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.


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...


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 :)