Before and after (or during) photos are really compelling. I love seeing those of people who've lost weight or had makeovers or toned up, sometimes all three at the same time. These images inspire me to keep going. Love it when the person in the after photo appears to be taken of a wholly different one than the one in the before. It can seem impossible that one can get from one place to the next. It must be magic. Or trickery. Or photo editing. But then it sinks in real change is possible.
I've shared a couple of photos of myself - a huge deviation from my comfort zone and something I still struggle with doing - in hopes that it may help someone over a hump. Not that I'm done. I'd like to lose about 10 more pounds.
But there are things I see in photos of myself that go beyond the change in my girth. I see a woman who's achieved a level of contentment. Of happiness inside herself. Dare I write, love of oneself? Loving oneself is a challenge for many women in general. Fat women?
No matter how good a person, how intelligent, how good a friend or devoted a mother and spouse, no matter how successful at work - all things that should be treasured and nurtured in our opinions of ourselves - all this can be overshadowed by a large arse and multiple chins. And society reinforces that a fat person surely will lack contentment, After all, how many times have we heard it voiced that "I'd never let myself get that big. If I do, put me out of my misery" or something of that ilk. And many of us who have weight to lose buy in to that.
For me, I ran a low-grade depression most of the time. It was not evident to those around me. Through strength of my personality (namely, I'm a gregarious loudmouth) I could shift into autopilot around others. But inside my head I was sinking and had been for some time. Depression is vexing. Particularly when you have a wonderful life. What did I have to be depressed about?
The quick answer is easy: You're fat. You should be depressed. Being fat is the WORST THING TO BE. EVER.
That's hyperbole, but we all know many people feel this way.
But here's thing, I haven't struggled with depression in over 2 years. Not a lick. Not a hint of that horrible cloak of bleakness descending, something to which I had become accustomed. And it's not because I've lost 84.2 pounds. The change started within a couple of weeks of eliminating carbohydrates from my diet. Is it because my insulin normalized, preventing the spikes and drops that many of us experience when being fueled by glucose? Is there physiology that explains a high fat diet impacting some part of the brain where depression lives? I don't know. Seriously. I'm asking. . If you know, please comment and share the answer.
So, when I look at the two photos above, I see an auto-pilot smile on the left. On the right I see a truly happy, in control of her life, content - and loved - woman.
The information I present here is based on my own experiences and personal research. While I’ve been fortunate to have exposure to leading researchers, physicians and journalists regarding the ketogenic specifically and LCHF (low carb/high fat) more generally, we are all responsible for our own choices, including what we put in our mouths. I welcome questions, comments and even civil criticism. I’m still learning. So, i you have something to add, go for it. Thanks! - Casey