Survey says... FAT BURNING BEAST = AWESOMENESS!
I have been struggling to really make any sort of progress for the last two years. In those two years, I have done some amazing things off of my bucket list BUT none of them were really helping the overall fitness goals I have for myself. Also, all of the racing and distance running had my medical side going bananas constantly. Every three months I have had blood tests done to find that I yet again needed to take more thyroid medication. How was this possible? How is it that my body could seriously have things failing me when here I am running two ultramarathons, five marathons and twenty two other races?
I have struggled with clean eating, IIFYM and following generic runner's diets. Here's the thing...I am not generic. That's where I get hung up. I am iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin D deficient. I have Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism. My grandmother had diabetes type 2 and my mother has multiple sclerosis. All of these things are not "bad"...they just are not generic. So what was there to do? Pray until the answer comes.
The answer hit me on the way back from RAGNAR Ultra Alafia Trail. I was joking with my friends about how there was no way that I could live on this diet that I saw an Instagram person was doing, but I was secretly curious about it. After a breakdown in the middle of the night leg during RAGNAR, I was honestly willing to throw everything I knew out the window. The more I looked at the diet, the more curious I became. At this point, I began to ask questions about information on a Ketogenic diet as well as Whole 30 and Autoimmune Protocol. With my past issues of eating disorders, I try to watch how intense a way of eating may be out of fear that I'd slip back down the rabbit hole.
I began my search with the book Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore. It was a great book but very scientific for me and with the kids running all around I continuously found myself lost, BUT it was enough to convince that it was time to give it a try. No more grain, sugar or vegetable oils. No more chronic cardio. And with Shamrock Half Marathon training beginning within 2 weeks...it was now or wait until March...so I began eating this way right before Christmas. Yes, you read that right. But if you remember...all of this journey began right before Halloween four and half years ago too. Maybe I don't make the easiest choices for my willpower BUT there's no time like now, right?
So here I am...a distance runner...about to start training...and no carbs. OMG! Why am I doing this to myself? No carbs?!!? Do you know how many things in life have carbs? Do you know how many things in a distance runner's world are filled with carbs???? UGH! What have I done... Enter in book #2. Primal Endurance by Mark Sisson & Bradley Kearns. This book spoke to me. It told me that I had nothing to fear as an endurance athlete. This was not a new endeavor but merely new to me. Hearing the break down of how to eat, how to train, how to become this awesome and amazing best version of myself....AND maybe heal some of my health issues in the process. Awesome, right? Well not if your thyroid goes into full blown tanking, only two - three weeks into this incredible change for the better.
One missed race, urgent visit to the endocrinologist and a Keto Bodybuilding by Siim Land later...my medication was raised again. UGH! Maybe this diet is not good for me? What if I'm self sabotaging? What if I caused that tanking? NOOOOOO! This cannot be right. This is supposed to be the answer I prayed for. Alright...one more book. One more and then maybe I'll have more answers. Keto-Adapted by Maria Emmerich . I wish I had read this book first. I wish I had bought the physical book instead of the kindle to highlight and sticky tab ALL THE THINGS! I wish could listen over and over to the audible version tell me that this is the way to handle a broken thyroid!!! All the amazing things this book had to say quieted every last question in my mind. This is the right. This may actually do it. I may have found my healing.
Here I am now at 40 days with the ketogenic way of life. I am keto-adapted...meaning my body uses fat for energy instead of glucose. I do not feel sluggish like I used to at 2 pm aka the mommy nap hour. My training for Shamrock is in week 5. Running has not been an issue beyond the mental grasp of heart rate training to increase my aerobic threshold. Happy to report that my pace has increased from a 13:19 mile per minute to the 9:54 mile per minute in the aerobic zone only over the last four weeks! My weightlifting has not been hurt with this change either. I am actually lifting heavier and pushing myself harder without the fatigue I used to get. Finally, did you see my measurements?!?!!?!?
- Bust down 0.5"
- Abs down 1.2"
- Hips down 1.4"
- Thigh down 0.7"
- Arm down 0.2"
- Body Fat % down 0.52% (equivalent to adding on 2.28 lbs lean mass and down 0.49 lbs fat)
I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me with ketogenic. I am starting to feel like the ceiling has been broken and I cannot be stopped again!