Keto and Strength Training Helped Bethany Lose 105 lbs (and counting!)

NAME : Bethany / BEFORE WEIGHT : 259 / AFTER WEIGHT : 154 / POUNDS LOST : 105

I was always an active kid/teenager, very involved in sports. I was able to eat/drink anything and because I was so active I didn’t gain weight. When I stopped being so active as I entered college and starting working, I didn’t change my eating habits and it finally caught up with me. It got even worse after having my first child where all my attention was on the baby and I neglected my own health.

HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I was very self-conscious and never wanted to be in a picture unless I was “angled” the perfect ways to hide my weight. I definitely saw my bubbly personality start to fade and I tried to not bring much attention to myself when we were out in public.

WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? About 8 months after having my first son I realized I was so uncomfortable in my own skin, and it killed me seeing how it affected my moods and things I wanted to do. I really wanted to better myself to be able to run around and play with my baby more than I was doing, so I decided it was time to change.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? The very first thing I did was get a gym membership and actually committed to making it worth the monthly price. I found a boot camp class I really enjoyed going to, but I still ate like crap. I was kind of unintentionally hoping the metabolism from my teen years would come back as long as I was active. I managed to lose 20 lbs by exercise alone, but I was still in the 230s and plus size clothing.

HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? Like I previously stated, when I started working out in 2016 I did end up losing about 20 lbs. Towards the end of 2018 is when I started keto and that’s really when the weight started melting off of me. I think that’s why it was so easy for me to stay eating low carb, because it was the most I’ve ever seen the weight go down on the scale and finally get below 200 for the first time in my adult life.

WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? I think the biggest challenge I had to overcome were all the thoughts of putting myself down saying I’d never be able to lose the weight. My family does have a history of diabetes so I always knew if I didn’t change anything that was likely in my future. I was very fortunate to always have the best support system with my husband and family.

DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? I never really had the mentality of wanting to give up. This was something I’ve worked hard for and I knew eventually I’d get to where I wanted to. Getting stronger, watching the scale go down, getting to show my kids they can do hard things, and definitely having positive self-talk have helped me along the way

DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I have experienced one weight loss plateau during this time. It was actually this year after having my third child, right before the pandemic started. So I had a 6 week old baby, the whole world basically shut down, and life was a little chaotic. My doctor was very supportive of me eating keto during my pregnancy so I didn’t gain a whole lot during, about 15 lbs, but I’m one of the lucky ones who always seems to gain a little more weight when breastfeeding. So I was stuck at 189 for 6 whole months! I really think it was largely due to me breastfeeding my baby so my hormones were all out of whack. Thankfully I just kept doing what I always had been, eating keto foods and exercising every day. Thankfully once my son turned 6 months old the weight starting coming off again and since I’ve lost 35 lbs which has brought me to my lowest weight so far.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? It’s hard to say, because I lost 75 lbs before getting pregnant a third time, then gained some pregnancy weight, and now have lost more. From August 2018-June 2019 was probably most of it

DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? SOOO many. Going jean shopping wasn’t depressing anymore, wall sits and planks are more fun to do now, shopping in the regular section and not plus size, just to name a few!

WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I was an emotional eater, a bored eater, and I loved sweets. I’ve been gluten free due to allergies since college and I felt like giving up other foods seemed near impossible. I did like veggies, but I also loved gluten free pasta, bread, sweets, eating fast food, etc.

HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? When I was heavier I still loved working out, but I think now that I’ve lost weight you can see the confidence in myself now. I’m able to do a lot more than I could when I was heavier and in turn things such as holding a plank over a minute have gotten a lot easier. 😉 I’m able to go to heavier sets of dumbbells and go to the harder classes with ease. It feels amazing to not be the “biggest” person in class anymore (though I never let that deter me from attending!)

HOW DID YOUR EATING HABITS CHANGE? My eating habits finally changed when I was 10 months post partum from having my second child. My mom kind of helped convince me to start eating keto and when I realized it wasn’t as hard to do as it was in my head, I dove head first and never looked back. I haven’t had to meal prep, but mentally I plan out all of my meals for the week and keep my carb count under 20. I fully believe that me giving up sugar has been a huge factor in my success.

ARE THERE ANY PEOPLE, SERVICES, BOOKS – EVEN QUOTES, THAT UNKNOWINGLY HELPED YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY?
My friends who I workout with have probably helped the most. They believed in me when I was over 200 lbs, they encouraged me every time I started looking smaller, and without them I’m not sure how long I would have kept going.

WHAT DID THIS JOURNEY TEACH YOU ABOUT YOURSELF?
It taught me that I am way stronger than I realized, maybe more hard headed too simply because I refused to quit.

MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS

  1. When you are craving unhealthy food, find a mock keto-approved recipe! It has always been exactly what I needed to not cheat
  2. If you can, don’t give yourself cheat days. Those always turn into cheat weeks, months, etc.