Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

I just wanted to pop in and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year or Happy whatever holiday you hold dear this time of year.

I have not been a good low-carber and have basically been going off the rails since Thanksgiving.  I am excited for the fresh beginnings that 2018 will bring, as 2017 was pretty bonkers and terrible in a lot of ways.  There was definitely good in there as well, don't get me wrong, but I am excited to be moving forward!

For now though, I am celebrating and doing all the baking and treat testing, Lord forgive me.  I am probably nearing the weight that I started the year at :'(  but oh well.  I know I will get back on track here in a couple weeks.  See you then!

Calories Still Matter

Monday, September 25, 2017

I know, I know, weight fluctuates and it isn't a good indicator of progress.  However I am one of those people who weighs daily.  I don't get very emotional towards the number, it is just a good indicator of movement in the right direction.  If I am emotional about anything, it is with myself and being mad about overeating.  Unfortunately or fortunately depending on my mood, it is rarely a mystery when I weigh more than the day before.

Ketogenic dieting along with intermittent fasting is pretty great because counting calories isn't necessary.  You just forgo your carbs and only eat in your 8 hour window, and things take care of themselves.  Weight will literally melt off of you faster than you can imagine!

I weighed myself this morning, and I was 275.4 pounds coming out of the weekend.  Weekends are usually not great because we eat out a bunch, I don't skip breakfast on Saturdays and I don't drink nearly enough water, but I'm never up by 2+ pounds.  I can't even blame any feminine situations, as I am two weeks from dealing with any of that.  I know what is the cause of this.  It is sugar free Russell Stover and halo top ice cream.  I was singing their praises days ago, but I think I am going too far with the indulgences.  

Russell Stover sugar free and Halo Top are great tools to have in your arsenal against weight gain.  However I think it is important to acknowledge that your unhealthy patterns are still just that.  I think when you start out, it is good to replace your habits with better choices.  Eating a bag of sugar free candy is better than eating a bag of snickers, that is just math.  However eventually you need to come to terms with the fact that eating a whole bag of candy in one sitting isn't normal or healthy.  

I don't know if I have a binge eating problem exactly, but I do find comfort in eating until I am full.  I feel warm and satisfied, and I feel like things within my brain chemistry are rewarding me as well.  Knowing this about myself, I need to be careful about what I put in my system.  Eating halo top until I am full isn't a carb-free endeavor.  I haven't researched the science behind what you can subtract out of the total carb count to stay in the keto zone, but halo top has 7g of literal sugar in a serving of my favorite cookie dough flavor.  That needs to be saved for a 'sometimes' treat, not every night and twice on weekends.  Plus all of these things add up.  Two sugar free candies are 150 calories, and I know I have polished off a small handful on the course of a Saturday.  That is basically an extra meal I am not accounting for, and the scale is showing it.  I need to get this train back on the rails.  

I was hoping by #weighinwednesday that I would be 272.something so I can officially be at my first milestone and take my reward day off from work, but I don't know if 2.5 pounds in two days is reasonable.  I want to try and cut back on the fake sweets this week, ramp up the water intake, and better stick to the noon-8pm eating window.  I've gotten too loose with that as well.  It would be so very awesome to end the month of September in the 260's.  Time to crush it!

Knowing and Beating My Patterns

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

This is only the 84th time I have tried losing weight once and for all.  It is an understatement that I've been around the diet block a few times.  I was getting to a point of frustration with myself where I just wanted to cry any time I thought about losing weight.  I knew I needed to get the pounds off.  I knew my life's hopes and dreams were at least partially hinged on me getting this weight problem under control.  Things like a shot at having children, a better job and career, friendships, and fitting in regular sized clothes.  I cried out of frustration because I just knew the same approach I had tried time after time was never going to work.  Motivation never lasts, and after a week of eating salads or hitting the gym, I want to give up.  I can never stay in control long enough to make a real difference in my size.  Short of wiring my jaw shut, there was no hope for me.  So I cried.

When you go on diets off and on for most of your life, you start thinking that you know a lot about how to diet.  It isn't rocket science to know that grilled chicken and vegetables will yield weight loss results on a long enough timeline and the opposite with a diet of mostly cheeseburgers and fries.  My frustration never stemmed from a lack of nutrition knowledge, or inability to think of fun ways to exercise.  It was a frustration stemmed in just not wanting to do it.  I don't want to eat healthy because that food sucks.  I don't want to exercise because it hurts, and it is just embarrassing to be a fat person exercising.  It takes time and energy I don't want to give.  I knew if I managed to eat healthy and exercise for a long enough time to reach a normal weight, there would be no relief.  I'd have to eat healthy and exercise forever.  When I eventually stop I will just get fat again.  So what's the point?

Maybe it was some sort of immaturity on my part paired with a straight-up lack of discipline.  Eating what I wanted, as much as I wanted and being lazy/sedentary make me happy.  I enjoy these things.  They might even be my favorite things in a day.  Retiring to the couch for some reality TV and a bag of candy, does life get much better?  (Thoughts of a sick and sad person, I know!)

I gave lots of thought to my situation and how I could change.  I knew that the way to success for me was going to be to not rock the boat too much.  Anything too far from my normal routine and comfort levels was going to knock me back to square one, leaving me frustrated and defeated for the umpteenth time.  I needed to understand my starting point.  I outlined my comfort zone of a diet in a previous post and my patterns include:

1. I am a fast food junkie
2. I am a fast food junkie
3. I am a fast food junkie
4. I feel deserving or needing of a 'treat' extremely frequently
5. I like easy, efficient and fairly inexpensive solutions to feeding myself
6. The way I evaluate and justify food choices is nuts.  I never look at the big picture, but at what makes me the most happy right now.
7. I use work and having the 9-5 job as an excuse to take the easy route with food
8. I don't think anything I did was healthy in the slightest, yet I was under the impression that this 'wasn't that bad' of a way to be eating.

What can I learn?  What will make following the low carb/ kept plan easier?  

1. Saying yes (for now) to fast food
2. Saying yes to treats
3. Saying yes to cheap, efficient, and easy meals
4. Not worrying about the big picture (for now)
5. Give myself grace - I am a busy person and don't have the energy for an elaborate dinner every night, and I forgive myself.
6. Keep the impression that what I'm eating isn't that bad.  Is it ideal? Never.  But if I am losing weight, then I need to just take the win.

Usually when I start a new diet and am so excited for my new life, fast food is the first to go.  Fast food and health do not coexist.  Again, from my previous post we see that it isn't unusual for me to eat 15 of the 21 of my total meals away from home.  (I'm ignoring the fact that eating out so frequently is insane.)  I am who I am, and I will say yes to eating take out.  My options are limited, but I don't feel like my world is turned upside down and I never get to leave the kitchen.  Since I am only doing lazy keto, I am not very strict on eating breaded protein or negligible amounts os sugar in sauces and dressings.  So lunch every day is either chicken nuggets or a bunless burger from McDonalds, or a cobb salad from Chick-fil-a.  I don't need to concoct smoothies or bake kept bread for a sandwich...just show up to work with lunch money and I can make it work.

I did cut down my food bill and calorie count substantially with intermittent fasting.  I'm so used to overeating that I don't even know what hungry really feels like.  So I started cutting out breakfast and just having coffee in the morning.  I don't really miss it at all, and I get a healthy appetite in the hour or two before lunch time.  I probably compensate the calories by eating a bigger lunch and being quite snackish after dinner, but I am seeing results!  

Cheap efficient and easy includes take away food as #1.  Also for now I stopped caring so much if we eat the same stuff on repeat while I'm getting into the groove.  We usually have chicken + vegetable side, some sort of sausage and cabbage creation, steak + vegetable side, breakfast for dinner, keto pizza.  Sometimes I will find a recipe to get excited about and switch things up.  I don't mind this routine so far, and weight does my other half.  

I round the evening off with some sugar free russell stover candy or some halo top.  The night must end with a sweet treat!  I've made some keto brownies and keto peanut butter cookies that were pretty great as well.  I am glad I can still have a baking outlet as someone who has given up on carbs.  I am slowing coming around to the humbling realization that a lot of my prejudices against healthy eating and living were wrong.  Carb free meals can be damned delicious.  Sugar free desserts can feel satisfying.  Starving never needs to enter my vocabulary, and I can certainly darken the door of a McDonald's and not feel bad about it.  

The rest is just taking things one step at a time, one meal at a time.  So far I am down 20 pounds for the year and I'm starting to see a waist forming.  I joined a bunch of Facebook groups and started a low carving instagram account and surround myself with encouraging people fighting similar battles against their bodies.  These little things keep adding to my confidence levels.  I feel like I am really conquering my issues and can have the fortitude to follow this through.  I have come to terms with the fact that I just can't go back to eating how I was eating.  My health will suffer and I just don't feel well when I overeat and overindulge on sugar.  I still mourn for those days from time to time, but the future just seems so bright that I hardly get the urge to look backwards.

I hope in time I won't need to rely so much on eating fast food and sweets, but transformation is a process that takes time.  Day by day I am learning how to eat like a normal person, and getting closer to weighing the same as one too.  Believing that change is possible has been the biggest gift I could have ever received, and it is snowballing in a really remarkable way.  I hope my sharing this experience can help you hack your own bad habits and find ways to work around them and achieve your goals.  

A Proper Goodbye

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

At the end of last week, I attended the funeral of my grandfather.  He was a strong and faithful leader of our family, and sharp as a tack until the very end.  He was 88 years old.  I am going to miss him a lot, but I can only feel gratitude for the amount of time he was given on this earth - and time that we got to share with him.

I won't go into a long eulogy for a man you never got to know - plus we are here to talk about weight loss, right?

The services and trip to San Antonio were last Thursday through Saturday.  The situation was stacked against me.  I'm out of my routine AND out of town, so we will be eating out pretty much the whole time (not that all the eating out is super different from my regular life).  I am sad and feeling all the feelings which make me not want to worry about what I am eating nor the quantity.  Lastly - San Antonio has really good food.  Food that would make for a worthwhile cheat weekend for sure.

But Wednesday night as I gathered my things and tried on all my dresses to see which one seemed best, I thought - wow, these all fit nicely.  My shape is changing even though the pounds haven't exactly come off as quickly and I have a waist, sort of.  What a shame that I will be gone for a few days, eat all the tamales and puffy tacos I can get my hands on, and have a new 5 pounds to lose come Monday.  That fact got me down.  I just finally got my weight back on track from when we went to see grandpa over Labor Day weekend.  Then I thought, wait a second.  If I eat poorly on Thursday then I will be puffed out and bloated on Friday and maybe my dress wont fit so great after all.  Troubled by all these considerations, I loaded my purse with several packs of cocoa roasted almonds and sugar free chocolate and thought to myself, 'I can at least stay off carbs for Thursday'.

So we traveled Thursday and I ate the egg and sausage out of a breakfast croissant, I ate nuggets and a bunless burger as usual for lunch.  We went to Oscar's taco house, which has the best puffy tacos on God's green earth.  I had a bowl of tortilla soup sans tortilla strips, and 1 singular puffy taco - which would be my only splurge of the weekend.  It was glorious.  I got to taste a taco and really enjoy it - but I stayed in control.  I indulged intelligently.

After the success of Thursday, the rest of the weekend was easy to navigate.  I was so proud of the smart choices I made just the day before that I wanted to repeat the feeling.  It is nice to have those thoughts about something positive instead of 'I liked the feeling of stuffing myself with all those puffy tacos, let's repeat that feeling with barbacoa today'.

There is something to be said for self efficacy.  Sometimes we believe so deeply that we are unable to do things that we will sabotage ourselves in order to prove ourselves right.  In my case, no sabotage was ever necessary, I just wouldn't have even tried.  My inner monologue tells me, I can't possibly travel and eat reasonably, that is so much to even ask.  I'm out of town, let the free eating begin!

I don't know if it is low-carb and keto that is just working so well for me, or perhaps I have a more matured perspective about food and its direct correlation to my health outcomes.  I just feel like something is truly changing within me, and I am so grateful to say goodbye to that girl who was a slave to food and her never satisfied appetite.

I am feeling really proud of myself going into this week.  If I can pass up the three tacos plate at Oscar's, who knows what my limitations are??  I may just beat this weight problem at long last!


Okay, I was wrong, Now what?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

I discussed how my ways of eating and not exercising were wrong in my last post. Now what?  I accept my wrongness, I have forgiven myself for all the years of 'abuse' I have put my system through.  Now it is time to move forward.

I took an honest inventory of my eating habits and asked 'why?' like an endlessly curious 5 year old.  I am speaking in past tense here, but I am speaking of the time period of adulthood through 2016, and parts of the current year when I have gotten off track from calorie counting.

I go to McDonalds every morning.  If I am being good, I get an egg mcmuffin and a large diet coke.  If I am treating myself, I get a bacon egg and cheese biscuit and a large diet coke.  During the worst of times, I would get a bacon egg and cheese biscuit AND a sausage egg and cheese mcgriddle with a large hazelnut iced coffee.  I distinctly remember the 'hell yeah, this is going to be awesome!' feeling as the bag was being handed to me through the window.  Now I think back and am like wow, are you serious?

So why? Why was this the morning routine?  It is easy, the drive thru is a 5 minute stop on my way to work, I don't even need to make a left turn to roll through there.  I don't have to get up much earlier, and it isn't any real strain on my budget.  I get a nice hot breakfast instead of some grab and go packaged processed food I'd have at home.  Plus this is protein - if I ate oatmeal or cereal at home, that is all carbs.  (See how convincing I can be?  lol)

Lunch at work is almost always fast food.  The few times I brought my lunch were never consistent and half the time my 'lunch from home' was restaurant leftovers from the night before - so not exactly health food.  At best, I'd bring snacks from home - something sugary, maaaaaybe a piece of fruit, and had a freezer stocked with lean cuisines that I'd eat through the week.  At worst, Little Caesars $5 lunch combo which is over 1500 calories of deep dish pepperoni pizza.  If not that, then a value meal always with an ice-cream or dessert.  I mean heck, sometimes I would pick a lunch spot I don't normally care for just because they have good dessert.

Why was this my lunch, I asked myself?  A good lunch will keep me full until dinner.  Prepacking lunches is so much planning and I never want to get up earlier in the morning to pack a lunch.  Plus I want to eat a hot lunch, pb&j isn't going to be satisfying.  Deli meats and prepackaged snacks aren't any more healthy than grabbing a burger.  Plus having a nice treat helps me get through the work day.

Dinner is my saving grace.  Dinner is the healthful meal because not only am I feeding myself, but also Aaron.  Let me tell you, Aaron loves to eat just as much as I do, and it is a rare day when I don't get the 'what's for dinner?' text before even lunchtime.  I love cooking and trying new recipes.  I love recreating dishes we love from restaurants or trips we've taken.  I love making Aaron his favorite things and seeing a near licked clean plate when I've really nailed it and made a great dish.  I don't like putting boundaries on dinner.  It feels like it is 'our time' together as a couple, unwinding from the day.  Dinner and bad TV were the catalysts to us falling in love, lol.  It is the canvas I try to turn into a masterpiece, and it is a daily love letter to my spouse.  So we pretty much eat anything, but I make sure we have a side of vegetables - that counts as healthy, right?

Let's think about dinner?  Truth be told, I don't think a lot of thoughts about dinner in a personal health sort of way.  I think about what sounds good, what haven't we had in a while, and what I have on hand.  I let my stomach be my guide - maybe this week I want enchiladas and roasted chicken, and the next I want paella and hot dogs.  There is no rhyme or reason other than I fancy myself a pretty good cook, so I want to be able to showcase and grow my talents.  Also, we get takeout 1-2 times a week usually.

The day ends with dessert.  This really feels like a non-negotiable part of who I am.  I will leave it at that.  End of day binges on treats will be a post for another day...

Oh, and the weekends - let us not forget about those.  I tend to think of the weekends as time to be footloose and fancy free, if you will.  I worked hard all week, after all.  We typically eat out all weekend and I will cook a good Sunday supper type meal on Sunday nights.  Someone will go pick up fast food breakfast or we will take a trip to IHOP or a super yum crepes place down the road.  We either have a big lunch or a big dinner, and eat fast food for the other meal.  If I am in the kitchen on the weekends, it is because I am baking something.  Usually cookies or a cake.

That was my diet.

What patterns can I see, having this all out in front of me?

1. I am a fast food junkie
2. I am a fast food junkie
3. I am a fast food junkie
4. I feel deserving or needing of a 'treat' extremely frequently
5. I like easy, efficient and fairly inexpensive solutions to feeding myself
6. The way I evaluate and justify food choices is nuts.  I never look at the big picture, but at what makes me the most happy right now.
7. I use work and having the 9-5 job as an excuse to take the easy route with food
8. I don't think anything I did was healthy in the slightest, yet I was under the impression that this 'wasn't that bad' of a way to be eating.

Am I missing anything?

Next steps will be hacking the patterns, stay tuned!


Admitting you were wrong

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

I am only about twenty pounds into my weight loss journey, but I have to say, things feel different this time.  It is not a new concept that I think about losing weight all the time. The different things that led me to where I am now, trying to connect the dots to better understand myself and thinking in general about human bodies and how they work occupy a lot of my mental energy.

Allow me to digress for a moment and say that human behavior and our mindsets/habits are an endless ocean of fascination for me.  I am analytical at heart, so I just want to figure everyone out, learn why they do what they do, and harness this information to solve problems.  Deep down, my wish, not only for myself but for everyone, is to live authentically fulfilling and joyful lives.  The problem seems to be that a lot of the time we (our patterns, our ways of thinking, etc.) get in the way.  I want to bridge the gap between where I am at and what I want in all areas of my life.

So as I stated - things feel different this time, so I wanted to dig a little deeper and see if I could figure a theory as to why.  A thought came to me several weeks ago and it has really stayed with me.  I meditated on it quite a bit and it began to make more and more sense.

I was wrong.

Three simple words that really sting.

I'd like to spend a few moments on the notion of cognitive dissonance.  For us non-psychology majors, cognitive dissonance is the discomfort we feel mentally when our thoughts/actions are out of alignment with one another.  The harshest term for such a thing might be hypocrisy.  Actually, hypocrisy is when you can bypass the feelings of cognitive dissonance and freely choose to not practice what you preach.  Cognitive dissonance is the vegetarian eating a hamburger, and hypocrisy is more the 'vegetarian' who always has hamburger breath telling everyone they ought to be vegetarians.  Cognitive dissonance causes us to lie to ourselves, or make excuses for things we shouldn't.

We want to be logically consistent in our thoughts, as it is human nature and how we function within the world.  Our choices and behaviors will align with who we think we are.  We have thoughts about who we are as people, and we do what it takes for those to hold true.  For example - I am a generous person.  I believe this to be true about myself.  We just experiences a city and life altering event for so many people - hurricane Harvey.  I don't need to go into detail for you to know many people lose everything, and a lot of people could use help.  The cognitive dissonance is what I feel when I know I am a generous person, yet I haven't given to one go fund me or relief effort yet.  And here are the ugly and embarrassing lies and excuses I've told myself: 1. my budget is a little tight this week, I will totally donate after payday 2. there has been such an outpouring of generosity from all ends of the earth, maybe they don't need my help 3. how do I know people really need my help -  what if they have great insurance and just being opportunistic, I only want to give to the most truly needy 4. I don't want to just give to a big organization, I'd rather help actual neighbors and places I trust.

I tell myself those things because I don't want to face the fact that I am not as generous a person as I give myself credit for being.  Since telling myself these excuses, I have since known of an old friend's sister, a cousin's mother in law, an employee of our sister company, 30 families that belong to our church, and my high school alma-mater - all have lost their homes or asked for help in some way.  I have done nothing, and I should be am ashamed.  

So cognitive dissonance - we all do it/experience it to different degrees.  I know I, and probably most overweight and frustrated people do it a lot.  I tell myself that I will do better tomorrow, because I am a person who is optimistic and can meet goals - but only when I am ready.  Tomorrow I will be ready.  I tell myself that eating fast food for lunch every day is fine because I usually have a healthful dinner.  This mental talk becomes a whole arsenal of lies and excuses that eventually leave you dumbfounded as to why you are even overweight - because you are doing everything right.  (ha!)

Well what I did was a separated my feelings about myself and how I do things from the facts of the matter.  That is when I could draw no further conclusions.  The way I eat and live my life is wrong.

Being wrong sucks.  I would go so far to say that for me, it is one of those internal things I think about myself - I am not wrong.  The times I am wrong are merely misunderstandings or my reply was based on bad information - but I am logical, thoroughly thoughtful/considerate/fair and smart, and basically never wrong.  

But I am wrong about my eating habits and health.  That's all there is to it.  It was like a light bulb went off.  I can't eat the way I used to eat and have a healthy sized body.  

Past times, when faced with my wrongness, I feel angry, and I feel hurt, maybe some denial thrown in there as well.  I don't feel that this time.  I've gotten cozy with the idea that I've been wrong all this time, to where it doesn't affect me in an emotional or getting defensive way.  

I was wrong.  I take ownership and responsibility for making the choices that got my body this big.  It is freeing to not spend the energy on mental gymnastics you need to do in order to justify dessert every night and also ponder why your pants don't fit.  The input equals the output.  

I was wrong.  I like to take a page out of books of people already succeeding at what I'm trying to accomplish.  My mother totally changed how she eats to manage her diabetes with no drugs (get it, girl!) and eats a low carb/paleo type diet.  Even when it is her birthday dinner, she is being mindful of what goes in her body.  Every restaurant meal isn't an excuse to 'be bad' like it is for me.  We took a cruise a couple years ago and hit the buffet on the main deck before grabbing a deck chair and setting sail- they do a big send off celebratory thing with food and music as we leave the shore.  There was a young woman on the chair next to me who was very pretty and a figure to die for.  I recall laughing to myself about her plate vs mine.  Mine was covered with chili dogs, potato salad, pasta salad, chips, giant brownie - because vacation! - and hers was a only a hunk of bbq chicken and beans.  I thought, heh, it is no wonder we each have the figures that we have.  My pre-2017/cheat day eating is a lot of fast food, a lot of sugar and desserts, a lot of eating until I can't eat another bite.  That is not the way a person taking care of their body eats, and I have the extra weight and diabetes to show for it.

I was wrong.  I have reflected, I have taken ownership, I am on a redemptive path.  Now I have a black coffee at breakfast time, eat about 500 calories of a low carb lunch, and about 700-1000 of a low carb dinner and nightly treat.  I am happy with this pattern, and I feel at peace with my body and food and my mental state surrounding it all.  Things definitely feel different this time, and I feel encouraged that I won't go back to my old ways - at least without being totally honest with myself.  

It's been a while

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hey guys.

It has been about 5 months since I last updated, and I feel bad about it despite having a minimal amount of readers.  This blog was meant to keep me accountable, and I haven't been doing great at that, clearly.

What happened was, Easter.  I let go of the reigns to feast and eat candy to my heart's contentment.  Then after eating poorly for a week, we had our trip to Charleston, SC for my younger step-brother's wedding.  I ate my way through Charleston like a champ.  I don't believe in dieting whilst on vacation.  Well soon after was my husband's birthday, then June got away from me, then there was the family beach trip in July.

It's always something, isn't it?

This is not to say that the whole 5 months was a bust, and now I am heavier than ever.  I weighed in this morning at 276.4.

That isn't the lowest weight I've had in 2017 (but getting close(<273 lbs), and when I hit that goal, there will be a reward!) but however much I went off the rails, I managed to get myself back on course.

I am still a giant fan of lazy keto, and I've been doing alright with sticking to it.  The weekends are a struggle, as they always have and always will be.  I will get off track after 3-4 weeks and undo my progress - I know I have gained and lost the same 10 pounds for a while now.  But I will say, when I eat on plan, it totally works, and works well.

From my last weekend + off, I have been about 7 days without a 'cheat day'.  I still haven't been logging my food because I honestly hate it, but maybe I will try to get it together soon.  As long as I keep the downward trajectory, I can't be mad about it.

Since I have been feeling like lazy keto is really the Godsend I've been looking for this whole time, and low carb life is just the way it needs to be for my personal body's needs - I've decided to rename my writing space to 'Cancel the Carbs'.  I hope it better reflects my commitment to following this way of eating for the long haul.  Thank you for following along with me on this journey ❤.

Weekly Weigh In #14

Monday, April 10, 2017

Guys, this hasn't been a good week.  I am down merely .1 pounds, and that is because I have been having a free for all since Friday.  Thank God I didn't gain anything.  Going keto is indeed a lot like quitting smoking.  You can't just quit and have one cigarette on the weekend without going back to the drawing board and starting at zero days since my last cigarette.  Well zero days since my last carb.

Not trying to throw God under the bus, but Friday's in Lent are basically impossible to be keto AND meat free.   I take that back, totally possible, but I was so tired of eggs and cheese and peanut butter on Friday, I was like give me pizza and give it to me now.

It all starts with the negotiation conversation you have with yourself.  "If you go to Mcdonalds you can't just have egg and cheese without the muffin.  With sausage gone, that is like no calories and I will starve by 9:30. Just get it with a biscuit"  Then I was thinking about dinner "well we need to go return that bench to Target, and the new Mod Pizza is right there, and that is a good meatless option, and I already ate a biscuit, so lets just have a carbs are okay day."  Then "Well, I am having carbs for dinner and breakfast, shrimp quesadilla for lunch!"  "It is carb day, lets make it really worthwhile and get ice cream on the way home, tomorrow is a new day."

THEN - "I am going to Mom's to help with yard work, so I ought to eat the muffin on the breakfast sandwich since I am going to be active."  "Man, it was hot out there today.  A McDonalds cone would so hit the spot right now." "Yes, Olive Garden sounds great, and I was active today so pass the breadsticks."

So to round out the weekend, I ate carbs all day Sunday too.  Obviously.

I ate the friggin muffin on my breakfast sandwich today too because I was sitting in standstill traffic and was 20 mins late to work.  Thanks, someone who got in a car accident.  

And I have had a headache all day and am going to have to re-withdrawal from carbs and sugar then do it all again next week because you know I will be feasting on Easter Sunday.  

Maybe I will just count calories this week and stop being such a whining drama queen...

This week I am just going to make sure to drink lots of water, hope for the best and enjoy Easter Sunday.

Afterward I will re-pump myself up for major keto weight loss victories.

Weekly Weigh In #13

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sorry I am late!  It is the end of the month and also end of the quarter so this accountant was tied up doing inventory and month end closing the books all day Monday.  Then yesterday I wanted to just do nothing, so I did.  Fun stuff, I will spare you the exciting details, lol.

Last week went okay.  I stayed on the low carb wagon mostly until Saturday.  Saturday my Mom and brother and I went to San Antonio for the day to visit grandparents.  We started the day at McDonalds where I ate the biscuit instead of removing it, then to City Market in Luling, for the greatest BBQ I've had in a long while.  Outside of City Market a bake sale for a sick child was happening, so we bought some treats from them.  Then later we went to Oscar's for puffy tacos, and you know I ate all that goodness plus half a giant cupcake when we got back.  It is Granny's birthday, after all.

Needless to say, I was up a bit on Monday.

I am proud of myself though, Sunday came around and I got right back on the horse with no carbs.  Old Natalie would have just said we had a good run and gone back to old habits.  So, go me!

This shirt really accentuates my rolls :\

A whole pound up from last week, but I hope to get back into the swing of low carb eating this week and try to lose a pound+.  

Again sorry for the late and short post, next week will be back to normal!

March Wrap Up

Friday, March 31, 2017

I started at 286.4 on 2/28/17 according to last month's wrap up and this morning I am weighing in at 278.8.  I am up a little from last week but I think it is due to the monthly bloat. 
  My loss for the month is 7.6 pounds!

Measurements for the month are more evidence of my bloatedness, I went up in my chest and waist areas!?! Maybe that means I am losing the dangerous visceral fat around my organs rather than the pudge in my outer layers?  I hope to be moving in the other direction next month.  (I noticed the picture isn't labeled, but those are bust, waist and hip measurements in that order)

March Goals

Keep my Lenten sacrifices of not eating pizza at all and forgoing desserts during the week.  I know this will be helpful in my weight loss efforts

Doing well!  Now that I am low carb I don't even bother with dessert anymore, but darn it I miss pizza.  I haven't had any yet but I am counting the days until Easter and I can make this low carb version

Exercise 4 times per week.  I am leaving my options open whether to get on the rower, do some youtube yoga, swing the kettle bell.  Time to get moving!

Utter fail.  Maybe I need to just quit with the exercise goals for now.  I make them and then have no intentions of keeping them.  I will perhaps reassess at another time. 

I really want to challenge myself and am setting a goal to weigh 279 or less by the end of next month.  I have been losing about a pound a week, and I realize 7.4 pounds is nearly double.  I haven't been 'trying' very hard either, so to mix things up I want to really focus and be disciplined.  I won't be crushed if I don't hit the goal, but I think if I do everything (mostly) right, I can do a lot better than a pound a week.

I did it!  That felt really good to type.  Plus the whole making a goal and achieving it feeling is pretty nice as well. ;)

Go through my clothing and find what is fitting and not.  Donate what I don't want.

Ugh, I need to do this and I am mad at myself for not getting it done.  

Review the goals weekly and not only on March 31.

I did really good with this for two weeks and that is where it ended.  If I had, maybe my clothes would be sorted by now.  

So about 50/50 with the goals. I feel like I met the most important ones, so I am pretty happy with the progress this month.  Now lets make some April goals!

April Goals

I don't like to make specific weight loss goals, even though I did last month.  I like the focus to just be on following the plan consistently and get the results that I get without the focus being on the number on the scale.  That being said, my minimum goal for the year was to stick to a pound a week, and I am at the end of the 13th week, heading into week 14 and am down a total of 14.2 pounds.  Right on schedule despite a slow start!  So by continuing this pattern, I expect to be around 274.8 this time next month. If my weight is lower on April 30th, so be it! 

Enjoy pizza in moderation once Easter is here, which I define as 2 times or less this month.

Wow my endocrinologist with my weight loss and improved lab work.

Go to the eye doctor, which my endocrinologist asked me to do the last time I saw her.

Stick with the tracking and low carb living

See you Monday for the next weigh in!

Weekly Weigh In #12

Monday, March 27, 2017

Week 12 is here and I am having a great week!  Remember last week when I said I wanted to try going lower carb to give my weight loss progress a boost?  Well I did, and I have seen fantastic results, to the tune of 4.6 pounds lost in a weeks time.  My motivation came in part from my annoyance with such slow progress, and from seeing the most incredible success stories on reddit about the Ketogenic or 'Keto' way of eating.  People are losing 50+ pounds in a matter of months!  It is exciting to get a quick fix, and while I don't think that is the best way to achieve long term successful weight loss, it can be a powerful motivator.

And good riddance to the 280s!!

Now Keto eating is a super strict way of eating, your goal is to keep your carbs below 30g per day.  There are carbs in so many things though, like I had a V8 vegetable juice and that is 7 right there.  I did not want to commit to such extremes, especially since I am a type 2 diabetic and am on lots of medications and don't want to low carb myself into a coma.  I don't like to mess with my meds without my doctor being involved, but if I would start feeling a little funny like my blood sugar was getting very low I would skip the next metformin dose.

Eating this way totally isn't the worst.  For breakfast it is usually eggs and breakfast meat.  Today I am enjoying the other half of a delicious omelette I ordered yesterday after church - eggs, spinach, bacon, and corned beef.  It is delicious!  Lunch is my usual random assortment of grab and go foods.  Sometimes I bring more eggs, sometimes I wrap up lunch meat and cheese around a pickle spear, or I find a nice lower carb soup that doesn't have rice or noodles or potatoes.  Dinner is meat and a veggie side, or I just straight up don't eat the bun off a burger or sandwich.  Basically if it is any sort of bread/grain/carb thing, I won't eat it, and nothing with sugar either.  Some keto eaters will eat berries since they are low sugar, and that was my treat for the weekend.  I am not trying to be a totally control freak over it - like I will eat something breaded(like a chick fil a chicken egg and cheese bagel, hold the bagel) and it hasn't seemed to have a negative effect.  My carb ranges have averaged in the 60s, but that feels low enough to me.

I have to say, the results thus far keep me motivated day to day, and I treat it kind of like smoking or AA.  Maybe CSA? Carbs and Sugar Anonymous?  Kidding aside, the first three days of giving up carbs sucked, I got headaches and I wanted to go eat an entire chocolate cake by mid day. I had to just suck it up and just stick with it and by Thursday it was smooth sailing.  I feel like if I were to have a 'cheat day' and just eat anything I'd have to go through that hellish three days again.  No thanks!  This mindset has been a Godsend for the weekends.  Much to my delight, eating this way has made it extremely easy to stay well under my calorie limit as well.  The premise of this way of eating is LCHF - low carb high fat, so you can be as liberal as you wish with the butter, the cheese, the fatty cuts of meat, etc.  This is so helpful in keeping you full and not focused on you next meal constantly.

I'm not trying to evangelize this diet, (it has only been a week, after all) but I about fall over dead with shock when I check my blood sugar in the mornings.  Before, under 150 for me is alright.  (These are first waking up readings) When I cut calories it would be about 120 give or take.  I'd get really proud of myself if it was under 110, and it was a rare day when I was even under 100.  Like maybe I fell asleep at 6pm and skipped dinner.  Now - freakin' 80's for several days in a row now!!  I even check twice sometimes because that just seems unreal.  Shouldn't I feel weak and dizzy with sugar that low??  (no, because this is a completely normal and healthy blood sugar level to have). I have an appointment with my endocrinologist next month and I am looking forward to knowing the results of my lab work and getting all the compliments about the pounds I've dropped.

I plan to keep on with this plan and hopefully I will keep my sugar levels in the fantastic range they've been in and the weight will just continue to fall off.  At this rate, maybe I will be on the the 260s in a matter of weeks??  After being in the 280s for months, it would be a welcomed change!

That is 14.8 pounds down!

Can I tell you about these jeans for a minute?  I was in desperate need for new jeans at the end of last year, and I ordered 3 pair in a size 24.  The two pair I order fit like a dream, but one pair was a lot smaller for being all the same size.  I even stacked them on top of one another and this pair was a good inch or so smaller in the waist on either side compared to the others and the legs were very borderline skinny jeans.  I try them on and they fit but it was muffin top city.  I didn't return them because I forgot, then I was a month into calorie counting when I remembered and assumed eventually they will fit better.  Well today was that day!  My other jeans are in need of a belt but not too huge that I wont wear them anymore, but I tried this pair on and I was only muffin topping a regular amount!  Now I have 4 pairs of jeans in the rotation, yay!  (and I have around 6 pair waiting in the wings for when I am ready to size down fit into my old clothes again)

Good week!  Going to keep on doing what I am doing for now because it is working, but I do have a cheat meal planned for our trip to San Antonio this weekend.  When you get a chance to eat Oscar's Puffy Tacos, you take it.  Look for my March month end recap on Friday!

Weekly Weigh In #11

Monday, March 20, 2017

Welp, here we are at week 11 and I am proud to say I am officially down 10 pounds this morning! I wish I felt more excited for this milestone, but I'm thinking maybe it is fine if I am not.  Firstly, I was frankly shocked to see the scale where it was this morning after all the junk and sugar I ate over the weekend.  I assumed I wouldn't get there.  Then just thinking it is week 11 and I am only down 10 pounds, so I am behind schedule on the pound a week minimum I was trying to reach.  I'm just feeling in a slump or a funk lately, I don't know.

This week I just feel like doing a brain dump rather than the old format of positives vs things to improve upon.  

I am proud of myself for working towards this goal consistently since January.  There is something to be said for momentum, and how as the weeks tick up one by one, I am a little more dedicated to not quit.  Quitting isn't even something I think about ever.  It is more like 'quit what exactly?' because I still do everything I want to do or don't want to do, except tracking without fail.  The act of tracking and wanting to stay reasonably within my calorie limit during the week is the sole reason for my success to date.

The last week or so I have even noticed my pants getting a bit loose.  They aren't falling off of me, but I feel like if I were a plumber I'd fit right in..  It is a little motivating nonetheless.  When I look at myself I don't see any noticeable change, so at least this is something.

So why am I feeling in a funk?  I wish I knew.  I can't even tell if it is a funk over weight loss specifically or just a general life funk.  Part of it seems like it could be that I have lots of life things in the works that I am 'working on' and the road ahead is long, and I won't get to check things off the list until a lot of work and progress is made.  I have definite attention deficit tendencies so I am always looking to be excited and inspired and want to tackle things with gusto (and get the payoff with gusto!) and things I want are just not going to come to fruition so quickly.  So what I see is endless work and trudging along, which isn't fun at all, but I know I need to do it.  

I'm trying to earn my CPA so I can get a better job hopefully at the first part of next year.  Ahead of me are 25-35 hours per week of studying.  Expenses piling up from review programs and exam fees, kind of stresses me.  Each day my job just annoys me more and more, I am SO READY for a change.  I'm trying to lose weight and here we are month three and I am down only 10 out of like 160 pounds - this is going to take an eternity.  I am impatient about wanting to start a family.  I wish (I'm sure everyone on earth trying does too) that you could decide you are ready for a baby to come along and boom, here comes a baby.  It isn't even like we've been very focused on trying for months and months, it is just my own impatience.  Plus I would rather be much lighter when a baby comes along, I can hardly shut one of those paper gowns at the doctors office around my body as is, could you imagine if there were a pregnant belly on me as well?  Too much.  But I just want all these things to be happening now, without having to do all the hard work

Long story short, being self disciplined is hard and I hate it right now.  

When I quit crying and have a little better perspective on things, were this any other year, or me doing the same things I could be eating what I want and be 300 pounds right now, but I am not.  I am 282.8, and that is a heck of a lot better than the alternative.  

I feel ready to kick things into the next gear so starting today I am trying to eat more low carb in addition to staying in my calorie range.  I really would like to get into the 270s before the month is over, so it is crunch time!

I'd also like to give a special shout out to this lovely lady on her birthday:

My Mom is truly an inspiration to me.  She has struggled with her weight in the past and she just has the determination to do whatever she sets her mind to.  She has lost like 30 or 40 pounds in the last couple of years.  Was diagnosed with diabetes and now she is 100% off any medications and controls it with diet only.  She is amazing and wonderful in way more ways beyond just health and I love her with all my heart.  Wishing you a very happy birthday, Mom! <3

Weekly Weigh In #10

Monday, March 13, 2017

Double digits, can you believe it??  There isn't much in life that I have stuck with for 10 weeks in a row, so that is noteworthy in its own right.  Happy to be here another week and share my progress (or lack thereof.)

I did not lose weight this week :\  Actually, I did but by the time Monday rolled around I was up again.  It makes me think of that Paula Abdul song 'Two steps forward, two steps back...'

I ate well all week

I had my typical indulgent Saturday, but I tracked all my food and was within my calorie goals basically all week.  The gain I am just attributing to normal cycle fluctuations and possible water retention from a gnarly smashed finger incident that happened over the weekend.  I'll spare you the gory photos of my purple nail.  

No pizza!

Pizza is my Lenten sacrifice this year and man do I miss it.  Not having a pizza crutch to fall back on when I am feeling too lazy or tired to cook dinner is a challenge, but I feel it saves the day on the calorie count.  Honestly I was kind of burned out on pizza (at least the frozen kind) lately.  My new lazy meal is to cook a giant pot of soup and have leftovers for days, lol.

Now for the two five steps back:

I ate out a lot over the weekend

Eating out it tough because it is difficult to properly count your calories.  We had taco cabana on Friday, which was easy enough, but you never know if they were heavy handed with the cheese in your quesadilla or whatnot.  Then I helped my brother move a dresser on Saturday, so my reward for helping was more Mexican food, only add chips and salsa to the mix.  Who even counts those?  Then Saturday night before getting together with friends we got lobster rolls at this cute local place which doesn't have nutritional info online.  Then out for breakfast Sunday and I get a waffle and who knows how much syrup I drowned that bad boy in?  So on paper my calories were fine but it is all guessing.  I assume the average lobster roll on is close enough?

I didn't exercise

I just wanted to sleep in instead :\  No good reason why I chose not to work out.  I think it was so much easier the last time I was rowing consistently is that the rower was in the living room and I had like 900 episodes of America's Test Kitchen on the DVR.  Now the rower is in the office, so I can pull up the cable on the internet, or find a youtube channel to watch I suppose.  I just haven't gotten into the routine.  It is a new week though, and I am going to do better.  Just need to get over that daylight savings time change, it has me draggin!

So here I am, coming in at 285.4, whomp whomp.

It got cold today, so I buried my girth in an over-sized sweater

283, I am coming for you, so look out!

Discipline over Motivation

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

There is SO MUCH information out there in every corner of the internet about how to lose weight.  There are diet plans to follow, exercise programs to join, support groups that can help you stay accountable.  These are great resources I am sure, and can be very helpful in reaching your goals.

I think for people like me, who are extreme amounts of overweight, all of these things are easier said than done.  I know I need to exercise, I know a calorie dense food from a light yet filling food.

Motivation is what we need!  If we just get properly motivated, then we will want to put the work in and get it done.  We will be excited and poised to conquer all obstacles set before us!

Oh, if I had a dime for every time I was motivated to lose weight.  (Can I get an Amen??)

Motivation isn't what we need at all.  Motivation relies on unsustainable feelings of empowerment.  Motivation is fleeting.  If we were able to just accomplish things we were motivated to do at one point, we'd all be awesome at life and goals and we would be living our dreams.

Motivation isn't enough.

Discipline is what we need. Discipline is action whether or not we feel like it.  Those actions over time will yield the results which is turn motivate us to stay disciplined.

When you think of disciplined individuals, who comes to mind?

Tiger Moms?
Olympic Athletes?

The soldier doesn't check in with his feelings about getting up at 5AM to do PT training.  The Tiger Mom didn't ask her daughter if she would rather watch YouTube instead of practice the violin.  Monks don't achieve holiness by giving into their whims and skipping Mass.  Maybe Simone Biles would have liked to spend weekends at the mall instead of at the gym?  Usain Bolt probably had to miss several late nights throwing back beers with his buddies, but he has achieved record breaking greatness and they have beer guts.

We don't need to achieve the extreme levels of discipline needed to fight a war, or join the New York Philharmonic.  We can use these examples as metaphors in how to better structure our lives to yield successes, weight loss or otherwise.

When taking inventory of my own life, I have concluded that I am not very good at discipline.  I am almost too in-tune with my feelings and whether or not I want to do something.  This is the mentality of a procrastinator, because I usually never want to do something now if it can be done later.  I usually don't do the dishes after dinner, because I'd rather watch tv and relax, I just get to them the next morning.  (terrible I know, don't tell my mom.)  I make sure I've checked all the social media and all of reddit before I will sit down to study for the CPA exam.  I will over eat on calorie laden food and desserts and proclaim 'tomorrow! tomorrow I will lose weight'

How can I be more disciplined?

Discipline is like a muscle, so be proud of your small gains and keep building upon them.  The few little 'discipline' things I do every day without fail have definitely been an asset to me on my weight loss journey.  It isn't very much, but I track my blood sugar levels every morning (I used to not be very consistent with this, which is HORRIBLE for a diabetic person), and I track all my food I eat.  That is it.  Just doing those things and having that knowledge helps me to make better food choices.  When I wake up with 145 blood sugar levels, I know I need to lighten up on the carbs today.  I know that if I go over my calories 4 days in a row, I shouldn't be surprised at what the scale reads.  You just need a tiny bit of motivation to commit to doing something consistently, then it becomes habit.  I'd guess the average fit person engages in several disciplines activities to manage their weight, so if I were to do the same, there is no reason why I can't be fit as well!

Discipline is great too because it puts all the weight management stuff out of your every day mental evaluations and puts it on autopilot.  I don't have to think about if I want to track my food, or whether or not I find it to be a pain in the rear; I just do it.  My feelings about the task at hand don't get counted in the equation.  Much like anything, when you stop worrying about your feelings, they don't rule you so much.  I don't give much energy to the fact that my job isn't my favorite place to be, I just get up and go because I want the money.  I'd prefer to watch Food Network all morning on Sundays, but we decided that going to church is important to us, so I just get up and get ready for church.

Maybe you go visit your Mom every Wednesday, maybe you walk your dog every night without fail.  Maybe you aren't a gross smelly person who does their dishes every night, lol.  There are likely things in your life that you already do in a disciplined way, so use those as a guide for cultivating even more disciplined actions.

In conclusion, we don't have to be slaves to our feelings.  If we learn to side step them in favor of disciplined action, we will be a much more powerful force for goal achievement.