Today I’m sharing Amber’s story of making her way from vegan to pescatarian to keto—and, ultimately, to health!
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I was already 20 pounds overweight when I gave birth to my son in 2016. During pregnancy I put on another 40 pounds, which put me in the obese category. I let myself indulge in every craving (mainly strawberry shortcake) and paid no attention to the scale. I was overly confident the weight would fall off after delivery, but when it didn’t, I started to think this was just my new normal.
Six months later I joined a gym. On day one I stepped on the scale, and when the number was displayed I was completely mortified. I had zero muscles in my abdomen, and they often had to create different exercises specifically for me as I could not participate in their regular classes. I was embarrassed but determined, and after 11 months I was down 30 pounds and feeling proud.
However, I was hungry most of the day. In an effort to drop the weight, I had “tinkered” with diets. At the time, I was on a vegan diet that quickly turned into a pescatarian diet. One day, my gym announced they were moving locations and could no longer provide daycare for my son. Just like that, my gym days were over. I tried to “will” myself to the gym at 5 a.m. but it NEVER went well. I could barely keep my eyes open let alone do a proper workout.
I let the membership expire and quickly noticed the weight coming back. I could not understand how this was happening. I thought I was making healthy meals. A normal day went like this:
- One piece of sourdough toast with avocado and some juice.
- For lunch I would make vegan nachos comprised of a starch-like substance to substitute for cheese along with black beans, rice, lettuce, and tomato served over chips.
- For dinner I would make yet another dish with beans or fish with gnocchi.
It went on like this for the next two years, and abruptly white wine enters the picture. Wine became a constant in my life and—surprise!—I started gaining even more weight. I was tired all the time; I went to bed at 8 and yet woke up exhausted.
At age 32 I thought for the first time that this was not any way to live life. I decided to address this extreme exhaustion with my doctor. She ordered labs, and when the results came back (sparing you the details) everything was elevated to “red” in EVERY category. I was shocked and ashamed.
My doctor explained a “new” diet she heard remarkable things about called keto. She said I should investigate it and recommended I lose the weight ASAP. I shrugged it off and told her I was a pescatarian and I would figure it out. I left and tried to be better. This means I had one less glass of wine and that was it.
At the time, my son was enrolled in a program that incorporated in-home visits from specialized teachers in the area. About a month after my visit to the doctor one of the teachers I had first met a year prior was coming over. She rang the doorbell and said, “Hello again,” which I thought was odd, as I did not recall meeting her. She then said, “I think we met last year,” to which I replied, “No, I don’t think so”—then it hit me! She was 90 POUNDS HEAVIER when we met. My jaw dropped and she said, “Yeah, I lost quite a bit”. As the session neared the end, I asked her how she did it and she replied “I did keto, you should try it”
Yet again, I rolled my eyes and said, “We are pescatarians, but I’m glad it worked for you.”
Looking back, I can see the pattern of little “nudges” pointing me in the right direction, but it wasn’t until a Joe Rogan podcast when one of the guests mentioned keto that I thought hmm… maybe there is something to this.
The guest mentioned your name and I quickly googled to find out more. I didn’t know if it was going to work, but I knew I had to try something different. My first step was to introduce the idea of a meat-centered diet to my husband—whom I had spent so long convincing to get rid of meat altogether. I found Butcher Box and explained how ethical their standards were and that if we went back to meat-eating, we would do it “the right way”.
I then purchased your book The Keto Reset Diet. I listened to every word and followed every suggestion. I downloaded a “keto” app that required me to add all the meals into it, then it would calculate my net carbs. I made the decision to make the change and did it. I bought a Peloton bike to exercise at home and stuck with it.
The first picture you see was taken on August 9th, 2019 the second was taken on April 1st, 2022. I am 5’9, and my starting weight was 193 and my end is 140. I have since bought two more of your books and countless Primal Kitchen food products. I am having no trouble at all keeping it off and maintaining a healthy weight thanks to your techniques. I have told friends and family about your books and encouraged them to try. I have now become one of “those” keto people.
Thanks so much, Mark!
You’re very welcome, Amber! I’m glad you found something that worked for you. And thanks for sharing it with all of us.