Long Time No Post!

I’ve been exceedingly busy the past few months. Since I wrote last, I’ve aimed to go to the gym and get my cardio 3-5 times per week. Except for one week when I was down with the flu, I did it! I also broke out the Total Gym, got a barbell set, some more dumbbells, a kettlebell, and a medicine ball, and have done some at-home weight workouts. I need to be more consistent with those workouts, but it is a start. The important thing about my cardio is that I have been increasing the resistance gradually. Most recently,  I have been doing the majority of the hour on level 15, and hit the last 4-5 minutes hard on 16 and 17, sprinting at the end. When I started up again in January, I started at the lowest resistance. This is huge. My heart rate recovery and CV fitness have improved dramatically. I’ve dropped sizes solidly in my clothing: I’m now in a large top, down from extra-large, and medium scrub bottoms, sometimes a size 10 or 12 jeans, depending on brand, which is down from a large scrub bottom (and those were tight!), and a snug size 14 jeans. My current bra size is 38 D, down significantly from what I’d guess was a 40/42 DD. All told, I am very pleased, even if the drastic pace of weight loss has slowed, I feel better, I look significantly thinner. I am just 3 pounds away from busting through into the Overweight BMI class, and then it is a much quicker trip down to Normal.

As you can see  here, the weight loss slowed dramatically from February through most of May. I wasn’t weighing my food at this time, though I was strictly keto for most of it, with occasional cheat periods, such as when I went to Canada for a Girlfriend Getaway.

I also focused on increasing protein with my weight workouts. It’s also important to note that this period has been incredibly stressful at work. We had a nightmare situation with a staff member who has, thankfully, FINALLY been terminated. I know that high levels  of stress can increase the cortisol level in your body, which can make it difficult to lose weight. I’ve stayed strong with the keto regimen, focused on getting in at least 3 workouts per week, and stayed off the scale for most of it. I’ve had some major issues with water retention, especially swelling in my lower legs and wrists, also with some facial puffiness. My repro organs have been nightmare as well. There’s a lot going somewhat haywire with my hormones, so I am taking things day by day.

5_26_17 weight graph

 

Here is the overall trend:

5_26_17 weight graph overview

I am down almost 60 pounds since I started this health, wellness and fitness journey. I have 40 pounds to go to reach my goal.

Killin’ It

This week I added regular cardio, an hour on the elliptical, for five days this week. Yes,on the workdays, I woke at 2:30 am and went to the gym from 3-4, but I did it, goddamn it! And I feel spectacular! And would you just look at what adding cardio has done to the weight loss?

1_29_17-weight-graph

That is a cool 5-pound loss since Monday when I added an hour of cardio. I am also proceeding with extended fast days, and toying around with pre-workout prep, such as, do I eat anything if so, what? I’ve worked out on an empty stomach, which made for an excruciating workout, I’ve had a few bites of protein bars, some with more carbs that the other. Now my serum ketones rose after each workout, but  never had as dramatic a rise as I did yesterday:

ketones-post-workout-1_28_17

Look at that number! It’s never been that high before!

Yesterday was a weekend, so I slept in a bit, which for me, means getting up at 4:30 instead of 2:30 lol I also had two cups of coffee with heavy whipping cream and didn’t go to the gym right away. I went later in the morning at 10:00-ish. I’m not certain which is the most important factor there, but I’ll try changing one variable at a time for this week’s workouts and see which yields the greatest rewards.

This week, I will be adding weights to my routine.I’ve ordered Brett Contreras’s Strong Curves workout book, and I really ought to open up the Total Gym and take advantage of that, particularly for my upper body.

I have  physical coming up in 3 weeks, and I’d  love to be back down to the weight I was at for my physical in 2015, which was 169. So, we shall see! But I feel great – energized, clothes are fitting more loosely.  I took measurements yesterday and will do that once a week as well to monitor progress on that front.

I have GOT to get rid of the belly fat around my waist. At 36 inches, I am still just above the range for women (by 1 inch)  which has the greatest risk for heart disease. Ugh. No thank you! We are headed into Heart Disease Awareness Month for February. Heart Disease is the #1 killer of women in the US, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds,  that’s 1 in 3 deaths among women every year! I’ll be wearing red this Friday at work, and I ordered some red lapel pins for my co-workers as a small gift.

I’m ready!

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Recipe: Spicy Beef and Greens

The base recipe for this is something I call Meat and Greens. The basics, saute meat, add some onion and garlic (plus other veg as wanted), let simmer, add a little broth, and then smother with chopped greens (spinach,kale, chard, collard greens) until wilted, season and done.

I’ve  made this with ground turkey, gourmet chicken sausage, had Mexican, Cajun, Chinese  and Korean flavor profiles. It’s a versatile recipe. And boy, do I love some wilted dark leafy greens.

This is the one I make most often. It’s a spicy Asian-ish dish.

Spicy Beef and Greens

Continue reading Recipe: Spicy Beef and Greens

What a Difference a Day (or two) Makes!

This morning’s weigh-in exceeded my expectations! Whatever water-retention issues I was having this weekend  have sorted themselves out, because the number that greeted my eyes when I ventured to step in the scale this morning was purely awesome. I am right on the -5 lb/2 weeks trajectory, and I will take that with both hands.

I am still struggling with the idea that my value as a person, my worth as a woman in particular, is so tied up with numbers: My age, the number on the scale, the score on the BMI charts, or a rating on the “10 scale.” I understand that the people who love me value me for more than these numerical criteria. I know that I just have to have patience and hope that someone will indeed love me the way I desire to be loved. Where this becomes difficult is when I get stuck in a negative feedback loop prompted by my self-loathing.

Banishing my negative thought patterns is my task, no one else’s.

In the meantime, yay me! Good job!

Week One Round-Up

Here are the details for the first week of keto:

Date Total cals Carbs g  Carbs % Protein g Protein % Fat g Fat %
2/16/2014 1,026 29 11.5 77 30.53 65 57.98
2/17/2014 1,122 20 7.37 96 35.39 69 57.24
2/18/2014 1,160 11* 3.96 82 29.55 82 66.49
2/19/2014 1,072 15 5.8 68 26.31 78 67.89
2/20/2014 1,177 32 11.02 83 28.57 78 60.41
2/21/2014 1,262 48** 15.21 74 23.45 86 61.33
2/22/2014 1,283 35 10.28 85 24.96 98 64.76
8,102 total cals

Some daily averages:

Average Daily Calories 1,157
Average Daily Carbs  27.14 g, or 108.56 cals
Average Daily Protein  80.71 g, or 322.84 cals
Average Daily Fat  79.42 g, or 714.78 cals

 

*This day was the lowest I managed to get my carbs, and I did that by having a few leaves of butter lettuce and two tablespoons of salsa as my only carby-type stuff that day. Breakfast was two eggs fried in butter, a glass of cranwater and coffee with 2% milk and Truvia; lunch was my favorite chicken taco salad without the taco (that had a bit of lettuce and the salsa); Supper was a bunless burger with mayo, bacon and cheese sat atop a leaf of butter lettuce.

** The carbs are high on this day, 48 grams, and 15.21% of that day’s calories, because for an afternoon snack, I had a Think Thin Chunky Peanut Butter Protein Bar. As you can see from the nutritional info, that sucker had 24 g of carbs by itself:

think thin chunky pb bar

I imagine that I’ll try to stick to whole food, clean eating and avoid anything processed from a box. I was just desperately hungry for a snack that day. Next time maybe I’ll stick to some nuts or a couple tablespoons of peanut butter.

Going by the (Conventional Wisdom) Numbers

The conventional wisdom model of weight loss states that in order to lose weight, the calories in (what we eat) MUST BE less than calories out (what our bodies burn).

A pound of fat equals 3,500 calories.

My BMI, or Basal Metabolic Rate, basically, the calories needed to keep my typical activity level going without any weight change is 1,973. Any exercise or other activities I might do beyond my normal activity would mean that I need to add calories to my diet to maintain my current weight.

The theory states that in order to lose 1 pound per week, I would have to reduce my daily caloric intake by 500 calories. To lose two pounds per week, I’d have to lose 1,000 calories per day, so 973 – 1,473 calories per day is my range.

I have lost more than 2 pounds/week doing South Beach Diet in the past, so this conventional wisdom does not always hold true.

Secret Eaters

I just stumbled across this UK show, “Secret Eaters,” on Youtube.

 

I am hooked! I really wish that someone would make a version of this show for here in the US. Basically, a family volunteers to have their eating habits tracked for a period, one week, I think. Their house is rigged with cameras so that someone can log their food intake. Unbeknownst to the family, they are also followed by a pair of private investigators to see what they might be eating when not at home.

It truly is crazy just how many calories we can shovel into our gaping maws with mindless eating out of boredom without even realizing it!   I also had a moment of deep honesty last week and calculated the calories for one of my favorite comfort food meal, Peasant Breakfast. Brace yourselves.

Peasant Breakfast Breakdown:

Amout Ingredient Calories
5 medium russet potatoes 600
4 T salted butter 400
3 oz. medium green bell pepper 16.5
4 oz. medium onion 44
3 large eggs 210
2 T grated parm 44
1314.5 total

Oh my God. Granted, that would be two meals, usually breakfast and lunch, but still. I knew it was a lot of calories, but holy shit, that’s an ungodly amount of calories and carbs. It is just so good. I use Old Bay seasoning to add some spicy flavor. Now that I know for certain just how much of a gut bomb it is, I doubt I’ll ever make it as large as that ever again.

Progress, maybe?

So, I’ve had a rough couple of days. First, I’m in the middle of a massive purge and reorganization in the house. It’s stressful, but necessary and I truly want to get rid of all sorts of stuff. Just as a lot of my excess pounds on my body have strong ties to negative emotions, so do the very many excess pounds of clutter and accumulated items weigh my psyche down. It is as liberating to shed old possessions and slough off unnecessary THINGS as it is to burn off the extra fat that has been oppressing me. So yeah, this is good, and I am embracing it.

It’s a lot of work though, and as I rummage and sort through things, inevitably, I am smacked across the face with what a mess my life has become. It’s overwhelming at times. Yesterday, in fact, as my sister was helping me sort, at one point I started laughing  at the absurdity of it all, and then I started bawling. I am just a total emotional basketcase. Add to this scenario the new kitties we recently got. One of them has been purposely peeing on the furniture in the past week. Time and again I have had to scrub clean cat pee from my couch – a real mood breaker, let me tell you. Over the past five days, I’ve melted down over these cat-pee transgressions several times, and each time, that brain-mouth filter evaporated and I told my kids that the cats would have to go if this situation didn’t right itself soon.

Ugh. They’re upset. I’m upset. This totally would have been a carb-binge moment if ever there was one. Continue reading Progress, maybe?

A Day’s Meals

Today I thought I’d put in a typical day’s meals on a low-carb, high-fat diet. I’m using today’s meals for this.

Breakfast: Eggbeater omelette with honey ham, cherry tomatoes and cheddar

When I was doing the South Beach Diet, I’d make this just about every morning, and I’d use cooking spray instead of a solid fat like butter or coconut oil. South Beach is a low-carb, low-to-moderate fat, moderate protein diet, and I did have great results on it. At the moment, I am trying out a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet with moderate protein. I’m aiming for 49 grams of protein daily determined like this:

1 gram of protein per kilogram of ideal body weight, minus 10%. So for instance, I’m assuming that my ideal body weight is 120 pounds:

  • Divide 120 pounds by 2.2 to determine your weight in kilograms= 54.5 kilograms
  • Multiply 54.5  x 1 = 54.5 grams of protein. Now subtract 10%.
  • Multiply 54.5 x 10% = 5.45 grams
  • 54.5 – 5.45 = about 49 grams of protein per day.

The formula is found here. Continue reading A Day’s Meals