Do you save Christmas cards from days gone by? I have a whole basketful that I treasure. I go over them one by one every year and it always makes me sentimental. There is so much love in that basket.
When we started keto, I wanted to make Christmas cards to remember and to share what keto has brought to our lives. We are coming up on our fifth anniversary of keto, so we have accumulated several of these cards now. This was our first one in 2017 when we’d been keto for two years.
There were so many firsts during that first couple of years and they were so exciting! It was sometimes hard to believe. Like the first time I walked into my favorite clothing store and the clerk said, “This is the plus section, you’ll need to go to the regular women’s sizes” as she pointed to the next section where I had never dared wander. There was the first time I went to a birthday party and didn’t cheat. And the time when I came back from vacation and the scale actually went down instead of up.
And most amazing of all during those first couple of years was watching Mark’s symptoms of diabetes start to shrink and disappear. His A1c went from nearly 9.8 to 6.4 in five weeks. His meds were decreased gradually until he was off of them entirely at the end of his first year of keto. I saw my husband actually get younger. His muscles came back, his stamina and energy level went through the roof, and his feet quit hurting. And for the first time since he was diagnosed fifteen years prior, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief that we weren’t facing the ugly progression of diabetes anymore. I am thankful for that every day.
This is our 2018 keto holiday card. It was our hardest year ever. We had just lost our older son Judson to suicide in October. It was so sudden and unexpected and it took us to our knees. Two days later, my best friend Tami died after a long fight with cancer. It was a dark time for us, but we never wavered with keto. The stress of our grief was immense, but we knew we were going to need to take care of ourselves more than ever before. Going back to carbage would have been like ingesting poison on top of everything else we were going through. We vowed to be the healthiest grandparents possible for Betsy and Kyle, our two grandchildren that we adore. We are so proud of them and it means the world to us to have them in our lives.
And this 2019 card was from last year, our fourth Keto Christmas. We had made it through that hard first year of loss fueled by ketones. We had just moved into a new house. We welcomed a new joy into our lives when our new granddaughter Oceanna was born. We were maintaining our 130-pound loss. At that time, we were still holding our local keto meetings at the church. Just a couple months later, we would be hearing about a virus and our meetings would be suspended indefinitely.
And here’s our newest 2020 holiday card, celebrating five years keto! We are thankful that we’ve been healthy when so many people have been sick and have lost their loved ones with the virus. We’ve been fascinated with the articles about metabolic health being so important for immunity and recovering from the virus. Now more than ever, we need real food for health and wellness.
Mark and I are still telling our keto story because we hope it will inspire others who might be interested. We know so many people who have had great successes changing their way of eating and we’re so happy for them. We also know some people aren’t interested and I wish them the best. I remember the days when I didn’t have any faith in weight loss, when I couldn’t fathom how to give up sugar, when I didn’t want to hear about another “diet”. But then along came keto and turned everything upside down and right side up.
I believe that everybody has a right to be as healthy as possible and I hope that the keto message reaches everyone who might be interested in good food as our medicine. While we aren’t meeting in person anymore, I still take pictures of our food and share them on Facebook and cheer people on as they work on their own keto successes.
The holidays are not always the easiest time of year, especially this year of changes in our 2020 world. But I hope your holiday includes a lot of love and good health and good food. And may 2021 be as painless as possible for all of us