keto : transformation tuesday - kayla

Hi! My name is Kayla. I’m 22 and I’m a recovering carboholic.

Growing up I was the chubby friend, the chubby sibling, the chubby girl. I wasn’t severely overweight ever but I definitely was never able to borrow my friends clothes who were all naturally really small. My family didn’t eat much junk food growing up, so I’m not really sure why I specifically struggled with weight.

I’ve had a love hate relationship with my body since high school.

I gained a lot of weight and tried dieting which was really excessively restricting my caloric intake and working out a lot. When I overate, I would purge. When all else failed, I just didn’t eat. I was never clinically diagnosed with an eating disorder, but I just had a bad relationship with self control regarding food and my body.

During college, I began noticing that my clothes were no longer fitting and I was starting to get these really intense purple stretch marks. I was 20. I was embarrassed of myself and hid behind baggy clothes and layers. I knew I actually had to make a change not just for looks but my overall health. I had tried everything. Healthy meal prepping via the food pyramid, cutting out red meat, being pescatarian, etc. - you name it, I tried it. On top of that I was beginning to regularly exercise, mostly cardio and light weights. Nothing was working.

One of my close friends' doctor recommended she try eliminating carbs and when she told me about it I started doing the same. I started doing my own research and from looking up “low carb” I discovered keto. At first it was a lot to take in and I couldn’t comprehend that I could eat lots of butter but not an apple. But I followed the basic keto rules and it felt like someone stuck a needle in an overly inflated balloon. I essentially eliminated majority of my bloating and my stretch marks were slowly going away. I kept it up and incorporated lots of water as well as weight lifting and less cardio and it was the perfect balance for me. In about 1 1/2 years I’ve only lost about 15 pounds but I’ve gone down 2 dress sizes. I’ve lost more inches than pounds. All that matters is how I feel and how my clothes feel when they’re on. I’ve also got much clearer skin now, I don’t have lots of redness and constant breakouts I used to get from processed carbs. My mental clarity has improved I feel more energized and overall I don’t feel sluggish and bloated.

My biggest advice to people is don’t give up.

You didn’t gain a ton of weight and develop unhealthy eating habits overnight so don’t expect it to be fixed overnight. Also keep your meals simple until you get into the swing of things: fatty meats, low carb veggies, hard boiled eggs, almonds, and cook things in butter. My favorite recipe is chicken fried cauliflower “rice” I post about it a lot on my Instagram and it’s so amazing. Don’t get caught up in trying to whip up fancy meals until you’re ready. Social events can sometimes be a struggle when everyone’s eating cake and you’re not but don’t let it define you. If you can control yourself and you’re in a good place, eat the slice of cake. If you know it will be hard for you just pass! It’s not the end of the world. Also most of the time it’s an interesting conversation starter especially if you have progress pictures.

Another important piece of advice is plan ahead or meal prep, give it time, and keep meals simple.

Follow Kayla on Instagram: @carbfreekayla