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Pennie’s journey with obesity began when she was 19 years old. Between the ages of 19-50 she gained over 350 pounds. During those 20+ years she tried every diet plan out there, short of invasive stomach bypass. For the most part, all the diets she tried worked – for a period of time.She even lost over 120 pounds doing the Optifast liquid diet plan. But as with all the the other plans, she was unable to sustain the diet and once she went off plan she would gain all the weight back AND THEN SOME!
At 500 pounds and as she approached her 50th birthday, she knew she had to make one last attempt so she tried a low carb diet called South Beach. It worked very well and over the next 8 years she lost over 200 pounds, she stalled for over a year and her doctor suggested she have a lap band procedure which helped her to loose an additional 100 pounds, totaling a loss of over 300 pounds.
However, when the lapland began to fail, she disabled it and immediately began to gain weight. After gaining 40 pounds and fearful of gaining all the weight back, she did some research and found out about Keto. She knew she could be successful on a low carb diet so she decided to give it a try.
Well, hello. Today I’m here … Oh, by the way, I’m Carole Freeman. I am here with Pennie. She is one of the amazing clients that I got to work with over the last year. She is here to tell her story of before keto and the experiences she had and the transformations she’s been experiencing too. Welcome, Penny. Will you share a little bit about who you are?
My name is Pennie. I am a 64 year old grandmother/mother and keto enthusiast.
Love that now.
I really think that I could be on this way of eating for the rest of my life. It’s so easy once you understand it. I just love it, but I … I’m sorry. I forgot the question. Already, I’m doing this.
You’re doing great. I know that it can be … A video interview feels intimidating, but you’re doing great.
Let’s go back to before keto, before you discovered keto. What was your story of struggles with health and weight? Where are you coming from?
I got married at 19. The first year I was married, I gained 100 pounds. That continued. It’s a long and ugly story about trying. I’m sure there’s 100s of people out there that have the same story. I would go on a diet, lose, then go off and gain and then gain more. That continued until I was well over 500 pounds. I can say over 500 pounds, because at that time, I couldn’t find a scale that would go above 500. I just know I was at least 500. Then, when I was about 45 years old, a dear friend of mine was starting a Bible study. It was weight related. I didn’t want to do it. I went kicking and screaming, because at that time, my big mantra was, “I can’t go on a diet, because every time I go off, I gain even more.” I was scared to go on a diet.
She really encouraged me to come. I went, changed my whole thought, but mostly it changed my whole life support wise. I think the biggest thing I learned with that was I can’t do it alone. I don’t think most people who have a huge amount of weight to lose or even a few pounds if they’re having a struggle with it, you need support. That was the big thing I got from the Bible study. That group remained together for about 20 years. We supported each other through the whole thing. In that group, we each chose our own diet. It wasn’t a set eating plan. I chose South Beach. I had heard a lot about low arb, so I tried … sorry, South Beach and lost about 200 pounds but then stalled, just completely stalled. No matter what I could do, for about year, I wasn’t able to lose.
One of my doctors suggested that I try a lap band, which I did. It was successful for me. After about a year and a half or two years, the lap band started giving me a lot of gastric troubles. I struggled with the gastric troubles for about a year and a half and finally decided this is no way to live. I had them disband the band. I still have it, but it doesn’t function. Then, immediately started gaining weight. Gained about 50 pounds. The whole time I was just getting more scared and scared. I tried things. I tried Weight Watchers. Finally, I said, “Okay, I’m gonna go back to South Beach, because I was successful there.” That was successful for seven or eight pounds, but what I now know is it just was too many carbs for me. I just don’t do well with that.
My daughter, who’s a real whole life person, whole eater said she had been doing some research on keto and suggested I look into it, so I did. I looked into it. Totally was like my head spinning, turning around going crazy, like, “This has got to be wrong. I’ve all my life just been taught that you just don’t eat that much fat. It’s bad.” The whole lean mean me was like going crazy, but I started to wrap my head around it. The more I read, the more confused I got because there’s so much conflicting stuff out there. A lot of the programs just make it confusing I think.
I tried it, put my foot in the water, and tried it and lost some weight, but I never felt comfortable. I think I lost maybe seven or eight pounds. I just … Every day was, “Am I doing this right? Am I in ketosis? What am I doing?” Finally, that’s when I said, “I need someone who can help me,” and did some research and found Carole, found you. That was an amazing step for me. Your program makes keto so much simpler, so much more understanding. I love the way you take it step by step. You kind of wash it all away and then bring it back in. For me, that was the perfect formula.
That’s wonderful. Oh my gosh, thank you so much for sharing all of the details of your past. There’s going to be so many people that will identify with that. Truthfully, so many of us women have tried every diet out there. For decades, this has been a struggle trying to figure out. I love actually that you came to the realization that diets were making you gain more weight.
Most people don’t get that far. They actually think that well that diet worked really well, because I lost weight, but they ignore what happened afterwards. They blame the after on themselves, but you were wise enough to realize that it was the diet that was leading to that.
Keep trying. I did keep trying for a long time, but it is what it is I kept telling myself. I learned what I learned in those years was I always thought I didn’t have enough willpower. What I learned in that time was that I had too much willpower. My bad willpower was taking over my good willpower. That’s what I love about keto. There really is no willpower needed. Once you get in ketosis, there’s not someone screaming in your head, “I want that ice cream. I want this. I want that, because I just don’t crave anything.”
That’s great. That’s great. Let’s talk about the results. You went through my program, which is several weeks. We’ll just say that. What results did you see during your time working with me?
Physically, I lost about … I think I ended up losing 15 to 20 pounds in the time that I was in the actual bootcamp, but mostly … and I lost a lot of inches. I could looking my journal. I think totally I lost like 15 or 16 inches overall, a lot of it around my waist, which was the best part for me. Mostly, I gained an understanding of the program. I think the resources were one of the keys that helped me really understand macros. Some of the other programs that I’d looked at put so much emphasis on the macros. It was like, “Oh my God. I’m a percentage off here. Oh, dear. Oh that.” You just laid that out and said, “Look, just eat this way, and it falls naturally.” You were so right about that. All this stuff about I have to have butter coffee, and I have to have fat bombs. I was taking in calories that I didn’t really need just because, “Oh my gosh, I’ve got to do this.”
You just simplified it. The program simplified it for me, making it just so much easier to say, “I don’t have to make this huge recipe. I can just have some roast beef and a salad.” Making it simple really helped tremendously. I really enjoyed the weekly meetings and talking to other people. That, again, the support is such a key to me and I think helps anyone be so much more successful.
Yeah. Wonderful. Wonderful. The support, the resources that I’ve got, the community that you found, just simplifying it too. You’re talking I’ve got the meal formula that you follow that makes it really, really easy. It’s not about having to do all that math and percentages and trying to get enough fat and all these other things that can be really crazy making too. Yeah, alright.
Another thing that was very helpful for me, I had been using an app, a different one, a couple of different ones. They made me even more confused. Cronometer is a great tool. It takes a bit to learn it, but it’s a really great tool. I really enjoyed learning that and relying on it as well.
Wonderful, wonderful. What would you … Let’s see. What would you say to somebody that’s considering like, “Should I try to do keto on my own?” They’re struggling. They’re considering getting a coach for some help or maybe considering one of our programs, working with us.
Right. You know, of course you have to know your own personal finances. You have to know your own personal what’s best for you and your priorities. If it is feasible, it’s the best money I’ve ever spent. Unfortunately, you have to got there, but sometimes as women, especially those in my generation, we forget to put ourselves, the importance of our health and ourselves on the list and make it a priority. That would be my first thing. Of course, everyone know their own situation, but that is a great thing to do is put it on your list. If you were raised as I was raised, this is such a turn around for the way of thinking. It’s so hard to really wrap your head around it, getting a professional that points it out and lays it out and tells you, “Yes, it’s okay to eat butter. It’s okay to do this and that.” I would mostly say do it for yourself. It’s the best thing I’ve done for myself probably in 50 years. I just feel so good and my mental health. I’m so tired of beating myself up, and I don’t have to do that anymore. That is a big thing.
I love that, Penny. That’s so huge. I love that you’re sharing, too, about how women are conditioned that we should just be able to figure it out all on our own. We’re told we can have it all, but it really means to do it all. What was that experience, then, putting yourself first, taking care of yourself, experiencing this transformation? How has that rippled out and affected those around you?
You should probably interview my husband about that, but I just … I think that old saying that your CNT shirts or on a plaque or someone will say, “If Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.” I think it’s true.
Happiness is such a trickle down. When you are beating yourself up or dissatisfied with mostly your mental health but the way you look too, people feel it, especially if your close to your people. Even if you are hiding it a little bit, they can tell. That just puts a lot of tension and stress in any situation you have. Basically, I think if you asked anyone who knows me closely, they are saying, “Yeah, this is a kinder, more gentle and easier person to be with.”
Wonderful. Taking care of yourself actually does take care of everyone else even better then.
Yeah. Just as they say, it’s not always easy to believe, but I believe it. It is true.
Wonderful. Penny, thank you so much for sharing your story. Is there anything else that you wanted to share or you wanted me to ask about to share with others?
No, just again, I would like to emphasize the support that you get from your … As I said before, the support is so huge for me. That’s why I’m very enthusiastic to be with this group. I incidentally live in an RV and travel around all the time, so I can’t go to a support meeting every week or that kind of thing. Virtually is the best for me. The fact that we’re all of one like mind, one like keto mind is huge.
That’s wonderful, wonderful. I just thought of one more question, too. What would you say about somebody that might be a little bit intimidated about this all being virtual and the technology side of this. How was that experience for you?
I can see why especially someone in my generation might have some issues with that. It’s all very simple. It’s just a click of a button push on here. The chats that I was in … I mean the chat room that we did, what’s it called?
The video platform?
Yeah, the Zoom. Very easy. For some reason, this particular interview, which never happened before, went into my junk mail, so I didn’t see it at first. They always just came to email before, because I happened to look in my junk mail and it was there. That and Facebook is pretty user friendly. They don’t get much more user friendly than Facebook until recently when you have to do all that following. Yeah, that was a great thing too was talking to other people, finding stuff on Facebook. I think as long as it’s an easy format, which Zoom seems to be and Facebook is, it’s a good thing for any age. You just have to have your computer.
We’ve got the support. Did you feel supported too that if were struggling with anything, there was always someone that could-
In fact, I think it was one of your assistants was communicating with me about it. I don’t even remember now what our concern was, but something I couldn’t get to. Oh, and the workbooks and all of that. That’s great. I just left mine all on the computer, but it’s all such wonderful things to be able to go back to when I go, “Okay, was that sweetener okay on keto?” Then, I got my list. That’s a great resource as well.
Wonderful. Penny, I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story transformation. Congratulations on putting yourself first, taking care of yourself. All the credit goes to you for all the work that you’ve done. I’m so excited to be able to share this and inspire others. The waves of us getting this message out, we just never know how many people that we’re going to be able to impact and be able to transform their lives as well.
That’s great and exciting on my end as well.
Excellent. Thank you so much. Thank you for watching. We’ll talk to you soon, bye.