Fitness Fridays: Keto Fan Tanisha C. Lost More Than 80 Pounds In 8 Months Without Surgery Or Stepping In The Gym
When Tanisha Commodore decided to get serious about changing her diet and getting healthier, she tried a whole host of things, including some very interesting options like weight-loss hypnosis. She was hell-bent on dropping the pounds one way or another after having a child, dealing with weight that was constantly up and down, and being told she was on her way to diabetes. The last time she checked, she peaked at 257 pounds before getting so discouraged that she started to avoid the scale.
“I’m sure I got higher but I stopped getting on the scale at that point,” she told us.
Tanisha was also quite close to traveling to Mexico to lie on someone’s table and get weight-loss surgery she could pay for out of pocket, but a chance conversation with a friend who brought up the Ketogenic diet kept her from going down that road. After a rough start due to poor research into how the diet worked (she scarfed down bacon and pulled pork until it made her sick), she got serious. Soon enough, she started burning fats as opposed to carbs and found that her weight was going down. In the year since starting the Keto diet, Tanisha has lost more than 80 pounds. She is no longer prediabetic and her bra size went from an H cup to a D. The soon-to-be 34-year-old is the healthiest she’s been in years, and through her site, Glutton to Gorgeous, she helps others interested in adopting the Keto diet make it happen. We spoke to the Seattle native turned New York resident about her journey, removing extra sugars and processed food from her orbit, and how she got healthy without having to step in anybody’s gym.
MadameNoire: Has weight always been an issue for you or was there an event or circumstances that made it an issue? I know on your page you said you gained 100 pounds in college. Can you elaborate on why that was? Was your weight always up and down?
Tanisha Commodore: Always up and down. Very, very up and down, but college is when it really took off. I moved from Seattle — I’m from Seattle, Washington originally — to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for college, and that food hits different. I ate everything, I wanted to taste everything, drink everything. Then I got into a bad relationship and my weight continued to spiral. There were multiple attempts to try and lose the weight, but nothing really came off after college.
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When did you realize you wanted to make a change? What was the motivation?
Multiple times at Weight Watchers, it just wasn’t for me. I tried this diet program called MediFast. I tried that twice. You literally could only drink like shakes and they tasted like cardboard. I would have rather licked cardboard all day than to have one of those shakes. I paid $2,000 for hypnosis, weight-loss hypnosis. That didn’t do anything for me. Then I went super crazy in the gym before my wedding and I was able to lose like 30 or 40 pounds, but as soon as I slacked off, all of the weight came back instantly. I got pregnant and that was when I was told I had gestational diabetes. That was definitely a scary shocker because it put me at high risk. I had always considered myself, even when I was a bigger girl, I still considered myself healthy. I didn’t have to take any medicine, and I didn’t have high blood pressure or anything like that. However, after I delivered the baby, I gained more weight. I was skinnier when I delivered than at my highest weight. That’s when I found myself in the doctor’s office and they basically told me that I’m going to get diabetes and sooner rather than later if I didn’t change the way that I ate. I’m in the medical field, so I couldn’t imagine being like some of the patients I see that just don’t take care of themselves.
As for the past things that you tried, for instance, you said Weight Watchers for example, why didn’t those options work for you?
Weight Watchers didn’t work for me I would say because I was paying for somebody to tell me that I had gained weight. I understand that the meetings are inspirational, but if you’re not ready, you’re literally paying somebody to tell you that you gained weight. I don’t shame very easily, so me standing there and someone telling me I gained 12 pounds in a month, it didn’t make me not eat.
What drew you to the Keto diet then?
I had tried low-carb. When I started in 2018, I did what I always do, I starved myself and then I tried to exercise like a crazy person. I started walking to work, and that was like three miles. Then I tried the diet bets, and that’s where you pay to try and lose weight to gain money. I was hoping the financial aspect would help me, but I don’t do well with that type of competition, so I started getting bulimic. I will throw up to make a goal. That’s nothing. And then just all around, I was unhealthy when it came to the diet bets.
One day, one of my girlfriends offhandedly, she had lost a lot of weight really quickly, and she told me about the Keto diet. I had never heard of it so I Googled Keto and then I Googled Keto for Dummies because the information out there can be really complicated. She had lost 70 pounds in four months and I was like, “I’ll try it” because this was the final straw and I was going to do weight-loss surgery. One of my girlfriends had went to Mexico and got weight-loss surgery done and I was like, “Well, I’ll do it.” Insurance wouldn’t pay for me to get the surgery. So I tried [Keto]. My first week, I did the light Google search and I only ate pulled pork and bacon because I thought that meat doesn’t have carbs, but that was absolutely wrong. I broke out, belly ached, constipation. I said, maybe this Keto diet isn’t for me, but then I said, let me actually research. That’s when I really learned that it’s high fat, but healthy fats: vegetables, avocados, olive oils and low-carb, healthier meats. When I actually started researching, the weight started coming off.
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With that being said, what is your routine in terms of what you eat usually that helps you shed and maintain? I know you said you’ve done all of this without exercising. You must have found the right low-carb meals that worked, so what are they?
So, I really like Keto because you’re eating real food. With stuff like NutriSystem, you’re buying packaged meals and you’re going to have to adjust your body to come off of those meals. Eggs and bacon for breakfast, that’s Keto. For lunch, I just did fish tacos with a lettuce wrap instead. I also do a cheese tostada, and that’s literally putting cheese in a microwave and melting it and it gets hard like a baked cheese cracker and then doing a taco salad on that. So you’re still eating your favorite foods, you’re just adjusting them to make them healthier. I really haven’t had to give anything up. People say that Keto is restrictive, but it’s restrictive in that you’re cutting out the processed foods. You’re cutting the sugars out of your diet, and those things should be restricted. I don’t need to have dessert every night. I don’t need to have the sweetest things in the world, and I was a complete sugar addict. I would actually buy candy for my walk back to the office to eat my candy. I would have “walking candy,” is what I called it.
I can relate to that! I’m a big sugar eater: “I need something sweet to taste on real quick.”
That was absolutely me, so Keto was good for me to cut the sugar out of my diet.
Can you tell us more about your site, Glutton to Gorgeous? I know it offers a lot of Keto tips. For those not familiar though, please speak on that.
The way I designed my site, I wanted it to be very simple, get straight to the point and offer help. I had a very hard time in the beginning just getting a simple explanation of what the diet was; getting a simple grocery list. I feel like it shouldn’t be that hard to make a grocery list. I created the How to Get Started Guide because I fumbled a lot in the beginning. My transition to Keto in the beginning would have been a lot smoother with the tips that I give. I went through sugar withdrawals like a junkie. I had leg cramps, headaches, literally the shakes. With supplements I would have been fine, and by supplements, I mean electrolytes, potassium. I also never took any Keto pills or diet pills or anything like that because a lot of people are pushing these Keto products that you just pay for. All you have to do with Keto is eat and you lose weight. That’s what I learned and that’s what I want to share with people.
There are people who’ve said doing the Keto diet for the long-term is not something people can maintain. Why would you disagree with that?
I think it’s very easy to maintain because I don’t consider it restrictive. I eat delicious food daily and I don’t have to worry about what it’s doing to my body, I guess I’ll say. I eat meat, vegetables, healthy fats and berries. That is completely sustainable. I’m human. I will occasionally enjoy a fantastic meal when I want, but overall, I keep it Keto. I consider those treats. I don’t consider them cheating because it’s food. We went to Disney World and I ate my heart out. When I got back, I went back to what I know and just kept it simple.