way of eating, and more than anything, they try to sell you something.
I sat back and watched my friend for several months. She kept losing, her body kept changing, she appeared happier, yet she never had a shake or special drink in her hand, and she had never tried to sell me something.
After about 6 months, I finally asked her to explain it to me. Over several lunches over the next month, the basics of keto were explained to me. (I am still not a doctor, expert, or scientist, so I understand from the layperson point of view. The overly technical details make sense when I hear them, but I cannot explain them clearly.)
When I expressed interest, she gave me a challenge. She told me that if I wanted to try keto, that I should commit 100% for two months. The first month would allow my body time to adjust, while the second month would provide me the opportunity to determine if it was a workable plan for me in the long run.
I did not need two months.
Day one I was completely fine and thought it was easy. Day two, I was sick. So very sick. Headache, body aches, nausea, all of it. I even went home sick and spent the rest of the day in bed.
Each day for the next 5 days I was still sick, but progressively better.
During that period of “detox” from carbs and sugar, I thought I would be tempted to just quit, as it would make the sick feeling go away. Instead, for me, it was a wake-up call.
If my body was having that strong of a reaction after reducing carbs and sugar for one day, that was a pretty strong indicator to me that there was something wrong with how I had been eating.
I have never been a “healthy” eater, and according to some I still am not.
I committed to keto and was going to see how it worked for me. Counting calories, WW points, eating kale, these had never worked for me, at least not in a way that was measurable and sustainable.
The things I have learned about keto, and changing your habits in general, are that you have to be completely sold out to your plan. I had to be so sure of what I was doing that when I sat across the table from someone who did not understand, I would not waver.
Keto is not hard, in the manner that I am not getting up at 4 a.m. to hit the gym.
Keto is incredibly hard in the manner that I am eating a piece of string cheese while the office chows down on free donuts.
It is hard in that people who do not understand what you are doing constantly question, judge and offer opinions.
The struggle is all internal. I explained to someone earlier that I think of it as a similar concept to Lent. It is denying myself what I think I need (at the time, mostly a sugar craving) for what is actually better for me in the long run.