Saturday, April 29, 2017

Extra Tidbits and Signs You Need More Fat

Today I didn't have much digestive distress and my head felt a lot better.  My sinus infection is clearing and I have high hopes that it will be completely gone in a few days.  I felt a lot better overall today, and it's the first day this week I did not need Excedrine to get through the day.  My head only hurt mildly in the afternoon.  What I experienced most today was fatigue.  Of course it being snowy and cold outside today, didn't help either.  I was fortunate though that Chloe took a pretty long nap and Lily watched a movie and I was able to take a nap.  My husband stayed home today as well due to the snow.  So I guess the timing worked out well.  It was the day where I was most fatigued and it was also the day I had the least to do! 

Consequently though with feeling better, I did have more cravings for carbohydrates today.  Of course it was for all the junk food that always makes me spin out of control.  But also high up on the list was chocolate.  So tomorrow I'm going to make some chocolate Keto fat bombs.  My powdered erythritol came in the mail today so I can make some delicious Keto treats and I'm looking forward to that.  I may have already mentioned this before but there are several different takes on how to manage "dessert" while on Keto.  Some people say not to do any treats at all, but that is really hard and certainly not simple, and in my opinion not realistic.  Those people also tend to be the no bacon, no dairy, no artificial sweetener people, like super hard core and focused on extreme health.  I'm more focused on how I can successfully change my eating to enhance my life, stop my binges, feel better, have more energy and enjoy life better.  For the rest of the Keto world, Stevia and Erythritol are the two most popular sweeteners.  Swerve is a popular brand many people use which is a mixture of Erythritol and oligosaccharides that is supposed to mix up in recipes nicer than pure Erythritol.  But many of my recipes call for powdered Erythritol so that is what I got at first.  I'm trying really hard not to spend millions of dollars buying every single thing on the market!  Nothing I've bought is required on Keto, but it does make life on Keto easier and I'm all about that.  Plus I like getting new things.  In case you are wondering, these are the things I've bought:

1. Collagen Powder (to add protein to shakes-option in several recipes)
2. Stevia powder (found at Costco although this was probably a label reading fail since the first ingredient is dextrose and the second is stevia, however for one packet there is less than one gram of carbs so I figure meh, close enough.  I'm not usually downing 9 packets in a day (which I figure could equal anywhere between 4.5 carbs- 8.9carbs depending on what their definition of "less than one gram" is)
3. Aloe Vera Juice- used in Keto Lemonade, and I think it makes it taste better. 
4. MCT oil- recommended in a lot of places and added into many fat bombs and shakes
5. Erythritol powder- sweetener for desserts
6. Hulled Hemp Seeds- used in drinks and also in cereals, muffins, and other baked goods
7. Cocoa butter- used in the protein bars I want to make as well as many desserts
8. liquid stevia- for options
9. Ketone Testing strips

I made these Pumpkin spice fat bombs with my home made dairy free cream cheese and liquid stevia yesterday, and they came out pretty good.  They kind of look like little balls of cookie dough.  The kids didn't care for them and Matt wasn't impressed, but I figured for a snack they were pretty good.  Obviously if you were looking at them as a regular dessert and that is what you were expecting, they would fall short.  But I enjoyed them for snacks and I think I will make them again.

So here is something interesting I came across in my Keto book by Leanne Vogel.  It's a section called "Signs your body needs more fat"  There is a huge list here but I will only list the ones that apply to me.
  • You experience headaches, weight gain, sluggishness, constipation, and random symptoms that make your day to day challenging.  (Personally I think this one sounded vague as those are all general symptoms and could be caused by anything but the others are great so I give it a pass)
  • You need afternoon pick-me-ups to get your brain working again
  • You know that your hormones are wonky
  • You could eat and eat and then eat some more.  And sometimes you are hungry again just thirty to sixty minutes after eating
  • No Matter how hard you try to quit it, sugar just keeps coming back into your life.  (This one might have more to do about the qualities of sugar and how addictive it is rather than eating more fat, but it is an interesting idea that maybe adding more fat to your diet could help with quitting sugar)
  • You have moments of extreme emotional highs and lows and have a hard time understanding what sparked the imbalance, or remembering that it occurred
  • Your feet, hands, or love handles are freezing most of the time
  • You think about food constantly and have a "live to eat" instead of an "eat to live" outlook. 
There are lots more listed in her book, but these are the ones that apply specifically to me.  She also talks in there about memory problems, and skin issues as well.  She does have a blog  which I have been wanting to peruse.  I just started listening to her podcast, but I've only been able to listen to one so far so not much to report on that. 
I did find one of the recipes I've been talking about on her blog, so I'm going to link to it below so you can check it out at your leisure, she has tons of other recipes on her site as well and I will link to them if I find myself making anything on there. 

Rocket Fuel Latte (which I used Chamomile Tea)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Keto Flu

Today is the third day and I'm pretty sure I have several Keto Flu symptoms settling in.  It is a little difficult to tell because of my head cold which I will just call a sinus infection from now on.  As soon as I start feeling tooth pain I know my cold has developed into a sinus infection.  I just use my Eucalyptus oil on a Q-tip and swab inside my nose several times a day and that always takes care of it after about 5 days.  I always know it's infected because the Q-tip comes out bloody.... not that you wanted to know that but hey! It might benefit someone... or just gross everyone out. 

Anyway,  Last night I made beef stroganoff for dinner and while the stroganoff was simmering the kids helped make Zucchini noodles!  It took them forever but since I had 45 minutes of simmering time to kill I didn't mind. 
The kids had so much fun making the Zoodles and it is the first time that they actually ate them with dinner!

Matt really liked the Stroganoff as well.  He cracks me up sometimes.  When I talked to him about going Keto he said "you know me, I eat whatever you put in front of me".  I guess I'm lucky in that regard, I can pretty much cook however I want and I get no kickback from my family.  Usually stroganoff is made with Sour Cream which is a big no no for me now, this has a lot of coconut oil in it, and some coconut milk, and it turned out super tasty. 
I would love to share the recipe but I'm concerned about copyrights since everything I make is from different cookbooks.  But some of these people have blogs of their own so maybe I can find it on there and link to it. 

I was hoping to get a lot of sleep last night since Lily doesn't have school today but as luck would have it, Lily threw up at 4am.  She also threw up on Tuesday and stayed home from school.  She slept for four hours that day and was fine the next day so I'm not sure what exactly is going on but I suspect it's due to lack of sleep on her part.  She has a bad habit of not going to sleep when we put her to bed.  She often keeps herself awake until after 9:00pm and now with the birds tweeting and the sun coming up earlier, she has been waking up much earlier than normal.  After changing the bed sheets, and giving her a bath and getting back to bed we slept until about 8am which was awesome but I was still exhausted from being sick, and many many days of poor sleep. 

Lily lost another tooth today while she was brushing her teeth!  That's both bottom teeth gone and her two top teeth are also loose. 
This morning I had a "Rocket Fuel Latte" except I made it with Chamomile Tea instead of Coffee because I'm Mormon and I don't drink Coffee.  It's called many things in the Keto world, many times it's called "Bulletproof Coffee".  It's coffee (or tea) combined with MCT oil or coconut oil, stevia, salt, cinnamon, and optional collagen peptides or protein powder if it's all you are eating for breakfast.  I ate it with one of my muffins, which I have decided I don't really like.  Maybe next time I will try them with more Stevia, or maybe next time I won't feel like I need as  much sweetness.  As time goes on you are supposed to get more sensitive to sweet foods. Anyway, I felt really nauseous after breakfast.  I think my system is just not used to such high fat contents.  Even when I was doing the Whole 30, it wasn't a high fat diet.  It did talk about increasing fat contents but it was more about keeping everything equal.  If it was high in anything, it was high in vegetables.  

At first I didn't think that the higher amounts of fat would psychologically bother me, even though I was warned about how it is really difficult for us in our fat phobic society to mentally make the switch.  However as I've been cooking over the past few days I've really noticed some hesitancy on my part which is purely psychological.  The idea of "that is so much fat!" "That is so much oil in my meat!  I'm supposed to cook directly in the bacon grease?!  That is too much oil to mix in with my eggs!"  It's not so much coconut milk or nut butters, but seeing that much raw oil certainly has all my alarm bells ringing from all the anti fat messages I've received over my lifetime.  I think I will be ok though, as I was warned that this could happen and a lot of places talk about just trusting the diet.  When I get really iffy about it, I just remember:  Well it's not like what I'm doing now is working, and it's not like what I've done in the past has worked so there can't be much harm in inverting my food pyramid, it's not like I felt great before this."  Which I didn't, I felt terrible.  Bloated and tired and sick all the time, and when I restricted my calories I was angry and hungry and still tired. 

So anyway I felt sick all morning, and at first I thought it was due to me being sick, but then I started thinking of the Keto Flu and sure enough nausea is one of the symptoms.  My book suggested taking a probiotic and eating fermented foods.  I have been forgetting about my probiotic since it lives in my fridge, separate from my other vitamins.  So I took my daily dose of those in the afternoon and now I feel slightly better.  I still think I will wait a week or so before trying one of the shakes again.  I think for now it's just too much fat in one meal.  Or I need to decrease the amount of oil I put in it, or take longer to drink it.  Like if I drank it over a 1 hour period of time instead of downing it in 5 minutes would it still affect me the same way? 

This is a useful page out of my favorite book "The complete guide to a High Fat Diet, The Keto Diet" by Leanne Vogel

I was hoping I wouldn't get Keto Flu too bad, but the nausea really surprised me and took me off guard.  I never had nausea with Whole 30 and I was kind of expecting to have symptoms similar to that, but so far the symptoms have been completely different.  So far my symptoms have been nausea and dizziness.  I've also experienced some foot cramps, but those have been very small and haven't been really bothering me.  I'm making Keto lemonade to help with electrolytes and taking a magnesium supplement (which came highly recommended).  The only supplement I added for going Keto was magnesium since that was mentioned in several places.
The two biggest pieces of advice for managing the Keto flu is to drink lots of water (easier said than done when you constantly feel like you are about to puke) and to be patient.  So I'm cool.  I can ride this out for a few weeks.  Hopefully in the next two weeks my sinus infection and the keto flu will be gone and I will be rockin' and rollin'. 

Well this post kind of got away from me and was much longer than I anticipated!  But it's all good.  Thank you all for your comments on my posts so far, it really makes me feel more like writing and it's good to know that people actually enjoy reading what I post!  So thank you to everyone who has posted since I started blogging again!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Keeping it simple

Today is day 2 and I've felt a little better from my head cold today, but I still have that shooting pain into my upper teeth when I pound my feet to hard (such as running after the kids, or marching around in Chloe's music class).  I didn't need excedrine until about 2:00 so I figure that must be a good sign, hopefully this head cold won't last the whole month. 

Anyway, this morning Lily got up super early, so we used the extra time to make some flax seed cinnamon muffins. 
These muffins have 15.2g fat and 2.3g net carbs.  They certainly are not sweet, and they are meant to be eaten as a nice snack or as a part of a breakfast meal.  The meal plan in the book pairs these with the Rocket Fuel Late on one day and the Golden Smoothie on another.  I'm not sure how everyone else in the family will like them.  Chloe only got through a few bites and her muffin had honey all over it!  So I imagine these lasting me at least 6 days.

I did make it to the gym today, mostly because Chloe has been cooped up and needing to go play.   I walked on the treadmill for 55 minutes at about a 3.5mph pace and I was dying!  It never ceases to amaze me how much my physical performance plummets when I get even just a little sick. 

So I have a friend who is also doing Keto, and she is the one who finally pushed me over the edge and convinced me that I needed to do it with her.  In talking with her over the past week, it struck me how different we are in our preferred approaches and cooking styles.  What I like to do and what she likes to do is completely different.  She is more the type who can grab a few keto friendly ingredients and create something simple, like a salad.  She has been eating mostly the same thing every day because that is what she wants to do right now.  That is what she likes doing.  That is her method of simple because that is what her regular cooking looks like.  She is not a meal planner, and so she doesn't meal plan on keto either.  She has learned a few basic recipes and makes those daily.  Simple, and easy.  But that would drive me absolutely insane!  That is not the way I usually cook, and not the way I usually live.  I am a big meal planner.  I plan meals for the week and so I plan what I will eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and what snacks I want available, then I make a grocery list and do the shopping.  Usually my meal plans include days of the week but really I could even just use numbers because I never stick to specific days of the week.  I look at my meal plan and pick which meals I want to make on that particular day depending on how I feel, how much time I have, and if there is a food that needs to be eaten.  For my friend, she never uses recipe books, and creates things from Pinterest.  For me, if you took my cook books away I would be at a total loss as to what to do.  I need my cook books, I love my cook books.  I love trying new recipes and remaking ones I love.  That's just how I am.  And so that is how I'm keeping it simple.  My friend looks at me and thinks I'm crazy and making it too hard and I'm like: "What you are doing is hard!" 

I think that keeping it simple means different things for different people.  I'm keeping it simple by keeping my behavior the same.  If I try to change how I make food and what I'm eating, then that would be really hard.  In essence, I'm simply changing the ingredients I cook with.  Keep in mind that I like baking, I like cooking (most days) and I like having a plan.  Take those away, and that is a recipe for disaster. 

In that light.... My Mother's Day present arrived in the mail today!!!!
Yay!!!!!!  The twister jar for my blendtec!!!!  I've wanted this little guy for about two years now.  I of course couldn't wait for Mother's Day to use it, and besides I had a recipe I wanted to use it for today.  So I busted it out and sent it on it's maiden voyage pretty much as soon as it arrived at my doorstep.  There is a recipe for dairy free cream cheese in the Keto book by Leanne Vogel.  (That's my favorite by far of the three I got).  It's basically soaked cashews, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and water all blended up. 

It worked so well!  I'm in love with my new blendtec jar already, it made me so happy.  I was squealing with delight as I was using tee hee.  Just thinking about it again is making me giddy!  I'm such a nerd sometimes. 
So now I have my "cream cheese" draining and it will be ready to turn into pure deliciousness tomorrow.  I'm making some pumpkin fat bombs to have in the fridge as snacks. 
I just tied my cheese cloth to a wooden spoon and put it on a bowl.  I thought it was ingenious since the instructions say "hang over a bowl overnight". 

Tonight I am making Beef Stroganoff which I am particularly excited about.  I haven't had it since I went dairy free because it usually has so much cream in it.  This one is made with coconut milk and zucchini noodles and has gelatin in it to thicken it up.  And so I'm off to create that.  It has to simmer for like 45 minutes so I better get it started now.  And the longest time I've had to let something simmer on the stove for dinner is about 2 hours, so this is nothing new. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Today is the day to start!

Today is the day!  I made it to both Costco and the grocery store yesterday despite Lily throwing up her breakfast.  Fortunately my husband came home earlier than normal and was able to be with Lily while I went grocery shopping.  My specialty items should be arriving today from Amazon, these are things that are not necessary but make life a little easier.  Things like liquid stevia, ketone testing strips, and collagen powder.  Totally not required, but I guess I just like to shop and buy things, so I bought them.  I also finally bought a bulk order of organic meat from a local company called Callicrate Beef.  From the people I've talked to about them, they are the best local company.  All their animals are raised and processed right here in Colorado, and they value quality.  Free ranged, pastured, grass fed and all that good stuff that health people say you should be looking for.  I've been wanting to buy meat from them for a very long time, but never got around to it.  I figured this was the perfect time to stock up.  It's time to ditch conventional meat, this really is one thing that I am willing to sacrifice financially for because there is so much coming out about how the meat we are feeding our kids is negatively affecting them.  But that is another topic entirely. 

I ate a fat burning smoothie for breakfast and it made my stomach really upset.  I didn't throw up, but for the next few hours I felt pretty ill.  I think it's because my system is so used to getting carbs for breakfast and I've never eaten fat in that amount before (2 tbsp. coconut oil in the smoothie).  So maybe I need a little milder breakfast.  Something with eggs and maybe bacon, that is a little closer to my typical breakfast while I wait for my system to switch over and get used to a new diet.  (Hard core Keto followers don't eat bacon, I'm going to include it, but not overkill on it as some Keto plans have you do.  I really don't need bacon for every meal.)  But then again.... I'm also sick today, so maybe it's just a side effect of being sick.  I've been feeling bad all day, I even cancelled my flute lesson.  I didn't eat much for dinner either.
Note to self: do not use melted coconut oil in a cold drink, it causes the coconut oil to turn solid.  Coconut oil would be better in the warm version of this drink, but I'm still waiting for my MCT oil to come in... Learning curve

I didn't get everything made that I wanted to, but I managed to make dinner.  It was called one pot hamburger dinner and it was a ground beef and cauliflower rice skillet.  It was really good.  I've made them before, but this one was my favorite.  It had nutritional yeast in it which gave it a great taste.  Basically you just cook the beef, then add some cauliflower rice, beef stock, and Italian seasoning and cover and cook for 10 minutes then add the nutritional yeast at the end.  It was super easy which worked out well because I almost didn't make it due to not feeling well.  Hopefully I can get some good sleep tonight, I haven't been sleeping well over the past several days because my head has been filling up at night and the pressure has been really bad. I'm going to start using my Eucalyptus oil. 

Monday, April 24, 2017


So I've been researching the Keto diet pretty heavily over the past several days, including three new additions to my cookbook library.

I really like the one called "The Keto Diet" by Leanne Vogel.  The first half of the book is filled with information about the diet, how to do it, what everything means, tips on how to succeed, troubleshooting tips, getting started, maintaining changing the plan to suit your specific needs, meal plans, snack ideas, and more.  There is so much information in the first part of that book, it is going to take me a while to internalize all the information in there.  I love the layout, here is a shot from inside the book.

She introduces the classic Keto plan which is 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs.  (That is percentage of your daily calorie intake.)  And then she introduces several variations of the keto diet that you could try if classic Keto isn't jiving with you.  One is increasing the percentage of protein in your diet and decreasing your fat percentage by the same amount.  She also introduces a "carb up" plan where you eat more carbs once, twice, three times, or even every evening.  She gives you ideas of where to start and then how to change it to your needs and includes a questionnaire if you really have no clue where to start. 

I know that when I did Whole 30 I never really felt quite right.  I never hit the "Tiger Blood" they were talking about and I'm not sure if that's because I wasn't in full Ketosis since I was eating potatoes every day and a lot of high carb vegetables like squash and jicama (root vegetables seem to have the most carbs).  In many ways the two plans are very similar, and in many ways they are quite different.  I think I will do a post on the differences between the two plans just because I've done Whole 30 and Keto is similar in nature.  However Keto is not so stringent on the rules.  There are lots of variations and interpretations.  You can find the really gung ho people who only eat organic, grass fed goodness and don't eat dairy or use sweeteners, and you can find people who love dairy and use it every day like in the book "The complete Ketogenic diet for beginners" by Amy Ramos.  It's the smallest of the three books I bought on Amazon and contrary to it's title, there isn't much information about the diet in the beginning and it gets to the recipes pretty quickly.  It does provide a two week meal plan, but the information at the beginning is very simple.  Just a quick explanation of what the diet is, how it works, and what your ratios should be.  Many of the recipes contain dairy I can't eat such as cream cheese, but I have a pretty good idea how to swap out ingredients by this point, especially in these type of recipes where the ingredients are basic whole foods and non complex.  Maybe I will include more about that in another blog post. 

I haven't gotten to the third book yet "Quick and easy Ketogenic cooking" by Maria Emmerich but a quick glance through it yields promising results.  I bought these books because they were the best sellers on Amazon.  You know how you can search for something and one of the first results always has the orange bar that says "Best Sellar"  Yeah, so apparently that works on me.  And then when you click an item and right below the preview it says "frequently bought together"..... yeah that's how I ended up with three books instead of one.  But I think it gives me more information and better variety.  It's hard shopping on Amazon when you can't look inside the book.  Based on the titles I probably would have bought the smallest book and ended up with no information because the title is very misleading "The complete ketogenic diet for beginners".  Not that it doesn't have good recipes, it's just not really you know... the complete ketogenic diet for beginners.

So anyway, that is where I am right now and I think I will be starting near the end of the week.  I'm shooting for Thursday or Friday and I want to write more about the information I learn through the books that include more detail.  If you have any requests for more about a certain topic please leave me a comment! 

And I think I will leave with some of my hopes about what to get out of this diet.

Here are some things that Keto promises that I am really hoping to get out of doing the plan:

1. Weight loss (naturally)- Being obese again has not been good for my mental or my physical state and I so badly want to get down to where I was before my miscarriage and even beyond that, to my goal weight I never was able to reach.

2. Fasting becomes easy- Being Mormon, we are taught to fast for two meals the first Sunday of every month.  I've never been able to do this (probably because I'm a carb burner and suffer from all the withdrawal symptoms carb burners face when trying to go without food).  It's always bothered me that I couldn't follow this, and while it doesn't affect my membership in the church or what I can do in the church, it always bothered me since fasting is talked about in the scriptures many many times as a way to increase spirituality and one's connection with God. 

3. The lifestyle gets easier- I talked about this on my last post.  If this is in fact true, that would be amazing.

4. More Energy- I would love to have the energy to play more with my kids.  I've wanted that for years and it's one of the big reasons why I haven't just given up yet.  I don't want life to pass me by, I want to be able to experience life, not waste away on the couch every day because I'm too tired to do anything.

5. Mental clarity- That will help with learning languages, and with just life in general.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Going Keto

After much contemplation and prayer, I have decided to try the Ketogenic diet.  I've realized a few things this past week 1. I simply can't lose weight without some sort of diet mentality.  Unless I have external factors forcing me to change the way I eat, I simply will not do it of my own will and volition alone.  I've been trying it for a year and a half and the only results I ever got were the two times I tried the Whole 30.  However, the Whole 30 is too expensive, and requires too much will power, work, planning and suffering for me to stick with it for the long term, and quite frankly for me I don't think the results are worth the effort.  For all that work I only lose 6 pounds a month.  For some that seems like a lot but seriously, I can lose six pounds a month through calorie restriction (when I'm focused like I have to be on Whole 30) and it's a lot cheaper, a lot less work and I don't have to give up some of my absolute favorites such as diet soda. 

So knowing that I need something, and knowing what I have tried: Paleo, Whole 30, Calorie restriction, Weight Watchers.  I don't really want to go back to any of the old methods, especially since I've been doing calorie restriction and unless I say "I'm on a diet, I can't eat that it has too many calories" I am not sticking with it.  And I'm not sure that's a mental place I want to be right now.  I have heard great things about the Keto diet, and it's been recommended to me by someone on this blog, by my chiropractor, and I have a good friend who is currently doing it and getting some great results.  I figure if I try it and I fail I know exactly what will happen:  I will binge like I always do after Whole 30 and then pretty much end up right back in the same boat that I'm in right now.  So there is no harm in trying.  And I'm going to give it a really good try.  My goal right now is to stick to it for six months.  (Thinking ahead that puts me at the beginning of November so when I get there the plan is to stick it out until January, but 6 months seems more manageable than 8 months for some reason, it's all mind games). 

Usually with diets, the longer I'm on them, the harder it is to keep going.  Theoretically this one is the opposite from what I've heard.  The longer you are on this one the easier it is supposed to get.  Unlike Whole 30, this one is meant to be a lifestyle that you stick with for the long term, adjusting to your needs as you go.  I figure if I can do the Whole 30 which is more restrictive in many ways, then I can stick this out.  There are many similarities between the two plans, but the Whole 30 doesn't allow you to recreate your favorite foods out of Whole 30 approved ingredients such as: bread, tortillas, desserts etc.  Whereas Keto doesn't really care how you eat the food, as long as you are getting the right ratios.  That is something I'm excited about.  There are Keto approved desserts and that makes me happy.  Another huge difference is that on Whole 30 you are not allowed any artificial sweeteners, whereas on Keto you are.  Stevia is pretty much the standard on Keto, but researching diet sodas it seems to be a gray area where it would be preferred for optimal health not to drink them, but if you feel like you are getting the results you want while drinking diet soda then no one seems to care much.  That was always the hardest part of Whole 30, I had to give up diet soda, and if I don't have to do that on Keto, it will go over much better.

So I've ordered some cookbooks on Amazon because I'm obsessed with cookbooks and my Chiropractor directed me to a sight called  who has a lot of resources, and I've started listening to a keto podcast called "2 Keto dudes" which has been interesting and funny and informative.  I'm planning on starting the beginning of next month.  I need the time to figure everything out since it's a new diet and I will need to figure out my ratios and hit up the grocery store. 

Well that's all for now

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Rewiring my Brain

So almost immediately last week, I changed my strategy/plan, which as you know seems to be my style.  I set my calorie goal at 1900 but I really just hate how confining it is to try to adhere to a specific number.  And I don't care for keeping track of weekly calories.  So I did set my calorie goal in MFP at 1900 but in my mind I'm targeting 1700 and if I feel like I'm super hungry it's ok if I go over 1700 a bit, but trying to make 1900 the max.  So basically I set up a calorie range I'm trying to stay in.  1700-1900 where every day I'm targeting the lower end and only going higher if I feel like I'm hungry or occasion (like birthday parties, or Easter for example) warrant it. 

This morning I weighed in at 184.6!  Down 1.6 pounds.  So it worked really well this week.  It provided me with flexibility and took the oppressive restrictions of striving for a specific number away.  It is interesting that for the past few years I've had trouble sticking to a number weather that number is 1400 or 2000 calories.  I think this might actually work!  And guess what, I didn't feel very hungry last week at all.  There were a few times late at night when I felt a little hungry, but I figured I could eat in the morning and I didn't need a 9pm snack.  Other than that, it felt remarkably normal, which is all I've been asking for for years.  Something that feels normal.  I think this might be it, the way I can live permanently, and for the first time in a long time I'm optimistic and feeling excited. 

One other thing I'm doing is paying attention to my thoughts.  I'm a super negative thinker and I know how important it is to think positively.  All I've been able to think about every time I try to lose weight is how much I don't want to restrict my food and how hard it is and how much I really just don't want to do it and I wish I hadn't gained this weight back and blah blah blah.  Of course it turns into trash talk about myself and before long I'm stuffing my face with sweets to try and make myself feel better from myself.  So every time I catch myself thinking a negative or deconstructive thought, I immediately say exactly the opposite and repeat it to myself several times.  Such as:  "I really don't want to run today......... I really want to run today, I love running"   "I really wish I could eat that candy.......I don't want that candy, I'm stronger than the candy, it has no power over me and really I don't want that candy"   "I hate myself.......... I love myself"  
I think you get the picture.  It's really worked this week to keep my spirits higher and motivate me to get my exercise in and to stop eating so much junk.  Now, I still ate plenty of chips, and had a cookie at my grandpa's birthday party, and had a slice of cherry pie at Easter dinner last night with my in laws.  So it's really about being constructive and uplifting versus restrictive and forcing yourself into undesirable behaviors.  It's about tricking myself into doing the things that are good for me until I start believing the opposite of what I do now, namely that I like eating healthy, and I like exercising, and I like living a healthy lifestyle.  Which theoretically is something that should be true, and I think I can learn how to love it and it's good for me anyway.  So we will see where it leads. 

In other news.  Lily lost her first tooth yesterday!  So she got a visit from the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy last night!

Sunday, April 9, 2017


So I learned this week that I cannot intuitively eat and expect to lose weight.  This week I thought I did a really good job of stopping eating when I was feeling like I was done eating instead of stuffing myself silly.  I made sure not to eat much in the way of sweets, and I felt good all week.  At some point in the week, I think it was Wednesday morning, I weighed 184 and was super psyched, I thought it was going to work after all.  But this morning I weighed in and I was 187.4.  Poo

So as much as I wish it might be so, I just can't lose weight unless I either count my calories or cut certain foods out of my diet.  I've been thinking a lot about what I did to lose all the weight the first time around.  Most of the weight I lost was on Weight Watchers.  What is different about weight watchers?  I figure it must be that they have restriction, but they allow a certain amount of weekly points you can spend.  So for the next week I'm going to set my calories at 1900 and allow myself 500 weekly calories I can spend how I would like and see how that affects things.  I figure I have plenty of time to mess around and see what might work as I've been trying unsuccessfully to lose weight for over a year now, so a few more weeks isn't going to make a difference.  Might as well find something that could possibly work for the long term. 

Now I know the calorie allotment seems high but, I know I have to be careful because I know me.  If I restrict too much it will backfire and I will be binging all my hard work away.  Also, I don't want to make any changes too dramatic that will be too hard to sustain.  If I can't eat only 1900 calories a day, there is no chance I will be able to eat 1700 calories a day.  Start smaller.  It will take longer, but I'm not too worried about that right now because I think I have finally accepted that I need to start where I am. 

Speaking of acceptance, I had an interesting thought today.  I'm the chorister in my church, meaning I conduct the music and as I was looking out over the congregation I was noticing how many different types of people there are.  We have a lot of children in our church too, and I looked at one family where the child was clinging to his mother.  It didn't matter to that child how much his mom weighed, or what her hair color was, or if her makeup was done.  He loved her regardless of all that.  And it really hit me: I don't have to be thin to be loved by my family.  Which begs the question "Do I need to lose weight to be happy?"  As I was pondering this and looking out over the various couples older than me, some thin, some heavy I wondered if in 20 years I will be in the same place I am now, and wondering if that would be ok.  I ultimately decided that no, it would not be ok with me.  I would be unhappy if I stayed between 180-190 for the rest of my life, but not because I wanted to be "beautiful" or have better "body image".  It was because at 186 I cannot do many of the things my family likes to do.  I can't go skiing at this weight, I can't go hiking very well, I can't run, I can't mountain bike, I can't chase my kids around the backyard very well.  I have been exercising and some people are saying that I'm looking better, so I'm sure there are some internal changes happening that are not reflecting on the scale.  But my quality of life, and the things that I long to do are kept from me at this weight.  I can do some of those things to an extent.  I can jog slowly, but it stinks and isn't all that enjoyable at the moment.  I remember being purely elated when trail running for the triathlon a few years ago.  I really can't go skiing.  If you have ever tried to go skiing while fat, I don't recommend it.  It's pure misery: legs burning, uncomfortable everywhere, getting tired just standing in the line to go up the mountain.  Nothing like the thrill I used to experience as the wind rushed past me as I raced down the mountain when I was 140 pounds.  Things that enriched my life and brought me joy, I simply cannot do at this higher weight.  Even things like chasing my kids around, wrestling with them, and playing with them are significantly harder.  I tire faster, and it's harder to force myself to do it at this weight whereas before I regained all the weight, it was easier because I was in better shape, had more energy and could move easier. 

So I will try again, and hopefully before the year is out I will find something I can really stick to.  Something healthy, personalized to just me, that doesn't cause me to binge.  Something to help me enrich my life instead of restrict my life.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Cleaning House

Yesterday I weighed in at 186.2 which is 2.4 pounds down from last week.  Not bad for the first week back.  It's always easier to lose weight the first week, so we will see what happens this week. 

I'm trying to focus on healthy habits instead of all the nitty gritty details of counting calories or following a specific program.  I've done all that before and it just causes me to stress out, and nothing ever sticks anyway.  By this time, I know what is healthy and what is not, I know how various foods affect me, and I know what I should be eating.  So I'm trying to make sure that I get at least two water bottles of water down a day, which is up from my usual zero.  Interestingly, I like drinking water in the evening more than at any other time of the day (unless I'm exercising.  I can usually get a whole water bottle down during my workout.) 

Today the kids had a snowday, so I did Zumba from home.  I'm working on cleaning out my house.  Matt's calling it our 5 year purge.  I read that book called "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up." By Marie Kondo.  It's definitely what I needed to read before tackling the house.  I have gotten rid of so many things that were just cluttering up the house.  Many things I just needed someone to tell me it was ok to get rid of them.  Things that were useful but I never used.  It took 8 hours plus some miscellaneous item placement time just to clean out the closet in our bedroom.  The house is feeling much cleaner, and much more organized.  The only place that I can't seem to get the right feeling in is the kitchen and that is just because our kitchen is so incredibly small.  We have such limited counter space that it always feels cluttered.  I would like to pull some things off the counter, but I don't know where I would put them, as all the cabinets are full.  It really is a small kitchen, and one of the things I am looking the most forward to upgrading when we eventually move. 

I think that cleaning out the house is helping me mentally.  Giving me purpose, and leaving an uplifting and good spirit in the house.  I've been feeling better over the past month, especially when I spend time in the places that I've already cleaned.  I've also finished a few projects that had been left unfinished for years, such as my wedding scrapbook.  I finished that today and was able to toss everything else I didn't need, which was most everything in that giant bag.  That is one less thing to clutter up our house (the giant bag) and one more thing put in it's proper place.  The kids toy room is mostly finished.  I need to get one of those cubby shelves to organize all their toys.  That's the last really big project, and most of it is done.  After that there are a few odds and ends, but I hope to be done by the end of the month, which means I will have done my whole house in two months.  And that is pretty darn good.