After a life of failing at weight loss, Kristie finally discovered the ketogenic diet. It allowed her to finally be hugely successful – and now she serves as an inspiration to others:
Since June 2013 I’ve lost over 100 pounds (45 kg) and maintained that loss. It has been a life-changing journey.
I failed at weight loss my entire life. I first became obese as a toddler. When I was in kindergarten, I was teased because I was overweight; in second grade, I was mortified when the school nurse made us line up to weigh because I weighed well over 150 lbs (68 kg). As a young adult, there were a few times when I starved myself and briefly squeezed into a size 18, but each time the weight came back.
At 28, I weighed 313 lbs (142 kg) and was so desperate that I underwent gastric bypass surgery. I lost about 135 pounds (61 kg) and almost made it to a solid size 14, but that didn’t last long. After 18 months, my weight loss stalled, and I eventually started to regain. At each doctor appointment — general physician, neurologist, ob/gyn, I sat in shame knowing that my medical history listed gastric bypass and knowing that my weight was increasing with every visit. Besides weight-loss medication, my doctors only offered me the advice to eat less and move more. I gradually gained my way back up to over 250 pounds (113 kg), a size 22/24. It seemed hopeless.
All the excess pounds led to significant back issues, requiring multiple medications as well as epidural steroid injections for pain management, neither of which seemed to help. My children were then ages nine and six, and I could not play with them. I could not jump on the trampoline or ride bikes or fly kites or go sledding. I watched them. I took photographs. I waited in the car while they hiked with my husband in the mountains. Worst of all, the back pain was so bad each evening that I could not walk upstairs to tuck them in bed and kiss them good night. They kissed me goodnight and went upstairs.
Convinced that my husband and children deserved more, I doubled down and recommitted to a strict diet. Two weeks of stringent resolve on a low fat, 1200 calorie diet left me failing again. I measured every morsel. I had exercised nearly every day. While I lost weight the first week, the second week I lost not an ounce. I was hungry and miserable.
From failure to keto success
Desperate, I called a friend and asked for her prayers. She told me about Gary Taubes and his book, Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It. I ordered the book on June 19, 2013 and started following Dr. Eric Westman’s plan in the Appendix of the book on June 23, 2013. I didn’t know a macro from a micro, but I counted every carb I ate, and then magic began.
For the first time in my life, I wasn’t hungry every waking moment. As the fat began to melt away, I felt GOOD! By the end of the second week I knew that a very low-carb diet was exactly what my body needed. I was eating the best foods of my life and weighing less than I ever had. By Christmas 2013, I was no longer wearing plus-sized clothing, and I actually lost weight over the holiday season. This was the miracle I had prayed for my entire life!Folks who had seen me struggle with weight my entire life were mesmerized with my success, and I began to share my strategies with others. My passion for this new lifestyle centered on how good I felt and how amazing it was to not struggle. For the first time in my entire life, I was losing weight, not feeling deprived and eating delicious and satisfying foods. I had to tell others. I saw them struggling just as I had, and they had to know this miracle that was so incredibly easy to follow, especially when you figured out how to make it easy. After teaching keto cooking classes for local friends, a few asked me to make videos. When the video storage on my phone filled, my brother suggested YouTube. The YouTube channel started getting subscribers. In the meantime, I started my own Facebook group just for friends and friends of friends. Eventually, others begged to join the group, which now has 37,000 members. My husband shakes his head at the 2 million YouTube views, and says, “I don’t understand why they watch you.” That makes me smile because I don’t understand why either! All I know is that I see remarkable progress in the people in my Facebook group. Their lives are changing because of better health, and all the while they are eating delicious foods that don’t let them feel deprived. They join the group for weight loss, and they stay because they find better health. My work is to help them enjoy this journey. I tell them, “I don’t care how long you’ve been keto; I care how long you will be keto.”
Last year, my subscribers and group members begged me to put together a cookbook, something I had never considered doing. After a lot of encouragement, I put together a basic book, A Journey Worth Taking: Cooking Keto with Kristie, and self-published on Amazon. The book hit the bestseller list in cookbooks and stayed there for a week or more. It also hit number 60 in all books on Amazon. The only advertising I did was posting the Amazon link in three Facebook groups and on my Facebook page. My followers did the rest. They shared the link, and they shared photos of their food. They have posted over 200 reviews on Amazon for me. The support is incredible!
Somehow I’ve become a voice — a champion — of a very low-carb (ketogenic) diet. The girl who was always chosen last at recess, who didn’t have a prom date, and who rarely got invited to parties now has tens of thousands of people surrounding her, sharing the ketogenic experience together. What an amazing journey.
What a fantastic story, Kristie! Thank you for sharing it with us.
Do you want to try what Kristie has done? Sign up for our free 2-week keto low-carb challenge!
Do you have a success story you want to share on this blog? Send it (photos appreciated) to firstname.lastname@example.org, and please let me know if it’s OK to publish your photo and name or if you’d rather remain anonymous.