A wife to her best friend of 13 years and mommy to their two little girls -- this is how Jessica Freeman describes herself. She used to have a very toxic relationship with sugar that is allowing her to lose control over her life. Eventually, she got tired of waking up feeling exhausted, not being able to keep up with her kids, and hiding from life because of her weight. These things are what made her decide to start her Keto journey.
On February 11, 2019, Jessica began her journey to rewind her health from being morbidly obese to a healthy weight using a ketogenic lifestyle and intermittent fasting. Jessica shared, “I wasn't able to find someone to inspire and motivate me after my internet searches so I decided I was going to document my journey so that I could help as many people as possible, with the raw details of a 140-pound weight loss journey.”
Week 1, Day 1 of Jessica's Journey
Jessica was introduced to Keto by her cardiologist. During her annual check-up, when her weight was over 300 pounds, her cardiologist suggested she read the book, Obesity Code, and some materials about the ketogenic diet. “I was told I was running out of time and needed to do something about my health fast because I was throwing fuel on the fire by being morbidly obese. So, I went home and started reading everything I could about the ketogenic lifestyle and decided it was right for me,” said Jessica.
The obvious result she got from eating Keto was losing 76 pounds in six months. Her starting weight was 309 pounds and she is currently weighing 233 pounds. However, it is the non-scale victories that have been so much more rewarding for her. Her favorites include: no longer wearing plus size clothing, not having to check weight limits before getting on ladders, rides, seats, waking up feeling energized, and loving herself again. She is no longer missing out on life and she has learned so much about herself.
For the past 15 years, she had her walls up to protect herself. She was more self-conscious, less confident, timid, and fearful. As the weeks went on, the walls got chipped away week by week. Someone even commented on her recent video that they noticed how far she has come since week 1 of her videos. “There's a roller-coaster of emotions you will experience as you chip away at the layers of protection. But there are no walls now! I am the person I've always been but now I'm not afraid to be me. That's the beauty of the process and I thank keto for giving me my life back!” Jessica proudly claimed.
Like many others, Jessica also had her share of setbacks in her Keto journey. There were some weeks that she had slip-ups that led to weight gains. The first time that she had a gain, she was so embarrassed and thought she was a failure. She even wanted to go back into hiding from life and ditch her YouTube channel. However, she realized that her followers were following her weight loss journey because she shared the raw and real parts of the journey, which includes the gains.
She used to beat herself over those slip-ups. But with each slip-up, it made her more aware of what sugar is doing to her and she got stronger at redirecting those feeling to new healthy habits that kept her focused on Keto. She is proud to say that she doesn’t regret those setbacks. For her, those were valuable lessons that she learned about herself and her strength. It’s become clear to her now that she is worth fighting for! She also no longer dwells on past mistakes. She believes that each day is a new day and each meal is a chance to be better.
Jessica’s favorite Keto meal is three eggs fried in grass-fed butter, three slices of Canadian bacon, and iced black coffee with unflavored collagen, She also makes lots of grilled chicken with roasted veggies (broccoli or asparagus) in olive oil. When she eats out at restaurants, she will have a bunless or lettuce-wrapped burger with cheese, bacon, pickles, and onions with a side salad with ranch dressing.
One of the mistakes that Jessica sees other people make on Keto is not tracking food in a diary. Her mantra is counting those macros and it’s one of the top reasons behind her success. “How can you honestly expect to lose weight if you don't know how much food to eat? I got to 309 pounds because I didn't eat proper serving sizes for my height and weight. I was actually eating for a family of FOUR by myself between all the stress eating and enormous portion sizes. No wonder why I got morbidly obese,” shared Jessica. She added that logging is important to make sure that one is also eating enough.
Aside from eating Keto, Jessica is also doing intermittent fasting. For her, the two are equally important. She does it because she’s not hungry anymore. Since changing her lifestyle to Keto, it has become rare for her to feel hungry which makes intermittent fasting easy. She also uses intermittent fasting as a tool to fight her emotional, stress, binge, bored, etc eating and plans her fasting window around the stressful parts of her day. It has also helped her so much as she redirects her triggers from food to something fun. She normally fasts 16:8 each day on weekdays while she does 23:1 or OMAD on weekends.
Since starting Keto, Jessica had availed of a gym membership but was only able to use it once because of being self-conscious. When she was able to gain confidence around six months into Keto, she started strength training at her gym as a way to help with the stress and sculpt her body. She now wants to replace the fat with a lean, fat-burning body.
One thing that has always been with Jessica is her cravings. However, she already knows how to cope with them now. She does this by drinking a big glass of water. If that doesn’t work, she takes on a new project like purging her closet of clothes that no longer fit or get those things under her to-do list done. Keeping busy easily distracts her and makes her feel more accomplished by getting more things done. On days that she is still craving, she indulges in Keto foods to cheat with. This means that she will bump up her calories for the day to eat more fat/protein.
Here are Jessica’s Top 3 Tips to Keto Newbies:
- TRUST THE PROCESS. This is a journey, not a race. Stay in your own lane and don't compare your journey to someone else's. We lose weight differently on a ketogenic diet meaning some weeks it might not show any loss on the scale where other weeks we can have huge losses. Take the focus off of the scale and only weigh yourself weekly or monthly. Judge your journey based on how you actually feel and how your clothes fit.
- DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND BE PREPARED! The more you know about keto, the more you will set yourself up for success and have what you need to keep yourself going. I stress making a menu for the week and sticking to it. Don't even go down those middle aisles at the grocery stores filled with temptation. Have keto snacks and treats on hand for those moments that you may have a weak moment. If you're unprepared, you're more than likely to give up or make excuses to justify your slip-ups
- FIND SUPPORT! This journey will be so rewarding and it's worth fighting for but it is absolutely imperative to have a support system, whether it be a spouse, best friend, and or online community (YouTube/Facebook) for success. The world is not set up for keto. The world is set up for sugar! So you need a buddy to live, breathe, eat, chat, etc everything keto with. You need to connect with people who are going through this journey too. Although my family is 100% on board with keto, I needed to form my Keto Rewind community to share this journey with. There's so much power in having a cheering section just for you! Or someone to help make you realize the slip up isn't the end of the world and you need to try harder on the next meal.
- Bonus Tip: TRACK THOSE MACROS!!!
Join Jessica and witness her Keto journey by subscribing to her YouTube Channel, Keto Rewind.