I'm Ali Bruch (@alicutsmyhair), and I'm 27. I live in Milwaukee, where I'm a hair stylist and makeup artist. After another woman's Instagram post about her weight loss on keto inspired me, I tried the keto diet myself and have had tons of success.
I was overweight my whole life. Well, I was morbidly obese, if I’m being honest. I was 270 pounds at my heaviest. I could no longer run around with my daughter. Standing all day at work physically hurt me and my ankles would swell.
I hid whenever someone took pictures, in fear that they would get posted online and people would know how big I really was. I was also a binge eater. When I started eating food, I couldn’t stop. Sometimes I ate 6,000 to 8,000 calories a day. Looking back, it makes me sad to think how I used to treat my body.
My turning point came in 2016, when I went wedding dress shopping.
As I walked through the beautiful dresses, the woman helping me made it very clear to me that so-called normal-size dresses would not fit me, and I would only fit into plus-size options. I went home and felt defeated.
A few weeks later (on October 30, 2016) I saw a woman’s Instagram post about her weight-loss journey with the keto diet, and for some reason it lit a fire inside of me. I was ready. I started the diet that day. It’s funny that I remember the exact date because it was the day before Halloween, and I remember wondering whether or not I was crazy for cutting out sugar the day before a candy-filled holiday, but I figured it would be the true test.
There wasn’t a whole lot of keto information on the Internet at that point, so I just kind of winged it.
I cut out sugar and carbohydrates and stuck to 20 to 30 grams of carbs a day. I lost a good amount of weight, and then I got pregnant. I had a non-keto pregnancy because I craved a lot of carbs and needed to fuel my body for both me and my baby, but I started back on keto in July 2018 after my son was born.
I had tried calorie counting in the past and WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers). Both are great ways to lose weight, but they gave me too much flexibility and I would end up falling off the wagon. Keto has been the most incredible thing for me. I also do intermittent fasting; I fast from 6 p.m. to 12 p.m. the following day, and I break my fast with lunch.
Here’s what I typically eat in a day now.
- Breakfast: Because I do intermittent fasting, I don’t eat breakfast. I drink black coffee and/or water until noon.
- Lunch: Salads and meat are easy, filling, and foolproof meals for me when it comes to lunch. I’ll make homemade egg salad in a Romaine lettuce “wrap” topped with bacon, or a taco salad.
- Snacks: Almonds, string cheese, and Quest bars are my go-tos.
- Dinner: I love a hamburger with no bun and Brussels sprouts with bacon. Those dishes are a favorite in our house.
- Dessert: Lily’s chocolate, yum.
In order to make my weight-loss journey successful, I had to set small goals.
Weight-loss is hard. You won’t see a change without being consistent. Small goals are better than big goals. It feels a heck of a lot better reaching small goals often than feeling like you have one giant overall goal that's out of reach.
I set 2- to 3- pound goals with my large goal in mind. This gives me something obtainable to reach and it feels really good when I do. Then I set a new small goal. And if that 2 pounds takes a week or a month, that’s totally okay.
I also remind myself on hard days to “just get through today"—I take one day at a time. Then I do the same tomorrow. This keeps me focused knowing that if I have one bad day, my progress is not shot. I will get back to it tomorrow. Bad days happen, it’s life, don’t give up.
I felt really lucky that I was surrounded by people who supported my new lifestyle change.
The people around you can make or break you. I am so lucky to have an incredibly supportive husband and friends. My husband cooks keto dinners for me, and my friends have keto-friendly foods for me when we have get-togethers. It feels really great to not only be supported by the people around me, but also encouraged by them.
I have lost 105 pounds in the past 16 months—and dang, it feels good.
Losing 105 pounds has changed my life in so many ways. The way people treat you is different. The confidence you have is different. The way you can move your body is different. Buying clothes is different. It’s all different, in the best way. I can keep up with my children, and I couldn’t do that before.
It’s really mind-boggling to think that I used to carry around an extra 105 pounds. I can finally live a life that doesn’t revolve around food. I am not hiding anymore. The confidence you gain when you lose weight is worth every single frustration you’ve had along the way, I promise.
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