Welcome to Volume 1 of Success Stories on The Low Carb Leader podcast! If you follow us on Facebook, you might have seen our recent request for you to share your fitness and keto success stories with us on the show

Nora’s Keto Journey

Our first success story guest is Nora, a nurse whose health journey initially began in 2015 by looking for a healthy way to lose weight and prepare for a physique contest. Her daughters, who were training to compete in a bikini physique contest, introduced her to their fitness and nutrition coach. After working with this coach for some time, Nora lost over 30 pounds and transform her body from a size 16 to a size 6 as well as stop taking her blood pressure medication.

Losing Sight of the End Goal

As things often do, one thing led to another and after attending her daughters’ celebratory dinner following their show, Nora began losing sight of her health and fitness goals. By 2016, she had gained more weight than she had when she originally started and had to start taking her blood pressure medicine again.

Cough Drop Addition & Insulin Resistance

What started as a way to relieve allergy symptoms, Nora explains that she became very addicted to Ricola cough drops – consuming upwards of 2-3 packs per day, even when she didn’t have a sore throat. She believes that her addiction was due to the sweet, honey-filled centers as well as her love for mint.

“I didn’t realize I was racking up carbs like crazy. I was just thinking, it’s okay – there’s no fat in it.

Nora’s Turning Point

Nora explains that during a routine checkup, her blood pressure was 200/170 – which is extremely high! She shares her memory of the concern her fellow co-workers expressed about her blood pressure, her health, and her well-being.

“I knew the blood pressure was a bad thing, but of course, I’m a nurse. Nurses don’t take care of themselves, they take care of other people, but I knew I had to do something.”

Unfortunately, Nora explains that she didn’t listen to her body early enough. Her true wakeup call was when she began to experience chest pains. He had a heart attack.

That’s when she decided to turn her health – and her life – around.

Regaining Health… Again

After her heart attack, she tried the same diet plan that her previous health and nutrition trainer had her on in 2015, but wasn’t getting the same successful results she had before.

Nora explains that the lack of success with the diet plan this time was likely due to her reduced energy levels – which were preventing her from working out as hard as she did before – as well as her insulin resistance, which was likely from her previous Ricola addiction.

She began her keto journey on October 16, 2016 and while on the ketogenic diet, she had lost 38 pounds – surpassing the weight she lost while working with her trainer – and has had an incredible amount of energy compared to before!

Typical Daily Keto-Meal Regime

I asked Nora to share an example of her typical daily meal regime to help you fully understand how easy it is to fit it into your everyday lifestyle.

  • Breakfast – Eggs (boiled or fried), 2-3 strips of bacon, and a vegetable like green beans, broccoli, or cauliflower.
  • Lunch – Small steak with a vegetable
  • Dinner – Meat, like a roast, and some vegetables

 

Nora’s Words of Wisdom:

Take responsibility for your actions, but at the same time, don’t be so hard on yourself if you do have a slip-up.

 

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Come Visit Me In Austin, TX!

 

Are you going to KETOCON in September? Come join me where I’ll be talking about How Keto Can Help Transform Healthcare at KETOCON in Austin, Texas on September 1-3.

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Read Podcast Transcript

039 – Success Stories, Volume 1

 

DAN:

Hello, and welcome to The Low Carb Leader podcast. I am your host, Dan Perryman, and you have joined me for Episode 39. Today’s episode is the first installment of Success Stories. I sent out a request to podcast listeners and Facebook followers and asked if anybody would be interested in sharing their story on the podcast. In today’s episode I’m talking with Nora. At one point a while back she was preparing for a physique contest and got off track and ended up having some health conditions, which she talks about. And then she has an amazing recovery and attributes it back to the keto diet. So I hope you enjoy our first success story with Nora.

 

Well welcome, Nora, to the first success story.

 

NORA:

Thank you so much for having me.

 

DAN:

Yeah, well I’m very glad that you sent me the email, and you have a very interesting story. So if you just want to take us through it, and you started back when you were prepping with your daughters for a bikini contest, right?

 

Mother/Daughter Bonding Through Fitness

 

NORA:

Yes, both my daughters actually were doing a bikini contest, and I was trying to lose weight prior to that, so I decided, well, let me go ahead and hire their coach because he was also doing nutrition. So I said I figured maybe we could kind of do it together, kind of a mother/daughters bonding time because we were going to the gym together prior to them deciding they were going to do the contest.

 

DAN:

Yeah, so you prepped for the show and you lost quite a bit of weight, right?

 

NORA:

Yes, I started out 179 in January, and by the time Texas Shredder came up in 2014 of April I was down to 145. I wasn’t at my goal yet, but I dropped quite a bit. I mean I went from like a size – I think I was at that time size 16, and I went down to a size 6.

 

DAN:

Wow, that’s great. Did you do the show then?

 

NORA:

No, actually I didn’t. My girls did the show. I was just – like I said, I used their coach just to get me going, but I had planned on actually doing a show later on was what I wanted to do, but of course as you know from my story, I kind of went off my track, and I kind of just gained weight back.

 

DAN:

Take us through that after your daughters did the show.

 

NORA:

Well, as you know, I mean being – I know you did competition yourself, right? You know, the night after the competition everybody goes out, and they’re like yay, you know, let’s have a cheat meal together with other fellow competitors because we were a team. My girls had other friends that did it. So we went out to eat. I had already – we had bought a whole bunch of junk food, you know, cookies and things that they just couldn’t eat that they wanted to have as soon as the show was done, and we all ate that. Unfortunately for me it was a bad idea, and I kind of knew in the back of my mind, too because I even had said to myself I don’t think I’m going to do this because I knew myself already just from being very – I have formed bad habits already prior to, and I was already with a good habit. I didn’t want to ruin it, but I didn’t want to be the only one not eating and enjoying either, so I went ahead and did that. But that kind of just led from going from a couple of days of celebrating, post-celebrating, to weeks and to months. And then occasions come up, parties and gatherings and you’re just like oh it’s okay, I’m going to the gym anyway so let me go ahead and eat this and not worry about it. And at that point I also stopped tracking my food, too. So I really went off the deep end at that point.

 

DAN:

And you got all the way back up not only you’re starting weight, but over that, right?

 

NORA:

Yes, by 2015, which was a year later, I went up to about 179, which is where I started, 180, and by the time I hit 2016 I was at 200, and the pictures, oh my goodness. When I saw the pictures I was just like man, why did I let myself go like this?

 

The Unusual Sugar Addiction that Led to Weight Gain

 

DAN:

And you mentioned that you had a cough drop sugar addiction. I find that very interesting.

 

NORA:

Yes, I know. It’s Ricola, those cough drops, and they have like where the center is, there’s a filling in it. So I guess it’s supposed to soothe your throat, but it was made out of honey. So actually what started out as me just using it for because we have allergies out here in Texas, so I would take it to soothe my allergies because I’m a telephonic nurse so I’m on the phone all the time talking, and you can’t be coughing into people’s ear. Well, you try to avoid it anyway. And that’s how I just got hooked on those and not realizing it did become an addiction for me because of the sugar in it. And I like mints in general. I just like that flavor. I’ve always liked mint. So it was a Glacier Mint flavor, but the honey and all that, the sweetness, I just started eating. Then I started buying more bags of it, like how many per day, and I didn’t realize that I was racking up like carbs like crazy. But I was just thinking, well, it’s okay. There’s no fat in it was my mentality at the time. So I just kept buying bags, and before I knew it I was just like eating them like it wasn’t even – my throat didn’t even have to hurt.

 

DAN:

Like how many were you eating a day?

 

NORA:

Oh gosh, I would – the bag comes with – I don’t know why it was only 19 and they just didn’t round it up to 20, but one bag comes with 19 cough drops. I started I was eating one bag a day. Then I would go when they were on sale, I’d buy a bunch, and then I would eat two or three bags a day.

 

DAN:

Wow, wow.

 

NORA:

It was bad. I was kind of in denial of that because I figured well, there’s no fat in it was in my mind.

 

DAN:

Yeah, so you were just eating a lot of honey. So what was the point where you said I have to do something different because now you’re going to take us through that, where you decided to get back on keto? And what was that motivation?

 

The Wake-up Call

 

NORA:

Well, what happened initially, before I found keto, was obviously I looked at myself and I said I have to do something. I mean you know, especially knowing that I did it before and to let myself go – and my blood pressure was the big thing because I was off my blood pressure medicine when I dropped the weight, and then I was back on blood pressure – my blood pressure was high, but I didn’t take care of the problem at the time because every year my work they do the thing with the insurance where they check your stats, and they tell me your blood pressure is 200/170., They said, you need to go to the ER. I said I feel fine. They were asking me. They were having a nurse practitioner ask me hey, are you okay? Are you feeling dizzy? Do you have a headache? I said no, I’m fine. But I knew the blood pressure was a bad thing. But of course I’m a nurse, and nurses don’t take care of themselves. You take care of other people. But I knew I had to do something, so I tried starting to go back in the gym, but unfortunately my energy level, being heavier at that point and inactive and not eating very clean, I didn’t have the energy. And I just wanted to lay down most of the time, especially after working a full day, and then the weekends, too. You’re trying to catch up with stuff, and I’m just, I’m going to rest. I just laid down and watched TV and totally went from the extreme of going to the gym 5 to 6 days a week to a couch potato basically.

 

DAN:

Did you say they told you that at some point you had a heart attack?

 

NORA:

Yes, that was later. That was in 2016. That was just last year. I went in – that was my true wake-up call was when I – chest pain, which I never experienced even before. So I knew I had hypertension but never had chest pain, never had the classic symptoms of hypertension. So I felt funny, and I started feeling really exhausted. So I happened to be driving at the time, too, so I just drove myself straight to the ER at that point. And I don’t normally – if something’s wrong with me I’ll just say I’m going to go home and lay down, but I felt something wrong at that time so I did go.

 

They did all the tests on me. They did the bloodwork, EKGs, all that stuff, and to test for the enzymes because when you have a heart attack they can tell from the bloodwork. But they let me go and they said everything was fine, and I happened to be switching over to a new doctor on Monday, and I went to her office, and of course I was telling her my history and hypertension. I said I need to be on meds because they told me that my blood pressure has been up. So she did an EKG in the office because they have all that stuff in the office, and she read it, and she said you know you had a heart attack. I don’t know – I didn’t even tell her that I went to the ER because I didn’t feel like mentioning it. I just figured I’m starting from scratch with a new doctor, and I’ll just, you know, I just kind of put it aside because they told me nothing was wrong, even though I clearly felt something was wrong. And then she told me I had a heart attack, and I kind of knew that, but at the same time you don’t – I didn’t want to question the doctors there, but she told me. She showed me on the EKG, and she goes, at some point you did. She goes like that.

 

DAN:

So then you got the wake-up call. Then what have you done since then?

 

The Road Back to Health

 

NORA:

Well, I started, like I went back to trying to do the same macros that my nutritionist recommended for me when I dropped the weight in 2014, but it was hard to get back into it, and then also I wasn’t losing anything. And I still couldn’t really do the gym. I started out casual, you know, walking on the treadmill and not doing much lifting heavy at that point because I was still very, you know, I was still weak. But the diet part I was hoping at least to, if I do the diet and I stay strict and regimented and I follow the plan the way it was before that I would least drop the weight from dietary-wise, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t losing. And at that point I didn’t know it at the time, but I found out things on insulin resistance and how that was probably triggered from my cough drop binging and stuff, but I didn’t know it. But it was very frustrating. And I even told the nutritionist – I asked him real quick, I said you know I’m on the same thing, and it’s weird how I didn’t lose any weight. And then he was like, well you probably need to work out harder and stuff like that. But it wasn’t working, and that’s when I started trying to look for something because I knew – and the cravings were still there, too, so I mean I’m not going to lie and say the weekends I didn’t, but it was not like before where I did cut some of the cough drops a little bit, so but there was parties I didn’t stop myself from eating something.

 

DAN:

Now after this health scare you started to eat keto again, correct, and you lost a bunch of weight?

 

NORA:

Yeah, I lost 38. I’m actually past what I lost when I was with my nutritionist. And I still have more to go, but I definitely, big difference in my clothes and how I feel. I’m energetic. That’s the big difference now between keto and where I was before. My energy is through the roof, and that was amazing to me. And I read; I found articles. I read up, podcasts, your guys’ podcast, other people’s podcasts, different books. I was reading up on it and just doing the research. And I started October – end of October 2016, and gradually was implementing the regimen, and here I am. I’m still doing it.

 

DAN:

That’s awesome. Like what’s a typical day of eating for you now?

 

NORA:

Well, I do my boiled eggs, or sometimes I’ll fry them depending on my mood. I always usually have eggs in the morning. I do have my bacon, two or three strips of bacon. I do also add veggies to that because I know that’s important, especially now that I’ve – you know, being Filipino, we love our carbs with rice, and I dropped all that. So I’ve learned to use veggies as my substitute. And I haven’t missed it. It’s hard for Filipinos to drop rice, but I was able to use green beans, broccoli, cauliflower. I’ve made that into rice. I’ve riced that, so that’s been my – because my motivation is mostly my health at this point. I mean it’s great that I’m fitting into clothes now, but the heart attack thing really scared me. And then lunch I would have like a small steak with, again, my riced vegetable or on the side. And I started doing MCT oils, too, so I’ll add that since I started getting back into the gym and been reading up on that. And that’s helped a lot with my energy. And the dinner I can eat with my family and not feel deprived even though the only thing I just don’t eat is the rice. But I’ll have vegetables and whatever meat source that I make for dinner like roast or chicken with the skin.

 

DAN:

Yeah, Nora, that’s such a cool story. So you know you started pretty hard-core getting ready for a show, and I think maybe people are saying well if I was down that much weight how could I gain that weight back? But for those that really haven’t done physique shows because at a physique show you are at your – just your best. Your body fat is down. You look great. And there’s almost kind of a depression that comes afterwards because you eat and you start feeling a little sloppy. And I always say people who get obese – you weren’t obese, but like the people who get really obese, they don’t get obese overnight. It’s just kind of incrementally, like you said. I think your story is really important. The point is really important that you can kind of take your eye off the ball and end up a lot heavier than you were.

 

NORA:

Before you know it.

 

DAN:

So yeah, congratulations on your weight loss. Keto definitely reduces your appetite, too. That’s what I’ve found.

 

NORA:

Oh, absolutely. That’s what helped me. That, reducing the – but the energy, how I felt internally, I never had that energy. I have no need to take pre-workouts or anything like that. That costs money, but I mean just good quality food, like good cuts of meat, and my energy is through the roof. I can do so many things that I didn’t even do, to be honest, when I lost weight the first time that I lost it in 2014.

 

DAN:

That’s awesome. In closing, what would be your one tip that you would give to our listeners today?

 

Love and Respect Yourself

 

NORA:

I think the thing is I know you have to take responsibility for your actions. So at the same time don’t be so hard on yourself if you do have a slip-up because I think I couldn’t forgive myself for a while, and that’s why it took me I think this long to even just find something like keto to help me get back on track. So if you do have even a little slip up, you can’t carry that. Because people do that. I know people, even talking to friends who are overweight now and they know what I’m doing and they ask me for advice, but they just can’t seem to get started. It’s almost like it has to be kind of like you have to love and respect yourself and just kind of not be so hard on yourself.

 

DAN:

That’s a great tip. Nora, thank you so much. This has been a very cool story, and you are the first success story that’s going to be aired. So I know people will enjoy it. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

 

NORA:

Oh thank you for having me. I’m so passionate about it, and I feel so honored and blessed that I had this opportunity to talk about it.

 

DAN:

That’s awesome. Thank you so much.

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