Friday, March 31, 2017


(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 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 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 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!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Days 22 -'s all a good blur!

I waited too long to write this, which means I can't really remember what happened/how I felt on each individual day...but I do know this. I didn't slip up...even when I REALLY wanted to.

Physical therapy this week was tough. I'm having some muscle/tendon pain around my injury site again and it's rather frustrating. Just when I feel like things are really improving and my walk is almost back to normal...I am forced to limp again. I have 2 more PT sessions before worker's comp would have to approve more and I don't know that they I'm really hoping they help.

The toughest food day for me was probably on Friday. My 10 year old hurt her foot/ankle on the trampoline the week before and it still wasn't healing so we spent TWO HOURS at the doctor having it checked out/x-rayed only to be told it's just a nasty sprain and she's gotta keep using her crutches and boot as she already had been. I hadn't eaten breakfast before her appointment since I usually try to keep all my meals between 11-7, so by the time we finished at 12:30, I was ravenous. She asked for Subway on the way home, which meant I had my sweet onion chicken teriyaki salad. But at only about 200 calories, it didn't hold me for long. I had PT not long after I made it home and then a date with Nathan for pedicures, so I became hangry all over again amidst all the chaos with not a single snack to tide me over. Luckily the pedicures were just what I needed to help calm me down and instead of grabbing a burger and fries on our way home like I REALLY wanted...we picked up a whole bunch of ribs from Famous Dave's for us and the kids to have at home. I of course ended up WAY under my calories for the day, but I didn't cave to the cravings, which to me was more important that day.

So overall things are going well :) I'm getting better at bringing my own snacks/treats to places where I know there will be food I might not be able to have and it really helps. I also tried a new recipe for pizza crust made out of chicken that was so good even my kids inhaled it! It didn't make me stop missing a good stuffed crust pizza, but it eased the craving enough to get through the day.

I can't believe it's almost been a whole month. People still think the girls and I are nuts for doing this...and some days I do too...but thus far it's been totally worth it. It's especially nice to be losing weight even though I'm barely working out compared to what I'm used to.

I really need to get in better shape quick though or teaching is going to kill me haha. It may be time to just do the workouts I really don't want to..but a spin class or a lap swim in the pool. Man I miss Zumba :( 2 more weeks until I see my surgeon. Fingers crossed my pain is gone by then.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Week 3 results!

Tuesday was pretty great. I went to lunch with my good friend, Kate, and as per usual we went to Zupas! (Well I did. She had a salad from Noodles & Company, but they were right next door, so we ate outside haha). I tried a new salad this week since my usual go to protein bowl is extremely carb heavy (beans, corn, etc). I had their California cobb protein salad and was surprised how much I liked it. I also got to enjoy a cup of my favorite soup in the world...Wisconsin Cauliflower. I LOVE that I have learned how to make room for indulging in some of my favorite things and still stay on track!

Later in the afternoon, Nathan and I took the kids to the park to fly kites for the first time in YEARS. It was SO nice to be able to spend some time outside. I can't wait until I'm physically able to start enjoying the trail next to our house again. I LOVE springtime. I hope it lasts and doesn't jump right into summer.

Tuesday also marked day 21 and the end of 3 weeks of no sugar/low carb (keto) for me! When I weighed this morning (Wednesday) the scale read 274.9 which is great :) It was a half pound lower yesterday for my Jilly's Losers weigh-in, but that was after a good, sweaty workout so this was a great number to see without sweating at all. So that's 3.4lbs for week 3 and 9.2lbs overall in 3 weeks! An average of 3lbs a week is pretty amazing (even though it was actually more like 7lbs week 1, gained week 2 and then lost again in week 3 haha). So that's definitely enough of a change for me to want to stick to it. Next week I will do my measurements after completing 1 month and hopefully see some more changes atop the scale #'s. I really hate re-losing weight, but at least it's coming off. I will start to feel a bit more excited when I'm below 250 again since I got there right after baby came in 2014 then gained ever since.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Day 20 (Monday)...Foot frustration and sushi...

Since I don't feel ready to go back to Zumba at the gym for a full 60 minutes yet, I decided to do it in my kitchen to my own choreography and see how far I got. I made it 30 minutes before not only was my foot sore, but I was beyond out of breath and my heart was racing. It was the way I used to feel when I first started working out. The good news is that my salsa looked more like a salsa and I can cha-cha without having to take out one of the "cha's" so it looks more like zumba and less like big, chunky white girl having a fit. It felt good to just dance. But it's beyond frustrating how much muscle and endurance I lost in those few months I was off my feet. I'm hoping it will come back quicker than that because I need to be able to teach soon and I'm still not even close to ready.

To make matters worse, I decided it was a good idea to take my daughter shopping at Walmart and after more than an hour of her trying on clothes, I was near tears and basically balancing on one foot. She kept asking me if I was okay as I limped up to the checkout stand and out to the car. She tried to help me, bless her heart. So needless to say I spent the rest of the day with my foot up on ice. But I need this to stop! It feels after 30 minutes the way your feet would normally feel after spending 12 hours standing in lines at Disneyland or something. I'm tired of being patient.

My husband and I had decided that our oldest needed some mom and dad time alone, so we took him to dinner anywhere he wanted last night. His choice. I knew this was a dangerous game, but I wanted him to enjoy he picked Sushi Ya. I wasn't at all surprised, though I had hoped he'd pick somewhere with a bit more of a variety so that I could stick to my low-carb plan. I let the boys eat their all you can eat sushi and I ordered sesame chicken thinking it would be relatively low-carb. I made sure to order it with no rice on the side and just a side salad, miso soup and a few pieces of tempura veggies. Come to find out that that chicken had been breaded more than I'd ever seen a chicken breaded in my life haha. By the time I was done eating, I had a plate full of breading that I had scraped from my chicken. It still tasted pretty amazing though and I managed to only steal 2 tiny pieces of sushi from the boys. All in all, I was over on my carbs by just a bit (about 51g net carbs total). But the most important thing was that I got some much needed bonding time with my son, who is hardly ever home, and to just spend time laughing and catching up with him and my husband. It was worth a few extra carbs :) And it didn't seem to have much of an effect on the scale, so yay!

Tomorrow, I'll be posting my week 3 results and I'm pretty excited. It's been great to see the scale moving in the right direction again and to feel things becoming easier. Still feels like it's been 3 months, not 3 weeks. Hopefully the motivation and the scale keep up!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Day 19...Sundays are my favorite

Sundays are always like a reset for me and I love them. It's the one day of the week that ALL of my kids are home and there's no work or errands to be run and we can attend church together and then just spend the rest of the day together relaxing.

I've come to accept that there will almost always be treats when we go to church whether it be during a lesson on Sunday or an activity during the week. Yesterday, my good friend Emily (who is like a gourmet cook/chef/baker by the way) brought in some delicious looking banana bars (with cream cheese frosting *drools*) for the 12-13 year old girls that we teach. Because she is such a good friend, she brought in some fruit leather for Ariana and I so that we wouldn't feel left out. It never ceases to amaze me how many people take the time to consider us when they plan these things. They certainly aren't obligated to, but I hope they know how much we love them for thinking of us on our "no sugar" journey!

After church, the kids wanted some turkey and cheese sandwiches, and not wanting to make 2 lunches, I made my "sandwich" on leaves of Romaine instead of bread. It was so good! Need to try that with BLT's I think. I'm finding it easier and easier to substitute romaine for bread, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to seriously savoring that one tiny bite of bread during the sacrament at church yesterday. There are some days I seriously just want a slice of toast with butter and honey...but of course even one slice of bread would wipe out most of my allotted carbs for the I don't.

I've had a couple people ask me why I can't have bread if I'm doing "no sugar" and so I explain to them the reasoning behind going "low carb". Something that I think most people (including myself not too long ago) don't realize is that the body processes A LOT of foods the exact same way as it does straight up sugar. Bread turns to sugar in your body. Pasta.....sugar. Fruits & starchy veggies? Sugar. They're carbohydrates and they provoke an insulin response in the body...things get turned into fat and voila. So while I'm not having my girls give up bread/pasta/etc...I chose to do it for myself because I know it has played a huge part in getting rid of the cravings I was dealing with and it is most definitely helping me to lose weight, feel more energized and to eat less/healthier!

Sunday dinner was a repeat of last week with the baked chicken parmesan that I'm in love with. Even the kids love it. So anytime I can get away with making a single dinner for all of us, I'm going to do it haha. The last few days I have made sure to save enough carbs for my new favorite "dessert". I cut up 1 cup of strawberries, pour 2 Tbsp. of heavy whipping cream over it and then sprinkle a touch of stevia on top. It's SO good and when you haven't had sugar in almost 3 weeks it's extremely indulgent. I love that I'm finding new ways to avoid feeling deprived. I have yet to reach a point where I can walk by the bakery at the store and not feel that ache in my stomach telling me I WANT EVERYTHING IN IT....but I will. And it's getting easier.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Days 17&18...Good friends, parties and movies!!

I'm writing this two days later and I'm still feeling Day 17 (Friday)!! I had physical therapy AND did 45 minutes of pilates and 2nd day soreness is no joke!! I shouldn't be surprised that the most sore part of my body is my right calf. My PT commented on how tight my calf is after not using it for 2 months and it seemed no amount of stretching was helping. But he still pushed me through several minutes of leg press and calf raises...all things that used to be easy for me and now aren't. He also rather enjoyed having me balance on my injured leg while he stood behind me trying to gently knock me off balance. At least my walk is starting to look more like a walk and less like a limp. Now if only the pain would go away once and for all!

Friday night we went to a goodbye party for some very dear friends of mine who are moving out of the country. On the menu for everyone was taco salads, because I have AMAZING friends who took me into consideration. The only ingredient I had to give up was the chips! Of course passing on the s'mores around the fire was a bit harder, but I still managed it. S'mores will always be there. They're not going anywhere...but my friends are :(  It felt great to make the party about the people and socializing instead of about the food...and to go home NOT feeling guilty about what I ate!

Saturday was nice and lazy. I made waffles for the kids and made a 2 carb waffle for myself (1 scoop protein powder, 1 raw egg, pinch of baking powder & water) so that I felt like I wasn't missing out. I'm really starting to love these waffles. It's nice to feel like I'm having one of my favorite breakfasts while still getting 30g of protein in the process. Oh...and bacon. Lots of bacon. Man, I love bacon. Good thing it's totally Keto friendly!

In the afternoon, I took my girls on a date to see Beauty and the Beast! I packed some macadamia nuts, a pepperoni stick and a babybel for my snacks and even had 1 cup of movie theater popcorn since I'd made sure to save enough carbs for it! Who knew a movie could be enjoyable without milk duds, frozen jr. mints and diet coke?? The movie was wonderful. Even better than I expected. And I highly recommend it. With or without sugar ;-)

So...I'm holding off on posting my actual weight until week 3 is over, but the downward trend has continued for several days now and I'm feeling better about things. I'm hoping it keeps moving for a while before I plateau out again. That keto "whoosh" is a real thing afterall! I really do wish I had tried this out sooner, but it honestly terrified me. I didn't think I could do it. I was afraid of failing. But regardless of the scale, I'm realizing that it's impossible to "fail" when you cut out sugar. It's only been 2 1/2 weeks and I can feel a huge difference. Hopefully my kids can too.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Days 15 & 16....getting really good at saying no...

Wednesday I got to work again. This week I spent 3 hours organizing a single file drawer full of all sorts of signs/bulletin board deco that the gym uses. It was actually kind of fun seeing all the stuff they have and sorting it however I wanted to. I forgot to eat before I left at 8:45am, which normally would make me feel horrible for hours until I ate, but ever since starting the ketogenic diet, I'm finding my body is able to go longer without feeling hunger pangs. So it didn't bother me to wait for lunch until 1! The only problem is then getting in all of my calories in 2 meals/snacks instead of 3.

I also had my 3rd session of physical therapy. While I still feel quite a bit of pain if I'm on my feet more than a few minutes, walking is slowly getting easier and less horribly limpy. I'll admit when I was first told I should go to physical therapy I kinda of laughed it off and figured I would be just fine without it. But I was wrong. It makes a huge difference. Still going to be a while before I'm back to 100%, but I'm inching along faster than I would otherwise.

Wednesday nights means Young Women's activities at church and last night's was a ton of fun. But of course it ended with plates of brownies, cookies and a giant bowl of thin mint chex mix that I was DYING to try!!! Luckily I have amazing friends who also made sure to bring some fruit and veggies so that Ariana and I weren't feeling too left out :) Ari may have visibly pouted more than I did, but we both stayed strong anyway. It's getting easier! I've noticed that both girls are starting to make healthier food choices automatically a bit more now. Fruit instead of chips, veggies instead of carby snacks. Not all the time, but it's a start!

Today (Thursday) I spent all day at the USA gymnastics Utah State meet with my 10 year old. She had a really rough meet and it was hard not to say "screw it, let's have some comfort food" to try and make her feel better. But she's even more strict than I am about this whole thing and insisted on Subway for lunch on the way home! I really am addicted to that sweet onion chicken teriyaki salad.

On the way home (45 minute drive), Nathan texted and asked us to pick him up a Whopper, fries and a diet dr. pepper. A few weeks ago I would've said no way, get it yourself...but I wasn't so worried this time. Emma has even asked that we try and not have any soda at all until June either, so when I thought about taking a sip of his drink on the way home, she was there to stop me haha. I did have about 1/4 of a fry before handing Nathan the bag, but it didn't trigger me and I was perfectly content with that one little taste! It really is amazing how things have changed just in these past 2 weeks. I never thought it was possible to say no to all the things I love...but here I am doing it and not really feeling at all like I'm missing anything. It's kind of nice.

The scale dropped back down a bit this morning, but I decided not to get excited about it yet. We'll see where things are at at the end of week 3. But so far it's off to a great start!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Week 2 over...Tucanos, Zumba and the stupid scale...

This is going to be super short, because I'm headed to work in a bit...but also because I'm just cranky and tired of feeling like this is pointless.

Monday, Nathan and I gave Tucanos another shot and while the service was extremely slow and not the most friendly we've ever had, it was a success as far as my keto stuff goes. I managed to only hit the salad bar once and only have ONE of the brazilian cheese bites. And then it was meat meat meat. Felt good to eat out, indulge a bit and still stay within my macros.

Tuesday I went to Zumba to see where I'm at as far as healing and getting back to work. It was fun to be there and to "dance" with my friends, but it's obvious I still have a long way to go. My right leg especially is weak and unable to balance and I was in pain halfway through. So while most of it was just step-touching it felt least it was something. While I didn't eat a single thing until noon, I still managed to get in close to 1600 calories for Tuesday. I had a giant fajita salad for dinner with steak and greens and onions/peppers, cheese, sour cream and guac. It was delicious as always. Under 30g of carbs for the day which seems to be getting easier and easier to do.

And the biggest success...2 full weeks with no sugar.

But despite feeling like I'm totally rocking this new lifestyle, the scale continues to inch up. I saw 279 this morning and I still feel like I'm retaining a lot of water. Everyone who has experience with this low-carb stuff says to give it at least 3 weeks to see real results so I'm trying to be patient, but today I'm just pissed. Not giving up. Just...pissed. Just keep swimming I guess.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Days 11 & 12...frustrated...

Saturday (3/11) was a fun day, but exhausting and full of temptations. The morning started with a ward breakfast at the church. I knew going into it there wouldn't be anything I could eat, but I wanted to take Nathan and the kids anyway and socialize with friends. As I expected, the tables were filled with delicious smelling casseroles all made with eggs (great), bacon (even greater)....and potatoes (annnnd nope). Since I'm tracking my macros so carefully, I need to be very aware of what is going into everything I eat. I'm sure people thought I was silly for not eating and rolling their eyes at me. But it was my choice and I'm glad I did it. Aside from the casseroles there were pans of cinnamon roll type baked goods, pancakes galore and sausage...which would've been fine to eat, but I hate it so I passed haha. There was fruit, but it was all the delicious, high-glycemic kinds that would use all of my carbs up in one go. So I sat and talked with friends and just enjoyed spending time with my family. And while it was hard in some sense...I actually found it surprisingly easy to just say no.

We had plans later in the day to surprise the kids with a trip to Disney on Ice in downtown SLC and then we were going to go to Tucanos for Nathan's (early) birthday dinner. At Disney on ice, I could feel my tummy starting to rumble from hunger, but I still avoided the treats all around me. Tucanos would be worth it. That place is heaven for anyone doing the ketogenic diet. However, when we got there, the wait was 2 hours. No way was my 2 year old going to wait 2 hours to eat, so we tried Rodizio grill which is basically the same thing. 90 minute wait. We ended up just going to Cafe Rio, which I LOVE...but ended up going over on my carbs just a tad. The Sweet Pork salad is one of my favorite foods in the world. I had them remove the rice and made sure to have no tortilla strips put on. Since I had a lot of carbs left to eat, I did eat about 1/3 of the giant tortilla it was in, though I probably shouldn't have. At the very least I've become SO much more aware of what has how many grams of carbs in it. And when it comes to eating more healthy, knowledge is definitely power.

Sunday was much easier and more relaxed. My foot was aching from walking around SLC all day Saturday (though I wore my boot to do it), so after church we just watched movies as a family. It was perfect. For dinner I made a spinach and artichoke stuffed chicken parmesan dish that turned out amazing. Ya gotta love a low carb dinner that tastes like comfort food. I drank lots of water and stayed way under my macros for the day and I felt really good about it.

And then I stepped on the scale this morning. I know I should only weigh once a week, but weighing daily is a habit I've had for over 5 years and it's not my top priority to break it just yet haha. The scale is inching up again and this is where I'm getting EXTREMELY frustrated. I KNOW that my big loss in week one was mostly, if not all, water weight. That's what happens when you go from a "normal/terrible" diet to a ketogenic one. Your body rids itself of a lot of water. But now I feel like I'm constantly retaining it. I feel bloated every morning when I wake up despite drinking lots of water, following my macros and not overdoing it on the sodium. I know I'm still learning how this way of eating works, since some of it goes against what I've always known/done...but I still feel like even if I weren't aiming for ketosis that what I'm doing is still a million times healthier than what I WAS why is the scale not going DOWN!?!?! I'm hoping this is just a temporary thing that seems to be lasting a long time, and I'm determined not to give up on this...but I wish I were seeing results. It's extremely hard to keep eating this way when it doesn't seem to be changing anything.

But then I remember that it is. My cravings are almost completely gone, I'm only eating when I'm hungry instead of when I'm bored/sad/cranky/happy/celebrating. I went from eating about 2000 calories a day to about 1300. And for the first time ever, I'm meal planning every day of the week. Those are HUGE changes and if anyone in my group were upset about that I'd give them a talking to! So why is that not good enough for me? If I keep it up, the physical/size changes will come. Right? I hope so. I really want to fit back into all of my clothes. But more than anything, when I'm ready to start teaching again, I don't want to re-injure myself because I'm putting too much weight strain on my body. It terrifies me.

So I'll keep going. And hopefully this time next week I'll see another loss. Motivation is hard to find when you're not seeing results. That's one thing that never changes.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Days 9 & 10, walking, pilates and unexpected dinners!

Thursday and Friday weren't too bad at all. I worked 3 hours at the gym on Thursday putting together membership packets and helping our daycare with some craft projects! It was actually kind of fun haha. It's been nice to be up and moving around a bit more though I still wear out faster than I used to.

I had to do a little adjusting as far as my meal plan went for the day since I'm truly being beat over the head with just how much sugar there is in most fruits. I had planned cottage cheese with fruit for breakfast, but all I had was pineapple & mandarin oranges and since the oranges were planned for my asian salad at lunch, I figured I'd have to just have my cottage cheese plain. It actually wasn't too bad. But man, I'm missing my tropical fruits! Even when it came time for that asian salad, I had to cut the oranges serving in half because a full serving was something like 25g of sugar/carbs. It really is insane how much there is in certain fruits. It's hard to stick just to berries some days.

But dinner was fantastic. I made stuff for tacos with ground turkey and while everyone else had theirs in tortillas, I used romaine leaves for my shells! It was SO good and I didn't feel left out, which was nice. I came in at 37g net carbs for the day and was pretty proud of that. Still only eating about 1200 calories a day, but it's just because I'm really not that hungry. It's odd to not be eating nearly as much as I was just a few weeks ago and to still feel satisfied.

Friday was a big day for me. It was the day my surgeon told me I could start transitioning from my walking boot to a regular shoe. It's scary how weak my right leg has gotten, but it was exciting to walk around my house (albeit with a huge limp) without that stupid boot on! At physical therapy, they had me practice rolling my foot through a walking motion and it still hurts pretty bad (hence the limping)...and I was unable to do standing calf raises without significant pain...but I still feel like I'm making progress towards getting back to normal, which is great.

I decided to try and go back to pilates with my good friend/trainer, Dee, as well. She knows about my injury and how to work around it so she managed to kick my butt without ever hurting my foot. Gotta love her. I haven't been this sore in months and I'm GRATEFUL for it. I needed a workout like that. I'm so grateful to have someone like her in my life who motivates me and pushes me when things get tough. She helped me lose the weight the first time and I know she'll help me do it again.

Friday night we were blessed to have dinner brought over by my daughter's best friend's family. Not knowing what to expect, I made sure to save enough carbs to enjoy whatever they were going to make because EVERYTHING they've ever brought us has been amazing! I was excited when I realized that I had saved enough carbs to enjoy some of the roast potatoes and carrots that went with the pork loin (of which I ate probably 3 servings haha). After not having any bread or pasta or potatoes for 10 days, even just those few bites tasted AMAZING.

I really have to say how proud I am of my two girls during this whole no sugar challenge. Since they are in school, they're constantly surrounded by treats and candy and offered things that are currently off the list. And they've gotten REALLY good at saying no thank you! They do tend to ask me quite often "does this count?" when it comes to various things because they know there are things that have sugar in them, but that aren't "dessert" so I'm letting them have them. So I think they're looking for loop holes anywhere they can haha. But they're both starting to notice how much sweeter everything else tastes when you're not inhaling sugar by the spoonful in everything you eat. I wasn't sure they'd want to do this after the first week, but they're still going strong and it makes it so much easier for me to do the same :)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Day 8 and cupcakes! OY!

Day 8 (3/8) was pretty uneventful for the most part. I had my first day of physical therapy and found out that my range of motion hasn't suffered too much. I just need to strengthen my muscles a bit more and still have some pain to get through. But it's nice to feel like I'm progressing a bit further to actually exercising the way I want to.

One thing that I learned on day 8 is that I'm not as hungry as I used to be...and since my cravings are slowly fading, I'm not eating out of boredom. I nearly forgot lunch until about 3pm and finally just downed a quick Premier Protein shake just to get some calories in me.

I finally bit the bullet and purchased the premium version of My Fitness Pal so that I can track my macros (carbs, protein, fat) more carefully. The goal that I set after using a pretty neat keto calculator is 1400 cals, 40 net carbs (or less), 100g protein and 93g fat every day. And Day 8 came pretty close! I came in at 1280cal, 28 net carbs, 100g protein and 82 fat. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around needing to eat more fat since essentially what I'm doing is training my body to use that for fuel instead of carbs. It's definitely an adjustment.

The hardest part of the day came when my 13 year old and I attended the baby shower of one of my dear friends and her old Young Women's president (church). All night long there was sugar everywhere it seemed! Most noticeably in the cupcakes that the girls had made themselves. Anyone who knows me knows that baked goods are a huge trigger/weakness for me!

My poor daughter kept looking at me with sad eyes and so I gave her a hug and reminded her that this was her choice and that if she really wanted a cupcake she could choose to have one. But she said she really wanted to do this with me and passed on all the treats being passed around. I was so proud of her! We talked about how there will always be treats available and when our 3 months is up, we'll enjoy something that will be totally worth the wait. One thing I've really been trying to tell myself when I have to pass up treats is that I'm just passing them up for now. They still exist. I can always get one later. It's not a once in a lifetime opportunity I'm passing up.

So day 8 was another success although I'll admit I'm getting a bit frustrated with the scale. It was 278.8 this morning, so at least it didn't go up again...but it should be going DOWN! Hopefully it's just my body adjusting to all the changes. I know the first week's loss was a lot of water weight and now my body is trying to figure out what's next. This is where I struggle though. When I don't see change...I tend to give up. But not this time. I can wait it out. I have to.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Week 1 results...and pizza. mmmm pizzaaaaaaaaaaaaa......

As yesterday (Day 7 - 3/7/17) came to a close, I couldn't believe I had actually gone an entire week with NO sugar and NO bread/pasta/potatoes/grains. Seriously. Who does that??? I think I did it once before when I tried out the South Beach diet, but for some reason it didn't feel quite this extreme. Maybe because I knew it would only be a couple weeks. And for some reason...this hardest day came on day 7.

I honestly thought that if the rest of the week had been pretty easy...that maybe I had gotten lucky and my cravings were gone and it'd just be smooth sailing from here. HA! I got a bit cocky and I guess the cravings were punishment. On the menu for my dinner I had put bacon-wrapped avocado fries. I was really wanting something indulgent, but also very low carb. Since my husband and I are the only ones who will eat them, however, I decided I was strong enough to order pizza for the kids. And not just any pizza...STUFFED CRUST pizza. See how cocky I was? I was sure that I could handle it. I was now super woman and nothing could tempt me! BRING IT ON PIZZA HUT!

Yeah, not so much. The pizza came way before the bacon avocado fries were ready and as I was cutting up Cooper's slice, it hit me. HARD. Pizza is probably my biggest non-sugar weakness. I could eat it all the time. Seriously. I LOVE PIZZA. But after a whole week of no bread whatsoever, this tiny slice of stuffed crust cheese pizza looked like heaven and smelled even better. I looked at his litte pieces cut up and thought to myself, "I can just have one little bite. It will satisfy my craving and then I can move on." And I almost did it. But for the first time in as long as I can remember, I was able to remember what that kind of food does to me and how slippery a slope it is for me. So I finished cutting it up for him and then ran to hide in my room while the kids ate their pizza. I did take 2 garlic parmesan wings that we'd ordered because they're low carb and I thought maybe they would tide me over until my dinner was ready.

As I sat in my bedroom, I got onto Facebook and logged into my group and pleaded with my friends to talk me out of marching back into the kitchen and saying screw it. I REALLY wanted that pizza. My stomach was twisting and my mouth was watering and it was almost scary..the reaction my body had to knowing it was in the next room. And as I knew they would, the comments flooded in...and they saved me from myself. Such a small thing was such a big deal to me and I can't thank them enough. I truly could not embark on a journey like this with out so many amazing and supportive friends and family.

So I survived. I didn't have a single bite of pizza. Not one. And at the end of the day I was at 27g net carbs, which is really hard for me to do. For breakfast I had tried my first "1 carb waffle" which was actually 2 carbs because that's what's in my protein powder...and it felt good to at least FEEL like I was eating a waffle! haha. Lunch was a fajita salad that was to die for. Romaine and power greens topped with steak and chicken, peppers, onions, salsa, cheese, guac and sour cream. Definitely going to have to make that one a regular.

It's been a week, but I'm still learning what affects my body in what ways. I had very low carbs yesterday, but I was extremely high in sodium, which I'm definitely feeling today and which is why the scale isn't as low as it was yesterday. But it's just water retention and that's okay! I'm learning that on this kind of diet, more sodium is actually necessary because of the amount of electrolytes lost. I'll figure out what works best for my body eventually.

So what's the grand weight loss tally after 7 days? Well when I made the decision to do this I was 284.1lbs. Not a number I'm happy to be sharing. It's hard to admit that I was 15lbs higher than I was at 9 months pregnant in December of 2014. but it's the last time I'm going to see it, so say goodbye. On the morning of day 7, I weighed in at 277.2, which is 6.9lbs down and I was pretty excited about that! Now that day 7 is over, today's weight was 278.9...but I'm not too worried about it because I can physically feel the water I'm retaining and know that it will most likely be gone tomorrow.

I'm excited to see what week 2 brings and to hopefully start working out a bit more! I can totally do this!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Day 6 and the evil Girl Scout Cookies...

Day 6 was a Monday and Monday's are typically easy for me because they're the day before my Jilly's Losers weigh-ins. So it's always been mentally easy for me to eat healthy and drink lots and lots of water. And I did just that.

And then...our girl scout cookies that were ordered months ago showed up. 11 boxes to be exact. Samoas, thin mints, trefoils...and other ones that don't tempt me, but the kids wanted haha. Since girl scout cookies are a once a year thing, we always stock up so that they'll last us a while. Have you ever tried a thin mint from the freezer? Yeah...I can eat a whole sleeve by myself. And samoas are like coconut crack, but if you saw their calorie count you'd die. I never tried Trefoils (shortbread ones) until about 2 years ago and I wish I never had. I'm the only one in my house who likes them so they disappear....all by my hand. Man. I love girl scout cookies. But of course when we ordered them, I didn't know I was going to be doing this no sugar thing!

So my daughter's best friend showed up with our cookies last night (since my girls no longer do girl scouts themselves)...and the girls were SO excited. And then it hit them. We can't eat these....for 3...more...months. WHAT!?!?!?! They did this kind of...laughing cry. Like they couldn't believe what they'd gotten themselves into and they saw the irony in all of this.

So we looked at the boxes. We ooo'd and ahhh'd and hugged them goodbye. And then we hid them away in the cold storage room that we never go in so that we won't think about them for a few months. (Frankly, I won't be surprised if it's October before we go "Oh yeah! we have cookies!") But we did it. We didn't open a single box. Gregory has opted out of the no sugar thing, so he took his box of Tagalongs and hid it in his room and I'm fine with that. I also left out a box of the new cookies (S'mores) for Cooper to try/have because they don't tempt me at all. But the rest may as well not even exist. I will not let a cookie break me! haha.

With my weigh in today, I'm excited at how much I'm down after 6 days! But I'll post here once I've weighed in tomorrow after 1 full week of no sugar/low carb. It's obvious to me now that it works. If it didn't, I'd be in the kitchen making me some Grandma Sycamores toast right now! But it I'm going to keep going.

My week of strict menu planning from my group challenge ended yesterday, but it worked so well for me and saved me so much stress that I decided to keep doing it. So I have my menu all planned up for the week (including snacks) and I'm going to stick to it! I just wish time would go faster!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Day 5, fast Sunday...

Day 5 was a bit different because it was fast Sunday.  What this meant is that I abstained from food & water for 2 I had to plan a bit differently for the day. I made my favorite chicken chili in the crockpot while we were gone and despite being so hungry by dinnertime, still only enjoyed a single bowl with some cheddar cheese and light sour cream on top. And I didn't make corn bread this time!! I don't think I could have resisted it, so I just didn't make any. No one else seemed to notice ;)
For "dessert", I cut up a HUGE bowl of gorgeous strawberries and since my girls are doing no sugar with me and suddenly saw Strawberries as the most delicious treat in the world...that bowl was gone in less than 2 minutes. It's amazing how much sweeter fruit tastes when you give up other forms of sugar and your taste buds adjust.

One of the hard things about fast Sunday was not getting a start on my water until the afternoon. I like to drink 80-100oz a day and to not start on that until 3pm was HARD. I think I managed about 60...and with the sodium from the chili I am definitely feeling a difference the morning after. Water is SO important and I think so many people forget that.

At the end of the day, I went to complete my food journal on and it wouldn't even let me. Instead it gave me a lecture about eating less than 1000 calories (I was just under 800) and said it wouldn't reward me for it by posting that I'd completed my journal and been under my calories on the main wall for all to see lol. I can totally understand this and think it's a good way to make sure people eat enough...but it still made me chuckle to see that. I have NEVER seen it before in all the years I've been tracking my food. Eating enough has never been my problem. Oddly enough, I still felt plenty full!

This morning, however, when I weighed in to see how day 5 affected me, it was the first time all week that the scale hadn't changed from one day to the next. I'm sure that uh...mother nature's visit is playing a role in that but I also feel as though the lack of water and not eating enough may have made a difference. It will be interesting to see what the scale does on my official weigh-in day for my group (always Tuesdays) after 6 days of completely clean, sugar-free and low carb eating. Hard to believe it's only been 5 days though. At least it hasn't been horrible. Yet.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Day 4 (3/4/17) and the unexpected bagels...

For the past few weeks, I've been able to start working at the gym again behind the front desk doing various busy work and making phone calls. While it's no Zumba class, it's been a lot of fun getting to see another side of my second home and to meet some more of the staff! But this week I got lucky. Rather than spend my Friday afternoon calling people I don't know (which gives me major anxiety), I got to go in at 6am on Saturday and help run the staff mini-triathlon! I was in charge of tracking their bike split up in the spin room and while it was absolutely madness (which caused me to break a major sweat from weaving in and out of 30 bikes with my stupid boot on) was a total blast.

After everyone was finished, there was breakfast in the party room. And they had my very favorite bagels in the whole world. Einstein bros cinnamon sugar.....with shmear. My heart sank when I walked in. Bagels are definitely not low carb and they are definitely not on my meal plan for this week. But after 4 successful days (and several pounds lost already) I was NOT going to cave for a bagel that I can always get in a few months. So I sat there...and socialized...and said "no thank you" several times...and I SURVIVED IT haha. I know this sounds simple and stupid, but when you've had no control for almost 3 years straight (or at least it felt that way to me)...this was a huge deal.

Someone up there knew I needed the will power and helped my 5:30am protein shake last me until lunch. And I'm grateful for that.

For lunch I had planned a "salad w/grilled chicken". I kept it vague on purpose so I could be a bit flexible with where I got it and what I put on it. Since after the mini-tri I had to go and sit at Emma's gymnastics club for 2 hours while she did team photos...I was pretty hungry by the time we left at 11. She asked if we could go to Subway. My first instinct was to say no, but then I remembered that you can make any sandwich into a salad! SO I DID! And I was converted. For only 200 calories I got to have my favorite sweet onion chicken teriyaki in a salad. It was HUGE...with spinach and lettuce mixed, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, chicken and just a bit of the sweet onion sauce. I only ate half of it and it was sooooo delicious. I will definitely be making this a regular so that I don't feel so deprived without the bread.

We had planned to be out and about with the kids around dinnertime so I had made sure to pre-plan for it on my menu with a Carl's Jr. chicken club lettuce wrap. They are SO good and I feel like I'm still indulging while still keeping it low carb. And I'm proud to say I didn't steal a single french fry from my kids dinners! That...was hard.

So day 4 was definitely more of a temptation, but I made it through unscathed. And honestly, it's already getting easier. I'm hoping that trend continues. But seeing the scale move is definitely motivation to keep on going. Hopefully in one more week I can start adding back in some more exercise as I get to start trying to walk in sneakers again! Fingers crossed.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Days 2 and 3...annnnnd 93 more to go :-/

Since Day 3 is almost over and I didn't have time to write about yesterday, I'll just knock them out together in one entry. My goal is to write about every day on this 96 day journey though it's merely for my benefit and I don't expect people to stay riveted by every entry haha.

Day 2 had far less temptations, which helped immensely. But more than anything I'm becoming more and more grateful to have planned out every single thing I will eat through next Monday night. Taking the decision making out of each meal has made this SO much less stressful than it usually is and I honestly think I may start making this a regular thing for me.

However, one thing I've learned from trying to meal plan every single thing that goes in my that I did not plan nearly enough calories. A lot of people in my group are finding the same thing. I don't know if it's that we graze and snack a lot more than we realize we do...or if we were all just really determined to plan for a super healthy week and overdid it a bit. Thus far I've been under 1200 calories every day, which in the long term isn't something I would ever be able to handle...especially once I'm back to working out.

Day 2 also included a workout at home, which felt good to do. I put on my headphones and worked through some of my old Zumba choreography in the chair just to make sure I don't forget it for when it's time to start teaching again. Then I got down on the floor and got in some much needed ab work. It really is frustrating how quickly you lose muscle and cardiovascular endurance when you're not working out. I have a lot of work to do to get it back (and then some!) But getting in a 550 calorie workout and only eating 1200 calories is something I would never do or tell anyone else to least not as a regular thing. Luckily it didn't seem to affect me too much, but I won't be making a habit out of it.

Day 3 was a big one for me. My 10 year old had her first gymnastics meet (which we'd already paid for) at a gym an hour away from home. Since it was during the day, Nathan had to work which meant I got to really drive for the first time since my injury. I was nervous...and it felt very weird to try and fit back into my Converse sneakers in the car, but my foot felt great and I felt safe and we made it there and back with no issues! More importantly, she did a GREAT job at her meet and we got to stop at my favorite place for lunch (pre-planned) on the way home.

Zupas has these amazing protein bowls that I can't get enough of. My favorite is called the Mexi-cali braised pork protein bowl. It has kale, which normally I cannot stand...but SO good in this bowl, red/yellow peppers, black beans, corn, pork, quinoa and guacamole. So it's a bit high in carbs, but still far more healthy than most things you would get in a restaurant. And I didn't even finish it. We had also packed healthy snacks for the early morning drive so that we wouldn't be tempted to stop for a McGriddle haha.

Nathan and the kids have been doing great so far with the no sugar thing! I've been very impressed. That is...unless they're sneaking it while they're at school haha. I know this isn't going to be easy for any of us, but hopefully it will get easiER at least.

So Day 3 isn't quite over yet, but I think I can call it a success. I decided to try something fun with my Quest Cookies n' Cream protein shake tonight and put it in the freezer to see if I can pass it off as ice cream. We'll see how it goes. Tomorrow will be a bit tougher. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Day 1 down...barely!

The universe knew I was embarking on a new journey because Day 1 (3/1) was TOUGH. I coordinated the weekly challenge in Jilly's Losers with my no-sugar/low carb journey to give me a little extra motivation and I think it actually helped me to stay on track despite the temptations.

Our challenge this week in my group is to create a meal plan for the entire week, including all meals and snacks...and then stick to it 100% without eating a single thing that was not written down ahead of time. With a $200 prize on the table, this is a big one. But it was great for me because planning is where I struggle. So working out a full week's worth of meals/snacks and making sure to leave out anything that resembles dessert or bread/pasta/potatoes will make it easier to stick to it!

But before day 1 was over, I had one sweet friend make me some healthy homemade no-bake cookies that smelled AMAZING!! And another friend brought my favorite sugar cookies (aside from my mom's that is) to our church meeting. It was unbelievably hard to say no to both these things, but I managed to do so. And hopefully my wonderful friends know how much I love and appreciate them!

Despite the temptations, I survived day 1 with a final count of 1200 calories and only 28g of net carbs! That's pretty great for me! Once 3pm hit, I was hit hard with the afternoon munchies, but a handful of almonds from my list and a LOT of water helped me through it until dinnertime.

For dinner, Nathan grilled steaks (that man makes the best steaks I've ever had) and we tried some mashed cauliflower with cheddar and bacon. It was pretty good!!

More than anything else, it felt good to finally have ONE DAY of control and no sugar under my belt. 95 more to go.