A few weeks back, I was presented with the opportunity to take part in a group “challenge” at the gym I go to. It was a Keto Challenge (short for Ketogenic). If you aren’t familiar with this, ask Dev and Bev about it! They have researched this as part of their health journey!
I had coincidently already been experimenting a little with this lifestyle of eating for a few weeks, and had been reading up on what it was all about. So of course I was intrigued to join in. The woman who is heading it up has a Keto Coaching Certification, and I decided this would be a great way to learn directly from an expert.
The official challenge kicked off with an information session, as well as recording our measurements and starting weight (no, I was not thrilled with this part, but I quickly decided I needed to get over it). I had not weighed myself in a while, and although I am active and pretty healthy, the number on the scale was depressing, and a definite reality check that my decision to proceed was a good one; I needed to lose a few pounds and this challenge could be exactly what I needed to take some action.
The biggest aspect of the challenge (aside from following the eating plan guidelines) is recording everything we eat and then posting our daily macronutrients results inside a private Facebook group for all those participating in the challenge to see.
We each have a goal to maintain each day with regard to Fats, Protein, and Carbohydrates. At the end of each day, our choices are right there in black and white for all to see, and especially ourselves.
We are about to start the third week of the challenge, and I am already amazed at the changes. For one, I have lost 5 pounds! My arthritic knees feel almost normal. I am sleeping like a baby. All wonderful stuff! But what I am most thankful for, is the renewed awareness of what incredible machines are bodies are, and how the choices we make on how we feed them can impact our entire wellbeing.
I am extremely grateful that I had the courage to say “yes” to the challenge and learn about how Keto works. Not simply for the end results (which so far have been quite positive), but more for the gift of mindfulness it has brought. Recording each morsel of food that we ingest is something that requires diligence, focus, and willpower.
For a good majority of us in the United States, food is not in short supply. We have convenience stores and fast food drive-thrus on every corner. Every shopping mall has a food court. Every airport has restaurants or retail for snacks. The restaurant industry is huge, and eating out is often a marking of a celebration, a social event with family and friends. Food and eating is not purely an exercise of survival; it is a form of entertainment, and as a result we have a whole genre of celebrities whose expertise is cooking and who “wow” us with their talents on TV. How many of you become joyful when the holidays are over because the endless supply of cookies, candy, and desserts generously provided by your co-workers slow down?
I think you get my point.
Food surrounds us. Even if it’s not actual food that you can put in your mouth, we are surrounded by the topic of food; on TV, in our neighborhoods, in books and magazines. We have an obsession with food and eating in our culture. Food is not something we ingest purely for survival. We find pleasure in food and because of it’s availability, it is very easy to mindlessly indulge in a random piece of chocolate, or a handful of nuts, and before we know it one piece of chocolate has turned into five, and the handful of nuts has turned into half the container.
The recording of the food I am eating as part of my Keto Challenge has provided an acute awareness of the nutrition in each food choice I a make, good or bad. What we put in our mouths has implications. I am not going to suggest you give up eating everything bad for you and never touch a bowl of ice cream again. However, taking steps to draw more true awareness to what you eat and how much will empower you with knowledge, and you can then make an empowered and accountable choice: one piece of chocolate or five? ☺
Have a healthy & mindful week!