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FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How tall are you?
A: 5’5. Well, 5’4.75, but we’ll round up for my vanity.

Q: How long did it take you to lose 100 pounds?
A: A little over 2.5 years. I started in March 2014, and hit 100 pounds down on my birthday, November 4, 2016.

Q: Do you count calories? Or just carbs? Net carbs or total carbs?
A: I track calories, carbs, fat, and protein – all the macros. I use MyFitness Pal to keep it all sorted. I keep my net carbs at 20g a day or maybe 25g if I really pushed myself at the gym – but I also keep an eye on total carbs and try to stay under 50g/day of those to make sure I’m not relying TOO much on fiber and sugar alcohols. Having like, 100g total carbs a day – even if it worked out to 15g net somehow – would probably mess with ketosis for me.
(As of January 2018, I’m giving zero carb/carnivore keto a shot! Just a little experiment for a while until I get bored with it. I eat meat, eggs, cheese, and fats – trying to keep my carbs as close to 0 as possible)

Q: Do you use ketostix?
A: Nope! I talk about these more in this post, but I don’t monitor my ketone levels at all. I want keto to be a lifestyle – a way of eating – and if I get all wrapped up in constantly worrying about my “number,” it won’t be sustainable for me. Someday I may invest in a blood meter if I get super stalled on keto (and bored. and rich. and suddenly ok with the idea of stabbing my fingers all the time) but for now, I just stick with eating low carb and high fat.

Q: How do I get into ketosis?
A: Follow a ketogenic diet. It’ll happen.

Q: What’s your MyFitness Pal name? Can I add you?
A: I don’t give it out all willy-nilly readily available anymore – I did in the past and had some issues with people adding me on there for… not fitness reasons, and a few who just wanted another way to send me mean/nasty comments. Please ask via DM and I’ll probably give it to you – especially if you’re on keto.

Q: How many calories do you eat per day?
A: Currently 1440, and you can see how I got that number in this post right here!

Q: So should I eat that many calories too?
A: Maybe! Go check out a macro calculator (I compare four of them in this post) and see what numbers it gives you 🙂 Unless you’re my exact height, weight, activity level, and body fat %, my macros may not be your macros.

Q: What’s your exercise routine?
A: I’m doing the Strongcurves program by Bret Contreras, aka the Glute Guy. He knows his butts! And I want a butt. Perfect. I did Stronglifts 5×5 for a long time, but got bored with it. It’s a great program, but I felt…stagnant. So I switched 🙂
When I first joined a gym (in June 2016, already 90lbs down), I started off by just doing cardio – usually the elliptical, because it’s easier on joints than the treadmill – and would do that until I got tired. An hour or so. Then eventually I wanted to use some weight machines, so I’d people-watch and see how other people were doing it. If I really wasn’t sure, I’d look up the machine on youtube and see how to use it. Then I’d… do it until my muscles hurt, and use another one. There’s really been no ‘gym plan’ for me for a long time! I’d do literally whatever I wanted to do. It showed….minimal results, as you can imagine.

Q: What kind of watch do you use at the gym?
A: I used to use a Polar ft60 but now I have a Fitbit Charge 2! Here’s the band that I use.

Q: How does it compare to a fitbit? Which should I get?
A: I liked the Polar for when I was just going to the gym for my activity, and I was unemployed so I had plenty of time to move around throughout the day. Eventually, I stopped using it because I was getting into the “I burned so many calories, I can eat a little more…. and a little more……and everything I see….” mindset. After getting an office job at which I sit for literally 8 straight hours (with a 1-hour commute, sitting, each way), I realized that my hour in the gym really wasn’t offsetting my sedentary worklife. I like that the Fitbit counts steps all day and monitors my heart rate. I track my workouts on there to hit my weekly workout goal, but I don’t pay any attention to the calories. I have activity factored into my caloric intake; no need to eat them back.

If you just want to know what you’re doing in the gym – the Polar is fine. It has a chest heart rate strap, so you can’t wear it all the time; that’s not practical. It’s also good if you swim a lot for your exercise. The Fitbit isn’t waterproof.
If you want to focus on total daily activity, not just in the gym, then the Fitbit may be more your style. There are other brands that do the same thing, too, but I love the social aspect of the Fitbit app. So many people have one! I like the step challenges.

Q: How did you get started? What did you do?
A: I wrote a longer blog post about this a while ago, but here’s the jist: I was unhappy, I saw /r/keto on reddit, I read about it, got MyFitness Pal, and… did it. I didn’t phase out carbs, or do a transition period. One day: carbs. The next day: keto.
In the beginning, I had eggs for breakfast a lot (and bacon, ofc); usually a salad with fatty dressing for lunch; and some sort of meat + veg for dinner (steak and zucchini, taco salad, bunless burger, chicken sausage with cucumber salad).

Q: Was it hard to get used to?
A: Well, kind of. I missed the convenience of carbs – you can’t just order a pizza, or grab a bag of chips, or run to Taco Bell. It’s a lot more cooking and prepping than I was used to, but I actually came to really enjoy that. I like cooking, and I like making things, but I never knew how… so keto was a learning experience for me that ended up being really delicious and made me lose weight 😀
And I’ve always loved fatty foods (my dad hates them so they were banned from my house as a kid…. so guess what I sought out at every opportunity) so I had no trouble on that front.

Q: Do you follow a meal plan? Can you make me one?
A: I don’t! Never have. I know that ibreatheimhungry.com and ruled.me have beginner meal plans available to get you started on keto, and they’re also full of recipes! I’ve personally never liked being told *exactly* what to eat, and I spend a lot of my free time thinking about food – so I’d just spend the day looking at recipes and deciding what to make for dinner. I don’t try new recipes very often anymore; I have kind of a keto arsenal of go-to meals that work for me.
As for making you a meal plan…. listen, I hate to seem mean, but if I don’t even do it for me, I’m not going to do it for you – and if I did, it wouldn’t be free.

Q: How do you get back to keto after a cheat/binge/the holidays/the weekend?
A: You just have to grit your teeth and *do it* sometimes, unfortunately. There’s no real easy answer for this. After a cheat, I usually feel like garbage – which is extra motivation to get back to keto, because it makes me feel better. Same with a binge: that comes with a lot of guilt, and eating how I know I “should” eat makes me feel better. I also keep a little sticker chart on my wall – on days that I am ‘good’ (stick to calories and carbs), I get a star. On days that I don’t…. no star. I’m very motivated by little rewards like that, so it makes me REALLY want to get a star everyday. It seems silly and childish to motivate yourself with shiny stickers, but hey! Whatever works 🙂

Q: What’s your biggest keto challenge and how do you work through it?
A: Honestly, the FOMO – fear of missing out. It sucks to be out with friends and see them enjoying their delicious desserts, but there’s nothing sugar-free on the menu for me to enjoy so I’m stuck sipping my diet coke. Those are the moments that I’m most tempted to cheat – it’s not that I really want the cookie or whatever, it’s that I don’t want to feel excluded. But in those moments, I just have to suck it up and either plan out a great keto dessert for when I get home; excuse myself from the night and leave (whatever, by dessert time it’s over, no need for me to be at the table forever); or find something else to occupy me. If I have to drink 5 diet cokes for dessert to avoid eating carbs, I’ll do that.
When going to dinners or events where I can bring my own food (like a potluck, or Thanksgiving), I’ll just check with the host and make sure it’s alright – then bring a keto-friendly dish and make sure that’s on my plate. I had mashed cauliflower, low-carb stuffing, homemade sugar-free cranberry sauce, and sugar-free pecan pie at Thanksgiving. It was fine! I didn’t WANT the carby desserts; I had my own. (I mean, I ended up accidentally having a dessert that had WAY more sugar than my mom led me to believe – but that’s a different story).

Q: What is keto?
A: ????? You can Google this????? REALLY?????

Q: What did you pack to eat at work?
A: Ok, I had a weird job (in grad school) where I worked by myself for 2.5-12 hours at a time, and I ate by myself, no break room or anything… so lunch wasn’t a huge deal. I’d usually have a protein bar during a short shift, or I’d take a low carb wrap or salad for a longer shift where I’d need more sustenance. Nothing that needed refrigeration, because that wasn’t available to me.
I got an office job in March and now I have fridges available to me, and most days I’ll bring a salad for lunch. Sometimes leftovers, like crack slaw, and or I’ll have a wrap. Aaaaand there’s an In N Out 2 miles away, so I go there about once a week 😆

Q: How did your friends/family react to keto? To your weight loss?
A: They were/are supportive! My grandma, a very healthy (mostly) vegetarian who has long believed low-fat is the way to live is the most…. resistant to my food, but not outright rude. She just doesn’t *get* it, really. But she says she clearly can’t argue with the results, so whatever I’m doing must be working – as long as I’m healthy (which I am!).
My parents were very curious because they both grew up during the whole War On Fat – fat is bad, low-fat is good, non-fat is best; etc etc etc. So then suddenly having their fat daughter go “No actually it’s good for you and actually makes you lose weight” was a bit of a shock, I think. But they kinda stood back and watched and let me do my own thing – and as I clearly lost weight on it and felt better (my change in sleep patterns was a big plus for the whole family), they could tell that it was working just fine.
As for reacting to my weight loss – same thing. Everyone’s been happy and supportive for/of me, as far as I know. No Jealous Jennies who wanted to sabotage me; no friends who got distant now that I wasn’t their DUFF (designated ugly fat friend) anymore. It’s been really great. And of course – my bf has supported me the whole way too, and he’s a ketoer himself now!

Q: Have you had any surgery?
A: Nope! No weight loss surgery, no skin surgery. I’ll probably look into getting a brachioplasty + breast augmentation down the line, as those are the areas on me that bother me most. I have loose skin; it is what it is. For losing what I have, it’s really not bad. Everyone is different! Stay hydrated and use lotion – dry skin is less elastic (although my bf has lost 150+ pounds, has minimal [visible] loose skin, and apparently has NEVER USED LOTION IN HIS LIFE, the lucky duck. Those skin genetics tho).

Q: How do you handle shark week (aka that Time of the Month)?
A: Ok, be prepared to hate me… my period is really no big deal. It never has been. I’ve had cramps maybe… 5 times in my life. So I really just treat it like any other day.  I’m sorry I’m no help on this one!
Sometimes I’ll crave chocolate – so I budget some dark chocolate into my day. If I feel awful and don’t want to workout, I’ll try for an easier cardio day (endorphins help with pain, which I know is not what you want to hear when you’re in pain, but it’s true) or if it were really bad, I’d take a rest day. Maybe do a yoga video from Youtube? I think some keto girls I followed on tumblr would give themselves an extra 100-200 calories a day on shark week to help with hunger; some would stock up on Russel Stover’s sugar free chocolate and use pork rinds as their crunchy+salty snack.

Q: Omg, isn’t your cholesterol awful? 
A: NOPE. My cholesterol is great! Totally healthy and normal. The idea that saturated fats and dietary cholesterol = clogged arteries and poor heart health is a M Y T H that has been disproved many times since it was introduced in the 50s…but there’s a big long explanation behind why it’s still so pervasive (blog post to come!). You can thank the asshole Ancel Keys and his dumb “Seven Countries Study” for the myth. It’s junk science, and it sucks. ANYWAY. I recommend reading “Cholesterol Clarity” by Jimmy Moore for the *real* information about cholesterol, and how a high-(healthy!) fat diet is actually much more beneficial to your heart than any of the low-fat, over-processed, high-carb crap being peddled today as ~heart-healthy.~ That’s right; my bacon is better for my heart health than your Cheerios are, and you’ll never ever catch me taking a statin drug.

Q: Wait, why do you drink salt water?!
A: Short answer: electrolytes. Longer answer: eeellleeeccctttrrrooolllyyyttteeesss. Haha, kidding! Ok, this is not scientific at all, this is just how I understand it: keto affects how your body stores electrolytes. Like, salt kind of… sticks… To carbs. High salt and high carbs = bloating and water retention. But without the carbs to stick to on keto, your body dumps electrolytes a lot faster, so you have to replenish more often to keep your levels in check! Also, one of my medications has a side effect of low blood sodium, so salt is *crucial* to me. I add about 1/2 tsp of Himalayan pink salt to each liter of water, and drink that throughout the day. It’s basically Gatorade with no flavoring or color. And yes, it tastes salty – but it’s not like sea water. It’s lightly salted. I like the taste, tbh! Getting low on salt makes me extremely fatigued, grouchy, foggy, and overall awful. So I aim for 5,000mg of sodium a day (I track this on MFP too!) to feel good.
(UPDATE January 2018: I don’t really do this anymore since switching my macros to higher protein. With higher fat/lower protein, my body loved salt. With higher protein/lower fat, it doesn’t! Experiment to find what works for you)

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Tips for keto beginners

Ok, so here’s one I think a lot of you have been wanting/waiting for (judging by the messages I get on instagram, anyway!): a few helpful tips + tricks + advice for people just starting out on keto.
Now. Of course. Word of warning: these are based on *my* experience on keto and mine alone; if you think it’s a dumb idea, don’t use it! No worries. Find what works for you; that’s the whole point of life (I think). But here’s what I’d recommend:

  • Don’t have a cheat meal for *at least* 100 days. Give keto a good, solid try before you return to the seductive arms of your wanton mistress, carbohydrates. A week is not a ‘good, solid try.’ At a week, you’ll be lucky if you’re even in keto. A month, you’ll just be hitting your stride. 100 days, though – your body will be fat adapted, you’ll have figured out the routine a bit, and you’ll get the full *experience* of a cheat meal (word of warning: it’s usually not a very fun experience). I know it’s hard. I KNOW IT’S HARD TO STAY AWAY FROM CARBS. I hear you. I feel you. But. The point of keto is low carb. If you’re cheating every week, your body is barely going to get back into keto by the next injection of carbs. You’re gonna feel like hot garbage all the time. (Ok, disclaimer: some people have great success with a weekly carb-up night; they do cyclical keto. I do no do this, because that would quickly turn into a carb binge. If you’re one of those people who can handle a carb night, awesome! But still – wait until you’re firmly comfortable with keto before you start experimenting with this).
  • Try not to rely too heavily on “frankenfoods” at first. Quest bars are great. Atkins shakes are great. Russel Stover sugar free chocolate is so good that I won’t keep it in my house. Mission low carb tortillas are literally better to me than the carby version. But these aren’t ~real~ foods in the strictest sense (in my opinion), and if you start out relying on them a lot…. you’re probably setting yourself up for failure. Focus on REAL foods – meat, eggs, cheese, veggies, nuts – and use the frankenfoods sparingly until you have a good feel for keto. I’m not saying “NO FAKE FOODS! CHEMICALS BLAHHH!!! ADDITIVES NOOOO;” let’s not get carried away. I had Quest bars in my first month on keto. I ate some sugar free chocolate. I had a few Atkins shakes. But if every meal of the day is incorporating these, and that’s the only way you’re staying keto… be honest with yourself and ask if this is really the Way Of Eating for you. It’s not for everyone, and that’s totally ok. Low fat isn’t for me. Weight Watchers wouldn’t be for me. Veganism certainly isn’t for me. Not every Way Of Eating will work for everyone – be realistic about whether keto is a change you want to make.
  • THE DEAL WITH MACROS: ok, here’s something that took me a whiiiiiiile to figure out. Carbs are a limit: stay under 20g (or whatever you’ve set yours to). Protein is a goal: aim to hit it each day. Fat is for feeling full: if you’re hungry, have more fat. If you’re not hungry, DON’T EAT. I struggled with this a lot in the beginning – I felt like I had to eat ALL my fat grams every day, because the point of keto was high fat. The point of keto is low carb. Keep carbs low, eat enough protein to save your muscles, use fat to keep you full. You don’t *need* fat bombs every day (though they are nice snacks). You don’t *need* to eat cheese dipped in butter (though I def recommend it because it’s tasty AF). Focus on keeping carbs low, and using fat to stay full – not eating all the fat you can fit into your mouth.
  • KETOSTIX: these can be handy, especially for someone starting out who wants to monitor when they hit ketosis, but honestly – I used maybe 20 of them. Total. Ever. In my whooooole 1k+ day keto journey. Maybe I just don’t like peeing on things, idk, but I got really annoyed with them really quickly. First of all, they’re not super accurate – they show excess ketones in your urine. Urine is showing what was going on in your body when it was made a few hours ago – not *right now*. So you’re already operating on a delay. Then there’s the fact that it’s showing excess ketones – if there’s excess, it means your body isn’t using them. That’s why you’re peeing them out. So that dark dark purple color just means you have a LOT of ketones your body isn’t using, and oops – there they go. Down the toilet. Then there’s the whole issue that it shows concentration levels – if you drink a lot of water (which you should be doing!!! PLEASE BE DRINKING WATER), you’re going to get lower level readings because your urine is so diluted. You’re peeing more often, so the ketones are being flushed out of your body constantly. I almost never registered above low levels of ketones because I drink a gallon a day. That = a lot of pee. A lot. I pee all the time. If you’re not drinking much, the (excess!) ketones don’t get flushed out as often, and you’ll show as being in “””””deep”””” ketosis because they’re just all chilling in your bladder at the same time, rather than being flushed out periodically throughout the day.
    Now. If these help you – if you like the feedback of that little purple square – fucking go for it, dudes! Pee on all the strips you want! I’m not here to rain on your pee parade. I’m just saying: be aware that they’re not super accurate, don’t be frustrated if you’re not getting that deep purple, and please please wash your hands. And please please PLEASE don’t post pictures of your strips with visible pee drops on them because really, ew. I’m sorry but ew.
  • PLEASE DRINK MORE WATER. PLEASE. MY KIDNEYS ARE CRYING FOR YOU. 1 LITER IS NOT ENOUGH WATER. IT IS NOT. STAY HYDRATED. The rule of thumb is to halve your body weight (in pounds) and drink that many ounces of water a day. At a minimum. Your body. Needs. Water. I really cannot stress this enough. Please drink water. The less water you drink, the more your body holds on to it. You retain water when you don’t have enough water in your system.
    Drink more water -> flush more water -> feel real skinny -> yay hooray good times.
    Drink less water -> feel all bloated -> the scale won’t budge -> you get those clothing indent lines from your skin retaining water -> not cute -> bad times.
  • ELECTROLYTES. THEY’RE WHAT PLANTS (AND YOU) CRAVE. Sodium is your friend!!!! Really!!!!! I grew up hearing from E V E R Y O N E that sodium was the salty devil himself, reincarnated in spice form that only exists to make your food taste good AND THEN KILL YOU. That’s….. the exact opposite of how it is on keto. Disclaimer that I’m not a nutritionist or scientist or whatever so this is a very…………laymen-friendly explanation pieced together from shit I read on reddit. Take it with a grain of salt (and then a few more grains, because sodium):
    • Carbs…hold on to sodium. Somehow. So when you’re eating lots of carbs, lots of sodium = bloat city. But with no carbs? Nothing for the sodium to stick to inside your body. So whoosh, there it goes. Flushing right through you. To counteract this, you need more.
    • Sodium is the most readily-available electrolyte that your body will draw on; if you don’t have enough sodium, it’ll start using potassium and magnesium – and when you get low on those, you start to feel reeeeeaaaaallllll fucking awful. Headachey, nauseous, fatigued, you name it. This is that “keto flu” that many people experience – electrolyte imbalance as all the water weight held onto by carbs is being flushed out, and the electrolytes along with it. Have some broth. Have some Powerade Zero. Get those electrolytes in check and it should help a lot.
    • I aim for 3500mg sodium a day. More is even better. I put salt on everything. Sometimes I make my own “ketorade” with a crystal light packet, salt, and potassium (the fake salt replacement). Salt is good. It tastes good, and on keto, it makes you feel good. Really. I promise. (And no, it hasn’t made my blood pressure higher – my blood pressure has lowered quite a bit on keto, even with the massive salt intake).
    • Magnesium and potassium supplements can be helpful if you’re not sure you’re getting enough from your food. If you have lots of muscles soreness and fatigue, try a magnesium supplement (they also help you poop, if that’s an issue you’re having).

Ok that’s…. pretty much it for now, I think! There may be a part 2 someday but these are the big tips that have helped me the most and that I try to tell other keto beginners because I wish I’d had someone tell them to me. I hope they help you!

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“Remember when I couldn’t sleep like a normal person?”

By this point, I’ve been on keto for long enough (over 2.5 years – hold on lemme check… 1,020 days, according to MyFitnessPal) that my life Before Keto seems like a weird, distant memory compared to now, On Keto.

One of the biggest changes: my sleep. I almost forget sometimes how awful my sleep used to be, and how astronomically different it was from how it is now.

You guys, I had some fucked up fucking sleep habits. Starting in about freshman year of high school, I just could. not. fall asleep at night…which is really rough when you have to be up at 6 to be at school by 7:30, except for once a week when school starts at 8:30…but your mom still drives you to school and her schedule only allows for an extra 10 minutes of sleeping in. So you take a teenager, already going through the hellacious hormonal changes associated with the time, and then you add chronic sleep deprivation on top of it – it wasn’t pretty.
But my sleep problems were soon clearly revealed to be more than just regular Teenage Sleepiness. Sure, some of my friends went to bed late… but they didn’t stay awake until 3 or 4 every night, begging for sleep, tossing and turning and UNABLE to get any. They didn’t get home from school at 3 and immediately nap until dinner at 6 (the only way I could catch up even a little). They didn’t spend 90% of the weekend asleep – sometimes sleeping for 20+ hours at a time, only getting up to pee once and then heading straight back to bed. They weren’t prescribed sleeping pill after sleeping pill with horrible side effects and minimal payoff.

I slept like a damn alien.

I was misdiagnosed as being an insomniac for a long time, because doctors heard “I can’t fall asleep at night” and paid attention to the “I can’t fall asleep” part and completely ignored at night” part. I could, clearly, sleep for a full 8 hours – just not at socially convenient or acceptable times.
It got worse and worse as the years went on – college was a nightmare; some of my required classes were only available at 9:35 am, and my brain wouldn’t wake up until 11 or 12. I once set my alarm for 8 am…. and woke up at 5:30 pm. I tried every alarm you could think of – super loud, super long, solving math problem (I can solve 80+ math problems and go back to sleep), shaking my phone, solving puzzles, scanning barcodes, getting up to take a picture of something in another room, you name it. It didn’t help. I’d sleep through it, or immediately go back to sleep and awake later, with no memory of having disabled the alarm. Left to my own devices on holidays, I’d go to bed 2ish hours later each day, and wake up 2ish hours later each day… cycling around the clock every 2 weeks. I *firmly* believe that I fit the criteria for Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder as well as Non-24 Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, but I was never formally diagnosed (because money and insurance). Imagine living with permanent 4-hour jet lag. It never goes away, and sometimes it gets worse. That was my life for about 9 years.

It was extremely hard on me, but it was also really hard on my family. My parents tried to understand, but they just didn’t *get* it, especially my dad. I’d get mad that he wasn’t quiet enough while I was trying to sleep, he’d get mad that I’d blame him for waking me up (and mad that I couldn’t just be awake like a normal person during the day). It was ugly. It was hard. I’d be awake all night, trying to keep myself entertained in silence, often eating breakfast with my mom and watching the sun rise from our roof before going to sleep for the day. I once watched the sunrise every day for 2 weeks over the summer…and then headed to bed. It was my “bedtime”ritual.

When I started keto, I won’t bullshit you. It wasn’t for sleep. It had noooooothiiiiiiiiiing to do with sleep. It was to lose weight, pure and simple. I didn’t expect in my wildest dreams (ha) that cutting out carbs would have any effect on my sleeping pattern: to my knowledge, I’d tried every medicine available to me, short of an extremely strong anti-psychotic(? or convulsant? idk) that my shrink warned me could leave me with permanent muscle tics (I still considered it. That’s how desperate I was). I resigned myself to the idea I’d always have horrible sleep – my best option was to learn to live with it, probably have to work jobs from home or overnight shifts for my whole life, and deal with the fact that that’s the hand I’d been dealt. My brain was wired wrong and I’d never sleep normally. I figured the least I could do was be thinner, though. No use having fucked up sleep and a fucked up body.

AND THEN KETO WAS LIKE “HEEEEEY GUESS WHAT. I’LL ACTUALLY FIX BOTH.”

In my first month on keto, I only pulled one allnighter – not a studying thing, but a stay-up-all-night-and-all-day thing in a (usually failed) attempt to fix my sleep – and that was only because I’d had to go to Urgent Care at 9pm for a shot of epi (but that’s a story for a different time). Before keto, I’d pull allnighters at least once a week. So from 4 a month….to 1…. in one month…. I was astonished. The effects were almost immediate.

There was no literature connecting DSPD and a low carb diet as a fix for symptoms. None. There were testimonials from other ketoers about how they slept better, or had more energy – but I couldn’t find any explanation for why it worked to fix my sleep. But it worked for me. I sleep like a normal fucking human being now.
Sure, sometimes I stay up until 3am, and sleep until 11 – but it only takes 1 alarm to wake me up. I can get up at 9 every day if I want (or earlier! But I don’t want that). I can go to sleep like a normal person and sleep through the night. I’m still a night owl, but I’m not… an alien. It’s worked for my boyfriend, too – he has/d roughly the same sleep issues (it’s part of how we first became friends, back in the day; he was actually the one who told me the name of DSPD for the first time. I didn’t even know such a thing existed, or that other people had it). He’d starting losing weight with CICO but switched to keto partly because of my sleep benefits (and partly because of Mission low carb tortillas, I think :P). He sleeps like a human being now, too. Anecdotal? Of course. Small sample size? THE SMALLEST. But here we are, a happy keto couple, sleeping like normal people… and waking up at normal times for our bacon breakfasts 😉

And this benefit, more than any other, is why I fully intend to stay keto/lchf for the rest of my life. It’s not (just) about maintaining weight loss – it’s about sleeping the way humans are meant to sleep.

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How I got started on keto

Ok, let’s set the scene (and clear up some liberties that the articles have been taking, lmao):

February 2014. I’d just quit my job, was convinced I wasn’t getting into the only grad school I’d applied to, my sleep was complete garbage – up all night, sleeping all day – and I was just… all-around unhappy.
And then my friend from tumblr died. We’d been friendly for about 3 years, and were really similar people: close in age (2 weeks apart), same dry sense of humor, same bitchy streak… even her ex-bf (who I’m still friends with) says that I remind him of her, sometimes almost painfully so. Also, she’d lost over 90 pounds when she was about 17. I always was like, “Well, if she can do it, I can do it. Someday. Not right now though lol that’s too hard. Someday though! Someday.” Aaaaaaaaand then she died really suddenly (not a tragic accident; she wasn’t my “weight loss inspiration” in college; we weren’t super besties; we’d never met in real life. She was a person I considered a friend, we’d interacted almost daily for 3 years, and then she suddenly died very unexpectedly).

And thaaaaaat really threw me. It’s hard when someone you don’t know IRL dies – because they’re gone, yes, but your life doesn’t actually… change a whole lot? Her tumblr went silent, then got deleted, but other than that….it was like nothing had changed. So I was dealing with ‘what am I doing with my life; I can’t get a job; I can’t sleep; I’m depressed’ and then my friend died, and I didn’t know how sad I was *allowed* to be because she was an internet friend – but an internet friend who was like, Alternate Universe Me. It was a lot. I dealt with it by…. cutting layers into my hair (???) and eating.

Then 2 weeks later, I got accepted to grad school really unexpectedly. Part of the acceptance process was being contacted for an interview – I’d never been contacted, so I figured no interview = no acceptance = no grad school for me, and another year of being stuck at home and trying to find work. But I got accepted! And my friend dying + that + how unhappy I was with my life led to me being in the right mindspace to finally change something.

March 6, 2014, I was up until like 4am dicking around on the internet (as per usual) because of my sleep schedule being alllllllll kinds of fucked (there’ll be a post about that to come) and I’d recently gotten into surfing reddit. I was idly scrolling through /r/all when I saw a post about a lady who looked like me – same height, same weight, same body type – who’d lost a ton of weight on this diet called ‘keto,’ which I’d never heard of. I did more research into it and spent the next hour or two reading the keto reddit FAQ page. I decided that fuck it – it was worth a try! I loved bread and nachos, but I was unhappy and wanted to change, and SURPRISE! cutting my hair hadn’t been quite *enough.* I got MyFitnessPal, calculated my macros with the keto calculator, planned out a breakfast, and went to sleep. When I woke up, I stuck with what I’d planned. I told my mom I wanted to go to the store, and got some meat and veggies (lots of zucchini at the beginning). I took it a day at a time, figuring out what I wanted to eat and that fit in my day – which is still how I do it, tbh – and just kept going.

I did give myself a cheat day when I made it to 100 days on keto (I’d lost almost 30 pounds by then, I think?), and it just reinforced how much I liked keto. I got a pizza, oreos, and Mountain Dew Baja Blast – all the shitty carb foods I missed – and they made me feel like garbage. I almost threw up after 1 slice of pizza. It didn’t taste how I remembered. My head hurt. My stomach hurt. The cookies were too sweet, the pizza was doughy and bland. It was so horribly underwhelming that I cried! And then I went right back to keto, because if carbs made me feel like this and didn’t even TASTE good, what was the point? So – back to keto, back to losing weight, and now here I am 2.5 year later.

Uncategorized

Welcome to my blahg

Hi everyone! Or…hi to the maybe 5 (?) people who will ever read this.
Yes! I have decided to start a blog to accompany my instagram.

I *know* you guys have been begging me for a youtube – but here’s the thing. I don’t like being on camera. I’m a typer, not a speaker – it’s just the way I am. I much prefer this kind of communication (I sound stupider when I talk about loud, I know it. I do actually have an advanced degree in wordsing…it doesn’t show when I speak. At all), so here we go!

I really don’t know where this blog will go, or what will be on it, but let’s find out together, shall we? One thing I *do* know is that 3 years ago today, I saw my highest ever recorded weight on the scale: 250.1

I knew I’d gained some weight after college (I’d been comfortably maintaining ~240 for the previous six or so years), but SEEING it on the scale like that really shook me. There felt like a BIG difference between 240… and 250. 250?! Had I really gotten that big?! I’d love to say that that was the day that I got my shit together and did something about it… but nope, that wouldn’t happen for another three months. In the meantime, I kept eating like shit (I am not kidding when I tell you that one of my favorite snacks that winter was sweetened condensed milk. Straight. From. The can.) and getting as little physical movement as a humanly possibly can before your skin starts to fuse to the bedsheets. I walked, like, maybe 1.5 mph? WHEN I deigned to walk? Guys, really. Sedentary to the max.

I had NO idea that three years later, I’d have lost 100 pounds and gained over 30,000 followers on instagram for documenting parts of it (seriously? 30,000? Are you sure? Is that real? I’m still skeptical); or had my story shared on People.com, MSN, Yahoo!, and several other sites that I honestly can’t keep track of. I don’t get a notification or anything when another site picks up my story – just a wave of new followers and confusion.

SO ANYWAY. Hi. It’s me. Ellipticalifragilstic, aka Kristina, here on my brand spanking new blahg, to talk to you about stuff and things and other bits and bobs that don’t fit in the caption of an instagram post (not that 70% of people actually READ the captions, anyway….much to my chagrin). Things you might see: book reviews, personal stories, an FAQ, recipes (not original…I don’t make things, I just cook them). If that sounds cool to you, stick around. If not…don’t?

Also: This is my first time ever using WordPress, so please bare with me while I figure out this medium. I used to be a tumblr user, so I have *some* blogging knowledge, but this is…different…. and I’m not so much a fan of tumblr these days and how they’re running their site, so I figured it’d be better to branch out and get experience with a different platform. My apologies if it’s a little rough and ugly at first. I’m trying my best, here.

Alright! Sounds good! Byyyyeeeee.