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My Keto Journey | 43 Pounds Lost on Bacon, Butter and Beef


hi my name is Lori Ballen and I am a
certified ketogenic lifestyle coach I want to tell you a little bit about my
journey and why it might be important to you and how I can help you from here
honestly I started this journey through a series of processes the first was you
know I was never really heavy growing up I was always pretty thin very shapely
bottom-half type of girl you know always packed a little more junk in the trunk I
never really had a problem with it always were like a size 4 dress I’m 5
foot 8 so even though I was a size 4 dress my jeans were bigger because of my
bottom half really tiny waist it’s just kind of how I’m built and over the years
I started putting on a little bit of weight after I started having my
children so my first daughter was born I was 21 put on a little bit of weight not
too bad when I hit the next decade though I’m gonna say thirty yeah I was
pretty thin at thirty after I turned thirty is when things started to change
I had my second daughter and I was 220 pounds when I delivered her and I’d like
to say it was all baby but it wasn’t she was 7 pounds and 9 ounces so it was me
and then I never heard that weight around with me for years afterwards I
had a hard time getting rid of that weight and when I would focus on it I
would get super active at the gym my body would get more tone I would shed
some of the weight but it took me a lot of cardio to really get that to change
and I would kind of yo-yo diet I would go in and out of you know counting my
calories are not counting my calories I’m not one that adopts fads real easily
so I never really did a bunch of those I never really took any health you know
any appetite suppressants or anything like that I just I’ve never been into
that kind of stuff but I always did the counting calories essentially and for me
it would work some of the weight would come off but as soon as I would stop
going to the gym or the holidays would hit or something I would get off track
and then I would wind up putting back on more I had
period of time in 2013 where I was 213 pounds I remember sitting on the beach
and I didn’t want to go down to the beach I was lucky I was sitting out on
the balcony looking at the beach but I didn’t want to go down to the beach
because my body was so big I was so embarrassed and and next to me on the
table was a plate of chocolate cake I mean it was it’s so crazy to even think
about well that was the day I decided to make a change so I came home started a
health routine started counting calories went back to the gym and I shed 40
pounds but it took a while it was it was really over like an 18-month two-year
span 20 the first year 20 the next year so it wasn’t it wasn’t anything super
fast but I was progressing and I was pretty happy with it then my marriage
started falling apart unfortunately I was married for 25 years and we we just
couldn’t do it anymore and I don’t if you’ve ever been through this before you
understand it doesn’t matter what if whether you’re the one that leaves or
asks the other one to leave or but divorce is hard and when it’s your whole
life I mean I got married at 21 years old this was my whole life it’s
everything that I knew I’m actually trying not to cry as I talk about this
because it’s still painful 18 months later anyway when the marriage started
falling apart I started putting on some of that some of that weight back on when
I left the marital home I was 185 so not terrible compared to where I was some of
that weight was still off right but and so then I moved out on my own it was 18
months ago and over through the divorce time period with court battles it was a
it was a hard divorce through court battle and custody battles and all the
stuff that we went through I put on 13 pounds and honestly a lot of that came
on at the very end during the holiday season because that was a really painful
process of learning how to be alone during the holidays and do things
differently right and so I was 198 on December 31st of 2017 and I started keto
on January 1st of 2018 so I now AM 155 and so over that four-month
period I shed and I’ll say shed because you don’t wanna say loss because lost
you can find right and if you drop it you can pick it back up so we’ll use the
term shed I shed 43 pounds and a lot of that came off really fast I actually
shed 18 pounds my first month now I will tell you that with the ketogenic diet
with that way of eating as soon as you get on that keto diet a lot of us shed a
lot of weight and it’s mostly water weight in fact some people actually lose
some weight and then find it again because it was water weight their body
has to adjust and then they give up and say oh it didn’t work for me I gained
weight when really it was just that water weight fluctuating so during that
first month like half of your weight loss is probably gonna be water weight
for some people too significant amount and then your body adjusts you get fat
adapted and you start burning some of that start actually burning fat right so
in my case I can’t tell you why my body just responded amazing to this to this
plan I never got the keto flu some of the things people talk about let me tell
you real quick the ketogenic diet is just a way of eating where we’re eating
a low carb moderate protein high fat diet and so we’re essentially taking out
all the sugars in our diet and we’re taking out all the carbs we’re taking
out all the grains and all the potatoes and all the pastas now I’m gonna tell
you guys I hear all these people say oh I could never do that keto diet because
I love carbs too much man I freaking love carbs are you kidding me
I lived on pasta and mashed potatoes and gravy and hash browns and baked bread
and cereal and oh my gosh I could just go on and on in fact I start drooling if
I talk about too much I thought that was impossible I’m also not a big meat-eater
or I wasn’t I am now I wasn’t before I much preferred vegetables and grains
over meats and have always been very finicky about the meat that all that
I’ll eat so I was just like everybody else
oh I couldn’t possibly do that well you know what I’ll tell you the honest to
god truth what happened to me was this first I decided last year August of last
year to get a surgery procedure done on my eyes okay that is called a
blepharoplasty and what was happening is as I aged I’m 40 well I’ll be 47 this
summer as I’ve aged my eyes my eyelids were getting heavier and heavier and
heavier and we’re starting to make my eyes really squint and wait had a lot of
weight on me and all of that and it was causing those problems very common why
people have those issues really heavy heavy droopy eyelids and then the bottom
of my eyes I had these really huge puffy eye bags no matter what I did they were
there 24/7 and for me it was not as much a looking attractive thing as much as it
was I looked way older than I was was one of the challenges I felt and it was
just something that haunted me all the time every time I was on video I’m a
teacher I’m a trainer I own a real estate business and I own a digital
marketing company I’m on the stage a lot I teach a lot and it was really
bothering me so I made this choice to get this surgery well I’m telling you
this for a reason during the pre-op the doctor asked me to not eat anything out
of a box not drink alcohol don’t drink anything out of a can you know they kind
of County gave me this regimen and then they asked me to do the same thing
following for several weeks after because they wanted to reduce swelling
that was the key reason and apparently a lot of these things had had things in
there that would make you swell well so I went through the procedure and I
followed the doctor’s instructions and I’ll tell you he said I had the largest
bags he’d ever seen when they take out the fat out of there was so extreme and
but yet my healing recovery was the best he’d ever seen and so really great
outcome well I got to thinking about that and I said you know what wait a
minute the doctor
had me stop eating things out of a box top eating things out of a can
avoiding avoiding I forgot the other item I was just like what nothing I can
nothing out of a box anyway so I was eating fresh ingredients right salads
and meats and things that were prepared and I’m not a cook I don’t actually like
to cook so that was a struggle for me what am I gonna eat if I can’t eat out
of a can so I started eating a lot of filet mignon actually steak chicken I
ditched the rice no potatoes because I didn’t make anything from scratch so I
wasn’t making those no Hamburger Helper none of my go-to staples right and I
thought if he had me do all that stuff to reduce inflammation there has to be
something to this so after that I began looking up clean eating as how I started
I think I was just looking up fresh clean eating and I stumbled across a
ketogenic diet and when I was reading this I was reading that it’s the lowest
anti-inflammatory diet out there that it if when done properly you’re gonna get
more energy you’re not gonna have afternoon brain fog your performance is
gonna increase and I thought well gosh if I’m so extreme that I was willing to
go get plastic surgery on my eyes why would I then stuff my body full of all
of these chemicals and salts and not salts but things that make you swell
from the carbs and and sugar which is just so toxic to our bodies why would I
do all of those things and eat out of Candida of a box if I’m willing to go do
surgery like it really seems silly to me and I went okay I need to try this for a
little while and see how to see what my body does and I will tell you it
responded immediately so the ketogenic way of eating is
basically low carbs so it’s it’s net twenty carbs is my goal for me so I
don’t want to eat net 20 carbs means total carbs
– fiber equals your net carbs that’s all I’m subtracting okay total total carbs –
fiber equals net carbs for me that goal is 20 I watched a few videos and really
I just kind of started and I I don’t think I start
perfectly but I started with the best thing I knew how to do net 20 carbs I
can do that so I downloaded My Fitness Pal and I started tracking what I was
eating wow I didn’t even know what I was doing like I didn’t really understand
macros I didn’t really understand how many how much protein you should have
her fats or why you should eat more fats I really didn’t know all that that very
beginning I kind of learned that as I went along well when you start tracking
what you eat and tracking your foods and the one thing you know is that you have
to say under 20 you know net 20 carbs which might be 25 or 30 carbs but after
your fiber net 20 I could not believe the amount of carbs it was in food I ate
everyday like my normal little bottle of orange juice had 35 carbs in it per
serving and they counted that as two servings or something like that it was
insane I almost cried I was like oh my goodness you know my blueberry muffins
what I loved every morning a lot of the chocolate I was eating of course but
then when you get into the grains that I ate so much bread and so much potatoes
and it’s just carbs carbs carbs carbs cereal I had no idea you just don’t
realize how many carbs are are things like corn on the cob you know when
you’re on the keto diet we’re eating vegetables that grow above ground and
even though there are some carbs they’re not as high in carbs as many of the
other items so I don’t really do carrots I don’t do corn there’s specific
vegetables that are really in my in my series which I’ll talk about in my
coaching program but I was you learn you learn while you’re tracking these things
and suddenly as I studied more once I nailed that low-carb thing I was like ah
got it okay now let’s look at this protein
because a lot of people make the mistake of just going out eating all protein and
that’s not the answer either you want your body to go into this state of
ketosis when you’re on the keto diet which is where the name comes from which
is where your body basically adapts to living off of ketone bodies or ketones
that your body produces instead of glucose and these ketones are only
produced when your body thinks it’s starving essentially and when you take
these carbs out of your system and that happens your
body starts saying it’s starving and starts producing these ketones you get
that adapted and before you know it your body is now living off fat in eating its
own fat essentially then then living off of glucose your brain really can only
operate off one or the other and when you’re out when you have ketones you are
so much more focused and and I gosh I can’t even tell you I mean I I open
another business during this time I I’ve had more creative ideas I’ve been more
patient I’ve done better with leverage I sleep better my energies through the
roof and my body is living off of ketones now am i perfectly keto no
problem no but pretty close when I say privily keto I mean I’ve
gotten to the point now where I’m following a lot more of learned a lot
more of the how to eat organic and I wasn’t doing any of that in the very
beginning I really wasn’t worried about now I’m buying grass-fed beef and
grass-fed butter and grass-fed cheese so I’ve got a uh gone a lot further into
these suggested foods and a lot of the process I’ve had a couple of times
actually only two times in four months did I mess up two times in four months
I’m pretty darn proud of that one time was when my grandmother was dying
unfortunately and we actually spent a week by her bedside in her home while
this happened and it was incredibly stressful for everybody for the entire
family I was in charge of food of all things and so I was one running around
buying food cooking the food preparing the food I did great the first few days
somebody requested Krispy Kremes I was toast that was it the Krispy Kremes got
me so I ate one Krispy Kreme well guess what happens when your body is operating
off of ketones and your fat adapted you no longer are having these cravings for
sugar and carbs I’m never I’m hardly ever hungry you adapt and suddenly you
don’t need those items now when I look at my daughter eating ice cream cone or
somebody somebody’s brings over fast food of all things to our office meeting
or something sure do I want it what do I want to have
some yeah I do but it’s pretty it’s not too hard for me to say no because I know
what’s happening with my body I know I no I want to keep going so I have more
goals and I feel so good this was one of those times when my willpower was at its
lowest my energy was at its lowest my emotional capacity was completely
drained I had no willpower left when I ate that
donut its spiraled it turned into a series of cravings I came home I ate a
bag of baked cheddar chips downed that with a can of coke and then the next
morning got up and had a a tower I believe it was the planning of the
funeral the next day that I got up and we all went to breakfast I was a big
family and I eat potatoes and baked bread and drank orange juice and all of
that I got to tell you right now I don’t regret it at all I was sick a couple
days and it took me probably four days to get back in ketosis and back on my
plan right after that I started shedding weight again it I learned a lot from the
experience and I will purposely do that again at some point sometimes and I know
that I will probably do it again for because there’s a stressful situation
that’s okay as long as I know how to respond and and keto is a very forgiving
plan so you just get back on when you mess up so that happened the other time
was actually right after I had a full hysterectomy that was only a month ago
and I guess it immediately puts you into menopause I’m a 46 year old woman this
happens I had the surgery I didn’t have hardly any other symptoms which again I
credit to the keto diet and hardly any pain or swelling or and no swelling my
stomach is flat as a pancake goes yeah I was absolutely great but I did crave
chocolate for some reason I had like three days couple weeks in after the
recovery or weekend it something hit me and I binge on chocolate and cookies for
like two days all the cookies in the house that might I buy for my teenager I
just rampaged I adjusted I got back on I did it fast I was right back on to the
ketogenic diet so what I wanted to do what I’m telling you is there is such an
for I believe somebody that is of my type of personality there’s a lot of
Quito experts out there that are doctors nutritionists scientists full-time
health coaches body coaches fitness coaches you know that kind of thing that
really have a high level scientific understanding of the ketogenic diet of
the body of nutrition and I’ve watched all of their videos I mean at some point
anyway and I don’t think that there’s really anybody like me out there that is
kind of speaking the everyday language that is living this life that can talk
to you in real dill terminology and so based on the demand of my of my peers
and my social audience for my other businesses I put out a little tester to
see what people would think of getting having a program and having me do some
keto coaching response is absolutely amazing and so I went ahead and got my
certification and started keto days group coaching program I have a website
at Ketodays.com and where we inside the website are setting up our goals
we’re tracking our macros we’re tracking our weight loss we’ve got tons of
resources recipes and meal plans and starter guides and 101 kids and video
and then we also have a supplementary Facebook group that’s exclusive to
members only of this monthly subscribing group coach group coaching clients where
we post our macros every night and we’re supporting each other and we’re sharing
recipes and I’m you’re actually guiding the group as well and answering
questions answering Facebook messages and text messages I’ve got people that
are messaging me from the grocery store saying can I drink this or should I buy
this and if there’s things I don’t know because I it’s it I’ve only been on keto
for a short time I’ve had amazing results yet I have a lot to learn so
it’s not something that I do know at the time I go out and get it so I’m super
resourceful I’m probably one of the most resourceful people who ever meet
it’s one of my skills and so I’m quickly able to go grab a video or a book or
recipe somebody the other day asked about a very specific grocery store
that’s not anywhere near me here in Las Vegas
so I’d never heard of it and she wanted to know if anybody had created a
shopping list for that grocery store and in 30 seconds I had four lists for her
and so that’s who I am as a guide and as a coach as I’m super resourceful and I’m
kind of your interpreter between you and the scientists and the doctors I’ve got
the real-deal experience it allows me to bring to the table what worked for me
and then I can share that with you as well I do advise everybody to go get
blood work done see your doctor’s eye if you have any kind of medical conditions
obviously check with them first there are a lot of medical conditions that can
benefit from the ketogenic diet but if you are seeing a doctor I suggest that
you discuss that with them first hopefully they’re aware of the program
lots of doctors do recommend it find out for you because everybody’s different if
you’re interested in learning more if you’re not already in with us about the
keto way of living check out Ketodays.com and I look forward to being your
coach

Randall Smitham

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Trinii1 Posted on April 6, 2019 at 2:25 am

    🙏 🎈 🆒 💃 👍

    Reply
  2. Dee Posted on August 8, 2019 at 1:19 am

    Subscribed 🙂 Sorry to hear about your divorce. My parents divorced when I was 22 it’s really hard, I know

    Reply
  3. Groaty McOats Posted on August 29, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    You're 47?

    Wow… you look incredible!

    Reply
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