Keto Challenge: Why 90 Days? 📅 Here’s How It Changed MY Life…


 

2020 Low Carb ChallengePeople have a hard time sticking to a diet (ANY diet) for more than a few days usually, much less 90 full days.

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.

Keto Weight Loss Success Story

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!

(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.

LowCarbTraveler Keto Weight Loss

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? 🙂

Best,
Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler

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! 🙂

 

instagram low carb @lowcarbtraveler @lowcarbtraveler pinterest low carb

 



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About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
This entry was posted in Weight Loss and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

 

17 Responses to Keto Challenge: Why 90 Days? 📅 Here’s How It Changed MY Life…

  1. Michelle says:

    Lynn, thank you for sharing your story, I can relate to it so much. I lived the low carb lifestyle for almost 2 years and lost around 70lbs. I was 21lbs away from being under 200 and was so excited. Don’t know why, but I just stopped and started back to my old way of eating. In the past year, I have gained back all of the weight I lost and I am miserable. I felt so good when I ate low carb and I want to get back to that feeling, physically and emotionally. I have joined your challenge and plan to be with you when the 90 days are over. Thanks for all you do and for caring about us enough to invest your time and talent to help us reach our goals.

  2. Lori says:

    Thank you for doing the challenge yet again. If it only helps a few people, you will have done your job. 🙂 I thank you for all you do.

    I have been LC/Keto for years now and it is just the way I eat. I finally declared goal a couple months ago, but would like to lose a few “insurance” pounds and I think the challenge will be just what I need to do it, plus get a good start on maintenance. I do have a couple little vacations during the challenge and will no doubt go off plan for a few days here and there. Having this challenge to come back to will help me so much.

    Thanks again!

    Lori

    PS I had cheesy eggs for lunch! Yum!

  3. Tiffany says:

    You look great as always. I need those blue jean shorts! Are they American Eagle?

  4. Patsy says:

    Lynn,
    I started with you January 2016, I too dropped out on you because I was having trouble
    With low blood sugar, I was dropping down in the fifties, shaking I was getting scare went to the doctor about it. I gave up. I didn’t have enough knowledge and didn’t eat enough, But I still stay in your program behind the scene lurking trying to learn,
    August 1 2016 I started back with you, I had learned about Marco, keeping electrolytes up
    So much of how I need to change my way of eating and do it healthy, at first I just wanted to loose then it came to I want to be healthy. My stating weight with you was 250# I now weigh 194# but I feel so much better I am 62. 194 is still a lot but I wear a size 14 and I’m happy
    You have been my inspiration and I like that you don’t used the exogenous ketone.

  5. Patsy says:

    Lynn,
    I started with you January 2016, You give me inspiration

  6. Anita Abrams says:

    I’m 74 years old and have been keto for 6 years. I initially lost 65 lbs. I have never consciously cheated but at 5′ tall, I find I can still eat more calories than my body needs while never eating more than 20 carbs. Sadly, 15 pounds has creeped back on and I feel it – not in a good way. I love the keto lifestyle and will use this challenge to take those 15 pounds back off. Thanks for starting it again!

  7. Cindi says:

    Oh, Lynn, I can’t imagine how frustrating and depressing it is to do all that work only to see people drop out by the hundreds. But, as Lori wrote, if you help only a few people, you’ve been successful. Speaking from personal experience, you’ve been a godsend to me.

    At 66 years of age I finally said, “Enough is enough. I’m tired of being fat.” I’d always sworn I wouldn’t finish life as a fat old lady, but there I was 75 lbs. overweight and old. I’d been dieting since I was in my 20s or younger, always being 10-20 lbs. overweight. I even worked as an instructor for two well-known diet companies that preached low fat, lost up to 80 lbs., but couldn’t ever keep it off for long.

    I knew doing what I’d done to lose before wouldn’t work and didn’t know how I was going to lose. Then I saw the success my friend and her daughter had with low carb and decided to give it a try. What did I have to lose but weight?

    I also knew I needed to start right then even though it was November and not long till Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. If I didn’t start then, I’d do what I’d done so often in the past..plan to start the next Monday which would turn into the following Monday, another month, another year, and so on. You know the drill.

    At age 66 November 11, 2013, was my official start on the Atkins program and 20 or fewer net carbs per day. It wasn’t easy, but I’d promised to stick with it for two weeks and not weigh until the end of those two weeks. I was lucky and didn’t have keto flu as badly as many do. Whenever I got hungry, I ate low carb food because I knew hunger would be my worst enemy. I weighed, measured, and recorded everything that went into my mouth. At the end of two weeks I hopped on the scale knowing I’d lost at least 10 lbs. like so many others I’d read about in Atkins’ book. I was bitterly disappointed when my loss was half that. What?? Couldn’t be, I was so good! I have to admit I almost gave up, but then realized I’d lost 5 lbs. in two weeks while eating delicious food and as much of it as I wanted. I was never hungry. Never being hungry is the reason I decided to stick with low carb another two weeks. I made it through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year without going off plan. I continued losing weight and inches, but the weight never just “dropped off” in huge chunks.

    In February 2014 my friend introduced me to 90 Days (almost 6 years ago!) and I’ve never turned back. I reached goal 18 months and 18 days after starting and am still at or below my original goal.

    Without a doubt, you and 90 Days are a huge part of my success. You are so real and inspirational and just plain human. You help with so much more than weight loss, Lynn. You give hope to those of us who are or have been where you were. You’re honest about your struggles and the products you use. Although I’m delighted that at 72 I’m no longer a fat old woman, I’m even happier with the pride I feel in myself and my accomplishment, my commitment to exercising and being healthier, and the happiness I feel being the best me I can be.

    Please never stop offering advice to help us learn to love ourselves and realize we do deserve to be happy and in control. Meeting you last July in Austin was a joy, and I’ll never stop singing your praises to anyone who asks how I lost weight and am able—at long last—to keep it off. Love you, Lynn! ❤️

  8. Deborah R Gebhard says:

    Love you Lynn, for all you do for our group and your total honesty <3

  9. April says:

    Thank you for all you do for us! The education, motivation, sharing your story and struggles, food testing. You are definitely an inspiration to me! I was following you and lurking for two years before August 2018 when I jumped into Keto at my Dr’s advice for this way of life. Did great for 10 months then stalled out no scale changes or measurements for 4 months. I was just 12 lbs away from onederland! I was having hot flashes all day and not sleeping at night, work stress, family stress but even knowing that didn’t help. Gained 28lbs. Ouch! So for days I’ve been listening to my negative thoughts. Having read this today, I’m putting them behind me and forging ahead! I can do 90 days!

  10. Brenda Barb says:

    Lynn, I’m one who has been following along for at least two years, but don’t post. I didn’t think my post or lack of posting would matter. Working with you, I lost 70 pounds, normalized blood pressure, cholesterol, improved fibromyalgia and systemic lupus symptoms. I was able to discontinue all medications. I went back to work full-time. This is even more significant because I’m 70 years old. I was doing great until March, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I went off plan while undergoing treatment. I guess my point is, maybe there are others, like me, who were dedicated and successful because of your leadership, but didn’t check in, for whatever reason. Please know that I read everything you posted and looked forward to every suggestion you offered. I still do as I am trying to get back what I lost this past year while I struggled with my health. I’m looking forward to regaining the strength and energy I found by eating low-carb with you. Thankfully, I didn’t pack on more than 20 pounds, so I’m not starting over where weight is concerned. I hope the health returns quickly as I get back on track. Thank you, Lynn. You changed my life and I’m so thankful I found you when I did.

  11. DEBBIE says:

    I really appreciate all you do to help those of us struggling with wt loss and adapting to a new way of life. I too lost 75 lbs 2 yrs ago and maintained until 2018 and then we moved into a house, it was all we could afford and I was depressed at how much work it needed and the neighborhood is not real good…so I ate myself back to 233! I started back on Jan 1 and have lost 10 lbs so far……..I joined your challenge and will stick with you!! I am at a point in my life, 60 yrs old, I have to make a change! Again thank you for being you!!

  12. Betsy Cone says:

    I am not getting your email on 90 day challenge. I want to confirm my subscription!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Betsy,

      I just resent the confirmation email. If you don’t see that, look in your spam or junk folder. Open that and click the confirmation link or button to confirm you got it – and you’re all set! 🙂

  13. Lisa Bishop says:

    Thank you Lynn for talking to us about binge eating and then feeling awful afterwards! Because I do that! I’m doing the 90 day challenge now! I’m down 8 pds feeling really good working out! I want to actually finish this time! Like you said before I’d start out then I’m a couple of weeks quit!! I want to finish this I want to see and show myself and others I can do this! Thanks for much for the encouragement!!!

  14. Chris says:

    Hello Lynn,

    I just wanted to ask how do you stay focused on the way of eating. I think the longest I’ve one was 6 months. That was almost 20 years ago (sheesh) now every attempt I make lasts maybe 2 weeks. Not to mention when I start out I always feel like I’m actually gaining weight and I feel so fat like I’m getting heavier. I do know when I eat lowers carbs I do eventually feel better and my body does way better low carting than it ever does on calorie restriction or the low fat method. Not to mention I stay hungry. Maybe I just get bored with the food and I don’t like to do a whole lot of cooking. Please give me some help. I’m like 51 and I don5 want to have complications with my health later on which I know will be the outcome if I don’t tune up.

    Thanks for listening
    Chris

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