Let's start with my weigh-in blog post today. After posting about how tired I was about the whole keto thing I really started thinking and the more I thought the more upset I got.
I ended up posting this on the women's keto board on Facebook that I belong too and got some amazing support and advice. We'll start with my post:
"This isn' a really positive post but do you guys every just get sick of the whole keto thing and everything that goes along with it (at least for me)?
I'm just so tired of counting and weighing and measuring and tracking and having to plan out meals ahead of time and make sure they fit my calories and all my macros and get them ready and just... I don't know.
Sometimes I just get really tired of the whole thing but when I tried to relax it and wing it for a week I gained 3.6 lbs (which I'm still working on losing).
I wish I could just eat whatever, whenever and still feel great and not gain weight back but I know that's not possible for me. I just wish that it was (the last 2 paragraphs are directly out of today's blog post).
I don't know. I just feel so down. Yesterday was 150 days cheat free and I'm not even excited about it (waiting on my 150-day tank top before I do a post about it).
Despite how crappy they were for me, I miss my protein bars and I miss thinking I can eat net carbs in the 30's and low 40's and still be in ketosis because the keto-mojo has shown me that I definitely can NOT do that so now everything just got more strict instead of easier. But I lost almost all my 70-some odd pounds with 30's-40's net carbs so it worked but I wasn't in ketosis? I don't even know what makes sense anymore.
I don't think I even have a point here. I'm just tired of the whole "diet - lifestyle change" thing but I feel I have no choice but to do it for the rest of my life.
Oh, I should add that I've been doing this for 3 years now (with some on and off times)."
As I read the thoughts and advice and responded to them I realized and admitted some really important things about this past week and where using the Keto-Mojo (the glucose and ketone monitor) has led me too.
Disclaimer: there's nothing wrong with the keto-mojo and it's a great tool for those who are able to NOT revolved their entires lives around it!!
Anyway, back to the list...
1) I've been miserable since I started changing my eating in order to hit the ketone and glucose numbers that I wanted.
2) I was keeping my calories at just over 1,000 calories a day to, once again, get the numbers that I wanted.
3) I felt more and more obsessed as I cut out more and more foods in order to keep things below 20 net grams of carbs.
4) My energy was gone, my happiness was gone, I didn't even try to get to the gym the way I should have (on the days my back didn't hurt). I was getting more and more strict and more and more obsessed with every day.
5) I may have lost some weight this week but I feel like I sacrificed a lot to do that.
6) Everything started to revolved around the keto-mojo numbers: my meals, the timing of my meals, the foods I wasn't allowed to have anymore, what I could drink, what times I tested, what times I ate, what was in every meal... everything came down to those numbers and the worse they looked to me the more depressed and down I got and the more I obsessed about getting stricter.
I went back to weighing in every day (which I had stopped a week back) and obsessing over every ounce gained or lost. I went back about obsessing over every bite. I went back to not being able to fall asleep because all that mattered was making the calories and macros add up correctly in my head and seeing good numbers.
The gym stopped being important, my health stopped being important, everything but studying and those glucose/ketone numbers stopped being important!
Doing maintenance somehow disappeared because a part of me decided that since I gained 3.6 lbs last week and my headaches came back I HAD to go strict keto again. Never mind the fact that I wasn't tracking well that week and it was an insanely stressful week where I had stopped working out.
Never mind the fact that weight can go up and down and I pretty much knew the scale would be up because I DID NOT TRACK but then I couldn't handle it and blamed it on maintenance when it wasn't the fault of maintenance but the fault of the fact that I didn't track anything.
Never mind the fact that I lost all of my weight on my net carbs being in the 30's and 40's, NOT under 20 and that I tend to lose better when I eat slightly more calories (between 1200-1300 actually despite how against science that seems).
Never mind the fact that while the scale was stuck for the last 6-8 weeks I was still losing inches and sizes
Never mind the fact that the one day I worked out I was starving all afternoon and evening but refused to add more calories because it would mess up my numbers.
Never mind that I'm exhausted, and sad and getting weaker and losing my "leanness" and my happiness and my calm.
None of that mattered or even crossed my mind as I slowly unraveled and life became an unending hamster run on an unstoppable wheel where all that mattered were carbs, calories and numbers. Everything relied on those glucose/ketone numbers.
Frankly, life is way too short to live like that and I'm refusing to do it anymore!!
So, after getting all that support and advice today I've made some big decisions about my food, my mind, my goals, how far I've come, how far I want to go and how to make them all work together.
1) No more Keto-mojo. I honestly love that thing but I can't use it. I can't mentally handle using it. Adding the keto-mojo to my already obsessive mind and personality, on top of the weight loss obsessions, on top of the bipolar and OCD, and on top of everything else created a perfect storm where I completely lost my common sense over the past week.
Yes, I spent a good chunk of money on it along with the supplies it came with but as many people have pointed out my mental health is more important than the money I spent.
2) No more 20 net carbs and under. I'm miserable trying to stay there every day even though I put on a smile and talk about how great it is (the smile was fake). I don't want to do it. I don't feel all the energy I used to have and the good mood and all the stuff I had over the last few years as I lost the weight.
Like I said before, I lost almost all my weight when my net carbs were in the 30's and 40's. That's where I had energy, that's where the headaches went away, that's where I did great at the gym, that was my sweet spot so why did I think that if that was great than even less would be better?
True, it may not be true, strict "keto" and it may not land me in the prime ketone zone but that's what works best for me and that's what I want to do.
3) No more permanently cutting out foods that fit my plan. Yes, I can have an occasional protein bar as a snack or a quick protein shake. I just don't want them to be my meals anymore but I don't want to ban them either. I like having real, actual food in their place and I definitely want to keep that going!
4) Reintroduce veggies and berries that I cut out to make the numbers work. Repeat after me...baby carrots won't hurt me. Blackberries and strawberries won't hurt me. An unweighted bite of salad greens won't hurt me!
5) No more 1,000 calories a day! I'm going back to between 1200-1300 (I'm only 5'2.5" so I've never needed a lot of calories) and more on days I work out!!
6) No more daily weigh-ins! I can weigh-in whenever I want but I want it to go back to once a week already!
7) Focus on being strong and lean and get back to the gym where I love to be and that I really miss!
8) Call my therapist already and set up a time to see her because I think that seriously needs to happen and soon.
I think that covers everything I'm changing for now and I want to mentally prepare myself for the fact that the scale may go up a few pounds. It may go down a few pounds. That's not what's important right now!
I just want to be okay in my head again and I think I'm starting on a good path to making that happen.