Well, That’s New

Something strange happened tonight.  I think it might relate to what I was reading earlier tonight.  It would make more sense if the weight was just falling off me (i.e. reflecting on the scale), but it’s not… more on that later.
This past week on the Keto diet has felt like 3 weeks.  It probably didn’t help I was sick for most of it and hubby as well (curse the man cold!!!)  Well, he got sick for real and actually ended up with an upper respiratory infection and on antibiotics.  So, as you can imagine, a whole lot of nothing happened for Mother’s Day.
My hubby is usually good about picking up the slack, helping with the kids, making dinner and even handling the clean-up.  But when he’s sick?  Nope, that’s not happening.  Can’t really blame him.  It just sucks it happened on what was supposed to be MY ONE DAY to be the un-mother, as ironic as that is on Mother’s Day.
So, what happened tonight?
Well, I was wearing this one pair of capris all day (not my favorites as they are thick and have bulky pockets, but my favorites were in the wash).  I started laundry again and with my favorite pair clean, I switched into them.  They felt tight-ish… I realize things shrink a little in the wash.  It was a good tight, if that makes sense.  I felt smaller and less bulky in them compared to the others I had been wearing.
After getting my 4-year-old to bed, I went into my 11-year-old’s room with the baby to say goodnight to him.
Sometimes I sit on his bed and we have little chats while the baby plays on his floor.  As I was sitting there I took in my enormity… I became acutely aware of how while sitting, my thighs/hips just SPREAD OUT and I felt wider than I feel I should be now.  Even my “love handles” (not sure what to call the female equivalent… it’s different than a muffin top as this was incorporated in my capris, not above it) and hips seemed to be more prevalent and I could feel that skin rubbing on my lower back skin as I sat.  I even put my hand back there to double check it wasn’t my son’s pillow or large stuffed bear putting pressure against me… nope, all me.  Just last week I was noticing how I was thinning out in those areas… especially my back.  Where once my back would come down and make a crease where it met my hip, it had flattened out while in a standing position.  So why did I feel so huge now?
I was just sitting there, looking at and feeling my body like it wasn’t mine.
This is the strange part.
It was like I already felt like a 165 lb me (my ultimate goal weight) that had been time warped into my old 270 lb body.  I looked at it like “this isn’t mine anymore”… like I’d already lost all the weight and shouldn’t have this outside anymore.

So instead of an out of body experience, I had a trapped in my body experience.
I have 2 things that could explain this.
The first being that for the last almost 3 weeks, I’ve eaten like a 165 lb person.  Seriously, I’ve done the math for BMR/TDEE and for a woman my height and age, I could be a SENDENTARY person and still eat 1808 calories and be able to not gain with a 165 lb body.  Up to 2072 calories if I achieved light activity.
I stayed well within (or below) both those numbers for the last 3 weeks, mostly without effort.
So I’ve been feeding the 165 lb me, so no wonder she got confused and looked out to see and feel this 270 lb body.

The second thing is me reading this Zero Carb Life blog I discovered.  I was Bing-ing high fat, zero carb, zero protein foods (besides butter & heavy cream) and came across it.
This woman ONLY lives on products of animals… meat, eggs, some dairy… absolutely NO CARBS (not even veggies).
She’s been doing this now over 6 years, has maintained a large weight loss (achieved at first by going low carb) and has had 3 babies and her bloodwork late last year came back perfect… absolutely perfect.  Her HDL (the GOOD cholesterol) was 62!  I’m so jealous.  I’ve never gotten mine up to even 40 which should be the minimum.
Reading all about her journey (slash being convinced further that I’m on the right path with my low carb choice and being reaffirmed this DOES WORK) got me enthused and excited.
Maybe I was just so into her story, I felt like I’d done it too and so imagine my surprise when I still felt the fat on me.
Trapped in a fat suit… that’s me.
I’ve never actually felt that way before.  Previously, I owned all my fat because I knew exactly every bite that had gotten me there.
Not now.  Not when my calories only maintain that of a body 105 pounds smaller than mine.

So why the heck is my scale not moving???  It in fact went back up by .6 one day, lowered to .2 the next, but still above my lowest that I was at for 2 weigh-ins in a row (270.0).
I don’t know anymore.  I had some theories in my previous post, but I had several nights in a row of decent sleep and my cold is going away.
Maybe I’m just DYING TO SEE the 260’s that it’s become a mind game with myself!!!  It’s been a LONG ROAD getting back there.  I haven’t spent time in that range since late 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That’s 4.5 years (including another pregnancy) that I’ve been trying to get back to them.

The only… ONLY… thing I can think of that could be the culprit holding me back is that maybe I haven’t had enough water.  I just get busy drinking my tea and coffee and then back to tea for the afternoon, that I get back to water on the later side.
I always drink my 20 oz every morning before ANYTHING else.  But unfortunately, once I meet that quota, I kind of forget to go back to it until after 5pm.
I changed that today.
I stuck to my Keto macros (achieved 3.7% carbs, 17.9% protein & 78.4% fat), even making my fat higher at the suggestion of my keto coach.
It’s CRAZY how I can eat things like fried eggs in butter with tomatoes and avocado with cheese broiled on top, pork rinds dipped in salsa & sour cream, lemon butter pepper chicken wings and cream in my coffee AND tea and still wind up under 1200 calories.  Seriously, I had to have another tea with cream and added more butter into my homemade lemon pepper sauce for the wings in order to increase my calories above the absolute minimum for a woman (1200).
I drank down four 20 oz containers of water even before dinner.  Now THAT is how my water consumption *should* be.

Tomorrow is my official weigh-in day.  So, will I FINALLY make it into the 260’s?????????????????  I’m trying NOT to obsess about it as I’ve had experience with unhappy weigh-ins when I really, REALLY want to see a certain progress.  I swear those thresholds into a new set of tens are three times as hard as just losing a few pounds within the same tens.  Like when you’re 300 and you want to see 299… even 299.9.  Or you’re 200 lbs and you’re dying to see ONEderland.  One pound (or even .2 of a pound) never took so much effort!
Whatever my weigh in ends up being, I know I NEED to just stay on track.  meme - its a slow process but quitting wont speed it up
This will work.  Just give it more time.  Quitting won’t speed it up.  Must just keep going anyway.  The scale will catch up eventually.

I just really thought I’d be a few more pounds down by now.

If I weigh (annoyingly) 270.0 lbs yet again, that’ll only be a loss of 1.6 lbs for the week.  Based on my calorie deficits alone, I should be down 1.8 lbs.  If you factor in my exercise as well, that’s another 3500 calories burned, so in total, 2.8 lbs.
I hate when the numbers don’t work out in reality.  It’s just not that simple… sleep, wellness, hydration… all other deciding factors.
Plus, let’s not forget I’m achieving ketosis which means I should be achieving higher than normal stored fat usage and also I maintained intermittent fasting every day (16 hours or more), which also has my body in stored fat burning mode all morning before I break my fast.

So can you understand why I feel like my weight should just be FALLING OFF ME???

I’m too chained to the damn scale.
After tomorrow’s weigh-in, I need a scale detox.
I am going to try not to weigh myself for the ENTIRE WEEK until next Tuesday.
If this is all a head trip and I’m messing with my own progress, I need to quit this crap now.  If I take it out of the equation, maybe I can get back to enjoying this experience and having the weeks go by at a usual pace, not a snail’s pace like this past week.

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The Father’s Day Gift Dilemma

So, it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow, but what I am doing?  Trying to order my husband a Father’s Day gift.
I’ve always had the hardest time buying gifts for my husband and you’re about to figure out why.  I usually end up making (or buying) a card, have the kids make him cards and just making him one of his favorite meals for dinner.  But this year I wanted to get him an actual gift… specially, a personalized gift.

Sure, if the father of your child/ren falls into the typical man category, any of these personalized gifs would be lovely and appropriate.
dad gifts inappropriate.jpg

But my husband is not typical.

He doesn’t watch sports, doesn’t drink wine or beer (so cork holders, bottle openers and beer mugs are out), doesn’t drink coffee or tea (so mugs are useless), won’t fit the t-shirt sizes available, doesn’t fish, doesn’t have a favorite sports team, doesn’t play golf, doesn’t cook much, isn’t the money clip or fancy wallet kind of guy or have any use for daddy-related picture frames. He grills, but I wouldn’t call grilling his “thing” or want to associate some corny pun to it on an apron or spatula.  He is handy, but isn’t a “mechanic” and doesn’t need another hammer and our garage is crowded enough.  He’s a tech guy and all those choices are either over my head or cost too much.

99.9% of these personalized gifts just don’t work!

What does that leave me to get for my hubby?
father's day nut jar
This is literally the ONLY appropriate personalized gift for MY kind of husband for Father’s Day (at least available from personalcreations.com, of which all you see pictured is available there).

On the plus side, nuts are a part of his diet, so that works.
Only the empty jar is available, so I’ll fill it up with his favorite… cashews.

If my hubby had a nut allergy, I’d be completely screwed.

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I Had Every Reason to go Off Plan Today

But I didn’t.  Seriously, I’m surprising myself.  Any other day of any other year and I would have ordered delivery for dinner.
First off, my weight loss has slowed… stopped… gained… came back down ever so slowly and still hasn’t returned to the all-time low I achieved.
This is frustrating because I’ve been achieving ketosis (according to my ketone strips), following the keto diet and having nothing off plan.
The ONE exception was 1 pint of ice cream I allow myself and my husband once a week on Friday night.  Even with having this, I was still back to ketosis no problem.  In 2 weeks, I was down 6.8 lbs even with the ice cream.
The problems have been after my last serving.
The morning after the ice cream: 270.6 lbs (all-time low and a loss of 1.4 lbs from my weigh-in 2 days earlier),
2 days later:  271.2 (felt totally unjustified),
the day after that: 271.6 (say wha???),
next day: 271 (oh thank goodness) and
today I was exactly 271 again.
Meanwhile, I’ve been 100% on the keto diet every single one of those days.  This has been the easiest “diet” to stick to in my entire life.  Even when I have off thoughts, I never follow through and I WANT to stick to the plan.
I think my husband being on the diet is making the difference here.  If I decide I’m going off plan, I’m taking him with me.  His eating choices for dinner are completely in my control.  If I went off plan, he would too, no question.  I don’t want to be the reason he has a bad day.  This is a new motivation and difference compared to any other time in my life I’ve been on a diet.

My calorie range is 1700-2100 (I’m a big girl… height as well as weight – believe it or not, this is a 600-1000 calorie deficit amount) and since May 6th, my calories have been just under 1700 except yesterday when I got a little over 2000.  I’ve been getting some sort of intentional exercise EVERY day (as is my goal of my 40th year).
You’d think the weight would be FALLING off me!  I’m in ketosis, my calories are lower, I’m getting exercise and I’m drinking water.  What the heck???

Oh wait… sleep.  Shit… nope, sleep has been a mean mistress this past week.  Between the baby or myself, it’s been pretty sucky.
Can I tell you I HATE that sleep can play such a major role in my weight loss???  HATE IT.

My other thought (especially since my calories today are only 1503) is that my body thinks I’m not eating enough… that I need a higher calorie surge day.  The problem (if you want to call it that) is that I’m FULL and SATISFIED on the keto diet.
***I don’t want to eat if I’m not hungry.***
That’d be a habit I don’t want to start.
If I don’t FEEL hungry, how can my body think I’m starving?
I’ve always wondered about that.

My keto coach mentioned that if you aren’t losing weight, up your fats to get going again.  Well, my fat % has been 73.9, 72.8, 77.5, 72.4, 71.8, 66.8 (the worst today because of my highest carb amount yet: 7%). The day I had that rocking amount of fat % (77.5)?  My weight went up the next day by .4 of a pound.  Grr.  That didn’t work.

Another factor… I’m sick.  My kids gave me their cold.  The whole family is sick (which sucks worse because usually it works out that we take “turns” so one is still healthy to help the others) and that includes hubby and his “man cold” is of course way worse than mine.  (((MAJOR EYE ROLL)))
I noticed my fasting blood sugars off meds weren’t as good… I was getting 96, 95, 97 and then after my daughter got sick (and I was living in denial that I wasn’t getting sick) my fasting blood sugars were 103, 105.
For those unaware, when you are sick, your blood sugars go up… doesn’t matter what you eat.
So I’ve started taking my metformin again and will until I’m healthy again.
Higher blood sugars (and therefore insulin) also slow weight loss.

I can only imagine the pounds that would be falling off me if I were getting adequate sleep and wasn’t sick!!!

So anyway, all these factors… slow/no weight loss, tired, sick… these are all reasons I’ve turned to delivery and going off plan before.
I did seriously think about ordering in today… at least not out of craving, but out of the desire NOT to have to cook.
But not only did I cook, I tried a new recipe!  WHO AM I???
I tried the Fathead Pizza recipe my keto coach provided (lower carb crust).  It was actually great!  It was hubby-approved!  I think he was just relieved it didn’t involve any cauliflower!
I ate that almost 4 hours ago… I’m still full.

It did make my carb amount the highest it’s been in over 2 weeks, so my percentages were the worse they’ve ever been while on keto.  I usually will have 1-2 cups of tea with cream to help up my fat % and lower the others and increase my calories when lower, but I was just too full to do so!
My net carbs were 26… not too shabby, especially when I see people posting in Sparkpeople all proud because their carbs were “only” 100 grams and they claim they are on keto!  Yeesh.

So, I’m sticking to it.  I feel like having my ice cream this week will end in a weight loss like last week only because I haven’t been losing much all week (that’s usually how my Ben & Jerry experiments work).
Not sure whether to make it a much higher calorie day for that, or just in my high range (I managed to fit it just over my high range last week).  But at this point I suppose going to 2200 from 1500-1600 calorie would be a “surge” even though 2200 is a 500-calorie deficit if I get in light activity.
Huh.  We’ll see.
Trucking on.
I hope I can manage better sleep and get healthy again so it stops messing with my results!

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Keto Week 1 Results

Today marks 1 full week of following the Keto diet (high fat, low carb, moderate protein).  This is also the first Tuesday in like… forever… that I’m actually going to post about my weigh-in.  I guess it was fitting that I didn’t start last Monday so that Tuesday could be my week marker which happened to already be my “official” weigh-in day.

I’ve eaten more cauliflower in the past week than I’ve had in my ENTIRE LIFE.  Seriously.  I feel like I’ve never done so much food prep and cooking either.  I mean if you want something like “bread” or “crust” or “pasta”, you HAVE to make it yourself (it’s usually made from cauliflower or zucchini) and those can involve a lot of prep work!
I feel badly for anyone who isn’t a good cook or unfamiliar with it who’s trying to stick to the Keto diet!  I’m not even the biggest fan of cooking, so this has been a trying element for me.
I put in a LOT of effort just have my kids put their noses up in the air and complain about the food or my husband doing his slightly nicer version of the same point (at least he’s really TRYING the foods, not just barely licking a tiny bite and saying “ew!” like my 4-year-old).  I was getting a little grumpy feeling unappreciated for my efforts come mid-week, but then realized how big of a change this all has been for everybody and in the grand scheme of it all, they are taking it well.
We tried cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower fries, cauliflower bread, and cauliflower mac & cheese.  I could seriously write an entire blog just about this and call it “Cauliflower”.  Some were fails, others I’ll tweak and hopefully get more successful.
So what are the results of my first week on the plan?
I was 278.4 lbs last Tuesday.  This morning I am 273.4 lbs.  So that’s a happy 5 lb loss!
What’s better is that it’s 5 NEW pounds that I haven’t seen in over 8 Scale - new, happymonths!!!
I’ve NEVER weighed in under 274 lbs on a Tuesday since I started my 365/50 Project in November!!!

And if you go by Hubby’s and my “start weight” (for his pre-surgery weigh-in at the bariatric clinic which was last Friday the 28th) I was 280.2 lbs, but clearly was already enthused to eat right and exercise prior to starting the Keto diet, so that’s 6.8 lbs down from that start weight (this difference is important for me to note because we took pictures together at those starting weights… my hubby’s very first intentional “before” photo).  I can’t wait until we can take that picture again for an in-progress shot.

Less than a week in and hubby weighed in and had an 11 lb loss.  He wasn’t very excited about it though because he fluctuates about that much a lot and as he put it “I can lose that much taking a shit”.  Phooey. Darn.  I wish I could get him more excited about this.  I told him to hold tight and we’ll see what another week brings.
But the thing is, he’s not sticking to the carb amount or percentages.  Instead of 20 net carbs or less, he’s averaging around 30-40 net carbs.  Granted, it’s all from good stuff… no bread, pasta, white flour, white sugar or potatoes.  I think the majority comes from cashews and peanuts.
Given that, I’m proud he’s doing as well as he is.  From what he came from, he’s doing rather awesome.  He hasn’t had a soda or Gatorade.  He’s tried every new recipe I’ve guinea pigged us on (usually cauliflower related as listed above) and he even ate fish!!!!  This is HUGE.  The man hasn’t had fish in over 22 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (not even tuna or even lobster… he’s just not a fan)
He munched on some grapes the other day not realizing that wasn’t a good choice, but at least it wasn’t actual candy (which technically does still exist in the house because of the kiddo’s leftover Easter candy).

So, although he’s not really sticking to the Keto numbers, his diet is MUCH IMPROVED and calories have been less, so it’s got to result in some real weight loss.  I’m looking forward to his weigh-in this weekend to see.  Hopefully if it’s even less than last week and in “new” territory, he’ll finally believe and maybe get a bit more excited about the experience.

My excitement level was on high for most of the week, but then I did my Ben & Jerry’s experiment.  Most of the time while trying to lose weight, on a week I’m not feeling or seeing results, I have a pint and the next day, POOF, 2 lbs come off.
However, I was steadily losing already on the Keto diet, then had the pint and dang… up 1 lb the next morning.
I just knew this was going to happen.  I had a feeling about it and it stays true to my former experiments.
But something else happened.
I got my period… 3 days early.  The ONLY time this happens is when I’m eating healthy, exercising and my blood sugars on ON POINT.  Since starting this plan I’ve actually been rather forgetful to take my metformin every day (which I was taking to help regulate my blood sugars which helps my insulin not get too high which would otherwise prevent me from having a regular period).  Since I’m not actually a diabetic, I do not have to test my blood sugar daily, but I do have lots of leftover test strips from having gestational diabetes.
This means that my blood sugars have been good ON THEIR OWN!  So out of curiosity I started checking my fasting blood sugar (usually my worst number).  Yesterday it was 96 and today it was 95!!!
I’m SO HAPPY about this because I haven’t managed a fasting blood sugar under 100 since before 2012!!!  Prior to this diet, my fasting blood sugars were about 110 – 115 and that was with me ON medication.

This has been the awesomest “side effect” of being on the Keto diet.  It makes sense… I’m not eating any sugar or carbs that convert to sugar quickly.  I know when I went off pasta and sugar for almost 2 months previously, it lowered my A1C considerably, so I’m imagining how awesome my A1C could be if I stay on this for the 3-4 months leading up to hubby’s surgery.
It sure has me thinking about afterwards too… clearly my body appreciates this way of eating and it’s good for me, so I’m considering just not going back to pasta ever.  I’ve given it up before with no issues.  Bread and rice was already down to just occasional.   But I never planned on going without popcorn, ice cream, some cereal, root veggies or fruit for the rest of my life.  I want to be able to have those back in moderation after his surgery.  We’ll see how it goes.  All I know is that my body is truly appreciating the changes I’ve made in this last week.

Going back to getting my period… that could also account to why the scale went up on Saturday, higher on Sunday and only a slight rebound for Monday (other than the ice cream experiment Friday evening, I was right back to being on track Sat-Mon).  But on a positive note, for the first time since I can remember, I did NOT crave chocolate the day before or during my period like I always have! (yes, I had that ice cream, but I did not crave it or necessarily even want it)
I was also exhausted on Monday (my almost 9-month-old was a meany overnight, only going to sleep for 2.5 hour segments) which put me in a mood and for the FIRST time on the Keto diet, I really thought about having off plan foods and thought I felt cravings for carbs.  I realized it was probably because I wanted to feed myself calories for energy since I wasn’t getting it via sleep (and I’d already had a tea and 2 coffees to try to help me get through).
But I trucked on, determined to have a good weigh-in for today and not ruin my first week.

I’m glad I did.  I was happy the scale went down this morning and in new territory and I considered how ecstatic former me from any other Tuesday weigh-in would have been to see that number.  This means I’m not trying to “recover” at the start of my week (like I have SO MANY TIMES)… I can move forward and get to even lower new territory!
What an amazing feeling it is not be just trying to recover a former lower weight (well, at least not for this Project).
Could I possibly achieve the 260’s this week??? I’m getting excited just thinking about it.
I’m in such a better mood today.  Period bloat has past and I’m feeling my thinner self again (a feeling I was having Wed-Fri… I love that I can physicially FEEL when I’m losing weight).  I have a pep to my step and it makes every healthy choice easier to make.

On that note, I’m off to prepare some tuna salad and egg salad for my lunch and dinner (going to make “cups” out of pieces of cucumber and put egg salad in them with sprinkles of real bacon bits on top, in addition to the lemon pepper chicken wings we’re having… yum).

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A New “First” (even after 18+ years of dieting)

This is big people.  I threw perfectly good food away today.  This is just something I DON’T DO… haven’t been ABLE or WILLING to do so ever before… even when I should have to stay on track.
All of which was in the fridge, already opened, so it wasn’t donatable… 2 containers of leftover Chinese white rice, sugary yogurt, cinnamon apple sauce, maraschino cherries, caramel sauce, and a small container of jelly.  Those dying grapefruit on my counter also got the boot.

I also had leftover “shicken flicken” (you wouldn’t know what that was unless you grew up in my household… it is onions and leftover cubes of ham browned in butter mixed with egg noodles) that I had EVERY INTENTION of eating during the daytime hours so hubby wouldn’t have to witness it since he’s trying to stick to the diet as well.  And instead, I DID NOT want it!  So, I froze it.  This was also a big thing for me.
I haven’t been back for more tortilla chips since Monday (remember I was on the fence whether I’d eat them or not?)
I even put away my banana holder since we’re not having those.
I haven’t used my strainer for pasta in over a week.
Things are a changing!

You know what the difference is this time?  I’m not doing it alone.  This is the very first time in my adult life the person I’m living with is doing it too. Since my hubby is too, that means he doesn’t want to have to see these foods we can’t eat in the fridge either and it also means he won’t be eating it, so it probably would have been wasted anyway (though some of those things would have still been fine past his August gastric sleeve surgery, but why not just not go back to that anyway?).

I love this.
I love how I’m feeling.
*I love not doing this alone.*
I am even loving my scale!  The weight I saw this morning is one I haven’t seen since I was 2 weeks postpartum after the huge weight loss of having my baby (the most effortless weight loss EVER) before the breastfeeding hunger took over.  I have been fighting for 8 months to see that again and finally today, I did.

It’s been 5 months since I started my 365/50 Project and several times I got to a certain weight and would be “on track” for 2-3 days (sometimes a week or longer because I was just so far up and had to make my way down again) but just on the cusp of finally getting back to that fleeting postpartum weight and I’d go off the rails, eat whatever I want and stop logging/trying for just one day and poof, the scale shot right back up.  I would therefore feel like a failure, get bummed and take bit before wanting to try again which means I’d put back on more weight and be right back up to where I was.  Rinse, repeat.

I’d keep failing about 1 to 2 days before getting down to that weight almost every time… denying myself the chance to make true progress.
And on that last day of “trying” I’d be struggling… 3 days of logging food and “trying” felt like 2 weeks.
This time?  This is Day 4 on Keto and I don’t feel like I’m struggling at all.
Instead, I’m totally enthused to log my foods so I can figure out my carbs/protein/fats so I can input them into my spreadsheet to see the breakdown on a pie chart to see if I hit the 75% fat, 20% protein & 5% carb goal.
I often do this ahead of time (before I actually eat the food) so if my percentages aren’t quite right, I can play around with amounts (or swap foods) to achieve as close to this goal as possible.  It truly makes me happy to see my pie chart on point.  It is motivating.

Now, with all that said, I’m going to be honest about something that up until this point, I was going to keep to myself.

Today hubby & I will be having ice cream.  One pint each.  This is completely planned. His usual coffee Haagen-Dazs and my usual Ben & Jerry’s Tonight Dough.  We successfully got back down to having this once a week (trust me, hubby would eat a pint EVERY SINGLE night if I let him) and I decided this was the ONE thing we would maintain in our lives so my hubby didn’t completely lose his mind being on a diet for the first time in his life.

Yes, it’s a HUGE carb & sugar hit (not to mention calories).  No, I won’t be able to make my percentages right… trust me, I tried last night ahead of time… no go.  However, as I’ve discovered in the past, sometimes a high calorie burst can help further weight loss.  I can’t tell you how many times I’d be trucking along with good food choices and exercise, but not seeing it translate to the scale, and then I have a pint of ice cream and the next day I’m down 2 lbs.  So, so many times that’s happened!
But my weight loss has been coming along fine, so this will be an experiment.  I’m curious how my body will react.
I also hope we can go right back on track afterwards (not so worried about myself this time, mostly hubby).  I haven’t even wanted chocolate or ice cream since starting Keto.  I don’t even actually feel like it today either… but looking forward to it anyway… still thinking about this ambivalence.

I decided to see what my day would like sans ice cream… man, what a difference.
pie chart comparison 28Apr2017

My protein is higher than it would normally be (on the without ice cream chart – usually 20% or less) because I was intentionally trying to really lower my carbs & fat knowing the big hit the ice cream would be (calorie hit as well… a whopping 1240 calories alone) so this meant lots of eggs today… more than usual.  All the protein helps my body handle the sugar forthcoming.

So there it is… the good, the bad (?) and thankfully, no ugly.  Can’t wait to see how this plays out.  Ooh, and hubby is going to weigh-in sometime this weekend… can’t wait to see how he’s doing!  If not that great, I promise not to gloat about my 6.8 lb loss already (and it hasn’t even been a week). 😉

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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.


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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