Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bloodwork Don't Lie!

Hey friends!

Sorry for the blog break. It has seriously been crazy busy, as per usual.  I'm just better at managing it sometimes than others.

So as you know in October/November I hit a few bumps that tumbled into pretty huge realizations of my struggle with food, my compulsive overeating disorder, my attempts to "harm" myself with food, etc.  It was a tough time.  I spent more time thinking than I have in a long time.  I spent time calling myself out on my feelings, naming them, becoming OK with them, and ultimately, putting myself on the path to healing the wound that food has been for such a long time for me.

It is so funny to me when people who don't struggle with food issues try to identify with someone like me who has them.  These aren't always "skinny" people or "fit" people, many times they are just people we know, who have never been obese and just live in moderation...and wonder why not all of us can do that.  It can get exhausting explaining myself so unless I'm asked, I don't bother.  And that's OK with me.  For those it might help, I blog about it.  And hopefully my transparency on this blog will help one other person.  So yeah, I end up putting a great deal of "me" out here in cyber space, which may or may not be advisable to some.  But truly, I feel called to share my testimony in the event it might help someone else begin their healing process as well.

Some great things have happened in the last few weeks I want to tell you about.  First, I had my bloodwork done.  Now, I haven't had a lipid panel (cholesterol measurement) done since 2010.  I had bloodwork last December but for some reason they didn't measure that (wha???).

Anyway there was a part of me a little concerned about my cholesterol since I have a high protein and healthy fat with TONS of veggies diet.  Funny but true, a friend recently told me she was somewhat concerned about how MUCH I eat as you can see from the food pics I post, this girl doesn't go hungry.

First, really funny, they sent me a postcard from the dr office saying "your bloodtest results were normal!" when I had clearly asked to get a copy.  lol. I guess some people just aren't curious?

So here are my results compared with results from the past:

Cholesterol Info 7/1/2009 1/20/2010 8/4/2010 8/25/2011 11/19/2013
HDL (40 or >) 67 40 49 52 68
Triglyc (<150 td=""> 228 169 143 106 48
LDL (<100 td=""> 122 109 114 112 108
Total Cholesterol (<200 td=""> 235 183 192 185 186

Hoping this shows up well on my blog, but you can see the following:

Comparing my HDL (good cholesterol) year over year, it dipped down for a few years, and then went back up.  I'm at an all-time high right now which is excellent.  YEAH!

Comparing my Triglycerides (the fat in the blood) year over year, it took a good jump each year landing, amusingly at 48.  48!  I have been in awe of that number.  I'm so pleased with that.  And guess what?  I EAT FAT!  And EGGS - 3-5/DAY!  YOLK AND ALL!  Sorry.  Felt it needed to be shouted.  Eggs are not your enemy.  French fries from McDonalds are!  This marks a 180 point DECLINE in my Triglycerides in 4 years!

Comparing my LDLs (bad cholesterol) year over year, you can see it's kind of all over the map.  They want your LDL under 100 IF you are at risk of heart disease.  Since I am clearly not (there was even a note on my bloodwork to state that, the lab made) this being a smidge higher than 100 is not a big deal. In fact, between 100-129 is "near ideal" depending on who you ask.  I'm super happy with this as well.

TOTAL Cholesterol numbers:  year over year comparison, decreased by 49 points total which is awesome!
I know my increased activity/strength and good nutrition is to thank for these changes.  You know I have been so excited about it!

So...not to overwhelm, and I have somewhere to be, so I'll update you on my physiograph I had done over Thanksgiving break and how I made it through Thanksgiving later on.

MORAL - keep going and striving to be healthier and fitter!  You will be glad you did.  I SURE AM!  Bloodwork don't lie.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

I Am More...and So are You.

Here I am!  What a whirlwind of a few weeks I've had going.  No excuses, I know!  But the reason for my absence has been two-fold...I have been choosing other things over blogging, and I have been trying to figure out how to describe what's been going on in my head in the best way possible.  The latter being quite the challenging task, right?

I've been participating in a 10 week Mindset Makeover through JillFit Physiques (click here for Jill's website).  You might think, "Uh, Clara, you've been at this for 4 years, why do you need a mindset makeover?"

Part of me was a bit skeptical and wondered if it would all be just review.  But it was worth the $50 investment to find out.  Because no matter how long I've been at this, sometimes it feels like I've had as many failures as I've had successes on this journey.  I take 5 steps forward, and 3 back.  I know the math, it still ends up putting me ahead, but why do I continue to step, fall or trip backwards?

I've described the hard, challenging times I've faced as dealing with "Mud Mountain."  That this journey is all about my desperate climb to the top, and the days I somehow stick my face or tater back in the mud and slide down like I'm a kid at a water park with no lines.  While Mud Mountain is a great metaphor for this weight loss and overall health journey, it almost simplifies the root of why I keep finding myself clawing my way up rather than  confidently scaling it a little too much.

I have the experience, determination, and proven results over the last 4 years that I should be more confident, self-assured and DONE with fat loss, securely in maintenance phase.  So why am I not "there"?  Why haven't I arrived?

I'm going to just preface this, probably unnecessarily, with the simple fact that I feel the need to be brutally honest and transparent on my blog.  Being honest about my failings I hope will allow someone else to look at themselves as closely, and hopefully grow in the same way I have, or in some way be better.  I would not be the Christian I am, or the person I am trying to be, were I sugar coating this journey and pretending it's been a breeze.

If you've followed me for any length of time, you know, it's NOT so simple.

I won't give Jill's program away, but will share that one of her daily emails hit me square between the eyes, smack in the middle of a binge.  She was asking me to name my struggles. Put real, honest names on them.  And the timing couldn't have been better.  In the center of a supreme, super-sized binge.

I say binge, because I need to be completely honest about what happened a few weeks ago.  I saw 179 on the scale.  The LOWEST weight I've been since 1996.  Yeah, that's 17 years ago (and yeah, I used a calculator - haha).  I was ecstatic!

I had planned to "offroad" a little that night, not really to "treat" myself, but I guess to celebrate in some way.  I began using this term once I turned into this Whole 30/Paleo lifestyle.  Because I need to offroad some and not call myself "Bad Clara" when I wanted to eat something off plan.  I need to offroad some and every now and then enjoy a "treat" and not call it a "cheat."   I need to be able to not call this a "diet" but a lifestyle and in order to truly make it a lifestyle, it has to be realistic.

But me?  I am given an inch (or a nice word to label bad behavior) and I take a freaking 5k instead of a mile.  I crash and burn faster than someone can suggest a restaurant or two.

That morning started off as per usual.  I enjoyed my healthy breakfast, then took Elizabeth to a BBQ in the next town where she and her dance team were performing.  Stephen met us up there and after Elizabeth went off with one of her friends, Stephen and I decided to sample some BBQ.  We each had some fried potatoes which were ok, but I could taste the grease.  They were fresh cut which had caught my interest, not frozen or bagged.  Then I had some ribs and beans and cole slaw.  Not a ton of any of it.  Felt a little ick, but generally ok.

Later that evening we went to an Italian place in Dublin that I love, Deano's, and usually I have a grilled chicken or grilled shrimp salad there (you've seen pics of said salad).  Instead, that night, I decided to have their brick oven pizza.  We ordered one with spinach and bacon. The crust was pretty thin.  Also had some fried zucchini and some bread with dipping oil (that was probably my favorite part).  Still felt ok, but a little weird.  And maybe turning just a tad out of control, but I was "offroading" so that is ok, right?  Truly, none of the food had the flavor of my favorite foods now (w30 style tastes good to me!).

We stopped next at the Frozen Yogurt place for Elizabeth and her friend to have yogurt.  I considered not indulging, but decided I wanted to.  They charge you based on how heavy the yogurt cup is.  Guess who's was heaviest?  MINE!  It was loaded down with yogurt and just as many ounces in toppings. I practically licked the bowl.

The next morning I felt like CRAP, seriously, sluggish and puffy and quickly went back to my eggs and snap peas.  At church, in two separate conversations, friends approached me to ask if I was ok, I looked unhappy.  Well, no, I wasn't OK but didn't realize it, I had a food hangover, and it showed on my face and in how I felt.  Huh.  Emotionally I was ok, but my body had taken a beating.

We went to lunch out and I had baked chicken, rutabega and a small serving of broccoli salad.  Was doing OK until I also decided to have one of Elizabeth's fried chicken wings, half of her biscuit and a huge slice of cheesecake.  I tried to continue to pretend that I was fine, and would be back on track that night.

We went and played tennis for a few hours, returned home, and I ate the leftover 2 slices of pizza from the night before.  OK, I'll be back on track tomorrow.

Returned to the fridge, opened the door, and had a HUGE revelation.  I was searching for something "BAD."  Not something yummy, or tasty, or to fulfill a craving and I was understandably NOT hungry.  I wanted something BAD for me.

It was like I wanted to hurt myself.  Whaaaa?


That night we ate dinner at Zaxby's and I had fried chicken fingers and french fries.  Then a pumpkin spiced latte from McDonalds on the way home with a hot fudge sundae with extra fudge.  My family went along with it (somewhat gleefully at first, then they seemed concerned) but I could tell they were uncomfortable watching what was happening with me.

As a teen I suffered from depression and the need to feel loved and approved of pushed me to make some bad decisions here and there in my life.  Following a bad breakup in high school I all but stopped eating, getting down to 160 pounds (20 less than I weigh now) and crying every day.  I went through counseling and really tried to work on my "issues" at the age of 15, but truly, my compulsive overeating hadn't peaked back then like it would later on so I have never officially dealt with that.

Throughout my life food has been my enemy and my best friend.  Always there for me, but always taunting me, judging me, and causing me to feel like I have no self-control whatsoever if the right item was put in front of me.

And there is such a parallel with any kind of addiction with food addiction. We've had this conversation before.  We cannot stop eating like we can stop doing drugs or drinking alcohol.  So it's almost harder to beat a food addiction, and I can honestly say this as someone who also had an alcohol addiction in my late teens/early 20s and managed to beat that, completely sober for 11 years now with the exception of one poorly executed glass of champagne at a wedding 10 years ago.  Someone battling alcohol and having to be around it (work functions, the nature of their job, the world as a whole) also has to deal with constantly declining things that will cause them to relapse.  Food is everywhere.  Especially when you're involved in a bunch of church and work functions ALL.THE.TIME.

So that 24 hour period of what I would have called "offroading" before was truly not that.  It was a full on relapse.  NAME THE STRUGGLE.  Ouch.

But I have had a revelation about this food issue of mine.  And I have blogged about this before.  Being a compulsive overeater is something I need to embrace, better understand, and be ok with.  And not sugar coat it.  My virtual friend Clare at Peak 313 (see Clare's website here) blogged about moderation, and how everyone's moderation looks different.  Can I even have any moderation?  I think I can.  But I think I have to really carefully PLAN my offroading.  I have to consider that my moderation will look differently than people who innocently sometimes as me "How did you let yourself get that heavy?  Didn't you realize what you were doing or that it was unhealthy?"  They have no idea.

With my treats or offroading, I am responsible for making sure I'm really trying to satisfy a craving or enjoy something I love rather than doing what seems like trying to hurt myself.

Because I don't want to hurt myself.  As cheeky as this sounds, I love myself.  Because God created me and He loves me and accepts me.  Scars, bumps, bruises and all.  It's my duty to take care of this body, this temple.  I need to make that a priority and pray more when I begin to let old feelings and habits take over my brain and push me to make decisions I will regret.

My binge resulted in an 11 pound weight gain in just 36 hours.  11 pounds!  Of course some of that was bloating, etc., but I actually saw 190-something on the scale again.  It was terrifying!

Yesterday morning I was back down to 180.8, a solid 2 weeks after the most recent "episode."  I still have not fully recovered from that crazy binge two weeks ago but I will.

I will.

Because "I am MORE than the choices that I've made.  I am MORE than the sum of my past mistakes.  I am MORE than the problems I create.  I've been remade."  (Tenth Avenue North really sums it up for me in this song/video You are More by Tenth Avenue North - check it out!)

Thank God for allowing me to be new every morning.

And thanks to you for being with me on this journey and allowing me to be completely real with you!  I'll update some more on some fun stuff like my new FitBit, taking a few weeks off of weight training and the new training plan I created for myself to get back up to 10k distance by Thanksgiving for the Turkey Trot.  But this blog is already alot to take in.  Let it sink in and come back to see me later in the week.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Living, Learning & Loving

Hey all!

So it has been a very good week back on track.

I found myself feeling 100% better about pretty much everything.

Let's start with the workouts.  This was week 3 of the Gamma phase of T25.  Every workout in this program is HARD, but there are a few that qualify as killer in my book.  My favorite is Speed 3.0 (love me some fast cardio), then Rip'T Up which incorporates weights.  I don't love Extreme Circuit or the Pyramid.  Oh, the dreaded Pyramid! It has tons of reps counting UPWARD.  I instead love to count DOWNWARD.  I don't know why, I just do.

Either way it was a tough week.  And I did a few additional running workouts as well.

First, I ran 5k last Sunday morning in my neighborhood for two reasons. Reason numero uno was that I needed to know I still could.  Reason numero dos was that I knew I had a surprise 5k race coming up that next weekend. Since my friend Wendy follows my blog, I had to stay totally mum about the fact that I was sort of training for that race!  I was not very fast on Sunday morning running alone (37:32).  My IT band quit working at the last quarter mile, but I just don't run very fast on my own and when I'm not pushing myself (more on that later).  In stalking Wendy, I found she was running more like a 34-35 minute 5k.  GULP.  I foam rolled multiple times during the week and ran another 2 miles on Wednesday with zero pain, and a little faster than she ran hers (found out by random texting questions to her - I cannot believe I still managed to surprise this girl!  haha).  Anyway, I hoped I would be ok, but would be seriously challenged!  Enter mutual friend of Wendy's, Sarah, who is also a runner, and was texting me encouragement all week. So thankful for that!

Here is a picture of  me surprising Wendy!

Not the best angle of my arm, but I didn't care.  Was so glad to show up and shock her by telling her I would run her first race with her! Wendy really impressed me, training alone for this race, her first 5k, and doing it on her birthday!  Sarah and I decided there was no way she could run this race alone...since Sarah had a work function to attend and I only live 2 hours from Wendy, I signed up for the race and then did all I could to keep my big mouth shut before it! (if you really know me you know how tough that is!)

Here's a better picture of me in that dress - I found it in my closet on Friday before leaving for Savannah, and was super excited it fit!

Also a picture of us on the way to Savannah.  We were so excited to surprise our friend!

So, my body was pretty sore when we got to Savannah Friday evening.  Of course, Pyramid was the last workout of the week, and I completed it that morning.  This week I tried really hard to go up a little in weights and my forearms and hands actually felt it and were a little sore.  Apparently that just takes some time to improve and get stronger.

In talking with Wendy, I realized she had a pretty aggressive goal for the race.  Her plan was to get a PR even from the 3.1 she had run the week before! (GULP again!).  Anyway I told her my goal was to get her across the finish line in whatever time she chose, and if I for some reason had to slow down she could keep going and not to look back.  She wanted to finish in 34 mins or less, so that's what we shot for.  I knew we needed our pace to be between 10:45 and 11:15 so I tried to keep us there.  The first half mile we never went over 10:30!  I kept looking at Wendy and trying to decide if I should tell her we needed to slow down or what - this was HER race after all.  We slowed a little a few times but that girl was determined to be fast.  Since she informed me we would not be talking (haha - I'm a talker when I run which is probably why I am slow!) I had both earbuds in and put my playlist on shuffle.  God knew what songs we needed - a few times I was really struggling - this pace was truly all-out effort for me for over 30 minutes.  I was not sure I would be able to finish but determined to hit the goal she had set.  The course was pretty flat and nice, through the campus of a local college in Savannah.

We finished in 32 mins and some change (or 33, I thought 33 but cannot remember, and forgot to hit stop on my Garmin - of COURSE).  Close to my PR from 2011 of 32:16.  I was in shock!  I'm hoping they post race results soon, as I'd like to see the actual time.

Here's us after the race:

So, you know I always have some kind of learning or takeaway from something challenging like this.  You ready?

1) I loved having a reason to have to push myself.  Knowing Wendy had a goal and really wanting to do all I could to support that fueled me during this race.  I really wanted to make sure her goals were met.  I of course, wanted to survive, and did not at all mind finishing the race 4 plus minutes faster than I ran last weekend, but my true focus was on the birthday girl (did I mention yet it was also her birthday?  Isn't she amazing to have such a huge awesome goal to accomplish on her birthday?). Focusing on someone other than myself and my goals was really refreshing.  I loved every minute of this time with my friend, watching her achieve a huge goal. 

2) I am capable of way more than I thought I was.  Before yesterday I would have told you, hey, I have NOT been training to run, there is absolutely no way I would be able to run a 5k in less than 35 minutes right now.  But I think I realized I haven't been pushing myself like I could.  Amazingly, with little running training, my brain and heart kept my legs going and I was virtually pain free.  I know this is due in large part to how strong I am getting.  I am living in these moments of "aha" and realizing I am so much stronger than I gave myself credit for, both physically and mentally.

3) I may not be at my goal, but I am no longer a fat girl.  OK, don't roll your eyes here and say duh...when you've been as heavy as I was (285 pounds remember?) sometimes it is tough to shake that feeling of being a big overweight person.  I'm not petite, trust me, I realize that, but when I looked at the picture above, I also noticed more curves than rolls.  And more muscle than fat.  I've been really impatient for the last 15-20 pounds to come off, but while I have been busy worrying about that stupid scale, I've been missing the fact that my body is busy reshaping itself.  I'm pretty OK with the girl in the picture above.  Curves, muscles and all.  I feel more like an athlete than a fat girl.  It's so awesome to say that out "loud."

On another topic, nutrition was good this week.  Definitely felt SO much better being on track!  I did have some sweet potato fries last night and yogurt covered raisins (ewww) but other than that have been 100% where I need to be.  And I lost 6 of the 10lbs I had gained in 3 days (yep, I gain quickly, I'm telling you!) and my belly has stopped bloating.  The rest will come off this week, I'm sure of it.

So there you have it.  Successful surprise, successful race, successfully stayed on track with my eating pretty much all week even with travel.

And most of all, success in my way of thinking.  This week I'm excited to start a 10 week program with Jill Fit Physiques ( where she will be emailing me some educational information and homework every day for the next 10 weeks to help me change my mindset.  I'm super excited about this and ready to really tackle the mind issues associated with eating and health head on (pun totally intended).  If the head game is as much of a challenge as it has been for the last 4 years, even with successfully losing the number of pounds I've lost, I think everyone could benefit from this.  I'm excited and promise to tell you how awesome it is (without giving her program away lol).

In the meantime...I'm gonna keep living, keep learning from my good and bad days, and keep on loving myself.  I know that's paramount in my journey to be the best I can be physically.


Monday, October 7, 2013



I'm back!  Haven't really been gone, not completely.  But definitely needed a break from the counting, tracking, picture making, blog writing streak I was on.  See, this is where I prove that I'm not a super human.  My crazy work travel schedule, busy ministry life and quest to be the healthiest I can be sometimes catches up to me.

I was pushing myself HARD to hit that goal of getting into the 170s.  I'm so glad I did.  Now I know there is such thing as pushing yourself too hard. While I don't feel I did that exactly, I felt the walls closing in on me and I had to stop (collaborate and listen, not in the name of love this time - ha!).  I had to reassess.  I had to have a break.  I had to offroad some.  Enjoy some treats.  Not count a dad-gum thing for awhile.  And that's what I did.  For a few meals/days in the last two weeks.

And here I am.  Well back into the 180s.  Nauseated, bloated (like literally, my stomach is puffy!) fur growing on my teeth (that sugar coated feeling) and completely shocked that even though I off-roaded quite a bit the last 5 days (trickling down from a few indulgences a week the few weeks prior), I still managed to do something active and/or work out EVERY DAY!  WOW!

Let's go over that.  Started the Gamma phase of T25.  First, I have to celebrate that I finished 10 weeks of the first two phases of T25.  I could not believe I did that.  Huge huge accomplishment.  I saw great results from the program, got so much stronger, my body began to really lean out.  Then I started realizing that it may not be just 14 pounds left.  It may be more like 20-30.  That was a little staggering.  I thought I was so close!  But looking at my body I can honestly say I don't think I'm as close as I thought. (the funny part is, people comment that I already look like I'm at my ideal weight.  No, friends, I just know how to dress my shape and hide the bulges.  They are there!  Stephen knows though I'm blessed he would never point them out!  lol).

That final week of the 10 weeks, I only lost .2 of a pound.  That was SO disappointing!  Especially on the heels of coming to the realization that my goal may be more like 150 something instead of 165 which I have shot for this ENTIRE journey.  Additionally, it was one of the weeks I had tracked EVERY gram of protein, every morsel, every thought of food!  AH!  How in the world? 

Interestingly, I was still in the 170s. was my bloat week.  Hello???  But I allowed it to get to me.  Really really get to me.  Way more than I should.  Which again, once again, seriously, proves that so much of this is completely mental and you can talk yourself INTO our OUT OF your own successes.

Even with the encouragement of my fellow renegades, friends, and the pictures that were showing me the changes I've made in the last few months, I still allowed that to discourage me a little.  Or alot.  Enough to make me kinda blue.  And kinda emotional.  And kinda craving stupid food that didn't really make me feel any better at all. 

It was then I decided to take a break.  From blogging, from taking pics of my food, from logging every single thing I ate and ultimately, from Whole 30.  I still ate W30 probably 90% of the next week, but that started sliding down to 80% the week after that until I hit a 5 day slide of sugar every single day.  We all know what happens with that.  I'll have this one treat.  OK, I'll have one treat meal.  OK, now I'll have one treat DAY.  And ok, might as well start on the first, so a few treat days.  And the sugar dragon woke up, consumed my brain and settled comfortably where my brain used to be.

Hello, Mud Mountain, remember me?  I've slid down you before.

It wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last. 

Some interesting things I  noticed this time around.

1) I have not felt horrible about myself.  I've felt physically bad, but not emotionally bad.  I don't like seeing my puffy gut in the mirror, don't get me wrong.  But I tried to really fully enjoy every treat I had.  And I did.  But I also missed my healthy food when it wasn't available.  Funny, huh?

2) I ate less of each item than I normally would have.  This is really an interesting realization.  Yesterday our church had homecoming, and if you've ever been to a baptist church homecoming you know that there is a TON of food from all kinds of amazing southern cooks.  It was dessert I was really looking forward to (though the maple bacon wrapped green beans were amazing).  I hit the dessert table and had a half a piece of chocolate pie, which I ate about 2/3 of, a brownie with marshmallow/chocolate on it, which I ate 2 bites of, and a piece of chocolate cake in which I ate the frosting off of it only.  Yeah, alot of junk, but I actually threw a bunch of it away too.  Very uncharacteristic of me.  But a good sign.

3) Nothing, not ONE thing I indulged in, tasted as good as I recalled in my food memory.  This was a fantastic discovery, as I will likely crave these indulgences WAY less next time around. 

4) Normally, I would have ended up so off plan I wouldn't be able to work out.  I not only worked out EVERY day in some form or fashion, I had extra workouts too.  Ran 5k on Sunday morning (to prove I still could) and discovered not only can I still run 5k, but I did so with zero training prep, and while my IT band was unhappy in the last 1/4 mile, holy cow, who else can say they haven't run in 2 weeks at ALL and haven't run 5k since July and can go eek one out like that?  SLOOOOW but ran the whole way.  Pretty stoked about that.  I feel like that just proves my cross training has not only made me stronger, but maintained my fitness level if my running is still in a decent place. 

5) While I did seize certain opportunities, I did not seize every opportunity to indulge.  So here it is - I traveled for work last week and was particularly exhausted.  When I'm tired, I'm way less likely to make good choices.  Example 1: I purchased 2 dozen hot and fresh krispy kreme donuts for the group I was doing team building with that morning.  Said donuts rode in my car for over an hour.  Breakfast at the hotel had been crappy.  And I didn't eat one.  Wasn't even tempted.  Sipped my black coffee while I drove and almost forgot they were next to me.  That day at lunch I was offered my favorite, all time dessert.  Pumpkin Cheesecake.  Oh my.  Covered in pralines and caramel. It sounded absolutely amazing.  But it won't be the last time I will have pumpkin cheesecake available to me.  I politely declined.  YEAH!

6.  I need accountability with my nutrition.  I don't know if that means forever.  It might be another 2 months.  It might be another 2 years.  I'm not willing to put a timeline on it.  I'm going to do it for as long as I need to do it.  Period.  Because doing whatever it takes to be successful is what this whole thing is about.  And I'm committed to seeing this journey through.

So I don't count everything in the last few weeks as a loss.  Did I gain weight?  Duh, yeah.  I gain weight if YOU eat a cinnamon roll, remember?  Ha. 

But I also gained some perspective.  And that will last longer than this wheat belly will.

Today I ate better.  Today I began to detox.  Today I ordered my FitBit (finally!).  Today I took pictures of my food.  Today I purposefully drank water like it was my job.  Today I worked out hard, even though it was my least favorite workout yet in the entire program. Today was a success.

Now to get about 100 today's to be more like today and less like yesterday, that, my friends, will equal certain success.

Still not sure I will start tracking my food again.  I may when the Fitbit comes in, depends on how easy it is to do.  And how I'm feeling.

Will keep you posted.  Thanks for following me through the ups, downs and everything in between.  It means alot.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Acceptance Speech...I'd Like to Thank the Renegades...


This morning I weighed 179.6.  This is not a huge loss from last week, less than 2lbs.  BUT.  I haven't weighed in the 170s since high school!  WOW!  Here are my stats:

Weight: -1.8lbs (total 105.4 lost, -46 since I met Nate!)
Chest: -1 inch (total -2 since T25 started)
Waist: -1 inch (total -6 inches since T25 started)

Arms: same (total -1 inch total since T25 start but definitely better shape!)
Thighs: same (total -8 inches total since T25 started!)

DID I SAY I am at 179.6??? I have not weighed in the 170s since HIGH SCHOOL! (16 years ago).

So yeah, to say I'm excited is a bit of an understatement.

Acceptance Speech - "I'd like to thank my fellow Renegades...for pushing me, helping me tweak my nutrition, encouraging me and holding me accountable.  Having to post my workouts every day, getting an inspirational video from my coach, Nate Trenteseaux,  and just overall pushing me toward success. These people, many of whom I've never met in person (yet), are part of my recent successes.  THANK YOU!  Each one of you has been part of this exciting day.  BEAST MODE YO!"

Now you may think I'm making too big a deal of reaching 179.6.  I mean, after all, I'm still overweight, right?  Well.  Yeah.  DUH.  But this is a tremendous milestone for me given how long it's been since I have weighed this.

And in the FOUR YEARS I've been on this weight loss journey, my scale NEVER showed me a number lower than 182.  

So yeah, roll your eyes at me.  I'm jumping up and down like a little kid.  OK.  Not literally.  But I'm super duper excited and don't really care if I'm alone in that!

105.4 pounds lost!  Tremendous!  

This morning I went for a run pre-weigh in.  Had a great feeling about today.  It was GORGEOUS outside.  Some parts were hot but not terribly.  I ran 2.08 miles without stopping, which is a feat as I only run on Saturday now.  I could have kept going according to my lungs...but my IT band said no way.  Blah! Foam rolling tonight and will just wait to hit 3.1 miles again next weekend.  Nice to know I haven't lost much conditioning overall, as I'm still working out like a fiend.  But just need to get my legs back there.  Oh and new shoes.  Maybe next month I'll invest in new shoes! It's way past time.

Did I mention my hubby weighs in the 170s?  I actually have an opportunity to weigh less than him.  He was in the 150s when we met, even at 6 feet tall. Yep, he's a skinny preacher.  Doesn't fit that "mold" haha.  Anyway, I am excited to weigh less than him and I can absolutely see it happening now! He is getting on the scale later today so I can see just how far away I am from this goal.  

Wendy took this picture of me at Kohl's earlier this week.  I found a size 24 dress, which was my size at one time.  Same dress, just have more than half of it gathered behind me in the picture on the right.  Awesome difference!

Took this picture before church last week!

Some of my food for this week.  See my Facebook page for details!

More food from this week. :)

A new before/current picture I made the other day when trying to encourage one of my fellow Renegades. 

One thing I've changed this week is I am tracking my food on Sparkpeople, just for this week. I know I KNOW!  Trust me, I HATE doing this and it won't be forever, just a few weeks to get into a good habit.  But, in analyzing my food, I came to realize (with some help) that my fat was too high and my protein too low.  Now, I've been getting results, but not necessarily as good as they could be.  So this week I shot for the following:

Calories: between 1,500 and 1,800 daily
Carbs: between 50-75g (and only from fruit/veggies)
Fat: between 50-70g (and only GOOD fat)
Protein: 125-150g

(doing all of my stat tracking via SparkPeople which is a great website! lots of great tools, recipe calculator, and supportive people in case you're looking for an online community to join...oh and FREE!)

Happy to say that MOST days I hit this goal! It is definitely challenging to increase protein without increasing fat, especially since I cannot do protein supplements (I just don't tolerate them).  Which is OK as I'm happy to do this weight loss thing using ONLY whole foods.

Because it can be done my friends.  It might not give lightening fast results, or happen overnight, or be effective without exercise, due to  pills, shakes, or whatever the newest miracle out there is.  For me, I'm doing it the right way for my body, the lasting way, and I will have zero chance of gaining this weight back at the end of this journey.  Because I can maintain the way I eat now forever.  I don't feel deprived, sad, upset or impatient. 

I FEEL GREAT!  OH and someone asked me about extra skin the other day.  I don't really have any.  A little on my tummy.  But losing weight slowly and naturally will not cause excess skin issues if you're young enough and elasticity is still there.  Thankful for that!

Find what works for YOU.  It may not be Whole 30, Paleo or any of the other eating plans out there.  We all have different metabolism and different struggles.

But I will tell you the one thing I am SURE of, after trying just about everything out there.  NUTRITION is responsible for 100% of your results.  Change your food, change your outcome.  Period.

Let me know how I can cheer you on or support you in your journey!

Peace out,

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Happy STATurday!


Here to post my weekly weigh in results - super quick update as we're in a rush to go out to dinner then grocery shop.  Exciting times in my house. :)

So here are the stats for the week:

Weight lost: -1.8 lbs
Inches lost:
-1 inch: waist
-1 inch: thigh

Woohoo! Was hoping for more weight lost but have surprisingly actually had a cycle this month (haven't had them regularly for years) and I'm still a little bloated.  That said, my nutrition has been on point, I have nailed every workout and even snuck in an additional 3 mile walk the other night.

I now weigh 181.4.  I have not weighed less than 182 this entire journey.  And honestly it was probably right after I got married, 13 years ago, that I weighed in the 180s at all.  I'm super close to another milestone - 179!  I have not seen the 170s since high school!  Total lost so far? 103.6 pounds. 

And I'm getting so close to those 170s!  If I have another awesome week, I may hit that next weekend!  That's the goal for this week.  To stay focused and kick that goal in the tater this week!

Friends, this whole thing is all about consistency.  When I consistently follow my nutritional guidelines, I yield good results.  I keep learning and tweaking what works for my metabolism.


 Now you know I don't believe in tracking my food regularly.  The BEST thing about the way I eat today is I don't count one calorie, point, fat gram, carb, etc.  I eat in balance and until I'm full and again if I get hungry.  EASY!  Well, the other day I tracked my food for curiosity's sake.

In a normal day one day this week, I consumed:

1800 calories
86g carbs
103g fat
111g protein

WOW!  If I ever hit 100g of fat "way back when" I was scared of fat, I would have probably died. But keep in mind it's all good, healthy fat I am eating.  And in the meantime, I am LOSING FAT.

The Standard American Diet is "SAD" for a reason.  It touts low fat, and makes grains and dairy seem like a necessity.  And what has happened is we have so desperately recreated treats and junk food into "healthy" treats and junk food and Americans got fatter.


Anyway, that vent brought to you by MY RESULTS.

By the way, my daughter is now taking dance and this morning challenged me to do a backbend.  She was SO SHOCKED that I could! (honestly, so was I!).  She took this picture:

Want to see my food recap?  Go to my Facebook page and like it.  I've got it all posted, each day with descriptions!  Out of time for today.

Keep on keeping on!!!


Saturday, August 31, 2013

August Results!

Hey friends! Another week behind me, week 2 of T25 Beta phase complete! That's 7 weeks completing EVERY workout prescribed in the program.  If you've been blog-stalking me for any amount of time you realize what a HUGE deal this is.

It's tough for me to stick to any schedule I make for myself, no matter how hard I try.  I just enjoy variety and shiny objects too much to be a routine person.  Now, you are probably shaking your head and reminding me that I eat the same foods alot.  But I feel I get a TON of variety in the way I eat, and I truly love all the food.  So I'm not bored. 

This week I learned some important things about my body that affected my overall results for the month.

I was hoping to lose 2.6 pounds this week...which is ALOT.  During the entire 102 pound weight loss, I've never lost more than 1.5-2lbs a week with the exception of my cycle week (moon week, girls) in which I have dropped 3-4 lbs.  In fact, my most constant pattern has always been, in a 4 week period as follows:

Week 1: -.5-.8lb
Week 2: -.5-1lb
Week 3: +1-2lbs (bloat week)
Week 4: -2.5-4lb (cycle week)

So my results are that I gained .8 this week.  What the heck, I thought.  But then I remembered my moon calendar and it made sense.  I also made a few choices food-wise this week that I know contributed.

Here are my food pics for the week and then I'll recap what I will change for the next week.

B - eggs, brussel sprouts salad, sweet potatoes, L - leftover pork, carrots, snap peas, D - huge salad with grilled chicken and fruit, olive oil. (my meal planning template also pictured)

B - eggs, snap peas, and sweet potatoes, L - taco salad and a whole mango, D - salmon with cucumber dill sauce, cole slaw and sweet potatoes.

B - eggs, snap peas and sweet potatoes, L - salmon salad boats and cole slaw, D - 3 egg/sausage muffins (literally just eggs, homemade sausage and seasoning) and also pictured is my new purse/laptop bag!

B - eggs, snap peas, L - grilled chicken salad from Soho South in Savannah, D - at the Green Truck, the "whole farm" burger (minus cheese) with an egg and bacon on top of grass fed beef.  Also pictured my awesome friend Wendy who I get to see when I have to head to Savannah for work! We always have awesome conversation and shopping!  But we take terrible selfies. In fact, I ended up having to cover my neck muscles as they kept looking weird in the pictures!  lol

B - Hard boiled eggs, sausage, fruit.  L - green truck again - same thing as last night.  D - chicken salad and leftover cole slaw.  Other picture - brought my clothes this week!  lol!

B - eggs, snap peas and avocado, L - some leftover chicken salad (not pictured) and almond/hazelnut/chocolate butter (no sugar) and apple and D - Aidell's chicken sausage, cole slaw, carrots and avocado.  Also pictured is one of those daily challenges I have yet to start (haha - there we go again, not good with a plan!).

B - eggs (already eaten), snap peas and avocado.  L - taco salad and D - The Rancher at Longhorn, (sirloin with bacon and egg on top) and steamed veggies.  Also the newest temporary member of our family, a beautiful kitty my husband found half starved crawling across the road.  She's perked up amazingly in just 24 hours of a bath, de-fleaing, food and lots of love.  Even purred today.  Hoping we find her a good home once we get her strength up.  I'm guessing she's around 4 weeks old.

So...looking at my food do you see any trends that might have contributed to the gain?  I do!  First, I ate sweet potatoes 4 times in 3 days.  Now, sweet potatoes are W30 approved, however, I have had maybe two this entire YEAR.  So technically even though they are good for some people's regular consumption, they are not for me.  While they are approved, they are too starchy for me and slow down my digestion. Some athletes SWEAR by them as necessary to fuel workouts, runs, etc.  I, um, don't need them! Maybe all the fat left to burn?  I was stressing over the gain then read an article on the fact that if you eat "low carb" (which I don't do, really, I just don't eat crap - lol) that adding carbs back in (and sweet potatoes are a form of that) too quickly and often will cause issues.  Aha! Now that article was trying to convince people NOT to eat like I do.  Sorry folks, I already have figured out what works for me.

And this week I figured out me and sweet potatoes need to break up again.  I'm ok with that! Good thing I don't really love them! Just got on a kick last weekend with them.  Not kicking anymore. Haha.  Going to make some tonight for my family and our guests but not planning to partake.

I also made my own sausage for the first time.  1lb ground turkey and 1lb ground pork along with the Italian sausage seasoning mix recipe from Well Fed.  (BUY this cookbook if you eat like me!  Well Fed 2 is coming out very soon too - can't wait!).  This was wonderful, and I cooked my own egg muffins with sausage as well.  Some of the sausage I made into patties, the rest I ground and cooked to add to the egg muffins, etc.  It was AMAZING.  Fennel seed is my new favorite.  THAT is what makes sausage taste like sausage to me!

But.  Sausage is "food without brakes" for me I think.  Food without brakes, as described in "It Starts with Food" by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig, is ANY food in which you cannot control yourself around.  Meaning you just keep grabbing some here and there, and find yourself snacking, etc.  And yeah, I snacked on sausage.  Alot.  Oops!  Lesson learned.

Here are a few more pics for you of things I learned/realized this week.

Today started football season!  And yes, I have NO shame in wearing my Gator garb around this GA town.  I did get a few looks but who cares?  Not me!  Sorry for the Dixie photo bomb. 

Tried these this week.  The bag is still full.  I do not like them.  $6.99 a bag I'm kinda glad I don't like them plus they aren't technically approved as they have organic evaporated cane juice in them.  Note that is only 2 oz of food for $6.99! And they are gross, to me.  Sorry...have to be honest on here.  lol.

Day 3 of no concealer/foundation.  My skin is simply glowing right now.  It is awesome not to have to put anything but a lil powder on my skin, do my eyes and head out!  Awesome result from eating clean.
So, not super jumping up and down ecstatic about not hitting 179 this week, but I'll take 183.2.  I'm so so close to my goal, and given next week is a cycle week, I just might be hitting that goal in the next few weeks anyway! 

When this happens, you have one of two choices.

1) Give up.  This is too hard and I keep failing or
2) KEEP GOING.  Learn from the signals your own body sends you and KEEP FIGHTING!

Door number 2 for me please!

Overall, I'm happy.  And still motivated.  And so blessed.  Here's to another great week!