Well, what brought me here to starting this website and writing this page you’re reading now?
It started pretty much around my 30th birthday. I had been putting on more and more weight and had gotten to the biggest I’d ever been in my life. I had a bad back from a car accident in 2014 and a bad knee from an injury back in high school. I kept throwing out my back and had hurt it quite badly around that time. I could barely move, couldn’t bend over to pick something up, sit for too long, stand for too long, walk for too long. Definitely couldn’t do anything active. My knee rarely gave me complaint before, but with all that weight it had gotten so bad I couldn’t move it properly. I could barely walk up or down stairs.
I also had terrible swelling in my body, especially my lower legs and feet and my hands and forearms. My legs were so swollen I couldn’t bend them properly. I had to be regularly given ultrasounds for DVT and give myself injections to prevent blood clots when travelling. I was given medication to help relieve the swelling which did virtually nothing, but have me constantly needing to be within 5 minutes of a toilet at any given time.
I had been on anti-depressants for some time, which had helped contribute to all the weight gain and weren’t giving me much relief from my depression and anxiety symptoms. They also didn’t help my terrible brain fog and lack of concentration. Another side effect of the anti-depressants was terrible acid reflux which I was on 2 different medications for, neither of which made much difference.
My weight was so massive that with my sleep apnoea I would feel my oxygen being cut off when I’d start drifting to sleep on my back, which would jerk me awake again. When I’d sit a while in a chair the circulation would start getting cut off in my legs and they would go dead, so I had to keep getting up every 10 minutes or so to get the feeling back. There were 3 events that happened very close to each other that made me realise that I was going to do whatever it took to get my weight under control.
A few days before my own birthday, I went to my son’s little cousin’s first birthday party. People were staring at me and I could see people whispering and looking at me. That was the first thing. (Btw, if any family members or friends are reading this, please don’t feel guilty, you had reason!) At the end of the party I was gathering our things to leave and struggling to reach and pick up a bag off the floor that had been moved under a table. My son’s great-grandmother (dear Nanna) helpfully grabbed it for me and it suddenly hit me that I wasn’t even 30 yet and I just needed a woman who was nearly 70 to pick up a bag for me because I wasn’t able to. That reality hit me really hard.
Then a few days later it was my own birthday party and we had a small lunch to celebrate my 30th. My legs kept going dead sitting in the chair as usual and I had someone sitting right behind me, so couldn’t keep getting up to get the feeling back. I thought, I’ll just ignore it. It’ll be fine. Very quickly I lost feeling in my legs so badly that I couldn’t move them and couldn’t get up. I had to ask my brother to help lift and stand me up out of the chair. That’s when I decided this is my last meal of eating whatever I want. It’s time to get serious and I adopted the low carb way of eating through Atkins.
The next three months were spent losing and gaining the same 3kgs, stressing, thinking I was doing everything right and wondering why I wasn’t losing anything. During that time I found out what true low carb was and ditched Atkins in favour of a more LCHF approach. I lost my acid reflux, my bloating and some of the swelling, but not much else. Christmas came and I thought I had ‘behaved’ myself quite well. Then stepped on the scales to see I had gained and was right back where I started. I got angry and I decided I was going to throw myself into this with everything I had.
That’s when I started RESEARCHING!!! The number one thing I would advise anyone to do. Armed with information, knowledge and the science behind this way of eating (woe), I began to understand where I was going wrong and what I could be doing better. I did almost nothing but research for a month straight. And I applied my research. I cut my carbs more carefully, cut my portion sizes, cut compliant sweets and baking and started intermittent fasting. The results felt instantaneous. Suddenly my back pain was so much better and my knee pain almost completely gone. My swelling was gone completely. My energy and mood were through the roof. I was able to reduce my anti-depressants and one I went off completely. Gone were the acid reflux meds, swelling meds and injections as well. My thinking was clearer, my brain fog improved dramatically. I felt FANTASTIC and I started to drop the weight. Within the first month I had dropped 9 kilos. Within the second another 5 kilos.
By the second month I felt so good and was marvelling at what a difference in so many things had been made with a simple change in nutrition. I wanted to share my feelings and happiness with people. I wanted to tell them how incredible this woe is. But most people aren’t up to speed or can even be very negative about low carb diets and especially fasting. I didn’t feel comfortable talking to people around me about it. I felt they wouldn’t be interested or believe me. So that’s when I discovered low carb groups and suddenly I had a ton of people to share my joy, my experiences, my increasing good health and to see all of theirs. I learned even more and I started feeling confident enough to help out new people starting on the path with what I’d learned.
Then I started to think more about not only weight loss, but about my health in general. Here I was, telling people how awesome this woe is, but was I setting a good example of being healthy by still smoking cigarettes and drinking mass quantities of Pepsi Max every day? So I decided those had to go too and I gave them both up that second month. The benefits of quitting smoking are already well known but if anyone out there thinks artificial sweeteners aren’t that bad for you, guess again! I’d been drinking Pepsi Max every day of my life for over 20 years and within a week of giving it up I could feel the difference. I just felt…better! Healthier, happier, less depression. I’d always heard that artificial sweeteners could exacerbate depression, but I never really believed it until that point.
From there it was just a continuing journey. I started engaging more within my groups and sharing dishes I’d made. Then I started sharing my weight loss results. And then I started wondering what foods I could make low carb myself? I had been cooking since I was about 8 years old and liked creating recipes so I started creating low carb ones. I also took the opportunity to create recipes using organ meats since I love them and a lot of people don’t realise how fantastic they are for our diets. There are also few low carb recipes that use them. I also started working and researching on how I could use my food to improve my mental health more and started introducing lots of fermented foods too. Then came kombucha! And I started brewing for the fantastic probiotic benefits. Along the way people have drawn inspiration from my posts, enjoyed my recipes and appreciated my advice.
I had a few suggestions to start a blog, then more and more. I started an Instagram for all my food and progress pics and people seemed to like that, so finally I decided to come here, to this website. To create a place where all I had learned could be shared collectively and freely with anyone who cared to read it. And if you’ve read this far, welcome to my site and hopefully (if you haven’t taken them already), your first steps into the low carb way of eating!