Today we’d like to introduce you to our friend Stephanie Smith. Stephanie is very passionate about getting healthy and inspiring others to do the same. In this article, you will learn her story, how keto diet benefits her, and how she apply the keto diet principles in her daily life.
If you have a success story to share with our community, please send us a message on our contact page and let us know about it. We’d love to read your success story!
Here’s Stephanie’s full story:
Please tell us your story:
My name is Stephanie Smith, and I am 29 years old. In 2014 I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis- an autoimmune disorder where my body more or less attacks my thyroid and gives me all the traditional hypothyroid symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, etc. (I apparently had this my whole life but JUST got diagnosed in 2014, crazy right?) At the instruction of my physician I went gluten-free. I felt better for the most part but still wanted more.
On October 30, 2015 I began seeing a personal trainer – Rob at Body Under Construction in Buckner Kentucky. He helped me learn to exercise and love myself during every step of my journey. While I was losing inches and some weight, I wanted to lose more weight. Also, I wanted to feel better as far as my autoimmune disease goes.
So in June 2016, I spoke to a weight loss practitioner who put me on a Ketogenic diet. I was strict keto for 3 months and lost 30 pounds. It was awesome! In November 2016 I had a hand injury that took surgery and months of Occupational Therapy to get over. During that time I was more low-carb than keto and I didn’t recommit to a full blown keto lifestyle again until 10/9/17.
However, the keto diet taught me how to be mindful of what I am eating and the macros I am ingesting. I have been able to maintain my weight despite my hand and recently recovering hip injury because of the principles I learned on keto.
When I started my fitness journey in November 2015 I weighed 230lb and was a size 22/24. As of August 21, 2017, I was down 75″ and added 11.75″ of muscle as in the photo below:
My next measurements are on Halloween to line up with my 2 year fit anniversary. Now I’m anywhere from 185-187 and I’m a size 12, well on my way to a 10!
How has your life changed since going keto?
When I eat strict keto, and even fairly low carb, I have so much more energy. My hypothyroid symptoms are not as bad: I’m not as fatigued or brain fogged, I have more energy, I’m not as bloated, and my skin is more clear. Being a smaller size has also allowed me to handle working on my feet during my shifts as a freelance make up artist. It has also made me a better aunt to my nephew Aiden as I am able to play with him and keep up.
What did you personally do in your first 10 days of keto?
The first 2-3 days of keto the first go-round were exceptionally rough. I was an emotional hot mess. While I have been gluten-free for years, I didn’t realize how much carb intake I was doing. I remember crying because I saw a swing at a park that my nephew loved to go on. It was pretty wild. I didn’t experience illness or headaches. I just got really emotional. Thankfully after those first few days, I felt fairly normal. Around day 10 I felt like a new person. This go-round for keto I eased myself back into it by eating low carb with a touch of carb cycling for a few weeks before going fully back to the keto diet. I also took the Pruvit exogenous ketones once a day during this time to help my body readjust to having ketones in the system. Because I have done it this way, I am not experiencing any symptoms at this time (I do not work for Pruvit. I just got enough to last a month to help me not be so emotional getting into ketosis this time around).
Do you count and track macros strictly?
I do a mixture of Calorie counting and Macro counting. Ideally, I will eat between 40g of total carbs and no more than 1200-1500 calories. I do not do net carbs because that’s way too much math.
Do you exercise? If yes, what’s your workout routine like?
I do exercise. I usually see my personal trainer twice a week (leg day/arm day), I do yoga 1-2 times a week, then I do cardio 1-2 times a week (can be cycling, kickboxing, walking). Since my recent hip flares up I have made it a point to do at least 20-30 minutes of yoga a day using the Sarah Beth Yoga app. On the yoga days where I don’t use the app, I either do a yoga class at my YMCA at work OR I do Bikram Yoga at a studio in Crestwood Kentucky.
Have you ever encountered a plateau? If so, how did you get over it?
Technically the majority of 2017 where I went low carb was a plateau in terms of the scale. However, when I look at the measurements I do every month with my trainer, I am still losing inches – meaning my body composition is changing. I haven’t broken the scale plateau just yet – hopefully going back to strict keto will help with that. BUT focusing on those non-scale victories help make the plateau not as challenging.
What is your WHY (your drive/motivation) to keep on track and stay focused?
At first my WHY was because I wanted to lose weight and feel good about myself. Now that I (for the most part) feel good about myself, now I keep going because I want to prove to myself that I can do this. I want to show the old me that I am worthy of a healthy body and of a healthy relationship with food. I want to prove to my nephew that being healthy is both feasible and enjoyable.
What are your favorite ingredients to prepare keto meals?
My favorite meal is farm fresh eggs that I receive from my boyfriend’s family, paired with avocado and a little Lowry’s seasoned salt. I eat it a lot! I also love the Real Good Pizza Company’s pizzas for my lazy days!
What are your favorite keto meals/recipes? and/or What does your meal plan look like?
As much as I love homemade food, I work 6-7 days most weeks, and meal prepping isn’t always an option. If I cook, I typically have eggs with anything. If I meal prep it is usually chicken and veggies – all different kinds of chicken and veggies.
When I don’t cook I turn to items that are convenient like Starbucks or Dunkin Cold Brew with heavy whipping cream, McDonald’s egg mc muffins sans muffin, Real Good Pizza’s, bunless and sauceless burgers, protein shakes, and my all-time Holy Grail easy food: A plain chicken breast from McDonald’s (it is only $2 in my area).
Is there any book or resources that you would recommend to our readers?
Not really, I use the internet, keto blogs, and Pinterest for recipes and tips.
Finally, What advice would you give someone who is just starting out on keto?
I had Keto Breath bad my first go around. So I have to give some tips about the breath: Drink a ton of water. Seriously, drink all the water. It will keep you hydrated AND it will help with the possibility of KETO BREATH! Brush your teeth 3 times a day – again, the breath. Keep mouthwash on you instead of mints because mints have carbs.
Everyone starts out on keto eating a ton of meat and cheese, before adding in vegetables. Do not beat yourself up for doing this BUT realize you do need to eat your veggies! “Miracle Noodles” in the angel hair style are the best pasta replacement when you can’t do zoodles anymore.
Progress update (31 Oct 2017):
We’d like to thank Stephanie again for this opportunity and sharing her keto journey with our community! You can follow Stephanie on Instagram at @datcoutureblondie_getsfit for more inspiration from her! She posts a lot of progress photos and health tips that you’d definitely enjoy!