It’s 7 am Sunday morning, when I hear the gentle calls of my four-year-old daughter. “Mommy, wake up mommy, it’s me.” I rub my eyes and without a second thought, I smile and say, “Good morning, sweetie.” We get our morning cuddles in and then I quietly creep away to start my routine. Half asleep I grab my k-cup, brew a cup of coffee, add in a scoop of MCT powder, a scoop of collagen creamer, stevia, and a plant-based creamer. Then I use my milk frother to mix it all together for the best first sip in the morning a girl could ask for.
It dawns on me, that I’ve done all of this without a second thought, completely out of habit. And it’s these moments that confirm for me what I’ve been practicing for almost 2 years now. The low carb life; It’s not a diet it’s a way of life.
There are many diets to choose from, believe me, this isn’t my first rodeo. I think it is important to first have a chat with your doctor and do your research. Each can lead to great results, but in the end, let’s be honest, a huge percentage of success is about what you put into it. I chose the low carb life because the food is so delicious, I feel energized, my mood is better, and my cravings are under control. Also, eating low carb helps me with my lipedema, a condition that causes inflammation and fat to build up in my legs.
Two years ago, when I first embarked on this journey, I knew that for it to be different than before, I had to make it my lifestyle. I didn’t know how to begin since I considered myself to be a serial dieter. The catch phrase, “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle” sounded nice, but it meant nothing unless I could put in the work to make it a reality. In order to make this change become a way of life, I started by making a real commitment to myself to make small changes. Those small changes eventually turned into healthy habits. I learned new recipes, and avoided certain foods, not because I couldn’t have them, but because I didn’t want them. My advice is to not give up just because you had a cheat meal, or day, but to focus on developing a real, healthy relationship with food. I’m still learning that last one. Relationships take work and time.
One method that has helped me stay consistent is through substitutions. I like to work on finding low carb versions of some of my weaknesses like chocolate or pizza. This has really opened my eyes to the endless possibilities that are out there. Sure, it takes a little work in the beginning, but it soon becomes second nature. Plus, aren’t we worth the effort? A great suggestion of bringing a low carb substitute of your favorite dish means you are never left out of the BBQ or dinner party. You’d be surprised by how many of your friends and family who are not eating low carb go for your food.
Now let’s chat about expectations. You will make mistakes. One more time for the people in the back, you are going to mess up! Do not go into this expecting to be perfect. If you do, you’ll fall before you’ve even gotten off the ground. Instead prepare mentally to be there to pick yourself up. Mistakes are a part of the learning process. Embrace them, adjust and keep on going.
I encourage you to find your WHY; your reason to persevere. Try to make it a little more meaningful than the desire to be skinny. A strong WHY will anchor you when you feel you want to quit. My “why” is my children, and my desire to help others. Remember to be your biggest cheerleader, each day that you show up for yourself is another day closer to your goals, because it’s not a diet. It’s a way of life.