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Brenda has been a yo-yo dieter her entire adult life…until now. In 2009, she reached out for help at her highest known weight of 407 pounds. In the spring of 2010, she had weight loss surgery, which took her to maintaining at ~290 pounds after the honeymoon period of weight loss her surgeon described had ended.

During the winter of 2016, Brenda nearly passed out in the store. Her doctor ordered several tests, including one which resulted in her being identified as prediabetic. At that time, her doctor suggested considering a Paleo diet, an anti-inflammatory diet, or an Atkins diet. She began researching and found the Ketogains-style approach to the ketogenic diet, which is basically a blend of the other three.

She began her ketogenic portion of her journey in the spring of 2016. After six months on the diet, she was no longer prediabetic. Brenda’s passion for strength training is a direct result of her experience in Ketogains bootcamps. She’d never lifted prior to enrolling in one and was extremely intimidated and overwhelmed her first day in the gym, BUT she went back and has kept going. She has participated in back-to-back camps, first as a client and now as a coach. She is certified by the National Council on Strength and Fitness as a personal trainer and as a sports nutrition specialist.

Brenda has degrees in mathematics, computer science, and educational administration. She works full time as an instructional coach. She has a passion for educating and empowering people find the courage within to risk trying something new and push beyond their comfort zones to achieve levels they didn’t know were within reach.

Credentials

· Certified Personal Trainer – National Council on Strength & Fitness (NCSF)

· Sport Nutrition Specialist – National Council on Strength & Fitness (NCSF)

· Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics & Computer Science – Central College

· www.ketogains.com
· www.ketogainsbootcamps.com
· https://www.facebook.com/groups/ketogains
· https://www.facebook.com/groups/ketogenicdieters

Transcript:

Welcome everyone to another episode of Keto Chat. I am your host, I’m Carole Freeman, certified nutritionist, and registered hypnotherapist. I’m here today, and really, really excited to bring you the story, the person, the very inspirational Brenda Richards. Welcome, Brenda.

Thank you.

Let me just give a little background, or share some of your credentials, and we’re gonna dive into your story. It’s really phenomenal story. Brenda, she’s a certified personal trainer, she is a sports nutrition specialist, she has a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Computer Science, and she has a Masters of Education in Educational Administration. She’s also, you may or may not know, she is a bootcamp coach for Keto Gains. Welcome, Brenda. I’m so glad you’re here.

Thank you so much.

Just as a quick intro, just share a little bit about yourself. Who are you?

My full-time job I work as an instructional coach, which means I teach teachers. Then I also work as a Keto Gains coach in the boot camps, at the novice, beginner and intermediate levels. I’m a transplant from Iowa living in Arizona, and working in California every day, commuting just short distance away from Mexico, every single day. That’s pretty much me in a little nutshell.

Oh wow. Okay, so you get to enjoy pretty warm weather mostly year round then, huh?

Yes. Yeah.

If you’re familiar with what Rob Wolf says, like living at that latitude in the planet is very healthy for you. Getting frequent sun exposure.

Yeah, I’m in the sunniest city in the United States.

Oh, wow. Okay. You get 400 days of sunshine a year.

Go vitamin D.

Excellent. Well Brenda, let’s get into your story. How did you … Actually, I want to go even back before your keto story, is that how did you get into the career that you’re in?

As far as an instructional coach, I had been a teacher for 24 years. Actually, me becoming an instructional coach is the result of feeling empowered in so many areas of my life as a result of taking control of my diet through keto. I don’t know that I would have done that if I hadn’t changed the way I ate because taking control of that one area somewhat empowered me to take control of so many other areas of my life, relationships, my job, just so many other things.

That’s really cool. It all fits together. All right, well take us back then, back to when you were not so healthy, just before you started to make some changes. Or actually, let’s go back even further. Let’s talk about your journey of battling your weight. How long was that going on? What’s your story like?

My entire adult life I have a been a yo-yo dieter. Just like so many other people where you diet, you diet down, and then you gain back plus some. Did that from the time I was in college. Found myself in a very dark spot in 2008, 2009 and a friend of mine convinced me to start looking into bariatric surgery. When I considered that, I started going to support group locally for bariatric surgery, all different kinds, lap band, RNY, [inaudible 00:04:01] switch, everything out there. Vertical sleeve and ended up … well, I didn’t even have a doctor at that point every time I went to the doctor, well every time I went to the local clinic, they would say you know you need to lose weight. I knew that. That’s probably the reason I never had a regular doctor because I didn’t want him to tell me that every single time I went in. When I decided to have or pursue bariatric surgery, I found a local doctor who was pro bariatric surgery. My highest known weight going in there was 407. I say my highest known weight because for about the six weeks before I went in to see him, I did low carb just generally and I know I dropped weight.

I would venture to say I was 425, 435, something like that at my highest weight. That’s not on record anywhere because I didn’t have a home scale that would weigh me. That was in 2009. Six months later I had Roux-En-Y surgery at right around 400 pounds. My surgeon at that time straight up told me that I would have a honeymoon period where I could lose weight. For me, that existed for 14 months. The first four months were complete hell. I basically starved the first four months. Two weeks after I had weight loss surgery, I had what they call a stricture, which means the bottom of my punch closed to the point I could not drink water, I couldn’t take vitamins. Even liquid vitamins would not go down and then let alone food. They went back in and opened up my pouch so that food would pass. For the first four months, virtually everything I ate came back up. I lost weight for a total of 14 months and then plateaued at right around 260.

Then gained back weight over five years to 290 ish give or take. Then in January 2016 I went into the store and nearly passed out. That resulted in tons of blood work. With the blood work, I found I was pre diabetic. My doctor told me, Brenda you either need to do a paleo diet, an anti inflammatory diet, or the Atkins diet. I went home and I hopped online and started searching for those. This is a one time that Facebook ads were good because some of the websites or some of the Facebook pages that were coming up involve the ketogenic diet. I hopped on a few of those and I started seeing some that scared me. Then some that made sense. Luckily I found one that made sense and talked about fat as connected to your goal. Emphasis on protein and what not. In April 2016, I started the ketogenic diet at 291 pounds.

The story that you shared about getting the surgery, losing a bunch of weight but then starting to gain it back, I think people have this fantasy that they’re gonna do the surgery and then all of the troubles are in the past and it’s just the beginning. So many of the ladies that I’ve worked with have the same thing where they have a past history of some kind of weight loss surgery and that’s the thing they don’t tell you is that, if you don’t actually make some bigger changes, it’s just gonna come back.

It’s interesting because a dietician in my surgeons office basically described the ketogenic for me post weight loss surgery and said, you want to eat lots of protein, not so many carbs and eat so-so for fat. They never gave me any numbers. I had no target. After several years, old habits started to come back into play. It started taking me back up. Even at 291 pounds it’s interesting because my surgeon considers me a success story at 291 pounds, which I don’t know.

You know what’s really interesting is when I was in school, what they taught us, we had one teacher that taught the weight loss elective class. She said that most weight loss surgeries, they only last two years. That by two years, most of the people have gained all the weight back that they’ve lost. We were all like, what? Then why would people go through the risk of that and the expense? Why would doctors want to have that done? She said that the two years improved health that they get from that was worth the risk. That that’s the way that the doctors and clinicians looked at that too. I was like, wow. At that time I didn’t think that there was any way that anyone could ever lose weight and keep it off.

I was at such a desperate place in my life that when I went to see that doctor about weight loss surgery, looking back now I realized that basically I was committing suicide every single day by the food I was eating and choosing to eat because I was at that unhappy of a place in my life. Even knowing some of the side effects that I could incur, it was worth the risk for me at that point because I was so incredibly desperate and in such a dark place.

Brenda, I know that is so true. With everybody that I’ve talked to, society often looks judgmentally on people, especially women that have had weight loss surgery. They’re just like, oh you just took the easy way out. I totally disagree because I know that for somebody like you and everyone else that’s got to that point, they’ve tried everything. Everything else has failed them. It’s not because it’s a lack of trying. It’s that’s how important it is and how miserable you’re feeling that you’re just willing to go to those lengths. I just want to put that out there to the world and whoever is listening to this that it’s not a short cut. It’s a sign of how important this was and how hard you were working to solve this problem.

Even now nine and a half, it’s nine years later. Something like that. There are still side effects that I have to deal with. I meet my macros for keto gains just like everybody else. That means that sometimes food gets stuck and I’m miserable. When I go into see the doctor, I have to give eight vials of blood because there are so many malabsorption issues with a Roux-En-Y surgery. All kinds of things. There are still side effects and it’s not easy even now.

Thank you for being willing to share so much with everyone. How did you go from … talk about the keto approach you found first. How long were you stick with that? A lot of people try to figure out for a while and they can’t quite figure out what’s working. Did you find a way that worked for a while and then you got stuck again? Or tell us about that part of the journey.

I started an approach to keto very much like keto gains. In fact, Tyler and Louise were admins on the page where I started. They aren’t anymore, but that’s okay. The science was the same. The principles focusing on protein in order to maintain lean body mass was the same. Using fat as an adjustable lever was the same. I was fortunate, I say this by the grace of God I ended up there because there are a lot of pages out there where I will encounter women coming from some of these pages, eating 200 grams of fat and 30 grams of protein and it breaks me heart because I’m more in the lean body mass. I say it’s by the grace of God I ended up there. When I looked at the success on that page versus some of the other pages and then I also looked at what the suggestions were when people encountered a stall, it just made sense to me because I knew I had fat … pardon me for a second. I knew I had fat on my ass to burn so there was no need to put fat in my glass. That made sense. I stuck with that.

You got very consistent results.

Right. In the beginning. I started boot camp about six months into the diet.

Tell us people who don’t know what the boot camp is. What is the keto gains boot camp?

I describe it as a life changing, strength training, and nutrition program. We seek to empower people, to find the strength within themselves to train and to take control of their diet. Sometimes we have people that come in and they have started one aspect it, perhaps they’ve started the diet or they’re strength training, but they’ve never started the diet. Or every so often we’ll have some people come in that are brand new to both. That’s okay. We welcome them and we take them where they are and help them find strength within themselves to explore and push harder then they have.

When you started, did you have any experience in weight training?

Not at all. The only thing I had ever done with a weight is I had picked up those cutesy little one pound and three pound weights that women walk with at the park and that’s all I’d ever done. My first day in the gym I took the boot camp work out and opened it up on my phone, tried to play videos, they would not play. I sat there in the weight training area overwhelmed, intimidated. I went home that first day. I sat on my floor and I had good, good, good, good cry. I was like, okay Brenda this is your shot. You need to change things and do things differently. You need to figure out a way to make this work. That night I went through and I emailed myself the links to every single video, went back to the gym the next day and I could play the videos. I just kept going back. At first it was unnatural and uncomfortable. Then it became my home. Then it became my oasis and my therapy room and all that. A lot changed because when I started, coping would’ve been reaching for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.

Now coping is saying, okay I already went to the gym this morning but I found out this really bad news so I’m gonna go back there tonight because there’s a lot of healing that can happen at the bar bell.

Wow. Do you go back to yourself ten years ago? What would that person hearing what you just said say to that?

She wouldn’t know who I am. There’s so much that has changed that even becoming a personal trainer when is tarted boot camp, that wasn’t even on my radar. It wasn’t something that I ever considered. I had to fill out a questionnaire for something recently. The descriptor I used for myself was athlete. Who the hell are you? Who are you? You used to have issues walking up flights of stairs? Now you’re calling yourself an athlete?

Amazing. What were your motivators in the beginning when you started keto? What was on your list of things of why this is important to keep going?

When I started a diet, my greatest goal was you know the phrase YOLO? So many people use that for unhealthy choices. My thought was, I’ve only got one shot at this and I want to do more than exist with my life. I want to be able to live and I do not want to be immobile at 60. I don’t want to be popping pills to survive. I want to have the ability to experience life and be free to do anything I want to do. I have lived so much of my life restricted by my weight that I wanted to be able to do anything. When I started, I actually reached out to my best friend who had been with me all along the way during my journey and asked him, if I hit my goal weight, which my goal weight was a number that my surgeon told me I would never reach. That was my goal weight to prove her wrong. I reached out to him and I said, if I hit this goal weight, will you go skydiving with me? Because I thought of the most weight restricted activity I could come up with.

Jumping out of a plane attached to somebody else was right up there. That’s what I did two months after I hit my goal weight.

Wow. How long ago was that?

I hit my goal in July 2017. That was September 2017.

That’s awesome. That’s probably also something you have ten years to be like, no way.

Yeah. There’s no way I would’ve because at 407 pounds, that’s certain death when you jump out of a plane.

That was what was inspiring you in the beginning. What along the way kept you motivated when things got really hard?

Several things. One is just the fact I felt better. One of my boot campers just mentioned something recently and it was something I used to say to myself along the way. You didn’t come this far just to come this far. That just came to light again just recently. It’s just a reminder that it’s like a life long journey basically. I wanted better health and I don’t want to go back to the misery I experienced at 407 pounds. Not being able to walk up a flight of stairs, not being able to fly, not being able to always go into a restaurant and being guaranteed you’ll fit in a restaurant booth. Walking by children and having them snicker and laugh and point. That’s a miserable way to live. I constantly hold onto those reminders. Not because I want to live in the past, but it’s a good reminder of where I came from.

Staying away from what the pain was in the past can be really propellant to keep us going on this path. You mentioned walking by kids and them making fun of you. Would you mind being so vulnerable as sharing a story that pops into your mind about something that was maybe one of the most … I don’t know. I feel bad asking for you to share something really painful, but is there something in your past where it stands out where it’s like, that was something I never, ever want to experience again?

I think the first time I had to ask for an airplane extender was one of the most mortifying moments of my life. It caused me to research and find online that I could buy an airplane extender so I would never have to ask for one again. I actually have one still in my house. God, I felt so bad for the people that were sitting in my row honestly. At that point, I bought the airplane extender but it wasn’t that much after that, that I decided I wasn’t gonna fly again. I would drive two thousand miles to see my parents because it was less painful than trying to get on an airplane.

Let’s contrast that with one of your proudest moments or interactions or experiences you’ve had now.

I think one of the most surreal moments for me is meeting people from keto gains that I don’t know at say, Low Carb USA or we did a coaches meet up in Tampa and having people look at me like a celebrity. It’s surreal because I look at me and I’m like, Brenda you’re just doing the diet. You lift weights and that’s pretty much it. That’s surreal for me. Then to hear stories of people who tell me about the difference I’ve made in their lives and they’re usually strangers. What an incredible blessing it is to be able to share my story in such a way that it inspires people to believe that they can do it. I think those are some of the biggest things for me that I never set out for that. I never set out to do anything. I just wanted to be able to walk up a flight of stairs. Simple things.

Who were some of your biggest inspirations?

This is not a weight loss inspiration but it’s my dad. I lost my dad two days before my first intermediate boot camp. About two weeks before that, one of the last times he was ever truly present, he told me he was proud of me. When I was a little kid, one of the things that he would tell me and tell my sister is you can’t say can’t. Basically it wasn’t allowed in our house. He said, if you say can’t, you’ve already determined the outcome. I lost that somewhere along the way. I held fast to that mentality all through high school. Somewhere along the way I would demand that of my students, demand that of others, try to inspire people or others, but for me, I became held hostage to myself and held hostage to my body and I couldn’t be successful with that. I think in terms of inspiration now, I look at what my dad tried to instill in me as a child and brought back out in me as an adult. I know that I can do anything I set my mind to. It might take awhile.

It might be the result of tiny, little changes over time. If I have a goal, I can make that happen. I would say he’s my greatest inspiration. Now my mom because I’m having her do a version of this diet as well. She’s not straight out keto, but she’s low carb. She’s racking it. She’s lost 75 pounds since May I think.

Oh, wow. Wow. That was gonna be my next question then is what has been the experience of your closest friends and family? What ripples of health impact have you had on others?

I probably have about three dozen real life friends and family doing this. My cousin just recently finished a boot camp with us. Another cousin did a boot camp with us this summer. I’ve had a friend do a boot camp. Beyond that, I’ve got, like I said, probably about three dozen real life friends and family doing the diet or a version of the diet as a result.

Wow. Then you said too just countless people you run into random places.

Yeah. I’ve met up with some people locally just like at Starbucks and helped them get started on it, figure out what their macros are, figure out typical foods to eat. That’s just huge. Having somebody be able to point you in the direction that if you hop on keto gains or you hop on some of the other sensible keto pages, you’ll see tons of success, transformation Tuesdays, facelift Fridays, flex Fridays. Those stories, they’re unreal. They’re fantastic. Every one of those photos comes with a story.

Take us along the journey that as you started getting into the keto gains boot camps, transforming yourself even more there. You mentioned early on that, that also then started having influence in your career. How did that all come about?

As I became aware of strength within me that I did not know exist, I think Tyler and Louise provided a blueprint for me. This is what I tell my campers. We provide the road map, but the campers still have to do the work. They provided the blueprint for me. I was able to discover strength that empowered me in a whole bunch of other areas. I broke off some toxic relationships. I had some fat friends and I don’t mean that in a derogatory sense. We were fat buddies. We would eat together and we would buy ice cream together. Any time we gathered, it was centered around food. Often to the point of excess. When I started losing weight, they were often, I don’t know if it was threatened or jealous, but not supportive. That’s for sure.

I cut off some of those relationships. I’ve had some friends and family that would mock me. Here, would you like some of this? That’s right, you can’t have that. Then it became a standing joke in their mind. That’s hurtful because you want the people closest to you, to be supportive of you. When you become the punchline, that’s not gonna help you get to your goal. I put some relationships on hold to the point that well, until they could finally start supporting me again … not that it’s anybody’s job to do my work. I want encouragement in me doing it, not people actively trying to sabotage you either. Once I started discovering that strength, I was able to put in an application for a job that I would have never done before. Push myself out of my comfort zone that way. I started doing certifications.

I don’t know how long it was into the boot camp process. I went on as an intern first and Tyler and Louise encouraged me to get certified and started coaching with them and it’s been great.

Complete transformation inside out. We can talk to then about health changes because you said the doctor gave you the news that you’re pre diabetic. What’s on your list of actually health type things that have improved as well?

I had high blood pressure until I had weight loss surgery. Two weeks after weight loss surgery, I was taken off all high blood pressure meds. That happens a lot with any weight loss. Those of you watching this, don’t change your medication without talking to your doctors. I was taken off all high blood pressure medicine right then. When I started the keto diet, I was pre diabetic. Exactly six months and one day after starting the diet, because I had heard the stories of waiting six months. Exactly six months and one day after starting the diet, I had an A1C test that put me dead center of normal and had no other issues. I was anemic. That was a result of weight loss surgery. They told me I would have to take iron for the rest of my life. A year I think it was into doing the diet, my iron came back high actually and my doctor took me off all of iron medication. Now I’m back on it, but it’s gonna be an ongoing thing I think. That’s why I get eight vials of blood every six months. It’s just something that I monitor a lot because of the weight loss surgery, the malabsorption. Other than that, clean bill of health.

Nice. Excellent. Congratulations. Good work.

Thank you. Thank you.

What’s on your future plans? What do you see for yourself? It sounds like the doors have opened to a lot of possibilities in your life that you never even dreamed of before. What do you see for yourself in the future?

In terms of lifting, I just want to keep pushing myself. I have no desire to compete or anything like that. My ongoing mantra is stronger every day. When I say stronger every day, that’s not necessarily building muscle. That’s building myself within and trying to just push myself outside of my comfort zone in baby steps constantly because those baby steps are what add up to great change. I think that’s a huge thing. People want to change, but they want to change over night. I don’t know that, that’s sustainable. Build able daily habits are what make sustainable change and what makes great change. I’m just gonna push myself further in terms of lifting. I’m not sure. My dad always said that education is one of the few things in life that can’t be taken from you. I keep looking for different things and may pursue additional education there.

You reminded of a myth we need to talk about to dispel. A couple things. Weight lifting for women. Aren’t we gonna turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger? What do you say when people ask about, I don’t want to get all bulky?

I say, well I just told a camper this earlier this week. Strong is sexy, first of all. We don’t have the same makeup as a man. Unless you’re doing and adding extra to the work out with bonus enhancers and what not, you’re not gonna be looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

You’re talking about illegal injections, right?

Right.

Minus lifting more weights.

In terms of bulking up, it’s just not gonna happen for women unless you add outside influences, add drugs and what not.

What about the myth of when women say, I don’t want to build muscle, I just want to get toned?

Toned is reducing the body fat so that you expose the muscles. You want to build muscle and reduce body fat at the same time to tone, which it doesn’t exist. That’s what’s happening there. You’re reducing body fat, increasing muscle. Body re composition at its finest.

What are some other of the myths that you find yourself dispelling on a daily basis about either keto and/or weight training, especially for women?

I referenced one earlier with the if I’ve got fat on my ass to burn, I don’t want to put fat in my glass. It saddens me when I go out into the keto world and people are stuck. The come back is, you need to eat more fat. You need to eat more fat. We’re talking about a 275 pound woman. How does that make sense? You’ve got your fuel on your thighs, your hips, your gut. You don’t need to be eating sticks of butter. One of the things that kills me is people say, I’m gonna go on this kind of fast or that kind of fast or this kind of fast. Give me key things. First of all, a fast is not eating gobs of butter or butter in hamburger or whatever. Fast would imply that you don’t eat. Where people redefine these words, it makes me crazy. That’s one of them. Other myths.

The starvation. Starvation idea that you’re not eating enough calories, that’s why you’re not losing weight and what not. That gets to me. There’s some great, great dispelling articles out there. I would encourage you to look up some of them. Not you, but the viewer. There are tons of things out there that talk about that. The 1200 calorie myth for women, every women should eat 1200 calories, and if you’re not, you’re not healthy. I think that’s insane. You eat what you need to create the deficit you need in order to make your body do what you need it to do. If you’re trying to lose weight, there’s no reason that you need to be eating 2000 calories. The standard American diet says. You need to create the deficit. The keto gains calculator is a great tool out there for people. I know there’s other good ones as well. Being a keto gains coach, I’m gonna go, yay keto gains. Find what you need to make it work for you. Create the deficit you need.

What about the idea that women need more carbs than men?

My body doesn’t need carbs. Let me jump into one associated with that. Just listen to your body. I listen to my body to 407 pounds. I don’t need to listen to my body. My body says, my body still says Brenda you need a tub of popcorn. My body is a lying bitch. You do not need to listen to your body in the broad sense. If you’re in pain and injured and what not, yes. Listen to your body and go see your doctor. In terms of what to eat, I don’t buy into that.

Heres another you’re gonna love too is that, it’s probably not working because I’m eating too much protein.

It saddens me so much. Like I mentioned earlier, we have women that we’ll encounter that are eating 180, 200 grams of fat and 30 grams of protein. It just breaks my heart because it’s not rocket science. Your muscles are made of protein, your body can’t create protein. You have to provide the building block to sustain or build muscle. If it’s not there, it’s not gonna happen. When you cut back on that protein and your muscles can’t maintain themselves, there is muscles lost obviously.

Why do we need muscles though? I’m just gonna play the fool.

I don’t want to be … well TIFO. No. TOFI. Fat inside, thin outside. There we go. Something like that.

We’re a pile of bones that can’t move itself.

I think of a blob. I don’t want to be that.

What are your top tips of somebody who … it’s pretty common that people go in fits and starts. They’ll try it, they fall off for any number of a thousand reasons. What are your tips for somebody that keeps struggling with they can’t stick with it?

My thing is that I tell people all the time, control the 24 hours in front of you. Just that. It is overwhelming to start the diet and have gobs of weight to lose and to be looking at that big picture. When I started the ketogenic diet, I was 291 pounds. To look at the big picture, that’s too much. It’s too overwhelming. It’s too great of a distance. When I realized all I needed to do was control the 24 hours in front of me and that would result in change over time, that was liberating and set me free to limit the aspect that I looked at. Sometimes it was white knuckling it, controlling the next meal or controlling the next bite. If I have encountered people who have jumped off the wagon rather than falling off the wagon, I encourage them to start with the next bite, the next meal, and pick themselves up.

I want to talk about that fall of the wagon, jump off the wagon. Fall off the wagon makes you a victim of a diet. Jumping off the wagon reminds you that you are in control of your choices. Once you own those choices, that empowers you to take control. If you fall of the diet and use that verbiage with yourself, you are giving control to other people and you are in control of your own destiny, your own choices and your own outcome as a result. That’s a phrase that I really jump on and preach on, as you can hear. Then I constantly encourage campers and others in the keto world to make choices today that are in line with the goals that they have for tomorrow and to constantly be intentional in those choices that they make. As I’ve said multiple times in the interview already, great change is a result of daily often monotonous little choices. They add up over time.

Speaking of monotonous. A lot of times people will get to a point where they say, I’m just bored with the food. Then what if people ask that of you? Don’t you get bored of that? What do you say to that?

Let’s see. For the last 800 and some days, 95% of my lunches have been the same because they’re in line with my goals. My work lunches, let me specify that. I will also say that nobody has to have plates of sadness. I look at some of these people who complain about, oh my gosh, it’s so boring, it’s so boring. Then I look at what’s on their plate and it’s boiled chicken and it’s dry broccoli.

Plates of sadness. That’s hilarious. I love that.

There’s no reason for that. I’m a big proponent of franks. Let me do a little commercial for franks hot sauce. I swear I have that stuff going through my veins. Franks I do a lot of guacamole salsa, fresh salsas. As a weight loss surgery person, I have to have sauce with almost everything I eat or it gets stuck. You go into these hot sauce stores, that’s my refrigerator. I’ve got six or seven different hot sauces. Spices, I am a spice junky. I buy all kinds of stuff from Ross and Marshalls and stuff that isn’t in the regular grocery store. Your food doesn’t have to taste bad. You are not a martyr. That’s what I tell people.

I always tell them, I do the mental experiment with them. It’s like okay your brain is telling you you’re bored with the food. What is it that your brain says will make it exciting? They go, oh carbs. I think of it as it’s often not that they’re bored of the food, it’s just that they’re not getting that same dopamine kick from the sugar rush that they were used to before. Hello to your new normal of fueling your body.

Let me introduce you to jalapeno bacon. From the Gods.

That’s exciting. Brenda, was there anything else that you were hoping to share or hoping I would ask about?

I would just say to anybody watching this, if you haven’t started the diet yet, make today your day number one. My only regret in starting the diet is that I lurked for two months before I did. I would be two months further along had I started when I first came on. You have the ability to do this. You can do hard things. You are stronger than you know. If you look at your life, not matter what has been in the background, you are an overcomer. You have survived 100% of the days. You can survive this. You can survive cutting cake, and cookies, and chips out of your diet. That being healthy as a result of the food you choose is so much better than gorging yourself and being miserable. I would encourage you to take the risk to begin. I think that’s one of the hardest things. Remind yourself of why you’re doing it. What you are trying to accomplish and achieve whether it is weight loss or increased health or energy or mental clarity. All these different things that often are associated with the ketogenic diet.

Remind yourself of why you began. Put it in a place that’s prominent. Revisit it. Have a plan in place so that when you find yourself in uncomfortable situations, you know what you’re going to do before it happens.

Wonderful. Lovely. You have imparted so much wisdom and such great information and tips and knowledge with us. I just really, really appreciate you sharing all of this and your journey with us and being such an inspiration for everyone. I just have one final closing question for you. The meteor is coming at us today, we’re all gonna be wiped out, planet is gonna be over with. What are you gonna pick as your final meal?

Filet minion wrapped in bacon.

Nice. With no added butter? No, I’m just kidding.

No. I’ll be having butter. Not with camp compliant, but boot camp won’t exist tomorrow so I will have butter on top.

That sounds delicious. I’m gonna be joining you.

Sounds good.

Brenda, thank you again so much for being here. We’re gonna link down below to how you get in touch with her. If you’d like to work with her in a boot camp or other wise, we’ll put your links down there below. Anything like people follow you on social media? Do you have anything?

I’m on Instagram at empowered by keto. That’s my Instagram handle. Then I’m on keto gains and I’m ketogenic dieters as well. Those are two big keto pages. I am a keto gains coach through and through. We are doing sign ups starting November 16th for our upcoming boot camp. It’s a holiday boot camp, which is a fun one because everybody is put together. It’s a big boot camp, four weeks long trying to keep people on track during the holidays.

That’s for 2018 for those of you that are watching this in the future. Check it out. We’ll have all the links below. If you guys enjoy this interview, give us a thumbs up. Subscribe and then also hit that little bell next to the subscribe, which will actually give you the notifications of new videos coming out. We’ve got great new interviews coming up. Brenda, thank you again for being here. I really appreciate you sharing your story.

Thanks so much Carole.

Hey, everyone. Bye for now. We’ll see you next time.

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