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I am a breast cancer survivor. I learned of the Keto diet from my son, a high school football coach. He recommended it because of Keto’s long term health benefits, especially related to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease (my mother has been recently diagnosed.)
On my own, I gleaned information from the internet and did what I now know was lazy Keto, just less carbs, some fat and not enough protein. I lost weight briefly and then regained it plus some. I could not figure out what I was doing wrong. It all was made worse by the cancer fighting drug I was on that blocked hormone production.
In March of 2018, I decided I need a coach and found Carole Freeman (Keto Carole). Her program was easy to follow and she provided the emotional support I needed. I learned the science behind Keto and why a cheat wasn’t just a cheat, it was throwing off my whole metabolism.
I began to experience the wonder of Keto eating from a lack of hunger, increased energy and weight loss. Along the way, my blood pressure went down and my doctor discontinued my daily blood pressure medication. I’m also no longer taking medication for heartburn. I’m still on the journey but I feel wonderful.
Professionally, I am a Christian pastor, writer and speaker. I have a doctorate degree from Texas Christian University in Pastoral Counseling.
Because Ketogenic eating has been so transformational for me, I am excited about supporting others in this amazing journey.
Probably like a lot of people, I tried everything from Weight Watchers, to Jenny Craig, to doing it on my own. I’ve been really diligent about exercise, and so that was never the hard part of it. On every plan, it seems like I would lose some, and then it would just get to a really hard point, really stuck point, and it’s almost like my body would just rebel. I would either kind of get frustrated with the whole process, and then go back to what I thought was normal eating, and then gain even more back. So, kind of the yo-yo thing was happening with me.
At the same time, as I mentioned, a lot of other things were changing with my body, and my job, and stress, and so it just seemed like I just couldn’t figure it out, how to help myself. So, that was pretty frustrating.
Then, about a year-and-a-half ago … One of my children, my middle son, is a Texas high school football coach. So, he’s obviously really into nutrition, and health, and fitness, and optimizing athletes’ performance, and all that. So, he started talking about keto, and mentioned it in terms of the long-term health benefits in anti-cancer, anti-inflammation. My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s two years ago, and so that’s kind of in our families’ mind, of course, in terms of genetics, or prevention for the rest of us. So, that’s when I first started kind of looking into keto.
And, really, then I started trying it, but there’s just so much information out there. I can read, and I can digest a lot. You’ve got the whole internet. So, I did it the way I thought I should. I did the best I could, and it worked for a little bit. I lost some weight. And then, I don’t know, just something happened, and it kind of didn’t. Then, I gained, and then I’m like, “You know, with my best attention to this, I’m not … There’s something I’m not doing.”
That’s when I decided, “I need a helper. I need a coach. I need some outside somebody to tell me more specifically how to eat, and how this works,” which led me to you.
Yeah, which I’m so happy to have helped you on this journey.
What was it like, then, compared to you trying it on your own, when you started getting into the materials, and how I taught you to do keto now?
Well, really quickly, you had the 10 rules, and they were not … I could already see, like, “Okay, I haven’t been doing these 10 things,” many of them.
There are things on your rules that were … if you looked elsewhere, would be keto-friendly like, nuts, or having, I guess, some sugar, or … anyway. Really quickly, I could see like, “Oh, yeah. She’s saying no nuts, no sweeteners, even diet.” Every afternoon, I was having my handful of almonds and my Diet Doctor Pepper thinking I was being all right, doing okay. What I can see now is I was just sort of hurting myself on and on.
And I never had really calculated my macros or tracked, and so the things that were clearly outlined, just, you know, “These are your rules.” That was really helpful to me. It was like, “Okay. I might not love all these rules, but I can do rules.”
I had to have a little time in there, it was maybe two to three weeks, where I had to … I felt like it was almost like grief. I just had to say, “Okay. You’re not going to have a glass of wine now,” and, “No, mashed potatoes are not in the future.” Like, “Just be sad a little while,” about what I was giving up, and then just go ahead and do it.
And then, for me, luckily along the way, all of the materials were teaching me the science behind it, and so then I started to understand, where, in my previous life, I would have a couple slices of pizza, you know, that was just a rough day. Now, I understand, “No, that’s throwing everything off for a long time, and it’s hard to get back.” So, a cheat changed for me from a cheat just to myself, to a … I understood it as a whole upsetting of the cart, and I didn’t need to do that. Some of those things really just set quickly and well with me.
That’s so great.
I was going to ask about, did you go into it, seeing those 10 rules, and have a lot of skepticism about, “Well, why is she making these rules? They seem arbitrary.” But, like you explained, once you started to get the behind the scenes, like, why, I promised you, every one of the rules has at least three reasons why they’re there to propel your success, and that’s exactly what you’re sharing, is that you got what was promised.
Right. Oh, totally. 100%. In a way that I could really apply it in my life. That’s when it didn’t take long for me to say, “Okay. These rules are here for a reason.”
The no-recipe one was a little bit hard, and then it made sense, especially because along the way, I’d been trying some things, and it was just like you said. You could make this whole keto-friendly recipe, and get to eat a half-a-cup worth something by the time you really calculate it. So, all of that actually ended up being freeing. Like, “Okay. I don’t have to find a recipe. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on meals. I’m going to eat this food, and that’s it.”
Then, of course, once I was in ketosis, which was pretty quickly, the magic of that started kicking in, with the lack of appetite, and feeling good, and energy increase, and I think I told you along the way, I was like, “I don’t know why everybody’s not talking about this because it is so amazing that you can naturally not be driven by hunger, and kind of understanding I was just eating the wrong things. It was carbs, and sweeteners, and all that that was driving that I-need-more feeling. So, once that happened, I didn’t want to be out of ketosis.
Yeah. So, it sounds like it was empowering rather than feeling deprivation.
Right. Right. At some point, it switched.
At the beginning, it was a little like, “Oh no,” but some point, it really did switch to become empowering, and I saw the results. Like I said, when your appetite goes away, and you’re feeling peaceful, and happy, and energetic, you can tell something’s working.
Well, you mentioned results. What kind of results did you experience during the time that we worked together?
I lost, to date, 23 pounds. Probably, during the program, about right at 20. Amazing.
And again, we have to say that was not something I was able to do on my own. And even with those other programs, I might have lost some, but to lose 20 for me in a few weeks was amazing. And along with that, I was losing inches. And then, again, not feeling deprived, and not feeling hungry.
What other things did you experience? Like, other symptom relief in your body, mental clarity, energy, what else?
Because we had talked in the beginning, I immediately started changing around some supplements.
One of the things you told me early on was, “Oh my goodness. You’ve been doing everything right,” trying to do everything right that everyone else had taught me, or that I’d read somewhere. For example, I was drinking tons of water, believing I should. And you said, “Why?” And I said, “Because I thought that’s what everything about weight loss and health said.” I really think I was drinking way too much water, so I was able to kind of back off on that. That felt freeing.
And then, some of the supplements I was taking were not the right ones. Switched some of that around. I was on an antacid, over-the-counter, and had been for years, and nobody had ever told me until you that that was blocking mineral absorption in my stomach probably. I thought I needed it. Turns out, with higher fat, you kinda don’t. I got off of that. I got off of daily allergy medicine.
And then, amazingly … I had been on high blood pressure medication for 10 years, sort of hereditary in my family. And you told me, at the beginning, to monitor that because it might go down, and you didn’t want me to be taking medication, and get too low. And so, I had been monitoring it.
And then, it, sure enough … At the beginning, it went a little high. Then, I kind of stayed steady through that. But then, one day, it just went low. I actually forgot to take a blood pressure pill one day, and monitored it, it was super low. Next morning, took it again in case I needed to take my pill. Still super low. That went on for about two days.
When I finally called the doctor’s, like, “I need to come in.” Went in. Told him, “Haven’t had my blood pressure medicine in about three days.” He said, “Well, shame on you.” I said, “No, look at these readings.” And that’s when he really looked at me, and said, “What are you doing? What has happened?”
And so, I started talking to him about how I was eating, and the weight loss, and he said, “You know, you’re right. You don’t need medication.” That was a great surprise for me, after all that time to be able to get off of that. So …
Oh, that’s so great. All those things are …
And you can probably remember, when we first talked, I told you all those things were going to happen, and you were … were you skeptical? Like, “No. This is a family, genetic thing, high blood pressure. This isn’t going to change.”
Well, I think probably I didn’t believe that part because that’s a big thing. That’s a big thing to change, and so it was a surprise to me.
And then, I can imagine when your doctor asked, “What are you doing?” and you said, “I’m eating lots of fat and lots of salt.” Did he say, “No. No, you’re- ”
I really didn’t accentuate the salt part.
That’s another part I really did not believe in the beginning, and I had to get past believing that I was hurting myself with the salts.
I live in Texas, in a really hot, humid climate. Now, it’s summer, so I’ve even had to increase the salt more. So, go figure. Again, look at that: I’m eating salts, and yet I’m off blood pressure medication.
Yeah. Yeah. It’s wonderful. Yay!
Cindy, I’m so happy for you and your transformation, and it’s exciting for you, and it’s interesting, is that this is typical results from people that have gone through our program. So, that’s why I know, in the very beginning when people have these things going on, I know what’s going to happen. And everybody’s a little skeptical, and it’s wonderful. So, I really appreciate your sharing this with everyone.
Thank you. Thank you.
And the program really did make it easy. It was easy to follow. It was interesting and informative. If I just did as-prescribed, it was easy to apply.
Yeah. That’s wonderful.
So, what’s your outlook going forward? Compared to other diets you’ve followed in the past, what’s your confidence level with sustaining keto?
You know, it’s really high.
Somewhere along the way, a strange thing happened, where I even started visualizing the holidays. Like, “I think I can eat turkey and vegetables, and be fine.” I started projecting myself in the future that way.
And then, I think some of your teaching talked about, “Can you just picture yourself as someone on keto, like a vegetarian that says, unapologetically, ‘I’m a vegetarian. This is how I eat?'” And that really stuck with me. Like, “You know, I think I can.” I think I see the long-term benefits. I’ve had breast cancer, and so I don’t want to go back to any of that. So, I have huge reasons just to unapologetically eat this way, and that’s how I really picture myself now.
If I’m going to a restaurant or an event, I look at the menu ahead of time. I kind of think about what I’m going to eat, and I get excited about it. Like, “Okay. That’s going to be great.” My husband and I went out for our anniversary next last night, and went to a really nice steak place, and I enjoyed every bite of what I chose to eat, and none of it was off the plan. So, I think once you kind of figure it out, it’s sort of freeing in that way.
I’ve even been invited to social situations where I now will say to the person hosting, “I’m on an eating plan, and I don’t like to make a big deal of it, but I pretty much need protein and vegetables,” and they’re great about it. People understand. I think other people are not afraid to say what their dietary needs are, and so I’m learning I have some.
Yeah. So empowering and freeing.
You keep saying freeing too. That’s [inaudible 00:17:26] Yeah.
I do. I do look at other people who maybe are complaining about joint pain, or this or that, or weight gain, or fatigue. And in my brain, I’m just thinking, “I know what could help you.” And sometimes I’ll say, or I’ll share what’s going on with me.
Now, I’m getting to the point where people will ask me what I’m doing because they can see the difference. I’m still on the journey. I still have weight I want to lose. But it just also seems like there’s a part of you that knows, “Okay. There is a secret here that could help a lot of people like it’s helped me,” and that’s why I’m excited about this, about just being a part of … if this can help other people to feel good, and live longer, and avoid diseases, and lose weight, then yeah, I’d like to help.
So, I’ve kind of become a keto proponent, a quiet one, because no one ever likes somebody who’s saying, “Oh, you really shouldn’t eat that.” But I’m kind of thinking it sometimes with people, especially as they’re telling you their struggles, and then you’re looking at what they’re putting in their mouth. So …
Yeah. Well, great. Thank you so much for sharing all of that.
Was there anything else that you were hoping to share before we wrap this up, or …
I think another huge part, though, of the program was just the emotional support, being able to talk to other people through the meeting … phone call thing … meetings, and on Facebook, just as we all went along to be able to say to a group, “Hey, has anybody noticed this?” or, “Have you tried this?” was just really helpful.
It’s a lot different than just trying to do something on your own, so that was really helpful. And the emotional, lowering-stress pieces, the visualization pieces really helped.
Yeah. Well, wonderful.
Thank you so much for sharing your story, and congratulations on your transformation, and the best of … I don’t want to … “Wish you luck in your future” seems like we’re never going to talk to each other again, but I’m looking forward to continuing to see your keto journey, and all the other things that get better because I know that, just like for myself, the longer you do this, the more things that come up on your list of all these things that get better that you just didn’t even know could get better. So, yeah. I look forward to continuing on your journey with you.
Thank you. Thank you.
Yeah. Thanks again, Cindy!
Thank you all for watching. That’s all for now. Bye!