Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Progress photo

Sometimes we get down on ourselves because we feel like we haven't done enough. I see people in keto groups on Facebook saying "I've lost 40 pounds since Feb. 1." If I wasn't strong I would certainly feel like a failure. I am down roughly 20 pounds from when I started low carb. I weighed 198.2 Tuesday morning. I weighed 217.5 in October.
The day after this photo was taken, I saw the cardiologist. I weighed 218 on his scale.

I could get down on myself. I have "only" lost 20 pounds. Or I could look at this photo. I have lost 20 pounds and it's obvious. I am standing straighter, smiling, and looking happier.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself, and start looking at the progress as forward movement. I am just as much talking to myself in that last statement as I am to you. Forward progress is forward progress.

I don't walk fast, nor do I eat perfectly every day. I had an egg biscuit for breakfast this morning. I weighed my choices and ate it. It was good. I haven't gotten one in 2 months. I was due. I have done well. I have made progress. I may be making slower progress than others because of the way I do things, but I am making progress.

The moral of the story is: Don't get down on yourself because you don't live up to other people's standards. You be you. Be happy with progress. Don't digress. Be a better version of yourself whenever possible.

Peace be with you.

Recipe Post 2

So, I don't know that there are a lot of recipes that I have tried lately, but there are things that I like eating.
First, I love steak, and I will share a steak recipe with you. It's called simply "Steak bites". It could just as well be called "Tasty Steak Goodness." It isn't some high end fancy steak but I like it. I have also tried the marinade with shrimp and zucchini. The recipe is NOT my own. I found it on Pinterest. I will say this about everything I have tried it with, the zucchini tasted a bit saltier than I prefer. It was still tasty though. So here's the link.  We have had this recipe several times with many sides. I think my favorite is with zucchini and broccoli!

Next, a breakfast recipe I have made twice. I make them a week ahead and eat on them all week. If you know me, then you know I am not a huge fan of sausage, or most pork for that matter. I love bacon, but other pork, not so much. I will eat sausage, and I like summer sausage and kielbasa but those are often made from beef. I have fallen in love with these silly Keto Sausage Balls. I love eggs but I can only eat egg cups and boiled eggs so many weeks before growing weary. So here's the link for that one.

Now, a little less recipe, and a little of "how I like it." Lately my lunches are something wrapped in romaine leaves. I love this. My go to lunch when I am short on time or ideas is a serving of lunch meat (turkey), a lettuce leaf for each slice, and a cheese slice for each one. I do not eat processed American cheese product. I eat REAL cheese. So when I say a cheese slice I mean take a cheese slicer and slice off a piece of cheddar from the wheel or block. I prefer off the wheel, but block is fine. Yes, I am a cheese snob. No, I am not sorry. I also usually have 1-2 pickles with that lunch. One day I cut my pickles so that I had the same number of slices as wraps and stuck a pickle in each one. YUMMO and like 2-3 carbs for lunch.

I also like to make an occasional protein shake using unsweetened vanilla almond milk and protein powder. I need to find one of those softserve machines because my newest powder tastes like a frosty.

I like food. I experiment with ways of cooking. Some things I totally dig. Some, not so much. Let me know what your favorites are!

Happy eating. Peace and love.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What the scale taught me, and you should learn too!

Okay, so in one of my first posts I told you I would weigh myself everyday for a week and then report back why that is not a good idea. Well, here goes my experimental information. This was in no way a scientific experiment, just real life application.

In life, the majority of us at some point embark on a fitness goal. For the majority of those that includes weight loss. We, as humans, expect that if we are doing all the right things, then all the right things will happen. If you're eating a paleo diet, then you should garner the results. If you are doing 21 day fix then you should see appropriate results. What no one tells you, though when they discuss their results is the actual process. Sure they may say eat this, not that. Exercise this way, for this amount of time, on this number of days, and you will get results. What they don't tell you is that it isn't linear. You don't lose weight at a steady rate. Well, I suppose you could if you went to the moon. It's a steady difference between here and there to my knowledge. Here's a chart demonstrating what I mean about expectations vs. reality.

If you are a Sparker who is reading my post there, just look to the bottom of the page, sometimes it does weirdo things with the pictures when I copy the post from here.

See we want the top image, but the bottom image is reality. There are many reasons for this reality. 1. Food amounts/ nutritional information are relative. If you look up eggs they have 0.6g carbs. Do all large eggs weigh the exact same amount? I don't think so. I am sure that commercial farms try very hard to place every carton within a range that is relatively small, but the reality is that no two natural things will ever be 100% equal. Look at twins. One generally has some distinguishing feature, even if they are identical twins. Nothing is truly identical. It may be imperceptible to most, but there is a difference in all things. That 0.6g of carbs is on average.

So you tracked your carbs, ate under your goal, and didn't lose, or worse: GAINED. Why? Maybe you retained more water today. Maybe you ate more than you thought (weighed food wrong, guestemated wrong or you just had a carbier egg). The moon was in the wrong phase so you gained. Hormones were slightly off? Or maybe you lost. Who knows?

Last week, I weighed 203.4.Boo, hiss. Since I am writing this today (9 days later) we will go with my weight from yesterday. I said a week, but was delayed in writing so we will split the delay. So Tuesday I was still 203.4. And Wednesday. But Thursday I was 201.5! Yay! A loss. But Friday I was 202.0. Ugh a 1/2 pound gain. Saturday 200.6 I was now 0.1 smaller than I was when I fell off my wagon around my birthday. Go me! I had reversed my issue. And Monday was the best feeling for me as I weighed 199.8! I had hit ONEderland. And finally Tuesday I woke up 198.2. Even further into ONEderland!!!! I realize that I lost more days than gained, and it was by small amounts. What I didn't realize though is the thoughts that it would create. The highs and lows and boos. What was I doing differently? Nothing really. Weight just isn't a stable thing. Environment matters. Yesterday I did a lot of walking. It was hot. I sweated more than usual. No big deal. Today it is cooler and my ankle hurts (more on that in a minute). I probably won't lose as much for a few days if that is a major factor. I also ate higher carbs yesterday. Away from planned eating will impact weight loss.

The moral of the story is weighing everyday is A. pointless B. stressful and C. not going to tell you if you gained muscle mass, water, or lost fat. It only tells you the relationship to gravity at that ONE moment. Is that to say you should never ever weigh. No, not at all. Weigh if you want. Especially if you have a target weight. How will you know how to get there if you don't know where you are going? But don't weigh all the time. Once a week or even a month is fine. I weigh more times when I know that I have a higher carb meal coming so that I can get myself back in line. I don't worry as much if the scale rises if I can determine why and how to fix it.

Now, the ankle. I did my first workout on the C25K app. I did this while waiting on Reid to finish baseball practice on Monday. My ankle hurt a little yesterday, but I didn't really worry about it. I went to Raleigh and participated in the Down Syndrome Advocacy Day there. I did a lot of walking. I got home last night and thought I would die. Today, said ankle is in a brace. Booo Hisssss. I hope it's better soon. If not I will have to restart the app. I need to get in 3 exercises this week.

Good luck to you! Peace be with you.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Victories and losses

I hit my first goal today! I now weigh less than 200 pounds. ONEderland. I am so proud of that. I also ran today! Slowly, but surely I finished my workout. My legs are killing me.

I learned a great lesson over the last two or three weeks. If you don't meal plan, you will eat crappy food. I MUST plan. I must also plan for the high carb, unplanned days. Tomorrow is one of those. I will minimize my carbs, but I will eat crappy foods too.

I lost my footing on my plan for a bit. I learned why and how to fix it. I am now lighter than I was before. I am proud of my victories, but I am also thankful for my lessons.

Tomorrow, I advocate for my baby girl.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Getting Better

This blog isn't about losing weight. I mean, it is, but it isn't. I do need to drop the pounds, but more than that I need to be healthy.

You may know that my daughter has Down syndrome. Today her support group held a 5k. I didn't do it. I wanted to, but I let my self-esteem get in my way. I let the fact that I didn't want to be laughed at cloud my judgement. Who the hell cares if I get laughed at? Well, obviously, me. I shouldn't. I normally don't, but I do.

Now I am embarrassed that I let my embarrassment dictate my life. Mental health is an issue for me, as it is many Americans. I am socially awkward at times, and I suffer from depression and anxiety. I have for all of my adult life. What I have learned is that I will never get better doing what is comfortable. Why then, did I let myself fall into this trap? I was lazy and selfish. If you know me very well, you know that selfish is the last thing I want to be.

I own it, though. I did it. I was selfish and ruled by my self-esteem. Now, like my body, I have to get my mind better. I am going to complete the 5k next time. Hopefully they will do one next year. This was their first. I am going to start a Couch to 5k type of program. I need to find the app that I like the most. I will do it. For Lillie, I will do it. For myself I will do it.

I woke up feeling crappy that I didn't do it. Then my sister texted me. She did it. I am immensely proud of her accomplishment. She is also not in "runner's" shape. She sucked up her pride, selfishness, and fear and strapped her shoes on (no I don't mean she's selfish; I mean I was). She did it!!! Next year WE will do it. Who's with me???

If you have a favorite C25K app, drop it in the comments or message me wherever you see this link. Getting better is more than food, weight, or mental health. It's treating yourself as you deserve. I have value. I need to act like it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Recipe Day 1 Tasty Teas

I promised to tell you all about some of my favorite recipes. Well, one thing I do constantly is drink something. Diet soda is not the way to lose weight. There have been studies done that say the artificial sweetener actually increases sweet cravings and stalls weight loss. There have also been about a million studies that say artificial sweeteners are terrible for your health.

I suppose that is actually a good thing for me. I am trying to be healthier, so I need to cut the crap in my diet. I did learn that sugar alcohols are not as bad, depending on which ones you might choose. I have learned that Xylitol may actually be good for teeth! It is toxic to dogs from my understanding, so if you have pets and decide to use it, PLEASE be very careful. Erythritol is also a great sugar alternative. Stores like Whole Foods and websites like Amazon carry a brand of etythritol called Swerve© among others. I don't use that brand, but as long as it is JUST erythritol, it's all good.

I am sure that many of you are wondering why I don't just use Stevia? It is all natural; it comes from a plant for goodness sakes! Well, my friend, it's in the same family as ragweed, and I get severe headaches from it. Boo hiss. I can only tolerate aspartame as an artificial sweetener, and we have all heard about rats and cancer caused by aspartame. If you have not heard of such studies, please Google it. So, in light of intolerance to Stevia or any artificial sweeteners I use sugar alcohols. If you count net carbs, as I typically do, the sugar alcohols have 0 carbs and aren't hard on the body. So, here are a few things I think you may enjoy!

We all know that water is the best drink for you, but I just don't like it. I also tend to get UTIs from certain bottled water. It's the chemical they use to clean the water. SO, I make tea. Yes, I said it tea. I am a Southern girl. If you know me, then you know that tea is not typically a favorite drink of mine. I do, however, get creative, and I love my new drinks.

Celestial Seasonings® has some wonderful fruit teas. If you are a fan of low carb eating, you know fruit is off limits, BUT these are carb free. Here's what I do as a general rule:

2 bags fruit tea
3 bags tea
1/2 cup sweetener, roughly
1/2 gallon of water

My favorite combinations are:
2 bags True Blueberry    
3 bags Lipton® tea
1/2 cup erythritol
1/2 gallon of water

2 bags Country Peach
3 bags of Lipton® Tea
slightly more than 1/2 cup erythritol (probably 1/2 cup plus 1T)
1/2 gallon of water

2 bags Black Cherry Berry
3 bags Lipton® Tea
slightly less than 1/2 cup erythritol (probably 1/2 cup less 1T)
1/2 gallon of water

I steep the bags together for 5-8 minutes. Sometimes the strong flavors like Black Cherry Berry I will steep closer to the 5 minute mark.

I use this size bag for the Lipton:
These are NOT the family size bags.

I usually change fruit flavors every few days.

Now, this is not a shameless plug for Celestial Seasonings® teas. I also went to Teavana® the other day for the very first time. Their teas are FANTABULOUS and more expensive. I was first introduced to a Teavana® tea at Starbucks® the other week. I tried the Peach Tranquility over ice. OMG no sweetener needed!

So far I have tried my combo tea with a Dragonfruit Devotion. I mixed it a little strong I think, so I will be playing with it to see what I like. Instead of the 2 tea bags, I seeped 4 spoons of the Dragonfruit Devotion. MMMMMMMMM, stronger flavor but OH SO GOOD. I get my caffeine from my Lipton® and eventually I will start eliminating the Lipton® / switching to decaf. I am also not partial to Lipton® itself, I just like the smaller size bags and I can find them at the local Walmart®. If you want to try other brands or flavors, please comment below and tell me what happens!!!

I am not paid by any of these companies and hold no loyalty. This is not meant as advertisement to anything other than my preference for drinks.

I also know that what I do with my teas my be blasphemous to some of you tea drinkers, and know that I am both sorry and not. I am a self-proclaimed weirdo and do weird stuff with my food. I used to dip pickles in Diet Dr. Pepper. MMMMM.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Fat is relative

So yesterday I declared that I am fat. I am fat. Others are fat too. For one person, a weight that is dangerous may be lower than a weight with the same effects for someone else. My being fat does not at all mean that you, reader, are disgustingly fat or not beautiful.

Too often we equate weight with beauty. It is not the same thing. Weight is the relationship your body has with gravity that may or may not cause medical problems from joint pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatigue, and other cardiovascular difficulties to low self-esteem and self-worth, suicidal thoughts or tendencies, depression, and anxiety.

Each person experiences these things at a different rate. Yesterday I talked a bit about charts for target weight. Here's one for women:
Related imagefound at
I will not even fit into the "large" frame category when I hit my target. Does this mean that I will be fat then. Maybe for some people, but I will be at my happy. My fat and your fat are not the same. My health may be terrible at 200 pounds while you are fit as a fiddle at 215. 

The motto at my house is "fat girl gotta eat" and I will always be a fat girl, even when the scale shows otherwise. I love food. I will always love food. I just have to love some things in very small quantities. I don't mind being just outside my range according to this chart because this chart cannot tell you many things about me. Am I smart? Am I funny? Am I compassionate? Am I beautiful? This chart will only tell me if I am a cookie cutter sized person. Nope I am not. Neither are you. Don't worry if my fat and your fat are not the same. They just are. Happy Eating.

Monday, March 13, 2017

This is the first post for my new blog. If you have followed me in the past, you know that I have a blog dedicated to my opinions on things. This blog will not have political posts or non-food related emotional posts.

This past Friday I turned 39 years old. I am fat. Could I sugar coat that by saying I am curvy, fluffy, thick, or any variety of cutesy adjectives? Absolutely! I am still fat. I am more than just my fat, but I am fat. I am only 5 feetish tall. (Anywhere from 5' even to 5'1" depending on the person doing the measuring.) I am currently 203.4 pounds. This is not a healthy weight. I used to be 217.5 pounds, so I am not as bad as I was either. I want to be 140 pounds. I am not built to be 117 pounds. I may be 5ish feet tall, but I have a 7 inch wrist (very large for such a short girl) and a 7-8 shoe size. Many women my height are built to be tiny. I, am not. This does not mean that I am built to be fat. I am just not built to be 117 pounds.

My first wedding, I weighed 135-145 pounds. I say this because weight fluctuates and I would weigh 135 one day then 145 two days later and anything in between on any given day. I wore a size 8 wedding dress, and was quite small. I want to be that size. If I dipped below 130, I started to get asked if I were sick. Right after that I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I took the Depo Provera shot. I almost immediately gained 50 pounds. I lost a little of that, but I have NEVER been that size again. Before the shot, I had no issue losing weight as I chose. I was 20 with a good metabolism. Now, not so much.

I don't exercise like I should, but I am working on that. I don't do as good at eating as I should, but I am working on that too. I have started a low carb diet. I was down to 200.7, but I had a birthday, and gained some of that back. Do I feel like I cheated this weekend? Nope. I made informed decisions on what I ate and I chose to eat outside of my plan. Today, I am back on plan. That's okay. Did I completely undo everything I have done since January 23? Nope. I did, however, undo some of my progress. I knew that I would. Cheating implies I was trying to get away with something. I knew I couldn't cheat my body and expect the same results. I made an informed decision to eat like crap. I ate really good food, and I have to keep some of those foods at bay almost all the time, and only allow them on truly special occasions.

I do a keto like diet most of the time, but sometimes I have to push myself out of keto due to some medical issues. I did that on purpose this weekend. Back to reality.

I am starting from here. I will weigh every day this week and then post a blog about why that is stupid later. I want to prove a point.

This blog will chronicle my struggles, successes, and favorite recipes. I will try to post a few times a week to update my progress and once a week to tell you what my favorite recipes or dishes were for the week. Feel free to join me. I use to track my nutrients and goals and we can even start a team if you guys want to jump on there with me. My username there is Mommyre and I will probably copy and paste my blogs (after this one) to the one on my sparkpage. Happy eating.

GW 140
Here we go!