In this series we highlight members of the Swanson community—customers, readers, employees—and what health means to them. In this issue we take time to get to know radio personality Jodee Woods, who has discovered a new inroad on her wellness journey by making a permanent lifestyle change to a ketogenic (keto) diet.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Ever had that feeling that if you could just change one aspect of your life, the rest would sort of fall into place? Radio personality Jodee Woods knows the path we pave for our personal health journey isn’t always straightforward—but that finding one that fits can change everything.
For years she struggled with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, often finding herself in a vicious cycle, “I yo-yo dieted, trying everything but nothing seemed to stick. I managed to gain weight and feel worse.”
At her highest weight she was winded when she walked up the stairs—it was then Jodee was ready to make a permanent change. Life was waiting with an unexpected prospect, “In April 2019, I was offered an opportunity to work with a keto lifestyle program. I jumped at the chance to learn a healthier lifestyle and committed to it 100%.”
COMMITTING TO KETO
More than a diet, “keto” truly requires a lifestyle change, because the goal is to maintain ketosis, also called being fat-adapted, which happens when the body burns fats and ketones for energy instead of glucose. Essentially, those on a keto diet consume fats and proteins while mostly avoiding carbs. But first the body has to learn how to use fat as fuel. This can prove a difficult balance to maintain since even certain vegetables or an excess of protein can push the body out of ketosis.
For Jodee, that means the difficult choice to cut out foods she loves. “I have a serious sweet tooth and I love potatoes, and both are too carb heavy for keto.” While challenges can potentially overwhelm any unique way of eating, Jodee believes her success with keto partially resides in her ability to blend a balance of new and old eating habits. “I can still eat many of the foods I love while fitting within my keto lifestyle, so I don’t feel like I am missing out on something.”
She includes alternatives that work for her, such as replacing mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower or radishes and easily finds new recipes online with so many people out there also exploring the keto landscape.
AVOIDING PERFECTION PARALYSIS
Sometimes the determination to succeed on a new diet can mean trying to adhere to the plan so rigidly that it can lead to failure—and more disappointment. “Many people who live a keto lifestyle are clean eaters and avoid any processed foods. I follow the ‘dirty keto’ lifestyle,” she says, “which means I focus on staying within my daily allowed limits of carbs, protein, and fat, while still eating some processed foods.”
Jodi’s built-in concessions allows her to stay focused on maintaining overall improved eating habits. And these efforts have paid off. “In one year of only changing my eating habits, no real focus on exercise, I’ve lost 35 pounds,” Jodee says.
In addition, she just feels better in her own skin, “My energy level has increased dramatically, and I have an amazing overall feeling of wellbeing that I didn’t even realize I was missing. I just feel lighter and better.”
BEYOND THE FINISH LINE
Health evolutions can be hard—and humbling. We try new things, but they may not work in the way we expect them to, or the way they did for others. Other times taking steps toward better health may pay off with even better results than we’d hoped.
The important part is to keep looking. These days Jodee finds herself ready for the next step in her keto journey. Buoyed by her newfound sense of self and energy, she has started working out at a gym, “something I never, and I mean NEVER, thought I would do,” she says.
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