Coming back after a break

So, a lot has changed in the few years it’s been since I’ve posted any cooks or cigars.

In 2015, I hit a peak weight in my life, hopefully for forever. I weighed in at 310 lbs and realized I needed to start making some changes in my life. I started walking and even ran some and I managed to lose about 35 lbs that I maintained for the next few years. Last year, in 2019, I met my girlfriend and soon after I decided to try and get under 250 lbs, a weight my doctor assured me a few years back, if I got there, he would stop giving me grief. I stepped up the exercise game. I hit the elliptical hard. I got back into lifting. I started paying attention to the foods I was eating (no specific diet, just starting to actually make smarter dietary choices). And on my 40th birthday, I weighed in at 245 lbs. It was about this point where I started looking at that 2015 picture of myself pinned up at my desk from a vendor event and it suddenly became motivating.

I still didn’t go back to MY doctor yet, but I had the sense of accomplishment knowing I got there. And again, I was able to maintain the weight loss. I was keeping the weight off, not doing the yoyo thing.

On January 5, my girlfriend told me she was starting keto the next day. And I jumped right in with her on a nutrition plan that I had looked on with great skepticism since the first time I heard of it because isn’t this just another one of those fad, low carb South Beach/Atkins plans? There’s no way that is healthy. And it isn’t sustainable. Once I lose the weight and stop the diet, I’ll just gain it all back. The same chorus I’d heard repeated over and over again. The same excuses I had made for not losing that 20 or 30 lbs when I was 28.. Or 30.. Or 32.. The same excuses that landed me at 310 lbs.

And after losing 65 lbs the slow way and keeping it off, I set a manageable goal weight of 215 lbs. I picked 215 because I considered myself to be in pretty good shape when I was 22 and 204 lbs and when I was 25 and 225 lbs. 215 sat neatly in the middle. By the time the COVID-19 lockdown started in Alabama in mid March, I weighed 215. But it didn’t stop there. I kept losing weight. Sure, it slowed down some. I wasn’t going to sustain 3.5 lbs a week indefinitely. But by June 2020, I was down to 185. And I’ve even had days at 182 and 183. I’ve held steady at 185 +/- 3 lbs for the last 90 days or so.

I don’t snore anymore. My bloodwork is literally perfect. My cholesterol and blood pressure are both down. My doctor, who I have seen now, is completely onboard with my nutrition plan. And we had a good laugh when I came in for the first time in 3 years and I’d lost 93 lbs between visits.

So I look back at all of the cooks I’ve posted in the past and there are a lot of things out there that I choose not to eat anymore, at least not with any regularity. But steaks, scallops, wings.. These are all things I can still eat on keto. Sometimes I can eat them exactly how I used to. Other times, recipes require some modification. Substituting a side item (I’m looking at you parmesan risotto) or substituting an ingredient to make a comfortable meal comply with the low carb framework of keto. On an unrelated note, I don’t eat pork anymore, so the pork chops and ribs and Boston butts are quite literally off the table.

I’m a lot pickier about nutrition labels and ingredients today than I used to be. I eat virtually zero trans fats. I don’t eat any wheat based anything (to be clear, I don’t have a gluten sensitivity). I avoid processed soybean based foods like the plague.

Anyway, I’ve had coworkers and acquaintances and friends say a lot of supportive things about my weight loss over, specifically, the last 16 months or so. Some of the best compliments I’ve received are when a colleague or someone I know, but am not especially close with, says that my progress has inspired them to make changes to their diets or try keto. I’m not here to say that keto is for everyone. But if you’re interested in keto foods done the right way, I’d like to start posting some of my cooks that fit this new way of eating. There’s a lot of bad information out there about keto, but there’s also good information about how to leverage keto to get healthier. I still love food. I just look at food differently today than I used to.

If you have any kind of underlying health condition, you should talk to your doctor about whether or not keto is safe

for you. Otherwise, welcome to a healthier MagicCityBurn.com .

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