Transformation of the Day: Jean lost 119 pounds with a ketogenic lifestyle and exercise. Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes was her turning point. She worked out at her own pace and learned how to eat for fuel and only when she was hungry. Check out her journey.
What was your motivation?
My family was my motivation for changing the direction that my health was heading. I didn’t want to end up on kidney dialysis and disrupt their lives! I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and I didn’t want to lose my limbs or my sight due to the disease. I was already experiencing the side effects of type 2 diabetes, such as poor eyesight, belly fat that wouldn’t go away (no matter how hard I tried to diet), and tingling in my hands and feet!
What inspired you to keep going when you wanted to give up?
My inspiration came from knowing that I could have a life that didn’t include a death sentence from complications of type 2 diabetes. I also knew that medications, like Metformin, wouldn’t have to be taken daily. My husband wouldn’t have to watch me suffer from depression because I didn’t want people to see this version of me. I didn’t want my grandchildren to have a grandmother that only sat on the park bench instead of pushing them on the swings.
How did you change your eating habits?
I started by reducing the amount of carbohydrates I ate, and the times I allowed myself to eat. I started looking at food as fuel only, not as something I had to eat everyday! I only fueled my body when I was really hungry. For example, you wouldn’t put gas in your car every time you passed a gas station, right? You only put gas in your car when you needed it! So why should I put food in my body just because it’s there? I started eating low carb food and used my own fat as a food source!
What foods did you stop or start eating?
I started eating more protein-rich foods like chicken thighs/wings, eggs, and even bacon. I ate lots of salad with boiled eggs and full-fat dressing. When I first began eating this way, I ate until I was satisfied. Not full or stuffed, just satisfied. I also incorporated fasting, and that’s when my health really began to improve! I had less joint pain, and I slept better. My belly fat began to disappear, and my THIGHS, even shrunk! My body literally began to eat my body fat while fasting!
I went from a size 22 to a size 10 in 10 months. After I lost 100 pounds in 10 months, my body required something different. I noticed the weight loss slowed down, and it took me almost an entire year to take off 32 pounds. I started reducing the amount of vegetables I ate and began drinking a gallon of water a day. I started living a carnivore lifestyle. I ate mostly proteins; chicken, pork, beef, small amounts of cheese, pork rinds, and fish! I only ate one meal a day (aka OMAD). My body was fat-adapted, meaning it was fueled by running off body fat instead of food.
The ketogenic lifestyle and the carnivore required me to eat very little carbs. My motto: I only eat when I’m hungry. I don’t eat so much that I’m miserably full after and love myself more than food!
What did your workout routine consist of?
I didn’t do gym workouts for the first few months of my journey. I weighed 274 pounds, and I was in a lot of pain. So, I purchased a FitBit and made sure I walked 7,000 steps a day. I even had my employers provide me with a standing work station, and I walked in place to get my steps in. I had light hand weights at my desk, so when I took my breaks, I’d do a few reps instead of snacking! I joined a gym after my 100-pound loss to focus on my stubborn fatty thighs and flabby arms. I went to the gym at least four days a week for about 90 minutes to do my legs/thigh/arm workout with a little cardio on the rowing machine and stationary bike.
I tried to get some form of exercise daily, even if it was just walking up the stairs at my job instead of taking the elevator or just a few squats at my workstation. Because I drank tons of water, I’d challenge myself to do squats in the restroom stall each time I had to go to the bathroom ( I know TMI)!
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 274 pounds, and I currently weight 155 pounds.
What is your height?
When did you start your journey?
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in December 2017. I started watching what I ate immediately and began to follow the diabetic food plan given to me by my doctor. After researching on my own, I felt that the American Diabetes Association food recommendations were harmful to my body because it allowed a lot of carbohydrates to be eaten daily. I opted not to eat their food recommendations, and on March 8, 2018, I started my strict ketogenic lifestyle and never looked back.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
The biggest lesson I learned was to take my life/health into my own hands. Don’t allow food to dictate my life. I learned that I could be successful in my weight loss journey if I believed that I deserve to live a quality life!
What advice do you have for women who want to lose weight?
Ask yourself every day, “Why not me? Why can’t I be successful in this weight/health journey?” Answer by saying, “I can and I will”!
Take every day as it comes, one day at a time! There is no such thing as losing weight every day. There will be losses and gains, but the goal is more losses! So love yourself enough to choose food wisely and love yourself more than food!