The Keto Diet Crushed My Soul But Taught Me One Good Thing

By the time I was 18, after I moved out of my house and put some distance between me and my alcoholic father, I started binge-eating . I mastered a routine of not eating in the mornings until I was hungry (which usually wasnt until around lunchtime), but then, I'd eat constantly for the remainder of the day. I loved starchy carbs like bread, potatoes, and pasta. And Pepsi...lots and lots of Pepsi.

View this post on Instagram From a prisoner in my own body to living my life out loud. I'm over a year into maintaining a 230 lb weight loss. I love finding new #NSV's that I will no longer take for granted. One of the biggest NSVs that means so much to my heart is being able to carry my daughter for long periods of time. When she was a baby my husband carried her everywhere. I was 400 pounds, uncomfortable, hot, plantar fasciitis, sciatic pain & became overexerted within minutes from any activity. I was incapable of carrying her for more than a few minutes at a time. This crushed my heart. After waiting years for our baby girl to enter our life, I was unable to care for her like a mother should. So if you ever see me out and about and wonder why I'm carrying a 65 lb child like she's a you know why #living #itsthelittlethings #grateful #babygirl #shesheavy #butimstrong #imcapable #ivegotthis fitspo #girlswholift #strongereveryday #strongandfree #happylifestyle #happyandblessed #healthcoach #healthymind #lovinglife #tbt #wearemuletown #workingout #gymlife #losingweight #transformation #extremetransformation #bustababaloo A post shared by Noelle Dawson (@transforming_noelle) on Dec 20, 2018 at 11:52am PST

My turning point was seeing the scale read "error."

At 25, my husband and I decided to try to conceive-but we had lots of trouble. We ended up adopting our first three children over the next five years, and at 30 years old, I weighed 350 pounds.

Then, two years later, I discovered I was pregnant. After I gave birth to my daughter, I gained another 60 pounds and ended up weighing in at 414-something I only know because I had to order a special scale since the one we had at home read error when I stood on it.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Noelle Dawson (@transforming_noelle) on Jan 11, 2019 at 3:33pm PST

I was finally a mother, but I feared I would die before seeing my children grow up.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Noelle Dawson (@transforming_noelle) on Dec 7, 2018 at 12:10pm PST

First, I ditched the soda, which used to be the only thing I drank. Now, with water as my only drink, I focused on eating six low-carb, high-fat ketogenic meals a day. I exclusively ate carbs before, so I thought cutting them out would be the best option. I substituted my favorite carbs (like mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes) and developed a taste for new things, which was life-changing.

In just over 14 months on the keto diet, I lost 230 pounds. While I still follow a keto-ish diet, I'm not quite as strict (I watch what I eat, but I don't necessarily count calories or carbs). Here's what a typical day of eating looks like for me:

  • Breakfast : A low-carb flatbread by Cut Da Carb with two eggs, a tablespoon of low-fat cream cheese, coffee, and Greek yogurt

  • Lunch : A salad with hard boiled eggs

  • Dinner : Chicken or fish with veggies

  • Snacks : Greek yogurt, unsalted almonds or pistachios, and cheese

View this post on Instagram Hello, my name's Noelle and I love @cutdacarb wraps! If it fits in this wrap, it ships in this wrap. Have you heard that song about @cutdacarb flatbread? Well, it's more of a wrap Ok yes, I'm well aware of how corny I am! Luckily, this is a very helathy obsession with only 9 net carbs #checkoutthecrisp #socrispy #crispygoals #itsawrap #yesieatoneaday #ifitfitsisships #cutdacarb #yum #healthyfood #healthywrap #ninenetcarbs #tomatoes #lunch #thiswwrapislife #creamyeggs #salami #fuelyourbody #healthfeelsgood A post shared by Noelle Dawson (@transforming_noelle) on Dec 23, 2018 at 10:40am PST

I've been trying to reawaken my athletic side.

I take HIIT cardio classes (my kids and husband join me sometimes) and barre classes, plus I weight train. I make sure to go to the gym or be active in some way four to five days a week.

I recently reached an important fitness milestone: I successfully lifted 230 pounds-the exact amount of weight I lost! (I couldn't believe I walked around with that much extra weight for years.)

I make sure to work on my gymnastics, too. I think my years of flexibility and agility training have helped me dive back into the sport I love (I was just recently able to do a handstand on a balance beam again!).

View this post on Instagram Oh MY WORLD I DID IT!!!!! I dead lifted 230 pounds! The amount of weight I've released I've spared you all the tears but Wow what a surreal feeling! I'm blown away that I walked around with this weight for years Goes to show that if you want something bad enough you'll do whatever it takes to get it Shout out to my amazing husband @chrisdawson0323 for teaching me how to accomplish this #230poundsgoneforever #weights #weightloss #deadlift #strongereveryday #gymlife #muscles #healthy #ididit #happyhealhyliving #livewithpurpose #squats #230pounddeadlift A post shared by Noelle Dawson (@transforming_noelle) on Jan 9, 2019 at 3:41pm PST

My weight loss hasn't been all positive, though. It forced some of my relationships to suffer.

I lost some friends on my journey, many of whom worried about eating in front of me, or simply didnt support my goals.

My most important takeaway: You have to work on your mental health as well as your physical health-the two go hand in hand. I was depressed before starting this journey, but I soon realized feeling and looking good physically won't fix your mental health.

Now, I'm not only at my goal weight, but I can say that I feel healthy and confident. My mental health matches my physical health, and I feel stronger than ever.

View this post on Instagram I released 230 pounds in 14 months and thought it would bring me joy but I was more depressed than ever. I was 180 pounds (my goal weight) and never felt so lost and alone and my marriage in shambles. I woke up every morning not recognizing myself, of course I noticed my hard work, but who was I? I was lost, scared and felt as if I was in a hole that I couldn't pull myself out of. I made a poor choice that destroyed me, my husband and family. I blackened a piece of my soul and thought it defined who I was. That I was unworthy, uncapable, and undeserving of happiness and the life I desire. I spent the last year learning to forgive myself and redefining who I am and my purpose in this world. I had to discover who I am, my pain, my weaknesses and heal them first. This journey took up the majority of my year and I wouldn't have it any other way! I'm so proud to say that I am well on my way to healing from the wounds that I created in 2017. Through it all I discovered a strong and confident Noelle. Through it all, I found that I am worthy, through it all, I am capable & through it all I am deserving of the life I desire. Life can be hard and throw you curve balls but no matter what you are going through, know that you are worthy..... oh, you are so worthy! Your past choices do not define who you are, do not allow those choices to hold you back any longer. Release that guilt and shame..... Learn to forgive yourself, practice self love and self care. As corny as it sounds, look in the mirror every day and express something positive about yourself! If you are in need of learning how to practice self-care and self-love, feel free to DM me #selfreflection #selfcare #mentallystrong #mentalhealth #mentallyfit #selfconfidence #selfdiscovery #mytruth #strongereveryday #strength #strongandconfident #happyandblessed #fitspo #weightlossjourney #mentalhealthawareness A post shared by Noelle Dawson (@transforming_noelle) on Jan 30, 2019 at 6:25pm PST

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