I wanted to share this blog post because Will and I have had a revolution over the last 7+ months. Our health and fitness has finally become a priority for us, and it has been an amazing physical and emotional transformation. We have found a new passion. I know you’re probably wondering why I would ever post this to this blog, but Will and I want this to reflect our interests. I also feel like if this can inspire or help someone, then it is totally worth it. I know it sounds funny, but I remember walking through our second Airstream wondering how much more comfortable I would be if I lost this extra weight in such a tiny space.
Most of this blog will be a reflection of my views, but Will definitely has been on his on journey as well. I could not be more proud of him. Through the stresses of life including graduate school, new jobs, and health issues, we had gained a significant amount of weight over the last three years. Our MO is to celebrate or stress with food and reward ourselves with indulgences. The same thing happened to us in college, and we quickly found ourselves unhappy and ready for a change last fall.
Obviously, I am a physician assistant, but this post is not supposed to be interpreted as medical advice by any means. You should always consult your primary care physician before embarking on changes like this. Also, I am not getting paid for any of the things I mention in this article. These are just things that have helped me (and a lot of my friends and family), and I am passionate about sharing it with people. Essentially I knew I had to change what I ate and start exercising. Easy concept, right (*insert eye roll emoji*)?
Enter Ketogenic diet:
I had lost weight previously on a low carb diet prior to our wedding about 9 years ago. You can probably assume I gained it back quickly after resuming a typical American diet. I remembered that my body responded well to this though, and I felt good on this type of diet. I started with this concept and eventually found my way to keto through internet research. One of my biggest motivators was Reddit/keto. I highly recommend checking out the website if you’re remotely interested.
I am no ketogenic expert, but briefly, the diet consists of low carb (<20g/day) and high fat. That means no bread, chips, tortillas, potatoes, or candy… and lots of avocados, heavy cream, cheese, steak and bacon. Not exactly a fair trade but let me assure you, I do not feel deprived. As soon as I started this there are a couple of things I realized:
It is difficult to get enough fat in the diet at times. It is imperative to eat enough fat (especially early on) because that becomes your body’s fuel source. It keeps your energy up and cravings at bay (while you’re detoxing from sugar and carbs). Carb Manager App really helped me realize if I was hitting my targets for the day. I also looked at it like a real life video game (it was like I had the cheat codes to dieting).
When I eat carbs, I bloat so much! Within the first week of trying this diet, my belly slimmed down. That was motivation enough for me to keep going.
I would have to find “swaps” for my favorite things if I was going to consider this a lifestyle change. Will and I purchased an air fryer, and it has been used constantly. Some of my favorite swaps include the air fryer. Pork rind “breaded” chicken tenders, low carb tortilla chips with guacamole, chocolate “mousse” with cream cheese and whipping cream, and “fat head” pizza are just a few indulgences that make continuing this change possible.
With these changes I began to see the weight come off, but I knew I wanted to be active. Will and I have a history of being intermittently active since high school, and I really wanted to get back to that lifestyle. Airstream and tiny living definitely lends itself to being outdoors, hiking, and exerting yourself in the best way possible. In our previous state, we were able to participate in things like this, but they definitely were not enjoyable.
Enter consistent exercise:
About one year prior to our “real transformation,” we got a gym membership hoping it would kick start our health journey. August 2016 was an active month for us, but like so many others, our fervor quickly faded. We would randomly go to cycling classes, and really enjoyed them, but the class availability was limited. I even dragged Will out of bed at 5 AM to find a completely full class a couple of mornings in a row. Needless to say, he was not happy about that. As our year membership was coming to a close, I realized that this would not be beneficial to continue like this. I started to dabble with in home workout sessions, but nothing really stuck. Finally in December (after about a month of diet changes), I decided to take the Peloton plunge! I am ecstatic about it, and I wish I would have done it sooner. I could write on and on about the bike, so if you have specific questions, please comment below. The main thing that people ask is it worth it given its large price tag. All I can say for myself is emphatically YES! Will and I joke that it has been our “gateway drug” into a more active lifestyle again, and we are so grateful. I now am weight lifting, jogging, boot camping, and finally feel like myself again. The convenience of riding at home and getting an amazing workout is why peloton is revolutionary (along with all the other exercises they are doing off the bike and new treadmill). I even begged Will to see if the peloton would fit in Airstream III; he didn’t go for it. Our Peloton usernames are Bhart86, and Will is Sawemoff44. Hit us up on the bike! Shameless plug… our referral code is B988MS for the bike. You and I get $100 if you use it!
Overall Will and I have lost 70 pounds together and still counting. We just returned from an Alaskan cruise where we definitely indulged, but we have promptly returned back to the diet with the abolishment of the cruise bloat. We also jogged a 2 mile hike to Nugget Falls unexpectedly due to time constraints that left us feeling amazing about how far we have come. Being tinier has not only improved our tiny living experience, but our lives overall. Feel free to ask any questions or share your experiences below!