My name is Alexa Nicole Robles, and I’m a 22-year-old teacher’s assistant in Raleigh, North Carolina. About a year ago, I weighed 190 pounds and decided to get serious about my health. So I went on the keto diet and started working out. Since then, I’ve lost more than 80 pounds.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been on the heavier side. I always felt like hiding because I was uncomfortable with being overweight—so my social life suffered.
When I started a teaching job after college, my weight began impacting my professional life, too. When you’re working with kids, you have to be up and running all the time, but I would get tired easily. I was also constantly anxious about simple things like walking into a room or standing in front of people.
In July 2018, my then-significant other made a cruel comment about my physical appearance.
I knew I was overweight, and I knew I was unhealthy. I knew my weight was impacting basically every aspect of my life. But his comment really hurt. It was the final straw.
So instead of crying and sitting on my bed and eating my feelings, like I might have previously, I channeled that rage into kickstarting my weight-loss journey. I was determined to figure out how to love myself, and I wasn’t going to let anyone make me feel that way ever again.
The next day, a friend posted about keto on Instagram and shared her results. I was intrigued, so I Googled the keto diet right away and fell in love with what I saw. I jumped right in.
The more I ate a low-carb, keto diet and worked out, the better I felt.
I no longer cared what anyone said about me because this journey was about me and loving who I saw in the mirror, seeing how far she had come. I loved the feeling of being able to get up and look forward to getting a workout in, the feeling of not being afraid of walking into a room or that I’d get terrible anxiety.
What worked for me was going keto and low-carb. In the beginning, I’d limit myself to 13 grams of total carbs a day. I did that for the first 6.5 months, and then I transitioned into consuming 20 grams of net carbs per day.
This isn’t right for everyone, but it worked for me and helped me achieve my weight-loss goals.
Here’s an example of a typical eating day for me now:
- Breakfast: Eggs and bacon with a side of Two Good yogurt.
- Lunch: Turkey BBQ meatballs (I like Hughes sugar free BBQ sauce) with a side of green beans.
- Snacks: Frozen strawberries, cheese sticks, or salt and vinegar almonds.
- Dinner: Grilled chicken with a side of loaded Brussel sprouts (mozzarella, bacon and Brussel sprouts baked in the oven).
- Dessert: A Choc Zero bar or a Lily’s dark chocolate bar.
Once I got the hang of eating low-carb, I started going to the gym every day.
I’m still only doing cardio, using machines like the elliptical and the treadmill, and will be incorporating weights and other things to help tone my body soon.
The three things have really helped make my weight-loss efforts stick are:
- Research, research, research! I can’t stress this enough. What works for others may not work for you, so definitely do your own research and find an approach that seems like it will work with your lifestyle.
- Track your macronutrients. You’ll definitely need to log how much fat, protein, and carbs you’re eating if you’re on the keto diet. I couldn’t have seen the results I did without tracking.
- Keep your eye on the prize. There were so many times when I wanted to give up, but I just stayed focused on that end goal and thought about how far I had come already.
Know that it’s also okay to have “off” days.
I look back at my journey and realize that all the changes I made took time—and sometimes there were definitely some instances where I was harder on myself than I needed to be in the moment. This is a journey, not a race. Don’t compare your path to anyone else’s.
Weight is something that so many women struggle with, but know that you have the power to do something about it. Being overweight was impacting my life in major ways, so this weight-loss journey has changed everything. I am no longer afraid, and I no longer suffer from anxiety.
The confidence I lacked, I finally I have now. I worked through the obstacles that were holding me back from living my best life—and I’m so happy to say that I did this for me, not anyone else.
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