Week 3 – Session 4 with Megan Kelly – My next steps with keto and IF and learning the art of acceptance

Sorry for the lack of eye contact in this one, I was looking at the wrong side of my phone for most of it! As always, the transcript is below the video.

My goal with this video series of “vlogs” is to share how I, as someone with Hashimoto’s / Autoimmune Disease experiences keto and Intermittent Fasting, in hopes that it might be helpful for others who are considering trying these dietary approaches for weight loss, overall health and recovery. If you can relate to anything I talk about, or have a different experience, I’d be interested to hear about it, so please don’t be shy and share your comments below!

Hi Everybody! So, I’m here today with my Week 3 check-in for my keto and intermittent fasting plan. I’ve been doing – almost everyday – 16 hours of fasting and an 8-hour eating window, and I’ve been maintaining a sort-of-keto balance. This week, actually, my carb rate went up a little bit. I was up around 19% instead of the optimal 10%. And my fat percentage went down to 58% instead of the 70% I’m aiming for. So, I wasn’t quite as strong on the keto.

I did, however, manage to lose 1.2 pounds, so that’s a total of just over 3 pounds in 3 weeks. Not too bad, I’m actually pretty pleased with that.

WWMD? (What Would Megan Do?)

(Please note: What I talk about here is paraphrased from what I learned from Megan, these are not her exact words).

Yesterday I had my fourth session with my nutritionist Megan Kelly, and I expressed to her that I’ve been kind of worried that – you know, for those who are dieters, you’re probably familiar that in your first week or two, typically you tend to lose a lot of weight all at once. It’s not unheard of to lose 5-6 pounds in the first week, maybe another 3 or 4 in the next week. And that didn’t happen for me, so I’ve been worried, am I going to hit a plateau really soon? Am I going to stall with my weight loss?

I also haven’t had that surge of energy that a lot of people talk about when they’re doing keto and intermittent fasting. So, it made me wonder, am I not getting into ketosis enough? Or are my adrenals so tapped out that I’m not producing adrenaline or cortisol or whatever.

Megan said she was actually pretty encouraged that that didn’t happen, because a lot of times when you do drop a lot of weight all at once, it’s often because it was a lot of water and it’s an indication of a lot of inflammation from probably pretty poor diet.

Also, if I was to have that sort of adrenaline response, that’s really a stress response, and as someone with an AI Disease, who already is prone to inflammation and adrenal fatigue, we don’t want to add to that.

The fact that I haven’t had a lot of irritability or distressing hunger, that’s all good signs. Slow and steady is what we’re after here. We need to have a nice balance so that I can sustain it. That has been my challenge throughout my life, sustaining my choices – my habits – for a longer period of time so that they can become sort of “new normal.”

The other thing I asked Megan about was my energy levels. I am taking thyroid medication, and last I checked my hormones were in the normal range – maybe not in the optimal range, but in the normal range. And so I don’t understand why it is that just because, let’s say, I might do a moderate intensity workout, and then choose to do an hour or two of housework, and then maybe go grab some groceries, that I should now need 2 days to recover from that because I’m just so wiped out. That just seems crazy to me, and why would that be the case if I am taking this medication?

She reminded me that there are other aspects to AI Disease besides your thyroid hormones at play. Inflammation is part of that, and also thyroid and adrenals tend to kind of have a bit of a vicious cycle between them, so adrenals are often overstressed or overtaxed.

Acceptance

So, I am still clearly in a recovery mode and it’s hard to say how long my body may need to take to fully recover. And until that time, Megan just kind of encouraged me to nurture a sense of acceptance. That’s definitely something I have struggled with. I’m always saying “I should be able to do this!” and actually, she advised me to try to accept that part of what my body needs right now is rest.

So, if I’m going to do a fairly hard workout – or what’s hard for me at this point – don’t plan to do a whole bunch of housework on the same day. Or, if I do, then plan that I will need a day or two of lower energy days to recover. And I guess she’s right, because clearly that’s the facts. So that is something I will continue to be working on.

I asked her what level of exercise she recommended. She said that typically the recommendation is like, 30 minutes of walking a day, and maybe 90 minutes of yoga a week. I have actually been doing 30 minutes of walking per day, and usually 3 workouts a week of more light weight or bodyweight training with a bit of cardio.

She acknowledged that for me, there is a strong mental health component. I feel good about myself when I’m working out and getting stronger, even though my progress is a lot slower than it used to be. She doesn’t think that I’m overdoing it, and that I should just manage those workouts with other activities that I have to do in any given day.

What’s Next?

So, I guess the key message is, stay the course, continue to be gentle, and gradual. So, I’m going to continue with this level of keto and IF for another 2 or 3 weeks and just see how I’m doing. See if the weight loss continues at this pace, make sure that my energy and my hunger stays steady. If I continue to get good or consistent results, I’ll stick with it. If I start to plateau with the weight loss, or I start to get irritable or have other signs of not feeling good, then I’ll reach out to Megan again for another consultation and talk about changing things up a bit. Maybe reintroducing some carbs but with some longer fasts.

The key thing I want to do is make sure I don’t jump too far into things too fast. And that is something that I’ve super appreciated about working with Megan. My tendency is to jump into things with both feet and push too hard. She helped me to progress through the last 3 weeks in a slow and steady way and that’s been really helpful for me in maintaining it. Had I been left to my own devices, I probably would have jumped into what I’m doing now in the first week, and probably would have ended up with headaches, maybe more fatigue, more irritability, cravings, and probably would have given up. So, it’s been really helpful and I’m really glad that I did reach out to work with Megan.

So that’s my plan. I’m also going to start reading a book called “The Obesity Code” that’s been recommended to me by a few folks. It is by Dr Jason Fung, and he’s the foremost authority on Intermittent Fasting, and he’s from Scarborough too (that’s where I’m from)! So that’s what I’ll do and I’ll be back with another update in a couple of weeks and let you know how I’m doing.

So, until then, stay safe, and stay well! Bye!

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