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Episode Forty Four

Susan Hanmore

Susan's Story in her words ...

I am 67, grew up in Canberra and now live on beautiful Tamborine Mountain, SE Queensland with my husband, David and gorgeous old chocolate Labradoodle. We have two sons, one in Brisbane and one usually in England but a Covid silver lining is that we’ve been lucky to have him in Australia this past year or so. We are semi-retired and our favourite thing is spending time with our 12 and 10 year old Grandkiddos. I enjoy an active social life with fellow mountain dwellers, do aqua aerobics twice a week; volunteer in our local landcare bookshop raising funds to re-vegetate the mountain. A long-term project is building our home and I fill whatever role needed to help my husband with that. I spent my early adult years in CSIRO in Canberra; then later in family business; have some mediation training; have assisted refugee families to settle in Australia; volunteered teaching English to non-English speakers and have a partial Bachelor of Education in Adult Education.

Healthwise, I am very well now having great metabolic health, reversed fatty liver and lost over 50 kilos (30 kilos still to go). I’ve had some health challenges over the years ... 4 x miscarriages before our sons were born; a squished pituitary gland that at some stage had a now infarcted tumour attached to it; many cerebral episodes; cystic ovaries; this and that but the most challenging issue has been navigating life carrying the physical and mental burden of obesity. I am a confident and positive woman but there has not been any getting away from the intrusion that obesity lumped on my wellbeing. I cannot run; sit on a picnic rug; even kneel down and get up ... the intrusion into the way I’d like to function has been ever present. I carry around an overhanging stomach that whilst slowly shrinking will likely remain. Of course losing weight has made a huge difference but perhaps because I didn’t manage to do this until a little late in the picture, I am still not as agile or flexible as I’d like ... not giving up on this and am still aiming to get up and down from the floor in the hopefully not too distant future. Thanks to a Keto way of eating my overall health is now very good.

To my weight loss journey. I gained weight during pregnancies and continued gaining thereafter. Following years of yo-yoing up and down on every diet under the sun; around 2008 I lost a considerable amount of weight doing Atkins. However I became nervous with so much media hype around organ damage, etc and switched to a more recognised “healthy” regime ... eating nothing white ie no white potato, white flour, pasta, rice, white sugar (just maple syrup); steered clear of processed food; used only spelt flour; ate plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and not too much meat/dairy/fat. In the ensuring 9 years or so of loosing weight, while eating “healthily”, I gradually regained a whole whack of the weight I’d lost. I was feeling pretty discouraged and desperate and one day had the epiphany that Atkins had worked for me and all the other “wholesome” stuff was not working for me. I set about looking into the health risks of Atkins and discovered that there was a resurgence of the low carb approach. Upon reading about the new Atkins and devouring every morsel of information I could find, I began low carb and subsequently Keto in February 2018. I’m conscientious by nature and keep going; loosing all the weight I’d regained and more. Last year thanks to Have Butter Will Travel I encountered Real Life Medicine with Lucy & Mary and feel immensely grateful to be in a community of like minded women striving for good health and wellness using low carb real food as a tool/weapon even to aid and protect ourselves in our endeavours. It had hitherto been lonely; even though my family is amazingly supportive of me and when my lovely husband cooks he only cooks keto recipes and eats much lower carbs himself, I have travelled the path pretty singularly in my wider world. My friends applaud me but don’t really get it; have not delved into the science of keto and are not really open to understanding it; my GP is supportive but it’s been my choice, my research, my risk and to finally feel “not alone” in this is very comforting. To have such passion about a way of living and to be able to discuss and learn more about it in the wonderful community of RLM with the professional guidance and support of these two amazing doctors and possibly even be of some use to others myself, is wonderful. This is it for me ... I believe I will continue a keto way of eating forevermore and whilst the weight loss is slow these days it does keep trickling off and I am OK with it taking as long as it takes while I enjoy the health benefits it delivers.