Photos taken at her 40th birthday party shocked Tamara. She didn’t recognize the “large, overweight, wrinkled, tired, exhausted woman” she saw. For over 18 years, Tamara practiced emergency medicine in South Africa and saw massive career success during that time. But her health paid the cost.
“Quickly my life spiraled into a world of continuous stress, periods of unmanageable pressure, unhealthy eating habits; living on hospital, airplane, or hotel food; partaking in absolutely no exercise, increasing my alcohol consumption due to attending a large amount of work events; and finally succumbing to an extreme lack of sleep,” she said.
Seeing those photos from her 40th birthday, she was disappointed in herself. But she realized it was time for a serious change.
“I did not want just a diet, I wanted a lifestyle change,” said Tamara. “One that was not just about losing weight but more importantly about regaining myself. Finding my mental and physical well-being, becoming fit, focused and happy with myself and my life again.”
She began researching all about the ketogenic diet by reading various medical articles, and PubMed journal studies, and watching Thomas DeLauer’s videos. Then, in February 2019, a friend who was also getting into keto told Tamara about Dr. Berg — whose “amazing medical educational videos” she now watches “religiously.”
One of Dr. Berg’s mantras: “Get healthy to lose weight instead of losing weight to get healthy” helps Tamara every day.
“Focusing rather on how good you feel, how well you slept, the abundance of energy you have every day, and how long you seem to stay full for after meals is the major lesson from Dr. Berg that resonates in me!” she said. “The better I felt each day the easier it was to stay committed and say ‘I’m never eating any other way because I feel so good every day.’”
Tamara’s family has been fully supportive of her keto journey and everyone in her household now eats an organic keto diet. They saw how quickly her health changed and embraced the lifestyle with her.
Her rapid weight loss caught her off guard but overall, nothing about keto was hard for Tamara. She has loved every minute of this journey.
“My mood and energy levels are overwhelming for days on end! I’m having the best sleep I’ve had in years. I can go easily 16 to 18 hours without a meal and feel more energised during these times. I’m working harder, stronger and staying more focused than I have ever been in the last 20 years!” she said. “Yes, the weight did fall off in the first year of keto but what I thrive on the most is the love for myself and the love for my life that it’s allowed me to regain.”
During her first year of keto, Tamara didn’t incorporate intermittent fasting. Looking back, including IF earlier is the only thing she would have done differently.
In total, Tamara has lost 46 pounds (21 kg), 32 pounds (14 kg) of which dropped away in the first 12 weeks. She also quit her stressful job at the emergency medical center which contributed to her loss of focus on her own health. She now lives a more settled, family-oriented life.
“I’d been on a dark and debilitating road in the past, consumed by work and an
unhealthy lifestyle! This year has been hands-down the most wonderful year! Filled with an unexpected joy and a new zest for my family and my life!” said Tamara.
“I have, since relocating to the beautiful cape, launched my own company, called “Ketogevity South Africa, whose aim is to increase longevity in the people of South Africa through the science of ketosis. I [have] been educating and helping out loads of friends and family over the last year, assisting them to implement keto into their own lives. After seeing their success with things such as weight loss, reversal of their type 2 diabetes, relief of their symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis and treating their depression and anxiety, I decided that I desperately wanted to share this transformative lifestyle with all the people of South Africa.”
Favorite Way to Exercise: Tamara loves yoga but hasn’t incorporated much exercise into her keto lifestyle; her results occurred in spite of that. However, she has recently been joining her husband at the gym for weight-lifting sessions.
Favorite Keto Recipe: Shitake mushroom noodles in a homemade rich collagen-filled chicken bone broth, with Asian-inspired vegetables —bok choy, baby snap peas and red chili —covered with heaps of Chinese five-spice-encrusted organic pork fillet and cracklings