Somebody Stop Me!!!

What started as a few “last meals” before my husband goes under the knife to shrink his stomach (gastric sleeve), has unfortunately become days of me eating not-so-great choices on days that were supposed to be “recovery” days.
After our big Rioz night (because an all-you-can-eat Brazilian Steakhouse is not an option when your stomach will only be 4 oz large), we had 2 recovery days before another “last meal” which was Chinese.
I was ON POINT for those 2 days… low carb, lots of water and fasted exercise.  In just 2 days, I dropped 6.2 pounds!
Then the Chinese happened.  As predicted, weight gain the next day.  No biggie, I expected that.  But something in my head shifted.
Maybe it was scariness of us hitting the final days… that that was supposed to be the last of the big “last meals”… leaving nothing to “look forward” to in the future.  I did plan for a big breakfast-for-dinner night as well, but that was mostly protein & fat… not far from how I’ve been eating normally.

But every day since and leading up to that I just keep making bad choices.  Recovery days become more days I need to recover from… having Smartfood, corned beef hash, not enough water, no fasted exercise, a Snickers bar, one last Subway order, Ben & Jerry’s and some other things I’m sure I’m not remembering.
In 6 days I’ve gone down 4 lbs, down 2.2 lbs, up 2.6 lbs, up .4 lbs, down 2.6 lbs and then up 1.6 lbs this morning (Subway was yesterday).
Today was supposed to be back to recovery, but I’m like an eating machine!!!

I started off with a salad for breakfast (weird, I know, but my back hurt and I didn’t want to stand too long to prepare my food and it was a premade salad).
Not bad, but then I found myself finishing my son’s Ben & Jerry’s half-baked (3/4 of a pint) since last minute he disappeared to a friend’s house for a 3 night sleepover… leaving it unguarded.  LOL  (and it had been on my mind since last night… I just waited for a moment my hubby wasn’t in the room today)

Apparently that wasn’t enough, so since I totally forgot to include the corned beef hash with our breakfast for dinner night & hubby still wanted it, I made it plus some fried eggs for a “lunch” (it was almost 3pm).
We sat & watched a show (Botched) and I swear I was counting down the minutes for him to go back upstairs to his office (he’s working from home today) just so I could go eat something else!
I ended up having a big bowl of Smartfood.
I think I might finally feel “full”.
But I made this choice, knowing dinner tonight is steaks and garlic butter mini potatoes (a last minute “can we have these with the steak?” request hubby threw in while at the grocery store yesterday).  I don’t usually have so many carb/sugar hits in one day.
And who is going to have the pleasure of eating the leftovers of potatoes?  ME.  No one else.  Hubby only takes protein shakes for lunch at work and none of my kids like potatoes done that way.  Ugh.  I really hate the thought of just throwing them out.  I just haven’t made potatoes a regular thing back in my diet… yet.

I just feel very out of control lately.  In my home I’m an endless eating machine, but the minute I go outside in public (even in my own neighborhood, usually just in the front yard playing with the kids or going for a walk), I instantly regret any bad choices I’d made recently… I feel bigger, unhealthier, out of shape and that my clothes aren’t fitting well.  I just feel FAT.  And I feel a bit judged as some people in our ‘hood KNOW that hubby & I are on a diet, so I feel like they are always checking us out to see if they can see a difference. (Pressure, much?)
But put me back in the comfort and privacy of my home, and that feeling goes by the wayside.
No, my husband’s surgery hasn’t happened yet, but now I’m deathly afraid that this endless pit and lack of control will continue even afterwards.
Will I suddenly get my shit together and stop going crazy?  Am I just freaking out a bit and overcompensating for the changes and restrictions that are about to come?  Yes, I think so.

No, I’m not the one getting the surgery, but our whole family will be feeling & enduring the changes… we aren’t going to order in pizza or get takeout food that he can’t eat.  I even plan not to get any ice cream for at least the first 6 weeks when he can barely eat any food at all (mostly liquids).

So it’s kind of the classic “you can’t” and I react with “yes I can” and I do, even if it’s bad for me.  When will this immature reaction of mine ever stop happening???

Maybe I’m just drawing this out as long as conceivably possible… taking advantage of every day leading up to the surgery while I can because I have the understanding with myself that when surgery day comes, THAT’S IT.
But now I have true fears it won’t be it.  When my hubby is taking a nap upstairs while still recovering, will I be sneaking bowls of Smartfood or cereal or who knows what downstairs?  I really hope not.  That is NOT how it is supposed to play out.

I hope my fear of my hubby rapidly losing weight and visibly changing and looking better while I look the same or worse will kick in and engage my healthy competitive side for me to make big changes as well so we can change in a positive manner *together*.
Lord knows I would have resentment and jealousy if my hubby leaves me in the dust.  KNOWING THIS, I must keep my shit together after the surgery and truly make the changes I’ve been expecting and planning to make since we started this process months ago.

*I* have to stop me.  I can do this.  After all, we are taking our ‘in progress’ photo in just 2 days.  I really hope there is some improvement to our original picture we took back in late April.  My face & top belly being all bloated out from bad choices is totally going to ruin that.  Not cool.
Come on me… get your priorities straight.

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The Last Meals

In less than 2 weeks, my husband will be undergoing the gastric sleeve procedure.  He’s the third person in his family to have bariatric surgery.  He’s drinking mostly protein shakes these days, along with a normal dinner to help lose a little more weight to try to shrink his liver as much as possible.  His life is about to change drastically, but mine is too.
I stopped Keto just over a week ago (though am remaining lower carb, just not *that* low carb) and although I started to see the scale move again in the right direction, I’m not expecting much change in the next couple weeks.
Because of the “last meals”.
There are foods that will be off limits for my husband… some for life, some for at least a year if not longer.  It only seems fair you get one last time to enjoy them.  And they aren’t just the last meals for my hubby… they are MY last meals as well.
I’m not going to be ordering food and eating it in front of my husband who can’t eat anything I’m having.  I’m not going to cook up real bacon or sausage while he only gets the turkey version.  I rarely go out on my own, let alone for the sole purpose of getting food and sneaking it in before he comes home from work… that’s just not me.  So all these foods we’re enjoying for a last time are also a last time for me.

For my sister it was greasy Chinese and French cruller donuts.  My husband was rather slow to think of certain foods he might want to enjoy one last time.  All he could come up with was Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse, our favorite restaurant.  It’s all you can eat meat, and with a tiny pouch for a stomach in my hubby’s future, such a place would be a complete waste of money (and it’s expensive).  Shit, now we’ll need a new go-to for a favorite restaurant!
We have reservations to go this Sunday.  Beforehand, we are taking full advantage of a paid babysitter and are hitting a matinee first (we RARELY go to the movies) and he will be enjoying his favorite movie theater treat:  sour patch watermelons.  I’ll be getting popcorn (it just has a taste you can’t replicate at home) and some peanut M&Ms.

After letting him think a bit longer (and maybe offering some ideas because I really don’t want him to have any regrets), we came up with a few other “lasts”:
Delivery pizza.
We did this a couple nights ago.  It had been over 5 months since we ordered pizza delivery.  We didn’t even have anything with it… no cheezy bread, no brownie or cinnastix for dessert and hubby even skipped having a sugar-free soda.
He couldn’t finish his medium Uno pizza and complained later it ‘hit him hard’ (usually he could polish the whole thing off and not feel a thing).
I wish I could say the same, but I loved everything about the small margarita pizza I ate (for those not in the know, that’s tomato, mozzarella & fresh basil… so simply delicious) and it didn’t bother me AT ALL and the next morning the scale went DOWN (whaaaaaaaaaa??????????  Just the sheer weight of the food, plus the extra sodium… I was SHOCKED).  I guess having a low carb, low calorie day leading up to it really paid off.

We just had this tonight.  Unlike the pizza, this seems to be bothering me.  I feel blah and my upper stomach is seriously bloated and sticking out right now.
We skipped the mashed potato & gravy and just opted for the fries.  My hubby filled up on coleslaw before having a few pieces of chicken and he didn’t even finish his fries.  HE DIDN’T FINISH HIS FRIES!!!!  This is a FIRST people!  He ALWAYS finishes his fries!  I love the changes he’s been making and I’m so proud of him.  He could have really indulged (that’s the point), but is cutting corners to cut calories and limit the damage of one meal.  Good for him.
I’m not.
So far, I haven’t made a damn change with our last meals versus how I would normally eat it.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been living this life of trying to lose weight and do moderation a long time and learned to just really enjoy those ‘off’ meals.  I don’t go too nuts, but I don’t set limits either.

What else made the list?
Chinese.  This was the one thing we still ate while doing Keto as we ordered just the proteins, skipping the eggrolls, rice or lo mein.  My hubby got the dumplings, but only ate the meat inside.  He wants to be able to eat the whole thing one last time.  I’m not too excited about this one because I only want Chinese maybe 4 times per year and we already had it within the last month.  I will be getting sesame chicken & crab rangoons.

French Toast with Bacon & Sausage.
This will be this Saturday night’s dinner.  Bacon & sausage are on the no-no list for after surgery (only turkey versions are OK) and French toast is nothing but carbs and sugar (OK, there is protein in the egg coating, but who are we kidding?) and adding syrup as well?  Nope, this is not a quality food that is something he won’t eat again for probably the next couple years.
I’ll be having my usual edited version… only 1 slice French toast with honey instead of syrup (just not a fan of real maple syrup and I know that should be a crime, especially since I lived in Vermont) and instead, fill up on eggs, bacon & sausage.  Something so sugary just spikes my blood sugar and I really don’t like that feeling that gives me, so this is one thing I do not indulge in, no matter what.

And that’s it.
Every other meal will be our usual healthy, low carb choices.  I NEED them to be to not have these indulgences equal weight gain.  As it is, each time I eat like that, my weight can be off for days and take me that long to recover (that pizza result was such a fluke!).

So, this is why I’m not expecting much movement on the scale for the next couple weeks.
After my husband’s surgery?  That’s a different story!
We (me & the kids) will be having a lot of salmon for dinner (something my hubby doesn’t like) as he’s limited to only 2 oz of mostly liquids and then soft foods for the first few weeks and I don’t want to be eating foods I know he loves during those times.
I also have to get serious about getting that scale to move because otherwise my hubby is going to leave me in the dust!
I want us to shrink together.
I want people to look at us 6 months or a year from now and say “which one of you had the surgery?” because we’ve both lost a noticeable amount of weight.
There will be no ordering takeout or delivery.  Meals will be smaller (I bought smaller, dark colored plates to help with portion control without looking like there is barely food on the plate).  Sure, my stomach wasn’t surgically altered like his, but there’s no reason I can’t shrink my own portions.

I am one of those people that is susceptible and influenced by the actions of those who are around me the most.  I have countless examples of this over the course of my life, but don’t feel like typing them all out.
It works both in a positive manner (copying good habits like drinking more water), but unfortunately in a negative manner as well (copying the food choices or portions of my significant other).
So, if my hubby is no longer having a huge plate of food, that will rub off on me.  He will also be prioritizing protein and veggies over simple carbs.
I’ve joked that if I were put in a house with women who were fit, ate healthy and worked out daily and they were my only influence, in a year I would leave that house as a fit, healthy woman who worked out daily.  Seriously, that’s how my personality works.
Sometimes even *watching* TV programs with such women gets me off the couch and making better choices for the rest of the day!

So big changes are to come… just not the next couple weeks!  I’m excited for our future.  I’m super proud of my hubby for making this HUGE change and am so far impressed by his dedication over the last few months (seriously, I had more times of wavering off plan than he did!!!).
We will enjoy our last meals and move on to our new way of life.

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Changes to Come

I think I’m freaking out FOR my husband’s sake right now (maybe even more than he is currently).  We’re fresh from the required class prior to a bariatric procedure.  I’m having the classic (immature) response when someone tells you “you can’t have _____”, and then it’s literally all you can think about having and ever since I got home (my hubby is still at the hospital doing a bunch of pre-op stuff all day) I’ve wanted to eat and just keep eating… even though all those things we learned aren’t even for me!!!!

I didn’t think there’d be any new information at the class that I didn’t already know (my MIL and sister have both had bariatric surgery) or that my hubby hadn’t already learned and passed on to me from the education he’s already gotten, and for the most part, there wasn’t.

My husband, who is getting the gastric sleeve in just a few weeks, was nodding his head and following along, but then the slide about what not to eat anymore came up.
The first couple things on it were bacon & sausage (anything high fat is a no-no).
My husband loves BOTH of those (and has been eating them frequently while on Keto the last few months).  So, he had a physical and verbal reaction to seeing those on the list… you know, like “aww darn” type of response and a frowny face while he put his head down.  It was his only negative reaction the entire class.

It was news to me how “low fat” everything needs to be afterwards.  I guess I’d be focusing on portion sizes and knowing how much protein he’d need… hadn’t thought about the fat.
This does mean changes for our entire household.  No more real bacon or sausage.  The turkey versions are acceptable and I don’t mind those, so I’m good with that, but I know it’ll take a bit for my hubby to adjust.
There will be a lot more low fat/fat free products in the house… there are currently pretty much zero as we were doing a high fat diet and I’ve stayed away from low fat versions of foods because it usually means they are higher in sodium, sugar or something else.
So in that respect, there will be a LOT of changes.

I’m not going to be an asshole partner and cook up real bacon while my hubby has to deal with the turkey version.  No, I’ll be eating the turkey one as well.
The dietician giving the class gave an example that she once saw a person bring in donuts… TO THE HOSPITAL… to their friend who’d just gone through bariatric surgery!
I didn’t think that level of thoughtlessness existed.  Holy crap.
I refuse to be *that* inconsiderate.
Sure, I’ll be sticking to real butter and he’ll have to use Butter Buds or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, but that isn’t as major as the food on our plates in comparison to his or the smell of something freshly cooked that he can’t enjoy.
So although these are technically restrictions for just my hubby, I’m kind of taking them on too in order to make it easier on him.

I think just change in general is setting off some anxiety for me today.  I already feel better just having typed this out, so I won’t go microwave those leftover frozen homemade mint chocolate chip cookies I was thinking about prior to writing this (seriously, I should just warm those up and offer them to the kids so they no longer exist).

I’m not great with change… it freaks me out at first, but give me a moment… an hour, a couple days and I’ll think it’s the best thing ever and be totally for it.
I can already imagine the healthy impact of my hubby eating a lot less… the kids will never again witness and overflowing plate of food in front of him, the getting of seconds and will instead see their daddy prioritizing protein, eating smaller portions and eating much slowly.
Instead of ice cream for dessert, an array of sugar free Jell-O, pudding or popsicles.  Every little thing matters.   Just us doing Keto together had the effect of my 11-year-old losing weight because I rarely offer pasta with dinner anymore – he’d just go without or have more veggies.
This WILL have an impact, but it should all be positive.
But I do think my hubby should have a few “last meals” intentionally for things he won’t be able to eat ever again, or items that he probably shouldn’t attempt to eat in the first year or so.  I don’t want him to have regrets afterward.
So far, our only planned “last meal” is going to Rioz, a Brazilian Steakhouse.  It is our favorite restaurant.
It’s one price and all you can eat, so after the surgery, it’ll be a complete waste of money.  We are usually there for the meat… meat, meat and more meat.  We barely eat any sides at all.

Before my sister had her gastric bypass, she pigged out on greasy Chinese food and French crullers from Dunkin Donuts.  We all have our “thing”.
My husband really needs to consider what his thing is… other than all you can eat meat.

So, luckily I only ended up snacking on just one serving of Smartfood after I had my breakfast & coffee.  It could have been MUCH worse based on the ideas floating around in my head, but through typing therapy®, all is better now.  Now I feel like getting up, cleaning up the house and then getting in a walk.

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Keto & I, we’re Over

It saddens me to make this announcement.  I really liked Keto and for a while, found it easy to stick to and had never been so full and satiated while on any “diet” in my life.  I wanted it to work, I really did.  But other than my blood sugar, my body did NOT like Keto.
Sure, I lost some weight at first… 5 lbs in the first week, then 2-3 lbs per week, then 1 lb per week, then barely a 1 lb and then NOTHING… for the last TWELVE weeks.

Yes, I go down up to 4 lbs during the week, but I also found myself going up in weight for no good reason, but then back down again just in time for the week to end.  I thought maybe I was psyching myself out by watching the scale, so I’d stay off it all week and it would still happen.  Sure, sometimes it was a #2 backing up issue, but that wasn’t always to blame or an excuse.
By every Tuesday weigh-in, I’d be right back to where I was a week prior… zero progress.

If I were on ANY OTHER DIET and stuck to it like I did with Keto, hitting my macros like a boss and staying in or under my calorie range, I would have dropped DOUBLE the weight I have by now.
I’ve never been so good at following a diet and have such little (or no) results.

Even though I was enjoying the foods on Keto which made me able to stick to it even without results, it wears on a person to put in that sort of effort and get no results.

I was hoping that after my hormones got messed up (a diet high in fat interferes with the production of necessary thyroid hormones, which brought on every symptom of hypothyroidism for me… also to blame, a gut needing probiotics that wasn’t absorbing nutrients as it should & no longer eating those nutrients in the first place which also contributes to hormone production issues) and my doctor basically told me I was malnourished so I started taking a BUNCH of supplements (I take 13 pills a day), that all would be well and I could lose weight again.  Instead, my symptoms improved or went away, but the “increased difficulty losing weight” has seemed to linger.

I was also no longer finding my Keto diet as satisfying as it once was.  A breakfast of eggs, sausage and bacon left me feeling hungry (crazy, right?).   In the last week or so, every afternoon as I stubbornly continued being Keto, I found myself SO HUNGRY and it was a struggle.
Was this my body’s way of saying “I’m still nutritionally deficient”?

After being on point all day Sunday just to see my weight go UP this morning, I kind of got a “fuck it” attitude and had bowtie pasta (it was leftovers from my kid’s dinner a couple nights ago and I love fried bowties until browned with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top) with some fried egg whites for breakfast.  I also ditched having bulletproof coffee and went back to just using only heavy cream.
I *thought* this would have left me unsatisfied and wanting something else to eat within an hour.
Instead, I was satisfied for HOURS.  That’s how eggs, sausage & bacon USED to make me feel.  My body is speaking to me.

I followed it up with a big salad at lunch… I had carrots, cabbage and other veggies I’d been avoiding because of Keto (it’s HARD to stay under 20 net carbs if you have too many veggies).
Dinner was salmon and a large cucumber salad (sliced and tossed in oil, onions, balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, salt & black pepper) with tomato and fresh basil.  It was satisfying, but afterwards I felt a void.  We were watching a Netflix movie and my son asked for popcorn, so he had Smartfood and that sounded good to me, so I had a serving (it was also still early. -before 6:30pm- which is usually the time I stop eating for the night for intermittent fasting).
After logging in my calories, now I understand the void… even *with* the Smartfood, I was 200 calories under my minimum.
My body is speaking to me.

I’m going to start listening like I did today.

Keto is over, but I am going to remain low carb.  The bowties (farfalle pasta, but who actually calls it that?) were an exception today, but I plan to not have pasta on a regular basis (or anything else made from white flour).  I’ve done this before previously, so it’s no biggie. I will also still avoid processed foods and white sugar.
However, I will happily bring back more veggies (I missed you carrots!), have apples, bananas and other fruit and have beans and legumes again (mmm… hello hardy soups in the fall).
I don’t think I’ll go back to potatoes and oats yet… I’ll play it by ear for those.

Why do I want to stay low carb?  Because I can thank Keto for showing me the improvement I can make by lowering my carbs/sugar.  My A1C went from 6.1 (at risk of type II diabetes and I’ve been in the “at risk” range since 2005, after the first time I got gestational diabetes) down to 5.3 (within normal range) – my lowest yet!
I really don’t want it to go back up and too many simple carbs/sugar will do that.

After months of frustration, I hope my body will appreciate this change and that my weight starts moving again… in the right direction.  Stay tuned.

Farewell Keto… you work great for so many, but unfortunately I am not one of them.

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Doctor Woes

I can’t believe I’m saying this (because I’ve always been a ‘let food be thy medicine’ type person), but I think my new doctor may be a little bit too holistic for me.
I went in thinking the high fat in my diet is messing with my thyroid hormone production… wanting the result to be me taking something to fix my hormones so I can continue on with Keto (because that’s how much I like it).

She thinks I’m malnourished and should take a probiotic, D3, up my grains & veggies, lower the amount of protein from meat (because if the chickens or cows are eating grains, then you aren’t as Keto as you think – really? that’s deep) and to GIVE UP ALL DAIRY.
Wha??????????????????  No dairy???
You might as well tell me to cut my arm off… dairy is my LIFE, especially now.

She says Keto isn’t sustainable, but you think me giving up dairy will last forever? Um no. (And it KILLED ME not to mention the zero carb lady who hasn’t had a vegetable in 7 years and her bloodwork is perfect and she feels great… and her beef is not grass-fed – she sometimes eats fast food burgers!)

Honestly, (and again, can’t believe I’m saying this) I’d just rather take a pill to undo or fix what she is saying is an inflammatory response to dairy than to stop eating dairy. (by the way, I don’t *feel* inflamed)

Ugh… I’m just trying to simplify my life (Keto feels simple to me… easiest “diet” to stick to I’ve ever tried) and she’s complicating things on me all over again.  Complicated = feeling like I’m on a diet… like the four-letter word kind that every day you dread and you can’t wait to be “done” with it.
I DON’T like feeling that way and Keto was a breath of fresh air.  It feels down right effortless compared to any other program I’ve tried to lose weight.


And she mentioned lowering my fat… I told her the minute I tried that, the cravings came back and part of why I love Keto is that those bad food cravings/thoughts are silenced when you follow the program 100%.  But the minute I’m not 100% Keto, they come back and I have a MUCH harder time controlling those cravings.

This is when she asks if I’ve ever considered therapy.
Oh Christ, really?  I’d love therapy, I just can’t afford it.  But what I’m trying to explain to you is a physiological response and you think it’s all psychological.  I didn’t say that to her of course.

So now she has me second guessing what is physical and what is mental because of that comment.
I’m not a newbie when it comes to battling mental stuff when it comes to weight loss, yet she totally made me feel like one.
Oh, and I need to meditate, pray, read, do yoga, get a massage, etc. so I have “me time”.  Lady, I have 3 kids and even before that, have never done ANY of those things and considered them enjoyment.  I watch TV, write… maybe once a year I take a long bubble bath.  Are you really saying that because I don’t have regular downtime/me time is the reason I’m still fat?

I don’t know what I’m going to do as far as the eating part (I’m sad just thinking about not having my bulletproof coffee anymore since that’s 50% dairy), but at the very least I will continue on with all my supplements and start taking a probiotic and D3… I can manage that.
I just hate that I left there feeling MORE frustrated. I’m also curious what my labs will say.  I don’t think I went off my supplements long enough to make my labs as bad as I could feel they would have been a few weeks ago before I started taking them.  My symptoms haven’t come back yet, so clearly they are still in my system.

Here’s what I’m hoping… since the supplements I started taking have helped me, I assume the D3 and probiotic will also help, then maybe I CAN continue with Keto *as is* and start getting results again.
If not… ugh… I can’t handle no dairy.
I have a follow-up in 4 weeks.

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Incomplete Feelings… completed

You’d think I’d recently become a stay at home mom with this feeling I keep getting of needing to be doing a job I get paid for.  Lately, it seems like just about every time I have a moment to sit and relax, I feel like I should be going to work on a task I have yet to determine.  It’s not housework, not checking Facebook, email or blogs, not parenting related, not doing the bills and not a 9-5 someone-else-is-my-boss kind of job…  more like a work in my free time, I am my own boss and it’s a “job” I like.
I keep having this incomplete thought like “oh, this would be a good time to work on….” and it never gets completed.
I’ve never had these feelings before.  I usually revel in any quiet, alone time moments and enjoy mindless tv watching guiltfree, putting my feet up to enjoy a coffee in peace or sitting outside to watch nature.  My mind doesn’t go blank, but I sure never had this feeling like there was something else I should/could be doing… at that particular moment anyway.
But lately, maybe for about the last 2 months or so, I get this nagging feeling.  It’s so strong, I could actually get up off the couch, but then not know where to go.  What the?

It’s like I’m getting a glimpse of my future.  The future when I FINALLY figure out that something I can do in my free time to make some money, but something I enjoy that involves my artistic side… not medical transcription or those other work-from-home jobs on computers that you ultimately have some sort of “boss” to report to.

I’ve tried writing a book… dipping my toes in the water of becoming a novelist.  Nope, not happening.

I’ve tried to paint original works of art on canvas (like to start an Etsy page for).  I couldn’t even get one completed (it’s still on an easel in my bedroom) and thought I should at least have half a dozen ready to go before attempting to sell.  And if I complete something I really like, I want to keep it.  I couldn’t even figure out what name to use or what my logo might look like.

I’ve tried crafts (specifically with pinecones) and for all the labor and cost of shipping, nope, there’s no money in that for the effort.

Sometimes I think I’d make a great freelance editor, but I don’t have the qualifications.  I’m great at spotting what is incorrect or could be worded better in everyone else’s work, but I fail when it comes to following (or realizing) proper grammar (though I’m better than I used to be… I think).  I’ve been editing my hubby’s work or home business emails, things for my mom, and even edited an entire book a friend of mine published (without an editor), but that was unsolicited and of course, unpaid.

I’ve had plenty of experience selling items on craigslist or Facebook groups, but that is always temporary as I don’t always have something to sell.  Plus, there is the hassle of setting up meeting places/times and risking no-shows or dealing with crazy people. Most of those sales just mean I finally have cash in my wallet… not really an income large enough to bother to deposit to pay bills with.

Inspired by the oohs and ahhs my husband’s Tupperware lunches of dinner leftovers from his jealous co-workers, I thought about creating a lunch service where I just make some extra of whatever we have for dinner to create some ready-to-eat lunches for his co-workers at maybe $5 a pop.  They would totally go for it, but when you think about it as a business, I’m sure I’d be breaking some health code by using my at home kitchen and having my 4-year-old playing on her tablet on the same island I’m prepping the food I’m selling.  I’m sure I’d be breaking about 20 laws, even if I did report it all to Uncle Sam.  And then there’s the fact that I don’t actually enjoy cooking.

So what is this magical money making I-am-my-own-boss work-from-home job I long to do???

I wish I knew.  I really do.

Or maybe I do know…

I’ve been told I should restore painted items as a business.  I’ve repainted my own wooden outside door decorations (as the southern sun is evil and fades everything).  crafty updates welcome sign before and afterLast Christmas my mom sent me this sign that had been battered by the outside elements for YEARS.  Some of the picture was unidentifiable, so I had to use creative license.  I had to sand it so the surface would be flat, but when I did, it took off the existing paint.  But I thought ahead and took detailed pictures of what you could see prior to sanding/repainting it.
Since it was for my mom, she didn’t care if it was slightly different from the original.  Crafty Updates mom sign close up before & afterReally, I just tried to fill in and enhance the existing painting.  But when your mom is your “client”, you really can’t go wrong.

But what if I did this for complete strangers?  Their standards would be higher.  What if they don’t like what I do?  What if, although I put on 2-3 layers of sealant, the sun still fades it in a couple years (which can be expected)… will they come after me for a refund?
I also only use acrylic paint.  That might not work on various materials.  Would people even want this service?  Most would just trash the décor and buy something new instead.   If it’s a $5 item, they can’t justify paying me $10 to fix it up when they can buy new for cheaper and $10 might not be worth my time, effort and supplies to fix it.  See the issue?
And would my artistic skills be good enough?  I have doubts there too.  But I’ve always been really good at copying.  I am a copycat artist.  What (legal) good is that for unless to make what already was nice again?

I feel like I could be like a Joanna Gaines (from HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper’) type, but way, way, way, WAY scaled back… no fame, no cameras, no multi-businesses…  just how I assume it was when she started as a “nobody”.  Just 1 client at a time, utilizing her creative and design talents in her spare time.  But I’m not a designer, so not exactly like that, but utilizing my own talents for artistic restoration/reproduction.

~~~~~~~~~~~~24 HOURS LATER~~~~~~~~~~~~

Artist are their own worst critics, right?  While searching my before & after photos of the work I’ve already done, my son’s friends were here and noticed the pictures and took interest.  They were impressed at the work I’d done (and these are 8, 10 & 11-year-olds).
I got past all the worries, thought of a name and created a business page on Facebook!!!
I stayed up until 2 am designing my cover page and profile picture & filling out all appropriate info.
And now I’m thinking about starting a blog about it so I can document each piece I work on.

My next step is sharing my page info on my closed neighborhood fb page and offer up free (or reduced price if it’s a detailed job) restoration so I can get some more before & after pictures for my page.

So I did it… I’m starting my side business.  This is NOT where I saw this blog going.  I guess I needed to write it out to make it known what I was supposed to do.

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The Keto Train Chugs On

So my last post was rather a bummer, but I wanted to be honest and needed to vent.  It actually ended up getting worse (the tunnel gets darker before the light).  Not being full fat Keto (see here why) just messed with my brain.
After writing my last post (Monday), my obsession switched from having a PB&J sandwich to making homemade cookies.
I dealt with this for a couple of days.
By Wednesday evening, after my perfectly Keto day, I just got up (at 7:30 pm mind you – a time the kitchen is supposed to be “closed” during my intermittent fasting window) and made mint chocolate chip cookies.
My kids were totally thrilled.  I even got assistance making them from my 11-year-old son.
Did I eat any?  Hell yeah.
That night I must have had at least 6 cookies.
I was already on the fence if my cookie enjoying would go on the next day.
After waiting for my fasting window to be over (didn’t quite get to 16 hrs… it was 15.25, my lowest amount in a LONG time), I made and ate a Keto breakfast.  But within an hour, those cookies called to me.
Same thing happened on Friday.  But Friday is when it hit me…
Why is it that when you’re sick, you really are aware of it and can’t wait to be well.  But when you feel better, you totally take it for granted and it takes a few hours or days for you to realize oh – I’m well again!
Well that’s what happened to me.  I’d started taking selenium, magnesium, zinc and copper in an effort to help out my thyroid which seems to have malfunctioned due to the high amounts of fat I was eating daily.  It took about 4 days, but by golly, I DID feel better.
The fog had lifted… I felt hopeful again, the moodiness and crabbiness seemed to have subsided.  So that means I may have been correct with my self-diagnosis of hypothyroidism after all.
So that day I had a little conversation with myself.
If these meds are making me feel better (dare I say normal), then maybe I can start losing weight again (hoping they undo that side effect of “increased difficulty losing weight”)… HOWEVER how can that happen unless I stop having cookies and go back to 100% Keto???  Duh.

So that was it.  Saturday came and I refused to have cookies.  I had to break this new habit/addiction.  I knew if I got a few Keto meals and days under my belt, those cravings would subside.
Man, Saturday was HARD.  Like REALLY, REALLY HARD.
I haven’t fought against naughty food desires like that in a LONG time.
But I made it through and Sunday came.  Sunday had its share of bad thoughts, but nowhere near the toughness of Saturday.
By Monday things were looking up.  Again, those panging thoughts of cookies seemed lessened.  The scale was also being nice(r) again.
It’s now Wednesday and I realized first thing this morning that I just made it through Tuesday (which was a VERY long day after I only got 2.5 hours of sleep thanks to my baby, my brain and my hubby’s on-call phone).  I didn’t have one single “naughty thought” yesterday!  Whew.
Made it through the tunnel.
The pull of sugar is NO JOKE.  It really, truly is a drug.

So I finally got fully on track, mind in a better place and feeling better because of the medications I added into my diet.  Just in time… to stop taking them.
Yes.  I have an appointment with a new (to me) doctor and am having my blood drawn.  I decided I wanted my bloodwork to be as messed up as possible, otherwise it could look like no issues are happening.
It took about 4 days to start feeling better, so I’m giving myself a week off meds & full fat Keto to see if my days get a little moodier thanks to malfunctioning hormones.
I’m really hoping that that won’t happen until Monday, the day before my appointment, otherwise it could be a TOUGH weekend emotionally feeling like crap and sticking to Keto. But I stuck to Keto for MONTHS while not feeling happy or like myself, so I should be able to make it through the weekend.

I really hope my bloodwork shows something.  I’d rather take 1 synthetic hormone pill than 4 pills of supplements to get my body working correctly while I continue on Keto (I really dislike taking pills).  Then my blood sugar AND my thyroid (and therefore ME) will be happy on this eating plan.

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