Unexpected Side Effects of Weight Loss

I am officially down over SIXTY pounds in just under a year using the ketogenic diet. Here’s a list of some of my strangest realizations and personal accomplishments:

  • I can no longer curl into a burrito-ball to go to sleep, which is my preferred position. At 187 pounds, sleeping with my knees together was very comfortable as there was plenty of cushion. Now, I can feel the bones in my knees and ankles rubbing together. Not pleasant, very painful!
  • I lost weight in some of the most unexpected places: my fingers and my feet. I’ve gone down at least one whole ring size and my usual shoe size is a little extra roomy; not enough to go a full size down in regular tennis shoes/sneakers, but now I 100% have to wear size 7-7.5 heels instead of sometimes being able to get away with my regular size 8.
  • I no longer dread trying things on, everything from knee-high boots to bathing suits. I’m no longer ashamed at what I expect to see in the mirror.
  • The Whoosh Effect™ is REAL!! My biggest recorded whoosh was six pounds in two days. Surprising, yet incredibly satisfying.
  • I take a lot more pride in how I dress now. The “jeans + old sorority t-shirt” look is no longer my go-to, and I am really proud of that.
  • Even in the dead 100°+ heat of Texas summers, I hardly sweat. I actually started carrying a giant Mary Poppins purse because I almost always need a jacket when indoors now. That was a shock.
  • “Skinny jeans” don’t feel like they’re cutting off my circulation anymore, and they’re actually quite comfortable! I don’t feel like I HAVE to take them off as soon as I get home.
  • I am not nearly as camera-shy as I used to be.
  • I need a belt. Always.
  • Every single time I reach for a paper towel to clean up a mess, I am reminded of the “Paper Towel Effect.”
    • The whole roll represents your body, and each towel represents a pound. When you start using the roll, taking off one sheet doesn’t seem to make much of a difference in the appearance of the roll, but as you continue to lose weight, each sheet lost appears to be more and more drastic. The last sheet may wrap around multiple times, so as you slim down each pound lost becomes more and more noticeable.
  • My taste buds changed completely. Now “normal sweet” is WAY too sweet for me. I regularly enjoy and actually PREFER fruit for dessert.
    • I remember being completely dumbfounded as a college freshman when my roommate said that her favorite dessert was fresh peaches. Now I get it, I REALLY get it.
  • Our household is saving on groceries because we only buy what we know we will eat, and planning out keto meals ahead of time has really eliminated 90% of our food waste.
    • Plus, since most of our food is whole and natural, if we have a little extra left over, I feel 0% guilty about giving the rest to our dogs. They have benefitted from salmon, bacon grease, leftover cheddar nubs, and a variety of sautéed vegetables. Sometimes it’s just not worth dirtying a Tupperware container for a few small pieces of leftover broccoli. Roux and Lil Iz are v v appreciative.
  • I very rarely, if ever, get that fuzzy feeling on my teeth anymore. I can floss comfortably, even roughly, without making my gums bleed.
    • I struggled dealing with the acetone-breath that often accompanies keto beginners, but over time it’s balanced out and is no longer a huge issue.
  • Along the lines of acetone breath, I smell like Windex anytime I come back inside from working in my garden or taking Roux on a small stroll to the neighboring dog park. It’s a harmless side effect of keto, having extra ammonia in your sweat, but good Lord does it reek! Laundry day comes early anytime outdoor activities are concerned.
  • With no rhyme or reason, there are just some days I just crave a big ass salad. Never once saw that coming in a million years.
  • I think my hair has noticeably thinned, so much that my doctor suggested we test for thyroid function. Test results came back fine, but I’ve read a bit about something called telogen effluvium, a condition where your body shuts down “unnecessary functions” as a response to rapid weight loss, and I think I may fall into this category. Sixty pounds in a year is pretty rapid, but now that I am maintaining, I expect to see improvement within the next few months or so.
    • Despite a noticeable thinning of my hair as of late, the hair that I do have is MUCH healthier looking and feeling. Some of the tiny whispy curls of my youth have returned, and my nails have never been stronger.
  • I once found XL bath sheets to be lush and plush and luxurious (and necessary if I wanted to be completely enveloped). Now they just seem…excessive. I have shrunk down in size so much that those previously perfect towels wrap around my body twice.
  • Once, in a well-intentioned attempt to be a better keto-er, I ate way too much fiber, way too suddenly (read: an entire box of DELICIOUS Alyssa’s Gluten Free Vegan Cookies AKA 40 grams of fiber…). OH my poor, poor intestines – how I mistreated thee. All that extra fiber triggered cramps so intense that I literally felt like I was in labor giving birth to a very healthy, well-developed, 8 lb 4oz food baby. Absolute misery, people. I have since learned the importance of adding fiber responsibly.
Roux and Lil Iz
Puppy Tax! Roux is the mini aussie and Lil Iz is the divalicious yorkie.

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