Danielle couldn’t stand looking at herself in the mirror. She was overweight and fatigued throughout the day, but the worst feeling of all was the lack of confidence.
One day she had enough of having ice cream for breakfast and several sugary drinks a day. She started one of the most difficult challenges of her life: Giving up the one thing she was addicted to.
Here’s my keto story! A little over six months ago, I used to have ice cream for breakfast, order pizza once a week, and have several sugary drinks a day. I was, in every way possible, addicted to sugar. Being 28 years old, I didn’t feel like I had the level of energy I should have. I was fatigued throughout the day, felt sluggish a lot of the time, and most importantly, I hated my body. I actually couldn’t stand looking at myself in the mirror! Even though I knew I wasn’t obese, I definitely had been overweight. This came in the way of my Taekwondo training and made it hard to keep my endurance up. My constant energy low also made it hard for me to keep up the action while teaching my Taekwondo classes, which people noticed and pointed out. The worst feeling of all was my lack of confidence, stemming from the way I looked.One day, I felt like I’d had enough of this lifestyle. I decided to walk into the grocery store and read the labels on all the things I tend to buy, looking for carbs. The amount of sugar I found in all of these items was absolutely mind-blowing! That’s when I finally got my act together and started one of the most difficult challenges of my life: Giving up the one thing I was addicted to. My first two weeks of keto were hard, as I had very little knowledge about this diet. I didn’t even know the idea of eating low carb had a name! I just woke up one day and removed the bread from my fridge, gave my pasta and rice to a friend, got rid of my ramen noodles and flour, threw away all my store-bought sauces, and replaced my drinks with water, coffee and tea.
Having cut carbs without doing any research, I obviously ran into several side effects. I had headaches, felt physically horrible, went from being sad to being irritable to being downright furious, and had such a hard time focusing during the day that it affected my performance at work. This drove me to search on google if what I was feeling had anything to do with giving up sugar (indeed it was!), and that’s how I fell upon the keto diet. Hours later, one link had lead to another until I was clicking on the two-week challenge offered by the Diet Doctor. And that is where my story turned from bad side effects into a wonderful adventure.Ever since I found this website, I have consistently learned one new recipe after another. Having tried many diets in the past, it’s safe to say I’ve never enjoyed my food more than I do now! The keto recipes are incredibly flavourful and quite satiating, as opposed to all these bland meals other diets were claiming would be ideal for weight loss. For the first time in my life, my diet didn’t feel like a punishment, but like a reward. After just three weeks of cooking keto, my body began to feel lighter. I went from being sluggish to feeling like I was bouncing as I walked, and my mood took quite a cheerful turn. Slowly, my cravings for sugars and carbs starting fading away, being replaced by cravings for cream, cheese, and certain vegetables (I have a thing for Brussels sprouts!). My coffee, which I previously couldn’t drink without a good two full tablespoons of sugar, now tasted amazing with just some heavy cream.
After five weeks, I started craving water like there’s no tomorrow. Did you know that it’s entirely possible to drink 2 liters a day without feeling like it’s too much? I didn’t know until the keto diet started sinking in. That in itself started changing a lot of things in my body, particularly my skin, which became “cleaner”, for lack of better words. I remember friends pointing out that my skin looked shiny all of a sudden. Eventually, I stopped calling keto “my diet”, and started considering it a lifestyle, a permanent change of how I eat.After almost 6 months, I’ve lost over 20 pounds (9 kg) at a slow, steady pace. I went down a full bra size and my pants are 3 to 4 sizes too big for me (guess it’s time to go shopping!). I find it easier to get up and train for hours, and my kicks have gotten sharper. In general, I feel much stronger and confident, which has positively impacted my job and many aspects of my life. I’m able to run my Taekwondo classes with a great deal of energy and my students have all noticed the change. I have recently been getting many compliments about my weight loss and my increase in fitness, which definitely made me more comfortable with my body. Needless to say, looking at myself in the mirror is no longer an issue, and I simply love answering people who take one look at me and go “how did you lose all this weight?” Spreading the keto love! The biggest challenges I faced with keto were eating out with friends and walking down what I like to call the “forbidden aisles” at the grocery store. It is almost impossible to find genuinely low-carb options at most restaurants in Canada, so my only solution is to limit those outings to once or twice a month. I will just eat whatever is closest to acceptable on the menu, trying to choose options that aren’t a huge bundle of carbs. I’m not going to gain all the weight back if I eat out every once in a while, after all. As for the forbidden aisles, full of candy, sugary drinks, bread, and many other things part of me still misses from time to time, they’ve become less of a challenge over time. The cravings are completely gone, and even if I cheat once in a while, it hasn’t even tempted me to go back on my new lifestyle. I know the benefits of keto, I have experienced them and become addicted to feeling this good, and that’s why sugar can never really become a huge part of my life anymore.
If there’s anything I wish I would’ve known before starting this diet, it would most certainly be the side effects and the ways to counter them. Are you about to start the keto challenge? Get your facts straight! Know what could happen when you cut the carbs cold turkey and know that there are ways to alleviate those side effects. If I had known that information, I would have avoided a rather difficult first two weeks. That being said, would I do it all over again? Of course. Once you go keto, you never go back.
Congratulations on your success, Danielle, and thank you for sharing your inspiring story with us!
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