Name: Joan Bjornsgaard
Live: Tulsa, OK
Profession: psychotherapist for 28 years, still in practice
Diet/weight history: I’ve tried them all. I was first put on diet pills by my mom at 16 because I weighed 150 pounds, and I’ve yo-yo’d my entire life. Tried Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig. I lost 100 pounds on WW and regained 80, but I hit my all time high in January of 2022, and my doctor asked me if maybe I should address my food issues.
Success on low carb: I have lost 58 pounds since February of last year. I started by just quitting sugar. I had gone to an eating disorder therapist a few times who suggested I try dessert in moderation, but I realized that I can’t function that way. My only choice was to abstain from sugar. By May I stopped eating flour, grains and processed food and was losing weight, approximately 7 pounds a month, but then it stalled. I was part of a clinical study called Sweet Sobriety and one of the directors suggested Dr. Tro. That was in September, 2022. Six months later, pre-diabetes is in remission, and my hypertension resolved so well he took me off 3 of the 4 meds I was on.
How has keto changed for me over this time? I feel instead of struggling against it or focusing on feeling deprived, I’ve embraced this is just how I eat, and I feel at peace about it.
What do I struggle with? Certain foods still light up my dopamine centers like a Christmas tree. Usually fruit. Then I just take a step back and say, nope that goes on my red food list. Lots of trial and error, but I’ve learned that I am very sensitive to any artificial sweeteners so the only thing I use is Stevia which we grow in our garden. This limits me using a lot of replacements, but it is what works best for me.
What do I love about it? It’s easy. I just don’t eat anything from a bag or box.
Top tip: Switch your mindset from what you can’t have to what you can have. Focus on why you want do this. For me my why was front and foremost: I don’t want to have diabetes or heart disease.
Favorite meal: I don’t have a favorite meal. I just eat fish, chicken, meat, seafood, salads and vegetables. I don’t cook, but my wife is an excellent chef and is on board with the way I eat.
Favorite inspirational quote: “Don’t lose focus on your why.”
Anything else you want us to know about you? I’m a total gym rat. I do Pilates, weightlifting three times a week and just went back to Zumba classes twice a week. I couldn’t dance when I was heavier — it was too hard on my knees and ankles. Now that my weight is down, I can do what I love again!