I’m Kaitlyn Aprile (@kaiitgoesketo), from Long Island, New York. After being told by doctors that I was at risk for diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, I decided enough was enough and started the keto diet. I lost 75 pounds in the process.
When I was only 18 years old, it felt like my body was already giving up on me. My doctor had just given me a reality check, and things didn’t look good. She informed me of how much weight I’d gained since I last saw her and said I was at high risk for diabetes. I was already dealing with hypothyroidism, so the thought of adding another health condition to my plate was not ideal.
The doctor went on to discuss my blood work. She showed me how off my levels were, how much my weight was affecting my body and ran down the list of things I was currently at risk of, including heart disease and high blood pressure.
A couple of Mondays later, something in me changed. I woke up and I just felt…different. I felt this sensation that I wanted to be better. I decided I’d lose 60 pounds and I was going to do everything possible to achieve this.
I went downstairs and threw away everything in my kitchen—from the Oreos to the Pure Leaf Lemon Iced Tea to all the other snacks I was binge eating and had hidden from my family. I found the only pair of yoga pants that fit me at the time with my usual oversized 3XL sweatshirt and I went for a walk.
In that very moment, I changed my life forever, without even knowing it yet.
I decided to switch up my eating habits and try the keto diet.
The hardest thing I had to learn was proper nutrition. Before my weight-loss journey, I lived to eat. I let my binge eating take over practically my whole life. I constantly worried about my next meal and let it control how I felt and how I treated others. But not anymore. Now I eat to live—and that started with my decision to try the keto diet.
I’d always heard about keto but was intimidated by it and didn’t know where to start. After doing *tons* of research, I finally decided to give it a try. My first week on keto, I made my Instagram page and started following dozens of keto pages for recipes and tips.
As I got more comfortable, I started experimenting with different foods you can eat on keto. Between Instagram and Pinterest, I had plenty of meal inspiration and recipe ideas. That’s one thing I’d recommend to others who want to try keto: Make it fun for yourself and look for recipes that not only meet the keto rules but that also sound tasty to you.
There are endless recipe options online and great keto guides and web sources for inspiration. And if meal prepping for your diet is stressing you out, you’re on the wrong diet.
Instead of relying on processed and fast food like I used to, here’s what I eat in a day now.
- Breakfast: Sausage and bacon are my go-tos. And while eggs are probably the most simple and easy meal you can have on the ketogenic diet, I’m highly allergic. Luckily I found an amazing low-carb keto bakery on the island called Simply Sweet Keto, and they make the *best* keto bagels and muffins. This makes my breakfast and snacks super easy.
- Lunch: I kept it simple for lunch, usually eating turkey burgers or a hot dog without the bun.
- Dinner: For my protein, I do steak, grilled chicken or pork paired with cauliflower rice. Other times, when I feel like my meals are becoming repetitive, I’ll go online and find a new keto YouTube meal tutorial.
I began going to the gym daily, and sometimes even twice a day.
In the beginning of my journey, I was horrified by the gym. Walking into any facility made me super self-conscious and feel like all eyes were on me (even though no one was actually looking). So I started walking at night and anytime I had free time—before work, after work, during breaks, anytime I could get up and move.
Fast forward a month into my journey when I decided to finally give in and join a gym. I started going at least four to five times per week, focusing strictly on cardio. I would run as much as I could and walk on an incline with my asthma inhaler right by my side (just in case!).
To my surprise, I fell in love with the gym. I was in control of my body for the first time in my life. And I started going to the gym every day, sometimes even twice a day depending on my schedule. It’s been seven months since I started my weight loss journey and I’ve already lost 75 pounds. Now I’m incorporating weight lifting into my workout routines, since I’m focusing on toning and gaining muscle (yay!).
I have my off days, but then I pause and think about how far I’ve come.
When I first started my weight loss journey, whenever I went to the gym or had any time to myself, I took pictures of everything. From mirror pics, selfies, and even making my boyfriend take progress photos of me in a sports bra and underwear.
I wanted to be able to look back at these photos in a few months and feel good about myself. And I can honestly say that I do. When I look at old pictures and videos of my body, I’m reminded of my progress. It really keeps me motivated.
If you’re on a weight-loss journey of your own, remember it takes time.
Everyone has their own way of losing weight. Whether you’re on keto, Weight Watchers, Atkins, you calorie count, or you just stay mindful of what you’re eating, give your body time to do its thing. And don’t get bogged down by the fast #transformations you see on Instagram and social media. Take your time and do the best you can.
Interested in trying the keto diet? Or just need new recipe inspo? Women’s Health has you covered. The new WH Keto Made Simple bookazine is chock full of tasty, colorful, low-carb keto recipes, as well as tons of advice for beginners who are just starting out. Order it on Amazon today.