50-99 Pounds, Female, Keto Diet

How I Lost 65 Pounds In 18 Months With Keto

Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?

I was recently divorced and spent a little time being sad about that. Then I got sick of being sad. There was no reason to be sad over someone who was just a horrible person. His mistress and he referred to me as “Fat Whale” which obviously hurt a lot. I started researching Keto as a distraction, as I had seen friends succeed on the plan. I bought cookbooks and ingredients to get started; then one day, I just decided I was ready. I gathered all the flour, sugar, potatoes, pasta, bread, etc… and I gave it all away. So maybe the cruel nickname was the source of my motivation. I guess that’s one good thing that came out of that marriage… walking away was just the first step in showing myself from love. What would be the next step?

I decided to commit to taking care of myself in the best way possible… to prove to myself that I was worthy of my own love. After loving and giving my whole self and all my energy to the wrong people for so long, I decided it was MY time. I needed to invest in myself, to show the world and my children that I could do better, that I could be better, that I deserved better. 

What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?

Working out has never been a part of my life, and I really don’t know how to do it effectively. I joined Planet Fitness. Gyms intimidate me, and being in gyms actually makes me anxious. I wasn’t familiar with any of the machines and was too afraid to ask anyone for help. I will forever be grateful to my friend Justin, who would call and get me to meet him there. We would do the 30-minute circuit so I could get familiar with some equipment, and eventually, he got me to try some others. We always started with some treadmill or bike riding so we could chat and “catch up” or “warm-up” and we would typically end with a hydro massage. My neighbor Kelly and I will walk the neighborhood once in a while also, just to get us moving!

My kid really wants to be more active in the gym, and although COVID has really put a damper on this for the last year, I think we are just about ready to venture out and get active again. I will stick to the bike and the circuit because the anxiety about working out in front of others is still very much there. Even down from a 2XL to a medium, I don’t feel I would “fit in.”

What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?

I follow the keto / low carb plan, although sometimes I go “ketovore”, which is heavier on the meat than anything. Sometimes I find myself only hungry enough for one meal a day. I’ve learned to like things I never thought I would – like Brussels sprouts, cream cheese, and peppers. Keto was a challenge in the kitchen for me, and I was up for it… finding new ways to make things I loved like waffles, pancakes, tacos, sausage gravy… trying to find satisfying substitutes for pizza crust, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese. There’s no real substitute for french fries in case anyone is wondering!

 

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A post shared by Rikki J❤️ (@ketowithrikkijo)

Some of my favorites include bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers, loaded broccoli, and nachos (with chips made from melted cheese). I’ve also found some awesome keto ice cream and ice cream cookie sandwiches (Rebel Creamery) which really satisfy my sweet tooth!

I no longer track calories or fat, but I do try to stay under 20 net carbs a day. I used the app Carb Manager faithfully during the first year of my journey and found it to be a lifesaver.

I take a One-A-Day women’s vitamin and also add collagen to my coffee on occasion.

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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?

I stay motivated because I know I have inspired other people and made people proud. My kids are my biggest fans and even cook keto for me. The neighbors see keto and sugar-free treats and send me links and videos. I’ve got a few close friends that have decided this way of life is for them and they are making progress, and I want to remain a motivation for them. 

Absolutely there are cheat snacks, meals, even whole days… I’m ok with that. Progress, not perfection. I’ve got kids in the house. It’s hard to resist snacks sometimes! Thankfully, there are so many low-carb snacking options and sweets out there, that the cheats have really become few and far between. Holidays are always the hardest for anyone on a “diet”. it’s easy to slip up. The key is to just “Shake that sh*t off.” Really, it is. Shake it off, and move on. Every day is a brand new day. One bad day or weekend isn’t going to UN-DO the work you’ve done. 

Advice to others: Do what’s sustainable for you long-term. Don’t compare your journey to others’ journeys, as we are ALL different, inside and out.

PLEASE KNOW THAT YOU ARE WORTHY OF YOUR OWN LOVE. That’s the biggest thing, I think… you can say you love yourself, but if you aren’t taking the steps to be a HEALTHY YOU so you can actually enjoy a long life with your friends and/or family, you are robbing yourself of what you deserve.

When did you start to notice progress?

I started to notice changes right quickly. I noticed the heartburn go away… no more GERD, reflux, or gas. I noticed changes in my face first. I listened to the advice of others I followed on Instagram to take a lot of photos. I’m so glad I did. I wish I had taken measurements. I noticed after only a month that my clothes were starting to fit loosely, and soon after I had to buy new clothes. Within 6 months, I had collarbones AND confidence!

Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress? 

In the beginning, I weighed myself on Mondays only and just put post-its up to track my progress. I used Carb Manager faithfully to track my macros. 

My biggest accountability tool, though, was probably my Instagram page. It held me accountable, and the keto community is nothing short of amazing. While my friends and family are awesome and cheer me on, it’s nice to be connected to people on the same actual journey with you. I’ve made friends, and we encourage each other daily. We share our good days and bad, our smiles and our tears, and also new keto products, ideas, and recipes. I’m not sure I would have made it this far without a big circle of love from people whose real names I don’t even know. It’s crazy.

Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?

I definitely recommend researching keto before starting. Cookbooks are awesome (I started with “Keto Made Easy”), but you need to know the hows and whys of the method… then you will understand why adding butter and/or oil to your coffee isn’t such a bad thing after all, and can actually HELP your energy and weight loss! Facebook and Instagram are great for ideas and encouragement, but knowing the science behind it is really crucial to making the right decisions.

What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?

From someone that had all the excuses in the book, especially being a single mother for most of the last 23 years, my advice would be just to stop making excuses. It’s NOT easy. Change is hard for anyone… but it’s worth it. YOU are worth it. If you don’t work hard to love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?  

Where can we find more about you?

My Instagram page is @ketowithrikkijo and I also have a TikTok page @dctitlegirl

I also have a Facebook group “Keto in Maryland” for local restaurant finds and products.

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