My name is Lynn S. Mizell (lynns.b_), and I'm 46 years old. I'm from Atlanta, Georgia, and I work as a startup program administrator. After gaining weight post-baby and then yo-yo dieting, I decided to commit to my health and lose weight with the keto diet and walking for weight loss.
I first gained weight after the birth of my daughter in 2001. I wasn’t fully committed to losing the baby weight, plus I love good food. So I would lose 10 to 12 pounds, then gain it back by overeating. It was a vicious cycle that I was stuck in for years.
In 2003, a coworker introduced me to the Atkins diet. I lost 40 pounds by following it and walking each day. But two years later I had surgery on my foot and was out of work for two months. Unfortunately, I reverted to my old eating habits and was unable to walk for months. I regained the 40 pounds, plus more.
In June 2018, I hit my highest weight of 241 pounds, and it was evident.
I saw pictures of myself and realized that I didn’t look like myself. I decided to commit to really losing weight (and keeping it off). I purchased a scale, walking shoes, and a large Yeti cup. I started the very next morning and just stuck to it.
I was interested in trying the keto diet.
I decided it would be a good option based on all of the people I saw who had consistent results, and the fact that it allowed for so many options in food choices. But it took me three attempts for it to really stick.
Keto initially made me feel lethargic and cranky. But in July 2018, I started it again but was equipped with more knowledge and a bettter understanding of the science of the diet. I also read that the previous lethargy may have been a result of low electrolytes and dehydration.
To counter that, I began drinking a shot of pickle juice with my MCT oil once per day. I also implemented the use of ketone test strips. Once I was in ketosis, I would test every morning. For me, seeing that I was in ketosis was majorly motivating, and it was the fuel I needed to commit to another great day. Overall, for me, the best thing about keto is that I never feel limited or stuck in a routine when it comes to what I can eat.
Here’s what I typically eat in a day now.
Breakfast: Boiled eggs, string cheese, and water
Lunch: Baked chicken, salad, and yogurt
Snacks: Pepperoni, cheese, and olives
Dinner: Taco salad with southwest dressing, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes
I began walking right away. The first two weeks, I walked two miles, six days a week.
I then increased the distance and averaged between three to five miles per day for six days per week. I chose walking because it was a way for me to push myself for faster times and longer distances. Also, with walking, my husband routinely will join me. To be able to enjoy that time with him while also burning calories is a win-win!
These two changes made the biggest difference in my weight-loss results.
I gave myself grace. The key for me has been allowing myself some grace and space—grace to make mistakes and room for the number to go up a little without being compulsive. And space to enjoy the foods and drinks I like without feeling guilty. The first three months I was extremely strict with my approach. However, I knew that if I wanted to sustain this way of eating, I could not remain that strict.
I implemented a cardio workout schedule. I always loved walking and knew it was an activity I could stick with. My husband also purchased me a commercial-grade elliptical so if we couldn’t walk outside, I would be able to utilize the machine.
Overall, I’ve lost 78 pounds in two years and and months. I gained a little bit back for a period with the pandemic.
I maintained my weight loss until COVID-19. Being in the house with my husband and daughter while working remotely, I found myself snacking and baking all too often and I gained back eight pounds. But when I recommitted to my goals, I lost 15 pounds again. It's not about perfection, but progress.
Losing weight has allowed me to resume a more active lifestyle, has given me freedom from worrying about my health. The best advice I’d offer to other women is that they make their health and happiness a priority. Schedule time to work out and be conscious about what you eat that makes you feel good and energized. If you’re reading this and you’re ready to start, remember you’re worth the investment.
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