• Lindsey Callahan

Getting in the right frame of mind

Updated: Mar 21, 2019

So, maybe you're not feeling great, you're unhappy with how you look, you think that you need a change and don't really know how to start. You are doing some basic research, but not really understanding how to get started and you're nervous that you're not going to do it right, and it might just end up like every other diet that you've tried... back to square one and stuck.

This is exactly how I felt in July of 2018. I was miserable in my skin, I was depressed, I was overtired, not planning my meals ahead of time, thinking that I didn't have enough money to eat healthy and could barely handle what I had going on in my life without adding something else to think about. The broken record of negative self-talk was breaking me. In an attempt to just start accepting myself or just recognize that this was my reality, I posted about it on my personal Instagram account.

July 25, 2018: "I am posting this not as a way to look for reassurance, but to just get my feelings out and maybe normalize this for other women who are struggling.  I have had a really really tough time with body image since being pregnant. In my first two trimesters, I loved seeing my baby bump grow and loved when strangers would look and smile, knowing that I had reached the point of being "noticeably pregnant". In my third trimester when the doctors kept increasing my target weight every time I flew past the old target, I started to joke a little less about how huge I was and start to think, wow... things will really never be the same.  Combine that with strangers telling me left and right that I was probably having twins and "are you sure one isn't hiding behind the other?" and I noticed that I was becoming very mean to myself.  The whole time I was torn between negative feelings about my body and knowing I was growing a healthy baby and being in awe of how incredible that was.  After maxing out at 47 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, and going home only 4 pounds down (after giving birth to a 7+ pound baby... go figure) it has been a rough road since that day.  At this point I still look about 4 or 5 months pregnant.  It seems like everyone who has had babies even after mine are back to normal and don't have any visible history of ever being pregnant or giving birth. For me, dieting isn't making a difference... exercising is harder than ever before.  It is a daily struggle between looking at my son and being proud of what my body is capable of, and being so frustrated that other women have their babies and their bodies.  I just turned 30 and in many ways am happier than I have ever been before, but I'm trying really hard to love this new me and I wish this post were more empowering."

That was my frame of mind when I started keto. I did NOT have any optimism, but I started anyway. The truth is that you will never feel ready. You will always have other priorities and things drawing on your energy an attention. But you just need to start anyway. What you may not realize is that sugar is addictive, and while it is being processed, it drains you of all your energy - making you feel like you don't have the "get up and go" to ever break the cycle. This will always be true unless you decide to create a different scenario for yourself.

You also need to be weary of focusing too much on the scale. In the beginning of my keto journey, I was weighing myself every morning, and I got so crazy about every tenth of a pound, that I literally wouldn't drink water until I weighed myself. Once I woke up around 4:30 am and I was SO THIRSTY, and I actually thought to myself "No, if I drink this water and then weigh myself before I pee, then I am going to be heavier". In that moment, I was like "whoa, no... this is getting ridiculous". I decided to drink the whole glass of water, and I didn't step on a scale for five whole days. I needed to break the borderline dangerous obsession that was starting.

Even throughout my journey, I have had times where I am feeling great when I wake up, and then I step on the scale to find that it hasn't moved, and it affects me. This is why it is important to have "non-scale victories". I would definitely suggest taking before pictures, even though you want NO record of how you may look right now, I promise that it will be motivating to see bits of progress over time that aren't connected with a specific weight. Pay attention to how your clothes are fitting. Take measurements of your thighs, your stomach, your upper arms, etc., so that you can see changes happening in areas besides the scale.

Once you start truly feeding your body what it needs and teaching it to run efficiently, you will have the energy to continue. What started as a quick fix for me to lose some weight has turned into something that I will always follow. I just feel better - not because I look a different way (although it definitely helps!), but I mean my body literally feels better from the inside out. My legs move the way I want them to when I am walking up stairs, I don't feel the tightness in the waistband of my jeans when I bend down to put my shoes on, I am breathing easier, smiling more, my skin is better and I can honestly and fully say that I love myself now... I believe that is all connected to the fuel I am choosing to use. I am proud. And in all honesty, that feeling took a long time to show up... I didn't have any faith that this would work for me, because nothing had ever worked for me, I was destined to be stuck like that forever and ruined... but I started anyway.

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