Why I Eat The Way I Do
The journey that led me to a keto lifestyle
I was an athletic kid graced with long runner’s legs and a very thin build. I loved to be as active as possible every day. I ran on the track team and the cross country team in high school. I served as the co-captain of the girl’s soccer team. In those years, I first began to notice that my tank ran dry, especially when I most needed it. In cross country we raced two miles and at the meets and in practice runs, I would always start out strong and enthusiastic and would often end a session barely at a walk. It was frustrating and embarrassing. I had the will but my body ran out of steam no matter what I did or did not do.
My serious health problems didn’t stop me from being active and doing what I wanted until about 27. I was living in Spain in an awful marriage that lasted all of 9 months. I was teaching English to Spanish children when my hands began shaking so badly I could no longer hold the chalk or write at all. Then I started having severe uterine bleeding. I had a teaching assignment for several more months and while I dearly loved living in Spain, I had to take an emergency overnight flight home. I left the bad husband behind as well and never saw him again – the only silver lining in heading back to Texas.
Back in the U.S., it took another 15 years before I found a doctor who knew what to make of my symptoms. By then I had three pages – front and back – of symptoms. Some of them included: extreme fatigue, thinning hair and eyebrows, ataxia (walking into walls), low body temperature, anemia, hypoglycemia, overly hot feeling, short temper, food allergies to seemingly everything, bathroom problems and brain fog … to name a few. I lost my balance easily and fell into walls in our home. It was so bad that I had black and blue bruises on my arms and legs!
The symptom that crushed my soul was my total lack of energy. I had to stop walking my beloved dogs on our new 100-acre ranch in Texas. More than once I set out early in the morning when it was somewhat cool to hike our ranch with our dogs and I had to call my husband at work to drive home and collect me as I literally could not walk another step. I could not hold down a job in this condition. I was unemployable.
I could no longer ride my horses – the whole reason we moved to a large ranch. I could not imagine finding the strength to throw a 25-pound saddle over my horse’s back, even though I had done so for years. I was headed for a deep, dark depression thanks to a non-functioning body and a medical team that literally shrugged their shoulders at my three pages of symptoms. It seems that many MDs see a patient in the state I was in and they cannot withhold their immediate desire to prescribe anti-depressants. Of course I was depressed! I could no longer live the life I worked so hard for. I even agreed to try the Zoloft but it did nothing for me at all. I learned later – much later – that the problem was not in my head.
It was in my neck.
I learned to fire MDs who were out of date in their knowledge in the early 2000s. I took my three pages of symptoms to the so-called “best endocrinologist in town.” I went to him for several years and he never helped me with anything. I finally threw those three pages at him when I asked him why my symptoms were growing and he shrugged his shoulders – and then I told him he was fired. I still had major brain fog but my internal fighting spirit was still present and willing to stand up and fight. I also have an amazing life partner -- my husband, Jeff Hebert. He fought alongside me and always stood up for me and assisted me with daily living. It helped enormously that he believed me that something physically (actually, hormonally) was wrong when no doctor would.
By some miracle, I learned of a MD who was also a naturopathic doctor in Austin. The first time I met with him, he spent an hour with me. I wept in his presence because finally someone who could help me listened to me and knew how to help me. He did not accept insurance (for a variety of reasons that make sense to me) and the $200 consult was worth every cent because he gave me my life back. He wrote this line on his prescription pad and it became my mantra: “Never let a doctor determine how you feel.”
My new doctor explained that I was extremely hypothyroid. I immediately read every book I could find on the thyroid gland – it is the most important gland in your body and controls (or doesn’t if not working properly) all the important bits. I still have rage in me at that endocrinologist who certainly should have seen my three pages of symptoms as classic for being hypothyroid. It is that rage that saved me and gives me the courage now to fight for you and anyone who has health issues.
My new, competent MD put me on Armour Thyroid. It’s been used safely for more than 100 years. It’s desiccated pig thyroid. I remember the first day I took it as I got my brain back. I marked the day and celebrate it every year: March 7, 2007.
Flash forward to 2019. I am metabolically very fit – something only 12% of Americans are. The great majority of Americans are obese, overweight or skinny unhealthy. One can no longer trot out the “it’s all your fault you lazy glutton” reasoning when we are seeing very heavy and even obese toddlers and infants. An infant is a glutton? Really?
What is factual is that the “experts” we have all listened to for the past 50 years when it comes to what we should eat have gotten it wrong – exactly wrong. Some did so willingly to make billions in profits for mega companies. Some did it out of hubris. Some were just willfully stupid. Whatever their reasoning, we thankfully have a new crop of young, up-to-date, educated medical professionals, nutritionists, scientists, researchers and patient activists who are pounding the world state with study after study that provides ample proof that saturated fats are not only healthy, they are required.
I’ve eaten a low carb, no sugar, high fat, delicious protein way of eating for the past three years. My lab work just keeps on improving. I am no longer pre-diabetic. I feel fantastic.
I am always learning. I am always adapting and tinkering as I learn more. I take education and keeping up with modern science and research very, very seriously. It's one reason I recently became a Keto-Adapted Keto Coach through the excellent program offered by the two people I admire most in the world of Keto -- Maria and Craig Emmerich. I spend several hours every day reading books, watching webinars and listening to experts delve deep into health and diet. I do all of this so you don't have to!
Thanks for being here and being interested in feeling healthy again. You really can feel better! I look forward to helping many people reclaim their health through the intensive, personalized coaching I can provide. What are you waiting for? Let's get going! We can improve our lives together. As the saying goes, the greatest wealth is your health.