The keto diet: “This way of life really seems to work!”


Melanie is a volunteer firefighter and when she couldn’t get into the truck because of her weight, she realized something had to be done.

She tried a lot of things, but eventually found Diet Doctor, cleaned out the cupboards, and this is what happened:

In June 2017, I had to have an MRI on my eyes. I couldn’t get my rings off. The technician weighed me, and I was horrified to realise that I was 167 lbs (75 kg) – the same as I was when I gave birth to each of my three kids!

I immediately started portion control, lost 5 lbs and then slipped back into bad habits. I eat when I sit at home, and I am often at home, especially at night. By December 31, I have no idea what I weighed but probably about 175 to 180 lbs (80-82 kg).

I am a volunteer firefighter – in October, I realised that, when I was in full gear, I could not heft my body up the steps into the truck because of a bad knee and my weight. I had to be pushed from behind to get in the truck. That was humiliating, plus I worried about being a danger to the rest of the crew. I began a moderate exercise program of running on a mini trampoline to increase strength. However, I knew more had to change.

I asked my son for a fitness tracker for Christmas. I challenged the rest of the family to do a run in September 2018 (I am only doing 5 km). On January 1, I cut out carbs like rice, bread, sugar. Then, on January 13 or so, I saw the picture on the right, published in a paper. Wow (and not in a good way).

As I gain weight evenly all over, I was still wearing the same clothes as always (albeit tighter). So I really hadn’t grasped how out of shape I looked! That photo was the wake up call!

I realised exercise and a half-cocked approach to diet change wasn’t going to cut it. I started doing research, found, cleaned out the cupboards (I murdered my sourdough starter and nearly cried), and did the 2-week starter plan. Most importantly, I weighed myself (for the first time since June 2017). I was 172 lbs (78 kg).

My husband had developed a hard belly and he decided to join me on the journey. I am not sure I was ever in ketosis, but he definitely was. Regardless, over the next four months of following a keto diet with intermittent fasting, I lost 30 lbs (14 kg) and he lost 25 (11 kg). Both of us are now on low-carb, high-fat maintenance diets, including IF (although I could probably stand to lose another 5 lbs).

This way of life really seems to work! As we live in a rural area, I am used to cooking everything from scratch and we don’t eat out much. That has probably made this journey easier for us. We made sure to cut out all eating out, all alcohol, and all sugar substitutes for the first month, just to make sure our taste buds adjusted. I now find even recipies using stevia and erithyritol too sweet, and cut about half of it out!

For reference, I am 53, now 140 lbs (63 kg) and 5 foot 6.5 inches (169 cm). Husband is 6 foot (183 cm), 150 lbs (68 kg) now and 66 years old. Although that sounds very thin, hub is very fine-boned and that’s actually the weight our doc suggested. He has always been healthy and active (except for prostate cancer that is definitely familial), but used to eat carbs as if they were going out of style. His bad cholesterol has also gone down and his ratio is good.

I have been able to start running again (less weight on my wrecked knees) and I hope I will be finishing that 5 km in September. I did not embarrass myself at our June auto-extrication firefighter training either!

Melanie Clark, Vanguard, SK, Canada


Congratulations on your success, Melanie and thank you for sharing!

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