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An Extremely Enlightening Month

February of 2015 has been an extremely enlightening month
I have learned and grown so much in the past 20 days and am very excited about the next 8 days! In the mere 20 days I have learned how to shape my running and run with (at least I hope it is) proper form. There are so many strategists on the subject of proper running form it is hard to really find the niche that fits you. But I think I finally found the right breathing patterns and the running “stance” that suits me. The mixture of the two has provided me with a solid cadence and has allowed me to increase my speed dramatically for my 5K (hoping to get under 22 minutes next race back in August I was running 28min 5K’s).

Along with the form, I bought myself a new pair of shoes from RunningWarehouse. I decided to go with Newton’s Distance III, and from the moment my foot went into the shoe it was pure love. I never felt such bliss on my feet! Needless to say, these shoes have also helped improve my speed, especially because my Achilles no longer hurt after hard runs. The shoes mixed with learning my running form niche have been a 2 pronged approach to assisting with my running goals.

The Ketogenic Diet
Crazy enough, the new shoes and proper form were not the only items I changed this month. Next, and perhaps the biggest change, my diet. I decided to change my diet dramatically to a Ketogenic diet. I was reading about an Ultra Runner named Anthony Kunkel whom I met at the Christmas Crusade 5K. Anthony was recently made an ambassador for EpicBar’s! I was looking into Running with a Ketogenic Diet and stumbled upon on a site Anthony may have forgotten about (RunKeto.com) and saw his name there and the views of him and the other bloggers regarding dieting and running. The reading turned me onto Ketogenics and I dove right in! I tend to over research on items when I hear about them (ask Lyndsey) and go a bit overboard. But after 3 days of reading and researching, I decided that starting a Ketogenics diet was the right move for my goals. The past 2 weeks have been extremely hard while my body is trying to become keto-adapted.

At first, I read too much into the books. Yes, the books are great for giving you the information of how ketogenics helps your performance as an athlete, as well as a life style choice. But the book has to be a generic guide tailored to “everyone”. I started the diet following the book strictly, eating around 2500-3000cal a day with a bulk of it 220g of fat and 100g of protein. After a week, I felt like crap and was ready to throw in the towel. My running was sucking it up, I could barely run 3 miles without wanting to stop. This was probably my lowest point. I cheated a bit with a cookie (or two). Although after I ate the cookies I had a major headache. This headache led me down a path to do a bit more research. I stumbled upon some outrageous people totally against Ketogenics, who really based their opinions solely on the books. Finally I was referred to the /r/ketogains reddit.

The Ketogains has a “macro” spreadsheet that you can download for free and is extremely easy to use. I plugged in my information, and found out that to “maintain” my weight I needed to eat at most 2000 calories a day with about 60% being fat, instead of 75%. Finally some real information! I was excited and changed my diet immediately. These changes over the past week have been miraculous. I no longer have the out of control urge to eat sweets or high carb products. Along with that my hunger has really evaded me. There is no longer this major urge to just eat. I can actually go a long time without food now (especially compared to how I was).

Dude I have a disease
As some of you know, I do have a disease. Hashimoto’s disease, or Hypothyroid as the more common term (although I like to say Hashimoto, sounds like a samurai! {yea stereotyping}). I was diagnosed with it 10 years ago and my Thyroid has been an uphill battle. That is until last April when I found “Stop The Thyroid Madness” and read into what they all had to say. At this point, I decided to try Thyroid-S (an armour like pill from Thailand). Ever since then, I have felt a million times better than I ever felt on Synthetics. From April to August I had lost 15lbs without even trying. Once August came around and Lyndsey started doing her TerraFit challenge, I started running….and haven’t stopped since. I give this credit to my thyroid pill change.

Now I went a little off topic there, but where the disease part came from was that I was reading on some forums (misinformed / misguided forums) that ketogenics can “cause you to get hypothyroid” and is really bad for your thyroid. This had me up in arms! I was really mad by now, so I looked all over the web for proof of this (as that is a strong accusation). I could find a few studies, but they were to the point of “yea this effects your thyroid but there is no evidence it adversely effects it”. The gist is that there has not been adequate studies done to say one way or the other. Of course, I took this topic over to /r/ketogains and asked. As the ketogenic people seem a bit more open minded and WAY MORE informed about how the ketogenic diet works versus some random on a forum with a grudge against it.

What I learned from Ketogains was simply that the diet does not adversely effect thyroid functionality. In fact, the few people who had hypothyroid had found their thyroid getting better and even a few were able to get off their medications! These are people who have been on the diet for years. Reddit really saved me from quitting the diet altogether. I was at an extremely low point when I learned about the thyroid part of it and them shedding some light from their own experience was worth more than someone with a grudge against ketogenics.

Well this month has been enlightening for sure. I have had my extremely low points (probably the lowest points I have seen in a year). But finally I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Am I keto-adapted? I doubt it. I simply think my body is starting to learn how to live without needing sugar or the extreme and bad carbs. Will this diet be a trial? Of course! But who said anything worth it was easy? You have to put in your effort 110-fold and only then can you look back at it and say, “Yes, I persevered.”

To anyone who knows me and wants to argue with me about my diet, you are welcomed to, but I will not argue back. The ultimate thing I can say to you is, “Have you ever tried it?” I have always been the person who was willing to try anything within reason. I have done my research, and chance are you have not. I have learned long ago that most of life is being lied to. Finally I can see that and now I am on my own journey to learn the truth for myself. Not from what others have told me.

So to end it with a saying from Thumper’s mom.

If you cannot say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

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