Last week I posted my Ketogenic journey testimony on the Facebook group page Destination Health.
Today, I was getting caught up on Wednesday's (7-11-18) airing of Kevin Rutherford/ Destination Health on SirrusXM. Listening to the opening monologue, I nearly spit out my coffee when he started talking about my story on the air. He also said he considered just reading it on the air, which would of seemed kind of surreal itself, but due to time he didn't.
Although my post was not directly geared for EO, it gives a good recap of my Ketogenic Diet/lifestyle journey to this point. So I thought I would repost it here.
My Keto Journey
I started listing to Kevin Rutherford about 2 years ago. I loved the show, but did serious eye rolling and hated whenever Destination Health was on. Had it not been for the pleasing sound of Kevin’s voice, I most likely would have tuned into something else on those days.
I was on the typical standard American diet, tried everything imaginable to lose weight with no sustainable results.
At 50 years old, I looked like crap, felt like crap, and was always hungry. Naps after eating were a common occurrence.
DOT physicals became harder and harder to pass with my ballooning weight. I was pre-diabetic, on meds for high blood pressure, acid reflux, allergies, and had multiple pain issues, especially in my knees. The simple act of tying my shoes would leave me out of breath, and usually resulted in a pulled muscle.
My current life style was definitely taking a toll on my health. A little after 2 months of passively listening to Destination Health, I had a doctor’s appointment that would be the tipping point for me. My doctor again increased my blood pressure meds, and was now adamant to not have me leave without putting me on something for diabetes.
It was like a huge red flag with explosions moment, as everything I had passively listened to on Destination Health came actively rushing back.
Enough is enough! Fine, I’ve tried everything else. It’s time to give this eye-rolling laughable Keto thing a try, and take charge of my own health.
When I do something, I jump right in. I went strict Keto, 20gms or less of carbs. Or as a friend of mine joked “No Carbs”, as I did not go by net carbs.
The first thing I noticed was a tremendous amount of energy. No longer needing my coma induced carb naps. In fact, I have not taken or felt the need to have a nap since I started. And best of all, I was no longer starving between meals. The only negative (Keto Flu) effect I had when I started was some pretty bad brain fog that last about 2 ½ long weeks. I would literally stand up from my desk, and have no idea why I stood up. I thought I was losing my mind. But I stuck though it, and that was the end of it.
Pounds started to quickly be shed, anywhere from 1-3 pounds a day. I quickly became immersed in learning everything I could get my hands on about the Keto lifestyle. The more educated I became, the more hard core, and a believer, I became.
Destination Health was now my favorite show, and could not get enough of it.
It would take another 2 months before I finally gave up my precious Diet soda. As I was now enjoying real food, I found my taste palate changing. I always wondered how Chef Gordon Ramsay could immediately tell if something was prepared from fresh or frozen. I could definitely tell the difference now. My sense of smell changed also. The smells from the Flying J “food” bins, (especially my favorite, pizza), which used to start my gut a flutter, were now making me nauseous.
I have not “ate out” in over 1 ½ years since I started. Preparing every meal I eat. In the process I learned to cook.
My prior cooking experience involved anything (mostly processed and frozen) that could be put in the microwave or oven.
Something unexpected happened around the 6-month mark.
Alcohol of any type, became the most revolting taste for me. I especially love my beer. So after an adult life of consuming more alcohol then I care to admit, I just stopped. I have not touched a drop in over a year. Something I would of never thought possible or even would consider.
In less then a year, I lost 100 pounds with absolutely no exercise. 100% Diet. Not that you shouldn’t exercise, just pointing out that it was not a requirement. I lost 90 pounds in 10 months; the last 10 pounds came off more slowly as I reached my ideal weight. The beauty of Keto that I really liked on my journey is, unlike almost all “diets”, there is no end point. No returning to what caused the problems in the first place. Finally ending the rinse and repeat cycle. If anything, an expansion is given by adding new foods.
The one area I struggled with was my body Image. My body was changing faster then my mind would accept. At 6’3, I became a master of disguise. But fat is fat, no matter how it’s proportioned. After decades of trying to conceal my weight with clothing, I still held fast to my larger then me clothes. The thought of smaller sizes, let alone form fitting clothes, just made me feel so uncomfortable. But in the end, I finally accepted the new thin me, besides I was really looking ridiculous in my large fitting clothes. Compared to my old sizes, I felt like I was shopping for kids clothes. I would hold an item up thinking, there’s no way I’m going to fit into that. Well, I was kind of right. I needed a smaller size.
I am now back to my high school weight and feel and look better then I can ever remember. Going from a size 42 pants to 28/29 (Although, I did settled on some size 32 thin cuts for comfort, it’s nice to know I can go lower).
I am now off all medications, Blood pressure is normal, acid reflux ended almost immediately, allergies have subsided, joint pain eliminated, and diabetes is not even a concern any longer.
I want to personally thank Kevin Rutherford, Kim Cockerham and the Tribe, for giving me the inspiration, knowledge, and tools needed to change my life forever.
It’s hard for me to believe these pants used to be tight.
I have 2 friends that do the Keto diet,,,their stories are like your stories.....Me and the wife are doing plant based eating and getting similar results,,I got rid of acid reflux also and more energy and no naps...congrats to you..
I stopped my occasional listening of Kevin R because of his diet talking.
I’d think, why doesn’t he shut up, this isn’t what I tuned in to hear, etc.
I should tune in and listen this time.
Pizza, pop, and beer (and any other processed junk food I could scarf down) were my favorites. But honestly, I found the transition to whole real foods extremely easy and enjoyable. The more I learned, and experienced the benefits first hand, the less I wanted or craved anything else. If anything, I became to crave what I was eating now.
With being totally satisfied and enjoying what I eat, having next to no appetite, and improving my health along the way, I have no plans to ever go back. And I never feel like I'm missing out on something, besides a early grave haha. I have more energy and feel better then I did 25 years ago. I just wish I would have always ate this way.
Oh, and you don't have to give up your chocolate,
I had some tonight
Chocolate actually has its own health benefits. But most or all of the benefits are destroyed by all the other crap that gets tossed in and how its normally processed. So I'm pretty selective on what I get. The longer I do this, the more I focus on quality and nutrient dense foods.
For the last 6 weeks, I've been out on the road. One of the rare times I didn't bring my weight scale with me.
I was already only checking it maybe once every two weeks at best, so I left it at home this time.
Maybe because it was getting colder and wearing more clothing, or from my new latest snack craving of Almond butter
and Chocolate everyday, I felt like I had gained at least 10 pounds.
The results were in...
I didn't gain 10 pounds as I was expecting, but actually lost 5 pounds
I was more then surprised, but really should not of been. A Ketogenic diet will pretty much normalize you at your ideal body weight with or without out much effort on your part, without counting calories.
Another area I've been slacking off on is checking my blood sugar levels to make sure Ye old diabetes continues to be a thing of the past. Seeing good numbers all the time brings out the slacker in me
After a battery of test over 24hrs and running out of fingers, blood sugar levels remain excellent, even sporting my lowest fasting number yet this morning
Last month, I hit the 2 year mark since I started on Keto and changed my life.
I really can't see me ever doing anything else now. And definitely not going back to the crap filled highly processed Standard American Diet (SAD).
I often get asked what do you eat on Keto?
That's a pretty long list. There also can be a distinction made between junk Keto, which is sadly becoming more mainstream as people try to cash in on selling "Keto/Low Carb" type products. And Nutrient Dense Keto (NDK), which I strive for.
Eat Real Food.
Sounds simple enough, but it's usually followed up with the question.
What's Real Food? I have to admit, after a lifetime of eating processed crap that I thought was food, I asked the same question.
Not as good Weight results for me .. had been balanced at 187 lbs .. but in the month since my Mom has passed i went off the wagon , back up to 196 lbs. My BP , Sugar levels and Cholesterol numbers are all good . Just my goal of 175 lbs by next spring needs to get back on track ..
I've been wanting to stop into a GNC corporate store for a long time. Never seem to be around one, honestly, I haven't looked that hard The GNC sections at most Rite Aid stores are pretty lacking in selection, so I've been curious if they had anything I would need while on the road.
While walking to Krogers in Houston to restock some food items, what do I see? A GNC store. Cool.
Have to say I wasn't overly impressed, but they did have one brand item I use, and I do mean 1,
the last bottle of MCT (coconut oil). Good price, a tad cheaper then Amazon, and I didn't have to go home to get it, so I grabbed it
The one and only other person in the store was the manager, turns out he was a fellow Ketonian, (following a ketogenic lifestyle). Had a nice long chat with him, always nice to chat in person about Keto.
It's been over two years since my last doctors visit and lab work up, which was Pre-Keto.
To say I was a mess health wise at that time, would be a gross understatement.
I'm currently scheduled for February 12th. Providing I make it back home, and not have to reschedule for a 3rd time
I'm mostly curious how my labs and health markers now look post-ketogenic for 2 years, and maintaining my 100 pound weight loss for more then a year.
Will share the results, good or bad, when I get them
Turns out it was almost exactly 3 years, since my last doctor visit and lab work were done.
Time sure does fly by...
848 Days (2.32 Years) since I started on Keto.
757 Days (2.07 Years) Since I had any alcohol. That stat actually surprised me, I thought it was still just 1 year. Guess I didn't miss it that much
Prior recorded office weight 257 pounds
Current office weight was 177 pounds, for a total of 80 pounds lost.
Since I started Keto after gaining some more weight, I didn't complain too much about their recorded total loss results
Doctor said I looked great, and asked what I did with the other me. I said I left him on the side of the road somewhere
I didn't really get any flack about being on a Ketogenic diet, they actually have a box now to check for Ketogenic Diet,
I guess they got tired of typing it in
While talking to the nurse, I only got one semi outdated comment regarding being on a Ketogenic Diet.
"oh, you can't eat seeds if you have diverticulitis"
Umm, ok. Thanks for sharing something that has absolutely nothing to do with me
Blood Pressure and Fasting blood sugar were "normal", as I expected.
I was half expecting some comment on how I took myself off of all prescribe medications, especially my high blood pressure meds, with out consulting them. Unless he missed that fact, it was not even mentioned.
This was a interesting visit from my end. With the mass amount of knowledge I have gained over the last 3 years regarding health, nutrition, and the Ketogenic Diet, I am no longer the "Yes doctor, what ever you say doctor" person. Definitely have become more of a take charge of my own health person, rather then relying on the medical community to decide what is best for me.
Labs came back pretty much perfect. I haven't spoke with my doctor yet about my labs. Not sure if I will unless they call me in, since my next appointment was scheduled for a year from now
Only 2 things on my labs came back that I'll be interested to see his take on.
My WBC (white blood cell) count came in low at 3.30 Previously 6.0
This could explain or be a result of the reoccurring cold/ear infection I was having over the last couple of months. Just couldn't seem to shake it. It would last only about a day, then return about every 2-3 weeks. I think it's finally gone. It's extremely rare that I get sick at all, and when I do pick up a cold or something, it never last longer then 24-48 hrs. And normal only once a year. This time it was rather unusual having the ear infection.
Will continue to monitor.
The other thing that showed up could get interesting, and I actually would not mind having a discussion with my doctor over this, depending on how he interprets the results
Ahh, the mighty (or not so mighty) Cholesterol numbers. Big pharmacology makers have something just for you. Would you like your statin drug to go?
I debated on how much I wanted to rant on this subject area. Decided not to go too far
The basic cholesterol (lipid profile) test that we normally get (and covered by most insurance), is pretty much useless to determine atherogenic risk, without digging deeper. Yet way too many times these base numbers are read as gospel, making the multi-billion dollar statin industry very happy.
There I kept that part pretty short
I will make a book recommendation for anyone wanting to understand their Cholesterol numbers better, and why I personally would never take a statin drug.
Also available on Audio.
Now with that out of the way. How were my numbers?
My prior Total Cholesterol was "high" at 246 based on a 125-200 scale. This being the most meaningless number of all, sadly, is the number many prescribe from. Based on this number, I should have been placed on a statin as "the first line of defense". And yes, the doctor wanted to, but I declined.
On this visit, since I really didn't care what my cholesterol was, but knew it was going to be checked anyways, lets get some actual information I can use.
I asked to have a LDL Particle size test done.
Deer in the head light look from my doctor...
Obviously, I floored him with this request.
After I explained what the test was, and why I wanted it done. I eventual got a "insurance will probably not pay for it answer". Which is really sad (and true that most insurances will not cover it), since this is the single most important test we could do, if we were truly concerned about cholesterol. Not wanting to shell out extra cash right now, I had to pass. But wish I would have just had it done. If I got some screwed up results again, I wanted more ammunition for the next statin battle.
"To believe that statin medication is the answer to everything, despite reports that these drugs haven't done much in terms of saving people's lives, is misguided. There's a lot of evidence that supports the fact that you don't need to be on a statin medication".---Dr. Fred Pescatore, MD
The results were back:
How did my dietary changes affect my results?
Total Cholesterol went from 246 to a even higher 267
Give him a statin STAT!
Hold on, not so fast. Let's see what else changed.
HDL- Which pretty much has the agreement of being the "Good Cholesterol", went from 49 to 63 on a 29-71 scale. So that's pretty "Good".
LDL- Which has been given the view for years as being the "Bad Cholesterol" is not in agreement. Basically because there are two types of LDL. Type A consist of large fluffy, generally harmless kind of particles that are "Good". Yes there is such a thing as "Good HDL". Type B consist of small dense, potentially dangerous particles that is described as "Bad". "Pattern B LDL can easily penetrate the arterial wall, compromising your heart health".
LDL is considered "High" if it's over 100.
My prior LDL was high at 141.2
My current LDL also came in shockingly higher at 193
Honesty, I was not expecting that. But here lies the problem with the current way of testing, and why the disagreement. How are you suppose to know if the LDL consist of mostly "Good" or "Bad" Cholesterol unless you test to find out? Flip a coin? This was exactly why I wanted the LDL Particle size test done.
Triglycerides- There is one thing that is not debated. Triglycerides are "Bad".
The range for Triglycerides is 0-150, my pervious result was 279
That's pretty "Bad". The most common cause of high Triglycerides is eating too many carbohydrates.
Being Low carb for over 2 years, I sure was hoping for improvement here as the last piece of the puzzle gets entered.
My previous 279 has turned into 53
That's huge. It also may give insight into the LDL particle size mystery. Short of actual LDL particle size testing, normally when you have high "Good" HDL and Low "Bad" Triglycerides, the result is a higher production of the "Good" large fluffy LDL. Ideally you want a 1:1 ratio of Triglycerides to HDL for this to occur.
My previous ratio was 5.5938
My current ratio is at 0.8412, so I pretty confident I'm full of fluff, among other things
I do plan on eventually getting the LDL Particle test done to confirm this, but since I already know a Ketogenic diet promotes the production of good fluffy LDL, and my ratios also support this, I won't be running out tomorrow to be tested. Strictly, for research purposes
"There's only one thing that causes small LDL particles and that's carbohydrates, not dietary fat".
---Cardiologist, Dr. William Davis