I listened to a great podcast this morning with Kim Howerton and she used a term that really stuck with me: “Fuzzy Boundaries.” I wanted to talk a bit about that today and what it means to me and those times when I am a culprit. First off, I am not talking about not having boundaries at all, but I am talking about when what Keto means to ME is all over the road. Picture yourself driving down a highway. Have you ever been behind someone who is all over their lane? They don’t drive off into the shoulder, and they don’t go into another lane or into oncoming traffic - that person’s hand is probably just searching for their coffee cup. Annoying, but probably not going to result in an accident. Now picture this: You are committed to Keto, and maybe doing 20 total carbs or less, sticking to clean-Keto-approved foods, eating when you are full and stopping when you are hungry.
‘Tis the season for fuzzy boundaries
Okay, so you are not going to run yourself off into a ditch or into oncoming traffic. But what’s that you said about sticking to 20 total carbs? Hmm…maybe we can go up a bit just for the holiday season, or switch to net carbs for a week. But what’s that you said about eating only clean-Keto-approved foods? Hmm…there is that “IIFYM” method of Keto: As long as it fits my macros I’ll eat it; a few rum balls instead of salad and other vegetables will work out just fine. But what’s that you said that eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full? Hmm…as long as I am eating Keto foods, no harm done as long as I am only eating rib-eyes and green salad even if I am stuffed until I am sick and probably consumed about 5000 calories more than my body will ever burn off. You get the point: You can still be totally in your lane but swerving all over the place. You might get knocked out of ketosis, but the more fat-adapted you are, the more metabolically resilient your body is, the more quickly you get back into ketosis, so you figure you have some leeway. And, in truth, remaining in ketosis will still bring good health results, just maybe not the weight loss you want, because eating too much is still eating too much, even if it’s Keto. Just as it happens, if you are only reaching for your coffee, you get right back onto the straight and narrow of the road. But what if one meal or one day turns into a month, several months or you never do get back onto Keto? Yeah, you can run your car off into a ditch, or God forbid, kill other people and yourself, so maybe this is a poor and offensive analogy, and I’m sorry. But it also makes another point: Assuming you are not impaired and you do not take your eyes off the road, you will still probably stray a bit off your mark even if you are doing something so slight like reaching for that coffee. And in the same way I am not talking about going back to the Standard American Diet (SAD) of mindlessly eating hundreds, if not thousands, of junk carbohydrates. I am talking about the equivalent of reaching for that coffee: a few extra carbs, not stopping when you are full, or looking for ways for foods to fit your macros.
What it has meant to me and what I am going to do about it
Guilty as charged! Yeah, you all know my story: the hard and emotional year I have had, the complete life-changing events like retirement and house hunting, and the busier-than-ever days in my life just with the production of Granny Keto (all good but busy!). It has been easy for those boundaries to get fuzzy…very very fuzzy. Never off Keto, but coming dangerously close to driving into a ditch, believe me. I was starting to feel bad that I am barely an example for my clients, but then realized that, as they say, “life happens” and really it’s time to take a few refresher driving classes and keep my eye on the road better than I have been. The refresher classes means getting back to listening to my podcasts which always grounded and focused me, listening more to my body signals to tell me when I am hungry or satisfied, less reaching for a little bit of this and a little bit of that because I know I have been very low in carbs for the day, and a few wasabi peas or grapes won’t hurt. Thank heavens I did not drive into a ditch this year, but although I am pleased with that, I am not pleased that I have made virtually no progress in attaining my weight loss goals. I always say - and I stand by it - that weight loss in Keto is beside the point, but it’s still nice to see you aren’t leaving a year heavier than you went into it - even if only by a few pounds. Anyway - stay on that road, unfuzz your boundaries, and get on with your journey and enjoy it!