127 pounds lost — plus a better relationship to food
Meet Jodi, who, over the last 25 years, had tried almost every weight loss diet — to no avail. With every diet — before keto — she would soon find herself feeding her physical and emotional defeat with her favorite fast food. She has no photos from those earlier years “because I absolutely hated myself before keto.”
In the spring of 2019, recovering from major surgery, her weight hit 330 pounds (150 kilos). She knew she had to get healthier.
A Google search for keto meal plans led her to Diet Doctor.
“I started with Diet Doctor’s free two-week challenge and I just stuck with it. I did OMAD (one meal a day) from the start because I was never hungry,” Jodi says.
To date, she has lost 127 pounds (58 kilos) and is feeling better physically and emotionally than she has in decades. She will now eat this way for life.
“I had to dig deep inside of myself and do the work. But by eating keto, I was able to look at food differently and develop a new relationship with food, so it no longer controls me or my feelings.
Jodi’s story has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
What’s your name, age, and where do you live?
I’m Jodi, I’m 51, and I live in Hartford, Connecticut.
When did you start low carb or keto?
After having a hysterectomy in April of 2019, I knew I needed to do something to get myself healthier. I started a few months after that. My starting weight was 330 pounds (150 kilos).
How did you discover keto or low carb?
I had heard about low-carb diets, and I started with that first but found that I was not losing any weight or feeling any different. So I did some searching on Google and found a keto diet website that would plan my meals for me.
I decided to give it a try. After two weeks with that other website, I realized the entire meal plan had me eating the exact same meals every day. It was boring and even though I had lost a couple of pounds, I felt like it lacked variety. So, I went back to Google and did another search for Keto diet plans and that’s how I discovered Diet Doctor in June of 2019.
I started with Diet Doctor’s free two-week challenge, and I just stuck with it.
I have always done OMAD (one meal a day) because I eat only when I’m hungry.
Did you have any health or weight struggles before going low carb or keto?
I had a rare pediatric stroke, from a blood clot, at age 7. That left me with paralysis on the left side of my body for which I had physiotherapy until I was 16. It also left me with a permanent limp on my left side, and I’m still unable to use my left hand or arm.
But I was always able to walk and exercise — and exercise was always something I enjoyed doing because it allowed me to be with others I had something in common with.
Unfortunately, with the types of exercising I would do, my weight would plateau very quickly unless I took diet pills and ate next to nothing every other day.
When I was in my late 30s, I herniated four discs in my lower back, which prevented me from going back to a gym or being able to do any kind of strenuous exercise for long periods of time. I started to gain weight very quickly.I would often try to do diets, but they would last a few days or a week. I tried Jenny Craig, Nutri-System, Weight Watchers, the grapefruit diet, the 3-day Military Diet, the potato diet, starvation, binging and purging, Dexatrim, Hydroxycut, Slim Fast, Atkins, the Dukan Diet, vegetarian, vegan, fruitarian, and plant-based.
What were you eating before making this lifestyle change?
I was eating pretty much anything that I was told was healthy. I would eat the pre-packaged salads twice a day and have a bottle of Gatorade and a bottle of water to drink. But, I was not losing anything.
Each time I ate something deemed as healthy and good for a week, I would not lose any weight and would feel defeated, turn around, and go to a fast-food restaurant and order the biggest meal on the menu and eat until I felt emotionally validated.
What does a typical day of eating and/or fasting look like for you now?
I now eat really anything I want from the Diet Doctor meal planner.
I follow an OMAD high-protein plan and tend to stick to meals that require minimal cooking. I still have my burgers, but without the hidden sugars of ketchup, barbeque sauce, and bread. I skip the fries and have a pickled tomato or a pickle spear instead. I have a really good cheese with it too!
When I’m not in the mood for a burger, I go for eggs. I love eggs, and they are so versatile. I really enjoy poached or just hard-boiled because they are very easy to prepare, and I have a couple of ounces of mountain cheese with it.
If I want tacos, I will cook a burger and mix some mayo with salsa, and put it all on top of lettuce, and I’m happy physically and emotionally.
In what ways has your health improved?
Despite weighing more than 300 pounds (136 kilos), I never had high cholesterol or diabetes. But so far, I have lost 125 pounds (57 kilos).
After following the Diet Doctor plan for one week, I was able to walk without any pain in my feet. I noticed the inflammation in my body was going away. Breathing became easier, and I could go up and down the stairs without stopping. I could sit up in bed without struggling, and I could bend over and not feel like I was going to pass out.
Have you made any mistakes on your journey (which you’ve learned from)?
The biggest mistake I made on my journey was listening to my mother. My mother was never one to encourage me with anything I wanted to do in order to better myself. She would often put me down and criticize me for the accomplishments I made while on keto.
My mother passed away in October 2020, and although I did lose 50 pounds (22.5 kilos) on keto while she was alive, it was not ever something I could share with her because she would never say “good job!”
It was not until my mother passed away that I could really come forward openly and share with people how I was losing weight. It was very freeing to be able to be open about what I could not talk about prior. And still, some people do not have a positive reaction to it and I’m OK with that.
It took me a very long time to become comfortable with myself because I had been fat for so many years. I had to get myself out of the downward spiral of “can’t,” “won’t,” “don’t.” I had to learn how to turn my can’t into yes, I can. My won’t into I will. And the don’t into I did do it.I had to dig deep inside of myself and do the work. I was able to look at food in a different way and develop a new relationship with food so it no longer controls me or my feelings.
I stopped believing what Hollywood and the media tell people about how they should look. I started asking questions about what the media and Hollywood say about plant-based diets. I started realizing that food made in a lab is not real food.
I learned that I can do it and I will do it. I had many people tell me in my life “don’t do it,” and I went against them and I did it.
I am still on my journey, and I love where it is taking me. I learned how to be kind to myself, to forgive myself. Tomorrow is a new day and it will get better.
Do you think exercise is necessary for success on low carb?
I think it depends on each individual’s goals. I had a lot of weight to lose and moving was very difficult. I did not begin exercising until I was comfortable with exercise. I lost most of my weight without exercise. Exercise does help you feel better mentally. Is it necessary for weight loss? No.
What are your top three tips for people starting low carb?
- Stay hydrated and remember your electrolytes. Replenish electrolytes so you do not get depleted and experience side effects. Try the Diet Doctor electrolyte elixir.
- Weigh yourself just once a week. I used to weigh myself every other day and I found the scale just made me feel defeated and was not a good measure of my daily progress.
- Journal how you are feeling — and how you feel about the food you are eating. Go below the surface with how you are feeling before you eat and after you eat. I found keeping a food log helped me keep focused, so I recommend trying it. Do whatever you have to do to reach your goals.
Keto helped me build the strong foundation I needed to stand on to find out who I am.
Your story, Jodi, is so inspiring. It shows that slow and steady progress adds up to big results. Your awareness of how your emotions and feelings of defeat contributed to times of unhealthy eating is a significant achievement. Well done.
~ Anne Mullens
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