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


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?

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 :)