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.

Back to Basics

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the farmer’s market? I go every week now and get fresh vegetables that are in season, fresh pork rinds to eat with my guacamole, and sometimes fresh meat.

My fianc√© and I started getting fresh breakfast sausage at a booth that has fresh free-range eggs and sausage. “Okay,” I thought. “I’ll just try it.” I had noted that there was brown sugar listed in the ingredients, so I knew that the sausage needed to be a treat and not an every day thing. But it was so good – and it has become an every day thing for about three weeks now.

So the last couple of days has seen me become frustrated that the scale has not moved, nor has it felt like I’ve lost any inches. My losses have been fairly constant from the beginning, which to me means that I’m eating something I’m not supposed to be. And the only thing I’ve change, right around the time that the scale stopped moving was the sausage.

So I’m in mourning now for my breakfast sausage, but curious to see what happens since I’m going to cut it out of my diet. I’ll keep you posted.

How It’s Going

Well, its been a long time doing low carb – I can’t even keep up any more. But it is going so well. And I am getting ready to start on my third week of working out. I’m not sure how much weight I’ve lost, but my clothes are getting very loose, which is awesome. I’m still not feeling deprived and I haven’t had the urge to cheat. I was pretty hungry today between lunch and dinner, but I brushed that aside. At some point I am going to have to start worrying about calories. I haven’t worried about it too much so far, especially since my clothes have been feeling better on me.

My workouts have been going great. I have done two weeks and I can really tell. Today while I was on a field trip I actually jogged! It has been so long since I have felt comfortable – or able – to do that. My ultimate goals are to get into good enough shape that I can do Combat Hapkido, and after I get through that I’m going to move on to Krav Maga. I am very excited about the whole thing because now I have something that I’m working towards.

Unfortunately I can’t fit into my capri pants that I just “grew out of”.¬† But that is coming. That is mini-goal #1. I can’t wait to accomplish it. And in fifteen more days I can weigh and measure myself again, and see what kind of progress I am making.

Power 90 and Low-Carb

Well, my second week of low-carbing is over, and it went just as well as the first week. This is definitely something that I feel I could do for the rest of my life. I feel so much better, I’m not hungry all of the time, and my energy level is through the roof. To think, I haven’t had any bread, pasta, or cereal in two weeks and I feel this great! I also haven’t had any milk (it has a lot of carbs). I haven’t cut all dairy – I’ve been eating some cheese. And lots of veggies. If you can’t tell, I am so excited about how well it is going. And its pretty much a no-brainer. If something makes you feel this good without leaving you hungry all of the time, why wouldn’t you do it? I even think I’ve detected some looseness in my clothing in the last couple of days, but sometimes I wonder if that’s all in my head because I want my clothes to be loose.

But it may not be in my head for long. My wonderful and loving boyfriend beat me – he ordered an exercise program before I did. I was looking into The FIRM’s new Wave program, because I LOVE the FIRM. I had planned on ordering it in a week or so because I will have the money then. But my boyfriend ordered the Power 90 system and we got it yesterday. I did my first workout with it today, and I have to say, I’m glad that he ordered it because I did a whole workout without feeling like I was overdoing it. The thing about the FIRM stuff is, I’m not in good enough shape for it. So maybe I will hold off and order that after I get through this Power 90. But after doing it, or at least my first day of it, I’m even more excited about doing it. It should be great. I took my measurements today, too, so that I can track my progress. If I ever get discouraged I can just take my measurements and see how far I’ve come. That will probably motivate me to go even farther.

Energy!

Well, the first week is almost over. So far, all I have experienced is a few headaches in the evening – almost every evening this week. Luckily, I have learned that this is normal when you are going through carb withdrawals. On the plus side, I am not tired any more; I don’t feel like I have to have a nap every afternoon, and the other night I went to bed at 9:30 and didn’t think I could go to sleep because I wasn’t sleepy! And  I am sleeping so much better at night! This has been great so far. Eventually, further on down the line, I will start to monitor my calories so that I can lose some weight on this plan, but for right now, I’m going to let my body get used to it. I may give myself as much as a month. I have had incredible willpower so far, but I don’t want to do anything to rock the boat since I am just beginning. I don’t want to set myself up for failure. I’ve seen temptation a few times, but it hasn’t been bad (I saw a Snicker’s bar when I was in the gas station earlier and I thought “mmmmm…that would be good” but it wasn’t enough of a temptation for me to pick it up – especially since I know that my energy is coming from not eating that stuff).

I hope that I NEVER take this new-found energy for granted because it is so awesome to have it and I don’t want to lose it.

Carb Addiction

So if ANYONE has been reading this blog, they know that I’ve been having my ups and downs with Weight Watchers. Last weekend my boyfriend and I went to the beach, and for some reason it inspired me to try to get back up on the wagon. So when we went grocery shopping I bought all of my usual weight-loss inspired products: high fiber granola bars, low fat cereal, low fat yogurt, and other things that I figured would make the journey to weight loss simple and easy.

Boy, did I think wrong. It seems like nothing about weight loss for me is easy. First of all, every time I start weight watchers on my own, I seem to get incredibly sick with a cold or something else within a few weeks to a month. I’m so tired in the afternoons and evenings that I can’t think straight and have no patience for anything – and I have to have patience at my job; I work in a daycare! So for a whole week I was tired and irritable and didn’t have much to do with my own kids. I headed for bed early every night. And I thought, “This is the kind of thing that has had my boyfriend telling me to see a doctor.” And then I remembered that the one time that I was on Weight Watchers and it worked for me, I HAD to have a nap every single afternoon. It worked out for me then, though, because I got off of work at two in the afternoon. Not so now.

I started doing some online research about what could possibly be making me so tired all the time. A lot of sites said that this tired feeling was normal – which I absolutely refuse to believe. I can believe being a little tired, maybe, but not this overwhelming, OMG I have GOT to have a nap RIGHT NOW kind of tired that I have been feeling for the past week.

Then I came across a site that said something about insulin resistance. Now this is something that I’m familiar with, being that my boyfriend is diabetic. And after I cataloged the enormous amount of carbs that I was eating every day from the time I got out of bed in the morning to the time I got back into bed (exhausted) in the evening, I realized that I was stuffing myself so full of carbs that the insulin in my system is probably not working any more.

Now I am starting a big experiment, and it will actually be the second time I am trying it. I am cutting carbs. Specifically, I am cutting anything that has wheat or other cereal grains, bread, pasta, and stuff like that. I actually haven’t had any of that for two days. And the way I am feeling now has prompted me to research carb withdrawals.

Let me be clear now, lest I be misunderstood: THIS experiment is more about health for me than weight loss. Anyone who has been tired all the time knows how much it SUCKS! I have plenty of books that have plenty of information about carbs and their affect on the body to reference, thanks to my boyfriend. I am trying to read them and gain as much information as I can from them, as well as looking for other sources online. And from what I have gathered from this information so far, this is probably going to be the healthiest decision that I have made since I decided to be more conscious about my health OR my weight. And since this is now about health more than about weight, I am going to change the focus of this blog to reflect that. I am going to use this blog to vent any frustrations, hopefully talk out any cravings I have, and keep up this amazing willpower that I have been exhibiting to myself the past couple of days (remembering how tired I am after I eat that crap doesn’t hurt – I was so tired Friday night after I ate pizza that I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I went to bed at 8:30).