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My name is Genevieve Vachon (@genevieve.gensocial), and I am 36 years old. I am from Sudbury, Ontario, and I am a social media manager. Instead of going through with weight-loss surgery, I committed to the keto diet and macro tracking and working out with TeamBodyProject to lose 84 pounds.
I have struggled with being overweight since an early age. Once I reached 18 years old, I already weighed 270 pounds. So I took control over my life and began a weight-loss journey.
Within a year and a half, I lost 110 pounds with regular exercise and calorie counting. I managed to keep the weight off for many years until I decided to quit smoking at 24 years old. At the same time, I also suffered from depression and anxiety. Within a year I gained over 100 pounds back as a result of overeating.
Over the next decade, I tried everything to lose weight again. From Weight Watchers to low-carb eating, each diet would only last a few days (or, at most, a month or two). None of my attempts were successful.
At the beginning of 2020, I was 315 pounds and dealing with so many health issues from my weight.
Those issues included back pain and body aches every morning, sore joints, acne, lack of energy, and worsening asthma. I was a stay at home mom of two, and taking care of myself was hardly a priority. Even though my personal self-care was pushed aside for so long, losing weight and getting into shape was always in mind.
I asked my doctor for a referral to receive weight-loss surgery. My doctor believed I was an excellent candidate. In March 2020, I had my first orientation meeting at the hospital, which was a huge eye opener. There were many aspects of weight-loss surgery that I had no idea about. After orientation, I had to complete five meetings with five different professionals. I met with a nurse, social worker, physiotherapist, pharmacist, and a dietitian.
After each meeting, I grew more and more nervous and scared. Weight-loss surgery meant so many physical changes to my body and included so many food restrictions. I’d never be able to enjoy coffee again, and a glass of wine was also something that was going to be strictly limited. My husband and I love to entertain, and we love to enjoy food and wine together. He was just as weary as I was. Weight-loss surgery was going to change our lives, and I wasn’t sure I was ready for it.
I told my best friend about all of my fears. She had been on the keto diet for four years, and suggested I give it a try
We thought keto could be a last resort before having life-altering surgery. I never in a million years thought that keto would work for me. I love sweets, bread, and pasta. But I went home one night and thought about it. What did I have to lose? I was terrified of going through with the weight-loss surgery.
In June 2020, I decided to try the keto diet...and it totally worked for me.
It works for me because I am a total foodie, and I haven't had to give up my passion for cooking and enjoying delicious food. I have found healthy low-carb bread and wrap options that I use on a daily basis. I am able to bake delicious keto sweet treats, which have been a lifesaver, especially around the holidays. Charcuterie boards and dips have always been some of my favorite foods, and I have been able to continue to enjoy them.
And it is easy to modify my meal while cooking for the entire family. A quick swap of rice for cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles for pasta works for me.
Here’s what I eat in a day on the keto diet.
Lunch: 3 oz. salmon over a Greek salad with kale, arugula, cucumber, feta, and Renee’s Greek Feta dressing.
Snacks: No-sugar keto bombs (peanut butter and mint ones are my favorite), pepperettes, or a keto dessert like PB Cookies and Fat Snax. I have a subscription to Keto Krate, which is an incredible way to try new keto snacks.
Dinner: Broccoli and cheese-stuffed chicken breast served over cauliflower rice, sautéed with spinach and avocado oil.
Dessert: Keto cheesecake topped with raspberries.
I began consistently working out three months after my weight-loss journey began.
I did not start exercising right away. Exercising at my heaviest was extremely difficult. I would become out of breath very quickly and muscle pain would last a week.
I fell in love with these workouts. They are challenging, low-impact and easy to follow. I am the most uncoordinated person and can keep up! After working out using the free Youtube videos for over three months, I decided to pay for a subscription to the website for more variety of workout videos and programs.
I consistently follow these programs five days a week for 30-40 minutes. I also walk three days a week for 30-60 minutes.
These three changes made the biggest difference in my weight-loss results.
I started tracking macros. Since beginning keto, I have downloaded the Carb Manager app and track my macros daily. Tracking my macros helps me monitor the ratios of carbs, fat, and protein that I am consuming. Tracking food has also helped me gain a better understanding of servings and portion sizes.
I started eating more food from home. Fast food used to be a problem for me. I would purchase fast food five times per week. Since doing keto, I plan my meals out at the beginning of each day, cook more meals at home, and pack my food and snacks when visiting friends. At the beginning, I felt awkward bringing my own low-carb snacks to a friend's place. Now, my friends and family are used to the fact that I usually show up prepared with my own snacks. Thinking ahead ensures that I don’t go without food for too long, which could lead to overeating later in the day. It also allows me the opportunity to eat along with others in the group.
I found exercise that worked for me. Nine months ago, I would become out of breath walking slowly down the street and could barely keep up on a bike ride with the family. I looked at exercise as punishment and dreaded every minute of it because it was hard. But I found a work out that I absolutely *love.* It's low-impact, easy to follow, and the facilitators are uber-motivational. After six consistent months of working out, I look forward to moving my body! I look forward to the feeling of accomplishment and strength. I look forward to the changes I'm seeing in my body and my overall health. And my kids join me for my work out each day. I am finally setting a good example for them, and that means so much to me.
I have lost 84 pounds in nine months.
There are still moments when I feel discouraged, overeat, fluctuate in weight, hit plateaus, don’t workout consistently, don’t drink enough water, or just generally feel like I have stalled my progress. But the difference for me this time around is that I understand that this journey has no end destination. I have committed to bettering myself.
I've made a lifelong promise. After an out-of-routine day or cheat day, I wake up and get back into making healthy choices the next day without shame or guilt.
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