Edit: translated from Dutch
Dominique came to my practice almost six months ago with the words ‘I’ve actually given up’. She had been trying for 12 years to get rid of her excess weight but nothing worked. ‘I’ll just be fat’ was her thought. But her two best friends had very different ideas and gave her one month of keto coaching as a gift.
That is a pretty unusual gift?
You could say that again, but our friendship is very special. We have known each other since secondary school and support each other in everything. For example, I got divorced when I was 42 and that period in my life was extremely difficult. But they were always there for me. In the years since my divorce, I did get bigger and bigger. It’s my own fault, I suppose, because I started eating sweets and unhealthy food and it just got worse over time.
Did you ever think ‘I have to stop doing that’?
Yes, in fact I have tried all kinds of diets. I have been a member of Weight Watchers, several times in fact. Soup diets, Sonja Bakker (editor’s note: a Dutch dieting guru), shakes, I have even taken weight loss tablets. Some things did help, Weight Watchers and Sonja Bakker in particular. The focus there is generally on healthy food, so I don’t want to be too negative about it. But how do you keep up eating so little?
Because you couldn’t?
No, because I was always hungry. Not when I had just started a diet, when I was feeling very positive. And I would lose weight. But after a month it becomes harder and harder. And then I just fell back into my old eating pattern. My friends are also very slim. I know you shouldn’t compare but it did bother me that I could only afford to eat so little and they can eat anything without gaining weight. It made me quite depressed and I would snack even more. I wasn’t healthy at all and it showed.
Did you have any other concerns?
Yes, of course I went through the menopause. I think it started when I was 48. And I really had all the classic symptoms: hot flashes, sleeping badly, my blood pressure went up, terrible mood swings. And I gained even more weight. After a while I noticed that going on a diet didn’t do anything anymore either. All those diets that normally made me lose at least some kilos, they stopped working for me. So what’s the point?
So that’s why I said ‘I’ll just be fat’?
Yes, I really didn’t feel like having to keep track of how much I ate anymore. I also talked to my GP about it, but she said that by keeping a close eye on the calories and exercising more, I would be able to lose weight. In retrospect, I know that this was useless advice. She was right about other things of course, for instance that I slept too little and did almost no exercise. But ‘eating less’, no, if that would work I wouldn’t be seriously overweight.
And then you got keto coaching as a present…
Yes, for Christmas of all times. I was stuffing myself with all kinds of foods and that’s what I got, hahaha. No, I was really surprised but in a very good way. We had been talking about it before, about keto. I think all three of us knew someone who was doing or had done keto and those stories were always positive. So I had looked up some articles online about it. But to be honest, it seemed very complicated to me. It’s very different from what I was used to so I hadn’t really turned that switch in my head yet. And then I received this gift.
Were you enthusiastic straight away?
My friends had, quite rightly, thought that if I could get help, it would be easier to start. That was true. But it still took me one and a half months before I dared take the step to make that first appointment with you.
And did it turn out better than expected?
Goodness, yes! I don’t know what I was so afraid of. That first coach call was so pleasant and extensive. I could really tell my story, and that was such a relief. And I had so many questions that you answered clearly every time. It was only then that I realised that keto might not be as complicated as I thought, that I was making things difficult in my head.
And the pressure was also off because not only did I have a coach call every week, but on all the other days I could just email or text you if something was bothering me. That gives you peace of mind. It was very nice that you indicated to do everything in smaller steps. For example: first get rid of all the products that don’t fit the keto lifestyle and then stock up with a good shopping list. It made the transition to keto easier for me.
That was six months ago. How are you now?
After that month of coaching, I continued on my own. I had already lost a few kilos and in the following months I lost even more. I now fit into a small EU size 42 again. That may not sound spectacular, but it is to me: it is just one size away from the size I had before my divorce. And I am insanely happy about that.
My blood pressure is back to normal, I sleep much better and I have a lot of energy. I am my happy self again. And that’s what I hear from my friends, but also from others around me: that I have such a positive outlook on life again. Losing those clothes sizes, that’s great. But the fact that I am myself again is actually much more important to me.
Weight is just a number on a scale, and if you think about it, it doesn’t tell you everything. A healthy lifestyle does so much more than just maintaining your weight, and I only realised that when I started keto. I’m very grateful to my friends for this gift, because I don’t know if I would have ever done it on my own. And I can heartily recommend keto coaching to anyone struggling as much as I did.