The Bathing Suit

Okay, here’s a little about me and the past of this blog: this blog used to be my diet and exercise blog. I’ve documented Weight Watchers, Paleo, and Keto. I’ve documented exercise programs. I’ve documented successes. And I’ve documented frustrations.

One thing that I have not documented is my disorders. I have had undiagnosed bulimia since I was in high school. When I was doing the Paleo diet, I became so restrictive that I became worried that I had crossed over into orthorexia. When I came off of the Paleo diet after five years, due to a high stress level, I tried to experiment with how different foods made me feel while enjoying foods that I had restricted myself from for so long. I gained a lot of weight very quickly as my body sought to heal itself from all of the restricting I had done. The stressful jobs that I have held over the past year and a half have not helped; my bulimia came roaring back with a vengeance about a year ago.

I count myself in recovery now, as I try to learn healthy ways to handle stress and relate to food. I am not restricting my food choices, but am trying to be aware of how I feel when I am eating at certain times of the day, as well as being aware of how certain foods make me feel. I know that my stress at work now is leading to me binge after work. I am trying to incorporate different stress-reduction techniques to help with that as well.

One aspect of this that has been hard to deal with has been my larger body size. I think I have blocked my emotions from my thought processes when it comes to having a larger body. I have tried to be matter-of-fact about needing to buy larger clothing, but this weekend I needed to buy a bathing suit. This is a task that I have always hated because I have not been comfortable with my body in a bathing suit since I was a child. In fact, last summer I didn’t even buy a bathing suit. I took my daughter to the pool and didn’t swim, and even went to the beach and didn’t swim.

This year I decided it was going to be different. I have unlimited time this summer to be at the pool, and I would like to thoroughly enjoy myself while I am there. No not buying a suit just because I hate the process. There are unlimited choices out there, so I just need to find one that I like.

And I did find one that I like from Torrid, which I ordered (thank goodness for Torrid). But my daughter is all over me to swim NOW, and the bathing suit isn’t supposed to be here until Monday. So I needed to find a suitable stand-in.

I went to Walmart, which was probably my first mistake, but I needed something cheap because my funds are really low right now. And I went through the same humiliating experience that I have always gone through when it comes to shopping for bathing suits. I was so upset when I got out of the store that I cried in my car and wallowed in my embarrassment in my bed when I got home.

I did buy a top that I actually do like. But tops have never been the problem for me. I bought some shorts to go with them because the bottoms they were selling with the tops were cut weird and were very unflattering. But I had to put it in perspective – my body is not what is the problem.

The problem has been companies not willing to make clothing that flatters bigger bodies. They take the designs that flatter smaller bodies and adapt them – make them in larger sizes, and it doesn’t work. It feeds this culture that says we need to be smaller, we need to restrict, we need to diet, we need to fit the image that stares at us from the cover of every magazine. But I’ll tell you what that message got me: two different eating disorders, a hugely disordered body image, and a need for a recovery mentality that I have to work at every single day.

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Moving Forward

It is so wonderful to be in a place where I feel like I am moving forward and am able to make some long-term plans that make sense. It has been a long time since I have been in a place like that.

I think I said something in a previous post about changing my direction and rebooting the path that I had previously been on. Well, it was working okay…I guess…I just couldn’t seem to get myself motivated to actually work on what I was trying to reboot. So I had to step back a moment and think.

One of the things that I have been working on personally is something called Warrior Goddess Training. I know that might sound a little gimmicky, but it is based on an Earth religion tradition called Toltec, and one of the things that I have learned from this process is about agreements that we make throughout our lives about ourselves. For example, when we are younger we may be told by someone in our lives that we are fat and need to get into shape. If we then embark on a lifelong quest to become thin, we have made an agreement that we are fat and need to work on getting in shape. Agreements are choices; we can choose to agree with the idea or opinion or not. But whatever choice we make affects our path and the way we move forward with our lives.

I realized earlier this week that I had made an agreement about this particular path of mine. I had made the agreement that I wasn’t good enough to be doing this work. I didn’t have enough education, and the work itself wasn’t good enough to be presented. I made this agreement despite the fact that I was actually out there doing the work and I was getting a ton of positive feedback from the material. It was changing people’s lives and making a difference for teachers, which is my goal. Even though all of that was happening, I still made the agreement. I walked away from doing what I loved and went back to school. It may have been necessary to go back to school but not in the way I did. I also began to take a meandering track through my career which led to an excessive amount of stress. And I have been incredibly unhappy since I entered that agreement.

So I rejected the agreement. I made a new agreement that not only am I good enough to do this work and the work itself is good enough to be presented and more and more research backs up my work, but I made an agreement that this is the work that I am supposed to be doing with my life and I have a path forward.

The results have been amazing. I am totally motivated now to work on this, and the ideas keep growing. When I previously folded the business I spent a lot of time destroying the material that I put together, but despite those efforts I have been finding all kinds of notes, materials, and projects that I did not destroy entirely. I have a lot of pieces to work with, and the knowledge that I have gained since I did this before means that I can put it all together even better and stronger than it was before. At least there is that plus to all of this.

What Stress?

Okay, I’ve been stressed lately. In fact, I can’t remember a time in the last three years or so when I have not been stressed. It has almost been a constant in my life, so much that for all of my trying to restore some balance and get myself together, not much has changed.

Until last week.

I’m not sure what happened. Well, I kind of know what happened, but the fact that it made things so much…easier so quickly has kind of thrown me off. I mean, I’ve been able to breathe and relax, and I’ve actually enjoyed my job for the first time in a long time. Well, despite all of the parts of my job that were stressing me out before, but I don’t seem to be as stressed by them now. So what happened?

Well, first I kind of got real with myself. What has been my major problem in every situation where I have felt the most stress? Or, as a podcast I listened to asked me, what has been my relationship to power? This was a powerful question for me because I come from a major background of feeling powerless, and that has seemed to carry over into my adult life in less-than-healthy ways. Namely, if I’m not in a position where I am in control, or can control a situation, then I feel threatened and I do everything I can to put myself in a position where I can control the situation. It has affected my relationships with countless people, coworkers, and has caused me to leave several different jobs. So I had to try to reframe my relationship with power and redefine where I get my power. I have seen that my power comes from two different sources: balance and connection. Rather than fighting to be in control of a situation, I can use my power to bring balance to a situation, which is a much different type of power with a much different total outcome. Power to control leads to a power imbalance, with one person or entity on top and another one on the bottom. This type of power has led to all sorts of social injustices all over our world, and this is not the type of power that I want to wield. However, it is just what I have been doing. However, using power to bring balance to a situation does just that: it balances the scales so that everyone can enjoy input and can feel worthy.

Just this one admission and adjustment has done so much to help me see where and how I have been in a power struggle and how much of my energy it has been taking. It has also shown me the bigger place where that energy is needed: connection.

I work all day in a place where connections should be made all the time. But when you are stressed out and involved in a power struggle that is zapping all of your energy, it is hard to build connections with anyone. So when I came out of that place of power struggle and began to try to use my power to create balance, I also began to build the connections that I have always been so passionate about building. That led me to enjoying my job, one of the most stressful teaching jobs I have ever had, for the first time in forever.

So that’s how it happened. But wait, there’s more!

I have been involved in trying to start a school. I’m using those words rather broadly, as I haven’t done anything definitive to start a school. The thought of the whole process has been so overwhelming to me that I have really done nothing to actually get anything off the ground. But when I came into this realization about my power, balance, and connection, I remembered my business doing professional development workshops and my huge plans to create a school under the umbrella of that business. And all of the workshops that I did during the time I had the business were about….(drumroll please)…

Balance and Connection. Broadly speaking.

Hello! I was happy doing those workshops, and I haven’t been happy since I folded that business. Maybe because I folded it due to someone’s words about what I should be doing, and my inability to figure out a major problem related to the business, I began to feel threatened and went into power struggle mode. I’m not sure. I may never know. But one thing is certain, I am going to start that business up again. I even figured out a hopeful solution to that problem.

I think everyone’s source of power is different. In one podcast I listened to, different from the first one, the lady said that hers was love. I’m sure there are others, and they are probably related to values that people hold in their lives that cause them to act in certain ways. So I guess it is very important to figure out your values and how you are manifesting those values in your life. I know that figuring that out for me has changed my own interactions so much.

Trusting Myself: An Update

I did a funny thing this morning. I decided to write a blog post.

I haven’t blogged anything in a really long time. I have several blogs that I used to keep up, but I haven’t posted anything on any of them in quite a while. Lately, however, I’ve been feeling the blogging itch coming on, so I know that I have a few things that I want to say. I will tell you this – it has been so long since I’ve written a blog post that I totally forgot that I changed the name of this one. This blog was my Paleo blog that I started in order to chronicle my Paleo journey. I did Paleo for five years and then, a couple of years ago, took a detour. I was worried that I wasn’t doing Paleo in a healthy way. In fact, I was starting to become obsessive and it was very unhealthy for me in how I was approaching it mentally.

The break really helped and gave me some perspective. I spent most of that time not subscribing to any one diet or lifestyle. I simply enjoyed food in all of its glory. Everything that I had missed, I ate. But then I began to feel bad, and I gained a lot of weight. An eating disorder that I had not had to worry about since going Paleo reared its ugly head in the midst of a ton of stress that I was going through. It was a very crazy and unhealthy time.

I switched jobs to lower my stress level, which has ended up being one of the best decisions that I have made, despite my brain trying to manufacture stressful situations. It hasn’t been a total walk in the park, this new job. I am an assistant teacher now, but the lead quit not too far into the school year so I had to assume the role for a time while they tried to find a new one. The classroom itself has been stressful, but still hasn’t touched the stress that I was dealing with previously.

In all of this, I tried to go vegan. Clint (my fiance) is vegan and has been for some time. He researched it after I adopted our rescue beagle and it has become a lifestyle for him. I tried several times through the stressful period to join him on that journey but it did not really help with all of the stress. Once my stress level went down I tried again and started doing pretty well. But I’m a very introspective person, and I spend a lot of time monitoring how things make me feel (like stressful jobs and lifestyle changes). I wasn’t feeling good on the Vegan diet. I had almost constant brain fog, which made it hard for me to focus and concentrate, something that is very important in my job, as well as in the side projects that I am always doing. We have had a lot of snow days lately, which would be really good for my side projects, but one day I had such a lack of focus and willpower that I spent the entire day sitting on the couch playing games on my phone. My feet and legs have constantly been hurting. I have been consistently tired. I spent pretty much the entirety of winter break sleeping, which I probably needed because I was at the beginning stages of recovering from a year of stress, but was still worrisome for me because I don’t usually sleep like that. My sleep throughout the night has been inconsistent – I don’t think I’ve really gotten a full night’s sleep since I went full-on vegan. And that is one thing that I don’t like to mess with, sleep. I love sleep and I love my mornings, and when my sleep gets so messed up that I’m sleeping until 8 in the morning (which I know is normal for most people, but not me), then I have a problem. All of that sleep in the morning was making up for sleep that I wasn’t getting in the night, which has been a sometimes problem for me but never a consistent, nightly problem like it has been.

Throughout my foray into Veganism I consistently flirted with the idea of going back to Paleo. I think I recognized that Paleo made me feel better than Veganism was, and I wasn’t doing it for the noble, moral reasons that Clint was. I was doing it to be healthier, and all of the literature that I was reading claimed it was healthier, but I didn’t feel healthier. I felt almost like a zombie. I felt like I couldn’t get anything done. It was becoming a struggle to get out of bed, and the constant aching in my feet worried me. I’ve felt that ache before and I’ve blamed it on shoes, concrete floors, any number of things that could cause foot aches. The bottom line for me was that I remembered the ache going away when I was eating Paleo. I remembered the energy and the clear-headedness; I have old status updates on Facebook about brain fog lifting and energy levels skyrocketing. The lack of focus has really become a problem. I work with kids, and when I can’t focus or even have a lot of energy, it really diminishes the impact I have in the classroom. I can’t give my full self to the kids because I don’t have as much to give. That is not acceptable to me while I’m in this field, which is so demanding of time and energy.

This week I made a choice. Part of living a beautiful life and practicing self-love is being able to trust yourself, something that I have a hard time with. I’m a people-pleaser. I want to make sure that everyone around me is happy and I do what I can to make that happen. I tend to project other people’s moods onto myself, making it hard for me to listen to myself because I am so busy listening to the moods of those around me. But in this case, I don’t have a choice. I have to listen to myself or risk being unhappy, feeling unhealthy, and being unmotivated. And I’m not in a place where I can do that right now.

Detour to my current side-project, which is very important to me. For many years I have been studying about trends in education, specifically early childhood education, and contemplating about how those trends transfer over to education as a whole. For years before I got my degree, I read books and studied education, creativity, and motivation. I developed a personal philosophy of education that is sometimes at odds with the current system. And now, many years later, I am attempting to start a school that utilizes that philosophy. It is an exciting and daunting journey, much more exciting and daunting than any of my previous side-projects. But the difference with this one is that I haven’t had the focus, energy, or motivation to self-start, to organize my thoughts, or to organize my actions. In some cases I know what the next step is but I get caught in a rut of procrastination mixed with a lack of energy and a complete sense of overwhelm. I am a huge procrastinator, a professional really, but in my last big project (starting my own business doing professional development workshops) I don’t remember the sense of overwhelm and lack of motivation being so high. I was doing Paleo then, and I just remember feelings of high positivity and a constant drive to work through the overwhelm and a feeling of focus that I have a hard time achieving now.

I switched to Paleo two days ago. Already I am feeling more energy, and my focus has been a lot better. I have been able to get some housecleaning done and focus on my project enough to start, something that I had seemingly been avoiding before. My desire to sit and play on my phone is diminishing slowly, and I feel better walking – so much better, which is great because I do need to walk this dog. I think she is tired of her pitiful little walks because of the snow. There have been many benefits already, although it is early into the journey. I keep thinking that it might even just be the placebo effect, since it happened so quickly, but I’m not sure. Knowing me, I will be monitoring the hell out of how I am feeling to make sure that it is the right thing to do. But I do know one thing: listening to myself and trusting myself is already paying off.

Forward

It has been a really long time since I have posted. A lot has happened since then. And I need to say this up front: If anyone who has an ED is reading this, there is triggering language in this post.

If anyone has been following this blog for any amount of time, you may have noticed that the title has changed. And the sub-title. And the content of this post as opposed to the ones that came before it. There are several reasons for that. Let me share them with you by telling you my story.

This blog started as a way for me to highlight my weight-loss journey. I’ve always been self-conscious about my weight. It started in elementary school. I’ve always been a little heavier than my peers, and it doesn’t help that I am short; that weight gets distributed differently when you are short. I had several girls that I looked up to when I was in school, mostly the cheerleaders. I wanted to be skinny and athletic and have it all together like them! One girl in particular I idolized. She was tall, had the most amazing personality in the world, had the best hair, and was the fastest and smartest. I wanted to have what she had! She loved sports and was really good at them. She was a cheerleader and a basketball player. This is not to say that I wasn’t athletic. I loved participating in sports. I played tee ball when I was little and softball when I got a little bit older. I loved riding my bike. And I loved playing basketball. But I always felt slow and incompetent next to girls like her. It didn’t help that some of them were very judgmental toward me. I think now it would be called bullying, but I didn’t recognize it as such then. I was too busy idolizing them.

During my seventh grade year the basketball team would practice during our gym class. I wasn’t on the team so we were given a different task. The jr./high school had an obstacle course that wound its way completely around the campus, and we were charged with running this obstacle course every day. There were only a few of us that actually did it every day. I was one of them. Before long I could tell I was getting stronger.

One day we were not told to do the obstacle course for some reason. We were allowed to run drills with the team. We were doing a running drill, running the length of the court, when I noticed that I was running ahead of everyone. I didn’t know what to do! No one could know that I was running ahead of them! That would bring attention to me, and perhaps more judgment and ridicule! I purposely slowed down so that I would not be at the front of the pack. The fact that I felt the need to do that still haunts me to this day. I had conditioned myself to think that my place was at the back of the pack, no matter what my ability actually was.

Fast forward to high school. I had moved to a place that was worlds apart from where I grew up. The group of girls who had the body and the friends and the personality was much bigger, and the pressure to be like them was bigger too. I developed an eating disorder the summer before my senior year, losing 50 pounds in a month. I remember when we went back to school in the fall and everyone telling me how good I looked. I started dating a guy who was super hot and on the football team. I learned that when you are skinny, doors open for you. I never made it to the in crowd – I couldn’t really relate to them on any other level, but other things were happening.

The ED has been with me my entire life, and I feel like most of my attempts at dieting have been to try to either control the ED or get skinnier. My brain has always said that the doors will not open for me when I am not skinny. Now that I am older I don’t forget about the chubby me that played softball and basketball and enjoyed moving around, but I have developed a belief that since I am fat I can’t accomplish the things that the younger me did.

When I started this blog I believe that I was on Weight Watchers. I started the program in an attempt to curb the ED that had been plaguing me, as well as lose weight. I figured if I was counting points I would better be able to control what I was consuming and I wouldn’t go on a binge. The opposite happened, though. I would count the points and feel really good about my progress for a few weeks or a month, but then I would feel deprived and go on a huge binge that lasted for weeks, and then feel worthless and like a total failure. This cycle would go on over and over again, and each time I went through the cycle I vowed that I would do better, that I would have better self-control, and I would finally work my way to being the skinny person that I knew was inside me. Each time I failed.

In 2011 I discovered the Paleo Diet and fell in love. It was simple and easy – no counting points, no restrictions other than I couldn’t eat any grains, sugar, or dairy. Of course, I’m over-simplifying it for the purposes of this post, but I really fell in love. Most of the posts on this blog are Paleo related. Most of the hits I’ve gotten on this blog have been Paleo related. The first six months I was on the plan I lost 50 lbs without even really trying. I was simply focused on what I was eating. For five years, I stuck to my own very strict version of the program. And while I was on the program my ED seemed to disappear. Meats and vegetables do not cause as much bloat as grains, and the bloated feeling has always been a trigger for me. But in the five years that I did the program, a new ED seemed to appear. I became more and more restrictive with the program, cutting out anything that did not help me maintain the new “healthy” feeling that I had. I developed an irritable bowel and constantly seemed to have digestion issues, as well as energy issues. I was constantly pushing for a way of eating that helped me maintain the massive energy boost I had at the beginning of my Paleo journey, as well as the wonderful sleep that I had. Toward the end of the journey that was all I was doing was trying to get back into that feeling that seemed to become elusive. Not only that, but in those five years I had gained back every pound of the 50 I had lost, plus some. No amount of tweaking would get any of the weight off. And I was constantly tweaking.

And then, in 2016, I crashed. It was a hard crash, and it began with an experiment. I was really starting to worry that I had developed orthorexia through my restrictive habits, and began slowly introducing foods that were off plan in an attempt to see how I would react to them physically, mentally, and emotionally. Around that same time, a huge load of stress entered my life and I began eating anything indiscriminately. Enter the ED that I grew up in, and I was in a heck of a mess. I tried in vain to get back on the Paleo wagon to curb the ED, but the plan was so restrictive and my stress level was so high that I couldn’t climb back on. I tried for several months. I went to see a counselor, but stopped going when he said that the once a week schedule that we’d had was going to have to change to every two weeks. I tried other things, such as vegetarian/vegan, in hopes that I could calm the ED, but the cycle of self-control/crashing and the continued emergence of the ED through the crashes made it impossible to feel good about anything that I tried. I even tried Weight Watchers again. It simply made the cycle worse.

Then, a friend of mine blogged about her ED journey. Her story touched me because it was similar to mine. She spoke of the Body Positive Movement and how it has helped her to see herself as more than a body, as a person. She talked about how she has a better acceptance of who she is right now instead of trying to change herself to fit the mold society has created. The post and subsequent conversations with her have led me on my own journey to self-acceptance. Granted, she only posted her story a week ago, but my mindset has changed so much in a week. I feel like a new way of looking at life has opened up to me, and I don’t have to be ashamed of my body or my journey.

One thing that I thought about the Body Positive Movement before I started this journey is that the people that are part of the movement don’t care about their health; they just want to justify being fat. Nothing could be further from the truth. These women and men are tired of trying to fit the societal mold of what a healthy person should look like – thin, six-pack abs, long blonde hair, white, etc. Men’s advertising is just as bad as women’s. They are doing what they can to gain fitness through exercise that excites them, and are doing what they can to promote acceptance of all of the other body types that are out there besides the ones promoted through the advertising industry. They recognize that the diet industry is failing everyone through their promotion of these “ideal” body types, and want everyone to know that all body types are to be celebrated. Just this recognition has lifted so much stress off of me, especially the stress of trying to conform to the expectation to be thin. It has led me to believe that there are better avenues to health than the cycle that I have been on for years. It is time for me to break that cycle and be proud of who I am and what I can accomplish. While I am still struggling and will continue to struggle for some time, I am reaching for resources that I didn’t know existed that are helping me feel better about me and are helping me realize that I don’t have to be ashamed of who I am or what I look like. It is that shame that led to the ED, and it is the building up of confidence through these resources that will help me move beyond the ED and into a better, healthier frame of mind.

 

What Am I Doing?

Okay, so a month ago I posted that I was doing the ketogenic diet. I was really excited. I weighed myself for the first time in a few years. I had it going on.

And then I didn’t.

I was so excited about what I was doing and I did it well. I kept track of everything for a while. I ate fat like it was going out of style, which is hard for me because I don’t eat cheese, butter, or other high fat dairy things. Fat, yes. Dairy, no.

I went on vacation in the middle of October, and during that vacation I wondered what would happen if I started eating dairy. Vacation is a great time to find out, since I can sleep off any negative effects. I got some cream to put in my coffee (I was trying to do the bulletproof coffee but that stuff is so nasty) and cheese to eat. I basically OD’d on cheese while I was on vacation, which totally threw my ketosis off. I spent the next couple of weeks figuring out how to get back on track with dairy in my diet, since I didn’t seem to have any ill effects. It was nice to be able to eat cheese again.

After that, my fiance began to read a book about low-carb diets and what they ultimately do to your metabolism. The ketogenic diet is extremely low-carb, even more low-carb than most low-carb diets. There was a chapter just about the Paleo diet, so I read it. I had to at this point. Nothing I was doing was working out that well, and apparently I was doing something majorly wrong since I gained back pretty much all of the weight I had lost. I was pretty frustrated, but the chapter was enlightening. It reminded me of what this whole thing is about – eating real food. It isn’t about the fat that I eat or the carbs that I eat or any of that. It is about eating real food, period. I have been demonizing carbs this whole time, and it hasn’t helped anything. Weight hasn’t been falling off and I haven’t gotten any healthier because of it. Its all about real food.

So I started adding carbs back in, in the form of vegetables. I don’t care what this book about carbs says; I will not go back to eating grains. I already know how I would feel after I eat those, so I’m not even going there. I’ve upped my carb intake purely through adding a lot of vegetables into my diet. I’ve been doing this for about a week now.

On top of that, I decided that it was time to get serious about getting some more activity into my life. This sitting on the couch thing that I have been doing for so long isn’t cutting it. Yes, I’ve been doing yoga fairly regularly, but it isn’t enough to see any lasting change. What I need to do is get out of the house, move around more. I looked into a gym, one that seemed to have a pretty dedicated, supportive staff. I figured I could get some really good personal training and actually make some progress. And then I got an even better idea.

I got a dog.

I have been wanting a dog for quite a while, years even. But this is the first time that I’ve lived close enough to home to be able to take a dog out on my lunch break. This is the first time in a long time that I’ve had this low stress level in my life. This is the first time that I’ve thought that I could probably handle it.

I didn’t want just any dog, though. I wanted a beagle. I have wanted a beagle since I was young. I think they are the prettiest dogs. So I started looking at beagles, and I found the perfect one. When I was a kid I had a stuffed animal beagle that I named Roxy. I have always wanted to have a real beagle that I could name Roxy, ever since that stuffed animal. When I was searching for the perfect beagle, I came across one that was perfect in every way, including the name. Her name is already Roxy. She is completely house trained and has been a joy. She is an amazing dog. And the best part is, she is motivating me to get out of the house and walking around. She loves being outside. I have been motivated to track my steps ever since she came along, and she is definitely helping me be more active. We have gone for walks twice a day ever since I got her last weekend.

So two life-altering things: I added in a lot more vegetables to my diet (by the way, I’m not nearly as hungry all the time as I used to be, and that seems counter-intuitive), and I’m a lot more active since I have a really good reason to be. In the last seven days I’ve lost seven pounds. I don’t know what is up with that, but it is interesting. Probably water or something, but it is still awesome. I even had someone comment and ask if I had lost weight today.

I know, this whole journey has been more about health than weight, but when you lose fifty pounds in six months and then, without really changing how you eat, you gain it all back, it is frustrating and my tendency is to focus on that. But I’m gaining healthy habits from my quest to lose weight, so I’m not going to beat myself up too bad. I just hope that I remember what I’ve learned as far as the food stuff goes: Adding more vegetables is the way to go. More updates to come.

Going Ketogenic – Week One

Wow, it has been a year since I posted on this blog. I have had a busy year for sure, but I’m back for this post, mostly because I am going through some changes in my diet and I wanted to share them. I have been eating Paleo for four years now, I believe, and it is working very well for me. I still love it, and I wouldn’t change it. However, after my initial amazing weight loss of 50 pounds, the weight loss just stalled, never to get back on track again. And honestly I was too stressed and worried about so many things to even worry about it anyway. I even stopped going to the gym and canceled my gym membership because I was so stressed.

Since then I have started a new job at an amazing place, stopped working on my side business, and generally just tried to add some simplicity to my life. I feel much better and much less stressed. But I’m noticing a really bad trend. In the first two years that I was eating Paleo my weight stayed pretty constant. During the second two years my weight has been steadily creeping upward, until now I am almost at the same weight that I was when I started – but I’m still eating Paleo. That is troubling, but nothing that can’t be corrected. I was flipping through my Instagram feed one day this past week and I ran into an ad for an app called LifeSum, which can track food for you for several different types of diets. The ketogenic diet is one of the diets that it tracks. I have always wanted to try a ketogenic diet but I have never found a tool that can help me track my macros like that, so I decided to give it a try.

Well, I have to admit, I love this app. It lets me track my water and all of my food, tells me how many grams of each macro-nutrient I have left for the day, and even does calculations based on any exercise that I do for the day. It is amazing. I do have to say, too, that I am not getting paid to say this. They wouldn’t even pay me anyway, since my two readers wouldn’t amount to much to them! (But I love you guys for sticking around through the dry spells!)

So, my results so far: The only reason why I stepped on a scale when I found the app was to give me a baseline to work with. I don’t weigh myself as a general rule, especially with the eating issues and body insecurity that I have had in the past. I don’t want to do anything to go through that again. So I am going to weigh once a month. However, I have already noticed a difference in how my clothes are fitting, but that is probably just water weight dropping anyway. A lot of the websites that I looked at to research this said that water would be the first thing to go as your body gets used to processing fat instead of carbs for energy. I got some Ketostix to use to test and I was doing pretty good until this morning. I don’t know what happened with that, but I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough. I’m sleeping better already and waking up less during the night. I had a little bit of carb flu on day three, which surprised me since I don’t eat bread or anything. I guess you can eat too many carbs no matter what you eat. Anyway, I am in this for the long haul since I love the app so much, I need to not grow out of these jeans, and I paid for a three month subscription in order to be able to track this diet. Yes, you do have to pay in order to track the Keto diet on the app. You can track the standard diet for free, but who wants to go back to that? Not me! I will never stop eating Paleo, and I love the fact that I don’t have to track calories on this diet – I simply have to figure out how to eat enough fat.

I’ll try to keep you posted on the rest of my progress. I’m looking forward to this journey.