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Four Years Ago

Today is an important milestone for me; it’s been four years since I started dieting. I was looking back at photos and realized a lot has happened in those four years!

In January 2019 I was living in my tiny ALiner folding camper on my recently purchased property in Concho, AZ. Brrr!

With me was my faithful and ever-cheerful sidekick Roxie.

I was uncomfortably fat, with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, GERD and constant heartburn, and aching joints. I could barely walk one block without terrible pain in my knees and hips.

I had just started seeing a new doctor whom I absolutely loved. He was alarmed at my blood test results and wanted me to start taking drugs for cholesterol and diabetes. I was already on blood pressure medications but they were not adequately doing the job. I asked that he give me 90 days to try to turn things around.

And that was the start of my weight loss journey. I started out just trying to cut back on snacks….i.e. no more eating an entire bag of candy or can of Pringles in one sitting! And I did lose weight, and in that 90 day period I lowered all those markers. Doctor Matt was happy! I originally thought getting down to 180# would be great…that would have been a loss of 51#. Quite an ambitious goal.

I started building my tiny house on the property. It was really really hard at 200+ pounds, plus I realized that at 70 years old, I no longer had the strength to lift sheets of plywood, 60# bags of cement, etc. The last time I’d built a house I was only 40!

But I persevered, and I got some good paid and volunteer help, and continued to shed the weight. It took almost a year to get my little bitty 85 square foot house to the point where I could move in!

After about six months of a calorie restriction diet I hit a plateau and didn’t lose any more weight for a couple months. It was at that point that I learned about the Keto diet, something I would never have even considered to be possible before, but I realized I was almost doing it! So I changed a few things and adopted the Keto lifestyle. I saw a video by Dr. Jason Fung, a brilliant nephrologist, took his advice and started Intermittent Fasting, and the weight started falling off. I’ve never looked back! I lost a total of 98# and got down to 129#, which Dr. Matt thought was too skinny. That’s okay, once I got a little less strict, I leveled out at around 135-140, which seems good for me. My bloodwork was great, I am on a tiny dosage of one blood pressure med and my diabetes is long gone. My AIC tests have been at 5.2 for the past 3 years! I never need Rolaids any more. And because I eat an anti-inflammatory diet, my severe neck, back, hand and knee arthritis don’t hurt at all any more, except when the elevator doesn’t work and I have to walk up the 90 stairsteps to my apartment! Then one knee hurts for two days when I go to sit down. I routinely walk 1.5 to 2 miles every time I go into the city, with no problems. Life Is Good!

I wish my friends would be more proactive about their health. My thought is that I really don’t want to spend my last 10-15 years of life being in pain, miserable, and sickly. Several have tried the Keto diet but I admit, it’s an extreme way of life and like any diet, you have to keep it up or the weight comes right back. I read that the average person stays on Keto for only 42 days! But more and more studies are showing that it’s a pretty healthy way to live.