"Oh, and did I mention ... I’ve lost 4 1/2 stone"
I’ve always struggled with my weight and with my health. Right back to when I was a child my weight would fluctuate, my dad would often rant “that girl is too thin” “that girl is too fat” “that girl is ill again, take her to the doctor she needs a tonic or something”.
I was always suffering from tonsillitis, I’d go a couple of weeks without antibiotics before I was back on them again and I have always suffered from joint pain, this was often mistaken for some kind of hypochondria or a means of getting out of PE (...although getting out of PE was always an upside when at one point PE skirts didn’t come in my size and I had to do it in just my PE knickers!)
At 19 after another bout of tonsillitis and antibiotics, my whole body felt like it had been put into some sort of heavy diving suit, I could hardly move and the pains in my legs and stomach were horrendous. I then started to develop a rash that spread all up my legs.
I went back to the GP who thought I had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics and put me on some penicillin. I went home, got worse and worse, as did the creeping rash which began to spread all over my body and I looked like I’d been in a car crash. The rash, or purpura, which are bleeds under the skin had even effected my eyes. I was a mess, an emergency doctor was called and I was rushed to hospital with the added complications of a blood clot in my leg.
After lots of tests and weeks in hospital I was diagnosed with Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) now known as IgA Vasculitis. It was effecting me inside and out, especially my kidneys. I was on crutches for months and all sorts of horrible medications.
HSP is a rare disorder, usually associated with infant males and even more rarely seen in adults. I was told that it was “just one of those things” and I would never get it again.
But I did, I’ve had several more bouts throughout my adulthood and the stomach issues, joint swelling and rashes have been with me throughout. I’ve been back to the GP repeatedly but they are always very dismissive of what they see as “minor symptoms” which have impacted my whole life. I was literally begging for help during the last “minor” flare up and was sent away not with a referral to a specialist as I’d hoped but with anti-depressants!
This for me was the final straw, I knew I was totally on my own, I also knew I wasn’t coping because of my joint pain and sickness not because I was actually depressed. It was at this point my daughter suggested I start to look at my diet. At rock bottom, I had nothing to lose by trying.
In April 19 I went sugar free, then started to lower my carbs, by July I had discovered Keto and by August I had found Kev and his amazing group on FB and this was when everything started to change for me.
I made mistakes along the way, we all do, but we learn from them and move on. The importance of Keto for me was more about my health than the actual weight loss itself, although I had an awful lot to lose! When I look back at my data, I was 15 Stone 3 when I started to cut out sugar. I believe I was much heavier than this before hand as I’d been trying to diet since February but couldn’t face getting on the scales. We had an amazing trip to New York in January following an over indulgent Christmas. We spent a week eating supersized everything, syrup on pancakes box after box of Dunkin Donuts and copious amounts of beer and cocktails.
Since July 19 I have followed the Keto way of life. As this was predominantly to help heal my body as opposed to the weight loss itself, I have stuck religiously to Keto foods. I don’t believe in “dirty/lazy” Keto, to me there’s no such thing. I wanted to eliminate all the foods that cause inflammation, leaky gut and are known to be bad for health and by doing this I truly believe that I have started to heal myself.
I have not had one flare up the entire time I’ve been doing Keto. No swelling, no joint pain, no rashes, no painkillers, better sleep, I really do feel like a new person. After 30 years of ups and downs, on and off medicines, being fat, being thin and not having a clue what was going on with my body I actually feel well.
I sincerely believe that this is down to gut health, that by not feeding myself unhealthy foods, by increasing my exercise, by changing my attitude, I have given my body the relief it’s been craving my entire life and a chance to heal.
This would not have been possible without the help and support of Kev Mason and his extensive knowledge and group coaching. I am constantly learning, adjusting, tweaking and making improvements through his guidance and for me it’s been life changing.