Michele Wilkes is an accountant with All-In Accounting Solutions in St. Louis. She has extensive experience living a low-carb eating lifestyle and most recently discovered how using Biosense® along with it can be a powerful tool in the prevention of chronic disease for herself and her family.
How did you first get introduced to Biosense®?
I’ve been with my accounting firm for over a year and I’ve been working with Readout’s (developers of Biosense®) account since the beginning. After around six months, I started to research the device. From somebody who’s been trying to lose weight at different times in my life, I was intrigued.
How often do you use Biosense®?
It kind of depends. Usually a minimum of three times a day, sometimes four or five depending on what my numbers are. When they’re not where I think they’re supposed to be, I do it more often just so I can see what I did differently and figure out if it affected the reading. But I usually use it first thing in the morning, then when I leave work on the way home, and then before I go to bed.
What are the benefits you’ve experienced firsthand using Biosense®?
I don’t have a lot of health issues, but my mom is diabetic and she tests herself several times a day and takes medication. My brother is five years older than I am and he has a monitor that he wears that goes on his arm. Every once in a while he has to take medication. So far I haven’t felt badly where I needed to go to the doctor. I don’t have any pre-diabetic symptoms, but my brother is only five years older than I am and he’s been dealing with this for a few years. So I’m getting to the point where I think maybe this is something I need to start thinking about for myself. I want more of a lifestyle change, I don’t really have a goal weight. I just want to make sure I feel better and healthier, so this is preventive for me. Even though I don’t weigh myself, I can tell that I’m down weight-wise 25 to 30 lb since July. I’ve lost weight in places where I couldn’t lose weight for four years, and I’ve noticed that when my ACEs show I’m in a fat burning state, I feel completely awake, ready to go, and am in a great mood.
What are the main diet changes you’ve made since adopting this lifestyle?
When I started this journey, I was strictly eating meat, cheese, and eggs at less than 15 grams of carbs a day. Now I do incorporate some vegetables that have carbs that are essential for digestion. I stay away from sugar-free candies. Instead of buying processed desserts, I’ll make it on my own. I bought almond flour and monk fruit sweetener and made a cheesecake. It tasted fantastic. So, I don’t buy many processed foods. I don’t buy anything that has a “keto” symbol on it because I don’t want to become dependent on those kinds of things. If I’m going to eat it, I want to know exactly what’s in there. Before, I was fasting 16/8 during the week, but now I’m doing it a little bit less structured. Typically I just try not to eat until I’m hungry. Twenty-four hours is the longest I’ve gone. If my numbers are good, then I probably won’t incorporate the 24 hour fast too often. One thing I realized is that we’re all programmed to think that you’re supposed to eat three meals a day: you get up, you have breakfast, and then you have lunch, and then you have dinner. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s okay to just eat when you’re hungry.
What do you see as the primary function of Biosense® in your life?
Biosense® provides me validation that what I’m doing is working. I started out on this journey, like so many others, with the mindset of “ok, I’m going to do this.” You might lose a little weight, and then you try to incorporate things a little bit where you’re not as strict, and then you start gaining again and fall right off the wagon. So, I was determined that this time it was going to be more of a lifestyle change. I tried to cut calories and cut sugars and exercise, and it got kind of boring. I knew somebody else that was really into low-carb eating, so she gave me a few pointers. The device is just a validation of what I’m doing right and wrong so I can make sure I’m doing what works.
Can you provide an example of how Biosense® gave you insight about your food choice?
Recently I went off the rails and I ate carbs at a Christmas party a few weeks ago. It was really interesting to see how long it took for my body, even with exercising and burning the sugar and carbs, to get back. It took over a week for me to get back. Also, before I started eating low-carb, I was eating very well: lots of fruits and vegetables and I cut out sugar. I think that my body was on the edge, so as soon as I cut out fruit, I jumped right into ketosis quickly. But it’s really interesting to see what happens when you eat whatever you want. It really throws you right off, so Biosense is a supportive device that lets you know what you should keep doing.
What have you learned about yourself since using Biosense®?
I’ve learned about how different foods can affect different people. I feel like there are certain foods I have to stay away from because whatever it is about me, my body is just not going to process it as well, like breads and carbs. I can tell that sugary foods, whether it’s pure sugar or a carb form like potatoes or pasta, make me more tired and not feel great and less energetic. I’ve tried to eat this or drink that for a boost of energy, but in the end I have a crash. Yesterday morning, I woke up and my numbers read 12. Then this morning, I woke up and there was a reading of 17, and I was ready to go with much more energy. You can see and feel the change once you keep certain foods out of your system and start giving your body what it needs and not what it wants.
How has using Biosense® and eating low-carb influenced your family’s lifestyle?
My husband and my 13-year-old son are not completely low-carb, but my husband stopped eating bread a couple weeks ago. My son has seen a real difference in me and has also decided that he can eat the burger but doesn’t need the bread or the bun. He’s also learning how to read labels. So, it’s truly a lifestyle and a health change for me for the future, but it’s also helping my husband and son as well. If I had just started at 13 like my son, I wouldn’t be as concerned about what I’m looking at these next couple years.