After what feels like, well, a normal week with an abnormally healthy eating plan, here I sit – half way through day five of keto. The truth is, when I first made the decision to start living a keto lifestyle, I figured the first week would be hell.
Maybe, in a way it was. Suddenly, I had to explain to everyone what I was doing, how it supposedly worked, and what I wanted to achieve. Why was that difficult? Because it’s my first week of the keto lifestyle and, for at least the first two questions, I didn’t know how to explain what I didn’t – and don’t – really completely understand.
Let’s see, when I’d try to explain it in the briefest way possible, I’d say something along the lines of: “Well, I’m cutting carbs, eating a lot more fat, and my overall goal is to lose weight.” Then, most of my friends would look at me like I was stupid and others just looked baffled. Every now and then, a friend would exclaim that they know someone that does the “keto diet” and they dropped SO much weight. I have to admit, that’s a nice break from people trying to advise me on how I should go about losing weight – in moderation, eating more veggies (and more carbs), or trying some weight loss pill.
See, what a lot of people don’t realize is that I am quite familiar with many of the weight loss strategies out there. As a Marine veteran, I have been forced to “maintain a healthy body weight” by starving myself, sitting in the sauna for four (plus) hours before a weigh in, and avoiding having my hair wet at the exact time of the weigh in. For those of you who haven’t had to put your body through literal hell in order to obtain (and maintain) an unrealistic – at least for women with breasts and an ass – standard, it really sucks. What’s worse is that, although you learn how to drop five pounds “like that”, you also completely destroy what was most likely a shitty metabolism to begin with.
So, it actually pains me even more when people don’t fully understand how much I know about how losing weight works. I know that if I cut my intake down to 1,000 calories, I’ll drop weight in no time. I know that, if I eat a bunch of really healthy food, I can maintain my weight. I know that, if I cut back in moderation, I can slowly watch the pounds fall off. Unfortunately, I also know just how quickly every pound hops back on the Cassi Train.
Above are three photos of me, exactly seven years ago today. Just by looking at these photos, I can tell you that I was in the “best shape of my life”. I was chowing down about 1,500 calories a day, hadn’t touched any fatty foods since September, and I weighed a whopping 165 pounds. Oh, and don’t forget that I was running eight miles almost every day, just to make sure none of those extra pounds crept back up on me. Guys, this is no way to live.
Within two years after this photo (so roughly 2013), I’d gained about 80 pounds. I cut back on calories, picked up running again, and dropped it down to about 200 right before I moved home at the end of 2014. So for those of my friends who don’t fully think I comprehend what methods can be used for weight loss, I do. I know about most of them and I’ve tried so many I can barely keep track.
The thing is, I remember what the breaking points for almost every one of my huge weight losses were. It was the moment I lost my true support circle. Whether that means that I moved eighteen hours away to a location where friends were scarce or my best friends were deployed to third-world countries, half a world away; the point remains the same, without consistent support and encouragement, people fail.
I understand that my friends that are questioning the keto lifestyle are worried that it’s not a good choice. I mean, look at the South Beach Diet and how quickly that thing turned into a fault of shit. I’ve done my research – a lot of it – and not just by reading blogs. I’ve read at least 25 academically reviewed articles in the last week. I’ve learned about enough studies that I’m kind of worried my head might explode (that would be some awesome weight loss, though). Me not taking your advice isn’t me choosing to ignore you, it’s me trying to better myself in a way that I know can work. I know that this lifestyle – which I intend to maintain long after I drop the weight – can lower my bad cholesterol, lower my blood sugar, knock me out of my obesity, up my energy levels, and help stabilize the catastrophic storm inside of my mind.
But I need your support. Some of you have been awesome, encouraging me and reminding me that I got this. Others have suggested I use less extreme manners. The reality is, I am about 100 pounds above a healthy weight for myself… 100 pounds. Moderation is no longer an option. I need to change my way of life before my life ends way too early.
This is my request: Instead of doubting the choice I’ve made, encourage me. Right now, my life literally depends on it.