My WHY and how I came to Keto coaching

Miriam Hatoum (“Granny Keto”) introduces herself and talks about her “Why”

In order to find success with Keto you must find your WHY. When you search for your why I suggest it not be a short-term goal (like losing 20 pounds for a wedding). Keto is a long-term lifestyle – it should not be for a short-term weight loss goal. It is imperative to understand that ketogenic eating is an internal-healing process. It is not necessarily a weight loss program (it can be, but if you are looking for that as your ONLY why you may not have the interest to see it as the long-term process that it really is). The more internal healing you have to do, the slower may be the weight loss – think of it as your body needing to pay attention to one thing at a time!

My line in the sand, and my WHY, was that I did not want to get diabetes. Two years ago my doctor at the time said, "There is no such thing as pre-diabetes. You have it or you don't." Apparently, by that definition and by those standards, I had it, although I had gone through years fooling myself into thinking I had not gotten there yet – that I could fix it in yet another three months between blood tests. 

I did not want to get diabetes

A friend recommended that I read Why we get fat and what to do about it by Gary Taubes, and for the very first time in my life I understood that the calories-in-calories-out theory of weight loss is seriously flawed. For the first time I understood the connection between food and insulin and fat storage and weight loss. No wonder I never lost weight on Weight Watchers with all those 100-calorie packs of cookies and crackers! No wonder I never lost weight while strictly following Paleo with its unlimited fruits and root vegetables! No wonder I never lost weight with hypnosis, mindful eating programs and intuitive eating sessions (all touting that everything would be perfectly under control if I just learned moderation)! No wonder I was an A+ dieter all my life, but a D- weight loser. I almost cried when I realized it was the food and the insulin – not MY shortcomings. The diets failed ME – I did not fail the diets.

I realized I needed to get healthy first and the weight loss would come

My WHY was always to get healthy by losing weight. It never occurred to me that I needed to get healthy first and then the weight loss would come naturally. In my case, especially, the health would come by lowering insulin levels and healing my insulin resistance. I had never heard the expression "insulin resistance" but now it meant everything to me. Prior to reading Why we get fat and what to do about it, I did not know that it is ALL about the insulin and that healing the insulin resistance would be the answer to losing weight. Of course there was some vanity mixed in with why I wanted to lose weight – but I was a professional belly dancer – so I was comfortable in my own skin and thought I was attractive and wore clothes well, and didn’t give a second thought – even at 100 pounds overweight – about walking past people in a bathing suit! 

Once I learned about insulin resistance I checked fasting insulin numbers going back more than 10 years. At one point my fasting insulin was 46.5 (normal is 5 or less) and I had one triglyceride reading of over 400 (normal is under 100). My doctor at that time advised eating less pastry. He sort of said it in a joking tone so I can’t blame myself that I never took any of these numbers seriously. My fasting blood glucose was always around 110, and that is the only number that old-fashioned conventional doctors are trained to look at when they pronounce that you do or do not have diabetes. I was ignorant myself of the meaning of any other numbers.

I started Keto to get my insulin numbers to a healthy range

Bringing my numbers into a healthy range was my why at the time I started Keto. You need to re-examine your why periodically – as it changes. I have a little further to go (my fasting insulin is now 12) and so the why of health is still there but then I worked on a new why. As I internally began to get healthier, and feel better, and yes – look better – I wanted to learn more about this way of eating. I started to devour (ah yes … a food term…) resources – both with texts and podcasts. I began to learn more and want to learn more. During this time I signed up for personal Keto coaching. My why at that point became to not give up during a busy summer and to stick with Keto long enough to figure out the logistics of Keto that work for me. Do I track or not track; do I count total carbs or net carbs; do I eat three meals a day or do I start intermittent fasting; etc.? I started a website and YouTube channel called  "Keto My Way" that were about my journey. 

I wanted to learn to incorporate Keto into my family and friends' lifestyles too

As I found answers for myself, my why became learning how I could incorporate Keto into my lifestyle permanently and make it work with my family. For instance, we spend every Sunday with the kids and that means brunch, afternoon snacks during football season, Sunday dinner and helping pack the kids’ lunches for the next day. Also, my husband and I used to own a restaurant in New York so we really were all about the food – we did all the cooking for family events – whether at our home or my daughter’s home. 

I worked very hard during this time not to stray from Keto and all of my whys, and after about 7 months my coach suggested that I consider becoming a coach myself. I thought, if I am going to do this then my new why needs to be to really walk the walk and talk the talk. I enrolled in a nutritional coaching program, completed it, and began coaching friends and family who were interested in Keto. I learned even more about the Keto lifestyle and I became Granny Keto! 

Even through a series of family crises, my Why kept me on track with Keto

 Miriam Hatoum ("Granny Keto") and her newborn grandson

Miriam Hatoum ("Granny Keto") and her newborn grandson

During these months I had several crises that showed me that I had the strength to stick to my new why: Wanting to be healthy and being authentic so that I could feel honest about being a Keto coach. In the Fall of 2017, my new grandson had a bowel obstruction and was hospitalized. I took care of my three-year old granddaughter, juggling taking care of her and also working. It was a short period of time, but I did not crumble under the stress – between going back and forth from the hospital, staying overnight with her and then dropping her off at daycare then going to work, there were lots of meals out, or in the hospital – and the distance was a triangle with one-hour distance between my daughter’s house-work-my house. But I did it! This pales in comparison to the next set of crises.

In December I got a call from California that my sister had 12 hours to 3 days to live and I had better get out there (from Boston). This call came at 11 AM on a Sunday and I was on a 4 PM flight that day, packed and ready for about three days. She came through the crisis but the outlook was not good. I stayed in California about two weeks, came home and then turned around and went back Christmas day and stayed until sometime in January. My first visit she was in the hospital and I went back and forth from the hospital to her condo (my two brothers also came out at that time) – again all meals either at the hospital or at restaurants. For the second visit, she was in hospice near her condo and I used that time to empty her condo to put it on the market – we knew that she would never be returning. It was a heartbreaking and stressful time. I went home on a Thursday and she died the following Monday. That Friday we had the funeral. Three weeks later was my mother’s funeral. 

I was finally getting my footing back when one morning (the first Friday in March) I hear my husband yell, "Get me to the hospital," and that was it – he was unconscious. We got him to the hospital just in time as he had a ruptured  "Triple A" (abdominal aortic aneurism). Everything was aligned and they got him into surgery and somehow he survived a 7 cm shearing off of his abdominal artery. In two days he had 9 pints of his blood replaced (and our bodies only have 11 ½!) but he survived. The doctor said there is no protocol for survival with this situation but he made it. So as I sat there watching my husband on a ventilator, I realized that life is precious and if I have it at my fingertips to live a healthy life then just do it. When I was in California, when both my sister and my mother died, and especially when I had my husband’s crisis, I would post on a Facebook page I belong to, and I would receive comments and messages that, because someone saw my strength and determination and resilience to stay Keto and not turn to food to comfort myself, it gave them the determination and courage to not give in to their old familiar habits. Where there was adversity somehow I found strength – I knew that no amount of candy or cake or overeating of any kind would bring back my mother or sister or help my husband. I knew that to come through to the other side I needed to be strong and healthy and not lose myself in old eating habits and comfort food. So now I had my next (and current) why – It was time to take the plunge – get a real website going and social media and ACTUALLY become a coach! AND HERE I AM!!!

I'll help you find the Why that will sustain you for a lifetime

As you can see, if my only why was "Lose 20 pounds to fit into a dress," that moment would have come and gone. It might be a good enough why to sustain you enough to lose that 20 pounds, but you will gain it back as soon as you go back to your old habits and ways. I want to work with you to find your why. As you work through this website and do more research on your own, as I did, I hope Granny Keto will become your home base and reference point. I have many programs available – including the Granny Keto Transitions Program™: Five Steps to Keto – and also "full on" Keto coaching.  Let me help you find your why!

Get my Free Guide, "Dancing with Keto"

Don't miss my free guide, Dancing with Keto, a guide to help you if don’t want to be tracking every morsel you eat. I know that I have found success with doing Keto that way and I can help you do it too.

Just please know that you are going through this with a friend whether or not you sign up for coaching. You are not alone. You have support and friendship here at Granny Keto!