Let me tell you about my Keto Journey
Questions from YouTubeOn YouTube, many of the people on various Keto YouTube channels have been challenged to answer a list of 20 questions about their Keto Journey. I decided to copy those questions and answer them here on my blog. So, here they are!
When did you make a change in your life?I started making changes in 2001 after I had a stroke, mostly additional exercise, but not much dietary change. In 2016 I started keto but had a heart attack 3 months later. My doctors told me to stop doing Keto, and I relented. After having a quadruple bypass, I reconsidered, consulted with my wife to get her views, and decided to go full steam ahead with a ketogenic diet.
What food triggered you before keto?Carbs! I was a carb addict. I ate so many potato chips, candy and everything else bad that you could imagine! I am so happy that those days are behind me.
Were you an emotional/comfort/binge eater before keto?For sure! Not so much a binge eater, although you could say I just binged all the time. I was a grazer. I ate constantly, and I ate junk most of the time.
What stores do you go to to buy groceries?Well, this question is more designed for US people. Here in the Philippines, I shop at SM, Gaisano Mall, and a lot at S&R. Also, the public market has a good selection of things like fresh vegetables.
Do you think that Keto is expensive?It can be, but not so bad. Especially if you are also doing fasting with keto, then you can spend big on the meals you do eat, and you are still saving money.
What are some of your favorite keto foods?Salads, eggs, cheese, nuts (but I tend to go overboard when I have nuts available), chicharron with lots of fat on it.
Have you exercised while doing keto?Yes, absolutely. I do some swimming, I also do some weightlifting. But, my go-to exercise is walking. I usually try to walk 10k steps per day or more.
Has your clothing style changed since starting keto?To some extent, yes. I would say the style not so much, but the quality. It used to be hard to find clothing my size so I would have simple things made. Now I can walk into a store, even here in the Philippines and buy things off the rack, and they are nicer better quality.
How has keto changed your life other than weight loss?Well, I am still alive, and I was close to no longer being alive. I am happier. I have a better outlook on life.
Describe how keto makes you feel.It makes me feel great. And, as I gain more and more expertise about it, others are coming to me to ask me to help them, and that makes me feel so good. People always tell me I am inspirational, and I can tell you, in terms of weight, never before in my life could I be considered an inspiration!
Do you feel like you had to give up anything for this lifestyle?In the short term, I thought so. I mean I gave up chips, candy, potatoes and all of that, but after a short time I didn’t even miss those things. So, in the long run, I feel that I gave up nothing that I would really want anyway.
What are your goals?It is hard to say because I have been obese all of my life. In my mind right now, I am thinking 180 lb is my weight goal. Really, though, my overall goal is to be healthy and live a long life!
Have you gained more confidence while doing Keto?Absolutely. I have always been a confident person, but not in terms of health, appearance and such. Now, though, I am gaining a lot of confidence in those areas.
What support have you had?My family has been very supportive. Many friends are super supportive too, especially after seeing the results so far. That said, there are also others that I considered friends who showed themselves to be more or less haters, and have ridiculed me. Drop those losers, keep the positive relationships and enjoy life!
Does your family do keto with you?My wife, Feyma, got started doing keto a few months into my journey. Feyma was never much overweight, she wanted to lose a little, but she had high blood pressure and some other creeping health issues. She has turned all of that around now through keto. We have a son who is mentally retarded, he is 26 years old, and we are starting to move him over to a keto diet to see if it will help him. Yes, much of my family is doing keto and loving it!
How many clothes sizes have you gone down?When I started I could wear a 4x shirt, but barely. I had to stretch it out a bit to get it on. Now, I am into 2x shirts, and it won’t be long I will be wearing an XL. Pants are even more of a change. I can now wear a 36 waist pair of blue jeans!
Are you going to consider keto when you reach your goal?I will do keto for the rest of my life, that is what I think now. Things can always change, but I don’t see that happening.
Have you cheated on keto?Not really. Sometimes I overeat, everybody does, but when I eat too much it is keto food. I really have not gone off the reservation and loaded up on carbs or anything. Oh, there was a time that I ate some fruit with friends, but I don’t consider that a cheat unless I were to make a habit out of it.
Do you meal plan or track?Not really. I have been doing keto for long enough that I know what to eat and in what kinds of ratios with other food. I usually just play it by ear, and it works for me.
What is your favorite keto website?Favorite Keto website: DietDoctor OK, those are my answers to these questions that have been being passed around on YouTube Keto Channels. How about you, can you answer some of these?
Last week I went shopping at a local membership store, something similar to Costco in the United States. This place is called S&R. I went there to buy a few household items that we needed and bought some things for dinner as well. After going through the checkout line, I saw a friend there, his name is Trevor, and he is from the UK. Trevor saw me at about the same time, and we said hi, as I went over to speak with him. Quickly after that, his wife joined us. We had a nice talk. Trevor has been a reader of one of my other websites for some time, and I met him also in person back in December at another local grocery store. At that time in December, we got talking, and Trevor mentioned that he could see I had lost a lot of weight. Trevor is a thin man, he really has no need to lose weight. Anyway, I was telling him that I was doing a ketogenic diet and that I was also fasting. When I mentioned about fasting, and how I had done many fasts of five, 10, and even up to 20 days (at that time, I have now done up to 28 days in a single fast), he was absolutely shocked. He asked me if I wasn’t weak? I told him no, I was actually quite energized when I did fasting. Anyway, we had a nice conversation back in December, and it was nice to see Trevor again. I was kinda blown away, though, last week, when Trevor told me that he and his wife had started doing intermittent fasting, and also eating a ketogenic diet. They are both very thin, and certainly, don’t need to lose weight. They told me that they were doing it for the health benefits, found it easy to do, and were feeling very good. After we finished our discussion, I got thinking about it and realized that over the past year a lot of people have told me that due to reading my articles and seeing what I was doing with fasting, they were also starting fasting. Some are doing extended fasting, others are doing intermittent fasting. After I got home I started compiling a list. In some cases, I had to think back of people who had told me that in person, and I also went back through posts that I had made on Facebook and on my blog. I came up with more than 100 names of friends and readers who had told me that they decided to start fasting after seeing what I was doing! I really found this to be amazing. Imagine, if I could come up with a list of 100 names, Shirley there are many more than that. There are some that I don’t remember, and if 100 people told me that they were following my lead, there must be many hundreds that are following but did not tell me. When I started this website, it was just shortly after I had come near to death, and had a quadruple heart bypass operation. One of the reasons that I started writing about this was so that I can help others to become more healthy. If I could go from being 430 pounds to becoming healthy, I knew that there would be a lot of people who would follow my example and make themselves more healthy as well. Even people who appear to be very healthy often have some issues that they want to improve on. So, helping others improve their health was my ultimate goal. After I made it through my heart surgery, which I did not think I would make it, I felt that one of my purposes for the years that I have remaining was to help others with their health. After speaking with Trevor last week, going home and compiling a list of people that I know have started following my lead, it really makes me feel so good. Following my lead. When I say that, don’t take it to mean that I think I’m the only person who has ever done fasting. I’m only using that term because the people that have talked to me have told me that they are following my lead, that they find me an inspiration, and that what I have done is helping them achieve health benefits too. When I started doing what I’m doing, I was following things that I had seen others do, or talk about. Particularly Dr. Jason Fung, the person that inspired me greatly. So for all of those who have seen my success, and have decided to follow along and achieve their own successes, thank you so much. By having people do that, it is really fulfilling one of my true dreams, something that I knew I had to do when I lived through something that probably should have killed me. I am so happy to see the start of a community of fasters from within my group of friends and associates. More power to you all.
My oldest son, Chris, is 26 years old. He is mentally retarded. He functions pretty well, but the things he can do are limited by his disability. On one of my other websites I have written about Chris before, and I did say that he was mentally retarded, a statement for which I was chastised and criticized. I was told that I should just say that he has special needs. In most cases, that is what I say. However, in order to get the point across you have to let people know what the special need is. This article, in my view, requires that my son’s special needs should be identified. I certainly do not write this in a way to criticize my son, in fact, I’m writing this to praise him. Right now my wife, Feyma, is in the United States. She works in the USA, in the state of Alaska, and this is her work season. She will be away for about six months, and two of our other sons have gone with her this year because they are also working. During their absence, Chris and I are still living here in the Philippines. Chris and I are buddies, spending time together alone like this reinforces that. Before my wife left to go to the United States, we were watching a movie/documentary about the ketogenic diet. They had a number of case studies, and one of the people they were studying was an autistic child. Now, remember, Chris is not autistic, he is mentally retarded. However, in watching the development of this autistic child as he began to eat a ketogenic diet, the differences that happened to him over time were amazing. My wife and I looked at each other and we already knew what the other one was thinking. We need to try this ketogenic diet with Chris. There is really no downside, and who knows what kind of improvements we may see. Chris is not obese, but he is a little bit overweight. He tends to be fairly active, but he sure does enjoy his carbs a lot. Being half Asian, Chris, of course, loves his rice. He also enjoys eating bread a lot. And candy, and chips, and just about any other carbs that you can think of. With my wife in Alaska, we try to talk on the phone daily when possible, although that is not always possible. She has a rather long work day, and sometimes she is too tired to make that phone call. At other times, communications to the remote place where she has are just not possible. But, a while back we were talking, and we decided that I would try to cut Chris’s carb intake as much as possible. Both of us were interested to see what Chris’s reaction would be. I talked with Chris about this and asked him what he thought about cutting down his rice intake, and his bread as well. I was surprised, he was excited about it. He said that he saw what I had done with my diet, and he wanted to do it as well. I was really surprised to hear that. And happy. Last week I finished off a 28 day fast on Wednesday evening. Since Wednesday evening until Sunday night (the time that I am writing this article), I have been eating one or two meals each day. A couple of days ago Chris asked me when I was going to start fasting again, and I told him that I would start again with fasting on Sunday night, after dinner. Chris told me that he wanted to fast with me, this kind of blew me away, because I had not suggested to him that he should fast. He kept talking to me about it and said he could do it, and he was excited about it. I just agreed with him and figured we would see what happened. This morning, Sunday morning, I, as usual, skipped breakfast. When I saw Chris I asked him if he wanted something for breakfast, and he said no because he was fasting. I told him we would not start fasting until after dinner, to which he replied that he decided to start fasting early. I really had a chuckle inside and wondered when he would decide to eat. When it came time for lunch, I prepared myself a salad and asked Chris if he would also like to have a salad with me (lately he has come to love to eat salad, because he sees me eat it). Chris replied, in a somewhat annoyed manner, “I told you I was fasting today”. I was amazed, but he did fast through lunch, and as I said, breakfast as well. When dinner came around last night, I told him that I would have another salad with some roasted chicken in the salad, and he said that he would also have that because he was ready to stop fasting. I explained to him that this was called intermittent fasting if he would just eat once a day or so. I told him that there was really no reason why he needed to do long-term fasting like I would be doing this week, but if he would do intermittent fasting every day it would really help him. He told me that he thought he would do that. I asked him if he was hungry since he had not eaten since yesterday, and he said just a little. So, this will begin a new journey of fasting. Although it is not me that is fasting (although I am also fasting), it will be interesting for me to watch Chris as he develops in doing fasting, and also ketogenic eating. It shocks me that he came up with these ideas seemingly on his own. I’m so proud of him and looking forward to seeing his progress. I think I am more excited about him doing intermittent fasting than I am about my own journey, at least at this point. Good luck, my son, Godspeed.
I started my recent fast on May 16 and it was scheduled to end this Friday at 6 PM. However, things took a turn yesterday. Actually, perhaps I should say things started taking a turn about three days ago.
Here is What HappenedA few days ago I started feeling different. At times I would get very sleepy during the day. This happened multiple times per day and I would usually go take a nap for a while and I would feel fine after that. I didn’t feel weak or anything like that, which is what most people would suspect while fasting (although I find that to be a myth). No, I didn’t feel weak, just sleepy.
Sleep PatternsOne very common problem while fasting is that it is difficult to sleep. This has always been a problem for me since I started fasting. Generally, during my fasting, I will only get around two hours of sleep per night. If I am doing a five or 10 day fast, I find that to be fine. However, while doing a 30 day fast, I think that my body just ran out of steam because it was not getting enough rest. I believe that the reason that I was feeling poorly and had to quit my fast because I had gone so long with so little sleep. Of course, I cannot be sure, but I feel rather certain about this.
Medical MonitoringWhen I do a long-term fast, I am in contact with my doctor and talk to him about any kind of problems and I’m experiencing. I am always free to go into his office for him to check things out. In this case, over the last few days of the fast, before I quit, I was having things checked regularly. There were some bad signs, and that is really what caused me to decide to stop the fast.
Heart RateStarting about three or four days ago my heart began beating very fast. My normal pulse rate is between 70 and 80 per minute. However, as I got well into this fast, probably around day 23 and onward, my pulse was up to a low of 95, and sometimes over 100. Since I just had bypass surgery about 20 months ago, you can imagine that my doctor was watching this very closely.
Blood PressureDuring the same period, starting around day 23, my blood pressure shot up as well. During fasting, my blood pressure usually goes down to a very low level, around 110/70 or so. That happened up until about day 23, when my blood pressure went as high as 145/85, which is very high for me.
Doctor’s AdviceBased on these two things alone, my doctor recommended that I should stop fasting for a few days. I thought about it, and I decided that since I only had two days left, why take the risk. The reason that I do fasting is for my health, why put my health in danger just to go after some mythical number? I mean it is only a number of days, which is really meaningless. So, last night, Wednesday night, I ate a nice salad topped with roasted chicken. It really did taste good, I must say.
Unexpected ExperienceOn my salad last night, I was using a vinegar and oil based Italian dressing. This is a salad dressing that I really like, it is my most frequent choice when it comes to salad dressing. I have never had any problems with this salad dressing. However, last night, when I started eating it, it really burned inside my mouth, I felt like my mouth was on fire. I can only imagine that this is because it had been so long since I had eaten anything. In fact, it was so bad that when I was halfway through the salad I asked my niece to save the rest for me, and I ate the other half a few hours later. I just could not eat anymore as my mouth was so painful.
Weight LossOver the term of my 28 days of fasting, I dropped 27 pounds, just about 1 pound per day. Funny thing is, at the time that I started feeling poorly, the same time that my heart rate increased as well as my blood pressure, I stopped losing weight. So for the last several days in the fast, I lost nothing. I can’t really say how that is related to the health issues, but I find it interesting. 27 pounds down in 28 days? I find that to be quite a success.
Future PlansI will be eating for the next few days. Of course, when I eat I eat a ketogenic diet – low-carb, high-fat. After dinner on Sunday night, I will begin fasting again. However, I don’t really see any big reason to go for a super extended fast again, at least not right away. Starting on Sunday night, it is my thinking right now that I will go for a five day fast, which means that I will eat again at dinnertime on Friday. That is a good fast, and last year when I did an extended period of five-day fasts, I lost a lot of weight. I think five days will be fine again. Well, the things that happened toward the end of my fast surprised me greatly. I never would’ve expected my pulse and my blood pressure to increase like that while fasting, normally those things move in the other direction while fasting. I did some research on the Internet, though, and found several web pages where people doing long-term fasts described the exact same things that I experienced. In most cases that I found, they were advised that they had an issue with electrolytes, and perhaps that was my problem as well. I may try another long-term fast, as long as 30 days, in the future, but that will be down the road. I hope that this report was beneficial to others doing fasting. If you are fasting, to the best of luck.
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