I get that.
Habits are hard to break, and change is difficult.
It used to be hard for me too. Scratch that: impossible! Or so it seemed and felt at the time. But that’s not the case anymore…
I’ll share MY story with you, and how I finally overcame that.
During the 7 years I’ve been hosting the 90 Day Low Carb Challenge I see THOUSANDS of people jump in motivated and excited every time I start one, only to drop off by the HUNDREDS by weeks two and three… with usually around 100 people at most showing up for the final weigh-in on Day 90… of every single challenge. 😥
This is incredibly discouraging for me, I’ll admit.
It’s SO discouraging in fact, that anymore… I feel sick in the pit of my stomach every time I kick off a new challenge, like we’re doing now.
People BEG me to host a new one, only to drop out on me within days – or weeks at best. It’s A LOT of work to kick off and keep going, and honestly…
All I want is for people to experience amazing results.
I get so frustrated trying to figure out the best way to do that, to help people STAY motivated and actually participate in the challenge THEY asked for.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve felt like throwing my hands in the air and just quitting, and walking away from it all. 🤦♀️
But then there will be those few people that speak up, that share their results and how HAPPY they are, they’ll share the details of their transformation, or how it changed their life – and it brightens me right back up! 🌞
I always remind myself: there are at least 100 people that don’t speak up, for every one person that does. If one person asks a question, there were 100 more that wanted to know the answer – and appreciate the person that put themselves out there and asked it. And that the same goes for success stories…
Plus – I can relate.
I used to be the one that couldn’t stick it out or stay on track.
I would get all jazzed up and committed, then fall flat. I was on a maddening roller coaster of losing and regaining the same pounds over and over… and OVER. 😞
Worse than that was the constant highs and lows of being motivated, then discouraged, feeling GREAT about myself, then hating myself.
It was physically and emotionally EXHAUSTING. 😵
Keto / Carb Cycling NEVER Worked For Me
On the left I was about 35 pounds heavier than I am now, about halfway through my 70+ pound weight loss. On the right, that’s my current size and weight.
On the left, I was NOT consistently eating keto – or even low carb. I was cycling between strict keto and extreme binges. I was on that maddening roller coaster of lose/gain/lose/gain.
I was happy and I felt pretty back then, mind you – outside of the constant madness going on in my head (love/hate). But I had a man in my life that adored me no matter what I weighed, and treated me like the most beautiful woman on the planet. I was also VERY proud of the 30-40 pounds I’d already lost and feeling very accomplished.
I did not realize though, how physically and mentally unhealthy I was.
My blood sugar would spike at diabetic levels, I was still in chronic pain quite often, and while I was “happy” in my life… I was NOT happy with myself – not even a little bit.
When it all finally CLICKED for me…
For the first few years I was driven by emotion. I was so caught up in those irrational thoughts and feelings that I couldn’t even see the OBVIOUS facts – or how SILLY it all was.
I would step on the scales and NOT see a lower number, or see the SAME number, and throw my hands up and give up.
Or I would get mad and binge eat the entire day just to SPITE my scales.
I had “good” reasons, excuses, rationalizations – always.
It was a constant conversation going on in my head…
It might be that I deserved a treat, deserved a break, that I was stressed or upset and needed comfort, that I could sneak this or that and just pretend it never happened – or just eat eggs for three days after. 🙄
AWARENESS KICKED IN
I had struggled with emotional eating, binge eating and stress eating for YEARS.
It had become habit, second nature, a STRONG desire/craving for the “downer” that followed (an extremely lethargic feeling, similar to being drugged).
I had a lot of stress and emotions and reasons, of course.
Don’t we all? 😜
One day after a particularly nasty binge where I had decided to “treat myself” I woke up feeling so disgusted. I was bloated, full of self loathing, and mad at myself for wrecking my progress. I was on such good roll, dammit! *sigh* 🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️
As I stood there looking at myself in the mirror while brushing my teeth the next morning, right after stepping on the scales of course, just to see how much overnight damage I’d done (because: misery loves validation)…
I realized I didn’t “treat myself” at all.
I treated myself BADLY.
I realized I’d been lying to myself for years.
Did I honestly think a certain food could make me feel better?! It never had… it always made me feel WORSE. I could be on the best roll ever, feeling lean and proud of myself, then BAM ==> discouraged, disgusted, bloated, and feeling like a failure.
How was THAT a TREAT?
What’s worse is the food I ate wasn’t even all that great, making it even LESS worth it. Somehow I remembered those foods tasting better than that. 🤔
I got pissed off.
There’s nothing like FEELING STUPID to really make you lash out. 😜
I became tuned in to the conversation in my head: that constant rationalizing and such going on in the background all the time.
I started listening to it, instead of reacting to it, and analyzing it. Is it truth? Why do I say that? If it’s NOT true, what IS true? I started challenging my habitual thoughts.
It was frustrating, I admit. I felt lost. I felt betrayed – by myself, of all people! I also felt EMBARRASSED that an intelligent woman like myself could be so easily FOOLED – and so foolish.
All of a sudden I was very aware of just how many times I had lost and gained the SAME 20 pounds over a 2 year period.
I knew exactly how that felt too: maddening, frustrating, I felt like a WINNER, I felt like a FAILURE, I was in a constant state of UP or DOWN (love or hate), and felt totally out of control.
I wondered what it would feel like to lose that 20 pounds… and 20 more.
Just once, I told myself. I wonder what it would feel like to be THAT weight? I wonder what it would feel like to SUCCEED, and NOT feel disgusted and ashamed every other week?
I was somewhere between ticked off and embarrassed.
That’s when I decided to go 90 full days of 20 net carbs max – no matter what. After that I could do ANYTHING I wanted, eat anything I wanted, put all the weight back on if I wanted – whatever.
But for RIGHT NOW, I wanted to see what it would FEEL LIKE to step OFF the roller coaster of craziness and just BE low carb.
I did it! 🤸♀️
Every time that dialogue would start back up in my mind, I simply said: not now. I had my 90 day end date in mind, and put everything off until that date.
Whatever I wanted, however I felt: “on that date, you can.” So it wasn’t a NO or a NEVER AGAIN, it was simply a not now.
I don’t recall how much weight I lost during that 90 day period. In the end, it was the LAST thing that mattered – ironically enough.
What I gained was far more important than any pounds I lost!
I felt IN CONTROL, which was very “grounding” for lack of a better word. I wasn’t all over the place and an emotional mess anymore. Even when everything else in my life felt chaotic, my head space was NOT – and I handled every “crisis” or tough day with a lot more ease.
I was no longer in chronic pain. I felt good consistently, and I felt better and better every week that went by: more energy, better mobility and flexibility, HAPPIER, leaner. All the good!
At some point “the voices” gave up, or they got patient – waiting for my 90 days to end, lol. I no longer felt constantly torn, or tempted even.
In fact my usual cravings totally stopped, and I even started craving foods I’d never liked before even! Yucky stuff like spinach and avocados n stuff. 🙂
After my 90 day challenge…
I had given myself full permission to go back to my old ways, or eat whatever I wanted when that 90 day period ended.
In the beginning, that was my save – I had that to look forward to. In the end though, none of those old habits or old foods even appealed.
I was pleasantly surprised to find I wasn’t even tempted. Shocked a little maybe too. 😁 But I felt SO good, and so calm, and so in control – and not the least bit interested in all the things I thought I couldn’t live without (before).
(weird, but GREAT)
That 90 days of being consistently keto completely changed me, and it STUCK.
When I look back and analyze WHY it worked so well, it was really all about breaking habits and patterns. That’s hard to do. It took me getting really mad and really frustrated to get SERIOUS about my goal and quit jerking myself around.
It also helped to FEEL like it was a short term thing, so I didn’t totally freak out and binge. I admit that I fantasized about ALL the foods I was going to eat at the end of my 90 days, especially in the first few weeks. It was almost like planning for a vacation. I made lists, and looked forward to it!
That’s how I got through the first few days, then the first few weeks.
After that, those thoughts all but stopped and I just got in a routine. I tracked all my meals and macros. I did step on the scale every morning as usual (habit) but the scale no longer had any power over me.
As I stepped on the scale every morning, I said out loud:
“Today I am eating for my health, no matter what you say.”
If it was down: great. If it was up: interesting, no big deal. If it stayed the same: cool, it didn’t go up.
I became UNattached (emotionally) to the number it spit out every morning, and simply started monitoring it out of interest (instead of looking for affirmation or validation).
I wasn’t living for the day, or living for the moment anymore… I was LIVING MY LIFE. I discovered there were so many other things to do when I felt stressed or overwhelmed or upset or happy!
I did have to find other ways to deal with all those usual emotions, of course. I would get anxiety, or get upset, and I would take off on a fast paced walk. I was “pounding it out on the pavement” I called it. It worked!
Exercise worked (!!) where food NEVER relieved stress or anxiety.
Duh, right? 🙂 I know – feeling stupid after every major realization like that is what kept me fueled forward, and challenging those silly thoughts.
All this stuff I share with you, like “Focus on the GOAL instead of focusing on the DIET”, that’s where it comes from: my personal experience.
So now you know…
That was the TURNING POINT that got me over all the issues holding me back for so many years! Just 90 short days.
I’m not going to tell you it was EASY. In the beginning it required me to FORCE the constant redirecting. I had to tune in to my thoughts, stay alert and aware, and CHOOSE to stay in control. But JUST for 90 days. That helped! 😉
That’s why it’s called a CHALLENGE of course, and why you join one: to challenge yourself! It’s not MEANT to be easy. It’s meant to kick start LASTING POSITIVE CHANGE in your life.
We’re kicking off the 2020 Low Carb / Keto Challenge NOW if you want to join in and want to REALLY challenge yourself (this time). 💯
How To Sign Up & Join In
If you received this by email, you’re good to go! Just make sure you are also in the Challenge Group on Facebook. You can find the link on the Challenge Page.
Otherwise sign up below now, and you’ll get the details in your inbox! Watch for a confirmation request and confirm your email address -or you’ll miss out!
In my next post, I’ll share with you how I overcame binge eating, corrected my (very bad) relationship with food, how I stopped the madness of stress / emotional eating – and finally started living a “consistently keto” lifestyle that got me where I am today.
It didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t even happen all in that first 90 day period.
That was a GREAT starting point though, that at least put ME in the driver’s seat (in control) of my own life and my own choices – instead of living on a whim, and being swayed by emotions & feelings.
This is me now, happier and healthier than I’ve ever been in my life!
This photo was taken October 10th, 2019 (almost 90 days ago, ironically) and I am the same weight now as I was then.
I’ll be 47 in June by the way, and I am 5’5″ tall. And currently single…
Wait, this is starting to sound like a dating profile lol 🤣 – I was about to tell you WHY I’m no longer blissfully happy & in love like I was 35 pounds ago but I couldn’t find the right way to word it. 😜 (he preferred larger women. it turns out losing weight to try to KEEP his attention, is exactly how I LOST it)
That’s enough of my personal life though. We’d be here all day if I started telling you my life story. 😉 But maybe someday I will.
Our starting weigh-in will be on Monday morning…
Are you ready for a FUN challenge?!
Think about it: 90 days from now it will be April. How do you want to look and feel this Spring? Are you ready to be happier, healthier and leaner?
Are you ready for CHANGE – that sticks? 🙂
p.s. Here’s a short video you’ll enjoy until my next update: Are You Dieting? Keto, Low Carb Diet, etc? It’s Time To STOP! 🙂
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