Category Archives: progress

{ I.F. round two }

After hitting goal back in May 2016, I did some celebrating, of course.

Then July 4th, I celebrated more.

Then we went on vacation to New Mexico for 10 days, and I celebrated even more.

As the saying goes, the struggle is real. I know you have all experienced the same situation(s) and you kick yourself for “letting yourself go.” It happens. We have to pick ourselves up and move on, which is exactly what I did. But, things don’t always go as planned. When we returned from New Mexico in late July, I went back to my 100% strict low carb as usual. The extra “vacation weight” came off pretty quickly. Then… nothing.

A few days ago, I was still the same weight I was on August 1st. I was hovering around the same three stubborn pounds no matter what I ate. It just so happened I was finishing up a great book, called The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss by Jason Fung, MD. I highly recommend reading it. This book is one of best I’ve read as I’ve researched low carb and weight loss these past 2 years. Dr. Fung writes how the main culprit of our weight is our insulin levels. He goes into this topic in great detail and mentions tips on weight loss I had never even thought or read about, such as snacking. Don’t do it. It keeps your insulin levels elevated, which keeps the weight ON.

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In the last chapter of the book, titled When to Eat, he describes intermittent fasting (IF), how to, the myths, and more. I immediately thought ‚ÄĒ oh great, here we go again. Been there, done that. Didn’t work. As Dr. Fung described it in more and more detail, he mentioned the duration… 24 to 36 HOURS.  WHOA.  Definitely NOT the intermittent fasting I tried. My usual fast was 16-18 hours (basically eating dinner early and skipping breakfast). I wasn’t sure I could ever handle a 24-hour fast, much less a 36-hour.

The more I thought about it, and how well he presented the information in the book, it seemed easy enough. I decided WHY NOT!?  I’ve got nothing to lose! (pun intended ūüėČ ) I CAN do it.

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This past Sunday, I had my regular 3 meals. On Monday I skipped breakfast and lunch, so dinner Sunday to dinner Monday was my first 24-hour fast. As my Monday routine played out, I actually ate dinner later than usual, so my fast was closer to 25-26 hours. I ate WINGS, and they were so GOOD. I thought I would be starving and would have to get the large 16-piece order, but nope, my usual small order of 10 wings was plenty. I was a little hungry here and there throughout the day, but as Dr. Fung mentions, it passes. Keep drinking water. Hang in there, and it will pass. And it does that exact thing ‚ÄĒ it comes in waves. Personally, as the day goes on, it’s less and less frequent. It went so well, I decided to continue with an alternating 24-hour fasting (twice) plan for the week.

During this time, I also decided to cut out *ALL* artificial sweeteners, which is also something Dr. Fung mentions several times in his book. Apparently, they can raise your insulin levels as much as regular sugar. EEK!! This is pretty huge for me. I love Sweet N Low in my iced tea, and I use sugar free (Splenda) syrups in my coffee with coconut oil (only one cup a day).

After my fast on Monday and wings for dinner, my plan included eating all 3 meals Tuesday, but since I only have coffee for breakfast, and I wasn’t using syrups (and NO black coffee for me), I skipped it and had lunch and dinner. Then the process started all over again, 24 hour fast until Wednesday dinner, eat all day Thursday (except breakfast). It’s a simple 1 day on, 1 day off plan, which makes it easy to follow. And since you never go a full waking-hour day without eating, it’s not so daunting. Skipping dinner on the fasting day would make it a 36-hour fast. I’m not so sure about that one. ūüėČ

Finally… what you’ve been waiting for. The results!

After fasting Monday and eating Tuesday, I was down about 4 pounds total by Wednesday morning. Wednesday was my next fast, and on Thursday morning I woke up for a total of 5 pounds lost. 

So far it seems like this version of intermittent fasting works, at least it did for me this week. I’m sure I will try it out again soon.

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{ blondie bars }

Memorial Day weekend is almost upon us, and with all of the family gatherings happening, I thought I would test out another recipe to share at a family reunion we have planned.

This recipe comes from Carolyn at All Day I Dream About Food. (So much truth in that title, am I right?!) I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand, and it came together very quickly. Carolyn’s recipe called for Sukrin Gold, or more Swerve with molasses – so¬†I went with the Swerve/molasses option. I also cut back on the chocolate chips and added PECANS, of course. Baked goods NEED pecans!

Low Carb Blondies | Losing Loads Weight Loss Blog

I tasted the dough before it was cooked (that’s a RULE, right?!) and it had a great flavor, so I already had high hopes. Once they were in the oven for 20 minutes, I was afraid they would never hold together¬†in an actual bar form because they weren’t firm.

I took them out of the oven to¬†cool as we went out for dinner. Once we arrived back home, they were still slightly warm, so¬†I cut into bars and easily picked them up as bars without falling apart! ¬†We all loved the taste, plenty sweet with only a slight¬†cooling effect (which is why I’m cutting back some on the Swerve), but totally worth it for the overall taste and texture. It definitely filled that chocolate chip cookie craving I’ve had lately. I loved the edge pieces the best, so I’m going to cook them a little longer next time to see how that works.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies
slightly modified from original
Yield: 16 bars / Serving Size: 1 bar

1/2 cup butter
2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup Swerve Sweetener
1/4 cup Swerve and 2 tsp molasses, mixed well
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar-free chocolate chips (Lily’s Sugar Free Choc Chips – 42g)
1/3 cup pecans, chopped

Place butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook until the butter is melted and and becomes a deep amber, and has a nutty aroma. Remove and let cool.
Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 9×9 inch square pan (an 8×8 is acceptable but your blondies will take longer to cook).
In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, sweeteners, baking powder, and salt. Stir in egg, browned butter and vanilla extract until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Press dough evenly into prepared ban and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until just set and golden brown. Let cool and cut into squares.

Wendy’s Notes: I cut back on the original amount of chocolate chips, and added 1/3 cup of pecans. I cooked mine in a 9×9 pan for the full 20 minutes. On my next batch I may cut back on the Swerve a bit, as well as cook about 5 minutes longer.

Nutritional Information: Serves 16. Based on my changes (and if my math is correct) Each serving has 174 calories, 16g total fat, 5.5 total carbs, 2.6 fiber, 4g protein; 2.75g NET carbs.

This past week or so hasn’t gone exactly as planned – that’s life, I suppose. I’m still trying to get back into my personal acceptable weight range after hitting my low point for goal. I suppose I celebrated a little too much after I hit that low point. ūüėČ It is coming back off, it’s just taking it’s sweet time doing so.

With a few events around¬†Memorial Day weekend, I really wanted¬†to have something like this available to keep me on track, since I was totally¬†ready to enjoy myself that day (by eating the bad-for-me “good” stuff). But, I don’t think I’m ready for that yet. I need to keep the reins a bit tighter, I guess. It seems my body wants to either gain or lose – it’s not ready to maintain yet.

This is all new to me, so I’m learning as I go. My body is still trying to get used to this place (and so is my mind), and I’m still trying to teach it how to stay there. As I told my husband last week – I thought maintenance would be much easier. Boy, was I WRONG.

Even after almost 2 and a half years, I still have that little voice in my head saying “a little of this won’t hurt”… “one off meal won’t hurt” … “just this once.” And when I do, the number on the scale takes a beating. There’s no coasting along here. It may take a while for me to figure all this out, I just hope it’s sooner rather than later.

 

{ celebration }

As a few of you may already know, I hit my weight loss goal this past Saturday, May 14, 2016. I was completely overwhelmed and thrilled!!  It was actually a huge surprise to me.

I had really hit it hard the last week or so, and by Friday, I was pretty certain I would NOT hit it the next day, like I so desperately wanted to. I was hungry, tired, depressed, didn’t feel good, and I just wanted a bunch of MEAT by the time Friday night rolled around. I eat chicken a lot, and I’m completely addicted to it, but I really wanted smoked BEEF BRISKET for some reason. So, Friday night we went to a local BBQ joint and I had a half pound of brisket and a chunk of block cheddar cheese.

Let me back up just a bit… May 14th was a big day for our town, college graduations, prom night for high schools, etc. So, I wanted to leave town because it would be so busy. Leaving town means *better* shopping and… *wonderful* eating… about 2 hours from home. I wanted to hit my goal so it could be more of a celebration as well, and so I didn’t have to wait another week or two to finally hit that big goal.

Back to Friday night: I ate all my BBQ, most of the big block of cheese and even a slice of sausage from my husband’s sandwich. It was all so good, and made me feel better – even knowing it would make me not hit my goal. We went out in town later that night, and we *almost* went for a dessert (I was feeling better, but still depressed about not hitting goal, and just wanted to EAT) – but, thankfully, it was almost 9pm, so we decided to just go home and I’m SO GLAD we did.

The next morning, we got up 3 hours earlier than we normally do so we could get ready and head out of town to make a full day of it. When I got on the scale extra earlier than usual on a Saturday, and the scale showed I hit goal, I was in complete SHOCK. Thank you Lord, and thank you brisket!

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Saturday became a full day of celebration – and it was fantastic. Did I eat a lot of things I don’t normally?  Of course. Did I spend too much shopping? Most certainly. However, that will not deter me from the direction of my life. The stress has lifted and I feel like I can live my life – my NEW life – starting now. Personally, my goal was to hit 145, and my “maintenance range” is the 5 pounds above that – basically below 150. I didn’t intended to hit that goal and stay at or below. I want to stay right above 145, which is why it didn’t bother me to enjoy my day. I will continue low carb, and now I feel like I can stretch out a bit, relax, try new recipes, and other things I didn’t want to risk before.


My husband suggested we make May 14th an annual family holiday, taking the day off work (if it’s a weekday) and leave town – we will call it:  “The May Get A-Weigh.”

And I think that’s a fantastic idea.

 

{ direction }

Well into¬†two years of this journey, I am still learning so much ‚Äď so much about diet and nutrition, and so much about MYSELF.

I randomly ran across this saying today and it really hit home:

direction

This past Saturday, I hit a new low – only 2.5 pounds from goal… then I GAINED for three days straight (when eating everything right). It’s so hard seeing the number on the¬†scale move up and away from that finish line.

I was complaining to my husband about it (no surprise there),¬†and he made a very interesting observation. “Which is really a failure? The one who goes back to the old lifestyle ‚ÄĒ or the one who keeps on a path of healthy living?” His birthday was earlier¬†this week, and he wanted to go out to a place that’s NOT¬†low carb friendly for me (and one of my most favorite places). So, of course, I was stressing out about it after the previous gains in the week, and he continued, “the fact that it’s on your mind – you have it before you – you keep the resistance there… this speaks volumes.”

Direction. MY Direction.

After that¬†discussion – and a great meal (yum!) – I decided I needed to quit putting added stress in my life. Something needed to change. I am a self-admitted scale addict ‚ÄĒ¬†literally weighing MULTIPLE times a day. I am going back to weighing in only on Saturdays. I am already feeling less stressed without the scale looming over me every morning. I was also¬†in a race to finish. Why the rush? Who was I racing?? No one. Just me. Does it really matter what the scale says? Shouldn’t *healthy* be the important thing?

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This entire week gave¬†me a whole new perspective. I know the direction I’m going, and one higher carb meal isn’t going to deter that. I’ve done all of this before, so I know what to do and NOT to do.

It’s all about the right direction.

 

 

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