I’d love to tell you that hula hooping was the primary factor for my weight loss. My ETSY Shop would be sold out if that were the case! But, unfortunately, I can’t make that claim. (Side Note: If you want to talk about someone who does credit an even greater weight loss to hula hooping, you can read Heather’s story here).
Don’t get me wrong… being active is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and I guarantee that I would have had much more weight to lose had it not been for my fitness regime (which includes hoop dancing, kickboxing, teaching kids’ fitness, and daily walks).
The thing is… I’ve been an athlete my whole life. I even played college tennis, and I’m a certified group fitness instructor. And as a performance artist, I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to look a certain way. But for the last 10 years or so, I’ve been struggling with weight gain. I started to pack on the pounds and couldn’t figure out why. I was hitting the gym, and I was “eating right” (or so I thought). Still, I gained.
Then, in August of 2017, I went shopping for my wedding dress. With my mom, sisters, and best friend bridesmaids surrounding me, we had the teary-eyed “this is the one!” moment. But there were two problems: 1) The gorgeous Hayley Paige dress was out of budget and 2) It was about 4 sizes too small and didn’t zip up.
So, a week later, when the very same dress was marked down exponentially during a trunk sale, I had a big decision to make: Do I let the dream dress get away or Do I purchase it with the understanding that I’d either need to add a corset back or lose a shit ton of weight? I took a chance and chose the latter. This dress was my weight loss motivation:
The amount of weight that I’d need to lose seemed like a huge hurdle, but I began to log my food in a diary, meticulously count calories, and amp up my already-strenuous workouts – even though none of these things had worked for me in the past. Then, in divine timing, a friend asked if I’d ever heard of the Ketogenic Diet. “It’s a high fat, low carbohydrate way of eating that turns the body into a fat-burning machine vs. the traditional glucosamine burning system that most Americans run on.” I was intrigued but had my reservations. I’d tried the Atkins Diet years ago, and I didn’t think living off of cheese and bacon was the way to go. Plus, I’m Pescatarian – meaning that the only meat I eat is sustainable seafood. I’ve eaten this way for more than a decade, and without meat, I thought it was going to be so hard to make the Keto lifestyle work for me. But here’s the thing… it wasn’t! I love to cook, and being a vendor at the Farmers Market made it super easy to pick up organic, fresh veggies on a weekly basis. So, I gave it a shot… and the pounds literally started to fall off!
I called my way of eating “Clean Keto” – I upped the healthy fats (like bullet proof coffee, coconut oil and macadamia nuts) and I completely ditched the sugar and cut carbs down to 30 per day. Leafy greens, sustainable seafood and healthy fats became the backbone of my diet. The first couple of weeks were tough, but then – amazing things started to happen! Not only did the weight start to fall off, but my carb and sugar cravings decreased exponentially.
My body clearly showed me that sugar was the enemy in disguise… All this time, I thought I was fueling my body with healthy foods – eating low fat/ low calorie (and choosing things like a granola bar over an avocado, for example, due to fat content). But I was wrong! Other amazing changes began to occur also… my hunger cravings were drastically reduced; I was hardly ever sore after my workouts (no more inflammation!); I no longer had cramps each month; my skin totally cleared up, I was experiencing more mental clarity, which increased my work productivity, and my overall energy level increased. Then, it all made sense…. I realized that Fat doesn’t make us Fat! Sugar & Carbs were the culprits throwing my body out of whack (and when I say sugar, I mean the sugar that hides in things like pasta, rice & bread).
I became so passionate about my new way of life that I even started a Keto Fit Tribe of my own. Feel free to join our group for recipes, support and motivation (we aren’t selling anything – it’s just good, old-fashioned, community support). And when I showed up for my wedding dress alteration appointment two months before my wedding, I was shocked when the dress zipped right up. It fit like a glove, and I couldn’t believe it! We didn’t need to add that corset back after all.
I’m so grateful that Clean Keto changed my life! I’ve been eating this way for almost a year now, and it’s been the best thing that I’ve ever done for my health.