The Keto Life

This should be Day 4 of our Keto (high fat, low carb, moderate protein) lifestyle, but really it’s Day 3 for me because Monday was a fail.  Now that I’ve done it a couple days, I wish I’d read up on it and got properly enthused and informed on what to do on Sunday so Monday could have been a successful day!
I was even more educated today when I came to the understanding that we should be counting *net* carbs, not total carbs (net = carb grams minus fiber grams).
I’d been sticking to 25 g of TOTAL carbs which means I was even more LOW carb than I needed to be!  Doh!
The positive with that is that I was able to do that without feeling deprived or hungry.  Win.
So I thought I was at 25 g carbs (the limit), but really it was 18 when I subtract out the fiber.

This discovery means that the pie chart I was utilizing in Sparkpeople to figure out my percentages is now not an option seeming it’s based only on total carbs.
Since I don’t do “apps” (I don’t have a smartphone and do all my computering on a pc laptop), I went ahead and made an Excel spreadsheet with all the math figured out and a pie chart so all I have to do is input my protein, carb & fat grams and it’ll tell me where I’m at for the day.
Goal = 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs
Here’s today:
pie chart 27APr2017

My biggest complaint is that my days seemed filled with logging food, prepping food, cooking food, checking percentages and doing even more dishes.
I seriously haven’t gotten much else done in the last few days!
My son has a performance at school tonight so dinner must be cooked and eaten by 5:30pm so we aren’t late.  This involved me chopping up veggies and prepping other stuff ahead of time to make that happen.
The only reason I found time to blog was because my husband came home early from work (after being told OT was no longer allowed this week… grr), otherwise this blog wouldn’t exist.
After this, I’m off to slave away in the kitchen.
Tonight on the menu (in cursive so it forces my 5th grader to learn to read it because he asks almost daily “what’s for dinner?” so now I just direct him to this board so at least he’ll learn to *read* cursive, though I wish they taught him how to write it in school):
menu board

We’ve never tried bok choy on its own.  After chopping it, I tried a little piece of both the white part and the leaf raw, and I didn’t mind that, so after it’s sautéed in butter and maybe a little olive oil with some Adobo & black pepper, I’m hoping it’s fabulous and our new favorite veggie that the WHOLE family could like (I’m so sick of there being veggies only I eat like asparagus & avocado).

Overall I’m enjoying the Keto plan.  I meant to remember to check my fasting blood sugar this am, but I bet it’s better than it used to be!  Hopefully I’ll remember tomorrow.
I love how full I am.  I can’t believe I’m filling up on mostly meat & veggies.  Cauliflower is our new best friend.  That with cheese is extremely filling!

Downsides?  When I want a quick snack, I miss being able to just grab an apple and enjoy it.  That is not on plan as it’s way too many carbs/sugar… natural or not.  My grapefruits are just going to waste on the countertop (cause I’m the only one who will eat those).
Funny how I’m missing out on healthy fruits, not potatoes, pasta, bread or rice.
It’s true, the healthier you eat, the more you want to eat healthy.

Hubby is struggling a bit with the changes.  On just day 2 he was asking for other breakfast ideas because he was already getting sick of his eggs/onion/green pepper/cheese mix.  Geez man.
He’s also decided he prefers the vanilla flavored protein shake over the strawberry.
I haven’t needed to do my chocolate protein shake this whole time.  My calories have been on the low side, even with eating SO MUCH FAT.  No need to skip real food for a shake to cut them.
I guess I’ll save mine for when I have a chocolate craving.  So far I’ve haven’t had one.
About the only thing I’m missing is popcorn.  That’s it.  That’s pretty awesome.

I’m motivated to hit all the right percentages every day and the scale keeps going down.  I’m truly excited for tomorrow’s weigh-in because I could FINALLY be into “new” territory that I haven’t seen since mid-Oct before my 365/50 Project even began!!!

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Beginnings & Breakthroughs

Yesterday marked Day 1 for my hubby’s (and my) new diet plan.  At first I didn’t have a name for it, I just knew the focus would be less carbs.  That quickly became high fat, low carb.  This is, apparently, the Keto diet (really, it’s Atkins, but with just moderate protein, not high protein).
I’ve joined a Facebook group to get recipes and helpful tips from an online weight loss buddy, but she’s a bit stricter than the info I found on the Keto diet (for example they give a week-long menu and it includes using Stevia… but I just got reprimanded for admitting I have Stevia in my tea & coffee and she told me to stop… um, hell no?  And yet said nothing to the lady who put vanilla extract in her tea.  Um hello, that’s made with alcohol which your body breaks down as sugar… then she posts how she put vanilla extract in HER coffee a couple hours later.  I’m thinking my 0 carb, 0 sugar Stevia will do less harm to the keto process than that vanilla extract!)
She also keeps saying “low protein”.  I like the Keto site that says, “moderate protein” … it makes more sense to me.  If you aren’t having carbs and low protein, what are you eating all this fat with?  I’m not going vegetarian anytime soon.  And every example picture of meals she eats has meat in it!  Wth?
Plus I picked this method because it would work for my husband.  If I tried to change him over to mostly just veggies, that would NOT go over well.

At first I was getting bummed out by my husband’s response to talking about the gastric sleeve procedure (he’s trying to be approved for… August this year) and the required 3-4 months of dieting.  I was *trying* to show my enthusiasm and say, ‘oh we can eat this, we can eat that’ – trying to stay positive and put a positive light on everything (so you don’t focus on the negatives).  He just seemed distracted, unmotivated, and apprehensive.

That all changed this past Saturday (after 3 days of me trying to get him to talk about it and then admitting to him that it didn’t seem like he was very excited about his future).  I was going to go to Wal-Mart alone to stock up, but he insisted he wanted to go too as a family.  To my happy surprise, he took it upon himself to check out the protein shakes, get a shaker bottle, look into approved drinks (giving up full sugar soda, Gatorade & 5 hr energy), and bought this device that cooks eggs in less than 2 mins in the microwave so that he can replace his cereal for breakfast routine.

He seemed happier, excited… finally catching up to how I’d been feeling days earlier.  Maybe it’s because I know all the positives ahead and I’m excited by them… he’s a little less familiar with losing weight and reaping those benefits.  Or maybe he’s just a man and it took him 3 days to process my words of enthusiasm!  LOL
He had energy all day and was in such good spirits (even though he’s still in pain from the more involved vasectomy just days ago).
And for the last 2 nights, he’s prepped diced onions & green peppers for mixing with his eggs in the morning.  He even got out all his dishes the night before to save time.

dishes

This used to be just a big bowl & a spoon.

For a guy that’s been having sugar cereal all his adult life before work in the mornings, I find this amazing.

Yesterday was the first full day.  Hubby kicked my butt.  The worse off plan thing he ate?  A cashew bar.  He even logged his food into Sparkpeople (I haven’t bothered in weeks!)
Me?  Ugh…  an English muffin, nachos, candy and Smartfood.
What can I say… a little bit of ‘oh shit, I’m limiting myself’ crept into my brain and took over.  I also made it my “duty” to finish the certain carb elements in the house we have left that I plan on not replacing… the bread, the tortilla chips, the candy (it’s leftover Easter candy I’d forgotten existed, but upon reorganizing the freezer to hide tempting food from my hubby, I found the bag).
I thought I could handle it… in moderation… as I’ve been doing for a while, but instead I sort of went nuts and had a snacky, lazy day.  The cold, dreary weather outside was not helping my choices.

This is also why I’d tell anyone who will listen to never cut anything out of your diet because then you’re setting yourself up for deprivation.
This is true, so true.
But that feeling passes and it’s all a head trip and controllable if you get over the diet mentality.
Plus, this a temporary diet. 3-4 months.  After that, my husband will have his surgery and his stomach will be 70-80% smaller and we can go back to eating what we used to (minus the cereal for him though), just in much smaller portions.  At that point, I can go back to utilizing the moderation that I have preached about so many times… *if* I want to.
But I can see myself liking this high fat, low carb lifestyle.  It does keep you satisfied.  Plus, I’ve given up pasta successfully a few times before (even when I cooked it for the family, I just had more protein or veggies instead).

Propelled by my bad choices earlier in the day, I made sure I created a Keto-friendly FEAST for my husband’s first day on his diet.
I made Salisbury steak (sans flour) for the first time in my life, BLT cups (when the cup is made from bacon) and a cheesy cauliflower casserole.  I was STUFFED.  Not a “normal” carb in site and what a fulfilling meal!  Even my picky eater son loved the Salisbury steak!
I could get used to that.
So maybe if my body agrees with this diet, I will just continue it.  It’s also supposed to help decrease insulin resistance.  This, plus intermittent fasting, could finally get me out of the pre-diabetic range!

After my carb indulgences, I actually looked up what the Keto diet was.  Reading the guidelines and recommendations and how it works, it fueled me to *want to* stick to the rules because I want all those good side effects.
So, what will become of the leftover carbs in my house?  Still on the fence. Not gonna lie… today is a new day and the excitement (and regret) from last night doesn’t always transfer to the next day.  I will tell you this, if I do have carbs, it will be in the same limited fashion I was perfectly fine with doing just a few days earlier (i.e. just the tortilla chips… not the English muffin & candy as well).  Lord knows I just CANNOT throw food away, so someone is going to eat it and I’d rather it be me and not my hubby.
I have posted before about my “nachos” obsession lately, right?  I thought I’d gotten a handle on it until yesterday.  I did NOT feel in control yesterday.

There’s another side of this… I can’t have my hubby show me up!!!  Yes, I feel like I’m in a little competition with my husband.  He definitely had a much better day than me yesterday.
How am I going to feel if he drops 20 lbs and I’ve only lost 2 lbs because I went rogue too many times?  Uh… not good.
I do keep this in mind and it’s helping my motivation.

Bottom-line, it’ll be easier when those certain foods are just gone from the house.

And my breakthrough?  I weighed in at 278.4 lbs this morning. Seeming I saw down to 276.4 earlier in the week, you’d think I’d be disappointed, but I’m not.  I’ll explain.

Just a couple weeks ago, if I’d eaten the way I did yesterday, the scale would have said 280 or more… guaranteed.  Hell, you can go back for 6 months’ worth!  I’ve been “stuck” between 280-285 lbs, dying to get into the 270’s.
So the fact that I could have a bad day and still be under 280 actually puts a smile on my face.

It wasn’t that long ago in my weight loss journey that I was “stuck” between 300-308 lbs, dying to get OUT of the 300’s.  Like the 280’s were for me recently, the low 300’s were a point I just couldn’t seem to break beyond (both in this case were around my “start” weight at the beginning of my particular journey). I would have done anything then to be in the 280’s and here I am trying to fight my way out of them.
Prospective is everything.

Back then, my default calorie ‘want’ (i.e. how I eat when on an off day when I’m putting in zero effort to lose weight) would automatically get me over 300.
A few weeks ago (oh hell, 2 weeks ago I was 285), that default kept me over 280.
If you go up to a certain amount of calories on a regular basis, your body sets that as your default… it remembers what is preceived as “normal”.  When I’m lowering my calories during a time of trying to lose weight, I can *feel* when I haven’t hit that default.  And if I ate until that feeling went away, I’d stay at/go back up to that weight because that’s what that amount of calories maintains.  It can be hard to lower this default setting.
The fact that I had one of those off days and still managed to be less than 279 means I’ve finally lowered my “default” again.   Even just a little bit… it all matters.
Apparently, this process takes years (well, takes *me* years).  Slowly but surely I’m lowering my default calorie range.  My long-term goal would have my default range below 250 lbs… maybe even below 230 lbs.  Years ago I would have said below 200 lbs… I’m more realistic these days.

So now I’m the high 270’s.  Maybe a year from now it could be a completely different, lower range.  Anything further and further from 300 makes me happy.
So that was my breakthrough.  Not sure if it’ll make sense to anyone else, but ah well.

Time to embrace my new low carb life, reduce my risk of diabetes, kick my body into fat burning mode and lose some weight.  It’s such a breath of fresh air (and a nice source of competitive motivation) to have my husband doing this along with me!

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Big Announcement, Big Changes

Since the first long appointment is now completed, I feel more confident to share my big news.  As long as he meets all the insurance requirements in the coming months to get approval, my husband will be having the gastric sleeve procedure this August!   This is major because my hubby has maybe put in 5% of the effort I have for weight loss over the course of the last almost 18 years of marriage.
He’s never been “in” to it and doesn’t like giving up anything and automatically turns his nose up to foods that are an obvious healthier alternative and always just eventually feels hungry and goes back to his usual portions.
The fact that he’d be willing to do this is well, HUGE.  He knows it involves changes and dieting for 3-4 month prior to the surgery and he’s still willing.

This all came about because the in-office $90 vasectomy he had back in December of last year was a fail.  Apparently, this type of failure only happens less in than 1% (people keep telling us to buy a lottery ticket).
So, because we’re in a new insurance year, we had put nothing towards our deductible yet and the secondary procedure is more involved, happening in a hospital with him being put under general anesthesia (to the tune of $13,000), this is going to cost us.  After insurance, my hubby will have met his deductible AND hit his personal out-of-pocket max for the year.
So you know what that means!  It’s ‘DO EVERYTHING HE CAN’ year (medically-wise)!   So, then discussion about the gastric sleeve began.  We’d discussed it previously but more in the “some year when we can afford it” type of commitment.

If not for that vasectomy botch, we wouldn’t have considered it this year (as we’re still paying off my hospital bills from last year having the baby).

The gastric sleeve is when they cut your stomach down by about 80% and leave a banana shaped “sleeve” of a stomach which will make it easier to feel full and eat less.  Unlike gastric bypass, the intestines will remain exactly as they are (which we preferred because then you don’t have as much of an issue with the absorption of nutrients in the foods you do eat).

So other than my hubby getting healthier and dropping some major pounds, why is this good news for *me* you ask???

Because I am a VERY susceptible person.  Without intending to, I commonly take on traits of those I spend the most time with.
Time and time again I’ve said that if I just spent a year in a house with fit, healthy women who worked out and ate well (or even just a woman like Bethenny Frankel), I would NOT come out looking the way I do now.  I would almost immediately follow their lead, copying their choices and actions and I’d drop weight like crazy.  It’s just how I am.

I can remember when I was in high school and spent most of my afterschool time at my job at a movie theater.  This gave me the opportunity to meet new people outside of classmates.  My manager, who I found very charismatic, was there constantly.  I noticed how when I’d be helping myself to the free soda during my shift, he chose a bottle of water.  He was a very fit guy who clearly worked out during his free time.  I also noticed how he seemed to check the fat grams in just about everything he ate (hey, it was the 90’s back when fat was the enemy instead of your friend).  So, without even thinking about it, I started drinking more water and checking fat grams.  He was also more active and I actually went out biking with him and a friend on our day off.  Within a couple of months, I’d effortlessly taken off 20 lbs!  In that kind of situation, it’s good to be a susceptible person.
If I’d married some buff, fit guy who worked out, ate healthy and drank protein shakes, I’d probably be the healthiest version of myself imaginable right now.

Instead, I married someone who I knew would accept the worse version of myself and would love me anyway.  Problem is, that leaves me unmotivated and not inspired by the choices of my life partner.
Over the last 18 years, my weight loss successes have only existed because I went through periods of having higher will power and desire and sometimes that involved me essentially putting myself in a “bubble”.
I’ve never had my partner trying to lose weight and make better choices right along with me.
It’s so much harder to stick to a diet (of any kind) and stay on track when your partner sits next to you at 9 pm with a bowl of popcorn.  Yeah, I’m going to want popcorn too.  Sometimes I can resist (like during those higher determination moments) but more often I end up succumbing to the choices of my partner.   He has soda, I want soda.  He’s having chips, I want some chips.  He wants to order pizza, we get pizza.  You get the picture.
This is why him making this choice for bariatric surgery is like THE BEST thing that could happen for *me*!

He’ll be on a diet and I’ll do it happily right along with him (he has NO IDEA how much easier this will make it for him).  And then afterwards, his portion sizes will be drastically smaller.  I’m thinking about buying a set of smaller sized dinner plates and we BOTH can be having smaller portions.  I will follow his lead.
By him getting this surgery, it will be like *I’ve* gotten it too!
I’m hoping we both start shrinking together.  It’s going to look like we both had surgery and I’m sure people will ask or make assumptions.  But I will proudly say I’ve done it without surgery!

I’ve just needed a partner to put in more effort for his health choices so that I can have an easier time doing it as well.
This means that FINALLY the “bad stuff” will just not be allowed in the house, for both our sakes.  Me alone needing it not to come into the house wasn’t enough to stop my husband from bringing it in anyway.  So many temptations just won’t be there anymore.

Since I know how he is and how miserable he’d be on the typical low fat, low calorie diet for weight loss, I think we’re going to go with high fat, low carb.  All the fat (and protein) will help satiate us for the carbs we’re giving up.
I’m joining a Facebook group following this plan for a week to get a grocery list and recipe ideas and other guidelines.

I’m already picturing big taco salads… ground beef, salsa, sour cream on lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado with shredded cheddar cheese.  Yum!

A big hurdle will be breakfast (not for me, but for my husband).  He’s been having a big bowl of sugar cereal every morning before work for basically his entire adult life.  I gave that up over 14 years ago (and it stuck since he’s up way before me and I never have to witness all the cereal eating).
We’ll have to come up with an alternative for him.  I’ve already been Googling low-carb recipes and alternatives and have added things like bok choy, sour cream, hamburger, avocado and cauliflower to the grocery list.

I’m more excited for this diet to start than I have been for almost any of my diet attempts!  I’m so encouraged.  I really hope he can succeed on his end and therefore get approval.
We don’t know yet how many pounds the doctor would like him to lose ahead of time to shrink his liver.

If he REALLY sticks to this, I can see him dropping 50 lbs even before surgery!
Since he got officially weighed today at the bariatric clinic and I happened to weigh myself this morning, I guess this is Day 1 as far as our stats are concerned.
Our combined start weight is 710 lbs.
I can’t wait to see how this all turns out.
I really hope that filling in this missing piece to all of my former weight loss ventures for the last 18 years could mean I could finally succeed.  We could look like two different people by the end of the year!  SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Stress Eating & Determination

So after making my decision to skip dealing with lunch and instead, drink a meal replacement shake, I had a FABULOUS day one.  I had some leftover whey protein powder from previous usage (we’re talking, um… 4+ years ago?) and was able to use that seeming I hadn’t gotten my SlimFast order yet.
How fabulous?  Down 5.2 lbs in 1 day, fabulous!!!  On the morning of the 4th (when I wrote my last post) I was taken aback by weighing in at 285 lbs!  Ugh… yikes.  That’s going all the way back to before I even started my 365/50 Project in November!
But that day I had the protein shake for lunch, healthy snack of carrot sticks, celery & green pepper strips and a balanced healthy dinner and on the morning of the 5th, I weighed in at 279.8 lbs!
Whew.  Much better.  There was some period bloat and water retention obviously involved there.  It’s really the ONLY way to explain a 5.2 lb loss in only 24 hours!
That good weigh-in was the 5th… yesterday… the day of absolutely SCARY weather in my state.  We spent the majority of the day under a tornado warning and dealing with high winds and thunderstorms.  I was home alone with my 3 kids (it was bad enough that school released the kids early).  I set up the big kids with their bike helmets on and had gathered up supplies to have in the ½ bath downstairs (the “safest” room in the house seeming we don’t have a basement).  I got water, flashlights, candles & a lighter, baby food, cat carrier, toys for the baby, my cell phone and the baby car seat (I figured this would be the safest place to put the baby strapped in incase the worst were to happen) all set in the room.
What does my big daughter grab?  Her horsey and bunny ears.  LOLKolby's tornado supplies 05Apr2017
Gotta love the priorities of a 4-year-old.

I felt on alert ALL DAY.  It was STRESSFUL.  I kept watching the weather channel (listening to the “tornado warning alert” alarm repeatedly), looking outside to see what was going on and checking Facebook for reports from neighbors and other people in my city and letting my friends know what was up with me.  During the warning, I had prepared myself that if I saw even one piece of hail (which can be a precursor to a tornado), I was grabbing the baby, the cat (who luckily was sleeping on the couch in the same room as we were all day) and corralling the big kids into the bathroom that was 6 steps away and shutting the door.
Also, I didn’t have any protein powder as I’d used it up the day before and hadn’t gotten my SlimFast yet.

This combo of stress and not having my alternative just broke me.

I found myself endlessly hungry and kept going for another snack.  I also kept thinking “this *could* be the last thing I eat for a long time if a tornado does strike the house”.

After my normal breakfast of egg whites (taste/texture choice I’ve been doing for 14 years… I know yolks are good for you, I just don’t like them in fried eggs) and coffee, I made some lobster ravioli (the prepared frozen meal kind with spinach & tomatoes in a sauce).  I feared we might lose power and we don’t have a gas stove, so I wanted to make myself something filling and warm while I could.
I ended up sharing some of that with my son.
That should have held me over for hours, but not too long later, my daughter and son requested PB & J’s.  Hmm… that sounded good.  So yeah, for the first time since I don’t know when, I had a PB & J sandwich.
But I didn’t stop there.  “Dinner” ended up being one of those big plates of tortilla chips with salsa & shredded cheddar cheese that I’ve been having daily for over a month now (the very meal my shakes are supposed to replace so I can break the habit).
And after that?  The last 2 peanut butter chocolate brownies (that I had frozen so I wouldn’t eat them all… well, at least not quickly).  Ok done.  Right?  Nope.
The worst of the storm had passed, so the adrenaline was draining from my body and I just felt weird… needy… still stressed.  I had a big glass of Ovaltine in rice milk.
That’s usually it.  That’s my last snack of the night.
Nope.
Then my hubby decides at 7:30 pm that he wants the apple turnovers he bought.  They aren’t the usual already done ones that you just heat up.  No, you have to fold out the dough, put the filling in and fold them over and bake and then add the icing afterwards.  And who gets to do all that?  Me.  For a good reason though… baby was refusing to go down for a nap, but fell unconscious in Daddy’s arms.  He’d tried to transfer her to her crib, but that was a fail, so his arms were busy with that.
So after having to take the time to make them, smelling them bake and it resulting not in the 2 he thought it would make, but 6 turnovers, I ended up eating 2 of them.
I didn’t even want them.  I’m not the biggest fan of them.  They didn’t even taste that great, but I ate them anyway.  It’s just how my whole day felt… out of control.
FINALLY, I was done.  Ugh.  It’s rare for me to be eating as late as 8pm.
I had a stomachache within an hour afterwards… no big surprise.

So yesterday was just a spectacular stressful dieting train wreck of a day (luckily a tornado never actually happened or this would be a completely different blog).  I completely crumbled under pressure and without my current plan’s supplies.

Today will be different.  I got my shakes last night… all prepared for today and at least the next week plus.
We have severe wind today, but it’s mostly sunny so it certainly doesn’t feel as stressful as yesterday.
Taking back control… happily.

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Going Backwards on the Dieting Evolution

Seriously, I’m about to try something that totally feels like a dieting regression… something people try when they have no clue where to start that I have considered a “newbie” method of trying to lose weight.  It’s actually a step I totally skipped even in my actual newbie days.  I’ve been treading the same water for MONTHS now and something needs to change.meme - diet tips number 1 hold helium balloons while weighing in

Odd as it seems, I’m completely disinterested in food these days.  The enjoyment level is just not there anymore, even with the “naughty” choices you’d think I would be enjoying.  Literally the only thing I look forward to in a day is the start to my day… my fried egg whites (just the whites is not even a diet thing, it’s a taste/texture preference… I know, I know… all the good stuff is in the yolk… I don’t care).

Luckily, I’m so practiced at making a balanced meal for dinner, that’s a non-issue.

Everything else?  Meh.  I don’t want for anything and I don’t want to prepare anything.  If I’m honest, I haven’t wanted any sort of vegetable since before I was pregnant… 17 months ago.
So what I end up eating is easy stuff or stuff I just got stuck in the habit of making (like my version of nachos… tortilla chips splattered with salsa, then shredded cheese and repeated for 3 layers and then microwaved), turkey jerky and Smartfood, leftovers or quesadillas (or some other use of a flour tortilla).  In fact, other than what I just listed, I’m having trouble thinking of what it is I’ve been eating for lunch on a daily basis!

I can’t even think of what I have been eating, let alone think of ideas of healthier things to eat instead.  And since I apparently have ZERO interest in making a healthier choice, those are not coming to mind either.  My brain is just checked out of the whole process so much so I can’t even force it or fake it at this point.  The closest I’ve gotten to healthy recently was canned chicken mixed with a little mayo, chopped celery and seasonings, eaten with celery sticks.  That’s it.

When I get like this, I honestly wish I could just not have to eat at all.  But starvation is a horrible idea, so I wish on days I feel like this I could just be hooked to an IV of only the stuff to keep me alive… take the work out of having to eat or even think about it.

Second best (actually doable) option?  This is where I reveal what I’m about to do that I consider a reversion in the dieting evolution.
Meal replacement shakes.
Yep, I’m ordering some SlimFast on my next Wal-Mart pick-up order.  I saw a commercial about how they have a more nutritional formula, more protein, blah, blah, blah, and it stuck with me.
Since I don’t want to cook, don’t have a want for any particular food and have been sucking with the choices I have been making, why not just drink a shake and be done with it?
Maybe I just finally reached a stage where I could benefit from such a shake.
I would have NEVER considered this before.  I’m pretty sure during one of my more successful times when people sought me out for advice, I would *discourage* someone from using those and tell them to eat REAL food.

But now I get it.  Sometimes you want change, but are just not in a mental place to get it done.  Trust me, I’ve been actively trying to get somewhere since November.

Maybe I won’t feel like this every day.  Maybe I’ll have days I do think of something healthy and want to prepare it.  Great.  I’ll go with real food anytime that strikes.  But on a day I’m unenthused and about to nuke some tortilla chips again, make a shake instead.
I’ve got to get past these blah days.  Maybe a meal replacement shake is the answer.
Here goes nothing.

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I Want Off The Roller Coaster

I feel like I’ve titled another post similarly in the past.  Apparently I must be repeating history as well as daily, weekly, and monthly actions as of late.
For those that follow my fb page, you’d think everything was going along great – watching me post with my daily intentional exercise (a goal I gave myself that for every day of my 40th year, I will achieve some sort of intentional exercise).  But in reality, I keep losing and gaining the same damn 10 lbs again and again since before the end of last year.

I was doing great leading up to the start of my 365/50 Project and surpassed my start weight goal and got down to 278.  Then Christmas break happened… travel, limited food choices, rich food choices and well, a lot of holiday food temptations in general.  I spiked back up to 285 (recorded one week after returning back home from the holidays).  That freaked me out, so I regained control (otherwise I knew I was on the track to see 300 lbs again and I flat out REFUSE to go there… again).  At best, I get back down to around 276.  Then something happens.  I’ve noticed that for the last few months I’m just about the same weight every time I get my period… 279/280.  After which I regain my emotional/mental capabilities and focus and re-lose what I had gained.  Only to succumb to cravings during PMS again (sometimes giving me leftovers for days) and poof, right back up to where I was and rinse and repeat.
Ugh.  I’m so sick of this!  I want off this ride!!!

But it’s so much more than PMS cravings.  I’ve been battling food issues I didn’t even know I had (or that haven’t been an issue in a LONG time).  Things like wanting to eat later at night.  With the 16-hour diet (intermittent fasting), I like to be done with all eating by 7 pm at the latest.  I’ve been so great at this for YEARS.  No issues.  It’s past 7? Kitchen’s closed. No problem.

Then,  THEN I just had to point something out to myself.  I’d watched a recent episode of ‘My 600-lb Life’ and the woman they showed really had some serious food addictions and issues.  Seeing someone like that makes me feel more in control because by comparison, I don’t feel like I have issues at all (the same way I feel like a cleanly, organized person whenever I watch ‘Hoarders’… it’s all about comparison).
And that’s when I made the mistake of rehashing former issues (I got the not-so-brilliant idea of remembering what issues I dealt with… it was supposed to make me happy about what I’d achieved or worked through).
I was (am?) a big food hider/sneaker.  I’ve done the thing where I eat an entire package of something, throw away the packaging and then either bury it in the trash can so no one can see or have to take the trash out so there isn’t obvious evidence of what I’d done.
Then the evil thought occurred to me…  the one I wish hadn’t occurred to me… I realized that I’d had complete control EVERY night I’d been doing intermittent fasting and that in a former life, being left alone for so many hours at night (hubby would go to bed at 10pm, giving me 2-3 hours) I could be eating whatever I want when no one would know about it and “getting away” with it.
As I had this thought, I physically felt a jolt through my body.  Like holy crap, I could be being horrible… I have opportunity.  But I hadn’t been and that made me proud, however that bad thought entered my brain like a tiny seed of doubt slipping into the smallest crack and taking root.
I swear that almost EVERY SINGLE NIGHT since, I have found myself hungry in the evening… desperately wanting a snack, but knowing how late I’d have to wait to eat the next day in order to fast for 16 hours had me choosing not to eat.  But I absolutely HATE that this is an issue I now deal with!  It’s wasn’t BEFORE I had this realization!!! Gah!  How could I have messed with my own head SO much??  And why can’t I un-do it just as easily?
I don’t know.
I really don’t know.
I’ve never self-sabotaged THIS much in all my history of trying to lose weight.

That was a few weeks ago.  It’s gotten better, but now I’m facing old demons during the day instead.  If I’m having a low/no carb day (which works best for my body), what starts as a positive realization of “I haven’t had any carbs today” becomes a negative one and then I find myself craving carbs like crazy… and usually the simple kind.  Crap.
What a total head trip!  I was doing great and feeling full and satisfied… why oh why did that happen?  I get so damn obsessive sometimes and drive myself crazy with diet mentality!
And since then, I’m finding myself in a food craving rut.  Lately it’s been cheesy chips (tortilla chips with salsa splattered on them and shredded cheese that I melt in the microwave).  I want these EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  They are a 600-700 calorie hit.
I try to go without and I just end up eating other things first, then having them anyway, just later in the day.
I have a sweet craving too.  The last time I had PMS, I went a little crazy in the grocery store (I shouldn’t be allowed there 1-2 days before my period!)  It involved chips and sweets.  Both of which gave leftovers for like a WEEK (torture! Because I can’t throw it away, but if it’s in the house, I want to eat some EVERY day until it is gone… very much a bad food behavior I’ve had forever).  So I unfortunately got “used to” having something sweet every day.  This becomes not only a habit, but a craving at the molecular level.  They’ve proven sugar is more addicting than crack, right?  It’s no joke.  It’s so hard to get beyond this habit.
I finished all the PMS treats (or put them in the freezer because I don’t like frozen chocolate), but have found alternatives to get my “fix” (fat free/sugar free pudding, ovaltine, defrosting cookies from the freezer [that I froze in the first place so I’d stop eating them], my daughter’s sugar-free popsicles).  Not good because I’m STILL having something sweet (real sugar or not).
I know the only way out is cold turkey and a hard 3 days, but I can’t seem to get day 1 down.

The craving and want is so strong that other night I was so desperate for something chocolate, I actually went into the freezer for that frozen bag and had a couple of handfuls (chopped Andes Candies for baking).  Pathetic.  Proves how messed up my head is right now.

Oh, and sodas.  I seem to have at least one every day again.  Yes, they are sugar and calorie free, but that’s not the point.  My 4-year-old sees me doing this and now she wants a soda every day too. 😦
Not good.

I just feel like I’m battling some food addictions issues I thought were long and done with and it’s not just one, it’s like three or more.  I feel overwhelmed and behind the 8 ball again.  It’s feeling a lot harder to “do the right thing” than it did before the holidays.
It kills me that I’m still around the weight I was when my project began 4 months ago tomorrow.  FOUR MONTHS.  17 weeks.  I could be down 17-25 lbs by now!

ARGH.

And of course, as the days continue and another Tuesday comes and goes (what is supposed to be my weigh-in day), I get more discouraged and further behind in my goals… which let’s face, add to my problem of getting going… as annoyingly ironic as that is.
I have spent YEARS trying to improve the exercise portion of my equation for weight loss and here I am struggling with the food side more than anything.  Who would have thought?
Something else happened today.
I’d posted previously about giving my first home up Deed in Lieu because a) we’d discharged it in a bankruptcy years ago, b) it’s under water and wouldn’t sell, even as short sale and c) we were really sick of being long-distance landlords for the last 8 years & losing money monthly.  Well, today I got the notification from Zillow that the home had been “sold”.   I finally went in, deleted some photos, erased the home description and “unclaimed” the ownership of the home… something I’d been putting off.

I should be happy it’s official in all aspects now.  But I’m not.  I feel sad and like a failure.  We did not sell the home.  I guess Zillow just uses the term “sold” even though it was just given back to the bank… deed in lieu and for the amount we still owed to the first lien.  I like that it cleans the slate and to the eyes of anyone looking at the house online, it seems like a normal status (no record of pre-foreclosure, etc).  It just looks like a clean sell/buy transaction.  I think that’s why I felt ok about deleting info and releasing my ownership because it made more sense now… from an outside prospective.

The burden is lifted and based on how we handled the 1099 form from the 2nd lien (which we received because they finalized their deed in lieu before the end of last year) by filling out form 982 to cancel out what they were claiming as “income” for us (meaning it was a wash and we got our normal tax refund), we should feel more positive about having to do the same thing for the 1st lien next tax season and not have a HUGE tax burden.  It won’t truly all be “final” until we successfully do our taxes for 2017, but it certainly felt a lot more final today.
Oh, and because we did Deed in Lieu, even though we hadn’t lived in the house for years, we got a “relocation incentive” of $10,000 (basically, “cash for keys”).  If we’d gotten rid of this home any other way (short sale, foreclosure), we would have gotten nothing or even had to spend money (lawyer).  I’m still in shock we got anything.  But we actually deserved it seeming we’d put in over $40,000 of improvements on the home over the last 14 years including a brand-new kitchen and added half bath, not to mention the headache of being a long distance landlord while trying to keep the house afloat and losing $100 – $200+ per month for all 8 years.  This unexpected money is now affording us a fence for the backyard at our new home.  It is very needed seeming my 4-year-old can let herself out of the locked & child protected back door and likes to wander off in the neighborhood!

I started writing this hours ago and am just getting to finish up and I have to say, the magic of writing it out is already working.  I’ve lost count how many times writing out my issues (and usually sharing) has magically fixed whatever issues I’d been dealing with.  All I know is that I’ve felt better and in more control ever since I got the majority of this written out.  Hooray.
Sometimes talking it out doesn’t cut it… writing and sharing are the answer.  It’s too bad dealing with my three kids and life in general has my writing time limited.  I haven’t properly plucked my eyebrows in months and I don’t even shower regularly enough, so writing is a low priority.  When I do finally write, it is at the detriment of something else.  The dishes don’t get done, my son or hubby have to hold/deal with the baby, loss of sleep, loss of tv time (watching shows is the only way I can shut my brain off)… writing always comes at the expense of something else.  I cause my own issue here because I wait SO LONG in between posts I have way too much to catch up on, so it’s never a simple, short post.  Then the longer it takes, the more gets sacrificed.
Ah well, it won’t always be like this.  Someday, all my kiddos will be off doing their own thing and this house will be too quiet and I’ll have nothing but time on my hands.

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When Will I Ever Learn? (re: importance of sleep)

I got back some serious control on Tuesday Feb 7th.  I just started logging my food that day which had me considering my food choices more thoughtfully so that I could stay within my calorie range (currently 1744 – 2170).  I couldn’t tell you why I started.  It was not some big “I need to do something” speech with myself the night before or me waking up saying “today’s the day”.  Nope, I just started.
I didn’t necessarily feel motivated (though I think that was the same day a friend of mine shared the ‘motivation is garbage’ video of this lady… she made some good points – see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ88PaL8ls0 if you’re curious).
I just did it.
The next day when the scale went down, THEN I felt that spark and motivation and excitement to continue on.
The next few days were awesome.  Every morning I weighed less.  Every day I was getting closer to my short-term goal for my milestone birthday.  (I know it’s not healthy to weigh-in so much, but it’s very encouraging and enthuses me to keep going.)
Even on a day I had higher than normal sodium, the next morning I still had a weight loss (though I was mentally prepared for a temporary gain).  I had gone down 6.8 lbs in 4 days!

But then on Sunday the 12th, it all changed.  My weight went up even though I stayed in my calorie range the day before, had drank enough water, got in my exercise, and didn’t necessarily have too much sodium.

I was confused.  Delayed reaction to the sodium a day before?  Well, that’d be new.  I’m not lifting weights at the moment (still dealing with a hand injury since my baby was a month old), so it wasn’t water retention from muscle gain.  And I realize I can’t lose weight EVERY SINGLE DAY like I had, and I’d be ok with maintenance, but this was a GAIN.  A 1.4 lb gain.
A gain that felt undeserved.  Very undeserved.
It put me in a mood, but I persisted.
I kept going because my “official” weigh-in days are Tuesday.  Yes, the scale recovered, but I was discouraged because although I stayed strong and made all the efforts, my weight didn’t even return to where it was before that mysterious gain. (Mind you it was ONLY a .4 difference… 276 vs. 275.6… but seeing that “5” was important to me because once under that, I’ll finally be hitting NEW territory on this journey)
So since it was only .4 of a pound, it really shouldn’t have bothered me THAT much, but dammit I’d seen less 3 days before that, so it was very frustrating and disappointing.
But even though it was Valentine’s Day that day, I stayed strong and stayed in my calorie range (and didn’t have ANY chocolate!).

On the 15th, I had a “fuck it” day.  I logged some of the stuff I ate, but not all and I definitely went way over my range.  I think I probably got up to 3200 calories.  This day was 4 days coming and I’m honestly surprised I lasted that long (go me?).
So of course, scale went up again the next morning, but totally justified.
The next day I logged my calories, but was above range again, just not by as much.
BBBBBBBBBUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT…
That night (last night), I got decent sleep.
So when I weighed in this morning, the scale went DOWN!   I went over my calories, but drank my water and got in my walk and MOST IMPORTANTLY, got SLEEP and voila! The scale loves me again.

INSERT BIG DUH MOMENT HERE.

I’ve posted countless times that I won’t ever underestimate the importance of decent sleep in my weight loss journey.
Well I just did… AGAIN.

Those days I was going up I had crappy sleep thanks to the combo of my 6-month-old and 4-year-old.  I was taking Advil PM and not being given 8 hours of sleep to have it wear off and was a serious mombie (mom + zombie) for the first 5 hours of the day.
Last night, in fear that once again I wouldn’t get to sleep until 12:30am (or later), have my baby get me up in the night, then my 4-year-old wake me and join me in bed at 7am and fall asleep on Daddy’s side of the bed only to have the baby wake up for the day at 7:40am while the 4-year-old gets to keep sleeping (we’d done this several mornings in a row), I didn’t take the Advil PM.  I felt seriously tired, so I hoped I’d finally be able to fall asleep quickly on my own (I was having troubles with this, hence taking Advil PM in the first place).
I did.
I think I might have gotten to sleep just after midnight (which is early for me these days) and baby got me up at 2am and 6am, but I was able to fall back asleep decently after each feeding.  The 4-year-old did NOT join me at 7am (probably because my son, who has the day off from school, kept her distracted) and miracle of miracle, baby decided to sleep all the way until 9:40am!!!!!!!!!!  I’d woke on my own at 9:30am.  JOYOUS.

Even then, I thought as I weighed myself that I’d understand if it was the same or higher because I was not in my calorie range the day before, but then it was like the scale hit me upside my head… it was lower.
Oh duh… I got sleep.
Sleep was the factor I’d TOTALLY FORGOTTEN ABOUT earlier in the week.
Dang it… when will I EVER learn?
Can this be the LAST time I have this epiphany?

So back on track today.  Time to re-lose these few pounds and get back into “new” territory.
I’m currently 9.2 lbs off from my birthday goal in 9 days, so I know that’s beyond a stretch to attain, so I’ll just be happy to be in new territory by then and then continue on.

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