2016 brought the realization that I was getting unhealthy and putting on weight. By no means was I obese, but it was that feeling of being uncomfortable in one’s skin. It could have been the seizure meds, the hormones, the endometriosis, take your pick. Too many variables. More importantly however, what was I going to do about it? I’d been to the gym on and off, worked with a personal trainer and whilst that was successful, it was only effective for a period of time before boredom set in.
I was a runner in my younger days but with wisdom, I see that it was purely a way to channel my anger and aggression; as times changed, I felt that wasn’t necessary as I didn’t feel those emotions as the years went on.
I’ve tried different classes, zumba, barre, jazz dance to name a few but nothing seemed to capture my attention (and boredom) in the way that I needed. Basically, I couldn’t be bothered. My eating outweighed my exercise and I was automatically on a losing streak, which, I take full responsibility for.
In hindsight, I recognize I was both addicted to sugar and carbohydrate. Working at cafés as I wrote my blog posts, I couldn’t refrain from the cookies which quietly called to me at the counter. I stared at them till I justified that “One won’t hurt.” But that ‘one’ turned into about five a week as I was constantly exploring and working around the city. Walking away from them seemed to become harder and harder. Pair that with the culture of eating out, which both the US and Canada have, and I was on another losing streak.
When I looked back at photographs of myself when I first moved over to the USA I was so slim, not this bulky uncomfortable person I felt I had become. A silent mortification set in on my honeymoon when I donned a bikini to lie on the beach. As I looked around at all the other beauties, whilst they weren’t super skinny, they looked a healthy weight. As I sat up and reached for my piña colada, the excess body weight was clearly visible to me, but once again, why wasn’t it enough to make me go and work out?
The final straw, which did in fact break the camel’s back, was the pole dancing class I began. Yup, you heard it here first! It was on my bucket list and coming from a dance background I wanted to give it a whirl. I’d been to a class in Las Vegas on a friend’s bachelorette and I was surprised to discover that it wasn’t seedy or degrading as the stereotype promotes. In fact, it was anything but that. Pole dancers are extremely athletic and it is by far one of the most intense and challenging workouts. However, I didn’t dive in and start swinging round a pole like the graceful, elegant creature I would have liked. I was absolutely terrified. I think prior to every class I had, I didn’t want to go purely because I had deliberately taken myself out of my comfort zone. Once there, I had a whale of a time!
These classes were perfect in providing stability for what I needed at that exact time. Synchronicity is a beautiful thing. I was fortunate enough to have a teacher who unknowingly seemed to read my mind with every insecurity I had, putting it to rest and gaining my trust. It was meditative, an element I would never have considered harmonizing with this method of dance in the importance of getting one’s mind to quieten. This peace enabled me to begin to rid myself of the inhibitions I had lived with over the coming weeks.
It was the two weeks before the end of the course that I heard that word I had been dreading to hear. Shorts. I had got away with leggings and jogging pants for as long as I could.
The truth: Daisy Duke shorts just don’t look good on my body type. They never have and they never will. They accentuate all the parts of my body that are not meant for the public (or private) eye. There is no point sugar coating the fact that there are simply certain clothes or specific cuts that just don’t suit me; therefore, I avoid them like the plague.
As I sorrowfully made my way to the dancewear shop, knowing the reality of this shopping trip, I was concerned that I would not get what I needed for the class. I looked at the rail which held these lycra/spandex shorts which exuded dance professionalism, and picked out a number of sizes that I felt could have potential – I wasn’t holding my breath!
Seeing my reflection in the mirror touched that over familiar nerve. However, I did leave the store with a pair of shorts much to my relief, but what happened after that, I hadn’t expected.
It was that experience which had the most profound effect. It was as if a switch had been flicked. I knew exactly what I had to do. I was going to go back to the high fat, high protein, very low carb and no sugar lifestyle.
I had tried the ketogenic diet many years before in the hope that it would be a successful method of controlling my seizures as there had been research to confirm that the diet had been effective in adults (See the links below) as well as children where its predominant usage was/is.
It is at this point, I realize I have much more to say on this topic and have written far more than I had anticipated. In order to convey what I would like, I shall elaborate on my success so far with the new lifestyle next week. In the coming weeks, you will find recipes and discoveries I have made with regards successful, easy meals, plus the positive effects of this lifestyle on my health and everyday living.
Till next week!