Chelsea's Keto Journey
Chelsea is KetoKrate’s newest addition, and we’re thrilled to have her on the team! Kindhearted, passionate, hilarious, and not afraid of a challenge, Chelsea has already brought so much to KetoKrate. While her journey is uniquely hers, Chelsea’s story resonates with anyone on this weight loss journey. Follow her at @quirkycurves for your dose of self love, body positivity, and plus-size inclusivity.
I have struggled with my weight my entire life, and my poor relationship with food started when I was very young. With separated parents, I was given two very different meal plans depending on who I was staying with. My father is an athlete and ate whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, and he was able to work it off, so that same mentality trickled into my adult-sized meals. He wanted me to be happy and have fun when I saw him, and unfortunately, that often meant sugary foods, fast food that came with a toy, and an eating race to determine who would get seconds or dessert.
My mother, on the other hand, while not athletic, is very slender, fit, health conscious, and works in the medical field. Her meals were much healthier and nutritious, but my little 5-year-old brain understood that this healthy food was NOT tasty at all. I would obsess about the junk food I ate with my dad, which quickly developed my sneaking and binge eating habits. If I was able to get my hands on some unhealthy food at a friend’s house or school event, I would devour everything I could. Both sides of my family would express a lot of fat phobia and would insist that I should workout more or eat less. As a kid, all I knew was eating junk food was awesome and working out sucked.
It’s difficult to not blame my parents, but I take full responsibility that I didn’t learn from my childhood throughout my teen and adult years. In school, I was picked on for being a fat kid which would lead to a lot of skipped meals that would wind up in binge eating sessions. Once I moved out on my own, I started trying crazy fad diets. I swear I’ve tried every existing meal replacement shake and even invented some insane diets of my own — like my 6 turkey meatballs a day diet, or the 1 avocado and 1 pomegranate a day diet, and even just eating fruit. Nothing ever worked. The last diet I tried was just eating the turkey meatballs, which brought me to 260lbs. While following that diet, I fell off the wagon again and binge ate myself back to the 310lbs I weighed on my wedding day.
My last straw occurred when my self loathing was at an all-time high. I had always told myself that the day I saw 300lbs would be the day I would really commit to changing, but I had been avoiding the scale for months. One day, I hopped on and I was 310lbs. I’d gained 50lbs since last stepping on the scale and was 10lbs higher than this imaginary ceiling I had set for myself. I started Keto in the fall of 2016 but fell off in the spring of 2017 after a whirlwind divorce and miscarriage. I have now been Keto’ing since May 1st 2019 where my new starting weight was 285lbs, and as of December 2019, I weigh 240lbs.
Oddly enough, I found my way to Keto while following a YouTube channel called Epic Meal Time. They make outrageous meals like the Panquake, which is a 61,051 calorie pancake, and the video would follow them constructing and then devouring this insane meal. After noticing that one of the members lost a ton of weight in the span of a few videos, I reached out to ask what he did, and he explained the Keto diet to me and how he lost all that weight eating bunless burgers, bacon, and cheese. I swear my eyes started to twinkle as I read those words. None of that sounded like chicken breast, broccoli, and brown rice so I was all ears!
This member offered to mentor me. He walked me through calculating my macros, understanding net carbs, and finding the best foods and recipes I could eat. I then scoured the internet for all the information I could find about the replacements for foods I’d miss (like potatoes) and ordered any recipe books I could find. After purging the entire house of every carb, my husband and I started the Keto diet. I started out just eating eggs, cheese, steak, and caesar salad before getting adventurous. I had never loved a diet more! The weight melted off without even needing to step foot in a dreaded gym.
When I first started, I wish I would’ve known about intermittent fasting. Initially, I was afraid of fasting because of my previous starving/bingeing cycle, but during my second time Keto’ing, intermittent fasting has been a game changer for me. Today, I meal prep 5 lunches and dinners for the week, and I stick to those as a way to keep myself on track and to ensure that I’m getting all the nutrition I need. On the weekends, I’ll indulge in dirty Keto but still avoid the carbs. Occasionally, I find myself grabbing a soft pretzel at the movies by myself after a difficult day, and that is something I still have to work on. Food is still a crutch when I have a horrible day, and the guilt that follows can sometimes have a domino effect. However, I’m proud of myself because this has rarely happened throughout the last 12 months, and it used to be a weekly and sometimes daily thing.
Now, I feel so motivated to do right by my body. I used to think that I could hate myself to happiness and that if I just hated my body enough to change it that I would be successful. I’ve since learned to love and cherish my body and what it’s able to do. I’m motivated to put healthier foods into my body so I can use that energy and put it towards something good. In the last 6 months, I’ve taken Barre classes and yoga classes, I’ve done strength training, and I’ve gone hiking, jogging, and even running. These are all activities I had convinced myself that I would never be able to do and wouldn’t try because I believed an overweight person just can’t do those things. I am so motivated to do all the things I once thought I would never be able to because of my obesity.
My goal is to stick to Keto. By comparing it to something like veganism, I choose to view Keto as a lifestyle, which makes it more sustainable for me. With this view, I choose what to eat because it makes me feel good vs. seeing it as a diet where I limit the foods I eat because it could make my body look bad. On that note, I love KetoKrate because it takes out a lot of the guess work. I’ve spent hours online and in the grocery store going over labels with a fine-tooth comb to see if something is Keto or if something labeled Keto has ingredients that I can trust. KetoKrate is a trusted source for me and I know whatever I grab out of my Krate is something I can enjoy without having to worry. I am currently obsessed with Cripsy Cuts pork rinds, Newdles, Revol Snacks, Keto Farms Strawberry Gouda, and Magic Spoon. Of all things, I never thought I’d get to have cereal again!
I’m not entirely sure how much more weight I want to lose. My goals have shifted as I’m trying to not let my physical appearance have such a dominant impact on my mental health. Right now, I’m trying to focus on 5lbs at a time and on taking the time to see how I feel at each increment. My initial goal of getting under 200lbs is always in the back of mind as I haven’t seen that number since my early teens, and I’m confident that this shift to a more positive mindset about body image and weight loss has me closer to achieving that goal. Overall, I’m happy that my relationship with food isn’t so unhealthy and that my weight loss goals aren’t driving me to unhealthy habits.
For someone just starting out, my advice is to find recipes that you really love and to keep those on a rotation until you get comfortable experimenting. At first, it can be overwhelming to cut foods out of your diet while tracking every macro and weighing your food. To make the transition easier, get familiar with some easy ingredients (like eggs and bacon) and have some key dishes to default to (like a quick casserole). And get your electrolytes in to avoid that Keto flu! Additionally, focus on those non-scale victories — walking up a flight of stairs without getting winded, feeling confident in an outfit or piece of clothing that didn’t fit quite right before, trying a new activity that you would have been too shy to try before! You just completely cut carbs out of your diet — imagine what else you can do!
Follow Chelsea at @quirkycurves on Instagram!
If you want to share your success and inspire others, email us at Emily@KetoKrate.com