Saturday, May 5, 2018

Week 4 Complete!

Heyyy! It’s time to check in from my first week with an actual written out goal AND plan! I've completed Week 4, and would have blogged sooner, except I have traveled the last two weekends, so just did brief updates on my Facebook page. So, here is the full update!

Let’s review:

Long range goal - Lose 80 more pounds (total of 100 pounds) by my 40th birthday (3/1/19). Short range goal: Lose 7.5 pounds per month.

  • Track my food until I am fully confident I don't need to (aka, can go a day or two or week or two with no weight gain).  UPDATE: tracked *almost* every day the past 4 weeks! I'm giving myself Saturdays off from tracking but still being wise about my choices. I know tracking my macros is paying off - had to make some adjustments this week but I feel like I've found my sweet spot! More on that later...
  • Plan my meals weekly, doing some meal prep with the family so we all have healthy options available that stay within budget.  UPDATE: Have done really well for all 4 weeks! The travel weeks got a little hairy but I made sure to be conscious of my decisions, while also not being hard on myself.  Last week I fasted 24 hours at one point, not really on purpose but because I couldn't stomach any airport food and by the time I got home (midnight) I was so tired I crashed! 
  • Test for ketones daily until my results stay consistent. UPDATE: I stopped tracking this every day because I stay around the same in ketones, and as long as I keep eating this way, I am in ketosis.  PLUS - being in ketosis DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY GUARANTEE FAT LOSS! More on that later in the blog...
  • Begin the T25 workout program as prescribed, following the modifier and taking rest breaks as needed until I don't have to. The Alpha program is 5 weeks and begins tomorrow 4/9/18. UPDATE: finished week 4! This week I was able to do burpees again!  And some of the ab stuff I couldn't do in week 1! It's so exciting to see progress. 
  • Participate in STATurday, where I measure my progress and report it on my blog sometime each weekend. UPDATE: weighed in this morning - EEEEEEK! Can't wait to share - keep reading.
  •  Plan ahead a few days when I may not stay in ketosis.  Such as Wyatt's birthday next weekend, or when we travel two weekends in a row at the end of the month.  Be flexible, but firm with myself and don't allow my workouts to suffer due to poor choices (which means they will be limited!). UPDATE: I have Stephen's birthday tomorrow - but I'm feeling so strong that I am not sure I'll partake in anything that would cause weight gain. We shall see.  I feel zero pressure either way! My family had desserts from two different places last night and I abstained and it didn't even bother me! Super happy about the headspace I'm in right now.
  • Plan to reach out to my fitness mentors and friends when the days or weeks are challenging before making a less than helpful decision. UPDATE: Kept up with a few of my BFFs who are also working their fitness goals.  It's so motivating to keep each other on track!

So a few things to talk more about: My macros, ketones and actual week 4 results!

This week I decided to give the ketogains macros a try (https://ketogains.com/) I follow these guys on FB and the group is pretty hard core but the results they put up are incredible. The actual calories are a little lower than I am used to, but I figured I would see how I felt for a few days.  They are 1100 calories total - 8% carb, 62% fat, 30% protein.  I added a few hundred calories just for good measure - and because 1100 scares me - but let's face it, I have alot of fat to lose. I figured taking it up a few hundred but keeping the % the same may still work.  My test would be, how do I feel, and do I actually lose weight or do I stall because it's not enough nutrition.

At the same time, I have been toying with intermittent fasting, and decided to dive in because I felt so good doing a 16/8 eating window (fast for 16 hours, eat during an 8 hour window) and it really seemed easy. My issue was, it was tough to hit my protein goal in such a short window.  So, I added a protein shake with a cup of coconut milk, ice, water and Primal Kitchen Collagen protein (chocolate coconut flavor).  Two scoops pack a good protein smack without adding fat or a ton of calories/carbs.  This made a HUGE difference this week I think, with hunger too.  Having just black coffee in the morning, then eating lunch was fine, but by the time I would be cooking dinner I was ravenous - so this shake is my pre-dinner snack and it's been exactly what I needed, and it tastes fantastic so that's a huge bonus.

Immediately I saw something shift on the scale and on my body.  I went anywhere between 1250 - 1580 calories this week, with my macros percentages being right on target (8% carb, 62% fat, 30% protein) and ate alot less dairy this week as well (sad face but seriously cheese hates me!).  And BAM weight loss picked up, as well as my energy.

That brings me to chasing ketones.  I've been in ketosis for WEEKS, and in and out of it since October.  I mean every time I checked. I could even eat some carbs and check and my body has stayed in ketosis, or gotten back by that evening. I had a paleo pancake with chocolate chips, peanut butter and maple syrup for my first meal today about 2 hours ago (directly after weigh in LOL) and I'm juuuust under ketosis at .2 ketone level.  I'm sure by tonight I'll be back in.  What's my point?  You can be in ketosis but not have your macros set correctly to actually lose weight.  So, honestly, my last ketone strip will sit in the jar for awhile. (I do blood tests with a keto mojo meter in case you're curious). I won't be basing success on that number, or be too concerned with it anymore.

Successful HEALTHY keto is not eating all the meat/cheese and bacon you can stuff in your face and hope you lose weight...

A healthy, successful keto diet is really just a low carb version of paleo - lots of green, more protein and honestly, less fat than many keto diets prescribe. If you have fat to lose (like me!) then you DO NOT NEED high fat keto. I don't add fat to anything. I cook with it and I eat bacon but don't purposely add fat to my food afterward. It's not always necessary (unless my macros call for it which is like never lol).

That said - my grams for fat came in just under 100 per day.  So I would not at all call what I'm doing a "low fat keto diet," either.  The ketogains folks recommend that your protein number is a goal, carbs are a limit to stay under and fat is the lever you use to keep you satiated. For me, a girl with 70+ pounds left to lose, a great number of those fat pounds, it makes more sense to be more calculated in how I eat, especially as I heal my body from lots of less than stellar choices.

The other thing I want to mention is that there is NO ONE WAY for everyone to eat.  Period.  I see so many people hating on keto, trying to debunk paleo, harassing vegans, saying shakes are the only way to go...it's getting ridiculous. Just like our political and religious views, it seems people get so hung up on their current "good food word" that anything other than what they do is wrong and horrible.  (insert eye roll here). 

Different body types, personalities, lifestyle needs, and beliefs all play into HOW one gets themselves healthy.  Heck, I'm not even doing what I did to lose the 100 pounds the first time! Read back in 2010 in my blog and you'll see that.  I'm doing what is working for me, for now.  And it's different at 39 than it was at 30.

If you create a caloric deficit, and eat healthy, whole food, and move your body regularly you should see successful healthy weight loss. You CANNOT outrun your fork. Period. 

Recently, the Keto Reset Diet book by Mark Sisson was a huge help to me to find my way back to my paleo preferences and enjoy this process again.  My inflammation is at an all time low, I'm sleeping GREAT, I'm losing weight steadily again and I have a ton more energy.

So. RESULTS this week?  Well, since changing my macros this week, I dropped another 4.2 pounds! This is following my .2 loss last week which was meh - but because of all of the travel I gave myself some grace.  This means I'm at 28.4 pounds down, or 28.4% to my overall goal!  For the month since I started, I am down 8.2 pounds, so I surpassed my goal of 7.5 pounds this month!

I'm in a new "ten number" on the scale and I haven't seen this number since before Wyatt was born!

A few non-scale victories: I mentioned reduced inflammation - my joints are feeling GOOD.  I found myself sitting criss cross applesauce last weekend - can't believe I can even SIT like that! My clothes are getting looser and people at work are beginning to comment on my newfound waist-line.  My energy is through the roof and I'm super focused at work - incredibly productive and things are going amazingly well. 

ALL GOOD THINGS!

Keep on keeping on my friends.  Check in next week will include FULL stats and how many inches are lost!

Be well,
Clara

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Week One of the Plan

Heyyy! It’s time to check in from my first week with an actual written out goal AND plan!

Let’s review

Long range goal - Lose 80 more pounds (total of 100 pounds) by my 40th birthday (3/1/19). Short range goal: Lose 7.5 pounds per month.
  • Track my food until I am fully confident I don't need to (aka, can go a day or two or week or two with no weight gain).  UPDATE: tracked every day this week!!! 
  • Plan my meals weekly, doing some meal prep with the family so we all have healthy options available that stay within budget.  UPDATE: did great on planning this week and staying on track. Even on Friday date night I ate healthy because I knew Saturday was STATurday!
  • Test for ketones daily until my results stay consistent. UPDATE: been solidly in ketosis all week! (Until Wyatt’s birthday cake yesterday lol!)
  • Begin the T25 workout program as prescribed, following the modifier and taking rest breaks as needed until I don't have to. The Alpha program is 5 weeks and begins tomorrow 4/9/18. UPDATE: this was SO HARD but we did it! Finished week 1!
  • Participate in STATurday, where I measure my progress and report it on my blog sometime each weekend. UPDATE: weighed in yesterday!
  •  Plan ahead a few days when I may not stay in ketosis.  Such as Wyatt's birthday next weekend, or when we travel two weekends in a row at the end of the month.  Be flexible, but firm with myself and don't allow my workouts to suffer due to poor choices (which means they will be limited!). UPDATE: I did really well with this! As mentioned above, I made decisions on Friday nights date to stay on track knowing that being more flexible Saturday meant more to me overall. It was so worth it!! I definitely had a carb hangover this morning but I got my ish back together by lunchtime and am happy with how I handled it. 
  • Plan to reach out to my fitness mentors and friends when the days or weeks are challenging before making a less than helpful decision. UPDATE: I didn’t need to do this intentionally this week - but definitely kept in touch with a few folks who are also working their goals! I was motivated and thankful for all of the comments on my blog last weekend and that kept me going!

I’m so happy with how week 1 went! It was tough - faced more than a few challenges. Getting up early was SO HARD! That was really challenging. Then tracking my food again. Goodness I forgot that I need to make time for that!  It’s also shark week so that was a fantastic time to be already tired and grumpy (sorry Husband! Lol). Thursday I had to get to a meeting an hour and a half away so we skipped that workout and did it on Friday - then we did our double Friday workout on Saturday! That worked out fine for us - and I refuse to be so inflexible that I don’t take care of myself. My body needed more rest this week versus getting up even earlier.

One thing I probably could have done was taken my advice from 2010 and made maybe one change at a time here. I changed multiple things this week and it was definitely an adjustment. I was still super successful and I know this week will be easier. But it is easier to take baby steps into this health and fitness routine rather than diving right in. My experiences from not so long ago at my goal weight tell me that I can handle it. So I did.

Oh did you want to hear my results? I lost a total of 2.8 pounds! Not bad for a tough week and shark week lol.  I’m down 23 pounds of the 100...so 23% to my goal! As for my month goal, this month will be a little strange since I officially started on 4/9, but I’m still shooting for 7.5 pounds down this month. Let’s see how that plays out.

On to week 2!!! Let’s do this!

Clara

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Quit Dreaming, Start DOING

This quote has been bouncing around the packed walls of my brain today, on the tail end of one of my best weeks at work yet.

"A goal without a plan is only a dream." ~Brian Tracy (he is a best selling Canadian author, by the way, in the learning space so check him out for more inspiration).

So much has been happening personally and professionally, and honestly a great lot of it is, well, GREAT.  For the first time in a long time during my 18 year career in the field of HR, I finally feel like I'm in exactly the right fit role for me, for such a time as this.  My job is to build relationships that will lead to mentoring, coaching and training our leaders to be, well, better at leading others.  I've learned so much in my career naturally coaching others that this role has been an easy transition from the legal, investigation filled parts of human resource life that I had begun to grow weary of. I feel privileged to have made this career change 8 months ago and this week it all came full circle when my incredibly wise boss shadowed me at a few events at one of my hospitals and wrote me the most amazing thank you note that shook me so positively I shared it with my family.

What does any of this have to do with Changing My (or your) Blueprint?  Stay with me here.

This week I had the opportunity to kick off a mentoring program and talk to some incredibly talented, high performing leaders about what lay ahead for both the mentors and mentees.  I thought back to the first mentors I had in my career and what they meant to me. I've thought about the many men and women who have encouraged me through my career that I give credit for my ability to coach and mentor today.  I thought about the people I consider my mentors right now.  Because even though I'm a coach of people, I still need and crave ongoing coaching so I can continue to grow. I've gleaned so much confidence from the people in my life who have unselfishly poured into me and I am so grateful and honestly, a little emotional these days when I talk about it.

One of the lessons I share pretty frequently is about the oxygen mask. When we are on an airplane, the flight attendant shows how to utilize the oxygen masks that will fall should the airplane lose pressure.  They ALWAYS instruct the passengers to put on their own oxygen mask first before helping the person next to you. Why?  Because if you pass out from lack of oxygen, guess what...you can't help anyone else. As a mother, and a woman, and a believer I struggle sometimes with the thought of this because I feel like our society has created an image of the woman who can do everything for everyone, but shouldn't need to take time for herself.  And we all struggle to show that image on social media, to our co-workers, in the workplace.

But I am finding the more authentically me that I am, the brighter I allow myself to shine, and the more I share that glow of my true reality with others, the stronger I become.

The month of March was really tough for me, physically, spiritually, and ultimately, mentally.  I turned 39 years old and this is the first birthday in a long time that I have not enjoyed my birthday age.  I have had these feelings of my life being half over, and have I accomplished enough?  Am I doing enough?  It doesn't help that I'm not in great shape physically.  I had an awful ear infection with a cough that lasted well into March, and my back has also been acting up. This made my return to the gym delayed until my membership had run out. Around the same time, we decided we are going to build a house on 5 acres in the next town, which is an amazing and exciting decision, but holy stress level. Not rejoining the gym since my back has stayed jacked up, and I need to save every extra penny right now for the down payment.  Add to that the birthday celebrations which continued for the entire month, stress eating from trying to decide on house plans, work travel that was booked pretty heftily, teaching courses I had not yet done before, and on top of that the day to day adulting that makes me appear to be a functioning human....y'all...it was a tough month.

And you know what?  I didn't take time to adjust my own oxygen mask.  I've been working so hard and long, rushing from here to there, traveling like a crazy person and being exhausted that I picked up a diet coke again.  I know, I KNOW.  It was a downhill slide from there.  I would spend a few days eating keto, then a few days fully out of it.  I stopped drinking water because diet coke was keeping me going.

Where did it get me?  Well, fortunately to the same weight I was when the month started (phew!). I'm guessing I didn't gain because I was eating really well about half the time. But the diet coke not only awoke cravings I had buried years ago, it made me drink less water.

Enter my first UTI in all of my 39 years...while I was on a work trip.  Super thankful I work in healthcare as I got meds really fast as well as home remedies and a bunch of sweet empathy from my coworkers.

Having to take antibiotics for the second time in 45 days really got my attention this week.  And this morning it became crystal clear.

I need to affix my oxygen mask.  Now.

I literally dream of my former fit self.  It wasn't that long ago.  Just yesterday when texting with a friend we were comparing to our former athletic selves and I wasn't the athlete in high school that I was at 35!  Just 4 short years ago I could literally run absolute circles around my own self.  Yes, a great many things happened over the last few years to give me great reasons to be unfit right now. But the problem occurs when I allow these reasons to become excuses.

No more excuses.

Because a goal without a plan is just a dream. And while I love to sleep, I'm done dreaming about where I once was or where I want to be.

There is no good reason someone who has set such challenging work goals, and is smashing them left and right, can't reach her own fitness potential again. There is no good reason I can't make good food choices most of the time.  There is no good reason to be sedentary, when I own enough equipment and workout programs to work out on my own. There is no reason I can't take 30 minutes a week to blog about my progress, no matter how great or small.

The ONLY reason is that I have yet to create actual GOALS that have PLANS to back them up.

I'm done dreaming.

So here is my fitness Goal & the Plan that's gonna get me there:

Long Range Goal: Lose 80 pounds by my 40th birthday (3/1/19). That is almost 11 months from now.
Short Range Goal: Lose 7.5 pounds a month

PLANS in place to reach my goal:
  • Track my food until I am fully confident I don't need to (aka, can go a day or two or week or two with no weight gain).  
  • Plan my meals weekly, doing some meal prep with the family so we all have healthy options available that stay within budget.
  • Test for ketones daily until my results stay consistent.
  • Begin the T25 workout program as prescribed, following the modifier and taking rest breaks as needed until I don't have to. The Alpha program is 5 weeks and begins tomorrow 4/9/18. 
  • Participate in STATurday, where I measure my progress and report it on my blog sometime each weekend. 
  •  Plan ahead a few days when I may not stay in ketosis.  Such as Wyatt's birthday next weekend, or when we travel two weekends in a row at the end of the month.  Be flexible, but firm with myself and don't allow my workouts to suffer due to poor choices (which means they will be limited!). 
  • Plan to reach out to my fitness mentors and friends when the days or weeks are challenging before making a less than helpful decision. 
Thankfully my "week 1" for this new Goal is an office week, so only day travel later this week.  It's also the week we will be hopefully signing the final plans and contract on the house, then beginning to pick out all of the amazing details of our new home.

I'm ready to quit dreaming...and start DOING! Can't wait to see what amazing successes I will be sharing each week.

Thankful you're here with me.

Be well,
Clara

Saturday, January 27, 2018

One Pound at a Time

Happy weigh in day! 

As of today I’m 20.2 pounds down since October 8th. Yeah it’s not flying off...but it’s coming off and that’s what matters. Especially during a time of year when most people gained (holidays, or have already given up on 2018 (failed resolutions).  

I haven’t felt well this week, like I’m fighting something off, so I didn’t workout like I normally do. I listened to my body and it said rest. So, I rested. 


This didn’t give me reason to just give up and eat whatever while also not exercising. If you’ve been with me any length of time you know that’s unfortunately normal for me. Instead I ate well and I fasted quite a bit as well, mainly because I had no appetite and because, being fat adapted, I can. 

This journey to better health is not easy but it IS possible and doable. It all comes down to staying with whatever way of eating that works for you long term and celebrating small victories along the way. 

While the “big picture” is important, I think sometimes we focus too much on it, and that can be a derailer. We lose sight of the finite details that, when mashed together, make up our successes and failures. Without the details, what’s  left? No progress. 

For example, my big picture, long range  goal is to lose 100 pounds again. That is SO DAUNTING when you say it out loud. Exhausting even. 

 But when I drill down to the detail of what I have accomplished so far, 20.2 pounds lost, this means that I am 20% DONE with that huge goal. 

TWENTY PERCENT! That’s nothing to shake a turkey leg at. That is 1/5th of the way toward my goal. That is a significant number to me, today. 

We also tend to look at HOW LONG everything may take and decide it’s just too long and too hard. Well, I am glad that over 3 months ago I decided enough is enough with my health. Had I not gotten serious when I did, I wonder how much I would have gained this holiday season? I shudder at the thought. 

Let’s step outside of the health realm for a moment and into a financial angle. We have goals this summer of buying a house, so we are saving up as much as we can for a down payment while also trying to clear up a few debts that are left. We follow Dave Ramsey and are hitting the baby steps hard right now. It’s so difficult to save the amount of money we need to have saved by this summer. But we are working on it one step at a time, and one dollar at a time. 

If I decided right now that it would be too hard, what would be the point of trying?

Whether you believe you can, or you believe you can’t, you’re right. -Henry Ford

Mr. Ford had the right idea here. When it comes to important goals, stretch goals, we have to focus on the big picture, AND the details. We have to plan, and we have to believe we will meet our goals. 

Because a year from today, I plan to be blogging from our new home, another 80+ pounds lighter. Where do you plan to be? 

You  can do more than you ever thought possible. How do I know? I’m doing it again!

Hugs,
Clara 


Monday, January 15, 2018

Keep Moving Forward

Hey world!  It's been a solid few months since I have written here, though I have thought about it often.  I'm thankful for having a day off from work to do a few things here and there, catching you up on my fitspiration included!

I'm now in my 14th week of Keto! Very happy to report that I have lost 17.6 pounds in that 14 weeks.  It's not as astounding as one might expect when you have around 100 pounds to lose...but I'm pretty darn happy about it, considering there were THREE holidays during that time that revolve around Candy, Pie and Christmas cookies.  A time of year when some gain 10-20 pounds, I lost 17.6! Not too shabby.

It has been a little bit of a slower go than I anticipated, but it also takes awhile for your body to adjust to a new way of eating, in addition to your mindset.  I jumped into keto loving ALL the cheeses and have realized that, just like in the past, cheese is NOT my friend when I'm trying to lose weight.  SUUUUUCH a bummer but honestly, I am not surprised at all.  I mean, I could have read through my own old blog posts to remember that cheese caused bloating, weight gain, etc for me.  Sigh.  It was fun while it lasted, even if it was a tough change to make. 

That said, I gave up cheese for the first two weeks of the year. Decided to test some with cauliflour pizza this weekend (I get my crusts HERE, I am certain I could make it but who has time?  lol).  Anyway topped with some of my own homemade sauce and fresh full fat mozzarella and pepperoni.  It was GOOD.  And I paid for it for about 24 hours following.  Oh well.  Maybe small amounts or certain cheeses will be ok, occasionally.  For now, though, I'm perfectly content with taking a step back from the dairy, once again.

I've also discovered a few interesting things about Intermittent Fasting. I stalled out weight loss wise which may be around the time I admitted cheese hates me...but also I had been fasting daily until lunchtime.  I also began working out in December.  So I had to tweak a little bit because of that, as well.

I stalled out a tiny bit in the last 4 weeks because of the workouts and figuring out a new normal.  I SEE the physical changes in the mirror but the scale was like NOPE.  lol! I also went through something super fun where my scale one day said I had lost like 8lbs! I was sooo excited until I got back on it and it had gone back up again...it needed new batteries.  Probably the cruelest low battery malfunction! I was not a happy camper.

So I hired a Nutritional Therapist for a review of what I was doing, who specializes in keto/primal/paleo and had a great consult over the phone.  He reviewed where I am right now, my entire health history, and made some recommendations.  I implemented his recommendations this week and dropped 2lbs.  One change was to eat lower carb and only do intermittent fasting on those days I'm not exercising, so like 30g carbs on those days.  And on my lifting days, do 50g carb, higher calories and specifically time carbs for just after my workout - which is perfect for me because it's in the evening.

I literally ate this after my workout Friday night and was 2 pounds down Saturday morning, 4 eggs, 4 slices of bacon, a link of apple chicken sausage, half an avocado and homemade hash browns:


Yeah, I can do this.  :)

The gym - I'm so super stoked about my new workout place. It's about 3 miles from my house and is called Boot Camp Training & Fitness.  I started off doing Kettlebell classes 3 times a week and Boot Camp a few times as well.  Well, my back has told me to back off a little bit, so I'm reducing to Kettlebell M/W/F and then one day of something else, either at the gym or on my own.  I eventually can do 5 days a week, I'm sure, but I have to remember I'm in a soon to be 39 year old 269 pound body so....yeah it will take me some time! And I have time.

Yesterday the extra workout was sprints at our favorite park, which is only first the first half, then we hike the rest of the trail.  It's this gorgeous park in our neighborhood, with a beautiful walking/biking/running trail by a lake. L and I were doing our second sprint when we realized we were going to pass a group of military guys in camo doing a workout of their own. I decided we would make this a longer sprint so we didn't stop to walk right in front of them...and as I was being pleasant and saying good morning, I managed to find a tree root and do a complete face plant!  Yep, some things never change.

Positives - only injury is surface, like the skin on my entire knee...also I jumped back up quickly AND the military group did NOT see me fall, no damage to my cell phone that went flying as well, and I finished the workout (more sprints then a hike, another 2.25 miles).

Negative - ripped my running pants in the knee, scraped the entire skin off of said knee, which is really super annoying, and it's cold out so really hard to cover up a gooey knee constantly. Sheesh.

I have so much more to tell you, but I'm about to leave for my kettlebell class, so I'll leave you with this.  I'm making progress.  One step at a time.  It's happening, albeit slowly, but it's happening.  I feel SO MUCH BETTER now than I did a few months ago.  The weight isn't falling off, but it's coming off, which is the same result, just requires me to be a little more patient that I would like to be. My mobility and strength IS coming back, slowly but surely.  This is all amazing progress.

And to close in the words of the person who is responsible for so much progress in our culture's history:
“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”  -Martin Luther King Jr. 

I'm going to keep moving forward.  How about you?

Clara

Saturday, October 21, 2017

New Places & Head Spaces

Hey world! What a crazy month it has been.

We moved 3 weeks ago! Hard to believe it's been that long.  We also fought a stomach bug and had to eat out for 10 days. Let's just say I lost my first diet bet - but I'm really glad I did it because I can't imagine how bad off I would have been after the move had I not been focused on something positive for the three weeks prior.

It's funny when your diet changes how much your mood changes, which I definitely felt during the move time.  Goodness eating out that much is expensive, too.

We are just about fully settled in and finding some sort of groove to life in this new town.  Exploring some, making friends, discovering cool things about the city and...this amazing thing I seemed to have forgotten about for awhile - COOKING!

We have a decent size kitchen in the little house we are renting.  The commute to work is super easy, its 5 miles away and traffic isn't too terrible even though I'm working in the heart of downtown. We are enjoying hunting for our dream house (not terribly earnestly now, just seeing what is around) and figuring out where things are.

Y'all. I can get to 2 Publixs within 3 miles.  This is big.  There's also a Whole Foods here!  And 3 Ross Stores.  And 2-3 TJ Maxx's.  And 2 Kohls.  LOL!  Ask me how I know.  Driving around alot.

If you've stayed with me for any length of my journey you will know that my preferred method of eating is paleo.  I love meat and veggies, fruit, healthy fat and volume, most of all.  Paleo is how I ate when I was training regularly and at my strongest and fittest.  I've struggled to find my way back there as I knew I wasn't ready for a Whole 30 per se but also knew I needed to do something with some structure in order to find my way back to healthy.  It's not like turning around and going back the way you came when behind me is an angel baby, a rainbow baby, a job change, two moves and a year of providing complete nutrition to my baby boy.  I can't walk backwards.  But I can pull from my past experience to move ahead positively.

While I have loved my very different Whole 30 experiences (I've completed 10 total), I also know that sometimes you have to shake it up a bit.

I had been reading about ketosis and the effects of a higher fat, moderate protein, super low carb way of eating and it really peaked my interest.  What's important, now matter how you choose to eat, which "way" needs to include food you LIKE.  A grilled chicken and broccoli diet (even though I do love both of those things) if you don't like them, isn't sustainable.  The more I read and researched about Ketosis, the more I wondered if it would do for me what it's done and is doing for a great many people.

Like many things, people sometimes take a "fad" diet or idea that becomes popular and take off down the trails doing it, well, incorrectly.  I found that Mark Sisson, the author of Primal Blueprint and many other books, a long time athlete and leader in the Paleo/Primal arena, was writing a book called the Keto Reset Diet to really explain the science behind the Keto way of eating and how to do it correctly.

Some of the benefits that others have found getting into Ketosis:
- Lost weight (considerable amounts)
- Less hungry overall
- More energy
- More alert
- Sleeping better

And the list goes on.  I need all of those things.  But I was skeptical, really, because a high fat diet goes against everything we've been taught in the Standard American Diet (or SAD) protocols.  Old habits die hard! I was also skeptical because I've always been a volume eater. I like to be able to eat alot and need to in order to be satiated.  I heard about people fasting and I'm like, look, I CAN do that but I don't want to so this should be interesting...

What I have learned is that fat in and of itself (especially good fat from whole food/natural sources) doesn't make you fat. Fast food, does.  Inactivity, does.  The wrong combinations and not enough nutrients can, and will make you feel sick. The goal is not to always have to be super restrictive with carbohydrates.  Mark explains in his book that the goal is to become metabolically flexible.  Where you can have things outside of your normal diet here and there without gaining 10 pounds (my normal experience with cheat days and post whole 30 etc).

So 2 weeks ago I began a metabolic reset diet which has a target of 50g of carbs or less per day.

Y'all.  That's REALLY HARD.  Eventually many experience ketosis on 20g or less of carbs per day.  I'm not sure how I will do that when 50 is hard to stay under. LOL!  But heck, I decided to give it a try.

I've kept my calories around 1800-1900 with a ratio of 65% fat, 25% protein and 10% carb.  I started at 286.6 pounds, so yeah, my calories are higher than your average friend.  Don't get all caught up on the numbers. I tracked around 4 days of the last two weeks, just every now and then to see how I was doing.

Here's what I've experienced so far:
- Lost 9.6 pounds (in 13 days)
- I look different.  My body shape is changing.
- Sleeping much harder.
- Skin is 100% clear and has a healthy glow about it.
- More alert and awake at work, extra productive.
- Amazingly satiated and rarely hungry.

Friends, I'm actually fasting through breakfast on most days.  I may have some black coffee or if I wake a little hungry I have some bulletproof coffee (for me that's a tbsp of butter, coconut oil or coconut butter and a tablespoon of collagen blended up).  There are different schools of thought on whether or not the BPC actually breaks a fast, but I am really enjoying it most days. I did not intend to fast, but have found it easier with my work schedule.  Then I eat my lunch at the regular lunch time, sometimes a snack in the afternoon (raw cashews are my current jam), dinner, and am done eating by 7:30pm or 8pm at the latest.  Then a 15-17 hour fast until the next day's meal. So my eating window is 7-9 hours total.

I'm not certain how much the diet change or intermittent fasting, or what is contributing to the great results so far, but I feel really good and really, truly love what I'm eating, so I'm going to keep on going. I've been trying new recipes and entertaining dairy again in my diet (so weird but it fits) and my family has really enjoyed my cooking.  I will likely tweak the fasting, and my carbs will likely fluctuate as my activity increases, as well.

I walked 3 times this week! Considering I battled a migraine one night this week out of nowhere, I am pretty happy with that. Hoping to walk more next week.

Head on over to my Facebook page for a few food pictures from the week. And you can learn more about the Keto Reset by joining the Facebook group, buying Mark's book, the Keto Reset Diet, and also Mark's Daily apple, his blog.

In the meantime, no matter what way of eating you're embracing right now I hope you are loving it, it's loving you, and you find yourself in a good head space. I'm liking my current headspace, very much.

Hugs,
Clara

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Food & Mood...Wanna Bet?

Hey hey!  Hope everyone has had a good week.  My week was insane but very positive, overall.

Here's a recap:

Met with my new doctor on Tuesday and went through the medical history (was a really long appointment - ha!) and we agreed on blood work and scheduled me to come back and get it done on Friday (when fasting).

During the appointment he pointed out my BMI and that it wasn't good.  He actually said "I'm not trying to hurt your feelings."  I laughed and said, "No worries, that's why I am here."

At one point he offered surgery but I declined and told him I also wouldn't be taking any medication if I could help it.  Thankfully my blood pressure is somehow amazing (116/73) even at this weight.  I explained that I had lost 100 pounds before and kept it off for years, then the two pregnancies back to back, depression and a long time of not taking care of myself landed me here.  Again.

So, yeah, I'm not going to take a pill or have surgery.

I'm going to look over these blood work results with him this coming Friday and continue moving forward in this process of saving my own life (again).

I'm going to do what I KNOW to do.

THANK YOU to the many who reached out to me by either calling, texting, or sending me a message on Facebook.  I enjoyed catching up and covet your encouragement - and want to give it in return, as well.  It was a joy to get such a response to being so brutally honest with you all.

The week consisted of alot of travel and time in the car. I did really well with food.  Not stellar paleo but solidly primal with a few small questionable things here and there.

Overall, a few BIG wins this week:

  • No French fries or burgers or milkshakes from drive through windows
  • No dessert of any kind while I was traveling
  • No diet cokes!
  • I took the stairs almost every time in the hotel vs. using the elevator.
  • I walked MILES through our hospitals touring them
  • I made GOOD choices MOST of the time.
  • You may have seen I enjoyed an ice cold kombucha and raspberries on my drive home Friday.  I really really wanted a "treat" and this was the treat I chose!
It wasn't my BEST week in my history of amazing travel weeks, by any stretch.  But that would be comparing to another time in my life.  

For me, right now, with my NEW job, upcoming move, weekly travel and overall crazy schedule... 

I did REALLY WELL!

And I feel incredibly satisfied with my progress. I managed to lose 4.4 pounds this week. 

Two other things I have to tell you - first, I committed to an official DietBet for the first time.  If you've not heard of it, it's basically a game where you pledge a certain amount of money (in this case $35) and in the four weeks of its duration you have to lose 4% of your body weight in order to earn your $35 back.  This, for me, comes out to about 11 pounds.  I'm already 4.4 pounds on my way, or 39% done.  This DietBet is sponsored by Courtney Crozier Respess, former BL contestant.  She's a super positive person and I've followed her for years.  

This is about as gimmicky as I'll get with weight loss - and it's not even really gimmicky. It's just a challenge to myself to earn my money back.  I did one with my church group online and totally wasn't ready.  I'll probably do another one with them as well simultaneously.  Because what's more motivating then getting your investment back? Ha.  Being healthy, obviously.  

It just seemed like something fun to try.  It definitely has made me think twice when ordering while traveling this week! Will keep you all updated.  Week 1 done!

The other thing I wanted to tell you about was how Food & Mood are connected for me. I've heard my hubby and daughter say before that I'm in a better mood when I eat better.  Yesterday, L expanded on that for me while we were driving.  We had a moment where we had finished shopping and were both super hungry.  I had salmon at home and had already decided I wanted that with green beans for dinner. But here we were, needing to stop at the grocery store still, starving and it was 7pm, AND then still had a half hour drive home then had to cook.  We talked through a few options but I told her I just wasn't strong enough at this point to go to an unplanned dinner out.  I would likely make bad choices.  Plus, we didn't need to spend the extra money when we had a ton of food at home. 

She agreed and told me in the car that I'm nicer when I am eating well.  She said, well while you're eating good food you're pretty much always in a good mood.  When you eat something "bad" you tend to be in a good mood right then, but soon you're feeling guilty or sick and then you're grumpy.

Wow.  

I didn't realize how much food was controlling my moods.  Makes sense, though.  

So we jetted home and I made amazing salmon and green beans for dinner with toasted almonds.  It was SO GOOD.  And this morning woke up lighter and without a tummy ache.

Now I'm off to make some potato soup with chicken (and bacon and broccoli - in coconut milk) and will be having some company later.  I'm excited to catch up with my friends and focused more on that than the food.

This week I'm going to bring my sneakers with me and try to walk at the hotel if I can.  I should be able to make time as I'm checking into one hotel and staying for the rest of the week.  That plus water and continuing to make the best choices I can are on the docket.  I mean, I gotta win that money back! 

Have a healthy week!

Clara