Where to Begin? Part 1

Man, I don’t even know where to begin.  Some of my update is going to be controversial – the new way of eating part, and I know it’s against the grain. But if you’re so inclined, bear with me as I’ve done a lot of research, I’ve tried many things and I use my own body to experiment because it’s the one I have to live in – get to live in 🙂

As I was experimenting with diet for the past couple weeks, I was trying to explain to Dan, who’s so patient with me and my every evolving food pyramid, why I’m always researching.  And as I was talking, everything clicked as I said “you see, I don’t want to just eat and exercise to look good. I’m not overweight, I know how to look fit on really any ‘diet’ – vegan, ominivorous, low fat, high sugar, dairy free…you name it. What I don’t have yet is that feeling of being a machine. I don’t have endless energy and the feeling that I could try and train for anything. I fatigue easily. At the end of the day and sometimes at the beginning, I feel too tired to talk to people, let alone do something physical.  I want to to have energy to run far and fast, try new things, be ready for adventure. I want a wild and beautiful life and to enjoy it – not survive it. and energy-wise, I’ve been surviving for years. I can’t remember waking up ready to do stuff. I want eating to be a side note to my life, not something I do frequently because I feel like I’ll pass out or not be able to finish a class without eating. I WANT TO BE A MACHINE. and I know I can be, I just have a few missing pieces, I think”

And that’s when it clicked. I really don’t care what plan I’m following or what I have to eat – I care about the outcome. I want, as Stu Mittleman put it in his book “Slow Burn” for eating to no longer be the reward for moving but movement to be the reward of eating well (paraphrase). I love movement, I love doing, activity. Clearly you have to eat to be able to move – but what maximizes my personal movement abilities?

I knew it was time for a drastic change.  I’d been doing the clean eating thing for a while with pretty good results – I’ve kept my visible abs and good tone, low body weight for a few years now while being able to eat fun foods every weekend. That’s a win, but not enough.  I’m tired and I seem to rely on oatmeal and dry fruit for energy.  I had gone completely vegan before with good result as well – this I have to admit is my favorite way of eating, ever.  I love being vegan, putting things in my body that I know cause no animal suffering. My mind feels at ease. But my body, while okay, did not feel like a machine.  I knew I had to try something different if I wanted to test different results, so to make myself feel better I remind myself (apparently I’m all in my mind all the time) that I can change back to vegan ANYTIME I WANT REGARDLESS OF A PLAN OR OTHER PEOPLE. I reserve the right to rescind everything and go back to vegan, without guilt or worry.  I can’t get around a feeling of responsibility and the ethics of veganism are really the only ones that feel right in my heart. 

But with that written out, I embarked on an opposite journey because it’s one I hadn’t tried yet – knowing I could go back any time I wanted.  I started reading a lot about the Atkins diet again as it’s one my mom has been on for a long time. I was for a year in highschool, but I was only half successful and half committed. I remember feeming for sugar the same way I do now and eating jars of peanut butter, coolwhip with sugar free jello, low carb bar after low carb bar and nothing satisfied. I’m pretty sure Dr. Atkins never intended a diet to include so much synthetic food. But I wasn’t willing to eat any meat and I was hungry all the time. Reading about Atkins led me to searching for athletes that were “low-carb”, let me tell you, there’s not a lot of research yet, especially when it comes to female low carb athletes.  But I happened upon Dr. Peter Attia’s website called Eating Academy . I will say that reading a lot of his stuff is over my silly dancers head, but he breaks down ketosis and his own eating plan very scientifically since he is a doctor, and someone who is very active – that’s what I wanted to know. Can I stay active, get more active, have increased energy and strength by eating differently? Or is everyone walking around fighting through a wall of mud, which is what I’ve felt like for as long as I can remember?

Wow this post is getting long, I’m going to have to write in parts.  Lets finish up by saying, after reading a lot of Dr. Attia’s site (and watching part of his workout on youtube where he flips tires and other strong man schtuff) I decided to dive into – not low carb – but the even more extreme Ketogenic way of eating. I figure if I start extreme I can always pull back, but not always so the other way around.  Now I’m fiddling with macros (how much of carbs/fat/protein/calories to eat daily) as no one can just tell me what I need to do but basically my plan was to cut carb, up fat and get into a state of ketosis as quick as possible. So I dropped my carbs to under 50 or under/day and only getting them through green vegetables and the carbs that accompany the fat and protein I’m eating.

It’s been weird, I didn’t know what to eat at first – I wasn’t eating super high carbohydrates but I was up around 200-300 a day, almost solely from dried or fresh fruit and oatmeal. And I found I had to limit even the green vegetables I ate to not go over in carbs.  It was suggested I stay at 20-30 carbs, but honestly I can’t find a feasible way to do that yet – and here’s the thing, the gains I’ve had from just staying under 50 have been amazing! I’ve had NO signs of “low-carb flu”, there’s been no negative adjustment, at all.

This is what I’ve noticed in the 7 days that I’ve kept my total carbs under 50g and my fat has hovered between 60 and 105g:

1. I feel double or triple the energy I used to have

2. I feel kinder and more in love with Dan – because talking to him doesn’t take up the vital energy that I need to conserve

3. I have zero food cravings. ZERO. I don’t want dried fruit, or candy or chips or toast (my usual cravings). hell, I don’t even want eggs or vegetables. I feel hungry and when I feel hungry I look at what I need to eat for the day, eat it, and when I feel full I’m full, I’m done – I feel- get ready for it… satiated. I skipped right over a cheat day without so much as a sniff of jelly bellys.  I don’t want to lose how good I feel.

4. I do have one craving – water. I feel thirsty and want water specifically several times a day and I’m drinking a lot.

Okay this is waaaay too long. I have so much more to write. Especially since there’s precious little out there on the internet about women on Ketogenic diets that aren’t cyclical. I feel the necessity to document my whole experience especially over the long term (or however long it ends up being).

So stay tuned for Part 2 which will include – the weight I’ve lost, my “cycle”, my exercising experience…and more

 Old pic of me from 2010!


About evafitness

I fell into fit-love like falling into a well! I started this blog because I realized how much of my day I spent working out, trying new physical activities, reading fitness blogs and the like. Now I'll share my questions, findings and general fitness environment with y'all!!

Posted on September 5, 2012, in FOOD, Life, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Wow!! This is amazing!! PLEASE keep me posted on your new eating adventures!

  2. My DR just told me I need to eat more red meat (not that I have a problem with that for ethical reasons, I just don’t think it’s healthy to have a lot of red meat in my diet) because my iron was too low (I just had an iron transfusion). Funny I was just feeling the same way like I’m walking through mud (which of course probably has a lot to do with being sick) so maybe I will try to add some more fat and red meat and see how I feel. Good on you for doing what you need to do to make YOU feel good…and you should NEVER EVER feel guilty about that!!

    • Tiff, I hope you’re feeling better asap! Let me know how the red meat/fat goes. It’s funny I don’t remember feeling like I wasn’t walking through mud. I can trace it as far back as 9 years old, when I was training for gymnastics comps. Something has been off! Thanks for the encouragement – I can’t wait to see how this plays out

  3. You know, I feel the same way when it comes to carbs and sugar cravings! Like I am walking through mud. This is really interesting and not just from the stand point of wanting to lose weight either. I think feeling better and not craving crap trumps weight loss any day. 😉 Keep us posted girly!

  4. Hi! Thanks for Sharing! I was googling active women on keto and you popped up:) I eat this way HFLC all the time without feeling like Im missing out on anything..total satiety…the one thing I havent been able to do is get AS lean as when I was lowfat low carb high protein & StarVed miserable:/ Im experiencing a ton of other benefits that outway looking ripped right now but Id like to have it all of course;) You look so lean, has your bodycomp changed at all??

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