This is the story of one woman’s journey to a healthier and happier lifestyle. Laurie Nybo of Medicine Hat, Alberta agreed to share her health and weight struggles and her ultimate success through her use of the Keto Diet. Laurie works for Nutters corporate office and our team members at Nutters stores across Western Canada are cheering her personal victory. All of the quotes in this article are Laurie’s own words:
“Over the last 16 years I have struggled with my weight and the older I was getting the more pain my joints and body were in, which also started to affect me mentally as well as my physical activity. I had tried other things short term in, but was never able to maintain any of my weight loss, and my weight loss was minimal. I had been researching for a month or two about Keto after being told about it by friends, but wasn’t ready to commit at that time”.
Laurie, what finally got you going and committed?
“I had been keeping screen shot ideas, information, and recipes on my phone for 2 months. There is lots of information on the internet, but it can be overwhelming. I had thought about purchasing a big book that explained everything in detail, such as how to count and track, but when I flipped through the pages I became frustrated. I suppose you could say I was trying to find every excuse not to do it! Until one day I was out shopping, and my knees hurt, I was sluggish and just not feeling well when I ran into my cousin who is a nurse. I told her how I was feeling. She is an amazing nurse and mentioned perhaps giving Keto a try, cutting out my sugars, doing low carb and healthy fats. She was my life saver as during the following days I gathered my information up and stumbled across LAZY KETO”.
Is that the approach you decided to take Laurie?
‘Well, Google was my new best friend, I found Lazy Keto which I thought it would be the perfect fit for me. Online I found there were 3 levels to Keto, Strict, Lazy and Dirty. I am not one to use medical terms but I understood this in its simplest form. I had the support of my doctor which is something we should all do, as this approach may not be a fit for everyone”.
Can you describe the options you discovered through your research?
“Sure, keeping each definition brief, here’s what I boiled it down to;
Strict Keto – Follow keto friendly food guideline, stay under 20g net carbs per day, no sugar, healthy fats, but monitoring your calories, macros, using tracking apps etc and you need to be accountable for everything you eat.
Lazy Keto – Follow keto friendly food guideline, stay under 20g net carbs per day, no sugar, healthy fats, but you do not count or track anything, you are just mindful as to what you are eating.
Dirty Keto – Stay under 20g net carbs per day but allowing yourself to eat more processed food and having more flexibility when clean eating is difficult
Now this is just a simple summary but people have had success with weight loss doing all 3, it is up to you to find what works best for you and with your doctor’s approval”.
Laurie, when did your Keto journey begin?
“I started my journey to get healthy on April 15, 2018 with my grocery list in hand I took the plunge. I started meal planning for about 4 days at a time so I did not have to buy all my new key ingredients all at once. I was giving myself the month to try lazy keto and if I had success I would continue. if I didn’t succeed, then I was going to research further. My first month I lost 22 lbs but keep in mind I had at least 70Lbs to lose and first month is lots of water weight, but regardless, I was excited. It took only two weeks without sugar for my joints to become pain free and for my energy level to start to rise. It was almost more exciting than the weight loss itself”.
How did it go after that first month?
“Each month varied for weight loss and I knew my first month would be my biggest loss but also kept in mind that ‘every day I was one step closer to my goal’. At 8 months I was at 60lb loss and if you averaged it out that would be an average of 7.5lbs per month. I have been maintaining and I am now at 11 months with 68lb loss and hope to lose 5lb more by my 1st year anniversary of my journey to get healthy”.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned to date in this journey?
“The biggest thing I have learned is how SUGAR can affect your body. I am not saying everyone should cut it out because everyone is different, but for me being overweight, dealing with inflammation on a daily basis along with an underlying medical issue I was born with, sugar has definitely had a negative impact on my life. Read your labels and you will be surprised how much you are consuming in a day. I still have a sweet tooth but there are so many amazing alternative sweeteners out there that I now use to make myself a special treat from time to time that is Keto approved. It has also been an easy transition for me because I work at Nutters Everyday Naturals”.
Laurie, what difference is all of this making in your life today?
“I have always been a happy person and my weight got to where it was because I was still comfortable in my own skin. It was how I was feeling that made me start this journey to get healthy, mind body and soul. I have never felt better than I do now I am not a gym person, so I use the outdoors, I started with things I could do even at my heaviest. I started biking, kayaking and recently taking up hiking, even taking on a mountain or two and incorporated my love of photography into it as well.”
How have your family and friends reacted to the changes?
“I think the biggest thing I hear now is that I look healthier and some have said younger, I am not sure about that, but I will take it!! I am still considered overweight and not afraid to say my starting weight was 236lbs and I am now 168lb. I am ok with that and hope to be 165lb by my 1 st year anniversary of this journey. My goal is just to be healthier not perfect”.
Laurie, was there other motivators that drove you to do this?
“At 3 months old I had a valve repaired in my heart, so in the back of my mind I have always felt that I may one day need another surgery. If and when that day comes, I want to be in the best health I can be. I wanted to make the change to get healthy before I was forced to do it”.
So, what does meal planning look like for you now Laurie?
The Lazy keto foods I consume are healthy fats, low carb, no sugar, lots of vegetables and moderate amounts of meats and berries, and from time to time a special keto friendly dessert. I have taken salads to a whole new level full of healthy fats, vegetables, eggs, avocado, nuts, and berries, they are a filling meal for me now instead of a side dish. Cutting out sugar and eating low carbs have been the best thing for me to do and as well as focusing on getting in as many vegetables as possible throughout the day.
What comes next for you in this journey?
“If I can help motivate even one person to start their own journey to get healthy, I will be happy. The hard part is not following Lazy Keto, the hard part was to take the first step. I am gathering all of my recipes together along with photos to hopefully pull together into a simple recipe book. I have had many people ask for recipes and how to start. Hopefully I can pass on some of my favorite food ideas to others”.
Any parting thoughts for our readers?
“I would say my approach to this new way of life has been to keep it simple, and not to over-think. My goal is to be healthy, not perfect. Always remember your starting weight might be someone else’s goal weight, just enjoy the journey”.
Laurie has started an Instagram account where you can follow her progress as she shares photo’s of her Keto meals, showcasing both her passion for the Keto diet and her love of photography. To find Laurie on Instagram go to: @lazyketophotography.
Update: January 15, 2020
Laurie has provided us with an update regarding her maintenance journey and her future plans:
“I was able to reach my goal weight in my first year with a weight loss of 74 lbs. Although I had to work hard to achieve my goal, I was also concerned about what happens after the weight loss, and will I be able to maintain? It’s now been 21-months since I started, with nine months being maintenance, and I am happy to say that I have been able to keep my weight off, and I feel amazing”!
“So, what have I changed? I continue with my KETO foods and, of course, keep away from SUGAR! This is just a natural way of life for me now. Because I’ve been following KETO for so long, I don’t need to put much thought into my meals. I just know what I can have. So maintenance (for me) has not been difficult at all”.
“My journey has also allowed me to help others start healthier lifestyles. I get lots of requests for recipes and tips. I’m excited to say I’m in the process of getting my website up and running, and I’m working on an eBook with easy to follow recipes. My website will be about my journey, a place to share recipes, tips, and what I’ve learned about maintenance, so stay tuned. For now, you can find me on Instagram @lazyketophotography”.
“This journey has certainly been life-changing for me”!
Photo Credits; ’ Before’ Photo’s courtesy of Shauna Fockler, Crooked Owl Photography