Doctor Day! My Results Are In!

After 10 years, I am still med free and can officially say I no longer have type 2 diabetes!

A few months back, I went into the doctor weighing 207 with an A1C of 6.9 (normal is 5.6 and below). Keep in mind, I hadn’t been to the doctor in over 5 years and had been eating just about anything I wanted. His instructions were to lose 20 pounds and fix my diet.

So, I pretty much gave up all carbs during the day and ate whatever I wanted for dinner (but stopped eating almost all sweets of any kind, including sugar-free). The first thing I noticed was my desire for food began to lessen. I am now at the point where I may eat a meal and a half to two meals per day. I am just not hungry during the day but I eat something so I don’t get ravenous (and start shoveling any food into my mouth).

Today was my follow-up visit and I managed to lose 17 of the 20 pounds and brought my A1C down to 5.8! Do you see that? I am .2 above normal! It was so funny: he was reading through my blood test results, “kidney function is good, liver function is good, no diabetes … ” and I yelled, “WHAT?” (I think I scared him a little). The rest of the results were perfect. This time, his instructions were to keep doing what I am doing and mostly focus on my weight (I will mostly focus on what I put in my mouth and maybe incorporate some actual exercise if it ever cools off here in Central California).

There is one issue that it turns out I have had since I was 18: gallbladder. I had a CT scan in July and there was a gallstone. He asked about pain, I described the intermittent pain I get, and we came to the conclusion that I have had a messed up gallbladder for 30 years. I have gone to multiple doctors over the years for the pain but they all said there was nothing wrong (even went to the Emergency Room out at County about 15 years ago and after doing no tests, the doctor told me my pain was an ulcer). So, I am waiting for a referral to a surgeon. If I can get this taken care of, I will be even more unstoppable! 🙂

Hello!

I’m sure you are wondering who I am, since it has been SO LONG since I posted anything! 🙂 I wanted to let you know I am still around and am currently working on this blog. I added a Contact page (https://atkinsjourney.wordpress.com/contact/) so you can actually send me questions (or make suggestions) AND a basic FAQ (https://atkinsjourney.wordpress.com/faq/) page! I am also changing/adding to/improving my About Me page (https://atkinsjourney.wordpress.com/about/), since it was cold, dull and I hadn’t really read it since I threw it up here.

I was told that, due to my theme, links are not very noticeable, so I will be changing them all to show the URL (so you know it’s a link and not just slightly darker words on the page).

In addition to these changes, I will be posting an update sometime around September 5th. I finally broke down and saw a new doctor (it’s been 5+ years since I left my last doctor’s office in tears and swore I would never walk through his door again). It has been roughly two months since my initial visit and I go in for the follow-up on September 5th. No matter what the results are, I will let you know (just went in for my pre-appointment blood work yesterday).

OH! And my husband is 2 years cancer free! That’s it for now. I hope you are having a wonderful week and remember: my lazy rear-end is most active on Facebook. Here’s the direct link to my page there: https://www.facebook.com/myatkinsjourney/.

“But You Will Look Like A Man!”

Brenda Nolen

Rachel McLish - The first woman I saw with muscles who still looked feminine. Rachel McLish – The first woman I saw with muscles who still looked feminine.

I do not hear this nearly as much as I did when I first looked into lifting weights. I hope it has something to do with people being more enlightened but I’m pretty sure they just don’t want to be accused of gay bashing (or whatever). There are too many people out there who are either trolls who relish in stirring up controversy or the “eternally offended” who actively search for something to protest. Either way, I am tired of them all. And, since I am a female, I am allowed to say a bunch of stuff that will probably be considered sexist (or whichever -ist you may choose to embrace today).

The book I am writing is how embracing 9 virtues will make me a whole, well-rounded human being. While I have the 9 virtues…

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A Year Today – Cancer and Life

It has been a year today since my husband’s surgery to remove a polyp that turned into a cancer diagnosis. It has been one heck of a roller coaster ride. I spend my days alone, while he is at work, yet when he was in the hospital I was like a little child, lonely and weepy, eating everything I could get my hands on, drowning my sorrows in food. It was awful!

Then, when he got home, it was time to play “What can he eat?” It has taken a year for him to be able to eat the fattier cuts of meat without pain or it running right through him. With that year of food uncertainty, I let myself go. It didn’t click how bad it was until I stepped on the scale and it lied to me, telling me I was 201 pounds. I tried it three more times before I realized it was correct. June 3, 2015 (15 days before his surgery) I weighed 176. That was the last time I weighed myself until this month.

I am happy to say that not only is he STILL cancer free but he has decided to begin exercising to build up his strength! So, while we slowly figure out how low carb/keto he can go, I am taking it slow. Very low/possibly keto during the day, then a normal dinner together (which is much better now that there are no children in the house again). And this is my current favorite exercise (which I have already posted on my Facebook page, so sorry about the duplicate):

Kettle Bell Swings

I actually read about them in the “4 Hour Body” by Tim Ferris. I knew what a kettlebell looked like. Heck, I even carried one into the house when my son was moving but I had never looked into exercising with it. So, I stole it from him (well, borrowed it). I began lowering my carbs and exercising March 29th. Day one, I managed to do 20 kettlebell swings. That was it for the week. I was wobbly and sore. The next week, I did 26 swings. This week, I have done 30 on Monday and 48 today. Since March 29th, I have lost a whopping 2 pounds according to the scale but I have lost 10 inches all over my body!!!! My goal is to work up to 3 times per week with as many as I can do while still keeping good form. I can truly feel this all over my body (in a good way) so this is the exercise I am having hubby do. Thanks to the work he currently does, it won’t be too long until we will have to purchase a heavier kettlebell (since his first day he did 50, which was Wednesday … I need to write that down).

This exercise has not aggravated my carpal tunnel (which decided to flare a bit, thanks to writing a book) or a gem of a gangleon cyst that formed at the base of my right middle finger (no, I didn’t get it from overuse) OR my still-slightly-tweaky shoulder. I am hoping to take almost-before pictures tomorrow (kinda hard when I am alone). Not sure if I will post those or hold onto them to include with “progress” pictures.

I do have an entire folder of recipes to go through and share here (313 at last count) but if you want to see anything more immediate, please join me on Facebook. It’s so much easier to share there (https://www.facebook.com/myatkinsjourney/).

Get Keto Quick … I Mean Get Rich Quick Schemes

I just received a message from someone on Facebook about a fantastic line of products that will get you into a state of ketosis in 3 hours.  From the little I read, you drink two of their drinks (two separate products), eat their “special treat”, then subsidize the rest of your calories with meat and veg.

O.k.?  Well, if any of you have read any of my blog (at all), you can receive the same results in just a little more time for the one time low, low price of … FOOD!  No gimmicks, no special drinks, no special bars to buy.  Just buy some meat and there you go!

I will not tell you the name of the product (or the name of the person who sent me the message) but just do me a favor, everyone.  Remember these words: There are no quick fixes for better health.  It doesn’t matter which eating plan you decide to embrace.  It took us quite a while to ravage our bodies.  For me, it took 42 years to put my body into shut-down mode but it only took 12 months to recover (see that?  Not another 42 years or even 42 months … only 12).

If you truly feel the need to embrace some quick fix fad, go ahead.  I will still be here when you get back, posting recipes and occasionally being a human and posting words I type.

Grilled Lemon-Parsley Veal Chops

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-lemon-parsley-veal-chops-108450

Grilled Lemon-Parsley Veal Chops

Veal

1/2 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
6 8- to 10-ounce loin or rib veal chops, each about 1 inch thick

Topping

3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Quick Update

As I’ve said before, I flew off the rails once I discovered my fish/seafood allergy was gone. Well, life (my subconscious, the gods) have a funny way of throwing me back on the rails. As I’ve noted before, my husband has had health issues that coincided with not only my type 2 diabetes diagnosis but my first go at Atkins. It was the “New Atkins New You” version, though which version does not really matter. HE did not eat low carb and when I look back, I think I shoved even more carbs in their diet (my son was still with us then) because I did not want them to feel deprived (like I did at the time, having not only given up sugar and carbs but all seafood too, which we lived on at the time). Well, 5 years later, we have a bit of a diagnosis (we’ll know more in a week or two) but the initial diagnosis for my husband’s ill health is gluten intolerance (or allergy). They did biopsies Monday for celiac disease. Well, having almost no gluten free foods in the house, I’ve gone lower carb. lol In two weeks (this is how much I was eating before), I’ve lost 5 pounds. I can feel that most of that was water but the better part of this story is I have begun to exercise again!

One morning last week, I walked into the back yard, looked up at the beautiful blue sky, smiled and stretched, then realized my shoulder didn’t hurt! I’ve been working on my shoulder this entire time, paying attention to how it’s positioned when I did anything (from sitting here at my computer to cleaning the house). I just didn’t realize how good a job I had done on it until that morning. So, I moved my barbell out of the garage, hauled some of my weight plates into the back yard, and now am working out in the fresh air (early enough in the morning so I don’t burn myself on the sun-baked metal).

So, I have begun tracking my workouts on Fitocracy AND am tracking my food on MyFitnessPal (the good, the bad, and the ugly … why not track everything so I can see it all), have updated my stats and posted a new picture from last month (being girly in the apron I sewed, at 181 pounds). I’m not rushing into dropping my carbs too low because at this point I think my head would explode. I need to find foods for my husband. It’s truly amazing how many foods out there contain wheat that really shouldn’t (Knorr Chicken bouillon granules and Kikkoman Soy sauce, just to name a couple of the most surprising ones). I’ll be experimenting with various gluten-free mixes to find things that will satisfy him, so we will be eating those together. I’ll also be trying out some of the more complicated recipes I’ve posted (I was a boring eater, pretty much eating the exact same things week after week).

Quick Update – Dead Scale

So, two days ago my scale died.  I don’t think it was due to shock but just before it went completely blank, it said (no, yelled) that I weighed 183 pounds.  So, according to it, since I cut back on smoking a week before, I had gained 11 more pounds!  I hope it was my scale going a bit crazy but I have no way to know for sure.  What I DO know is, for the first time in two years, I have been retaining water badly (as in my calves feel like they will burst if poked).  I upped my water intake and my lips do not feel like I’ve been injected with Botox but it’s disturbing.

I also went a bit crazy when I stumbled onto some videos of Callanetics.  I stole … I mean borrowed the original book from my mom but can’t stand working out from a book.  That’s when I found these videos and I’m tickled.  🙂  After the first day, my neck muscles were killing me, then my triceps, then my stomach muscles.  My stomach muscles took three days for me to stop wincing every time I stood up!  🙂

So, that’s it for now.  Time to have some more coffee!  Have a great day!

Avocado & Tomato Salad – Ensalada de Aguacate y Tomate

http://www.mycolombianrecipes.com/tomato-and-avocado-salad-ensalada-de

Ingredients

4-6 SERVINGS

    SALAD
    2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced ¼ -inch tick
    ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
    1 English cucumber, sliced crosswise
    2 small avocados, diced
    DRESSING
    2 limes
    3 tablespoons white vinegar
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
    2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

The 2015 Version Of You – Setting Goals

And another fantastic bit of wisdom shared by Elliott Hulse. I’ve never really been a goal setter. No, that’s not true. I’ve never set big, life-altering specific goals for myself. I set small ones all the time (like finishing a project) but I have always found it difficult to not only figure out “what I want to be when I grow up” but how long it should take to get there and what specific steps I need to take.

That’s where I find myself now. I am now, at the age of 46, truly looking at my life and, by attempting to define who I am at this moment, doing my best to figure out what direction I want my life to take (basically, who and what I want to be when I grow up). I’m going much deeper than the typical New Year’s resolution (which I don’t do).

So, this blog post by Elliott has come at the most opportune time!

http://elliotthulse.com/2015-version/?gl=240479148

Update: January 3, 2015

Well, before the recipe post-fest commences, I thought I would give everyone a proper update. My stats have been updated, reflecting my weight and size gains since August.

In case anyone is unaware, I injured my shoulder when I re-started this journey in August of 2013. I hadn’t lifted weights since high school and immediately envisioned myself becoming Arnold Schwarzenegger (wow … I spelled his last name correctly the first time) at his prime. I lifted too heavy, improperly, and tweaked my shoulder. I tried working around it but eventually (August of last year) it became so painful I could barely move my arm. So, as I always do, I self medicated. I stopped moving my arm as much as possible, took ibuprofen, and learned to knit (even knitting for extended periods of time was hurting the dang shoulder).

About a month ago, I realized I was no longer waking up every morning with shoulder pain (only roughly 4 times per week), so I started slowly trying to test the waters. That’s when I realized I had greatly decreased my range of motion. I could not lift my elbow to shoulder height and forget bringing my hand around to my back (I had switched to bras that hook in the front … tried wearing my old one and the pain in my shoulder was excruciating). So, I have spent the past month slowly working my shoulder. I move it just enough so I have mild pain, making sure I don’t go past that point (August was when I got frustrated and impatient so I just grabbed the pull up bar and hung from it, sending a shooting hot pain through my shoulder). As of yesterday, I have actually been able to lift some weights AND almost assume a full-blown push-up position with little discomfort!

So, this quite possibly will be a New Year for me! My weight machine has been so lonely. 🙂

Happy New Year!

grumpy-cat-happy-birthday-gif-i8newyearsWell, it’s that time of year again.  I see a lot of new visits and, having been MIA for few months, it’s time for me to stop hibernating and start posting more recipes (right?).

This post is for any new readers (and old ones who feel stuck).  I truly believe that no single way of eating is appropriate for everyone.  Anyone who says that is delusional or just wants your money.  What we each need to do is to find what makes our bodies the happiest.

I know some people who feel their best following Weight Watchers.  I know some who follow the newer version of Atkins (seems there is an even newer version, which I have not looked into, called Atkins 40 or something along those lines) and do quite well.  I know some who are straight up paleo who are doing fantastic and others who need to maintain a low carbohydrate way of eating in order to maintain their optimum health.

What I’m trying to say is, if something isn’t working for you, you don’t have to abandon it: play with it.  If I had stuck with just one option, I would have never achieved the level of health I have.  In August of 2013, I was a recluse.  I could not go out in public without a face mask (due to my many allergies, from perfumes to cleaners to foods).  As of today, despite being 11 pounds heavier than my lowest weight, I am virtually allergy free AND my blood sugars have remained in check. All that despite straying away from my nutritional ketogenic way of eating (high fat, moderate protein, low carb).  I can even eat potatoes and regular bread with no health consequences (as long as I don’t mind putting on a little weight).

What I hope for all of you is for you to decide this year is the year you will commit to becoming the healthiest version of you.  Do not compare yourself to others.  Compare yourself to you.  Any progress is better than no progress at all.

So, what do you say?  Shall we both begin 2015 on a healthier note?  I’ll setup some recipes that I’ve been hoarding away to post over the next couple of weeks (roughly 2 per day).  That should give you some ideas about the variety of foods that can be had in any low carbohydrate way of eating.  Who wants to live on hamburger patties and eggs?

New Picture

Well, I’ve been doing nothing physical all week.  I decided to teach myself to knit.  These aren’t perfect but I learned what I did wrong so, with the next hat I’ve already started, hopefully it WILL be perfect.  I had hubby take this picture to share on Facebook.  Less than 5 minutes after I posted it, my son called (he moved to Michigan this year).  The first thing he said was, “Dang, Mom, you have lost A LOT of weight!”  The second?  “Don’t ever wear that stuff in a picture again.  It makes you look old.”  LOL!  Here I am: new hair cut, color, knitted items, and 162.8 pounds!

August 30, 2014
August 30, 2014

Update – Seafood Tests Completed

When I first began this journey, the first foods to be eliminated (before sugar) were all seafood. My allergy was so severe that I didn’t even try seaweed just in case (I’m not sure if I mentioned but I could not even be near aquariums). So, that eliminated a lot of food establishments. If it was a small diner, they usually used to the same frying oil for french fries as they did for fish filets. Most of the Southeast Asian restaurants use fish sauce. Many barbecue restaurants use Worcestershire sauce (which has anchovies) and I couldn’t even think about Caesar dressing (again, anchovies).

Well, yesterday was my final test. I had mussels … with no reaction. As of today, I have eaten fresh water (tilapia) and salt water (tuna steak) fish, crustacean (shrimp) and shellfish (mussels) with no need to use my epi-pen. I am truly free. AND that has been my dilemma. Friday, hubby and I were on our way to do our bi-monthly shopping and he asked me what I wanted for dinner (figured we wouldn’t have time to cook once we got home) but he added, “since you can eat anywhere you want.” That’s when it hit me. I can eat wherever, whatever I want. 4 1/2 years of extreme limitation that had nothing to do with carbohydrates and now I have total freedom!

So, I’ve been living a bit loosely this week. My average carbohydrate intake has been around 75 grams per day (with normal blood sugar readings) because I can eat wherever I want AND whatever I want! LOL! I even ate Popey’s chicken today (they fry their seafood in the same oil as everything else). I know this is temporary. I will get back on track (I’ve put on 4 pounds this week) but I wanted to disclose that I am human, too. I have made decisions that have thrown my body for a loop (and 1 mistake … crepes at IHop).

Everything we put in our mouth (or don’t) is a decision we make. Every exercise we do (or don’t do) is a decision we make. We have the power (an image of He-Man just popped into my head) to do whatever we choose, beneficial or not. Despite the shakes I got in the beginning when I “couldn’t” eat those Cheez-Itz that I could smell from a mile away, I was not (and am still not) addicted to carbs. It was all a habit. The same with smoking. I am a smoker (have been for going on 27 years). I have quit a few times. It was the habit of smoking that was the hardest to give up. I smoked like some people drink alcohol (or do drugs). I smoked to escape. It was my “quiet time”, smoking outside away from the kids (or when stressed, it calmed me). It was what meditation can be.

And it’s the same with whatever food we think we can’t live without. If I didn’t have type 2 diabetes, I would be in big trouble. Sweets have always been a big issue with me (natural, as in fruit or man-made). If they were in the house, I kept eating them until they were gone (there is no “just have one” for me). This is why, now, I am thankful for my diagnosis. If this hadn’t happened, who knows how bad my health would have gotten. As of this morning, I am at 166.6 pounds and my morning blood glucose reading was 76. Tonight’s dinner will be grilled shrimp skewers (salt, pepper, butter, and garlic) and MAYBE even a salad. 🙂

Amazing Update – Our Bodies are Truly Amazing

January of 2010, as I have noted before, I was rushed to the E.R. I had developed an allergy to scallops, which branched out to all fish/seafood, then to latex, then to certain chemicals, etc. Two months later, I was diagnosed with not only type-2 diabetes but my Vitamin D levels were in the single digits. I worked on the diabetes and started taking Vitamin D supplements but I read that many adult-onset allergies can be “outgrown”. I told hubby that I would test myself in 5 years.

Fast forward to Monday of last week. I was sitting here, thinking, and then a realization hit. I hadn’t had to wear a face mask in public in about 4 months. I also hadn’t had to wear one when working outside in the yard. So, I decided to test myself. See, in 2010, when we were scouring the house of all fish-related products, we tested Worcestershire sauce. I put a little on my finger, touched my tongue, and was immediately hit with an itching wave that shot down my tongue, into my throat. I performed this test on Monday of this past week and nothing happened. So, I decided to try some actual fish.

As of this moment, July 25, 2014 at 3:40 pm, it has been an hour since I ate a grilled tuna steak and having NO REACTION WHATSOEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG! I just realized I can now start posting fish recipes! 🙂

Next test (next pay day) … shrimp. That’s what I miss the most. AND I may be able to handle it. My allergy to fish had gotten so bad that just walking near the aquariums in Bass Pro Shops made be unable to breathe last year and today I shoved my nose (not literally) into a bag of fresh mussels and had no reaction. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am! I’ll go measure myself and post my number on my stats page (I bought my first new pair of shorts and they are a comfortably loose 32 inch waist) and am 2 pounds down from last week (164 pounds).

Update – July 15, 2014 – Blood Sugar Success

Well, this past week has been busy and full of experimentation.  My typical physical training went out the door, due to the weather and my improved mental state (and physical).  When we bought this house, there was so much that needed to be done (and only a month to complete it before we moved in) that we focused on the main areas of the house (you know, the areas that we did not want to move furniture to finish painting).  So, that’s what we did.  I worked like a mule.  We had to rip out carpet, deodorize and seal the floors (dogs were allowed to do their business anywhere they pleased), scrape as much paint as we could, prime and paint, plus clean like crazy!  Heck, I had even managed (by the skin of my teeth) to get a garden in that year.  Well, it’s taken me 2 1/2 years to build my strength (and health) back up but I have to say, our house is finally on its way to being our “home”.  Two weeks ago, I focused on the kitchen.  I’m still in the process but pulled up the linoleum in 2/3 of it (still have to deal with the area where the fridge is) and now I’m focusing on the kitchen cabinets and finishing painting (figured I should do that before making the floor in that area pretty).  With my brain, though, I’ve also managed to get the basic structure of our front yard in place (all that I need to do is add to it, now) AND we pretty much have a working (as in cat-urine carpet pulled up, everything rearranged to enable us to work without catching anything on fire) garage.  All this I logged as yard work on Fitocracy, since there is no listing for “scraping paint”.

On the blood sugar front, I decided to test what I can and cannot eat.  I started testing with crackers (Wasa Sourdough, which only have 9 carbs total per cracker) and not only did my blood sugar not spike, I didn’t gain an ounce.  Then, Friday came (and so did the biggest test for me).  Pizza.  As in real New York style pizza, crust and all.  I ate 2 slices that first night, then 2 more the next day.  Guess what?  My blood sugar went from 89 pre-meal to 91 post-meal! Can you believe that?  I bet you CAN believe that since Friday, though, I have gained 4 pounds!  😀  It was worth it to see that, eventually, I will be able to incorporate more carbs into my diet without solely focusing on my blood sugar (for those who may not recall or were not here then, in August of last year, bell peppers spiked my blood sugar).

So, as of this morning, I am at 170.4 pounds (still a loss of 41 pounds) and despite the bloating and intestinal discomfort (this time both hubby and I are constipated, since I bought him a ton of bread, too) I feel fantastic!  I am thrilled that this is my turning point.  It has been just about a year since I refused the meds my doctor wanted to give me went low carb/keto.  It’s been about a year since I cut my carbs so low that some days I was lucky to take in 10 grams.  So now, I think my main focus can shift to weight/inches lost and strength gains.  I’m one happy and grateful woman!

June 28, 2014 Update – 45 pounds gone

Well, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks basically scooting around on my bum, pulling up linoleum and scraping paint. I stretch every day but my left leg, by the end of the day, was still numb. So, I broke down and bought a proper exercise pad, an expensive piece of ABS pipe (foam roller) and torture balls (I mean, la crosse balls) so I can actually do all the stretching for DeFranco’s Limber 11:

Let me tell you! Imagine someone VERY strong jabbing their bony elbow into your bum muscles, and that’s what the move with the la crosse ball feels like. So, though my stretching may have been helping something, it was doing nothing for my pinched sciatic nerve. I was in tears when I finished but I’m tired of walking around with a floppy leg by the end of the day.

I’ve update my stats. As of Wednesday (because the loss has stuck that long), I have officially lost 45 pounds since August of last year. I now weigh 166 pounds (started at 211). So, if I was your normal average joe, I could be only 16 pounds from my goal weight. The problem with that is, I don’t have a goal weight. I know how I want to look and feel. I can’t put a number on that. I don’t even have a goal clothing size or measurements. I want to be a softer version of “The Rock” with breasts AND be able to go turn soil by hand all day long. I also want to be able to have my glass of mead a couple of times a year without it messing up my blood sugars.

So, here is my before and afters of my dining room (my exercise for the past two weeks). Before I go, I will do my best to get some more recipes scheduled. I have so many set aside that I don’t want to bombard you by posting them all in a few days.

Dining Room Before

Ripped up the linoleum to reveal these lovely linoleum tiles.
Ripped up the linoleum to reveal these lovely linoleum tiles.

June 14, 2014 Update – Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Dud and MYO Liquid Sucralose

So, I was all prepared to post a wonderful sugar-free recipe for mint chocolate chip ice cream. I even had my phone charged and ready to take that close up. Then, I tasted it. I didn’t have mint extract, so I used peppermint eo (essential oil). Although I did not use the same amount, I’m not sure if it is the EO or I put too much but OMG! It is bitter! The first taste isn’t, but the second spoonful produces this strong bitter taste on the back of my tongue. I was (and still am) so disappointed! I’m REALLY hoping I just put too much, so I’ll be making some vanilla today and we’ll mix the two up and see what happens. PLEASE let it be the amount! I want to post the recipe so bad!

I’ve updated my stats. So, I’ve come to the conclusion (just because I can) that I only lose weight when NOT doing my weight training! lol I haven’t trained all week (at least I don’t think I have … no. My last training session was Thursday, I believe). AND I’m down 3 pounds and 3 1/2 inches all over. I don’t think it’s stress (or release of stress) since I’ve been eating my normal average. Perhaps it’s the change in eating. I’m not sure. The only physical anything I’ve done all week is stretching (a lot … still having issues with my lower legs and shoulder) and I’ve been out of the house three out of 5 days (highly abnormal for this hermit).

Last week I made a conscious effort to get in the proper amount of protein/fats instead of just looking at my percentages. I had noticed one day last week that, although my fat/protein/carb percentages are always between the appropriate ranges, the total grams of protein were low for the weight training I was doing (not to mention my total calories … difficult to get in 1200 calories most days). So, I upped everything and you can see the results. Maybe I’m not doing enough training for the amounts I calculated … I’m not sure. I’ll have to go double check. I do know that I was getting to the point of wanting to add weights AND, now that I’m in “looking back” mode, I wasn’t nearly as out of breath as before. I was scared of hurting myself, I think. Time to go back to reading “Becoming a Supple Leopard” (my attention deficit left that book at page 52).

I’m also testing out a new-to-me program: Calorie King. I’m not sure. While the selection of foods is much cleaner than what is on My Fitness Pal (looks like the actual amounts, not what some idiot just threw in there), it’s limiting and almost tiring when I look at how much food I’m going to have to input. I have also decided I’m no longer going to count the carbs in pourable Splenda. It’s just not worth my brain freaking out when I come close to my threshold of carb intake and the idea of giving up any form of sweetness makes me irritable. The liquid versions are not an option … much cheaper to go down to Costco and buy the big bag than search online for a liquid equivalent that will end up costing more … looks like I might be wrong. I just did a search and you can buy the straight-up pure sucralose powder and mix up your own liquid sweetener. Hmmmmm … (can you hear my brain working?). I’m eyeballing this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/500g-1-1-lb-PURE-SUCRALOSE-POWDER-/161205878044?pt=US_Dietary_Supplements_Nutrition&hash=item25889e7d1c.

It looks like the percentage for mixing sucralose powder is 25% powder to 100 % liquid (that was the unscientific version I found … basically, water can only absorb 25% of sucralose powder, so put some powder in a container, and add enough water so it is no longer cloudy). Here’s what I found that requires math skills (this was posted on Springpad but since that site is closing down, I’m going to copy the entire thing:

Sucralose Dilution by foggybeach

I received my 2oz ‘Quick Sweet’ Sucralose powder in the mail today (ordered on 2nd, received on 7th 😉 It appears exactly the same as the 22oz Sucralose powder I ordered from Best Body Products (makers of FiberFit) in 2003…a white fluffy powder.

Should one wish to make up this 2oz amount into a ‘Sweetzfree’ equivalent, just mix the contents with 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water. (for cyberus 😉

PS: I make up 1 cup at a time and refrigerate…no problems or mold in the 6 years I’ve been doing this…

————————————————–

Liquid Sucralose = 5 Tablespoons Sucralose Powder mixed in 1 cup water (1/4t = 1c Sugar)
(you may make up smaller amounts using 3 1/8 teaspoons water per each teaspoon Sucralose powder)

————————————-

Given that Sucralose powder is 600 times sugar:

1t. Sucralose powder = 12.5 cups sugar (600/48)
1/2t. Sucralose powder = 6 1/4 cups sugar (12.5/2)
1/4t. Sucralose powder = 3 1/8 cups sugar (6.25/2)
1/8t. Sucralose powder = ~1 1/2 cups sugar (3.125/2)
1/16t. Sucralose powder = ~3/4 cup sugar (1.56/2)
1/32t. Sucralose powder = ~1/3 cup sugar (0.78/2)

Given that Liquid Sucralose is 200 times sugar:

1t. liquid Sucralose = 4 cups sugar (200/48)
1/2t. liquid Sucralose = 2 cups sugar (4/2)
1/4t. liquid Sucralose = 1 cup sugar (2/2)
1/8t. liquid Sucralose = ½ cup sugar (1/2)
1/16t. liquid Sucralose = ¼ cup sugar (1/2 / 2)
1/32t. liquid Sucralose = 1/8 cup sugar (1/4 /2)

To prepare 1 cup liquid Sucralose from Sucralose powder:

1c water = 8floz = 16T = 48t = 192 1/4t requires 9216t (192*48) sugar equivalents to = a strength of 200 times sugar (1/4t = 1c sugar).

AZJeanne measured 1oz Sucralose powder to be approximately 4T (or 12t) powder (I confirmed ;-). Therefore 12*600 is the equivalent of 7,200t sugar per oz of product. I have seen no official specification of serving size per ounce of Sucralose powder to date ;-(

Thus it will take [(a ratio here 😉 1oz is to 7200t as X is to 9216t. Cross multiplication gives 7200X = 9216, X= 9216/7200 or] 1.28 oz Sucralose powder per cup of water to achieve a strength of 200 times sugar…the 1/2oz Sucralose powder to 1 cup of water I’ve been using (per my previous post) is not correct but has kept me satisfied for 6 years LOL!

—————————–

Sweetzfree is also a very strong concentration (~25g Sucralose per 100ml water).

June 6, 2014 Update

There isn’t much to say this week. I’m tired and will go back to bed after I post this. My stats are posted … not much has changed except an increase of 1/2 inch for my upper belly roll and I’m 3 pounds heavier than last week (which hopefully will go down after I get up later). I forgot until I stepped on the scale (and flipped it the bird) twice that how much my weight fluctuated when I was consistently (wow … huge flock of geese just flew over my house … the best sound EVER) training, which I have been.

AND my weight training has been going great! I have managed to not hurt myself (thanks to switching to cable exercises and the roughly 40 minutes of stretching I’m doing every day) and am thinking I actually might be able to begin adding weight again (I’ve been sticking with one weight until I built myself back up). And yesterday’s training was great! I felt so good after the weights that I did dance moves that no living human should ever see for almost half an hour afterward (the music helped … SOAD, Aerosmith, Godsmack, Metallica, Korn … fantastic!).

Mentally, I’m in wind-down mode. One situation that my husband and I had been dealing with has somewhat been resolved but … life! It would be so lovely if all we had to worry about was what goes on within the four walls of our own house without outside influences shoving their bitchy selves in. I better stop before I say what I’m really thinking and those words become part of some NSA database for eternity (instead of just in my head).

I have some recipes set aside to share. I hope to get those up and scheduled to share sometime today. Just to warn everyone: I’m on a mission to create low carb ice cream … I just need an ice cream maker (hopefully I can go thrift store shopping next week to see if I can find one). My favorite one I used to have was the one where you put the base in the freezer (no ice or salt needed). We’ll see what I can find. And this leads me to food.

I’ve been ravenous all week but, at the same time, find it difficult to eat enough. It feels like I’m eating all the time, then I input everything into My Fitness Pal and I’m lucky to be eating 1000 calories most days. It doesn’t help that the temperatures have increased (supposed to be 100+ degrees F this weekend).

O.k. I’m off! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

May 28, 2014 Update – Slap Upside The Head

I have updated my stats today. My husband and I have been going through some personal issues for the past few months. I’ve been barely checking my blood sugar … mostly doing it if I felt off (and, since the readings were always good, I kept doing that). Well, yesterday was different. I got some news disturbing news and was deep-down angry all day. That lead me to not be hungry, thus I didn’t eat. No, I take that back. I had a (as in one) piece of beef jerky (Jack Link’s Peppered Beef Jerky is awesome and only 4 total carbs per serving) and tried a piece of bacon jerky (yes, it’s just cooked bacon in a bag and I didn’t like it … I should have known something was wrong).

After a cleansing hour drive out of town, it was time for dinner. I felt a little off, so checked my blood sugar. It was 52. I ate dinner and after an hour, it was 152, then 90 after 2 hours. That’s great, right? Well, yes, it was. Then, this morning, my blood sugar was 55. I need to check every morning but I have a problem. I have been suffering with my allergies since February and tend to wake up after 3 to 4 hours sleep and, since I usually eat dinner late, I can’t get a true fasting blood sugar (and everyone who knows me know I cannot function on that little sleep without coffee).

So, I HAVE to eat dinner earlier if I’m going to keep waking up at the “witching hour”.

On my physical training front, I’m back on track. I trained last Wednesday for the first time in over a month and it took me until Sunday to recover (as in I didn’t need to use my arms to lower myself down onto a chair). I have switched to 100% cable exercises, hoping to not aggravate my shoulder. I can definitely feel the difference. The moves are more focused on specific muscles, so I squat and immediately feel it in my hamstrings/glutes. Perhaps this is what I should have started with (if I had my machine at the time), since I’m 40+ and the only time in my life (before beginning this journey again last year) I had trained with weights was in high school.

AND I may be having someone take some pictures of me this week. I’m actually (again, first time since high school) making an article of clothing with an actual pattern! The first one is just a pair of pajama pants but THEY ARE SIZE 12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t tell you how many patterns I have purchased through the years, intending to make them, that are now WAY too large (most are size 22/24). I’m sure I can’t resize those patterns this much (especially since I really am a newbie when it comes to working with patterns) but … WOW! 🙂

O.k. Time to check my blood sugar again, then do my weight training, then finish my pajama pants (which is the easiest pattern I’ve seen … no drawstring, just elastic).

Fitness Is A Skill article and another mini-update

So, after a month of inactivity and a week of stretching/strengthening my shoulder, I did my first weight training this morning. I feel great, though my muscles already are a bit upset that I did more than sit in the chair all day. My shoulder isn’t sore at all and I think that’s because I altered my training to cable/machine only. I’m putting all free weights aside until I’m sure my shoulder is fully recovered. I’ve updated my Physical Training page to reflect the cable versions of the exercises. My weight is up (I think … can’t remember what I logged last time) but I’m bound and determined to bring that back down. I’ve been a scarfing fool and, after really thinking about it, I think I would consider myself a binge eater. When I like something, that’s all I eat until it’s gone (or I want to puke just thinking about eating it again). Both hubby and I are that way. When we discovered Del Real Chile Verde, that’s all we ate for 4 days straight. That’s just one example. Another was pre-made hamburger patties. They were so easy and we could make our own Mc Doubles, so we did, they tasted great, and that’s pretty much what I lived on when I started this in August of last year. Now? I have 5 patties in the freezer, taunting me to eat them before they get freezer burn, but the thought turns my stomach! AND that’s where I come to Russel Stover Sugar-Free candies. I bought some because I wanted an occasional sweet treat. Well, as of yesterday, I was averaging 4-5 per day PLUS all my food. Of course, I didn’t log them in My Fitness Pal, because “I was only eating a few”. Well, that few sure totaled up! 110 calories and 13 total carbs EACH. So, obviously, if you multiply that by 4 or 5 then add that to all the other “real” food I was eating … I’m surprised I’ve only gained a few pounds! I’ll go grab the tape measure as soon as I post this and update my stats (since it’s been forever since I have). All I know is I weighed 172.2 this morning and size 14 jeans are still a little loose.

And that brings me to this article. Though he’s speaking of fitness and training, this also goes for what we choose to put in our mouths. It’s not about motivation or willpower. It’s me, sitting here, listening to the call of the candy (which is within arms reach) and telling it no. That’s a conscious decision I’ve made, since yesterday I started my day with willpower and became depressed and paced around the house like a caged lion until I binged on candy (and just about anything else I could get my hands on).

http://dicktalens.com/fitness-is-a-skill/

April 28, 2014 Mini-Update

In life, it’s good to not get too comfortable.

This is from a fortune cookie my mom left here the other day. It’s amazing how appropriate this is.

Stress. How do you handle stress? I’m not talking about rush-hour traffic or job deadline stress but life changing stress? I share a lot about myself without really saying anything at all. You know most of the basic, insignificant things I like to do, maybe can guess what music I like, whether I like to actually cook or not, etc. But what I have never shared publicly is anything truly personal. I will, but won’t, right now.

I have not had the most stress-free life. Many bad choices have lead to many bad circumstances (and some that weren’t even within my control). Right now, as I sit here typing this, I’m going through what might be the second most stressful time in my life. A friend on Facebook mentioned her coping mechanism for the stresses in her life now is to eat nothing but garbage. It got me thinking and I’ve coped with stress in the past by following my friend’s lead or doing the opposite: not eating anything. Of course, both routes lead to weight gains.

This time around, I have made a point of keeping religious track of the foods that pass my lips and the amazing thing is, despite being well within my macros, I have now officially lost 40 pounds! I weighed in yesterday (I didn’t weigh myself after 2 hours sleep last night) at 171. So, what is different this time than any other time in my life? I think it’s the fact that it’s not only about weight this time. It’s about my health and my ability to deal with this stress, for as long as it takes to get resolved. Don’t get me wrong. If there were a dozen glazed donuts sitting here in front of me, I can’t guarantee I wouldn’t be wallowing in my sorrows and eating every crumb. I’m just lucky (blessed) that I do not keep any of those types of foods in the house.

March 25, 2014 Update

I know it’s been a couple of weeks since my last update.  I have been running around like a chicken with their head cut off.  Imagine, if you will, a child left alone for the first time (just neater).  That’s the way it has felt since my son moved out!  😀  There is so much to do and just not enough hours in the day to do them!  My stats don’t seem to show much (up 2.4 pounds, down 1 inch on my chest and waist, up 1/2 inch on my thighs and calf and, once again, forgot to take my morning blood sugar reading) but I’m telling you, I can see and feel a huge difference!  When I look down at my thighs, I see muscles.  I can feel muscles in my biceps and shoulders.  I can really feel collar bones and my butt!  LOL!  I didn’t realize there were muscles amongst the flab!  Something else, too.  When I was measuring my upper belly roll I realized just how much lower it is (if that makes any sense).  I decided to lift my shirt and tighten my stomach.  Above that roll, the stretch marks could almost be mistaken for abs!

My weight training has been progressing nicely.  It’s hard for me to believe that it has been almost (at the end of the month) three months since beginning Reg Park’s 5X5!  I’ve stuck with something that long!  Last week I added yoga (last video of my You Tube playlist and today I added Glute Bridges since I come from a long line of flat butts and figured I should start now.  The yoga will be my non-weight training and the Glute Bridges?  I did o.k. doing them at the end of my workout today, so we’ll see if I can keep those up.  I will tell you that the yoga actually made me sore!  I did that (for the first time since I actually owned a VCR and was about 60 pounds heavier than I am now) on Friday and rested until today because my waist was STILL sore yesterday!

Eating-wise, I’m still bouncing my carbs around (a couple of days last week I only had 8 for the day … we discovered a new-to-us butcher shop and had two glorious days of nothing but meat with some cheese thrown in for the carbs/fat).  I’m telling you, that was the best tri-tip I’ve ever had!  Aside from the seasoning (best pre-seasoned meat we’ve had, also) I think it was aged.  That is the only thing to explain the color of the meat, the texture, and the flavor.  It was amazing!  By the way, here’s an article about dry-aging meat at home.

That’s it for this week.  No, I’m off to do some more weaving!  🙂  I hope you are having a fantastic week!

March 9, 2014 Update

Well, it’s that time of month again (CAN’T WAIT for the change to occur) and this is the first time I can remember having to take a diuretic. In 3 days I gained 5 pounds of bloat (and that was with drinking at least 96 ounces of water) so, I took OTC diuretics (Diurex) for two days and now my face no longer feels like it will pop if I stuck it with something sharp. I am happy, to say the least!

My stats are posted. I’m still up a little from the last update but I’m happy. I was finally able to exercise all this week and got out in the yard to do some clean up after the rains. We’ve pretty much decided this year, we are just going to work on fixing the soil back there, so I’m growing food in pots again. I cleaned them all out (well, all the ones that didn’t have food stuffs in them), dumping the old dirt out back, and had enough potting soil for three huge pots. I figure we need about three or four more bags (and a few more seeds … I want to try growing leeks this year) and we’ll have enough to get SOME food out of the garden this year. I’ve also re-thought building raised beds (as in wood frames). I think we are going to end up doing what this guy did (which, of course, will require fencing the area off from the dog entirely).

http://www.permaculture.co.uk/videos/creating-productive-no-dig-garden-under-year

My health is good (knock on wood) and I’m feeling great! I’m so happy to be properly physical again. And, it definitely is Spring here (Central California). Despite more rain heading our way, it’s been warm. We need to get things growing before the heat of summer tries to kill it all.

As soon as I post this, I’ll be posting my menu for last week and my physical training. I hope you all have a wonderful week and remember. If you fall, just pick yourself back up. Tomorrow can always be a fresh start.

My Daily Training Schedule

happy

O.k. Well, I guess I’ll be posting my training daily. Just so you know, I have been doing weights 3 days per week and (when I feel like it) cardio twice a week. Most of the time, this is Monday through Friday and I don’t do a dang thing on the weekends (this way you know when to expect these posts). They will be short and sweet with little embellishment. As I’ve stated numerous times, I log all my workouts into Fitocracy. I’ll do that first, then cut and paste into a post here.

That is what I have done already. All my training sessions since I signed up for Fitocracy on September 6, 2013 have been posted here (on the corresponding dates). Would you like to take a look at all of them? Well, you are in luck! I figured out some code and now there is a running list of all my training sessions at the bottom of my physical training page (I think the limit of the list is 100 so, when I surpass that, the posts are tagged “Training”). Guess what? It doesn’t look like I’ve been as much of a lazy ass as I occasionally tell myself! LOL!

Oh, and can you please send “good health” thoughts my way? Hubby’s coming down with something and I REALLY don’t need to get it (kinda hard to stay away from him).

February 2, 2014 Update – Let’s Talk Poo

Not only is it Groundhog Day (I guess we get to see 6 more weeks of Winter, which is fine with me as long as it involves more rain … California) but it’s Superbowl Sunday (which has absolutely no significance to me whatsoever except the television will NOT be on at all today) AND the day I finally have the time (and proper amount of sleep) to post my update (funny, as I was uploading my stats I realized all this year it was still 2013 to me).

I somehow managed to lose a little more weight from last week’s weigh-in (dropped .6 pounds) and this brings my to the subject of poo … bowel movements.  Last week’s massive weight loss was from eating WAY too many Mc Donald’s Mc Double cheeseburgers in one sitting and I’ve been paying for it all week.  Not only that but one day I got on a complete tangent (I can’t remember which blog post it was) but I forgot to eat.  Yes, I forgot and ended up with the shakes by 2 pm, when I ate one hard boiled egg (I had to finish my research and post my blog, don’t you know).  Needless to say, I scarfed as much as could around dinner time to bring my calories/fat/proteins into alignment and, when that didn’t completely get rid of the shaking, ate too many carbs (I ended up eating roughly 52 by the time my shakes subsided, more than double my normal intake).

Thus began more intestinal distress and bloating.  I went from 179.8 to 184.6 to slowly dropping down.  Not only did the scale jump around like it was on a trampoline, so did my bowels.  Whenever I have really loose stool, the next day it’s as if my body says, “Now that they are empty, I’m going to hold onto your stool for dear life.”  So, I rubber band between really loose to constipation and everywhere in between until things are normal again.

I’ve tried psyllium husk but even at small amounts (since I eat so few vegetables) it keeps this roller coaster going.  What I discovered (but obviously forgot this week.  Thankfully it popped in my head this morning) was finding the vegetables that I enjoy and only eating small amounts every day.  So, let’s say the serving is half a cup, then I’ll eat about 1/4 cup, just to keep things running smoothly (you can’t tell me I’m not eating enough fat @ 65-70% of my calories).  So, in my fridge is a batch of BLT Cauliflower Salad with more eggs and bacon plus no tomatoes, since I didn’t have any.

So, if you are like me and have intestinal discomfort from time to time, try to remember to eat SOME veggies every day.  Your body (and toilet) will thank you for it!

New Weight Training Program

I’ve added a new weight training program to my Physical Training page. So, why am I doing this? Well, because I’m bored. I’m bored and tired of having to remove exercises from my training because of my shoulders. So, while I was trying to work myself into training mode this morning, I stumbled on an article posted on Fitocracy. I have enjoyed every article I have read on T Nation but this one got me really excited. Why? Well, let me tell you. 🙂

Bodybuilders have always held a special place in my heart. I have never sat there, looking at Arnold, thinking, “I want a man like that”. I have always thought, “I want to look like that!” Not really (I LIKE looking like a female) but I love muscles. I always have. I read Muscle and Fitness, watched Pumping Iron (and Pumping Iron 2), read up on supplements, etc. and that was all in high school, when women in the weight room were frowned upon by all those manly football/P.E. coaches (fast forward 30+ years and almost 100+ pounds and I finally began weight training). So, when I started seriously thinking (that’s the key term) about implementing weight training, I ran across Arnold’s book, “Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding” at a thrift store. What luck! I paid $4 for this massive book! I read it cover to cover, then wrote down all the exercises I needed to do, … that was in August of 2012 (remember, I didn’t actually start any weight training until August of 2013)!

In August of 2013, I took another look at the exercises and training schedule and knew I would burn myself out (or hurt myself) if I went from absolutely no movement whatsoever to that. That’s when I found Omar Isuf on You Tube. His basic program was perfect, and still is despite my shoulders. I am much stronger and more fit than I can remember being. Now I feel like I need to step it up a notch.

So, I found this article today: Reg Park’s Three Phase 5×5 Program. So, who is Reg Park, you may ask? Well, not only was he the hunky Hercules throughout the 1960’s (check out this picture from Hercules In The Haunted World from 1961)

BUT he was Arnold’s inspiration for becoming a bodybuilder. AND, if I can’t yet workout like Arnold, then why not work out like his mentor? So, beginning today, I am beginning Phase One of Reg Park’s Three Phase 5×5 Program (if you are interested in reading the article or checking out phases two and three, please visit this link).

Reg Park’s Three Phase 5×5 Program

Phase One

45-degree back extension 3×10
Back squat 5×5
Bench press 5×5
Deadlift 5×5

Rest 3-5 minutes between the last 3 sets of each exercise.

Train three days per week for three months.

The only special equipment I do not have is anything to do the 45-degree back extension on but I will! Remember that first video I posted regarding my shoulder stretches/exercises? Remember the stool he made? I will use that and hook my feet underneath either the drawers or bottom of the desk we have in the garage (It’s a big, metal, heavy 1960’s behemoth). So, now that I’ve spent the entire morning on this, it’s time to get busy! I’ll post updated stats tomorrow morning.

Really Bad Selfies

What a difference!  This shows how far I’ve come.  I think, despite the gobs of makeup in the one on the left, how much healthier I look.  I sure as heck feel better!

Bad selfies.  The picture on the right was taken on January 28, 2014 at 181 pounds.
Bad selfies. The picture on the right was taken on January 28, 2014 at 181 pounds.

January 26, 2014 Update – Scale Victory-ish!

Well, well, well. What a difference a week can make. I have finally broken the 30-pound-loss barrier (I posted my stats here). I have officially lost, as of this morning, 31.2 pounds! I’m hoping that it will last but I’m not counting on it. Why, you ask? Well, yesterday was an awful food day. I woke up late (as in got about 10 hours sleep), then had my morning bullet proof coffee (coffee with 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, 1 Tablespoon butter, Splenda and half and half). I had been just adding coconut oil but when I kept having days where my fat levels weren’t as high as I wanted, I stopped making faces at the idea of adding butter to my coffee and tried it. I couldn’t believe how good it was! It adds a creaminess I didn’t expect AND it’s like it helps to emulsify the coconut oil (I don’t end up with a thick layer of oil floating on top of my coffee). It’s quite tasty!

ANYWAY, I had my coffee then we went grocery shopping. We didn’t get home until almost 5 pm … that’s right. No food all day. So, we stopped at Mc Donald’s and got a ton (10 … 5 each) of Mc Doubles, plain. I just take off the bun and scarf. We either hold onto the buns so hubby can use them for our hamburger patties later or they end up dog treats. I usually can only eat 2 or 3 in one sitting but last night I scarfed all 5 (without even realizing it) PLUS cheated with some of his french fries (I figured I ate about a kid’s portion of french fries). Despite the french fries, I actually managed to stay UNDER my carb limit for the day (guess that’s what happens when you forgo all other food).

Well, I am curious why this happens with Mc Donald’s and not the pre-made frozen patties we buy and cook here. I woke up, running to the rest room. I truly think my intestines are just about squeaky clean. I’ve had 2 mad dashes to the restroom and can feel another one coming on. This is why I said I’m not counting on this weight loss lasting but I’ll take the win (even if it is temporary)! I am, as of this moment, below 180 pounds and only 4 pounds away from the weight I have listed on my driver’s license! LOL!

As for exercise, I’ve taken 2 un-planned rest days and am hoping I’ll be able to do SOME weight training today. I jerry-rigged a pull-down “thing” so I can do cable rows and pull-downs (also discovered what else to do with that Ab Doer … I’m using parts from it for my concoction). Anyway, the first time I did them, I hurt my shoulder (2 7.5-pound plates). The second time, I used one plate (much better). The third time (this past week) I used both plates but made sure my form was correct. Well, it hurt my shoulders and I’m a little angry. It started out as normal “What-the-heck-are-you-doing-to-us” muscle pain, then two days later, my tendons started hurting (my shoulders are taking turns, not wanting to be left out. The pain started with my right shoulder, then shifted to my left). So, today, I will not be doing any overhead movements. I’ve have finally started seeing significant results, though. Instead of just feeling the growth of my muscles, I can actually see some when I don’t flex. I keep running into my hubby and pointing out different areas where you can see definition, like the first one this week was significant definition between my knee and my calf (it’s not just a straight shot any more … there’s an indentation) and the other is my thighs, where I can see actual muscles (yes, more than one)! I’m feeling myself up more than hubby is! 😀

I hope you have a fantastic week!

How To Get Sh*t Done

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy Elliot Hulse.  He doesn’t censor his language and each video is just one guy talking to another.  This one is especially pertinent to me lately.  I’m still in “look back” mode.  What did I do before and how can I do those things differently so I will actually get results?

The one answer that encompasses everything may shock you.  I do not get up every morning with a smile on my face and jumping for joy because today is weight training day or cardio day.  I’m not beaming with anticipation about tracking every bit of food that passes my lips.  It’s become just what I do.  It’s a habit.  It’s Monday?  Weights today.  It’s not an option, it’s a fact.

But it’s too hard!

I’ve re-connected to a group I met on the Atkin’s website back in 2010.  The Lord knows I have overcome much in this leg of my journey but one of the biggest is the negative self-talk.  If you have been reading my blog for a while, you’ve read plenty of it in my weekly rants … I mean updates.  One of the issues that I have overcome (and what I hear a lot of people complain about) is tracking my food.  When I first ventured into the low carb arena, I only tracked carbohydrates.  Heck, that is what was encouraged (“Carbs are all you need to worry about”).  When I began this journey again in August of 2013, I began low carb eating the same as before … only tracking carbs.  When I continued to see the spikes in my blood sugar, I decided to track everything.  Now, it’s just not an option.  My browser’s home page is My Fitness Pal and the first thing I do is track my coffee/supplements and work on what I plan to eat for the day.  It’s a habit and feels strange now if I don’t track throughout the day (it feels like I’m forgetting something).  For those who aren’t seeing the results they want with any way of eating, the only way for you to discover WHY it isn’t working is to track your food/liquid intake, then dissect and analyze your food choices.  If it’s “too much work”, then I really do not see how you can truly be committed to improving your health.

So, what do I track?  The only no-calorie beverage I track is water (to make sure I’m drinking enough).  Otherwise, if it has calories, I track it.  You would be amazed (or at least I was) with the massive database on My Fitness Pal (I haven’t used any others, so I’m not sure how they are).  If I made something from scratch and REALLY don’t feel like inputting my recipe, I will find one that’s close.

If it’s Monday, it’s weight day.

Now for exercise.  I just do it.  If it takes me 4 hours to get my energy levels up to exercise, then that’s how long it takes.  If (like this week) I just don’t feel like doing it (Monday became my “rest day” this week, which I spent tearing up some of the linoleum in the kitchen), then I begin the next day.  I do my best to NOT do this, since that means I will end up exercising on Saturday (which I haven’t incorporated into my routine because the weekends are reserved for 48 straight hours of wonderful time with my husband).

My mornings are all based on routines.  I get up, let the dog out, relieve myself, get the coffee going, feed my dog and let him back in, boot up my computer, brush my teeth, get hubby’s lunch ready, make hubby’s coffee and wake him up, get him off for work, make my coffee then start MY day.  I track my coffee, decide what I’ll have pre-workout (for breakfast), then an hour after I eat, I exercise.   As long as I’m healthy, this happens Monday through Friday.  Period.  It’s now a habit and feels odd if I miss one thing.

So, what about those days when nothing seems to be going right?  Here was my Tuesday: I did everything listed in the last paragraph until the exercise part.  I was dressed, out in the garage, and getting ready to begin.  My son comes home and we have a lengthy discussion.  That discussion put me into a deep dark place.  It wasn’t depression, it was a mix of anger, frustration, disappointment, irritation, etc. and I said, “F*ck working out” and came back in the house.  I had decided that I wasn’t even going to bother (yeah, that’s my blanket defeatist statement that I have been working hard to eliminate from my vocabulary but it still rears its ugly head once in a while).  I sat here, at the computer, brooding.  It took me almost 2 hours to bring myself out of the funk but once I did, I got busy.  I got dressed, went back out to the garage, did my weight training, and decided to start some work on the exterior of the house.  Tuesday was the longest I’ve worked in over a year (not only did I do my weight training, I also spent 2 hours pulling concrete shingles off the exterior of our house).

So, what does this have to do with me, if I’m not dieting/exercising?

Everything.  If you are not one of those that naturally has a list of things to do for the day (and does them on a consistent basis), building habits is how you will accomplish all those things you desire in life.  Hate how messy your house is?  Make a habit of picking something up every day.  It doesn’t have to be a 10-hour cleaning marathon but you have to develop the habit of doing that one thing (putting your dishes in the sink or putting your dirty clothes in hamper) every single day.  That one small act will become a habit, that can be expanded on.  Start today!

January 18, 2014 Update

Well, good morning one and all!  It’s just a beautiful day and I can’t tell you how happy I am to be here (yes, this is really me and not some bubbly imposter).  I have successfully fought off another illness (this time, I think it was just a cold).  My stats are updated (gained a pound, everything else is the same) and figured out that when I eat less (too few calories) I gain weight.

My cardio for the day is complete (still working on the back yard), I just found out that my neighbor across the street is NOT moving (we only have 6 houses on our street so the dynamics are tricky with new people moving in), I’m beginning to see muscle where there was none, and I tried on some pants that I had thrown to the side because they were way too small for me and they fit!  They don’t just fit, they are a little loose in the waist!  All I need are some cowboy boots and I’ll start feeling normal again!

Since posting last week, I’ve been “taking stock” (well, actually this started 2 days ago).  For most of my adult life, I have had issues walking around barefoot.  My back would be in so much pain that all it took was 5 minutes without arch support and I was toast.  I have now, for about 6 months, been walking around almost exclusively in cheap slippers and have had no back pain!  I think it’s so funny that I just now realized this, like a light switch was turned on.

I’ve also come to realize that I am truly happy.  I haven’t felt this way since just before I met my husband, when I “gave up” on finding anyone to share my life with and accepted that I was the only one who could “complete me”.

Product Review: Grok Cheese Snacks

Another review and boy, this one is tasty! I decided to brave the cracker isle at our local Costco. I was curious if they had anything low carb. Well, look what I found!

I have no idea where you will be able to get these. I did a Google search for “Grok Cheese Snacks” and it looks like you can buy them online through various websites.

Here’s a page from their website. It doesn’t say much.

http://www.grok.it/en/discover-us/the-idea/

These little bits of crispy snackiness contain 0 carbs (yes, zero)!

Here are their ingredients:

Cheese, Grana Padano Cheese. THAT’S IT!

Serving size is 25 pieces with 170 calories, 110 from fat, 12 g fat, 230 mg sodium, 0 g carbohydrates and 14 g protein.

Now, these bags weigh 2.12 ounces (60g) and the size of the snacks … 1 inch diameter circles. So, unless you want to cut everything teeny tiny, just eat them with whatever else you are eating. Costco was selling 4 of these bags for $9.99 with $3.00 instant savings at the register. These are awesome and will satisfy your need for crunchy snacks!

January 10, 2014 Update

Well, now that we are over a week into the new year, I figured it was time for me to take a look back at my progress since August of 2013. As much whining as I have done, to see the numbers in black and white is uplifting, especially on a day when I have to rest (very sore muscles and a cough coming on … I sure hope it’s just allergies). I’ve recently reconnected with some Atkins friends who I met back in 2010, at the birth of my blog. It’s so lovely seeing how everyone else is doing and to know that these struggles are not uniquely mine. I want to thank anyone who reads my entries. The Lord knows I’m not expert on anything so I appreciate you reading of my struggles and stumbles all these years.

One change I have implemented over the past week is focusing more on net carbs instead of total carbs. I think my body is finally able to properly deal with them (since, for dinner last night we made chicken fajitas and I ate 2 of the Sol Del Oro tortillas and my morning blood sugar was 83 (and I have had no intestinal discomfort).

So, here are the totals (and this is one reason why I have been so thankful I have been so determined to keep records all this time):

Weight: Down 27.2 pounds (based on my weigh in of 211 at the end of July 2013 at the doctor’s office)
Chest: Down 2 inches
Waist: Down 3 inches
Hips: Down 3 inches
Upper Arm: Down 2.5 inches
Thigh: Down 4.5 inches
Upper Belly Roll: Down 7 inches
Total Inches lost: 22
Morning Blood Sugar: Down 90!

I’m truly amazed (and thankful) with the difference I feel both mentally and physically. It shows what a slippery slope it is for me to NOT keep track of everything. Without some sort of accountability, I will cheat like a kid who hid their Halloween candy from their parents.

For you Atkins friends who may be reading this, the changes since 2010 are astounding!

Weight: Down 36.2
Chest: Down 7
Waist: Down 11
Hips: Down 9.5
Upper Arm: Down 3.5
Thigh: Down 7.5
Total Inches Lost: 38.5
Morning Blood Sugar: Down 322 (I was 405 on my first day)

January 4, 2014 Update

This week has been good but kinda “meh”. Hubby worked Monday and was off the rest of the week, so I let exercise slide a bit. I didn’t have set “cardio” days (usually Tuesday and Thursday). The weather here … I usually don’t talk about it this time of year because everyone else is freezing (I’m in Central California) so on my weight days, I’ve been heading out into the yard and digging. See, the person who lived in this house before us “redesigned” the back yard. During the redesign process, he built up a mound of dirt. I always wondered if he did that to add a landscape feature until we began tearing it down (I want to grow food out there and it’s kinda hard to do on a hill). That’s when we discovered he built the mound of dirt as his mini-landfill. Every piece of garbage he found around the property he buried there, including the concrete slab he broke up. To say we were angry is an understatement. We dug down about 4 feet below grade and still were finding crap. So, we decided we were going to level that out and build a raised bed on that spot. That’s about the time I found out my blood sugars were out of what (got sick) and began my Keto journey. I refuse to let another year go by without growing any food, so my cardio this week has been flinging shovels of dirt across the yard and moving (even more) chunks of concrete. As of this moment (since I’m still angry and we don’t have a truck) those chunks of concrete are bordering the fence line. I want to say they look like pavers but in reality they look like chunks of concrete someone threw there. At this point, I don’t care but I will get this done! If I have to completely forgo my meringue dancing, I will if that means we can grow food this year. I have some heirloom Cherokee tomato seeds that have been calling to me for a year!

Other than that, my blood sugars have been fantastic! I posted yesterday about those low carb tortillas. I only had that one and threatened my sons life if he touches them (grin). I also made that first batch of tortillas I made into chips and he helped me finish those off, so either today (probably not) or tomorrow I’ll start work on figuring out how to make a corn tortilla that has less carbs than standard ones and does not have eggs in it. I’ve always hated the idea of the many tortilla/wrap recipes I have seen because they are little more than stiff crepes and, as I said yesterday, I am a tortilla snob. If I want an omelet, I’ll make an omelet. If I want a tortilla and can’t have one, then I will do without.

I’ve posted my stats and there aren’t any dramatic changes but there are enough changes to make me happy. My weight training is going well (as long as the neighbors aren’t burning something toxic in their fireplace). I’ve been able to add more weights to some of the exercises and even been able to do some shoulder work (tendonitis). I have also noticed that my allergies are less severe. When this all began (2010) I had to stop using everything that had any kind of scent, most body care products that had ingredients I couldn’t pronounce (I tried some face cream by Clinique and immediately got welt on my face) and had to wear a mask in public due to the extreme amounts of perfume women feel the need to drown themselves in. Well, the other day, I didn’t even smell/react to a perfume cloud we walked through in the store! I really hope this means I’ve turned a corner.

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and you know you’ll hear from me soon! lol

Journal-ish Parent Whine

I need to whine to someone and it doesn’t feel right doing it on Facebook (again) with so much of my family on there (I don’t think any of them read my blog, so I’m safe).

When my mom gets bored, she comes over here and hangs out for a few hours. Our relationship used to revolve around food. When I know a day or so ahead of time, I’ll feed her here but most of the time, I don’t find out until she calls me at 7 am. Now that I’m thinking about it, it’s kind of like an affair. She only calls and/or comes over when hubby’s not home! lol

Anyway, this is about the 10th time (probably more than that) we’ve had this discussion:

My mom: “I don’t understand why you can’t eat at the salad bar.”

Me: “It’s not that I can’t, I choose not to.”

My mom: “Why?”

Me: “Because with everything I would add to my salad, it would be too many carbs.”

My mom: “What about fruit?”

Me: “Oh, that’s even worse!”

My mom: “So, you don’t eat any fruit?”

Me: “No”

My mom: “Not even a banana? That’s just stupid.”

Me: “No. Let me put it to you this way. I can either not eat the fruit or eat the fruit and take diabetes meds. Which one would you prefer? (dumb question)”

My mom: “The fruit”

Me: “Well, I prefer to not be on meds.”

We have this exact same conversation at least twice a month and it’s just so irritating I want to scream! She also has type 2 diabetes and still eats whatever she wants because she’s taking her pills. Heck, I even know someone who is type 1 who just ups her insulin so she can have that ice cream or cake. And they look at me like I’m crazy! I like having feeling in my toes and no cataracts, thank you very much! I don’t ever tell others how to eat or exercise or live. I may bitch in private but I don’t preach to any of them and I’m so tired of them preaching to me. All this despite the fact that they have seen first hand how much healthier I am and how fit I’m becoming. O.k. I think I’m done. I’m now going to try making some low carb soft tortillas (I looked up those ones you suggested, http://weight2lose2013.wordpress.com/ but they don’t carry them here). I’ll let you all know if they end up tasting like cardboard (and they are not the cauliflower ones I’ve seen … that just sounds nasty).

December 27, 2013 Update

Well, good Friday morning, everyone!  Yes, I’m amazed I actually remembered to post my update this week!  AND just because it was Christmas two days ago, I didn’t fall off the rails in any way!  We did it up on Thanksgiving (all that food and it was just the two of us) so, since we were alone again on Christmas, we just ate normal.

As you know from my whining, my body has been out of whack since I got sick in October and I just made things worse with my carb binge a couple of weeks ago.  So, yesterday, instead of doing my cardio workout, I slept.  Imagine my surprise when FINALLY I lost 2 more pounds of bloat!  I no longer have cankles!  I’m down to 186, just one pound away from my lowest in memory and I’m thrilled!  I’ve also lost a total of an inch since my last measurements!  1/2 and inch from my waist and 1/2 and inch from my hips!  I’m surprised my thighs are the same measurement because my hamstrings are still sore from Wednesday.

I forgot to take my morning blood sugar, so when you look at my stats, you’ll see I just put a zero there.  I was so focused on getting my food in so I can do my weight training soon that I completely forgot.

I’m going to be adding a different twist to my weight training.  Double-Pause Deadlifts.  I really suck at deadlifts.  I don’t have the best posture on a normal day (while I’m typing this, I kinda look like Smeagol, squatting in my chair with my feet up on a foot stool) so when my back started hurting, my son happened to be watching me deadlift and pointed out how rounded my back was.  I’ve been trying to fix that (no back pain since I began working out again) but this method may help me to properly focus on my posture and bar positioning (all this and I can’t remember if I do deadlifts today or not … I have the three workouts written on the freezer door in the garage).

For any who are interested, in addition to my My Fitness Pal and Fitocracy links on the left side of the page, I’m posting my playlist on You Tube for fitness.  They include my 3 day weight training routine, an updated version of my cardio routine, and other basic exercises that I like.

O.k.  Time to get busy!  It’s almost time to train and I need to make some more almond flour (this time I’ll try to get a finer flour … my last try was more like meal).  Good Friday and I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Merry Christmas!

From one sexy beast to another, I would like to wish everyone a safe, happy, and yummy Merry Christmas!

Me at 188.2
Me at 188.2 Christmas 2013 in my oh, so sexy working-out-in-the-cold-garage outfit!

My Apologies plus cookie and pizza recipes

I’ve been “running around” so much (mostly mental) that I’ve completely flaked on posting an update or recipes or anything! Here’s a quickie:

I’m hovering around 188. Gained massive amounts last week (5 pounds in 4 days) so I’m drinking my water, eating clean, and just started exercising again. I gained all that weight right after I exercised (cardio) so I don’t know if it was leftover from my carb fest or water retention from me actually using my muscles for the first time in 2 months. All I know (WARNING: too much information) my breasts are so swollen I would swear I just gave birth!

I haven’t made another batch of crackers, yet. I need to finish eating the first batch (brushed off the tops and I can almost handle the salt content. Thinking I might be able to use them, crushed, in a meatloaf or something. I wouldn’t need to add salt to the recipe!

One new recipe I’m going to try today. I’m not sure if I should just add 2 tablespoons of water with the Splenda to replace the honey or what. I’ll let you know what I decided and how they turned out when I’m done. As for the jam, I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Maybe a single dark chocolate chip? By the way, she has some fantastic recipes there!

http://www.elanaspantry.com/raspberry-thumbprint-cookies/

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

2 cups blanched almond flour
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup raspberry jam

And one old. Now, this one I posted about before. Well, I guess I didn’t! This is the best! We liked this so much that we didn’t even get to the point of making actual pizza … just ate this and ate so much of it that the idea of eating it again made us sick to our stomachs! I once tried cauliflower as a replacement for rice. It tasted like cauliflower, not rice. So, that once crust recipe floating around that is cauliflower did not appeal to me in any way. This will be dinner tonight and leftovers for Christmas tomorrow (very traditional, huh?). This one you HAVE to try:

http://www.genaw.com/lowcarb/thinandcrispy_pizza.html

Thin and Crispy Pizza Crust

8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
3 eggs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon basil, optional
Toppings of your choice *

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

December 15, 2013 Update – New Picture!

Me at 188 December 15, 2013
Me at 188 December 15, 2013

Well, I waited to post this, hoping to have lost some weight by now but no.  At least I haven’t gained anything in the last 4 days or so.  Please, excuse the language but I can’t think of any other words to describe the way I have felt this past week, “Fuck it”.

I had done good but had a hard time getting my calorie requirements without going over my carb count (or at all … just not eating enough).  So, I think it was Tuesday or Wednesday that I went up to 188 (3 pounds heavier than last week) and have stayed there.  I’m feeling especially bloated (in my face, hands and lower legs).  By Friday, I had enough and in addition to whatever I ate I grabbed a sourdough roll (43 carbs) and scarfed the whole thing with tons of butter, while saying (out loud) to myself, “Fuck it”.

Then, last night, our yearly goody gift was delivered.  Every year, our now former-neighbor makes Christmas goodies (cookies, fudge, rice crispy treats, etc.) and she brought them over.  I ate one of each, then (since I haven’t done this in a while) I treated it like a test for my blood sugar.  I tested at an hour afterward and it was 205.  I thought that was pretty good since “normal” people are expected to test under 200 when they do glucose tolerance tests.  Then, I tested at 2 hours.  195.  Not good.  Normal is supposed to be below 140 at the 2 hour mark.  The true shocker for me was my morning blood sugar today was 31! So breakfast was a couple of sausage patties (if you haven’t tried the Jimmy Dean Hot sausage, you need to).

My measurements are basically the same as they were the last time I measured, so I’m really hoping this is just water retention.  I also had hubby take a picture of me.  No makeup, hair back in a pony tail, and I look old!  LOL!  Of course, my dog couldn’t handle me standing there without petting him, so he’s in there too.  I chose my camo pants to (I thought) show the difference in how they fit now compared to the last picture (they were so tight in that one that I actually tore out a button).  It doesn’t show like I was hoping but there it is.  At least I’ve done like I have said I would for the past month.  Even with this weight gain, I’m still down 23 pounds since I began again in August.

We went to Costco yesterday and stocked up on the foods that I love (and never tire of) PLUS were able to snag a copy of their yearly cookbook.  I’ll be posting some of those recipes over the next couple of weeks (altered, of course).   I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

November 22, 2013 Stats

Well, good Friday afternoon! This week has been a struggle to eat enough calories. I’ve been busy with my hands (either crocheting or playing a video game or looking up new crafty things to do). I haven’t been planning out my meals (like I usually do) so by the time dinner rolls around and I’m getting 800 calories for the day, I desperately find something to shove in my mouth (lately, beef jerky has been my “go to” food for extra calories and energy). I realized (too late into this illness) that I had to adjust my caloric intake due to being so damn sedentary. It’s so low that most of the time I can’t even throw in a protein shake because that will bring my protein grams too high.

The good news is, despite the fact that I was up again at 2 am coughing, I am determined to begin exercising again next week. I’ll start small. Doing weights will be fun. They are out in the garage (thankfully, this garage doesn’t leak or allow water to seep under the walls like the last one) and the mornings are getting pretty chilly for central California (can’t complain too much about that since some of my friends around the country are dealing with below freezing temperatures). So, I might be rocking my burnt orange sweatshirt instead of my girly tank top for lifting! lol Now that I’m thinking about it, I should embellish them so I feel a bit more feminine (I mostly wear men’s clothes). I never wear them in public, so why not?

Anyway, I’ve updated my stats. No change at all regarding measurements (did not do morning blood sugar since I was sucking down coffee at 2 am) BUT I now weigh 188! I have now lost 23 pounds! I can’t begin to tell you how happy that makes me, especially since most of my clothes are trying to slide off. I know once I start lifting again, the weight loss may slow down but my clothes will keep getting bigger and that’s all that matters to me! I hope you have a fantastic weekend (turkey’s already in the fridge because we have a super cold freezer and it takes more time). I can’t wait to try that sugar free pumpkin pie recipe! 🙂

Biggest loser damage…. and mini journal entry.

This is a great post from “Living Atkins Every Day” about the influence of the Biggest Loser on our mental health and weight loss. I can’t agree more. When I hear of people who first start Atkins (or any low carb way of eating) and they lose massive amounts quickly, I’m happy, envious, and furious with my body for not doing the same thing. When I quit in 2011 due to hubby’s health issues, I wasn’t too sad about it. I was hardly losing any weight. I started at 220 pounds March 22, 2010 and ended at 200 on September 23, 2011. It took me that long to lose 20 pounds! All the while, I was on the Atkins discussion boards, watching the weight fly off of everyone else. Right now, I’m happy with the pace of my weight loss. I now know what my body likes to do. I know if a loss lasts more than two days, it will stick. If not, then it will eventually. Then I will stall for about a week or so, until my body figures out I’m not starving it and it’s o.k. to let go! I’m also hoping beyond hope that my slow weight loss will allow time for my skin to tighten up a bit so I don’t end up looking like a flattened water balloon once I’ve reached my goal. I actually had one person in October who, after I told her I had lost 15 pounds since the beginning of August, respond with shock and exclaim, “That long?”. Yes, that long! That’s how long it took me to work with my body and rid my diet of everything that was elevating my blood sugar (unlike her, who is an insulin-dependent type 2 diabetic who had just ordered chicken fried steak with biscuits and gravy).

Speaking of goals, I don’t think I’ve ever discussed my weight goals. I don’t have a clue. I figure 150 is a safe weight goal but it’s not really about weight. I want to be (and look) fit. The one woman I had pictures of when I was in high school was Rachel McLish. Google her. She won Ms. Olympia in 1980. What I love about her is she was able to get muscular but still remain feminine. That was before the push for women to lose so much body fat (for muscle definition) that they stopped having menstrual cycles.

O.k. Here’s the link to the article:

http://baylorandatkins.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/biggest-loser-damage/

November 15, 2013 Stats

Can you believe it? It’s actually Friday and I’m posting my stats! Health-wise, I actually thought I might be able to start exercising this week. I was feeling really good until early Thursday morning when, once again, I was up at 3 am coughing up a storm (at least this morning, I got to sleep an extra hour). And the strangest thing: all day yesterday, I would smell something burning (not like a wood fire … something different) right before a coughing attack. I’m not sure what that is but now, it feels like all my allergies are on high alert again. Heck, maybe I am allergic to the thought of exercise! It is really irritating.

On a good note, I have officially lost 20 pounds! Well, if my weight had remained the same as yesterday, it would have been 21 (I actually weighed 190 yesterday). BUT I forgot to finish my meals on My Fitness Pal yesterday and it turns out I went over … on everything but carbs. See, I completely forgot until the day before yesterday that I have another fast food outlet I can eat at: Arby’s! I’ve always loved their fake-ish roast beef so that’s pretty much what I ate for two days then last night for dinner, we had massive pork chops. The pork chop threw me over but right now, I don’t care. It was good! Today, though, it’s pretty much back to normal. I checked, and my avocados have not sped past the ripe stage to liquid, so I’ll make that avocado dip for some hamburger patties.

For the past week-ish, I’ve really been in hermit mode. I don’t want to go anywhere or talk to anyone. It felt like the most sedentary week of my life but looking at the scale, I’m happy! I’ve officially finished two crochet projects (I don’t think I have ever before considered anything truly finished), ground up pork fat from the freezer and made lard, and today I WILL get that sauerkraut started! Then, I begin trying to figure out how to finish the patchwork afghan I have going on in my head. It feels strange to have actually used up some of the yarn I’ve been holding onto (hoarding) for so many years and watch it walk out the door! I need more! 🙂 I really will try to have hubby take some pictures (if I can barely handle taking pictures of objects, there is no way any “selfie” will be to my liking). Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

November 9, 2013 Stats

Well, good Saturday morning, everyone!  This week has been a strange week.  I’m beginning to feel better but now I feel like crawling into a hole and telling everyone to leave me alone!  All I want to do is crochet … that’s pretty much it (oh, and make up for my illness by catching up on all the housework I haven’t been doing for almost 6 weeks).  I’ve actually been sleeping through the night and last night I slept about 12 hours … I have a lot of making up to do.  Of course, I woke up this morning feeling awful but I know this will slowly change once I have completely recovered.

We went shopping yesterday, which was much more of a journey than we had anticipated.  We decided to go out of town (instead of shopping at this Costco, on a Friday afternoon) and ran into traffic delays left and right.  You would think that it’s the end of the fiscal year and they ALL have to use the money before they lose it.  It took us 3 hours to get there, shop, and get home (60 mile round trip).  Anyway, I finally got some Brussels sprouts!  So, we had rotisserie chicken and roasted sprouts for dinner.  I think I’m going to try that Cream of Brussels sprouts soup today!  I’m so excited!

Anyway, my stats are done.  My weight has come down (after roller-coasting all week).  I’m 194, my lowest in memory.  Everything else is basically the same except my blood sugar, which I forgot to take this morning.  Yesterday it was 89.  I’m off to shop a little more (shockingly, there are a few items we can’t get at Costco) then kill some demons (Diablo 3).  Have a great rest of your weekend!

November 1, 2013 Stats

This time of year has always been difficult. This year, I am especially feeling sorry for myself. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday but with the mood I’ve been in I didn’t even attempt to buy “crap” candy to hand out … I would have eaten it because it was there. This week has been a roller coaster of not only emotions but weight. See, I’m still sick (and really tired of it). Now, it’s down to just an annoying cough but I almost thought it was more than that until we got some extra strength Mucinex. At least now, the gunk in my chest seems to be breaking up in a uniform fashion, instead of deciding to hold on for dear life for a day or more. Aside from my emotional state, my body is acting odd. If I drink less than 96 ounces of water, it decides I’m not getting enough and retains … it feels like all of it. My hands, lower legs, and face bloat up. Other than the bloating, I don’t feel any other symptoms (when I first got sick, I completely forgot to drink any water and my kidneys were messing with me … now it’s nothing like that). I think right now it’s just the perfect storm (still sick, want to hibernate because the seasons are changing, “can’t” have candy, and TOM).

It doesn’t help that my eating has been all over the place, either. I had been craving pizza … really good pizza. So, I told hubby to order some and I just won’t eat the crust. Well, that first night, that worked out great! The next day, not so much. The crust glued itself to the toppings and I just said, “F**k it” and ate probably about half a piece of crust total. That’s when the scale went nuts. I’ve gone from 195 last Friday to 200 and now back down to 197. And it wasn’t just the scale that went nuts. My blood sugar has, too. I read a few accounts of Mucinex messing with blood sugar but I won’t blame it. That first night of pizza and Mucinex, my blood sugar was 114 after dinner (it’s usually between 80 and 90 something). The next morning it had dropped to 67 (and this was before eating crust). I’m not sure if it was the extra cheese or mushrooms or what. The sauce wasn’t a factor because when we ask for light sauce, it’s barely enough to change the color of the crust (which is how we like it). I have no true way to gauge the calories because this isn’t a chain restaurant we go to. So, I’m sitting here, nit picking every single thing I have or haven’t done all week so bad that all I want to do is go hide on the couch and crochet (or play a video game). I’m being more active around the house (you know, actually doing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, doing laundry, etc.) until I get too winded. Then, it’s back to crocheting or “killing demons”.

So, there you have it. This has been the ultimate “woe is life” week for me. Don’t you just feel sorry for me? 🙂 Have a great rest of your weekend! I’m going back to basics with my eating this week (you know, boring). We’ll see what kind of change that will show on next week’s stats (and my dumb mood). In the mean time, here are my stats from this week. Not much of a change (don’t know how I lost 1/2 and inch on my thigh but a loss is a loss!).

October 25, 2013 Stats

Well, still coughing but I’m able to do more. My sleep pattern is still off. Two nights ago, I learned a lesson. My cough syrup’s dosage is 2 teaspoons. Well, I didn’t want to walk all the way (my house is 800 square feet) to the kitchen, so I grabbed the medicine cup from another medication. I slept hard and woke up 30 minutes before hubby had to leave for work. After waking up enough to be able to read and do math, I ended up taking 3 times the dose! No wonder I slept so hard! I won’t do that one again!

My birthday was this week and hubby got me the best birthday present: rib eye steaks (and my own copy of Diablo 3)! He barbecued them over mesquite charcoal and basted them with butter the entire time they were cooking. I’m telling you, they were the best steaks we’ve ever eaten! I swear, they were the beef equivalent to turkey because that was the first night in a long time that we both slept through the night! He’s so good to me! I’m also very proud of myself. This is the first year since being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes that I did not cheat.

My stats are done. I’m down a pound and 2 1/2 inches since last week. One thing I noticed while laying in bed coughing was when I tighten my stomach muscles, I can actually see a bit of them! LOL!

Anyway, I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. I will (I’m going to make that sauerkraut … wish me luck!).

October 18, 2013 Stats – 15 pounds down!

Well, I have now officially lost 15 pounds!  It feels amazing to be able to say that!  When you look at my stats, you will notice I’ve only lost one inch from my chest since last week.  I attribute that to all the coughing I’m still doing (it’s not as bad but as soon as I lay down … WHAM!).  The strangest thing is I’ve had no appetite.  Two nights ago, even after adding foods, I managed to get in a whopping 900 calories for the day (and yes, I weighed 196 prior to that).

I exercised once this week (Wednesday) and that’s it.  I’m still running around the house trying to catch up on everything else and that still wears me out.  Yesterday, I actually managed to do about 1/2 the dishes, make dinner AND make some more Jello (current favorite is the sugar-free raspberry).  Today, I made pumpkin pie meringue cookies and they are awesome!  I haven’t put the recipe into My Fitness Pal yet but I just had one tiny cookie (a little bigger around than a quarter) and I’m good.

Also, I need to be brutally honest.  I find all these wonderful recipes and post them so maybe you can see that this way of eating does NOT have to be boring but in reality, I eat a very boring menu.  It’s fast, cheap, and easy (hubby would say that describes me, too, which would earn him a smack on the arm).  So, what do I eat?  I basically cycle between eggs (fried mostly but I’m almost ready to do deviled again … I got burned out on them in 2010 and haven’t made them since), pre-made hamburger patties, grated Mexican blend cheese, sour cream, salsa, pork rinds, beef jerky, coconut oil, and the occasional protein powder.  I may throw some diced onion on something but not too often.  I don’t eat most vegetables because, right now, that’s just way too many carbohydrates (though I REALLY want some of that cauliflower salad right now but that’s probably because I don’t have any cauliflower in the house right now).   I’m currently averaging about 10 grams of carbohydrates per day and my blood sugar is happy with that.  Once I lose significantly more weight (possibly reach my goal weight) I will begin experimenting by adding vegetables into my menu.  The problem is I can GORGE on vegetables!  So, that small amount of carbs in broccoli may not be a big deal to most people but when you fill up half your plate with them, those pesky carbohydrates add up!

Anyway, that’s if for this week.  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

The Roll of Low Calorie Sweeteners in Weight Management

I can’t tell you how many times throughout the years that I have heard (read) that studies have shown a blood sugar spike when low calorie sweeteners are used.  Most of the time, I didn’t read the studies cited because, to be brutally honest, they were too long, too technical for my state of mind at the time, and frankly, I didn’t really care (obviously, this was pre-diagnosis).  Well, no, that’s not true.  Before I discovered I had type 2, I refused to use any artificial sweeteners (added chemicals, you know).  I figured it was better to use as much natural ingredients as I could.  I used mostly honey and unsulfured molasses (with cane sugar thrown in for good measure).  Then, today, I read this:

http://www.nationalobesityforum.org.uk/media/PDFs/theroleoflcssinweightmanagement.pdf

The researchers found that GLP-1 secretion was increased by 43% with the LCS-sweetened beverage compared with the carbonated water in those with type 1, but not type 2 diabetes.

Did you read that? Type 1, not type 2 diabetes! I did not see any differentiation in any of the headlines (or paragraphs) I have read all these years. Now, I know that certain types of artificial sweeteners CAN have a negative blood sugar response in some people (sugar alcohols) but it’s nice to know that (despite the observations of my own blood sugar reactions to Splenda and the occasional Aspartame consumption) that I should have read the dang studies all those years ago!

Maria Kang and the “What’s Your Excuse?” Controversy

I, as you can see, tend to have a strong opinion. This “controversy” that is sweeping through the local (and now national) news is a disturbing example of what is wrong with this country. People (mostly women) are up in arms over this photo.

And what is wrong with this photo?  Women are viewing her as being judgmental.  Does this photo REALLY show that?  I don’t think so!  I think this photo shows what can be accomplished with determination and the proper nutritional and fitness education designed for your body.  This photo was originally included on this page from her website.  Apparently, the controversy began last year and has since resurfaced.

http://www.mariakang.com/2013/09/18/maria-kangs-fitness-evolutio/

Maria Kang recently posted her non-apology for this photo on Facebook:

I’ve been getting an influx of new followers, emails and comments (on my profile pic) recently. Some saying I’m a bully, I’m fat-shaming and I need to apologize for the hurt I’ve caused women. I get it. SO here’s my First and Final Apology:

I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won’t go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business’, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won’t even mention how I didn’t give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive.

What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn’t create them. You created them. So if you want to continue ‘hating’ this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain.

With that said, obesity and those who struggle with health-related diseases is literally a ‘bigger’ issue than this photo. Maybe it’s time we stop tip-toeing around people’s feelings and get to the point. So What’s Your Excuse? – Maria Kang

And THAT is what is wrong with this country. There is an ingrained lack of personal responsibility that is disgustingly prevalent throughout most age ranges. This isn’t reserved for the young or those in their 30’s. I see it in people who are much older than I am and it makes me sick. Do I blame my Buddha belly or type 2 Diabetes on genetics or age or anyone else? No, I blame it on my lazy eating and lack of physical activity. Did you see that? It was my thoughts and actions that brought me to the point where food was killing me. It wasn’t the massive amounts of advertising geared toward children when I was young. It wasn’t the fact that I preferred to play video games than exercise (yes, I was awesome at Pong!).  It wasn’t the fact that I, too, would routinely eat just french fries for lunch in high school because it was the cheapest “meal” there. It was all me, baby! I decided my body was god-like and I could do whatever I wanted to it without any repercussions. The result was ultimately being over 100 pounds above my ideal weight, developing too-numerous-to-list allergies, asthma, type 2 Diabetes, sciatica, tendonitis, and issues with my ankles, knees and hips.  All this and I’ll only be 45 this year.  I’m telling you, when I decide to do something, I do it right!  Well, August was my wake-up call and I’m taking charge (and responsibility) for my body and my mind.  I will not now, nor ever, blame anyone else for my actions or lack of action.  My health, happiness and future are in my hands.  I refuse to give up control to any other entity and neither should you.  So, stop with the excuses and the blame game.  Take action or shut the hell up and let those of us who want to improve our lives get on with it.

Thanksgiving And An Awesome Man

I know, it isn’t Halloween yet but it was just Thanksgiving in Canada and one of my friends posted about his Keto Thanksgiving meal.  Actually, I think I originally found him on reddit (/r/keto) and he was generous enough to “friend” me on My Fitness Pal.  My mouth started to water when he mentioned green bean casserole (aside from candied yams, which are definitely out, is my all-time favorite holiday recipe) but at the bottom of his post he included a picture of himself 1 year ago.  You know, when I see every day that he is “this close” to losing 80 pounds since April of this year, I am excited for him but nothing compares to seeing the difference 80 pounds can make!  He looks like a much happier, healthier, completely different person!

http://mescad.imgur.com/ketoThanksgiving

Good Monday Morning!

Well, it seems I have finally turned a corner.  Although I was awake this morning at 3 am, coughing, I feel pretty darn good!  We spent the weekend running around, so my diet consisted of fast food (Mc Doubles without buns/ketchup) and it felt so nice to be able to just grab something to eat.  We fixed the dryer and I actually got caught up on household issues (like laundry and dishes) without it draining me!  So, I think I will begin my normal (not too strenuous) workouts today.  I’m also going to make cheesecake.  I’ve been craving it forever, so here goes!  I just hope the flavor is close enough to satisfy this horrible craving.  Lastly, I would like to apologize for my whine on Friday.  I really HATE being sick!