Saturday, July 8, 2017

Well we knew it was going to happen...

Over the last couple of months as I did no sugar and low carb...the thing I probably heard the most from people was, "I wish I had your will power. You are so strong! How do you not give in?" I kept telling people that it wasn't always that way...and it wouldn't always BE that way. Being on a journey of health and weight loss has always been..and will ALWAYS be a roller coaster. That's why I ride the highs for as long as I can. Because I KNOW the lows will always come. Well here we are.

Something always happens in life whether good or bad that disrupts the routine and allows for old habits to seep back in. This time it's a great thing! My mom has been in town since the end of June and I LOVE having her here. I've been blessed with truly the best mother in the world (She just is, you all need to accept it and not argue me here :P). She is the most selfless person I know and having her around just makes life easier. And happier. Not to mention my kids are in heaven having their Gram around. Now if only Pappa (my daddy) were able to be here too! But having company always means a change in routine. And while I've definitely handled it better this year than in years past, it still tends to give me that mentality of "vacation" and I get a bit lax with my rules about eating. I'd say I can't help it but we all know that's not true. I just don't WANT to help it haha.

We've kind of had it both ways these past 2-ish weeks. Some days I make everyone, including my mom, eat MY way. And other days, we go out to eat or to parties or with friends/family...and I just enjoy it. My mom was also kind enough to make all her signature baked goods while Nathan and I were away celebrating our honeymoon so that there wasn't quite as much of it sitting around my kitchen. But it was still there. It's been a long time since I had sugar that actually tempted me...just sitting around my house. None of this is my mother's fault and I hope as she reads this she doesn't think I'm blaming her at all. This is just how my brain chemistry has always worked and the best way for me to work through it is to write about it! The sooner I write it, the sooner I seem to move past it.

Ironically last night was my first real "binge" in months...and my mom wasn't even here haha. She was at her high school reunion. But I had cravings that hit me HARD. I had eaten well/low-carb all day but it wasn't enough. And I was cranky and stressed and just plain MAD. And I said screw it. We had Thai food for dinner and I had more carbs than I can count. Then as we sat and watched a movie I ate about half a bag of the cadbury mini-eggs I had hidden back in March when I wasn't having sugar at all. I felt justified and ate every single one with an "I'm eating this and you can't stop me" attitude. Of course as I sit and write this, I feel sick to my stomach with a food hangover and regret every bite...but I think I needed to go through that. I think every once in a while...everyone needs to go through that. It's a growing and learning experience.

And I have grown. In the past, a binge like that would just be the start. It would last for days or weeks and I would go silent and depressed and probably put on another 10lbs. But not this time. I let my emotions take over and that's okay. I'm still learning how to deal with them without food and probably will be for the rest of my life. Today is a new day.

Tonight we have a dinner with a bunch of ladies I haven't seen in years. We're going to Zupas which is one of my favorite places...and used to be a binge issue for me. But not today. I know what salad I'm going to get and will be passing on the soup/sandwiches and desserts today. Because I don't need them. My mom is only here a few more days and I am not going to let food be the central focus while she is. It shouldn't be the central focus of anything frankly. But come Tuesday I will be making another paper chain and sugar is going right back out of the house. I REFUSE to put 10lbs back on before I start losing again. I'm below 250 and intend to stay that way permanently this time. So this is just a little detour on my road to better health...not a road block.

This dip in my roller coaster is going to be the shortest yet. Time to head back up that climb.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Losing weight in the off season...

I used to think that was an oxymoron...losing weight in between seasons of Jilly's Losers. Because who keeps working hard during the break?! Well some people do, but I never used to haha. It's like my mind is so relieved to have a break from all that goes into running the group that it refuses to make any more effort again until the next one starts.

BUT NOT THIS TIME! HAAA!!!

Season 31 of Jilly's Losers started today and I weighed in 3.1lbs down from last week! That's 38.7 lbs since starting keto in March and just over 85lbs down from my heaviest ever :) It felt good to FINALLY bet at a place where it was just another week and not a week for me to go off the deep end. It took me 6 years to get there so I hope those in my group who still struggle with it know that I know how they feel!!! But it really does have to be a lifestyle change and not a "diet".

8 more days till my mama comes and I can't wait!! And surprisingly, I'm not chomping at the bit to have sugar when she gets here. We'll make some of our favorite Gram treats (her cinnamon rolls are THE BEST!), but I'm now fully confident in my ability to not let it derail me. The taste of success is far sweeter than the sugary stuff. I'm excited to get to show her how I eat these days. I'm sure she'll think I'm nuts just like I used to when I looked at my friends doing keto. But now I'm proud to be one of the crazies.

I suddenly have a much bigger wardrobe again and getting bigger by the week. I forgot how much I LOVE that. I also have to go buy some new bras today because well...you know. Yay for shrinking sizes!

This season of Jilly's Losers is going to be a big one in more ways than one. Not only is it looking like it may be the biggest season we've ever had (52 have weighed in so far and it's only noon!)...but with our goal of 6% weight loss this season, that will put me right at 230.6 which will be exactly 100lbs lost from my heaviest. This was a big milestone the first time around, but I'm just as excited...if not moreso...to be creeping up on it for a second time. Words can't describe how grateful I am for my group. Sincerely...family and my love for my Savior aside, it is the most important thing in the world to me and I don't know where I'd be without it. They're all kind of intertwined at this point.

Life is good!!!


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Jilly's Losers Season 31 Rules & Guidelines

Season 31 Rules & Guidelines
1. Season 31 will begin on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. It will last 8 weeks and our final weigh in will be on Tuesday, August 15.
2. The buy-in fee this season will be $25. This is a singles season. Fees should be sent via Paypal to Jillyslosers@gmail.com with the note “Season 31 buy-in fee” and your name. All fees MUST be paid by June 27th. Make sure to mark your payments as being sent to family and friends to avoid any PayPal fees.
3. This season we’re going to go back to DietBet format! For those of you who have never heard of DietBet, it’s a company that runs 4 week weight loss competitions in which participants have to lose 4% of their body weight in that time. Those who do so successfully, get to split the prize pot. Ours will be a little different, but the same in that you are only really competing with yourself. After looking over this past season’s results, I’ve decided that our magic goal number will be 6% in 8 weeks. That will average out to be about 1-2lbs per week for everyone. This is completely doable, but not so easy that I think the prize pot will end up split 50 ways. But if it does, that just means that as a group, we lost a LOT of weight, and I’ll be extremely proud of us!!! After the starting weigh-in, I will post everyone’s 6% goal so that you know what you are personally striving for. The person who loses the HIGHEST % of weight in those 8 weeks will win 10% of the pot on top of splitting the rest with everyone else. Just a little extra incentive to keep going if you do happen to hit that 6% early! (NOTE: All prizes are given after challenge rewards are paid out (I tend to use half the total pot towards challenge rewards) and 10% is taken out of the pot for myself as insisted upon by you brats a few seasons back *grumbles*. Thank you lol)
NOTE: For those of us who are current group members returning for season 31, there WILL be a gain cap between seasons this time. It will be a 2lb cap. What this means is that if you weighed in yesterday at 200lbs and you weigh in next Tuesday at 205lbs…your official starting weight will be 202, which means those first 3lbs you lose won’t count towards your 6%. This will hopefully help keep us all from going too crazy in between seasons!
4. Regarding weigh-ins: We have mandatory weekly weigh-ins every Tuesday. (Why Tuesdays? Because that's the day that The Biggest Loser aired on NBC when I started this group and it's just stuck!) Your weight picture must be posted by midnight MDT to count! (Let me know if any issues arise. I’m pretty reasonable.) Please weigh in under the same circumstances every week (morning/night/clothed or not, etc) As for strikes...you are allowed 2 missed weigh-ins per person. That's 1 per month (or 2 in a row…or 1 here 1 there, etc. Use them wisely!). On the 3rd missed weigh-in, you will be disqualified and you will not get your $ refunded. (You may continue to stay in the group and weigh-in but you will not be eligible to win any $ or prizes either from challenges or the final weigh-in) Remember that weigh-ins must be a picture of the # on your scale with your feet showing. Not just a post of your weight. I understand people take vacations and sometimes use different scales. This is fine…HOWEVER…you MUST use the same scale for your starting and final weights so that we can be sure of accuracy.
5. Before pictures are MANDATORY. The pictures may be with or without a shirt (you'll notice more of a change if you do it without), but they must be full body pictures. (I highly recommend everyone take a shirtless before pic that they at least keep for themselves even if they don’t share it. You’ll be glad you have it one day!) If your before picture is not submitted within the first week of competition (by June 27), you will be disqualified. (If you submitted an "after" picture for season 30, that will count as your "before" picture for season 31) Those who win prizes at the end of the season will not receive their prize money until an AFTER picture has been submitted and they must do so within 48 hrs of the winning announcement. NOTE: Newcomers to this group always worry that their pictures posted in the group will show up for the public to see. This group is secret. As long as you are on the group wall BEFORE posting your pictures, no one will see them but those in the group. Your pictures will show up on your own feed when you view it, but I promise you no one else can see it!
6. Starting and final weights will be confirmed with a KEY WORD. This is to ensure that starting and ending pictures are truly taken on the day of the weigh-in and not before. I will post the KEY WORD in this group the night before the first and last weigh-ins. It should be written on a piece of paper or notecard and placed at your feet in the front of your scale before taking your picture. You may NOT just type the key word into your post or add it to your picture afterwards using an app. It must be physically IN the picture itself.
7. We will continue doing weekly challenges. I try to come up with new challenges whenever, possible, but for those of you who have been around a while, I'm sorry to say you will see some repeats! Each challenge will have different rewards/prizes that will hopefully help keep people motivated. There will even be a couple big prizes depending on how large a group we have!
8. Points system: I’ve decided to do the points tracking this season since it seems to really help those who participate in it. The points system is a tracking sheet (either print out or automated excel) for tracking food/sleep/activity, etc. More info below! (Note, the points have changed a little this time around!) The person with the highest points at the end of the 8 weeks will win 5% of the pot and a special prize that I have yet to decide upon file:///C:/Users/Jill/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.png:P The biggest change to the points this season is that you will NOT get points for weight loss. You will still get 5 points each week if you don’t GAIN…there will just not be extra points for losing. So you’ll really have to stick to the points if you want to win!
9. Remember that this group is about gaining health and losing weight through eating right and exercising. Extreme/fad diets are not allowed. Weight Watchers, the Ketogenic diet and things like that are fine, but no pills/drops/powders etc. (Protein shakes are fine)
10. This group is only for those who will be actively participating in the competition this season, so while I hope everyone will stick around, please know that if you choose not to join us this season, you will be removed from the group. You are always welcome to join us in later seasons file:///C:/Users/Jill/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.png:)
POINTS SYSTEM DETAILS!!! (borrowed from sixsistersstuff.com) -There is a weekly point calendar for each of the 8 weeks. (It will be posted as a separate document under the “Files” tab on the group page) Print it out and use to track your points and weight loss. If you prefer to use an excel spreadsheet that will do your math for you, Cody Mecham made one a few seasons ago that we’ve updated and will post as well for you to download.
-Beginning on Week #2 there is a double point challenge (highlighted in yellow)
-You can exercise each day, but you will only receive points for exercising 5 days a week.
-You can avoid carbs after lunch every day, but you’ll only receive points for doing so 5 times in a week (Carbs in this case is referring to the obvious…breads, pastas, cereal, grains/oatmeal etc, sweets. Fruits and veggies are FINE!)
-You can choose to not eat sugar/treats each day, but you will only receive points for not eating sugar on 6 days (everyone needs a free day!).
-There is a sample food journal that you can use or you can use your own kind of food journal to keep track of what you eat.
-Daily contact with teammate: It’s amazing the strength that comes from encouragement from your teammates! We said that you could email, call, or text someone in the group to encourage them to have a healthy day. It helps knowing that you are all in this together and makes you accountable for what you do or don’t do. Posting or commenting on the group page also counts. Hitting LIKE does NOT count!
-Example of maintenance points – If your weight is the same or lower than the previous week, you will get 5 points. There will be no points this season for losing so that will save everyone some math!
NOTE!!!!! Points totals MUST be either emailed (jillyslosers@gmail.com) or messaged via Facebook to Jill Tracy by midnight MST each Tuesday in order to be counted. With such a large group, I’m afraid there will be no exceptions. If you forget to tell me one week…they won’t count. I’m sorry!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The best season ever...

I'm sure my fellow "losers" (as in Jilly's Losers) are tired of hearing me gush about Season 30, but I'm gonna do it one more time anyway.

Yesterday we finished another 8 week season and I can say without a doubt that it was the best one. Ever. Going into it, I was nervous because we were doing teams of 4 for the first time. There are always people who LOVE working with a partner because it pushes them...and there are always people who don't enjoy it because of the fear of letting them down. So you never really know how a season is going to go when you force people to work together.

By the end, I had people begging me to keep it going!! That's saying something!

My own team...well honestly, there just aren't words great enough or big enough to tell you how I feel about my team. Amy, Shari, Sue and I met in our favorite Zumba class at the gym. Having a team that I could see several times a week definitely helped us to push one another. But in those 8 weeks, we went from workout buddies...to family. I genuinely love these women and I cannot tell you enough how proud I am of them.

As a team, we lost 67.6lbs in 8 weeks!! We worked hard and didn't let up. And as a result...we were the team with the highest % of weight loss at the end of it all :) I'm so beyond proud. This is only the second time I've "won" in 30 seasons...and the first time was when I was partnered with my husband. So clearly...working with other people works for me!

But even more than just my own team...as a group, Jilly's Losers lost 407.8lbs in 8 weeks. HOLY COW! I mean seriously! 407.8lbs???? This completely shattered our old record of 251lbs...and that was in 12 weeks time. Something about this season pushed people to work hard and try new things and to lift one another when it got hard. We only had one person DQ themselves the entire season and that in itself is a record lol. And it was only because she was out of the country! I'm seriously so impressed with this group of people and can't wait to do another teams season...sooner than later!

As for my own personal results, I'm pretty proud of myself. In those 8 weeks I lost just over 20 lbs and about 13" from all over my body. Yesterday I had to stop during a Zumba class and ask poor Sue to help me tighten my sports bra straps because I've lost so many inches and it was becoming uncomfortable! haha. One of the best parts was losing 5.3lbs in this last week...and that was after my birthday binge! It was a huge accomplishment for me to enjoy my birthday like that and get right back to work without even the slightest hesitation. Couldn't have done that without the support of my "Fit and Flab-you-less" team...and my amazing Jilly's Losers family.

I'm almost sad to be going back to a singles season next week, but I'm forever grateful for the support system that has come from this group. I crushed my season goal of breaking 250 and it's time for the next! 230.6 was my original 100lbs lost from my heaviest so that's where I'm headed next!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Birthday Binge 2017...

We all knew it was going to happen. Don't act so surprised ;)

My birthday was amazing. It really was. I started it out on the right foot by teaching a Zumba class and was lucky enough to have 15 great friends come to celebrate with me. I was truly touched to walk into the aerobics room and find that my 3 dearest friends and Jilly's Losers teammates had shown up early and decorated for me. Balloons, a banner, streamers on the fans...and DONUTS! haha! It's like they know me. (All pics were taken POST workout, so don't judge my sweaty skin and red face. The outfit was pre-planned so you can totally judge that :P)



Because my team was still finishing up a relay challenge for Jilly's losers on Monday, a good portion of my day was spent exercising...which made me not feel so bad about all the deliciousness I ate. Aside from Zumba I also managed about 16 miles on the bike, 30 flights of stairs and a bunch of pushups, crunches etc. But you guys don't care about that do ya. You wanna hear what I ate. How weird are you!

On Tuesday I was genuinely nervous about jumping right in to the sweets, so it was late afternoon before I had anything to eat at all. But eventually I decided I could handle it and I let the fun begin. The first thing I did was split a maple bar donut with my hubby. Amy had brought them to Zumba knowing I was bummed about missing national donut day. I felt so loved haha. I ate it slow and it was perfection. I got to try caramel M&M's for the first time and they were pretty good! Hubby had set aside a pack for me when they first came out, bless his heart. My kids had also gotten me some rolos...because chocolate + caramel = my happy place. I had one more small chocolate donut later on, but that was all the sugar I had on Monday. I was more interested in the carbs.

CARBS CARBS CARBS. Seriously. Since Taggarts was closed on Monday, we went to our favorite cafe...Sills. I had half a scone w/ honeybutter, 1 small pancake and some hash browns. (I also had bacon and eggs, but no one cares cause I've been eating that for the last 3 months!) It was a good thing I only had one meal that day because having so many carbs after 3 months of close to nothing filled me up super fast. It was worth every bite though.

Tuesday was a little different. Looking at the portions of things I ate, I really don't feel as though I ate that much, but my body disagreed. I had a single orange roll before my workout since that's all that was left after my children inhaled them the day before haha. It felt good to get in a workout after Monday's carb fest...and knowing what was coming! For lunch, I wanted pizza because I have truly seriously missed it. I LOVE pizza. Nathan suggested we get The Pie. Having not been there in at least a decade, I ordered the pizza that sounded the most decadent. It had cream cheese, chicken, artichokes, etc etc etc...and sounded amazing. I don't know if it was my changed taste buds or if The Pie just isn't my thing...but I wasn't a fan. I had 1 piece (without the crust) and was done. Though I did have 1 1/2 pieces of garlic bread (YUM). Nathan had also stopped at Great Harvest and brought home a loaf of pumpkin chocolate chip bread because he knows how much I love it...and I had a slice of that after lunch. But only one. I'm kind of impressed with myself there.

Before dinner, I had another handful of rolos and caramel m&m's to um...make sure they'd be out of the house and unable to tempt me once birthday binge 2017 was over.

Then came the part I'd been so excited about. We drove up into the mountains in Morgan and went to Taggarts. It's this tiny little cabin restaurant and it was crowded! It was obvious this place was a big deal. We even heard a guy walk out saying, "That's the best burger I've ever had in my life!" When you walk in, there's 2 HUGE dessert cases. We all picked out the ones that looked the best so we'd know what to get on the way out.

We ordered mozzarella sticks and red pepper/cream cheese poppers for appetizers...and honestly, I could've stopped there. The poppers were unlike anything I'd ever had before and I'm pretty sure I ate 5 of them. I was full after that...but I wasn't going to quit. I had ordered a chicken tostada because I kinda just wanted some veggies...but this tostada had more beans and rice and meat and cheese than any I'd ever seen. It was good, but not great. I'd prefer a Cafe Rio sweet pork salad any day, but hey..now I know. I ended up only eating about 1/4 of it before I called it quits. I did steal a few french fries from my kids though and THOSE were amazing. Of course their fry sauce didn't hurt either.

The biggest reason we went to Taggarts was for the dessert. Last year for my birthday, I didn't want to eat a whole cake, so I did a cake smash and barely got any in my mouth. That worked well. This year, I decided to go OUT for dessert so that we could just eat it and be done with it. But since we were all so full, we took it home. Annnnnd....since they had SO MANY that looked amazing and I couldn't decide...each of us picked the one we wanted so that we could just try them all.


Starting at the top of the pic and going to the right we got...chocolate cake, rocky road brownie, NY cheesecake w/ raspberries, turtle cheesecake, german chocolate cheesecake and carrot cake. I nearly went into a sugar coma just looking at them. But honestly...they looked better than they tasted (to me). My sister Heidi was right...no sugar for three months made them all taste WAYYYYY too sweet and I couldn't handle it! The only one that I had more than a  tiny bite or two of was the raspberry cheesecake because the cheesecake part balanced out the sweetness of the topping. The carrot cake was good, but still too sweet. Everyone else seemed to love them though because most of them disappeared by this morning!

So I went to bed feeling fuller than I had in MONTHS and honestly feeling pretty sick. But I had expected and planned for that. This morning I woke up with the mindset that my birthday was 100% over and it was right back to business. I was grateful for that. My biggest fear going into this birthday was that it would derail me and bring back all my cravings. It didn't. I went to Barre Fusion at the gym this morning to get in a good sweat (Thanks for kicking my butt Angie!) and then came home and had a 1 carb waffle with strawberries and heavy cream. And THAT...was the best "dessert" of them all.

The scale was up 4lbs from yesterday's weigh-in, but that's okay. I know it's at least 80% water retention from the massive influx of carbs and it will come off with a few days of good, low-carb eating. I'm honestly proud of myself. I needed to do this. I needed to be reminded of how much better I feel eating this way and how much my body dislikes all the junk I used to have on a regular basis.

So it's back to work. I decided to make another paper chain this morning to get my girls and I through another stretch of no sugar before my mom and sister come into town (YAY!) I'm proud of them for wanting to do it again! 17 days will seem like nothing compared to 96! But next time...there will be no binge and it will be nothing to write home about :)

Monday, June 5, 2017

How the ketogenic diet changed my life in 96 days...

Happy birthday to me :) I can't believe it's finally here. When I first decided to go from March 1st until my birthday without sugar...and doing the ketogenic diet...I was sure I would fail. I was sure I was nuts to even THINK I could attempt it. It had been a long time since I set a goal and reached it. But this time I reached it! Let me rephrase that...

I CRUSHED IT!!!

The ketogenic diet (just to recap quickly) is essentially a low carb/high fat way of eating. The goal was to stay below 40g of net carbs a day (total carbs - fiber = net carbs) and (for me anyway) to hit about 100g of fat a day. This was a huge change for me. For someone who has always stuck to the mantra of "balance is key" and "I refuse to cut things completely from my diet"...this was pretty extreme. But extreme is what I needed for a while. And it worked.

The first 2 weeks were pretty tough, but the rest of those 96 days really were a breeze. Some days I had a few more carbs than I should have (like the panda express chow mein earlier this week. oops!) but I stayed on track 99% of the time. And I learned to love finding new ways to reach my macros each day! I learned to appreciate my love for bacon, avocado, steak, chicken, cheese, eggs and so many other foods that I suddenly got to have more of. Sure...I missed things like bread and chips and french fries....and buns on my hamburgers haha. But seeing the results I was getting made it easy to just keep going!

The thing I am most proud of, however, is that NOT ONCE did I slip and have sugar. Not a bite, not a lick, not a single one. I did take plenty of deep inhales...but those are totally calorie free haha. And to take it one step further...today is my birthday and I can officially HAVE sugar. But I'm scared to and don't want to hahaha. My amazing friends brought some incredible looking donuts to my Zumba class this morning and I brought them home to share with my family. I have yet to take a bite of mine. I just keep staring at it! I was sure that when today came I would binge on sugar and be sick by noon time. I truly have changed. It's incredible and I'm grateful for it.



So...96 days of keto and no sugar. Here's what I got from it :)

In 96 days I:

-Lost 31.4lbs (at least half of which was lost without exercise due to my broken foot)
-2" in my chest, 3" in my waist, 3" in my hips, 2" in my thighs, 1.5" in my calves, 3" in my arms for a total of 14.5" overall!
-Learned that I really can survive without sugar. Really. I can.
-Learned that I can also survive without bread! Who really wants to..honestly..but at least I know I can!
-Went from a size 22 jeans to a size 18.
-Healed from yet another horrible injury and got back into better shape than I was before it happened.
-Got really good at substituting for carbs in our family meals (zoodles, lettuce wraps, etc)
-learned how to say no thank you when offered treats
-learned how to enjoy social functions for what they are and not for the food involved
-had the support of countless friends and family who made it 100% easier to stay on track on the days I really didn't want to.
-learned that of all the "diets" I've tried over the years...the ketogenic diet is the one that is the most sustainable and gives me the best results. I fully intend on continuing it indefinitely.
-found my motivation again and hopefully helped others to find theirs. It's almost impossible to try and inspire others to live a healthier lifestyle when you yourself don't care enough to do the same!
-taught my family how to be a little bit healthier...and hopefully it sticks!
-proved that losing weight really is 80% diet and 20% exercise.
-showed my food/sugar addiction who is boss.
-did and learned so many things that I won't try to list them all here. But basically...it changed my life.

I am grateful to Cody Mecham for convincing me that I could do this and for leading by example. I'm grateful to my other keto friends who gave me ideas and recipes and pulled me alongside them on the tough days. I'm grateful to my husband for not enabling my bad habits over the last 3 months and instead making every effort to make things easier for me. It made all the difference. I'm grateful to my girls who went 96 days with me without dessert! That's tough for a kid!

I realize that this was only 96 days of my life and here I am acting like I'm accepting an Oscar...but there really are no words for the impact that the last 3 months had on my mental state, my emotions, my motivation and on my self-confidence. The last 3 months are just the beginning.

So happy freaking birthday to me. 38 is going to be the best year yet :)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Goal reached with 6 days to spare!

I'll make this short and sweet.

When I set out on this no sugar/low-carb journey I set a goal of losing 30lbs by my birthday (June 5). Today at my Jilly's Losers weigh-in I was 253.6 which means I've officially lost 30.5lbs since March 1st :) Time to start deciding on some new goals!

Monday, May 29, 2017

ONE WEEK LEFT!!!!


This is what's left of our 96 link paper chain. 7 links. SEVEN!!!! My girls and I are pretty excited to say the least. They have done a great job of not having any dessert for the past 3 months! Of course, they still were having the occasional kids cereal and other things that contain sugar, but the point was to not have any candy, cupcakes, brownies etc....and they did a great job :) They had a lot of support and help from amazing friends and teachers. I am very touched by the lengths people went to to make sure they felt included in activities where treats were included! Even Ariana's cooking teacher helped her make her own version of no bake cookies that had honey instead of sugar so that she could participate.

While I am excited, I'll admit I'm a little nervous too. Since my "no sugar" the past 3 months has been a lot more extreme, I know that allowing it back into my diet has the potential to make me feel pretty miserable and to possibly derail me again, but I'm hoping that I've learned enough over the past 3 months to not let my birthday celebrations become a month long thing. And while in my mind, I'm planning all these delicious things I want to eat next Monday...I am 150% sure my stomach won't allow it. But it's fun to daydream about it!

So the plan going forward beyond next Monday is this...

Monday and Tuesday are going to be freebie days. I haven't had one of those in months. It won't start, however, until after I teach my 11:30am Zumba class or I'll be sick and we don't want that haha. Yes...I'm giving myself 1 1/2 days to enjoy myself. Then it's back to business. I will make another paper chain to get me through NO SUGAR again until my mom arrives at the end of June. It's only a few weeks, but I need to make sure that I'm firmly back on the wagon once family is in town so that it'll be easier to stay strong when normally I'd let it be a daily excuse to eat everything in sight.

As far as the low-carb stuff goes, though, I'm going to be changing things up. After the birthday celebrations are over, I will allow myself one carb-crazy meal a week. It will not be a full day of indulgence. It will be one meal. If I want pizza, I get pizza. If I want a loaded baked potato...great. If I want to eat a whole loaf of bread then no one's gonna stop me haha. But that's it. After that meal is over it's back to less than 40g of net carbs a day and eating everything between the hours of 11am and 7pm. No excuses. I ate that way for 3 months and I know now that it's completely doable.

So that's it. That's the plan and I hope no one will try and tempt me to deviate from it haha. Nothing is possible without as much love and support as I have had the past few months.

7 more days! I've never been so excited for a birthday in my life haha.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Obsession vs. Determination

Someone pointed out to me this week that I have an obsession with weight loss...and not in a good way. This struck a nerve with me (obviously) but it also got me thinking. Do I? As a challenge to my team this week, I suggested we all put our scales away and not weigh-in again until weigh-in day next Tuesday. You would think I had asked us to hold our breaths for a week! But the fact that we were all so nervous to do it just told me how important it was that we see what it was like. So far it's been 3 days without my usual morning weigh-in and it's not so bad. To be honest, I had Nathan hide my scale from me so that I wouldn't even be tempted. But does all of this constitute obsession? As my friend and teammate, Shari, put it..."Obsession and determination are two completely different things."

I think obsession is more of a passive way of viewing something that you want really badly. If I were merely obsessed with losing weight, I would sit and whine about wanting to, feel jealous of those around me who were doing so successfully and yet be unwilling to make any effort to do it myself. Determination, however, means (in my opinion anyway) that I want something bad enough to actually do something about it. I also firmly believe that if I were merely "obsessed" and not "determined"...I wouldn't have the desire to help others on the same journey as I have spent the last 6 years doing. And my obsession/determination is not about becoming "skinny". It is about so very much more than that.

I am not obsessed with losing weight. I am DETERMINED to lose weight and build muscle. But why?
Because...

It will make me stronger both inside and out.
It will make it easier to keep up with my children.
It will make it easier to fulfill my duties as a fitness instructor and set a good example.
It will give me more energy for the day to day tasks that come with being a wife and mother.
It will help prevent more injuries in the future.
It will lessen the amount of strain I am putting on my joints and on my back and my heart.
It will allow me to live a longer, more full life with my children and...one day...their children, etc.
It will allow me to go clothes shopping wherever I want instead of just stores that have plus sizes.
It will help me to feel more confident.
It will show my children the importance of taking care of our bodies. We only get one!
It will set a good example for those in my weight loss group who look to me for motivation.
It will help me sleep better, feel better and get sick less often.
It will save me money in the future on medical bills.
It will help me keep control over my food addiction instead of it controlling me.
It will help me continue to reach my goals in the fitness/health industry.
It will make me happier.

I'm sure I could come up with many more reasons, but why should I have to? This is what I want for myself and there is nothing wrong with me going for it. Some might say I should just learn to love myself as I am....but who says I don't? I can love myself as an obese person while still striving to be a better/healthier version of myself. I didn't love myself at 330lbs, but it wasn't just because of the weight. It was because of the life I was living as a RESULT of the weight. I changed that. Now I'm living the life I want. But it will be even easier/better to do so with less lbs on my body. I'd rather not have any more serious injuries that result from my mind thinking I can do things that my body isn't ready for.

So call it obsession if you want, but it's not obsession with being "skinny" or with fitting into some expectation society has of me. It's obsession with bettering myself. And I don't see a damn thing wrong with that :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Week 12 (results)...when the impossible becomes the norm

12 weeks. Wow. Next week makes 3 full months of all of this and while it's seemed like the longest 3 months of my life in some ways...I also can't believe it's almost over! In week 12 I lost another 2.4lbs which brings the grand total to 27.9 since starting Keto/no sugar on March 1. I also took my measurements again, but I think I'll wait until my birthday to take them again and post my "final" results all together. I honestly haven't lost as many inches as I was hoping.

This past week in my weight loss group, our challenge was to follow a certain points system and try to get "perfect points" as a team. We got points for things as simple as checking in daily with our team...to things as difficult as no carbs (bread, pasta, potatoes, rice) after lunchtime. Workouts, water, no eating after 9, 3 servings fruits and veggies. And all these things had to be done for a full week. This isn't a new challenge. We've done things like this MANY times in my group. And every time, I would groan about it. Sure, I control the challenges, but I'm not doing my job if they're easy, right? No treats/sugar and no carbs after lunch has always been SO hard for me...especially mentally. It's usually where I would cave in or give up. I'd watch others around me breeze through it and I could barely make it through one day without those things.

Not this time. This time when I posted that challenge, it was EASY for me. I felt bad watching others who were in the shoes I used to be in...saying how hard it was and how cranky it made them. And I FELT THEIR PAIN! I have been there! But this time...it was just another week for me. I didn't have to change anything to succeed. And THAT...is how I know I've succeeded. I am finally treating my body the way it NEEDS to be treated to be healthy and strong. And I love that it's no longer this emotionally, mentally and physically draining struggle. That's not to say I won't ever have my downs again. Sure I will. They always happen. As do the ups. But this up has lasted 12 weeks and I'm gonna keep riding it as high as it'll take me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Week 11 results and a bit of burnout!

This will be a pretty short post because I just don't have the energy for a long one! Last week's challenge in my group was a workout challenge that involved teams racking up as many workout mins as possible in competition with one another. My team managed 40 hrs and 40 mins of exercise in 1 week and came in third place! I'm so proud of us! I'm also freaking TIRED! haha. I ended that "week" by teaching 3 zumba classes in a 24 hour period (and have to go teach one more in a couple hours). That may not sound like much, but trying to yell out your cues WHILE dancing gets pretty exhausting. My body is pretty much done.

I did however post a 2.6lb loss this morning at the end of week 11! That brings my total since March 1st to 25.5lbs. I wasn't sure I'd be able to pull that off considering my little carb splurge on Saturday which was followed by a rather enjoyable Mother's Day. But I made sure that Monday was VERY low carb (12g net!!) and that I drank lots and lots of water. And sure enough I went right back into ketosis and saw a nice drop today. So yay! It's truly amazing what one good, clean eating day can do for your body. Now if only I could be that on top of things EVERY day haha. Still...it's nice to continually lose every week after 2 years of steadily gaining.

Week 12 is going DOWN!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Day 73...paying the price

So yesterday was another one of those days where I may have gone juuuuuuuuust a lot over on my carbs due to an "I don't care" kind of attitude. Apparently I forgot what I learned on Easter about being unable to bake "treats" and keep them in my house because I did it again. A good friend of mine who is also on Keto (Amy!) had brought me some low-carb/no sugar peanut butter bars a while back that I LOVED. They totally hit the spot. I made the mistake of asking for the recipe and making them myself yesterday. I managed to eat 4 of them (about 750 cals total) before I put them in the freezer to stop the binge. They were just SO GOOD! Why is one never enough? Obviously even 10 weeks is not enough to cure me of my food issues. And then from there it was as if the rest of my day didn't matter.

For dinner, we had something we haven't had in a LONG time. If you live in/have ever visited Utah, you've tried Betos/Rancheritos...and you know how amazing their food is. I told myself I would just share a burrito with Nathan, but then he brought home my favorite super nachos (mmmm carne asada) and I was done for. I still didn't eat nearly as many as I would have in the past, but I had about 10 fully loaded tortilla chips and I definitely felt overly full for the first time in months.

It didn't take long for my body to revolt against this influx of unhealthy food. I felt pretty miserable the rest of the night and had some unfortunate side effects that we won't get into. I expected a full blown food hangover this morning, but luckily it wasn't too bad. I was definitely swollen/retaining water and my stomach still felt blah...but it was nothing like the results of binges in the past. So I guess I am improving to some degree. Luckily I went to teach a Zumba class and was able to sweat out the rest of the blahs without any trouble.

But do you think I've now learned my lesson? Do you think I can say "it'll never happen again!" No. Because we all know it will. And that's okay. I still haven't had any sugar and going over my my carbs once in a while won't be enough to knock me out of ketosis. So I think I'm still on track :) Next time Amy or I bakes anything though...we're splitting the batch. Cause self-control and sweets will never exist in the same sentence for me. I just have to accept that!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Week 10 results, road trip, new restaurant and some new insight to Keto...

I truly cannot believe it's been 10 weeks that I've been doing this. I never thought I'd have that kind of determination. Normally when I would go a whole week (or longer) without a blog post, it meant I had fallen off the wagon and just wasn't ready to face it. But in this case, it just means it's all sort of become so routine that I don't think anyone else cares to hear about it anymore! haha. And that's a great thing in my opinion.

In week 10 I lost another 1.6lbs which brings my keto weight loss total to 22.9 thus far! I was surprised I lost so much though since the scale didn't budge until weigh-in day. That "swoosh" thing is no joke! But knowing it will always come keeps me from giving up when nothing's happening for days on end.

On Saturday, we took a day trip up to Idaho Falls with our 2 youngest kids and it had me nervous. I haven't spent that much time in the car since starting on Keto and I was nervous about falling into old habits of fast food and junk in the car. But I have an amazing hubby who packed the cooler full of healthy snacks before I even had the chance to think about doing it myself. He has been so great about helping me stay strong on the days I don't want to and I'm so lucky to have that. So we ate breakfast before leaving, snacked on almonds, cheese, low-carb muffins, etc as we drove and then came the part that made me really nervous. We were going to visit Nathan's brother and his new wife and have lunch at their home. It was wonderful to see them and to spend some time with his mom and other members of his family, but when you have no control over what someone else is cooking it has the potential to get a little stressful. Or at least I expected it to. But I found that instead, I didn't feel like the whole visit revolved around food and instead I focused on the social aspect as I should have! My brother-in-law made a delicious salad and a chicken/broccoli casserole (all without knowing it was perfect for keto) and it was delicious! I didn't over eat and I enjoyed people's company and it wasn't the big deal I was worried it'd be. Not every meal has to stress me out.

On the way home, we needed to stop for dinner and the kids wanted taco bell. Did you know taco bell (at least in Idaho) has a protein bowl? I ate around the rice and beans and it was delicious!! We made it home and other than not getting in enough water for the day (cause I didn't want to stop at 10 gas stations on our drive home haha)...I was pretty proud of how I did.

Monday night, we had a date night...cause we needed one. We decided to try a newer restaurant at Station Park in Farmington called "Mad Greens"...where I had the best high fat/low carb salad I've ever had! Chicken, bacon, eggs, avocado, tomatoes...all made/cut fresh right in front of you. Why do all the good salads have to be such a drive from my house! It's just not the same making it at home. Something about someone else making my food makes it taste better haha. We will definitely be going back.

Yesterday a video showed up in my FB feed of a woman talking for 15 mins about the ketogenic diet and I had this feeling I should watch it. And then I felt I should share what she said with those of you who are still reading ;)  She talked about what's "allowed" vs "not allowed" on the keto diet and how really...everything is allowed. People always ask me "what I eat" if I can't have this and this and this. And I've always listed off the things I DO eat. But this video changed what my answer will be in the future. Really in it's simplest definition...keto means eating a high fat/moderate protein/low carb diet. Typically those in ketosis eat between 20 and 40g net carbs each day. That's it. Those are the rules. So if I want to use my carbs on a slice of pizza...or on some Halo Top ice cream...I'm "allowed" to do that without any guilt! Now...since I'm still doing my "no sugar" challenge until June, I personally am not allowing myself to have certain things, but if I wanted to use some of my carbs to share a small dessert with my kids...I could.

Of course, eating healthy, whole foods is always going to be a "better" option when it comes to fueling my body. But last I checked, I'm human...and sometimes I just don't wanna dammit. Last night we had Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner and I managed to fit a mozzarella stick, 2 onion rings and 6 wings into my macros just fine. Does that mean it was a "healthy" choice? No...but I didn't binge. I didn't overeat...and I stayed in ketosis. All while indulging in some of my favorites. So yes...I eat a ketogenic diet, but I still have the freedom to eat the things I love. And I LOVE that!

Time to tackle week 11!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

9 weeks down, 5(ish) to go!

I guess this past week was pretty uneventful if this is the only entry I've written! But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

For the first time in 5 months, I was at the gym SIX days this week! The weekly challenge in my weight loss group was for each team member (there's 4 on a team) to come up with a workout and then we all had to do all 4 of them. One of the benefits of having teammates who all live nearby and go to the same gym is that we could plan our workouts around our favorite classes! We ended up with Zumba (duh), Barre Fusion, Yoga (NOT my favorite, but Angie made me love her class!)...and our 4th workout was HIIT, taught by me! I ended up actually taking THREE Zumba classes (one which I taught myself) because well...I love a good shimmy. Barre was a class I had really missed over the past few months, but I was able to do it without too much pain...and even did it barefoot! I still can't do lunges that require me to balance my weight on my right foot with it bent, but that's okay. This issue also made downward dog rather difficult in yoga, but one thing I have gotten good at over the past few years is learning how to modify!! Our HIIT class kicked my butt. Yes...I kicked my own butt. I was nervous about it because the last time I did HIIT...well...I ended up with a screw in my foot. And normally when I teach HIIT I'm not doing the workout full out with my students. So this REALLY kicked my butt. And it was great! My teammates were troopers and I'm so proud of them! My foot is definitely sore after all the extra exercise (AND volleyball!), but I'm learning to push through it. I've accepted that the nerve damage from my surgery is something I may just have to deal with for a very long time and I refuse to let it stop me from doing what I love. Ice packs are my friend.

My eating was perfect this week. I LOVE that I can say that and I love that it felt easy. I even had a girls night out on Saturday with a whole bunch of friends and we went to Cafe Rio! If you don't live somewhere with a Cafe Rio then you can't possibly understand how AMAZING their food is. Their sweet pork is to die for. I knew we were going and I knew what I wanted ahead of time, so I got on their nutritional website and figured out how to make it work with my macros for the day. Instead of a salad that comes in a giant, soft, delicious tortilla...I did a sweet pork tostada. This meant that all my favorite salad items were still included, but placed on top of a small corn tortilla (hidden so it didn't even tempt me haha) instead. My friends thought I was nuts for having my salad with no rice and no beans, but honestly it was just as good without them! And because I didn't have them, I was able to finish the whole thing instead of only eating half like I used to when getting everything on it. So I'm telling you...it is entirely possible to ENJOY the Ketogenic diet and still live your life! I'm sure everyone thinks I'm super high maintenance for it, but it's totally worth it to me haha. Sorry guys!

In week 9 I lost another 2.8lbs! That's a total of 21.3lbs in 9 weeks. I was a little nervous this week when the scale didn't move for several days...but then as always when I least expect it...it just drops and I'm smiling again haha. My favorite pair of jeans are starting to drown me and while that's exciting...I hate having to give up a pair of jeans that I LOVE! But that just means I'm closer to fitting back into the OLD jeans that I loved! My closet is full of an entire wardrobe just waiting to be worn. It won't be long :)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

8 weeks, some inches and lots of lbs DOWN!

On one hand I can't believe I've already gone 8 whole weeks with NO sugar and with only a couple of slightly higher carb days. On the other hand....HOW HAS IT ONLY BEEN 8 WEEKS??? UGH! I can honestly say that I have no problem saying no to the sugar anymore. I don't even have to hem and haw about it before saying no. Probably because I'm not allowing myself ANY...so it's an easy answer. But with the carbs, I'm allowed to have a certain amount per day which means it's harder to say no to the ones that I love. I managed to fit a fried mozzarella stick and 1 tiny onion ring into my macros yesterday and was pretty proud of that...but I have to be careful. Those things can trigger a binge for me if I'm not careful. Luckily my kids had already eaten the rest and that's all that was left, which made it easy haha.

So...8 weeks down and I now weigh in at 265.6! Down 18.5lbs from when I started keto/no sugar on March 1st, 2017 and 65lbs below my heaviest. I am determined to see that overall total get back up over 100lbs lost! 18.5lbs in 2 months is pretty exciting for me. I don't remember the last time I saw numbers that good. As far as inches go...I have to admit I was hoping to see more drastic results, but while I've only lost 7 inches (over the past 8 weeks) it feels like more. My jeans are starting to fit again and my sports bras aren't cutting off my air haha. So at least I know SOMETHING is happening.

I'm going to start adding back in some more strength workouts now to try and help with the toning process while I'm losing. I'm excited to go back to Barre Fusion this morning and have given my foot a stern talking to about behaving. I usually do the class barefoot with everyone else so fingers crossed I don't have to slip into my sneakers. It feels good to be going back to the gym on an almost (week)daily basis. I know it won't be too long before I feel like I'm back in shape again :)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Days 50-55...Eating out and TEACHING MY OWN CLASS AGAIN! YAY!

I'm going to skip to the end first cause I'm too excited to wait. Today...I got to return to teaching :) I literally just got home (and showered, so I'm not dripping sweat onto my laptop) from the gym and I...AM...BEAT! Last night I slept like it was the night before Christmas...so basically...I didn't. And when I did, I had weird dreams. You'd think I'd never taught a class before, but I was seriously terrified. And all morning I had butterflies and a giant pit in my stomach. I was excited to get back to what I love, but scared too. I was afraid my foot wouldn't be able to handle it (it did), I was afraid I'd forget my choreography (I didn't) and I was afraid I was too out of shape (I was...). I am SO grateful that my dear friend and fellow instructor, Dee, was there to teach the last 25 minutes of class because I really did start to struggle. I couldn't catch my breath and felt a bit dizzy and as per usual, my face was red as a tomato (and still is an hour later). I had forgotten how HARD it is to yell out cues while dancing at the same time. I've been working out more the past couple of weeks, but it's obvious that I still need to do some healing and work on my endurance...because holy crap. I don't know how I will teach the whole 60 minutes next week!

I felt so blessed today though. I was afraid no one would show up for my class, but I ended up with 12...which is GREAT! And the best part was that one of my very best friends in the world, Kate Sweitzer, came to my class for the very first time. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful friends who support me when they know I need it the most. And the girl's got some moves! It meant the world to me to have her there along with all of my other wonderful students who were understanding of my limitations and just made the class FUN. I truly truly missed it and it feels good to be back.

Okay now backing up a bit haha. On Friday night our girls were out babysitting, so I went to dinner with all of my boys! Eating out has become kind of a game for me the past couple of months. It's kind of fun trying to find something on the menu that is low carb, but that I will still enjoy. We went to Outback Steakhouse and I strictly forbid the purchase of a bloomin' onion or aussie fries because I just don't have the strength to say no to those hahaha. But I did get the Alice Springs Chicken with some grilled asparagus and WOW! Was it always that good??? Chicken breast with bacon, sauteed mushrooms which normally I HATE) and melted cheese over the top with a little honey mustard for dipping. I'm sure I was making inappropriate happy noises with each bite, but it was amazing. Being able to enjoy eating out like that definitely saves me from giving up or feeling left out. I will definitely be trying to make something like that at home, though I doubt it will be nearly as good.

Another big milestone for me this weekend was going for a walk with Nathan, Cooper and our dog (Otto). Since breaking my foot, I hadn't done more walking than I would do in a grocery store...and it was always pretty painful by the time I was finished. But we went for a 2 mile walk and while it was slow...I didn't want to cry when it was over. My physical therapist would be so proud lol. I don't imagine I'll be doing any running anytime soon (mostly because I hate it and running is stupid....Sorry to my runner friends! hahaha)...but at least I'm getting to be outside and enjoy walks with my family again...even if I do have to ice my stupid foot after everything I do. At least I'm doing stuff.

Life is good again and I'm loving where it's headed :) I'm grateful that I found the strength to start doing Keto 2 months ago because I know that getting back to the gym would've been 10 times harder if I hadn't lost the weight I have thus far and I know there's more coming off every week! Baby steps are starting to get bigger and I love it :)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Week 7 results and a little bit of volleyball!

Week 7 was pretty anti-climactic weight wise. I was up 0.6lbs for the week, but considering my "dessert" binge (I put it in quotes because a friend informed me that if it has no sugar you cannot call it dessert haha) and a few carb-heavy days...I'm not really surprised. I'm already down much more than that today after getting right back on track :)

I may still have the occasional bad day, but I know I'm improving when I'm right back on task the next day and my binge doesn't turn into a week long pity party that spirals into a depression I can't get out of. So I'm calling this one a win :)

Season 30 of Jilly's Losers started and my team of 4 is made up of some of the most amazing women I've had the pleasure of knowing. We all met in Zumba class and they have each played a huge role in motivating me over the past few years. I'm lucky to have such amazing women who I know will push me to be my best self over these next 8 weeks. The final weigh-in for season 30, however, falls 1 week after my planned birthday indulgence. I'm seriously considering "postponing" my birthday a week just so that I don't negatively impact my team due to copious amounts of sugar. But we'll see.

Last night...I got to play volleyball for the first time since December!! When I broke my foot on January 3rd, I was less than a week away from starting a new season with my amazing team, The Bombers...or as we've affectionately renamed ourselves due to a typo in our group text...The Perky Boobers. Yeah...we're super fun and you're jealous ;) So I spent our winter season cheering my team on from the sidelines, which was hard to do. But last night I finally got to rejoin them on the court for our first game of the spring season. My surgeon cleared me to start building up to jumping, so I had to keep my feet on the ground...but I still played. Another week or two and I should be back to full form. Unless you play volleyball, you can't understand how hard it is to NOT jump. Especially when you're up at the net...and the other team passes the ball too hard and it comes right over the top of the net and you know you could jump up and just wail it back in their faces..... *sigh*. I gave into the urge once and maybe got about an inch off the ground...but after a scolding from my teammates, I made more of an effort to stay down haha. We didn't win, but it was a good workout, a TON of fun...and it just felt good to know that my body is healing to where I can almost be back to normal again.

Getting back to normal has me a bit nervous though if I'm being honest. I'm terrified of injuries now. This was my 2nd big injury in 12 months and I know if I have another one then I'm going to have to seriously reconsider some things. I'm also terrified to teach my first class in 4 months! I need to remind myself of my choreography so that I don't look like a complete newbie come Monday. But I've missed it...and I'm excited despite my nerves. This has been the longest 4 months and I long for the day when I no longer have to worry about how much my foot hurts as I'm living my life.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Day 48...My demons are far from gone...

Yesterday was eye-opening for me. It was the first time I'd actually felt shame since starting the keto diet almost 7 weeks ago. I had mentioned making a low-carb dessert for Easter and how excited I was at the prospect of doing so...and only having a little bit. Right? Well yesterday I proved to myself that I'm just not ready for that. I maybe never will be.

When I made that dessert, I doubled it so that it would make a full 13x9 pan. Bad idea. That meant that yesterday there was still half a pan left. And all day long it was literally ALL I could think about. I lost track of how many times I went over to that pan with a spoon and scooped another bite into my mouth. I'm sure it was pushing 1000 cals worth, but I honestly didn't count. I didn't want to. Maybe it wasn't even as bad as I thought...but it made me FEEL horrible.

Every time I left the kitchen, I couldn't stop thinking about going back for another bite. Just one more bite and then I'll be satisfied. I haven't had a real dessert in so long, this one won't hurt me if I have a bit more. There's no actual sugar in it, so it's fine. Excuse after excuse after excuse until the pan was empty again. It's a good thing my kids asked for some when they did or I am sure I would haven eaten the entire half pan all by myself. The moment that last bite was gone and the pan was in the sink soaking...my mind cleared and I wasn't thinking about it anymore. It was so bizarre. WHY DO WE DO THAT! Why does it have to be completely GONE for me to not want it anymore?? Why can't I just have a little and be okay with that? Why can't that be enough??

So no more baking for a while. I just can't have things sitting on counters that tempt me. That was an issue before and it's obviously an issue now. I am not strong enough to do that yet. I hope one day I am. But for now...it's back to single serve fat bombs and not letting the words "sugar free" tempt me into thinking they're okay to eat.

I'd say I'm curious to see how this will affect me on the scale, but I'm really not. I don't have to weigh to know that it probably won't be great. I can feel it. Time to get serious again and show my demons who is boss!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Days 45-47...carbs, carbs more carbs and Easter...

This weekend was hard. I don't know why especially, but it was. Nathan and I went to Station Park on Friday to do some last minute Easter shopping for our kids and our favorite sushi restaurant just happens to be there. I told myself that I'd been working really hard at staying low carb and avoiding sugar and that it'd be okay to have one roll and some grilled veggies. I knew I'd be over on my carb count by quite a bit, but for some reason in my mind I'd decided it was okay. Maybe having the lasagna and breadsticks the night before set something off in my brain...I don't know...but I was suddenly finding 40g net carbs hard again.

The sushi was amazing as always, but I ended up over 100g net carbs for the day and I haven't done that since I started 6 1/2 weeks ago. Having that many carbs 2 days in a row (especially from sources such as pasta, rice and bread) knocked me right out of ketosis and the scale started to inch up again.

Things like this are why I always set a gain cap for my group in between seasons. This season it's 2lbs. So if I gain more than 2lbs when we have our starting weigh-in tomorrow, it will change my official starting weight. Doing this helps keep me motivated to not go nuts in between seasons. And I don't feel like I've gone "nuts" in comparison to season's past...but compared to the past 6 weeks, I definitely went over the top.

Easter was wonderful. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed it as a family...but as with all holidays, I knew it'd be a struggle with food. What is it about holidays and food?? My family has always had the tradition off ham, sour cream potatoes (funeral potatoes), rhodes rolls and my Grammy's chocolate mousse for dessert. There is only one thing on that list that fits into my plans right now! The ham! So I knew we'd have to change things up.

I had Nathan cut me some ham before glazing it to cut down on sugar and it was still just as good. Instead of making potatoes, I made deviled eggs which have become an almost weekly favorite in our house! I still made the rolls, but I only made enough for Nathan and the kids to have 2 each...and I made the decision immediately that I would split one with Nathan. I ate that thing slower than I've ever ate a roll in my life, but it was SO good! For 18 carbs it better be. The tough part was dessert. I wanted to make SOMETHING...and not just something that would taste like Stevia with every bite. So I went to pinterest.

I found a recipe for Low-carb carmelitas that turned out AMAZING. You'd never have known there was stevia in them. Almond flour, coconut flour, almonds, unsweetened coconut, butter, sugar-free chocolate chips and caramel sauce....it was heaven. My girls inhaled it. Of course it was NOT low-calorie and one serving was itty bitty...but it was worth it. I had 2 servings for a total of 400 cals, but only 8g net carbs! I ate it slow and savored every bite and while I know it's not something I can have regularly due to all the artificial sweeteners...it was perfect for a holiday treat, especially since the girls had no candy in their baskets.

So now it's Monday and another week is almost over. The scale is up a bit, but I'm hoping that my Monday motivation will kick in and I'll see the # drop again tomorrow. I'm definitely feeling like I'm retaining water today. So it's time to drink lots and really keep the carbs low today after all the extras I had the past week.

It really isn't all about how the scale moves. I realize that I talk about it a lot, but there's so much more to this ketogenic thing. I feel like a completely different person. I have more energy, I'm happier, and for the most part my cravings are gone. It really has changed my life and continues to do so the longer I continue. I'm looking forward to doing my measurements again in another week-ish! I hope to see those numbers dropping too. I LOVE fitting back into my clothes!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Day 44...lasagna and breadsticks :-/

Thursday was tough. I went to Zumba in the morning...which was great. I even got to teach a song in preparation for going back to teaching my class on the 24th. But my foot was sore all day long afterwards. More sore than it's been in a couple weeks (and still am today). I may need to spend the weekend staying off it. Being in pain makes it harder to focus on my eating and that drives me crazy.

My 13 year old and I had a church dinner to attend and I had no idea going into it what would be served. Most things are modifiable. But I went into it starving...and that's never a good idea. As we sat down at the table they brought breadsticks from Little Caesars. Having a son who works there, I know how good those are!! I haven't had bread in a VERY long time...but I had 1 breadstick last night and it was heavenly. And then they brought out dinner. Olive Garden salad and .....lasagna. Seriously? Lasagna? There's no modifying lasagna that you didn't make yourself. So I took a deep breath and just went with it. I had two helpings of salad (after picking off the croutons) and then ate half of my slice of lasagna. I figured if I couldn't control what I was eating, I could at least control how MUCH of it I ate. I ate slow to let myself feel full, instead focusing on socializing with friends... and felt okay about how I did in the end. But eating my first pasta and real bread in 6 weeks made it even harder when they brought out these amazing looking browies, pb bars and lemon bars. I thought poor Ari was going to burst into tears haha. We stayed strong, but man...it was harder than it's been in a long time.

When all was said and done I stayed plenty far under my calorie goal for the day even though I was over on my carbs by about 20g. I'm curious to see if/how that affects my body over the next couple of days...but hopefully it doesn't. It definitely reminded me of how carbs don't keep you full very long though. Since starting on Keto, I've had no problem keeping all my meals between 11am(ish) and 7pm(ish)...but this morning I'm really struggling with hunger pangs. At least I don't feel sick this morning which means I didn't overdo it! When you go a long time eating whole foods and avoiding sugars/processed foods/grains...your body starts to heal itself. Going back to eating those things after a while tends to make me feel pretty freaking miserable, so I'm grateful that didn't happen this time.

I'm also grateful that this way of eating has kept me on track during this week off from Jilly's Losers. In the past when we've had our 1 week break between seasons, I've used it as an excuse to eat everything in sight and then some. So it feels good to still be on track and to be in control. I may even post a loss during our week off and that NEVER happens!

Now it's time to figure out how to tweak our Easter traditions to avoid sugar and some of our usual traditional foods! I'll be SO glad when those huge containers of Cadbury mini-eggs are GONE from the stores!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Week 6 and we're halfway there!

I still have a hard time believing myself when I tell people that I haven't had sugar in 6 weeks. It sounds crazy. Who DOES that?? Sugar is amazing! I love sugar! But I have. 6 whole weeks without a single mess up. *knock on wood repeatedly*. It has truly been an eye opening experience and I have learned that when I say "no" to treats that are offered or available...I don't shrivel up and die. So...it's not so bad.

Ari and I went grocery shopping the other day and the lady behind us in line had Breyer's Butter Pecan ice cream on the conveyor belt. Ariana started whimpering and pouting at me. I didn't know she had ever even tried Butter Pecan, let alone loved it. But I truly believe that when you haven't had your favorite sweets in a long time, LOTS of things sound good that you maybe never had before. I hugged her and told her that the ice cream would still be in the store's freezer in 6 more weeks when she's done with her no sugar challenge and that seemed to chill her out a bit haha. But it's true and I tell myself that everytime something tempts me. Brownies that I KNOW to be delicious sat on a table 5 feet away from me at a church activity the other night...and I managed to say no. Why? Because I know where I can get them and they will still exist in a few months. I don't NEED them. It makes me glad that my mother isn't coming to visit us until after my birthday so that I can say the occasional yes to treats that I only get when she's here! haha. That's not to say that once June 5th comes I'll go back to eating how I was before. I won't be. But there will be more wiggle room than there is right now.

So 6 weeks have passed and this week I saw the scale drop another 1.7lbs for a total of 15.8 in 6 weeks! At the beginning of week 6, the scale seemed to stall out and I really do think that it was the diet soda *sighs* After I'd had it out of my system for 2 days, the scale dropped again. So I'm going to need to be more careful with that I guess. Stevia doesn't seem to affect my being in ketosis...but apparently aspartame does. It's not good for me anyway, but still. Sometimes I just want a freaking diet coke!

Season 30 of Jilly's Losers is starting next week and I'm really excited for the new format I've come up with! We will be competing on teams of 4 and I put together a team of some of my Zumba friends/students from my gym! I know they will keep me on track through June and it will be fun to have workout buddies who motivate me on a daily basis! We just finished Season 29 and while I was far from winning (since I didn't start getting serious until 1/4 of the way in)...it was the first season in a long time that I had a good weight loss. It felt good to be in control and to feel like I was setting a good example. There is nothing harder than running my weight loss group when I myself have ZERO motivation to do the things I'm trying to help other people do. So it feels good to be back at the reigns again and to have a desire to do so.

I know motivation comes and goes and that I can't just rely on "feeling like it" to get me to my goals. I'm grateful that things have started becoming habit so that on the bad days, I don't crumble. I still get things done the way they need to be and the scale doesn't run my emotions. Life is good!!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Days 36-40...Xrays, workouts, muffins and burritos!

The biggest news of the past few days was my 12 week post-op visit to my surgeon!

(xray on left from 4/6/17---xray on right from 6 weeks prior)

He was very impressed with the healing my bone has done and says I don't need anymore xrays. The placement of my break was one that is normally extremely hard to heal (hence the screw I had to get put in) and he says I've pretty much made it out in the least amount of time possible. That was pretty great to hear. I'm hoping to start teaching again in 2 weeks when he's given me clearance to start adding some impact back into my routine! That also means I get to prepare for returning to my volleyball team this season which I can't wait for! I have really missed playing. I'm hoping that all of this means I can start to get back into a more rigorous workout routine each week. I still struggle with a bit of pain every day, so I will have to keep listening to my body, but I'm getting there.

My workouts lately have consisted of zumba once a week and pilates. I got to do pilates this past friday with my good friend Amy and it really pushed me harder, which I love. There is nothing like having a workout buddy! It's been so great to feel soreness the past few weeks. I really need to up my strength training again. I've been losing weight the past month without too much exercise, but for sanity's sake, I need to get more of it.

On Saturday we decided to go check out IKEA as a family. I hate to admit this, but I had NEVER been there before. I had kind of built it up in my head after all I'd heard about it and then came out pretty disappointed. At least I got in a lot of steps due to the bizarre layout of the store that forces you to walk its entire perimeter just to get back out. But being there all afternoon meant needing to stop to eat before making the drive back home. One of my biggest triggers in the past for unhealthy eating has always been driving in certain areas because they have some of my favorite restaurants. Usually I have no control when I eat out either. Nathan and I LOVE Freebirds World Burrito and since the closest one is near IKEA...my craving was overwhelming. So we went. But instead of gorging on chips and queso and having a whole burrito by myself, I shared a burrito and a salad with Nathan. I did go over my carbs by about 10g, but that's still pretty good if I do say so myself. I really don't think I'll ever be without cravings for SOMETHING.

I've become a bit obsessed with the "treat" recipes my fellow keto friends have given me in the past week. Chocolate PB fat bombs (agave, unsweetened 100% dark cacao, natural pb & coconut oil), strawberry cheesecake fat bombs...and now blueberry muffins. I wish Almond flour weren't so expensive because I'm starting to use it more often. The blueberry muffins definitely hit the spot and were very low carb! I am still learning to bake with Stevia though and need to cut back on it a bit next time. It's far more potent in its sweetness than sugar is! I have to wonder though if these "Treats" are affecting me on the scale because I've been stagnant for the past 5 days. It may just be the fact that I had 3 weeks of fairly decent losses and now my body is taking a break, but I really don't know the reason. I may have to try cutting the treats back out soon if the plateau doesn't break. I guess we'll see.

Almost 6 weeks down! I can't believe we're almost to the halfway mark. My girls are still staying strong on the no sugar front and have fallen in love with the chocolate peanut butter fat bombs since they're the closest thing to a treat they've had in ages! I don't know that I'd be doing so well without their strength pushing me. Cause man...sometimes I just really want a freaking donut.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Week 5 results!

Not too much new to report since I wrote a couple days ago, but I'm excited to report that I lost another 2.4lbs this week! That brings my 5 week total to 14.1. I'm pretty happy about it! It still frustrates me to no end that I am still 1 pound over my weight at 9 months pregnant in December 2014, but I know this downward trend will continue and before long that # will be in my rear view mirror.

People keep telling me they can't believe I've gone 5 weeks without sugar and sticking to the ketogenic plan. They say "I could never do that!" 9 times out of 10. 6 weeks ago...that was me. I've watched several friends lose pound after pound after pound doing keto and I always thought "good for them, but they're crazy. I could never do that." Obviously...I can. I just didn't want to. I didn't want to stop eating those things...cause well...they're really good! But I finally realized I NEEDED to. I don't know that I could have lasted this long if I'd told myself I could NEVER have those things again...but I will never be that extreme. But knowing that 2 months from today I will get to have a scone with melted honey butter and some birthday cake makes it a lot easier to say no to those things for a little while.

I've become a big believer in focusing on the short term. The small picture. The big picture just gets too overwhelming sometimes. And I'm okay with that. Goals are goals and I intend to reach mine...a few months at a time :)

Monday, April 3, 2017

Week 5 highlights...birthdays, sweet substitutes sickness and sanity...

Week 5 isn't over yet, but I realized I hadn't posted anything about it yet, so here goes!

This week felt like a bit more of a struggle. We celebrated my hubby's birthday and managed to do it without any sugar!! Well..he got some cookies the kids picked out for him, but since he's not a cake person, I didn't have to worry about that. I took him to our favorite cafe for breakfast, which was a real test of my will power. Sills has the most amazing scones and pancakes in the world. Seriously. Luckily they also have the most amazing bacon, so I ate lots of that with my denver omelette. I told them no toast and no scone on the side and thought I was in the clear. But of course they brought me a plate with like a full pound of hash browns on it, which I also love. Luckily theirs aren't my favorite, so I was able to box them up to take home for the kids without too much whining. Nathan was a real trooper. Even he didn't get a scone, which I'm sure he wanted. Love that man.

On Saturday, we drove an hour to watch my oldest compete in the Utah Colorguard Circuit finals and of course all the snacks they had there were off limits for me. Pizza, nachos, caramel apples. Blah. Luckily none of it was even remotely tempting, but I had forgotten to bring anything that I COULD have, so it was hard to just sit and watch the kids eat them. To make up for it, we stopped at Zupas on the way home. I love that I can still fit some of my favorites into my macros. I've had to change up the salad I get (Their California Protein Cobb has the least amount of carbs), but I still get to enjoy my Wisconsin Cauliflower soup *drools*. Being able to feel like I'm indulging once in a while is key for me. If I feel too deprived then I will quit.

Speaking of feeling deprived, I decided to try a few things this week that I hadn't planned on, but decided that since they fit into my macros and don't have sugar...then I can have them dangit! My awesome friend, Amanda, gave me a recipe for what she calls "fat bombs". At first I told myself I wouldn't make them because they feel like a "treat", but since they're sweetened with agave, which is better than honey as far as sugar content goes...I decided to make them. The girls were especially grateful. They're just agave, natural peanut butter, unsweetened 100% dark cacao and coconut oil. Each serving I made is about the size of one piece of a kit kat bar and has 133 cals, 3.6g net carbs and about 12g of fat. Fat bombs indeed! So when I need a little sweet something, they're perfect. Thanks Amanda!

The second thing I decided to try was almond flour. Since I've been keeping my net carbs under 40g a day, bread/muffins/etc are pretty much out of the question. A single slice of most breads contains over 20g of carbs and it's NOT worth it to me. But yesterday I felt as though if I didn't get SOMETHING that felt carby and comforting, I was going to lose it. So I looked up a recipe for some almond flour muffins that are sweetened with stevia. I decided to make them lemon poppyseed and they were great! Definitely not as good as the high calorie version, but they did the trick and only had about 6g net carbs.

I am loving learning all of these new things that I can fit into keto! The hard thing now will be not turning to carbs while I'm sick. 5 of the 6 of us have nasty sore throats/stuffy noses and the last thing I want to do is cook or worry about what goes into my mouth. But I know I need to. No excuses! I'm hoping that avoiding the sugar and carbs that I'd normally eat while sick will actually help me to get better quicker. I'm so grateful to feel like I have control again. It is truly life changing.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Obsession...

(I had a lot of thoughts that I was struggling to put into words. Hopefully I've done so in a way that makes sense and doesn't end up unintentionally upsetting anyone!)

Yesterday, a very close friend shared something in my weight loss group that really struck a chord with me. It was a blog entry I guess you could call it... written by a woman who had been extremely overweight and became obsessed about calorie counting and weight loss until she became what society wanted her to be. It talked about how all of her worst fears about her fat self were proved true once she lost the weight. She was suddenly no longer invisible. She could suddenly fit into seats at restaurants, theaters, etc. Men were everywhere wanting to talk to her and women suddenly wanted to be her friends. Doors were held open for her instead of slammed in her face, she got better service in restaurants..and she was just overall treated like a human. What she said about all of this is what stuck with me the most.

"And it pissed me the !$@# off."

It SHOULD. Losing weight shouldn't be the thing that earns you the right to be treated like a human being.

Until 2011, I was that obese, invisible woman. I had no friends unless they were on the internet and couldn't see me. I never left my house unless I HAD to. I wore 3-4x clothes and could only really shop in 1-2 different stores. I had to get an extender for my seat belts or not wear them at all on planes. I had to squish myself into the seats at movie theaters just to be miserable for 2+ hours. I ate in my car or in the privacy of my home because eating in public always got me stares. I could go on...but that's not why I'm writing this.

When I made the decision to change my life and my habits it wasn't so that I could wear a size 6 (which I never will), have men and women pay attention to me or to be able to fit into society's definition of "healthy and good looking". It was so that I could live my life. It was so that I could play with my children, climb the stairs in my house, learn to eat healthier...and so many other reasons that had nothing to do with society and the way it would see me.

When I lost weight pre-baby #4, sure...I got complimented quite often by those who saw me on a regular basis. But as my weight loss went from 50lbs...to 100lbs..to OVER 100lbs...some of the compliments started to turn into "You've lost enough, you really should stop." (Even though I was still over 200lbs) I even received an anonymous text from God knows who that told me I had an unhealthy obsession with weight loss and that I was ignoring my family and that I needed to stop. I still to this day have no idea who it was from, but it pissed me off.

Yes...I run a weight loss group and have been for 5 1/2 years. Yes, the number on the scale plays a part because it's how winners are determined each season, but for anyone who might think that I have an unhealthy obsession with weight loss, let me say this...

While I have seen more than 1,000 pounds lost by the men and women in my group, I have also seen the following...

-I've seen people exercise for the first time in their adult life.
-I've seen people learn what it means to treat food as fuel and not as an emotional crutch.
-I've seen people complete weekly challenges that they never thought were possible.
-I've seen people lose 10lbs in a week and also gain that same amount because this journey is a roller coaster and it's OKAY.
-I've seen people open up to complete strangers who became family and find a support system they never knew they needed.
-I've seen people with all different body types and personalities find different ways to lose weight and body fat that would never work for another person because WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT.
-I've seen people (including myself) lose a LOT of weight and then gain a lot of it back...because LIFE HAPPENS!
-I've seen those same people refuse to give up when things get hard.
-I've seen people battle depression and anxiety and watched it improve right before my eyes as they learn to take care of themselves a little better.
-I've seen people learn to truly love themselves and be PROUD of themselves at ANY size.
-I've seen people run their first 5K, 10K, half marathon and even marathons.
-I've seen complete strangers support one another through some of life's most difficult moments...birth, death, marriage, divorce.
-I've seen people tell each other "It's OKAY that you had cake for breakfast after the night you had. It does not define you. It will not ruin you."
-I've seen people laugh together, cry together, push together and cheer each other on like you wouldn't believe.
-I've seen people over 300lbs and people under 120lbs work together to motivate each other because everyone has their struggles no matter their size.
-I have seen unconditional love.
-I have seen lives changed forever.

And unfortunately, yes...I have seen obsession with the number on the scale. I myself have had moments like that where I let that # set the course for my day whether good or bad. But I am a changed woman.

I may be back up over 270lbs, but I'm not the same person I was the first time I hit that #. I'm not ashamed of my clothing size. I'm not embarrassed to go to the gym and shake my body in front of an entire Zumba class! I have NO problem going out to eat with my family. I have friends. Good ones who love me for who I am, not my size. I play with my children and I climb the stairs and I put on swimsuits and I LIVE MY LIFE.

Losing weight wasn't about losing the weight...it was about learning to love myself again. And I do. Yes, I am still working on shedding some lbs and I probably always will be...but as long as I am healthy and able to be a good mother and wife and friend...then there is no rush. I will continue studying and learning and trying to treat myself kindly so that I can hopefully help others do the same.

If nothing else, I hope that all of the men and women who have been in my group (or may be in the future) know that IT IS JUST A NUMBER. It is not how I define you. It is not how you should define you. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are INSPIRING. And I love you! And regardless of how the outside world may treat you...I hope that at the end of the day, you treat yourself with the love, kindness and respect that you deserve. Because THAT is what this journey is all about. And that...is what I'm obsessed with.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

4 weeks down and I'm still alive!!!

It's been almost a month and things have pretty much become routine for me, which I'm extremely grateful for. It's also the reason I'm not blogging as often. There's just not that much to say!  This past week had a few temptations, but I managed them without any problems. I still find myself occasionally daydreaming about bread or a big piece of cake with TONS of frosting...but it passes pretty quick and I know I'll get to have those things again in 2 more months!

I've decided that once my birthday comes, I'm going to change up how I'm doing this. A good friend of mine at church is doing this same kind of low-carb diet with her husband and the two of them have one night a week where they have a 6 hour carb window. They eat bread, have dessert or whatever and then move right back into their low-carb routine. I think that sounds totally doable for me. I'll have to see how my body reacts to it, but I refuse to say I'll never eat bread again. But for now...2 more months with NO sugar and no bread!!

So...after 4 weeks, I've lost 11.7lbs! I'm pretty happy with that. I think it would have been slightly more, but I'm rather bloated at the moment if ya catch my drift (Sorry!). But I did take my measurements yesterday and since 2/6/17 (which is 3 weeks before I started keto, but it's the only measurements I could find)...I have lost about 3" over my body. It's not as much as I'd like to see, but considering I haven't worked out much since then I'll take it. I know things will ramp up more once I'm back to building muscle again. It's a slow process to regain all that was lost over the past 3 months.

So things are going well and I'm excited to see how the next month goes. If I can keep up this pace, breaking 200 by the end of the year is totally doable! Fingers crossed!