Member Spotlight: “Save yourself or remain unsaved”

First name:  It begins with a K!

Age: Old enough to know better, but young enough to still go dancing! I was born in the 1970s – I will leave it up to you to do the math; but it might not match my picture because fat don’t crack!

Where do you live? Lower Lower East East Side, NYC its a real place)

Profession? Educational Professional and stuff

Diet/weight history?  I’ve been around the block and not in a good neighborhood! Both literally and figuratively. I have stories to tell that are worth telling- and so is yours! It’s not something to write in a bio- it would take a book, or a documentary, or something.

I will say that I started Weight Watchers at 8, was “tricked and/or kidnapped??” into doing Nutri System in middle school, and combatted it with an over use of Correctol tablets- overdosed- and still went to school the next day. Somehow my parents were not aware, yet it was something I was hiding. I was hungry because I feel I was undernourished and overfed-if that makes sense. I also blame myself. I was not supervised since grade 3 after school, as a latch-key child- and so was able to eat and sneak eat. One, because I was actually hungry, growing, and probably not getting enough calories. So what do kids do? Substitute or replace when what was on hand or to their liking. What do smart keto people do? Why, we replace it with sound keto replacements. That live and learn sh*t is really true, ya know!

Tried dieting again during the end of high school- only to find myself wondering if I was dead as I had passed out in the middle of the street and was looking up wondering…” Trees. Trees? Trees! Why am I looking at the tips of trees? Why am I looking at trees from this position?!”

I again tried for weight loss using Atkins in graduate school # 1- ( I am now on number 3 and 4 simultaneously- this should be fun!) and lost weight but had to sit down in the shower because I was so tired. “That ain’t good,” I thought.

During graduate school number 3, I tried intermittent fasting- because I get all my medical news and advice from my fave two places- Women’s World and First magazines. I am actually not kidding- I always find something interesting in there! From that, I had some success. This was about the time where keto, fasting, and such was becoming more known and better information about it was coming to light. What I also recognized was that I had had little success without help, so I decided that it would be a good idea if I got some, in whatever form that came.

I will say that what I gathered from my own data and research, the time of my life when I was on a limited to no carb diet and/or fasting in some form, I lost the most weight. And probably felt the best without really knowing it or noting it at the time. What I did note and notice was the data, my own data, and then pointed myself in the right direct, and got help to help with that (thank you to The Tro Team Tribe- I could not be more grateful, and am so happy to have wonderful cheerleaders in Tro, Amy, Taline, and especially Tory and my beloved Brian). Lastly, I was lucky enough to have been working remotely for a year, which calmed down a lot of my own noise and perhaps gave me more cause to pause and think- not always happy with the conclusions I drew for various reasons or matters- but knowing WE ALL DO THE BEST WE CAN AT THE TIME- and THAT IS ALL YOU CAN DO. AND IF YOU DON’T WELL… TIME TO HEAD IN ANOTHER DIRECTION. During that time, I got better sleep, and that allowed me to learn and to focus in a way I previously had not been able to. The data and the truth are out there, and so is help, support, and love. Take your opportunity when you see a window; or figure out a way to open a door. And if neither works- marry an architect! Be honest- most importantly, with yourself.

Successes achieved on low carb? 92 pound weight loss in 15 months- thus far!

How long have you been low carb? A little over a year

Why did you start low carb? Well, other s*&t didn’t seem to work…..I truly felt that surgery was not an option for me, although my primary care physician had broached that subject more than once. And I am sure that then breeds the question: why not? Well, I did not want to move things around- I wanted to leave this world as close to intact as I could- if they say it is a tool- then why move things permanently? We have to eat every day to live, why not learn how to do that in a way that works best for you and your body and what issues you have?  Also, multiple people I knew had ended up in the same place, now, with even less of a stomach than before. I did not have an issue with high blood pressure, nor was I diabetic-thankfully. I have lost friends to surgery- both prior and post; and I just felt it was not for me. There are ways to make things better; I am just unsure if certain functions can ever be reverted to “normal.” Why is it that I have to do ADF to feel my best and maintain or lose weight- that freaking sucks, somedays, and crying and pouting will not fix it- neither will eating another way. These were the cards I was dealt. You can’t punch the dealer- so why hurt yourself in the process. And this- this here- what we do- is a process. A work in process, a keto learner in process.

For me, I feel this way from the words of The Lovely Bones author, Alice Sebold, “Save yourself or remain unsaved.” It always stuck with me- for years. These words haunted me. I felt that no matter what,  you [I] needed to do something that would stick and you [I] could live with- in whatever way you felt you could. There are enough low carb/keto replacements that I can honestly say- I am fine with in the here and now and for the long term. I had lost friends to surgery for obesity-related diseases in one way or another, including my best friend, who was younger than me. I am a tough broad-and I just wasn’t gonna go down like that. There are no guarantees in life- and as a Catholic, I believe- we aren’t guaranteed our next breath. I  thought about it from the approach of how I view parts of my professional life; and felt like I had enough discipline in my work life and thought it was a matter of applying systems in another arena of my life; so ultimately that’s what I did. There are a lot of interesting people out there telling their story, sharing their struggle, and shedding both light and pound, illuminating the path of others. Part of it, frankly, made me angry- I was like, “how could they do that- I could do that…” And I did. And I shall continue.

Interestingly enough, it amazes me how many people and to what lengths one might go to find a recipe for a low carb replacement! God bless America! I appreciate their ingenuity and applied trials and errors. I love a low carb dessert once in a while! Share what you practice, someone might help you improve it, and it may help someone else. I am a big believer in the Hindu proverb: “Help your brother’s (or sister’s!) boat across the river, and surely yours will get there too.”

How did you start? The damn internet, you know. YouTube, really. It was during the pandemic, and I had been thinking/investigating things; I have never been much of a meat eater, more a veggie girl; and there are good things to be found in different places and from different methods.  I had done a Google search 6 months prior and had found Tro. Did not have the money or the time, or so I let myself believe. Then, I initially started watching a few YouTube videos/people. I was surprised at a variety of things- both pleasantly and sadly. You have to be in the right time and place- in your head. It is a journey and I was surprised it took me so long to get there. I am a fairly smart person (or so I think, and that ain’t saying much, but….. Like I said, I’ve been around the block and not in a good neighborhood!); but, when it comes to weight/diet/body etc.- there is so much attached to it. The older you are the more marred your view, your thoughts about it all. I was on Weight Watchers at 8 years old. There is a lot attached to weight- both physically, meta cognitively, soulfully, purposefully, and spiritually. Yet- weight- or size, knows no boundary- it crosses every line in the proverbial book: gender, age, race, economic status, ethnicity,  etc. You need to do what works for you. I always find a golden nugget of info from someone, somewhere, or something else to research. I am a lifelong learner and curious soul that way. Progress not perfection. We all need to click our own like button.

How has keto changed for you over this time? I started with the basics and got fancier along the way; only to find that the basics are pretty good. Simplicity is easier, better, and usually more effective.

What do you struggle with? I struggle with struggling. Seriously, not kidding.

What do you love about low carb? I think there is a lot of freedom, because you can go anywhere and do it. It is sustainable- and that is HUGE- much unlike the current status of my ass.

Top tip? Systems and evaluation. Listen to yourself and listen to your body. If at first you don’t succeed, examine. Look at the data- it will lead you in the right direction, and if you are headed in the wrong direction; just know if you take enough lefts, you’ll end up back where you started- and can try again.

Advice for people just starting out? The KETO POLICE ain’t showing up, honey. And if they do- ASK FOR THE DAMN DATA. Then go from there. Do what works for you and think about your WHY- post YOUR WHY in places where you see it- and perhaps see it- or confront it- daily. Use it as a visual cue. Helps you to remember it! Try to keep improving, and remember growth is good! Prepare and plan. You are in this with yourself- so do what you can do FOR YOURSELF to help things move along smoothly and swiftly. Systems. Routines. Habit stacking. Guess what? You CAN do it!

Favorite low-carb meal on the go?  I don’t eat and go- I fast.

Favorite low-carb meal to cook? I like baked chicken in Franks Red Hot Buffalo sauce over salad with fresh blue cheese sprinkled on top. Oh yeah! Or some wings and a dirty Martini. Not necessarily in that order, either! That is my “special occasion” dinner.

Favorite holiday/special occasion recipe? I really like anything made by Off The Wheat- Blaine – she is located in NYC‘s Union Square. Love anything with pumpkin, cinnamon and spice- is so very nice! And I love me a Chef Joe Duff (YouTube) dessert!

Favorite inspirational quote:   I have a few…

From Arthur Ashe:  Whether it be in all or in part……“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

From my friend Walter Knox:

“Repetition, repetition, repetition, I repeat- only known form of defeat”

Worry not, act instead” and…

Something to think about: “I am not a before and after photo.”

Anything else you want us to know about you?  All along my weight loss journey, and fat battle as I like to call it- I always liked to say and continue to say that I am more than what size you see me as. Try to remember that. I pray for those who go to sleep at night beating themselves up or chastising themselves in some way that they ate the carrot- and for those- who didn’t eat the carrot. Proverbial or real. Have a piece of peace time and again, it is worth the lack of calories.

People are both more simple and more complex in equal measure than they might seem. “You can be bitter or better,” said St. Martin De Porres. As far as I know, tomorrow is another day to practice, be grateful for it. As you walk your path, try to leave a light on for others, if and when possible.  We all can be judgmental, especially to ourselves. If we think people should be treated kindly and with respect, why do we forget to do that to and for ourselves?

And with that- peace be with you. Best of luck and rah rah rah. You made it this far. Keep going. As Kris Kringle likes to sing…. “Put one foot in front of the other and soon you’ll be walking ‘cross the floor. Put one foot in front of the other and soon you’ll be walking out the door.” Before you know it, you will be walking 10k steps a day- or trying. You can do better than you think. And you know what? Sometimes that bad neighborhood is in your own damn head- get the hell out of there!

So, my friend, do you need help with your boat? If I can’t help you, well…..I know a guy who knows a guy.

With love, a little regret, a bit of wisdom, a lot of hope, a couple of scars, optimistically, gratefully, and with peace and love…….. K


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