I’ve been struggling with my weight since my second child was about 5 months old and I went on anti-depressants. It’s not an unusual problem, but I’ve been pretty stubborn about holding on to my old clothes, riding on the assumption that this is a temporary weight issue. That was three years ago, and my weight has been slowly creeping up over that period.
What started as baby weight grew into me choosing to stop weighing myself, in an effort to stay body positive in front of my daughters. Body positivity is an amazing thing, but for me, it turned into an excuse to eat what I wanted (which included a lot of chocolate and ice cream, strangely) whenever I wanted. There were days when I found myself eating straight from a jar of Nutella…that I had bought for myself, not the kids. A container of icing for breakfast? As long as the kids don’t see me!
Allow me to say, this type of behaviour can lead to obesity. Duh.
Please understand: this has nothing to do with other people’s bodies. I have zero judgement for how you live your life. For me, though, I have been uncomfortable in my own skin for the past three years. My knees, which haven’t bugged me since I was a teenager with a chronic knee condition, hurt whenever I take the stairs. This could be age, but it could also be the extra 40 pounds I’m sporting. And when you live in a house with 3 floors in heavy use, knee pain becomes a real problem.
A month ago, after half a year of researching, I decided to try the ketogenic diet. I have spent a long time assuming this way of eating is hype, but the longer I live this way, the happier I feel. I don’t lose my mind from hunger and a blood sugar drop when I go more than 3 hours without eating. My sugar cravings rarely appear, and when they do? I feel satiated with a square of dark chocolate or some homemade chocolate whipped cream. Yes, that is a thing.
I’m not here to tell you to go keto, or that it will change your life. No one in my family is doing it, I’m not paying anyone to coach me through it or buying supplements (or selling anyone else supplements to pay for my habit!). It just feels better.
For me, this is a way of gaining control of my sugar addiction. When I finally left my old way of eating, I was buying giant bags of mini eggs from the bulk store, driving to and from work while constantly popping them in my mouth. Instead of stopping at a coffee shop to get a single cooking, I was buying two or three to fill me up.
I tried modifying the way I ate, following plans that allowed me to indulge periodically so I didn’t feel deprived, but I just ended up cheating once I broke the seal. I’d call it a momentary lapse and start over the next day, again…and again. And my weight went up and down the same 3-4 pounds for ages.
At a certain point, I realized that the only way I’d be able to stop this cycle was to stop pretending I was fine with any sugar at all. Fact: I am really not fine with any sugar. I can have a tiny piece of cake at someone’s birthday party and you’ll find me in the kitchen, an hour later, shoving tiny wedges of cake in my mouth, and cleaning the icing off the serving plate with my finger. I’ll feel guilty about it, and when I get home, I’ll open every one of my kids’ desserts and have 10 of each.
Some people can live a life in moderation. Hell, I used to be able to myself. Maybe one day I’ll be able to again, but for now? I’ll pass on the garlic bread.